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[Q] Some questions from a new owner.

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S.D.Richards
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Default [Q] Some questions from a new owner.

Got my XZU last Saturday and decided today to keep it. Being long out of the Sony-world (last was an XS, now coming from a Find 5), I've got some questions. I'm also going to search for the infos, but I feel a single thread for "my stuff" makes it easier for me, so please be kind.

So, for the current state, here's the device's information.

- Sony Xperia Z Ultra (C6833), black
- running on Vodafone DE
- Android version 4.2.2
- Baseband version 8974-AAAAANAZQ-10220006-09
- Kernel 3.4.0-perf-gde8296d-02194-ga2561a5
- Build 14.1.B.1.510
- The device shows me an update to 14.2.A.1.136

Questions:
1) Do Sony's official updates only update Android + Sony Apps or are there also firmware updates included?
2) I want to root and install a custom ROM, should I start from the current build or should I upgrade to $something first?
3) I've read that KitKat is restricting SDcard usage for non-system apps. Do custom 4.4 ROMs work around this(,yet) or should I update to 4.3 max?
4) I probably won't use the camera much, if at all, still, most custom ROMs can't get the camera quality on a level the stock ROM has, so how bad is it on this device?
5) is the PowerCover CP12 available somewhere in the EU? It's "out of stock" in all big shops I looked at in .de,.at,.ch and the Twitter-Team wasn't really helpful. Ordering from outside the EU would be possible, but pretty much guaranteed to get stuck at the customs where the next office is ~50km away and doesn't have work-friendly times at all.
6) About screen protectors: a) can I apply them over the shatter shield and if so b) will input by pens or something still work on a decent level?
7) is there a prefered solution of recoveries on this device or does it not matter at all, if I'd choose CWM or TWRP(or is there something else entirely)?
8) are there known problems in general with custom ROMs regarding external hardware? I'd like to use my "SmartWireless Headset Pro", my "SmartWatch (1)" and TV-Out

That's it for now, thanks for any help
 
LordManhattan
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1) The 136 update is a firmware update (to Android 4.3), but they also push out updates for their Sony apps.

2) You have to update to at least 290 (Android 4.3) if you don't want to lose your IMEI when you flash a custom ROM. Also note that you'll lose your IMEI if you downgrade from 136/290 to anything older. There are no real reasons to downgrade though, but just keep that in mind. It's easily fixable, so it's not the end of the world if you do it.

3) Yes, there's a workaround to get SD card working on KitKat (you just have to replace one file)

4) The camera is still bad on custom ROMs. It might get better with official Sony KitKat.

5) I have no idea.

6) a) Yes. b) Yes.

7) We've got double recovery, meaning you'll get both CWR and TWRP when you flash recovery, so use the one you prefer. (Vol Up for CWR and Vol Down for TWRP)

8) I think the only known issue on 136 is that Bluetooth might be a little wonky, but i'm not sure, so be sure to read around here since there's a thread about it.
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S.D.Richards
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Thank you for that.

In regard to 1), I meant firmware updates of hardware, f.e. the Find5 received some updates regarding the touchscreen.

As for 2), so there's currently no reason not to install the latest official Sony update, meaning it's also rootable without too much hassle? What would be the consequences of a lost IMEI?
 
LordManhattan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.D.Richards View Post
Thank you for that.

In regard to 1), I meant firmware updates of hardware, f.e. the Find5 received some updates regarding the touchscreen.

As for 2), so there's currently no reason not to install the latest official Sony update, meaning it's also rootable without too much hassle? What would be the consequences of a lost IMEI?
Bugfixes are included in firmware updates, so they don't release an update to fix one minor thing. The Find5 receives updates every two weeks, if i'm not mistaken?

There's really no reason to update to 136 (the newest) if you're going to flash a custom ROM. Rooting is fairly easy if your bootloader is unlocked, and it only takes a couple of minutes, but it's a little more complicated if your bootloader is locked. Luckily, you're on 510, meaning it's even easier to root, and once you've rooted 510, make a backup of your TA partition. It holds all of your unique DRM files that makes X-Reality work etc. You'll lose the TA partition when you unlock the bootloader, so that's why you have to make a backup of it before you unlock it. Once you've done that, update to 290, unlock the bootloader, root it and do whatever you'd like to do.
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S.D.Richards
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Thanks again.

Now rooting worked(+OTA keeper from the Playstore), so did creating the TA backup.

Having a glance over the custom ROMs available as of now, I think I'd like to stay on rooted stock until Omni (official) comes around.

So what would be the (better) procedure to get latest Sony ROM running? Use Sony's updater and hope OTA keeper works or unlock, install recovery and flash a pre-rooted FTF?
 
LordManhattan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.D.Richards View Post
Thanks again.

Now rooting worked(+OTA keeper from the Playstore), so did creating the TA backup.

Having a glance over the custom ROMs available as of now, I think I'd like to stay on rooted stock until Omni (official) comes around.

So what would be the (better) procedure to get latest Sony ROM running? Use Sony's updater and hope OTA keeper works or unlock, install recovery and flash a pre-rooted FTF?
OTA Root Keeper doesn't work on 4.3, so you'll lose root no matter what you do. Are you still on 510, or have you updated to something else?

You have your TA partition backed up now (recommend you to upload it to your Drive or Dropbox), so you can unlock the bootloader without permanently losing the TA partition. It'll delete it when you unlock the bootloader, but you can easily restore it again in case you have to send it in for repairs. Rooting 290 and everything else becomes so much easier and faster the second your BL is unlocked, so head over to the General section and look for Jackie's root guide and see if that's something you might want to do...

...or you can simply stay with the firmware you're on now, granted it's not the most stable firmware version, but it'll save you a lot of time. Official KitKat is also scheduled for release this month, so you can:

A ) Stay on current firmware and wait for official Sony KitKat
B ) Go all out and flash a custom ROM

I'm currently running the GPe ROM, and I can highly recommend it. It's solid as a rock with no bugs.

Any questions?

Sent from my C6806_GPe using Tapatalk
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S.D.Richards
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OTA Root Keeper doesn't work on 4.3, so you'll lose root no matter what you do. Are you still on 510, or have you updated to something else?
Still on 510, bedtime was up and I don't wanted to do something stupid with a sleepy head.

Quote:
You have your TA partition backed up now (recommend you to upload it to your Drive or Dropbox), so you can unlock the bootloader without permanently losing the TA partition.
Yes, did that and mirrored it over a few systems. BTW, if I'd ever go back to stock, would the TA-p get changed so I'd need to back it up again or does it stay the way it is over the phone's lifetime?

Quote:
It'll delete it when you unlock the bootloader, but you can easily restore it again in case you have to send it in for repairs. Rooting 290 and everything else becomes so much easier and faster the second your BL is unlocked, so head over to the General section and look for Jackie's root guide and see if that's something you might want to do...
No problem, I had my Xperia S unlocked, so I now the procedure. Only question related to that: I read that for the Z1(?) there's a minimal version one should update to before unlocking the BL, if you don't camera stops working or something - so, is this also a problem on the ZU or has this already been fixed?

Quote:
I'm currently running the GPe ROM, and I can highly recommend it. It's solid as a rock with no bugs.
I'll have a look at it, thanks.
 
LordManhattan
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Originally Posted by S.D.Richards View Post
.

Yes, did that and mirrored it over a few systems. BTW, if I'd ever go back to stock, would the TA-p get changed so I'd need to back it up again or does it stay the way it is over the phone's lifetime?
The TA partition is unique to your device, so you do it only once, so be sure to not lose it.

Quote:
No problem, I had my Xperia S unlocked, so I now the procedure. Only question related to that: I read that for the Z1(?) there's a minimal version one should update to before unlocking the BL, if you don't camera stops working or something - so, is this also a problem on the ZU or has this already been fixed?
The ZU has never had any of the camera issues when we unlock the bootloader, so there's nothing to add here



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S.D.Richards
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So to be clear, when you're talking about the GPe ROM, you're meaning this one: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2608708 ?

So if I'd like to try this, I'd need to:
1. unlock bootloader
2. install recovery
3. take NAND backup
4. Flash .290 fw
5. flash this ROM

Correct?
 
LordManhattan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.D.Richards View Post
So to be clear, when you're talking about the GPe ROM, you're meaning this one: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2608708 ?

So if I'd like to try this, I'd need to:
1. unlock bootloader
2. install recovery
3. take NAND backup
4. Flash .290 fw
5. flash this ROM

Correct?
The bootloader unlocking doesn't need to be the first step since you can flash Recovery on a locked bootloader. You can do everything except the ROM flashing on a locked bootloader. But yeah, that looks fine to me. Be sure to download the tweaked GPe version that includes Recovery and SD fix.

If you can't bother making a NAND:

- Unlock the bootloader
- Update to 290
- Flash boot.img (includes recovery)
- Boot into recovery and flash (VOL UP when LED lights up)
- Done.

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