The Benefits of rooting
So why root your android phone? Well, there are several benefits... First, you can backup up your phones current state whenever you would like (makes is easy to jump back and forth if you mess things up!). In addition, you can also install different themes (different color interfaces for the basic framework and applications). You can also install custom ROMs (this is an Android OS that has been built from either Motorola's source, or the Google SDK and released through their generosity for the rest of us to enjoy!
Rooting: Many people are unsure of rooting their phones but have heard of other people doing it. Here is my stance on rooting your phone:
If you are technically savvy, or can follow instructions well and have confidence in your ability to do so, I would definitely recommend it! If you are unsure of your abilities to do so, and simply use your Droid X because it is a great phone right out of the box, then I would recommend reading through this guide and some other threads on the Droid X forums so you can familiarize yourself with the potential possibilities and process' involved with rooting and customizing your phone. I do not say any of this to deter anyone from wanting to root their phone, it just can be a dangerous situation for those who are not familiar with how it could potentially damage their phone.
I have seen many ask about the dangers of rooting. First off, yes it will void your warranty, but you CAN unroot your phone. I will include this information later =)
#1 rule of modding your phone: ALWAYS TAKE A BACKUP BEFORE MAKING ANY MODIFICATIONS!
with that said... let's continue =)
Rooting: Just because you have a rooted phone, does not explicitly open up new features on your phone.... What it does do, is open up the possibility for features on your phone =) Keep reading...
Themes: In order to theme your phone, you first have to deodex it. If you attempt to theme the phone without deodexing it, you can run into issues... Themes allow you to change the look of the phone framework and applications (e.g. different colors or images). Make sure to follow rule #1, and then follow any specific instructions that the creator of the theme may have included with their post.
Droid X Bootstrap: This is the saving grace for the Droid X created by Koush. Installing this application once rooted allows you to create backups, restore backups and install custom themes, ROM's, and other modifications that have been made into flashable zip format. I will explain how to use this later as well.
Custom ROMs: Custom ROM's are a developers build of the android operating system either using the Motorola ROM as their base, or building directly from Google's SDK. Many of the ROM's for the Droid X are "blur-free" which means that they look like a generic android OS install the way Google intended it. The default "ROM" that comes on your phone has what is known as "blur" by Motorola. It is just graphical enhancements to the way the phone operates that mostly tie into social networking applications and widgets. Many Android enthusiasts believe that Motorola Blur or HTC Sense ruins the Android feel. Whether or not to use a blurred or blur-free ROM is really up to you and how you like your phone to look and feel.
I will cover more about ROM's later in my posts and try to give an overall description of each. As usual, before trying to flash any ROM, be sure to backup your phone.
Overclocking your phone: Overclocking for those who do not already know what this means, is basically the ability to tell your phone's processor to run at a higher speed. This basically just improves performance on your phone, but can be harder on the phone as well. By telling the phone run at a faster processor speed, you can decrease the battery life of your phone. The droid X overclocks in a different manner than with most Android phones, due to the inability to run custom kernels on the Droid X.
For those who are not familiar with the potential of overclocking your phone, I highly recommend not doing it. While rooting can be dangerous, if you mess up overclock settings on your phone, you can do more harm than good.
So I have seen a bunch of people asking questions that seem to pop up repeatedly on the forums... I plan on adding to this as i put this guide together for a few people who really needed more step by step instructions to get going. Feel free to suggest stuff for me to add, and I will throw it in.
Thanks, and enjoy the following:
Ok, here are the steps for setting up the sdk, getting rooted, and all that good stuff... have a feeling I will be making this into a new thread...perhaps....
First off... you will want to go to the following site to download the sdk:
Grab the following download: android-sdk_r08-windows.zip
I saved it to C:\sdk (i created a folder called SDK right at the root of C: drive). When it finishes, unzip this using 7zip (or any other unzip program you like) to the sdk folder. When it is finished unzipping, you should have a folder called "android-sdk_r10-windows". If you open up that folder, you will find a folder called "android-sdk-windows". Open this folder up and double click on the "SDK Manager.exe". This will open up a window, and bring up additional windows, one of which will ask you to "choose packages to install". You can download any or all of them. I recommend downloading the following: (NOTE: this may have changed as I don't recall the API versions for sdk r10)
• Android SDK Platform-tools, revision 1 (the top-most download)
• SDK Platform Android 2.3, API 9, revision 1
• SDK Platform Android 2.2, API 8, revision 2
• USB drivers (I don't think this shows up in the latest version of the sdk's first download window. I believe it is found if you go to the available packages section the "Android SDK and AVD Manager and expand the 3rd party section....but if you happen to see it in there...grab it)
This should be sufficient for now. All packages are accepted by default. If you do not wish to download all of them, simply highlight each one (one at a time) and then click the reject button towards the bottom middle of the window. When you have selected the packages you wish to download, click the install button.
After this has installed, you now have the Android SDK installed on your machine. You can close all windows related to the SDK, as we don't actually need to do anything with it, it simply has tools within it that we will need later. (This is where the adb command originates from. There is an adb.exe tool in the "platform-tools" folder of the sdk install, but we will get to this later).
Now you will want to go to your desktop (or anywhere you have a shortcut or icon for My Computer), right click on My Computer, and select properties. Under the "advanced" tab of the window that opens, you should see a button at the bottom that says "environment variables". Click on this, and then find the "Path" variable under System Variables NOT user variables. Click Edit and go to the end of the "Variable Value" field. You will want to make sure there is a semicolon ";" at the end of this before typing any additional info. You will want to add the full path of your android SDK install. For example, if you followed my example for download/saving/extracting/installing above, you would type the following information into the end of the "Variable Value" section:
If you installed to another location, be sure to type the correct path to the "tools" folder within your installation of the Android SDK. Then click the OK button, and close any windows that were opened from adding to the "path variable".
Droid X Drivers
This section is a little more difficult to explain, as there are so many variables depending on what operating system you are running (windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, etc). and whether or not you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit instance of your chosen Operating system.
Here is one link for Droid X drivers:
I simply googled Droid X drivers, I'm sure this isn't the best link, but just for example I'm throwing it out there. If you google Droid X USB drivers you should be able to find the drivers you need, as well as help and instructions on how to get everything working.
Once you get the usb drivers installed, you will want to connect your Droid X to your computer. If it is recognized, you will get a notification in your drop down bar on your phone. On your phone, press on the USB connection in the drop down menu, and select "charge only". Next, open up a command prompt on your computer. Type the following in and hit enter:
You should see something simiilar to the following come up if everything is configured correctly:
* daemon not running. starting it now on port 5037 *
* daemon started successfully *
List of devices attached
If you see something similar to what I have above... then ADB is working correctly, and we can continue! Now we will move on to getting your device rooted! You will want to grab the z4root.apk that I have attached earlier in this thread and download it onto your computer. We will now test out if adb is indeed working! Save the z4root.1.3.0.apk and put it in the "tools" folder of the sdk we downloaded earlier. Now open up a new command prompt (or use the one we opened earlier if you haven't already closed it!) Change directories to the "tools" folder of the sdk:
If you installed the SDK where I used in my example.... type the following:
cd C:\sdk\android-sdk_r10-windows\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools (press enter)
type the following: adb install z4root.1.3.0.apk (press enter)
You should now see the following:
C:\android-sdk-windows\tools>adb install z4root.1.3.0.apk
1833 KB/s (978414 bytes in 0.521s)
z4root and ROOTING
If you get all of this, you have now installed a package using adb and we know the interface works. If you don't want to have to mess with this method of installing, you could also download "Astro File Manager" from the android market. You would then need to save z4root.apk to your sdcard of your Droid X. Then open the Astro program and browse to your SDcard and file the z4root.1.3.0.apk. Press on the .apk file and it should come up with a box that says something similar to "open with app installer" or "app manager"... don't recall exactly what it says, but should be something similar to package management or install of some sort. After pressing on that, you should see an install button. Press on that to install z4root.
Now that z4root is installed, you will want to go to your application list on your phone and press on the z4root to open the application. Press on the permanent root button and wait! This process may take a while, and your phone will reboot, but when it does, you are now rooted.
Make sure when trying to root your phone that you go into Settings-->Applications-->Development make sure "usb bebugging" is enabled.
Removing BOOTSTRAP COMPLETELY (You only need to follow these steps if you WANT to remove Droid X bootstrap by Koush, this is not installed on your phone by default).
If you would like to completely remove Droid X bootstrap from your phone, here is what you need to do:
1) connect your phone to ur pc in charge only mode. Make sure it is recognized by adb
A) open command prompt and type "adb devices" (hit enter, your phone should show up)
2) in the command prompt, type "adb shell" (press enter)
3) type "su" (press enter)
4) type "mount -o rw, remount /dev/block/mtdblock4 /system" (press enter)
5) type "cp /system/bin/logwrapper.bin /system/bin/logwrapper"(press enter)
6) type "adb reboot" (press enter)
Your phone will reboot after typing adb reboot, and may take a little bit longer to boot the first time after bootstrap is removed (it may not, I just haven't gone through this process in a while).
Bootstrap should now be completely removed.
Note: all text in quotes is just what you should type...do not include the quotation marks when entering commands.
Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if you mess up your phone. Typing these commands incorrectly CAN mess up your phone. By following these directions, you do so at your own risk.
Installing Droid X Bootstrap
You can grab this .apk file from this thread as well, as I have it posted in one of my previous posts. You will then install this .apk file the same way that you installed z4root. Obviously if you are using the adb command prompt method, you will want to replace z4root.apk with the full name of the droid X bootstrap apk; if you are using a file manager or installer, just follow the same instructions as before as well.
With the bootstrap installed, you are now able to take backups and restore them as well in the event your phone has problems.
Will be adding SBF instructions and links soon =)
If this guide has helped you, please say thanks!