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Galaxy Tab S5e (SM-T720) - Root Instructions (Release 0.1)

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By AHE_XDA, Member on 12th July 2019, 03:14 AM
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This guide is a work-in-progress and is based on the following PewPewK post.

Which, in turn, was inspired by TopJohnWu's 'Samsung (System-as-root)' Magisk Installation Guide

It is an extended companion piece aimed at novice users and meant specifically for the SM-T720 (Tab S5e).

ROOT WARNING

Introducing root and further tampering may potentially lead to unfavorable performance and/or shortened device lifespan.

In extreme circumstances, it may render your device OR specific hardware components unstable or non-functioning.

By following this guide, you ACKNOWLEDGE these risks and release AHE_XDA, XDA and its CONTRIBUTORS of ANY and ALL responsibility.

WARRANTY WARNING

In many states, countries and territories, introducing root voids device warranty (manufacturer's and/or third-party). Please consult your regional Samsung office, place of purchase or third-party warranty company to determine if these terms are applicable to you.

ALTERNATIVES TO ROOT

Personally, after three and a half months of usage, I strongly advocate disabling or uninstalling unwanted applications via the Android Debugging Bridge (ADB). It's far less hassle, results in less downtime and you won't lose warranty or some Samsung-specific features by tripping Knox.

If this method seems more preferable, please visit TiTiB's 'Debloat Without Root-Info' thread for additional instructions.
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12th July 2019, 03:15 AM |#2  
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Known Issues (July 16, 2019)
KNOWN ISSUES (JULY 16, 2019)

Samsung's implementation of Android Pie DOES NOT CURRENTLY make for a root friendly device.

There are significant changes AND unknown variables which could make your experience difficult.

Before you begin, read carefully:
  • Custom recovery (e.g., TWRP) is currently NOT available for the Tab S5e. Thus your ability to perform a system back-up (NANDroid), flash zip files or simplify a series of powerful and complex tasks are absent.
  • To enable root access, you must be prepared to hold a key combination on EVERY BOOT or REBOOT.
  • Removing OR disabling Knox-related applications (specifically 'Knoxguard.apk') will lock your device with the following error:

    "Your phone is locked because the payment service was uninstalled."

    To recover, you will need to boot into 'Download Mode', revert to original factory settings and verify your Google account to avoid an FRP LOCK.
  • Applications that require Widevine DRM (e.g., Netflix) will either NOT work or provide 480P playback (irregardless of Magisk modules). In some cases, you may also lose the ability to download episodes and movies for off-line playback.

Items will be ADDED or REMOVED as they are discovered and solved.
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12th July 2019, 03:16 AM |#3  
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Requirements & instructions
HARDWARE & SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS
  • Windows Laptop/PC with more than 25GB of available storage space
  • SM-T720 Tablet (Galaxy Tab S5e)
  • Samsung USB Type-C Cable (as found in the original packaging)
  • WIFI connection

SECTION ONE - LOG-OUT & BACK-UP YOUR DATA

Log out of your Samsung and Google account(s).

Back-up ANY and ALL data as following this guide will result in COMPLETE data loss.

SECTION TWO - DOWNLOAD THE RIGHT UTILITIES

In order to root, you require several utilities.

They are as followed:

Samsung USB Drivers - Provides connectivity between Laptop/PC and your device.

7-Zip - An open-source file archiver.

Odin 3.13.1 - Used to flash original or custom Samsung firmware.

Frija - Downloads the latest available Samsung firmware.

Magisk Manager (APK) - Helps obtain/manage and extend root options. Download the latest .APK (Application Package).

Click on the UNDERLINED NAME of the above utilities to download them to your local Laptop/PC.

PRO-TIP: Create sub-directories, like pictured below, and organize your downloads accordingly:



PRO-TIP: Consider a donation to Frija, Magisk or your favorite developers as a token of goodwill and to help ensure future development efforts.

SECTION THREE - DOWNLOAD THE RIGHT FIRMWARE

In order to root or, at a later time, return to original factory settings; you MUST have a local copy of firmware.

This requires knowing our CSC; a three letter code that Samsung devices use to comply with local telecommunication standards and determine device-specific features or updates.

To locate your CSC, perform the following:

On your device, go to 'Settings'
From 'Settings', scroll down to 'About Tablet'.
Press on 'About Tablet' followed by a press on 'Software Information'
Scroll downwards until you see 'Service Provider SW Ver.'
There are three lines.
The third line will read similar to the following:
TUR//



Those three characters (e.g., TUR) represent the CSC code for your region.

PRO-TIP: Your CSC may OR may not be the same as the example; that's expected and perfectly normal.

Open Frija, which you downloaded under 'Section One', and input your model and CSC.

Make sure 'Auto' is selected and click on 'Check Update'.

If the right values are inputted, Frija will look similar to the following:



Click on 'Download' and select a location on your Laptop/PC.

When the download is complete, Frija will verify and decrypt the firmware.

Once finished, Frija will look similar to this example:



PRO-TIP: If you can't get Frija to open or download, right click and select 'Run as administrator'.

SECTION FOUR - UNLOCK THE BOOTLOADER
THIS STEP WILL REMOVE ALL DATA FROM YOUR DEVICE. PLEASE REFER TO 'SECTION ONE' FOR MORE DETAILS.

Power off the device.

Power on your Laptop/PC and login into your Windows account.

Connect the USB cable to your Laptop/PC.

On the device, hold the 'Volume Up' and 'Volume Down' keys at the SAME time.



Connect the USB Cable from your Laptop/PC to the device.



You MUST hold BOTH keys during AND after inserting the USB Cable to receive the following warning:



PRO-TIP: In SOME cases, you may also need to hold 'POWER' as well.

To continue towards unlocking your bootloader, hold the 'Volume Up' key for approximately 4 to 5 seconds (or until the screen goes black).

After 4 to 5 seconds have passed (or if the screen went black), release the 'Volume Up' key and you will be presented with one last warning:




Press and click on the 'Volume Up' key to finalize your decision.

The device will factory reset and from now on, until the bootloader is re-locked, you will receive this warning:



Leave the device to reinitialize.

SECTION FIVE - INSTALLING 7-ZIP

If you correctly followed the first FOUR sections, you now have the required utilities, firmware and an unlocked bootloader.

In order to proceed, you MUST install 7-Zip to extract and manipulate key files required for root.

If you have prior experience with 7-Zip or an alternate compression manager, SKIP this step and proceed to 'SECTION SIX'.

It IS enough to double-click the EXECUTABLE and install it; you need NOT configure anything.

However, for a visual reference, follow this LINK to see 7-Zip in use.

Alternately, for technical support and assistance SPECIFIC to 7-Zip, use this LINK. Search thoroughly before posting.

SECTION SIX - EXTRACTING FIRMWARE

Like the CSC code, mentioned in 'SECTION THREE', the name of your download will differ slightly but 'SM-T720' and 'AP_T720' will be in the file name:



Using 7-Zip, you must extract the following file:

AP_T720XXU1ASF1_CL15813856_QB24038915_REV00_user_l ow_ship_MULTI_CERT_meta_OS9.tar.md5

From the following ZIP container:

SM-T720_1_20190603182427_gegcc1ebw1_fac.zip

Right click on your ZIP container, navigate to '7-Zip' and, from the sub-menu, select 'Extract Here'.



7-Zip will begin to decompress the necessary files and will result in the following output:



Delete ALL files except for the following:

SM-T720_1_20190603182427_gegcc1ebw1_fac.zip
AP_T720XXU1ASF1_CL15813856_QB24038915_REV00_user_l ow_ship_MULTI_CERT_meta_OS9.tar.md5

Rename the extension of 'AP_T720XX.....tar.md5' to 'AP_T720XX.....tar' and ignore the warning provided by Windows.

When finished, your folder contents will look similar to this:



The AP file is required for root.

PRO-TIP: Keep the ZIP container should you ever want to revert back to original factory settings. If not, delete it and download again later using Frija.

SECTION SEVEN - ENABLE WIFI, TRANSFER FILES & INSTALL MAGISK MANAGER

In 'SECTION FOUR', the device was left to reinitialize.

This means you have a device that requires set-up:



Do NOT log into your Samsung or Google account. The ONLY thing required is WIFI:



PRO-TIP: WIFI and Magisk work together to help achieve root access, provide updates and for module repository access.

Once you've arrived at the home screen, we need to enable 'Developer Options' to ensure the bootloader is unlocked.

To verify your bootloader is unlocked, perform the following:

On your device, go to 'Settings'.
From 'Settings', scroll down to 'About Tablet'.
Press on 'Software Information'.
Scroll downwards until you see 'Build Number'.
Tap 'Build Number' seven times to enable 'Developer Options'.
Press the back button on the navigation bar to return to 'Settings'.
Underneath 'About Tablet', you will now see 'Developer Options'.
Open this and locate 'OEM Unlocking'.
If you've followed the outlined steps, your screen should match this example:



Now connect the device to your Laptop/PC and, when prompted, 'Allow access to tablet data'.



Using Windows Explorer, copy the following files to the 'Download' folder of your device:

MagiskManager-v7.3.2.apk
AP_T720XXU1ASF1_CL15813856_QB24038915_REV00_user_l ow_ship_MULTI_CERT_meta_OS9.tar


Due to the size of the AP file, this may take several minutes on a low-end Laptop/PC.



Once the copy is complete, double press on 'MagiskManager-v7.3.2.apk' to initiate the install process.

PRO-TIP: Due to changes introduced in Android Oreo, we MUST allow permission to install applications (APKs) not obtained from the PlayStore.



Click on 'Settings' to open the 'Install unknown apps' screen and toggle 'Allow from this source' on.



Press the back button on the navigation bar to allow the installation:




SECTION EIGHT - PATCH YOUR AP FILE

Open your app tray by swiping up and open Magisk Manager.

You will see a RED QUESTION MARK and the following error:

'Magisk is not installed.'



Click on 'Install' and, when prompted by Magisk, select 'Install' again:





Magisk will provide another prompt:



Choose 'Select and Patch a File' to proceed.

Magisk will now prompt for device access:



Click on 'Allow' and the internal Device File Explorer will open to the 'Recent' tab:



Click on the top app bar and select 'Downloads' to find your AP file:



And then:



Once inside the 'Downloads' folder, select your AP file to begin the flash process.



Once the flash process is complete, the status on the top title bar will change from 'Flashing' to 'Done!':


SECTION NINE - RETRIEVAL & DISSECTION

With our AP file patched by Magisk, we must now locate and transfer it back to our Laptop/PC.

If you have not already done so, reconnect the device to your Laptop/PC:



Open Windows Explorer, double-click on 'Tab S5e', double-click again on 'Tablet' and open the 'Downloads' folder:



Under 'Downloads', you will see THREE files:

AP_T720XXU1ASF1_CL15813856_QB24038915_REV00_user_l ow_ship_MULTI_CERT_meta_OS9.tar
magisk_patched.tar
magisk_install_log_2019-07-10T225845Z


PRO-TIP: 'magisk_install_log' is an output of the AP file patching process. If you encountered ANY errors, keep a copy and raise a question in the thread.

Delete 'AP_T720XX.....tar' and copy 'magisk_patched.tar' back to your Laptop/PC; preferably to the 'FIRMWARE' sub-directory suggested in 'SECTION TWO'.

Due to the size of the 'magisk_patched.tar' file, this may take several minutes on a low-end Laptop/PC.

Once the transfer is complete, let's make room in our 'FIRMWARE' folder by deleting the 'AP_T720XX.....tar' file.

This should leave us with TWO files:

SM-T720_1_20190603182427_gegcc1ebw1_fac.zip
magisk_patched.tar


Move OR delete the 'SM-T720.....fac.zip' container so we can focus exclusively on 'magisk_patched.tar'.

With NO files left except for 'magisk_patched.tar', we must now use 7-Zip again to extract its contents.

PRO-TIP: Refer to 'SECTION FIVE' if you need a refresher on 7-Zip.

Right-click on the 'magisk_patched.tar' container, navigate to '7-Zip' and, from the sub-menu, select 'Extract Here'.

Once all files are extracted, your output will look similar to, if NOT exactly like, this:



Now DELETE these files:

dtbo.img.lz4
magisk_patched.tar
modem.bin.lz4
persist.img.ext4.lz4
system.img.ext4.lz4
userdata.img.ext4.lz4
vendor.img.ext4.lz4


In order to have the following:

meta-data
boot.img
recovery.img
vbmeta.img


If done correctly, your folder output will look like this:


SECTION TEN - CREATE YOUR TAR
In 'SECTION NINE', we organized the following list of files:

meta-data
boot.img
recovery.img
vbmeta.img


Using Windows Explorer, navigate to your 'Firmware' folder (or whatever location you used).

Now, using 7-Zip, we need to compress these files into a TAR container.

This means we must select ALL files.

This can be achieved by using CRTL + A on your keyboard or simply by highlighting them all with a left-click:



Right-click on the selected files, navigate to '7-Zip' and, from the sub-menu, select 'Add to archive...':



If done correctly, the following screen will present itself:



Only THREE things MUST be done to complete our TAR:

Change the filename to 'magisk_patched.tar' WITHOUT quotations
Change the 'Archive format' to 'TAR'
Click on 'OK' to confirm your decisions and begin compression:



PRO-TIP: If, for ANY reason, you don't want to keep these files, you can select 'Delete files after compression' before clicking on 'OK'.

With this step complete, we are left with the following output:


SECTION ELEVEN - DOWNLOAD MODE
Using the 'Power' key on your device , select 'Power off':



Disconnect the USB cable or the device will switch to 'Charging Mode':



On your device, hold 'Volume Up' and 'Power' together until the 'Android Recovery' screen appears:



'VOLUME UP' will navigate upwards, 'VOLUME DOWN' will navigate downwards, and 'POWER' will highlight and confirm your choice.

PRO-TIP: You may have to press 'POWER' twice.

Highlight and select 'Reboot to bootloader' to properly put your device into 'Download Mode':



Reconnect the device back to your Laptop/PC.

SECTION TWELVE - ODIN PREPARATION AND FLASH
Now, because recovery is unavailable, you must use Odin to flash your TAR file to introduce root.

In 'SECTION TWO', you downloaded Odin and created a folder for it.

You must now go to that folder, or whatever folder you opted to use, and decompress Odin.

Right-click on the 'Odin3_v3.13.1.zip' container, navigate to '7-Zip' and, from the sub-menu, select 'Extract Here'.

This will create a sub-directory called 'Odin3_v3.13.1'.

Double-click and you will be presented with the following output:



Double-click on 'Odin3 v3.13.1.exe' to launch the application.

You will receive a prompt written in both English and Korean. Click 'OK' to close the warning.

With Odin open, locate and click on the second tab called 'Options' and uncheck 'Auto Reboot':



When you click on the 'AP' button, Windows File Explorer will automatically launch.

As per 'SECTION NINE', and using Windows File Explorer, navigate to the location you created and saved 'magisk_patched.tar'.

Double-click 'magisk_patched.tar' (or alternatively, highlight the file and select 'Open') to have it load into the AP slot:



With all these steps completed and your device connected, STOP and read below:

A green navigation bar on Odin, and a white bar on you device, will appear.
This indicates that key files are being written to your device.
Irregardless of how quick or slow the progress bar is, DO NOT disconnect the device.
The device, no matter if the flash was successful or not, will do NOTHING because you unchecked 'Auto Reboot'.
Wait for 'PASS!' to appear in Odin before you disconnect your device.

Click the 'Start' button.

If everything was done correctly, Odin will look like this:



Your device, on the other hand, will have the following bar across its screen:



Now disconnect the device, STOP and read below until you feel comfortable enough to execute the instructions:

Hold 'Volume Down' and 'Power' until the screen goes black (also known as a 'Soft Reset').
The moment the screen goes black, continue to hold down 'Power' but QUICKLY switch so now only 'Volume Up' is being held.
Do this until you enter 'Android Recovery'.
As outlined in 'SECTION ELEVEN', use the 'Volume Keys' & 'Power' to navigate the menu.
First select 'Wipe Data/Factory Reset' and, upon completion, choose 'Reboot System Now'.
Your device will reboot several times. This is expected behavior.

If everything was done correctly, your device will reinitialize and require set-up again:


SECTION THIRTEEN - ROOT VERIFICATION
Like 'SECTION SEVEN', we need WIFI to complete set-up but mustn't log into ANY accounts.

Also, like 'SECTION SEVEN', we will need to install Magisk Manager again.

Once the first two steps are complete, power-off the device:



With the device powered off AND disconnected, hold down 'Volume Up' and 'Power' until you see the following warning:



WARNING: From now on, on EVERY BOOT or REBOOT, you MUST do this if you want Magisk enabled.


Release all keys and allow the device to boot.

Once Android is loaded, launch Magisk from your app drawer.

If you are prompted to update, do so but select 'Direct Install (Recommended)' and remember the key sequence on reboot:





Otherwise Magisk Manager, if set-up properly AND with root enabled, will look like this:



Magisk Manager, if NOT set-up properly OR is NOT enabled, will look like this:



To further validate root, you can use an application like 'Root Checker' to verify:



You may now go ahead, log back into your accounts and finish configuring your device.
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12th July 2019, 03:21 AM |#4  
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Recognition & sharing policy
RECOGNITION

This guide, and the required methods and software, would NOT be possible with the efforts of the following individuals:

@topjohnwu
@invmini
@crazyape
@eragon5779
@PewPewK

A sincere thank you for your time, hard work and, most importantly, determination to explore.

Praise and tribute is also extended to @TiTiB for his editorial skills and much needed feedback.

SHARING POLICY

Do NOT re-use any part from this guide without FIRST asking.
Do NOT re-use any part from this guide without giving credit to those in the 'RECOGNITION' header.

ALL photographs are the property of myself (AHE_XDA). I spent considerable time capturing and editing each posted image. Therefore images may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced or used anyway without prior consent.


Simply put, if there's something you like (styling/format/text/photographs) and want to use, ask
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13th July 2019, 12:26 AM |#5  
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Apologies to everyone. It was brought to my attention that placeholder information is not allowed within the community.

This thread will be closed/deleted and another launched in its place once the final editing of images/text is finished.
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