A500 in 2020 ; Root, Bootloader, Custom ROM - LINKS WORKING

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By DDomitri, Junior Member on 23rd January 2020, 11:47 AM
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Greetings,
I wrote this tutorial to help all the people strugling with their A500 , to unlock the bootloader , install custom ROM and root it since I've finaly managed mine to work as I wanted it to. All the links / threads that I've posted are active and DL links are working.


Note : Below is going to be text in italic , just to show what I've been through and tried at the begining of my post , seeking for help , before I managed it to work for me at the end.

Before you start linking and re-directing me to other threads, I have read many threads on here that have instructions etc... but the problem is that 80% of the links from stock rom's , flashers , recovery's don't work because most of those links were created in 2012,2013.

What have I tried :
- rooting via ICS_rooting_A10x_A5xx thread ; couldn't get full root
- installing stock OS from Acer's website via SD card to get recovery menu back ; unsuccessful
- Acer Iconia A500 Tools by blackthund3r ; It only detects A500 in APX mode , but it says install driver's which I already have.

Currently running : ICS 4.0.3 with corrupted recovery menu and unsuccessful root
I would be very happy if anyone could help me and firstly return my A500 to full stock (full wipe via recovery menu), and from there start the procedure of rooting , unlocking bootloader etc... and supply me with working links to tools, roms and flashers. Everything step by step.

Thank you very much for help in advance.
Best regards,
Domitri from Slovenia


Update - Bootloader ; OLD FINDING
I got to a point where I realised that my bootloader is locked. I've tried unlocking it via fastboot commands from the following thread : forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1514951
I tried : " fastboot oem unlock" and "flashing unlock_critical" but 0 result, I ended up getting a small red text error on my tablet and I would have to start all over. I typed "fastboot oem lock" just for my interest to see what would come up and I got this , just like in the original thread : "Fastboot: Device is already locked! Abort ..."
I am going to try and unlock the bootloader via some run.bat option from APX mode ; I forgot where I found it (going through too many posts , going to post afterwards).

Note : Everything that I try, and if it work's for me, will be uploaded to my dropbox and will post a link with detailed instructions on how to do it, just bare with me please
Its hard to find working files / DL links for this tablet from other threads because everything is from 2012,2013 mostly.


START OF THE TUTORIAL
Note : Before doing anything , if you tried unlocking the bootloader and rooting and it was unsuccessful, I suggest you reinstall the OS via update.zip from SD card in recovery menu, so you have a fresh start and also install the drivers that I have provided, that way my steps and procedures will work 100%.Be sure to scroll down to the end of the thread to check for any new updates. If you have any questions or you ran upon a problem, feel free to message me or comment
DROPBOX FOLDER CONTAINING EVERYTHING YOU NEED - SEPERATE LINKS TO THE FILES ARE POSTED BELOW : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/q4ztqse3o...Q9YmKTxua?dl=0
Credits & big thank you for all the post's , help & files : KaijiKun , Civato , Blackthund3r , Vache , Turnert , Dibb_nz , Mlopik , Jm77 , Chainfire , Skrilax_CZ

USB drivers : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/6lx3uxwhj...A3t3z93Pa?dl=0
In the drivers folder in dropbox you have 2 installers for ADB, if one doesn't work for you you can try the other one. "UniversalADBDriverSetup" worked for me.
In the folder you also have 2 APX drivers , one is from Nvidia and other is Universal Naked Driver 0.73. Universal Naked Driver worked for me.
You update the APX drivers via device manager.
optional Android Multi Tool : https://www.dropbox.com/s/s7ypank8oi..._tool.zip?dl=0
In the MultiTool folder you can SHIFT + RIGHT CLICK and open a Powershell command window , and then write "adb devices" to check if you installed ADB drivers properly. If you did , you should see your device serial number pop up.
Make sure you have enabled USB Debugging in settings under Developer settings on your A500 !

How to bypass driver signature enforcement in Win10 : https://www.windowsreport.com/driver...nt-windows-10/ - needed for updating the APX driver
or in other words, how to forcebly install drivers when windows doesn't allow you to install them.

STOCK OS 4.0.3 ICS : https://dropbox.com/s/djblya5kol2cp4...Stock.zip?dl=0 thanks to KaijiKun
Rename the zip to update.zip and apply update from sd card in recovery menu. If you have a corrupted recovery menu like I had, this is what you do :
  1. Press the volume down button (the one closer to the power button to the edge)
  2. Press the power button for 2-3 seconds and let go
  3. Keep holding volume down button until small white text pops up in top left corner of the screen.
This procedure will also get you into recovery menu (if you have a working one)

1. BOOTLOADER
Before you start unlocking the bootloader , you will need to get your CPU ID which we later convert to SBK needed for flashing the bootloader.
I have managed to obtain CPU ID number by the following steps :
  1. Install File Manager+ on A500 (or any other file manager) ; link to File Manager+ : http://play.google.com/store/apps/de...emanager&hl=en
  2. Make sure you have ticked to see hidden items in settings
  3. Go to : System /sys/firmware/fuse/acer_cpuid and open as text with HTML Viewer (best option)
OR
  1. With File Manager+ navigate to System /mnt/external_sd/dmesg.txt
  2. Long press on the dmesg.txt file and share it / send it to yourself via mail
  3. Open the file on your PC and CTRL + F (find) the word "androidboot.serialno" , that is your CPU ID.

That 15char number is your CPU ID (example : 37c7084407fb2d7) which you can convert to SBK number with SBCalc.
You should get something like this at the end : 0x16796E00 0x88991201 0x67D0F603 0xC2DD2003
Sometimes there might be a 0 infront of your CPU ID , just delete it.
Note : Copying my CPU ID / SBK will not work , every tablet has It's own unique one.

SBCalc : https://dropbox.com/s/g4ay6hfvym1jxwy/SBCalc.zip?dl=0 thanks to Vache
originaly from this thread : https://www.forum.xda-developers.com....php?t=1810618

Now when you extracted and got your CPU ID and SBK , we can start with flashing the bootloader.
Nvflash tool : https://dropbox.com/s/jecamd2w91nx3k...flash.zip?dl=0 thanks to KaijiKun
  1. Extract everything to a new folder on your desktop
  2. Replace the recovery image(recovery.img) inside the nvflash folder with this one : https://dropbox.com/s/0gd9jhi8ufzhpb...beta4.zip?dl=0
  3. Inside the folder you will see a HowTo text file , open it and just follow the instructions.
  4. After you ran A501 A.bat , power off your tablet , and go to recovery mode - Volume down + power button then release power button after 3 seconds while still holding volume down. If it doesn't go directly to recovery menu by TWRP , select "BOOT RECOVERY" from the green menu
  5. Follow the instructions from HowTo.txt to wipe the system
  6. Power off your tablet , unplug the USB cable and put it in APX mode again. When in APX mode, reconnect the USB cable
  7. Run A501 B.bat and enter your SBK again
  8. When everything is completed both when runing A and B bat file you should get "PASS" written on your screen , dont mind if you get any small red text below that.

2. INSTALLING CUSTOM ROM
Now after we unlocked our bootloader and installed TWRP custom recovery, It's time to install our CUSTOM OS / ROM.
https://forum.xda-developers.com/ico...ds-to-t3832293 thanks to Turnert for the post and Thor2002ro for the ROMs
In this thread linked above you cant find 4 different ROMs , for me every single one booted, but I couldnt get gApps (Google Play and Google Play Services) to work with any of them , Google Play surely will open, but when you will try to download anything it will pop up an error.
If gApps dont work on custom ROM , you can still download and install APK's from the browser and use them normaly.

The only ROM that worked for me the best and most stable with working gApps is Tegraowners 4.4.4 : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lv2u88kjn...9_w4DDgCa?dl=0
In the link above you will find both the ROM and working gApps.
  1. You download the rar file of your chosen ROM
  2. Copy the zip file / files to your SD card
  3. Boot your tablet into recovery mode. From the recovery menu hit Install and then navigate to external_sd folder.
  4. Click on the zip file in the folder / SD card and swipe to begin installation
  5. Go through installation
  6. After the installation of the ROM , install / flash gApps
  7. READ THE TUTORIAL BELOW ABOUT FLASHING ROOT - SUPER SU BEFORE EXITING RECOVERY
  8. If the installation of the 3 things was successful you should boot into your custom OS
Note : The first startup always takes alot longer - several minutes , after the first boot, the booting time will be alot faster

3. ROOT - FOR CUSTOM ROM
Download SuperSU version 2.82 from the following link : https://download.chainfire.eu/1220/SuperSU/ thanks to Chainfire
Install it in TWRP custom recovery after you've installed your custom ROM and gApps.

4. ROOT - FOR 4.0.3 ICS USERS ONLY
Blackthund3r tools : http://dropbox.com/s/58g5v2x0lwg8mab...ckthund3r.rar? thanks to Blackthund3r
I have somehow managed to root my A500 with ICS Root 7.2.0 tool , altho it was saying in bottom left corner that there is no A500 connected with debugging. I went and give'd it a shot without knowing it's gonna work , and my tablet restarted and I was suprised, checked root with 3 checkers, and looks like it is done.

Leave everything as it is ticked , only the last 2 items should be unticked - "Disable AcerNidus" and "Don't reboot after installation"
Note : Even if your tool says "No A500 with USB Debugging Detected!" , ignore that and hit "DO IT" button, it works anyway !
If your root was successful , your tablet should reboot about 2-3min after hitting "DO IT" button and instead of "DO IT" you should see "DONE"
Check your root with Root Checker Basic : https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...krim.rootcheck

Because there is a older version of SuperSU installed, and you cannot update the binary when you open up the app on A500 , you need to download and install a newer version by yourself.
SuperSU 2.82 https://androidapksfree.com/supersu/...nfire-supersu/ thanks to Chainfire
Download the APK from your browser on A500 , and install it. You will be prompted that this will replace an existing app - hit ok.
Note : Be sure you have ticked "Unknown sources" in settings under security tab !
When you have installed the APK, open it up. It will prompt you "The SU binary needs to be updated. Continue?" ,hit continue and choose "Normal" installation of the binary.

I hope I helped you with this tutorial, but if it happens that you're stuck somewhere, just send me a private message and I will be happy to solve the problem with you.

UPDATES
22.3.2020
I noticed after using my tablet on IconiaHD ROM that gApps stopped working , and I'm getting error at all times that google play services stoped working and it's annoying because you can't use your screen at all because it's poping up all the damm time.

I tried and flashed my A500 with this ROM - https://forum.xda-developers.com/sho....php?t=1520299 Lightspeed 4.8 The download link for the zip file from google drive is still working, so there shouldn't be any problems with downloading the rom.

Next thing I did, I read that it works best with custom kernel from @ezterry from the following link - https://forum.xda-developers.com/sho....php?t=1703590 (download link still working inside the thread - ezT20-v1.0.1-a500_S.zip ! )
With this kernel you can overclock your tablet to work smooth , I'd say min and max value to 1408mhz or 1504mhz. Flash your tablet with kernel from your SD card after instaling Lightspeed 4.8 ROM.

I've also read that for all the outdated apps in google play, there is a little trick with the following app - https://www.dropbox.com/s/4t29ux4h20...2.0.4.apk?dl=0
It's called market helper and what it does, It shows your A500 to google play like Samsung Galaxy S8 or something similar which can run most of the apps on the market , and with that you shouldnt have any problems with ICS being too old for some apps.

25.3.2020
I've been testing all the ROMs I managed to find for A500, and the one working the best, being the most stable and having useful / non-crashing gApps is Tegraowners 4.4.4.
ROM and gApps : https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lv2u88kjn...9_w4DDgCa?dl=0

Flash the 2 items from the folder with procedure I have written above in the tutorial section. I also updated the tutorial and replaced old download links with working rom link. THERE IS NO NEED TO FLASH AFTERWARDS WITH EZTERRY'S ROM !

The ROM is working perfectly when overclocked to 1504mhz settings. No need to be afraid that you will burn your tablet CPU, I have tested it , and I've also read in other threads that some users OC to 1646mhz. When OC'ed its very fast, snappy , no lag or anything.
If I will experience any problems with this ROM I will post about it / post a fix if I will find any.

Note : The market helper apk from previous (upper) update is showing up in Google Play devices when you set it up, but it isn't installing apps when you select install , so that a no go

27.3.2020
A way to stop Google Play Store from getting auto-updated / corrupt. When you download a newer app that might be downloadable to the tablet , it auto updates Google Play Store to the newest one in the background because the app itself needs those requirements so it can run. When it updates, it's corrupted because it doesn't match with gApps (services) version number.
  1. If your Google Play Store updated already by itself, go to : Settings > Apps > Downloaded (first thing that will open) > Google Play Store > Uninstall Updates and Replace with factory version
  2. Turn off your wifi
  3. Open up terminal emulator
  4. In the terminal type :
  5. Su (then grant access if asked by SuperSU)
  6. Type in : touch /data/app/com.android.vending-1.apk
  7. After that type in : chattr +i /data/app/com.android.vending-1.apk
  8. That should prevent Google Play Store from auto updating and being unuseful

I've also found a link for Chromium , optimized for Tegra devices (which A500 is) : https://forum.xda-developers.com/gal...gra-2-t3550210

When you will install everything, turn off auto updates in google play, because if you update the GPS app , after the update you will be getting an error every second on the screen saying "GPS is not responding / has stopped working" , and tablet will be pretty much unusable.
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3rd February 2020, 04:27 PM |#2  
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I am struggling for days trying to root/update a500 with 4.03 installed. I am going through the same pain as you had with so many dead ends. I will try your recommendations in your tutorial in the next few days. Hoping it will work for me too.
4th February 2020, 09:58 AM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowchaser

I am struggling for days trying to root/update a500 with 4.03 installed. I am going through the same pain as you had with so many dead ends. I will try your recommendations in your tutorial in the next few days. Hoping it will work for me too.

Hey,
thanks for commenting ! I had waaay to many dead ends, but finally managed to get it working as I want to. Just follow my steps and you should be OK , if you need any help feel free to comment again or send me a private message
8th February 2020, 06:11 AM |#4  
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Everything worked perfectly fine. My a500 is finally rooted and running a custom rom. Your instructions were so clear and easy to follow. I can't thank you enough for this tutorial and all software/drivers/tools that you provided. I spent days trying to find working links for some of those tools.
Domi, hats off to you.
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11th February 2020, 03:10 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowchaser

Everything worked perfectly fine. My a500 is finally rooted and running a custom rom. Your instructions were so clear and easy to follow. I can't thank you enough for this tutorial and all software/drivers/tools that you provided. I spent days trying to find working links for some of those tools.
Domi, hats off to you.

Greetings !
Im glad I was able to help you with my tutorial. Yeah at first I was looking like crazy around for drivers and working tools , and when I figured out its not easy to find all this stuff, I decided to put up a tutorial and upload everything to my dropbox, which will always be available to download.

Best regards,
Domitri
24th February 2020, 05:55 PM |#6  
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You can use magisk with the a500.
The only stipulation is that it cannot flash the boot image and you have to manually patch it (via the magisk app itself) and flash it via computer (there doesnt seem to be any on device flasher that ive found. flashify and flashfire do not work). It's a good idea to have the rom's boot image on your device so that you can easily patch in magisk when there's an update, and the patched file should be in the Downloads folder.
5th March 2020, 12:41 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDomitri

Greetings !
Im glad I was able to help you with my tutorial. Yeah at first I was looking like crazy around for drivers and working tools , and when I figured out its not easy to find all this stuff, I decided to put up a tutorial and upload everything to my dropbox, which will always be available to download.

Best regards,
Domitri

hi, first thank you to your time get all these info together...however...for me its not working :/

i put tablet to apx mode, my windows checked it for firs time...but its not possible to flash it...it saying its not proper command (if i run it as administrator)...if i run it without administrator, than its show me usb device not found

i tried it on windows 7, without luck same like on my windows 10

also usb drivers i instaled, in device manager after that was small yellow warning but i saw its usually ...

any idea? or that tablet is nice undercoffe plate? thanks
19th March 2020, 09:49 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckercech

hi, first thank you to your time get all these info together...however...for me its not working :/

i put tablet to apx mode, my windows checked it for firs time...but its not possible to flash it...it saying its not proper command (if i run it as administrator)...if i run it without administrator, than its show me usb device not found

i tried it on windows 7, without luck same like on my windows 10

also usb drivers i instaled, in device manager after that was small yellow warning but i saw its usually ...

any idea? or that tablet is nice undercoffe plate? thanks

Hey ! Have you installed all the drivers that I provided in my tutorial ? They are key for the whole tutorial to be working properly. Sometimes in apx mode, my PC also doesn't recognize the device, but you must keep proceeding with steps , because they will work. Dont mind your windows not recognizing your tablet, it will do that 70% of the time.
31st March 2020, 09:46 PM |#9  
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hello, thanks to your guide I took this tablet again. one thing is not clear to me, how do i install compatible apps?

Exaple spotify?!

Inviato dal mio Redmi Note 5 utilizzando Tapatalk
2nd April 2020, 10:51 AM |#10  
Quote:
Originally Posted by emerax

hello, thanks to your guide I took this tablet again. one thing is not clear to me, how do i install compatible apps?

Exaple spotify?!

Inviato dal mio Redmi Note 5 utilizzando Tapatalk

For Spotify I think you just have to install an older version. Probably at least a year back.
2nd April 2020, 11:13 AM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turnert

For Spotify I think you just have to install an older version. Probably at least a year back.

but what is the reason why the apps don't work?! I also replaced the gapps with microg ...

Inviato dal mio Redmi Note 5 utilizzando Tapatalk
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