[GUIDE] Getting Your Ultra Rooted And Ready For Flashing
I have noticed an increase of threads and posts from new people that don't know how to use Flashtool, root, backing up the TA partition or unlocking the bootloader, and i'm probably not the only one that is getting tired of seeing the same questions being asked over and over again every single day. So, i hope this will make things clear. This guide should in theory make your Ultra ready for flashing custom ROMs, and with that said...
...here comes the warning: Your warranty is now void. I am not responsible for bricked devices, or whatever you might end up with.
It's currently not possible to root .257, so we''ll have to downgrade to .532 (you can check your version in Settings->About phone).
This guide is getting longer by the minute, with more and more information - which might be really confusing for new people, so if you want to simply root, update to 257 and NOT unlock the bootloader, AND you don't want to update to the newly released 290 firmware (Android 4.3) which requires an unlocked bootloader to root, just follow the orange sections. If you want to unlock the bootloader and install CWR and TWRP, add the purple sections.
● Rooting GPe
● Rooting .290
● Change CDA
● Backup TA Partition
● Unlocking the bootloader
● Recovery and TWRP
● Flashing a ROM
● Down the road
● Back to Sony
Well that was quick! Nice! Now you'll have to decide if you want to update to 257 again. Are you keeping the stock ROM, or do you want to move straight to a custom ROM like CyanogenMod, PAC, Omni etc.? If you want to flash a custom ROM, just skip this part and jump directly to "Backup TA Partition". If you want to keep yourself on stock firmware, do this:
- Install OTA Root Keeper from the Play Store, open it and press the only logical button in that app.
If you have a regular Ultra, skip this part. This is for the Z Ultra Google Play Edition.
It's not possible to backup the TA partition for the moment (i.e you'll lose it) since we have to unlock the bootloader to gain root.
- Unlock bootloader (if you're not sure how, jump down to "Unlocking the bootloader")
- Download "RevolutionKernel" from here and move it to your device/SD card
- Download SuperSU from here and move it to your device
- Use Fastboot to boot the kernel (do not flash it/fastboot flash):
fastboot boot *insert RevolutionKernel filname*
- Boot into Recovery or TWRP
- Flash SuperSU
You'll have to unlock the bootloader if you want to root the .290 firmware (Android 4.3). Update to .290 through the Sony PC Companion tool for your desktop and update. Scroll down to "Unlocking The Bootloader", and once you're all done, follow these steps.
If you haven't received the OTA update for 257, you'll have to change your CDA so we can force the update. But why can't i use Flashtool to flash 257 you ask? Because that will remove root. OTA updates won't.
- Install a file explorer from the Play Store. I recommend Solid Explorer or ES File Explorer.
- Navigate to /system and open build.prop
- Change your CDA to: C6833_1275-8026 (there are three different places this has to be changed. Just take your time and try to find something that resembles the CDA code above. No reason to panic if you can't find it within 5 second.
- Next you'll want to find "ro.somc.customerid" and change it to 436
- Next you'll want to find "ro.semc.version.cust_revision" and change it to R11A
- Now reboot your device
- The OTA update should arrive now. If it doesn't, go to "Update Center" (app) and manually refresh.
- Update to 257
- The root app (i'm not sure what app it installs) might be gone, so just install SuperSU from the Play Store if it's not in your app drawer anymore. Update binaries and choose "Normal".
Congratulations! You're now rooted and updated to the latest firmware. Have a cookie.
BACKUP TA PARTITION:
I haven't forgotten you that wanted to skip updating and go straight to a custom ROM. First you'll have to backup your TA partition. It holds all your unique DRM keys, and X-Reality won't work without it. Once you lose it, you can't get it back, so back it up and upload it to your Dropbox or something. So how do you backup your TA partition?
Are you done? Great! Let's move on to the bootloader:
UNLOCKING THE BOOTLOADER:
This might wipe your phone, so backup your stuff
- Go to Sony's dev site
- Request the unlock key and check your mail straight away. Email is quick these days.
- Open Flashtool on your computer (yes, the one you installed earlier)
- Click the "BLU" icon
- Follow the steps and enter your unlock key
Are you done? Nice! You're almost there! One more step, and that step is to install Recovery and TWRP. This will allow you to flash ROMs and kernels (and other device specific mods)
RECOVERY AND TWRP:
- Just run this tool on your computer.
- Boot into Recovery (POWER + VOL UP)and take a NAND backup ASAP. It'll "save your life" (or time) when you're soft bricking your Ultra.
Aaand you're done. Well you're technically done, but i suspect that you have no idea how to flash a ROM. Alright, let's do this.
FLASHING A ROM:
- Find a ROM here or if you want the official CyanogenMod (it's currently the 10.2 build) you can find it here.
- Download gapps (a link should be included in the ROM thread)
- Move the ROM and gapps to a folder on your Ultra and remember where you put them
- You'll see that you'll need to flash a "boot.img" before you flash anything, so download this
- Now go to this thread and download QuickIMG and follow the short guide
- Flash the boot.img
- Now unplug from the computer and enter Recovery by pressing the Power button. Once you see the green LED, push and hold VOL UP. If you fail, just press and hold POWER + VOL UP until you notice some rapid vibrations. Now try again.
- Once you're in Recovery it's the usual stuff. Flash the ROM and gapps and wipe data/cache/dalvik etc.
- Boot into Recovery and restore the NAND backup you made after you installed Recovery. If you didn't; "son, i am disappoint".
- If you can't access Recovery after restoring, just install it again. It's a quick process.
You have two choices. You can either go completely stock, or you can flash a custom stock ROM.
- If you want to go completely stock (including losing root, but still having an unlocked bootloader), just download an FTF from this thread and flash it in Flashtool. We've been through this before, so i'm assuming that you know how to use it. If not, up the page you go.
- If you want to go back to stock, but you don't want to lose Recovery and all the goodies, but you want stock and some goodies, boot into Recovery and choose between some ROMs here. As always, follow the guidelines in each thread (if there is any).
BACK TO SONY:
So you have to send your Ultra to a service center and you want to get it back to 100% stock.
- Restore your TA partition using the tool from the "Backup TA Partition" part of this guide.
- If your bootloader hasn't been locked by the TA tool, use Flashtool and press the BLU button and choose "Relock".
- You might not be able to boot now if you're on a custom ROM, so fire up Flashtool again and flash a stock ROM.
You should now be back on stock, un-rooted and with TA and bootloader in place. If you're back on stock, but the bootloader is still unlocked, get back to 532, root, lock the bootloader, get back to 257 and un-root (There is an option for this in SuperSU's settings, but if you don't trust it to remove everything, re-flash 257 in Flashtool)
You've ended in a bootloop and you have no idea what to do. A bootloop is when the boot animation is looping, and you're stuck. We'll start out easy and go harder as we go down the list.
- [SAFE] Boot into Recovery and wipe cache and go to "Advanced" and wipe Dalvik. Reboot and see if it boots now.
- [SAFE] Boot into Recovery and re-flash the ROM and see if that does the job
- [WIPE] Boot into Recovery and wipe data (this will wipe everything) and reboot
- [WIPE] Boot into Recovery and flash a different ROM (wipe data after flash) and reboot
- [LAST RESORT] Fire up Flashtool and flash a stock FTF and get a new hobby.
Yes it strange as it only happen with my latest back-to-stock. my stock backup is with rooted .257 where as far as I know still don't have proper kernel+recovery like .526 or .532 has.
I have noticed when I restored my nand a couple times when I then try reboot it comes up about not installing stock recovery there's about 10 no's which if you click installs stock you need to click the one yes not install stock recovery....
Alright, i can add the "going back to stock" part, but i have never relocked the bootloader and restored the TA, so i'm not sure in what order we should do it. Relocking the bootloader is easy. Just use the TA backup tool and restore your backup, and it will lock the bootloader again. But, here's my question. This requires root, so we can't do it when we've flashed the stock firmware using Flashtool since we'll lose root. So i guess if a person is running CM, he'll have to restore TA and also lock the bootloader while on CM, but this will cause a soft brick, but then he can just flash the stock TFT in Flashtool?
Any ideas? I'm asking because i don't want to write something that's not 100% right.
Back in July of last year, we took a quick look at Floating Touch byXDA Forum Memberdasi1241Built … more
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