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[FYI]If You're New to Modding/Rooting, Read This First! (Updated 08/05/10)

4th August 2010, 01:32 PM   |  #1  
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Mod Edit: @Mikey or overground: I have stuck this thread in here, but I will let both of you decide on the future of this sticky as I don't want to step on your toes in the organization of such stickies. It is a pretty good "Read First" thread and should remain stuck IMHO.

egzthunder1


When you start to look into rooting your phone, remember what Uncle Ben said:

"With great power comes great responsibility."


I struggled with whether to post this thread under "Development" or "General." I didn't see anything similar already under Development, and I firmly believe a thread such as this needs to be front and center in the Development area. As the OTA has been leaked (twice!), more and more inexperienced "junior modders" have started to comment in the forums. This is all well and good, but there really should be a central, basic tutorial including terms, do's and don'ts, etc. available to those that need it, while at the same time cleaning up the threads for specific ROMs from non-ROM-specific questions.

With that being said, I am going to post some basic guidelines/facts below. If you believe any of this information is not correct, please PM me so that we can come to a collaborative agreement without spreading confusion within the thread.

General Information for Beginners (Please At Least Read This Info!)
1. ROOTING IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! Please don't root because it's "cool" if you don't have any idea what you're doing. There really is nothing wrong with waiting for the official OTAs, etc. If you want to experiment with your phone, I applaud you - but see #2.
2. Always read ALL of the directions in a thread FIRST. Keep in mind that many threads will direct you to yet another thread for full instructions on a process - read those instructions entirely too!
3. Once you read the instructions. FOLLOW THEM. Do not take shortcuts. If you do, you may be the owner of a very expensive paperweight.
4. If you think your phone is stuck, boot looping, frozen, or whatever else, especially during a system, radio or ROM flash - DO NOT REMOVE YOUR BATTERY. Step away from the phone, and give it time. Give it at least half an hour, then reassess. (Thanks to sryan2k1)
5. If you encounter a pitfall, you should search the thread before you post your request for help so that you can see if others have had similar difficulties, as well as how they resolved them if they did in fact fix the issue.
6. If you found a solution to your problem you've asked for help on - please, post that you resolved it, and HOW you resolved it, especially if none of the advice offered by others helped.
7. The developer community is inherently an open and helpful one. Always feel free to post your questions, but please try to do your research first and always post your questions in the proper forum and thread. (Thanks to Linux4me28)
8. It's good practice to always make a backup! That may take the form of Nandroid (backing up your entire system, usually through Recovery), but if you start dabbling in ADB it also means rather than overwriting files you should simply append the old file's name until you're sure you've got it right (myfile.zip > myfile.zip.bak).

Rooting and Mod Terms, Basics, etc.
1. "Rooting" means, essentially, providing yourself with administrative rights to your phone.
2. A "ROM" is basically an entire system image - think of it like Windows XP versus Windows 7.
3. A ROM will *not* root your phone.
4. "Bricking" your phone means it's permanently borked. If you can turn your phone on and get to virtually any system screen, you're probably not bricked, and there's probably hope for you and your device!
5. You must be already rooted to install a ROM.
6. A ROM is installed through a custom recovery, such as ClockworkMod Recovery.
7. There are tools in existence, such as UnrEvoked3.x that will assist in easily rooting your phone.
8. The "Radio" is (in layman's terms) the part of the phone that interacts with a service provider's tower, and it too has firmware. Flashing a Radio image is a bit more of a risky proposition than just flashing a ROM, but it may be required in some cases. Again, ALWAYS READ THE DIRECTIONS.
9. ROMs are device-specific and, oftentimes, Radio-specific as well. This means that you must pay attention to the requirements for the ROM you want to install.
10. Remember: Rooting doesn't mean that you'll have any more success in "pirating" software. It just means you'll be able to control more of your phone's functions. I think you'll find that the developer community is even more protective of IP rights than the average user-base. A lot of developers work off of donations, but that doesn't mean that credit for their original works shouldn't be given.

Miscellaneous
1. Google is your friend, and so is the "Search Thread" tool. Please do not post questions in a thread when you could easily, and more quickly, find the answer by doing a search. That's just lazy .

Links to Other Helpful Threads
HTC Droid Incredible Helpful/Popular Threads (Thanks to stroupified)

I welcome any additions, but let's keep this polite and courteous. I was new at this once, myself - three weeks ago I purchased my first Android device, the Dinc. And yes, I mean that to be a somewhat strange statement. Before I've done ANY modifications, I've read the instructions, read the entire thread, and followed all directions to the letter. The only pitfall I've had was because I took a shortcut - once (but I learned my lesson!).

Changelog
08/04/10 - Cleaned up some formatting and spelling. Added contributions from others.
08/05/10 - Added links from other contributors, as well as additional information. Things were also getting unwieldy, so I broke things up a bit to make it more readable. If everyone prefers it all mashed together like it was, please let me know.
Last edited by vbhines; 5th August 2010 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Added additional contributions. Thank you everyone for the positive feedback.
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4th August 2010, 01:48 PM   |  #2  
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Excellent advice, sir.

I lurked here for months before trying to root and install ROMS. While I'm not a pro at it yet and have much to learn, I have more confidence in what I'm doing.
4th August 2010, 01:53 PM   |  #3  
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I think the reason most people try rooting is because they think they will get "free" apps or something, like its something they can do to pirate software with their phone or something. I do not think they understand the process completely.

To simplify your post OP,

If you want to root and are inexperienced, read what you are doing first over and over or at least have insurance...Most problems people have is caused by their ignorance, not the fact a program did something wrong.

I was new to rooting with my Moto Droid. Before that I was loading hybrid OS's on my POS Storm. Due to having lots of computer experience, I picked up rooting and ADB quite easily. Most people that root though, I really think they are looking for the ability to pirate and not to install custom ROMs, themes, and/or run apps at root level.
4th August 2010, 01:59 PM   |  #4  
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^^^ This should be stickied...
4th August 2010, 02:11 PM   |  #5  
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I agree with op couldn't said it any better. Also agreed it should be sticky post.

Sent from my ADR6300
4th August 2010, 03:54 PM   |  #6  
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Excellent! Bravo!
4th August 2010, 03:54 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNS201

I think the reason most people try rooting is because they think they will get "free" apps or something, like its something they can do to pirate software with their phone or something. I do not think they understand the process completely.

To simplify your post OP,

If you want to root and are inexperienced, read what you are doing first over and over or at least have insurance...Most problems people have is caused by their ignorance, not the fact a program did something wrong.

I was new to rooting with my Moto Droid. Before that I was loading hybrid OS's on my POS Storm. Due to having lots of computer experience, I picked up rooting and ADB quite easily. Most people that root though, I really think they are looking for the ability to pirate and not to install custom ROMs, themes, and/or run apps at root level.

I have a character flaw of wanting to wring the very last drop of performance out of my electronic devices...plus I find it challenging.

I'm sure there's a bit of "I'm really not supposed to be doing this" involved as well.
4th August 2010, 04:01 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magneticzero

There is no reason this belongs in the dev thread. reported.

I am going to have to disagree with you. A general set of guidelines for people to follow are always a good idea in a development forum. Something like this is bound to catch at least a few wandering eyes of new-comers into the site. By reading this, they will likely lurk around, read, and search before asking questions, avoiding possible flaming in the process (and making mod's lives a bit easier in the process too )
4th August 2010, 04:04 PM   |  #9  
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Also, fairly important, if you are in the middle of a flash/recovery, and you think the phone has frozen, or bricked, or stopped. DO NOT PULL THE BATTERY OUT.


Wait at least a half hour before touching it. It is the same with any device, a computer BIOS, phones, embedded devices, it may not look like it is doing anything, but it likely still is. That is one of the few ways to really brick a device is yank the power in the middle of a OS/ROM/Baseband/Etc flash.


We do it all the time on our hardware at work, but we have JTAG ports where we can reprogram the internal/external flash with a external tools. We don't have that luxury on these phones. Patience is your friend.
Last edited by sryan2k1; 4th August 2010 at 04:09 PM.
4th August 2010, 04:11 PM   |  #10  
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well said sir. the incredible was my first android device and i waited a couple months before i rooted it and felt comfortable with adb and weighed the benefits of rooting vs not rooting (that took like 2 min lol) I love technology and belive in running it to it's full potential because we paid $xxx.xx for our divices we should want to get our money's worth.

i was gonna suggest some threads that helped me out but someone has alread complied them into it's own thread. maybe you could make a shortcut for those people who are new to the forum. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=739428
Last edited by stroupified; 4th August 2010 at 04:20 PM. Reason: haha, put up the wrong link lol

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