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Galaxy S4 i9507 (Aus/HK only) custom firmware success!

OP kaiserwatson

20th December 2013, 03:52 PM   |  #1  
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Hi all, made an account in anticipation of my night spent mucking around with my new Galaxy S4 i9507. I had been reading about people who have had success and some who have had less success with getting custom ROMs on their devices. None said what methods they used, so I decided to compile together what I did today.

UPDATE 3/6/14
I installed a snapshot of CM 11 (KitKat) onto my device with little issues. I'll update this guide with the links to that firmware, and also update the existing links because of changes CyanogenMod made to how they aggregate their S4 devices now. They are treating them all as derivatives of 'jftle', so basically one firmware fits all devices, including the i9507! (even if not official yet).

Please read the bottom of this post if you wish to install KitKat on your device.

CUSTOM FIRMWARE ON SAMSUNG GALAXY S4 i9507 - Aus/HK

Tonight I have managed to root the device's stock firmware (I have the Australian Optus/Virgin device); install ClockworkMod Recovery on the stock firmware, and then use it to install CyanogenMod 10.2.0 (jfltexx) on the device.

If you're looking to root this device, I found that by treating it essentially as an international i9505 I was able to fulfil all three of the things I mentioned above.

UPDATE: THIS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY AND RESULT IN 'KNOX WARRANTY VOID 0x1' BEING DISPLAYED WHEN YOU ENTER DOWNLOAD MODE ON THE DEVICE. PLEASE BE SURE YOU ARE OKAY WITH THIS HAPPENING BEFORE TRYING THIS FOR YOURSELF. AS IT STANDS, KNOX CANNOT BE RESET, IT IS AT A HARDWARE LEVEL.

[ROOT i9507]
Using Chainfire's guide to CF-Auto-Root in the Galaxy S 4 i9505 Original Android Development section of this forum; I was able to root my device despite it being an i9507. Being a new user, I wasn't sure exactly what things to test out whether the root worked/was permanent, but I did install AdBlock Plus and it asked me for Superuser privileges, then proceeded to work. I also restarted the device and tested whether the root was still present; it was.

[INSTALL CLOCKWORKMOD]
I decided to install CyanogenMod as I have heard from friends that have it; and read online about it being one of the more stable custom ROMs available. It has been a while since I last owned an Android device! So, continuing with my theme of treating this device as being an international i9505, I obtained CM 10.2.0, a stable release of the jfltexx CM, based on from their website (as of December 2013, this was the most recent). Their custom installer app on Windows did not support my phone, so I had to use their guide for manual installation.

Their guide contained steps to installing ClockworkMod Recovery as well as the ROM installation. Following the guide, I installed it without a hitch. When rebooting the phone from ClockworkMod, it prompted me about the fact that the phone may reflash its own recovery tool, but this did not happen. Once again, a success.

[INSTALL CYANOGENMOD]
The last task was to install CM. This was quite an endeavour as I decided to use someone else's Windows 8 laptop (being the only Windows device I had access to at the time) and I forgot how much of a struggle it can be! Again, I used CM's guide to installing 10.2.0 (which by the way is Android 4.3.1, whereas the stock firmware is bloated and heavy at 4.2.2). This went off without a hitch once I reminded myself how the ADT works. I also did as CM suggested and installed the Google Apps pack alongside the ROM.

So, currently this is where I'm at. The device boots and reboots fine. Some users in certain threads had issues with loading 4.4 (KitKat) ROMs or custom ROMs that they didn't allude to the names of, so I don't know if they were having issues with CM or not. There are other threads, but that was the one that kickstarted my attempts to get this all to work. Their issues with the custom ROMs seemed to be related to the 4.4 ROM not recognising the modem of the i9507; I'm not sure why this is but the i9507 was made specifically for Australian/Hong Kong networks so perhaps 4.4 has not been updated yet or something of the like. Anyway, on 4.3.1, or CM 10.2.0, my SMS, calling, and internet are working fine (it displays Virgin Mobile as my carrier). My 4G reception is somewhat iffy in this town (or in particular my house), and the reception seems to be switching between 3G and H so whether that is indicative of 4G not working, I'm not sure. LTE is definitely checked in the settings, however, and my area does have 4G, but my parents' iPhone 5Ss sometimes do not have 4G in this house either. I'll report back tomorrow after having tested the phone for a day to see if the 4G does activate.

As it stands, however, the phone seems to be functioning well. Oddly the Settings report that the phone is an i9505, I assume that's normal as I'm using a ROM for that particular phone!

[CONCLUSION]
So, I hope that anyone who has been looking for a way to remove the carrier/Samsung bloat from their i9507 device will have a good time using the guides I've used. I followed them to the letter and I had no issues.

DISCLAIMER: I had no troubles, but that's not to say you won't either. Please be careful, as you may potentially risk affecting your phone negatively. I'm simply telling you what I did, not giving you a 100% correct and flawless guide that will work no matter what.

Also if you're looking for a 4.4 ROM then you might be out of luck, least till some dev or coder takes notice of this device's existence and helps out to develop a specific way of rooting this phone/installing custom ROMs for this phone. Overall though, it seems to all work fine so perhaps the 4.3.1 CM isn't such a bad thing.

If you try this and want the original firmware back on your phone, use this link. I believe that OPS is the Australian firmware, the other one is for Hong Kong. So, for the second link, HK is Hong Kong, and the one without is for Aus.

UPDATE 3/6/14
I've successfully managed to install a Nightly build of CM 11, based on KitKat. Read my latest post in this forum for more info. I essentially found that upgrading from within the phone itself caused a number of issues so I did a fresh flash. Please note that such a flash of a new OS wipes all personal data but not things like images, videos, etc. I lost all my contacts, SMS, browsing history, apps etc. But my Gallery, Downloads folder, etc remained intact.

I followed my guide to flashing the phone again, but I used a Nightly build of CM 11, based on KitKat. As I write this, there are actually stable versions of CM that you can use in place of the CM 10.2.0 I used in the above guide. If you follow those steps but use this firmware you'll find no issue. Feel free to use CM's guide, but don't, under any circumstances, forget to flash Google Apps to your phone!!!

If you need a hand or want a question answered, feel free to post here and I'll do my best to help you out. Thanks!
Last edited by kaiserwatson; 2nd July 2014 at 05:21 PM. Reason: KitKat update, 3/6/14
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20th December 2013, 09:52 PM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiserwatson

Hi all, made an account in anticipation of my night spent mucking around with my new Galaxy S4 i9507. I had been reading about people who have had success and some who have had less success with getting custom ROMs on their devices. None said what methods they used, so I decided to compile together what I did today.

Tonight I have managed to root the device's stock firmware (I have the Australian Optus/Virgin device); install ClockworkMod Recovery on the stock firmware, and then use it to install CyanogenMod 10.2.0 (jfltexx) on the device.

If you're looking to root this device, I found that by treating it essentially as an international i9505 I was able to fulfill all three of the things I mentioned above.

[ROOT i9507]
Using Chainfire's guide to CF-Auto-Root in the Galaxy S 4 i9505 Original Android Development section of this forum; I was able to root my device despite it being an i9507. Being a new user, I wasn't sure exactly what things to test out whether the root worked/was permanent, but I did install AdBlock Plus and it asked me for Superuser privileges, then proceeded to work. I also restarted the device and tested whether the root was still present; it was.

[INSTALL CLOCKWORKMOD]
I decided to install CyanogenMod as I have heard from friends that have it; and read online about it being one of the more stable custom ROMs available. It has been a while since I last owned an Android device! So, continuing with my theme of treating this device as being an international i9505, I obtained the latest stable release of the jfltexx CM from their website (it was the most recent stable release at the time, may be out of date by the time you get to doing this yourself). Their custom installer app on Windows did not support my phone, so I had to use their guide for manual installation.

Their guide contained steps to installing ClockworkMod Recovery as well as the ROM installation. Following the guide, I installed it without a hitch. When rebooting the phone from ClockworkMod, it prompted me about the fact that the phone may reflash its own recovery tool, but this did not happen. Once again, a success.

[INSTALL CYANOGENMOD]
The last task was to install CM. This was quite an endeavour as I decided to use someone else's Windows 8 laptop (being the only Windows device I had access to at the time) and I forgot how much of a struggle it can be! Again, I used CM's guide to installing 10.2.0 (which by the way is Android 4.3.1, whereas the stock firmware is bloated and heavy at 4.2.2). This went off without a hitch once I reminded myself how the ADT works. I also did as CM suggested and installed the Google Apps pack alongside the ROM.

So, currently this is where I'm at. The device boots and reboots fine. Some users in certain threads had issues with loading 4.4 (KitKat) ROMs or custom ROMs that they didn't allude to the names of, so I don't know if they were having issues with CM or not. There are other threads, but that was the one that kickstarted my attempts to get this all to work. Their issues with the custom ROMs seemed to be related to the 4.4 ROM not recognising the modem of the i9507; I'm not sure why this is but the i9507 was made specifically for Australian/Hong Kong networks so perhaps 4.4 has not been updated yet or something of the like. Anyway, on 4.3.1, or CM 10.2.0, my SMS, calling, and internet are working fine (it displays Virgin Mobile as my carrier). My 4G reception is somewhat iffy in this town (or in particular my house), and the reception seems to be switching between 3G and H so whether that is indicative of 4G not working, I'm not sure. LTE is definitely checked in the settings, however, and my area does have 4G, but my parents' iPhone 5Ss sometimes do not have 4G in this house either. I'll report back tomorrow after having tested the phone for a day to see if the 4G does activate.

As it stands, however, the phone seems to be functioning well. Oddly the Settings report that the phone is an i9505, I assume that's normal as I'm using a ROM for that particular phone!

[CONCLUSION]
So, I hope that anyone who has been looking for a way to remove the carrier/Samsung bloat from their i9507 device will have a good time using the guides I've used. I followed them to the letter and I had no issues.

DISCLAIMER: I had no troubles, but that's not to say you won't either. Please be careful, as you may potentially risk affecting your phone negatively. I'm simply telling you what I did, not giving you a 100% correct and flawless guide that will work no matter what.

Also if you're looking for a 4.4 ROM then you might be out of luck, least till some dev or coder takes notice of this device's existence and helps out to develop a specific way of rooting this phone/installing custom ROMs for this phone. Overall though, it seems to all work fine so perhaps the 4.3.1 CM isn't such a bad thing.

If you try this and want the original firmware back on your phone, use this link or this one. I believe that OPS is the Australian firmware, the other one is for Hong Kong. So, for the second link, HK is Hong Kong, and the one without is for Aus.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I'll post later tomorrow when I've tested the phone for a day to see if it's still working, and to see if the 4G/LTE does actually work. Fingers crossed nothing goes wrong in the meantime!


I've had my i-9507 rooted for about a month now with foxhound rom, also on the optus variant.

One thing i've noted is, its next to impossible to update the MODEM for it.
I think because our latest modem for this variant is the one we have stock. And new updates haven't been put in terms of modem specifically for our variant yet.

We should keep this thread stickied for Australian OPTUS GT-i9507 discussion.
OR open up a sub forum for it.
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22nd December 2013, 03:35 AM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiserwatson

I'll post later tomorrow when I've tested the phone for a day to see if it's still working, and to see if the 4G/LTE does actually work. Fingers crossed nothing goes wrong in the meantime!

Firstly, thank you for creating this complete description of your experiences with customising the i9507.
Secondly, just wanted confirmation that you do now have the pesky "KNOX WARRANTY VOID: 0x1" displayed when your device is in Download mode, right?
Lastly, any updates, issues? All still working, including 4G/LTE?
22nd December 2013, 05:34 AM   |  #4  
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Hey sorry its been more than a day, I've been swamped with work, that Christmas time feel.

I do have the Knox 0x1, which I assume means my warranty is void. There's conjecture as to whether that will actually affect warranty for this device in Australia, as I've read up on the Knox system but i think the ACCC would have serious issues with this system actually affecting the warranty. But yes, it would seem my warranty is void, let's hope the phone lasts two years!

I have been able to access 4G, the phone says 4G or LTE, sometimes switching between the two. Again, the reception in the town I'm currently staying in is pisspoor so I can't say for certain whether the antenna/modem is fully functioning to the degree it would be on the stock firmware, but I can definitely access the Optus 4G network.

One issue I did have was that I sent an SMS then immediately turned my screen off, 40 minutes later the message was still 'sending'. I have recreated the same scenario but I haven't been able to get it to happen again, perhaps just a weird tower-side quirk. I know people were having issues with the modem and the phone sleeping but this doesn't seem to be related. Overall I'm really happy with how this has all gone. My battery life has been increased by at least 40% and the phone is so much faster. Very pleased.
Last edited by kaiserwatson; 22nd December 2013 at 06:00 AM.
23rd December 2013, 12:14 AM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiserwatson

Hey sorry its been more than a day, I've been swamped with work, that Christmas time feel.

I do have the Knox 0x1, which I assume means my warranty is void. There's conjecture as to whether that will actually affect warranty for this device in Australia, as I've read up on the Knox system but i think the ACCC would have serious issues with this system actually affecting the warranty. But yes, it would seem my warranty is void, let's hope the phone lasts two years!

I have been able to access 4G, the phone says 4G or LTE, sometimes switching between the two. Again, the reception in the town I'm currently staying in is pisspoor so I can't say for certain whether the antenna/modem is fully functioning to the degree it would be on the stock firmware, but I can definitely access the Optus 4G network.

One issue I did have was that I sent an SMS then immediately turned my screen off, 40 minutes later the message was still 'sending'. I have recreated the same scenario but I haven't been able to get it to happen again, perhaps just a weird tower-side quirk. I know people were having issues with the modem and the phone sleeping but this doesn't seem to be related. Overall I'm really happy with how this has all gone. My battery life has been increased by at least 40% and the phone is so much faster. Very pleased.

That occurs because the modem signal cuts out after you switch your phone off, or lock it.
This issue can be resolved by updating our modems, but with our current variant we can't update it yet apparently, until the correct new modem for our specific variant has been released.
23rd December 2013, 06:46 AM   |  #6  
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Hi guys,
I thought I would also post here.
I have the optus 9507 and I tried a couple of different kitkat 4.4 roms. They all worked perfectly except for the fact that they lost data completely as soon as the phone went to sleep. the weird thing is, the phone showed 0 bars but i could take calls just fine, just had data issues.

i tried the slimkat rom and the echoe rom with the same issue

i went back to stock firmware, rooted, ran a debloat script i found on xda, removed a bunch more apps, then unrooted again because i need to run good for enterprise for work.

im getting decent battery life with the debloated stock rom but i would like to move to 4.4 if theres a rom that works. ive been watching the optus and sammobile site hoping there will be a newer modem for the hk version because i think optus will take their time releasing 4.3 for this model.
23rd December 2013, 08:30 AM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiserwatson

Hi all, made an account in anticipation of my night spent mucking around with my new Galaxy S4 i9507. I had been reading about people who have had success and some who have had less success with getting custom ROMs on their devices. None said what methods they used, so I decided to compile together what I did today.

Tonight I have managed to root the device's stock firmware (I have the Australian Optus/Virgin device); install ClockworkMod Recovery on the stock firmware, and then use it to install CyanogenMod 10.2.0 (jfltexx) on the device.

......

Thanks for your experience sharing,
I also started with Cyanogen and shared about the same experience.
Just didn't know the Knox thing before I started.. should had read up more before doing it.

So you did the Recovery with Heimdall also? What has made you switch to the customized Rom camp
23rd December 2013, 11:49 AM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiserwatson

Hey sorry its been more than a day, I've been swamped with work, that Christmas time feel.

Hey, no worries at all, anyone who works weekends can take all the time they need...
Quote:

But yes, it would seem my warranty is void, let's hope the phone lasts two years!

Yea, I've done some reading also and you're right, it seems to be all conjecture, I really doubt handset warranty refusal can be based on the KNOX Warranty chip. I think the Samsung Enterprise Security Group VP explains it well here.
Quote:

Overall I'm really happy with how this has all gone. My battery life has been increased by at least 40% and the phone is so much faster. Very pleased.

Great to hear, based on this I can ge ahead and 'burn out' my eFuse, happy in the knowledge that my Knox warranty has gone to a good cause.

---------- Post added at 08:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:40 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by opelcalibra

then unrooted again because i need to run good for enterprise for work.

I can only assume your "enterprise for work" has nothing to do with KNOX, right? Coz that option would be closed for you now...
23rd December 2013, 11:58 AM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CuriosityBrah

That occurs because the modem signal cuts out after you switch your phone off, or lock it.
This issue can be resolved by updating our modems, but with our current variant we can't update it yet apparently, until the correct new modem for our specific variant has been released.

That odd message not sending was the only issue I've had with this sort of thing; I can still download things, receive messages and calls just fine while my phone is sleeping, how do you know if the modem signal is cutting off? Perhaps it's just a selective thing, not sure. Don't know how to test if it's happening to me because it doesn't seem to be, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opelcalibra

I have the optus 9507 and I tried a couple of different kitkat 4.4 roms. They all worked perfectly except for the fact that they lost data completely as soon as the phone went to sleep. the weird thing is, the phone showed 0 bars but i could take calls just fine, just had data issues.

Hey mate if you check the forum that I linked to the Knox issue; someone on there posted a fix for sound/WiFi issues post-Knox voiding, maybe that fix'll work for you. Sorry I can't link you to the exact post but it was about 10-20 pages in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by opelcalibra

i went back to stock firmware, rooted, ran a debloat script i found on xda, removed a bunch more apps, then unrooted again because i need to run good for enterprise for work.

im getting decent battery life with the debloated stock rom but i would like to move to 4.4 if theres a rom that works. ive been watching the optus and sammobile site hoping there will be a newer modem for the hk version because i think optus will take their time releasing 4.3 for this model.

Yeah I reckon they'll take ages, they have pretty much left everyone who's getting this phone in the next couple of months in the dark because of the (as I can tell) severe lack of devs etc in Aus who have Samsung phones and are willing to hack them to the ****. I wish I could help out somehow, but I don't have the time to learn so I figured I'd help out by putting up my experiences. I'm still learning as I go haha.
As for your KitKat problem, I have read that 4.4 didn't do so well in terms of battery life and bloat, what are your reasons for wanting to go to it? I wanted the most recent build also but I figured that if they're still having issues with it then it was better to go with something I knew would work (ie. 4.3.1).

Quote:
Originally Posted by phileasx

Thanks for your experience sharing,
I also started with Cyanogen and shared about the same experience.
Just didn't know the Knox thing before I started.. should had read up more before doing it.

So you did the Recovery with Heimdall also? What has made you switch to the customized Rom camp

I followed the Windows process on the CM wiki to the letter, so yeah I did the Heimdall also.

Mate legitimately I went from my stock firmware taking up so much space on the hard drive to the real lightweight CM, seeing as I haven't bought a micro SD yet that was a big deal. Also battery life was a major reason for me buying the S4 so to be able to further improve it is just hella.

Quote:
Originally Posted by siganid

Hey, no worries at all, anyone who works weekends can take all the time they need...
Yea, I've done some reading also and you're right, it seems to be all conjecture, I really doubt handset warranty refusal can be based on the KNOX Warranty chip. I think the Samsung Enterprise Security Group VP explains it well.Great to hear, based on this I can ge ahead and 'burn out' my eFuse, happy in the knowledge that my Knox warranty has gone to a good cause.

In Australia I think we're pretty good. Funny that Samsung and Optus have given us this nice present and it's only a matter of time before someone cracks it open and remains above the warranty voiding

I have read that Knox may be software-based, which would make sense, and maybe it's a matter of time before someone cracks that too. Hehe.

Go ahead, post here if you have any issues and I'll see if I can help you out. What ROM would you be planning on using? A 4.3.x one?
23rd December 2013, 02:28 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiserwatson

I followed the Windows process on the CM wiki to the letter, so yeah I did the Heimdall also.

Mate legitimately I went from my stock firmware taking up so much space on the hard drive to the real lightweight CM, seeing as I haven't bought a micro SD yet that was a big deal. Also battery life was a major reason for me buying the S4 so to be able to further improve it is just hella.

Welcome to the rom flashing side
After read up more, I realize Odin is a more popular method for Galaxy S4 flashing,
Besides that, Stock rom battery life should also be all right. Samsung did quite some efforts to make the software user friendly.
Anyway, the Bloatware chunk are really irritating have to say.

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