1. What is rooting? Is it dangerous?
A. “Rooting” your device means obtaining “superuser” rights and permissions to your Android phone. When rooted, the user can run various apps that require root permissions to run and also, it allows the user to install custom ROMs or to flash various kernels, overclocking or underclocking the device etc.
Rooting is NOT dangerous. There are guides available here on XDA on how to root and they are pretty easy, straightforward and risk free.
The only disadvantage of rooting is that it voids your warranty but you can easily unroot your phone to get the warranty back.
2. How to root?
A. Pretty easy! Dr Ketan has created this very very simple guide on how to root. You can find it here.
Don't forget to thank him!
Easiest method in my opinion is to flash a pre rooted stock ROM through PC Odin.
3. How do I unroot?
It's mentioned in the guide above.
4. What is recovery?
A. Recovery refers to the dedicated, bootable partition that has the recovery console installed. A combination of key presses will boot your phone to recovery, where you can find tools to help repair (recover) your installation as well as install official OS updates. Now because Android is open and has the recovery source code available, building a customized version with more and different options is relatively easy as well.
5. ClockWorkMod Recovery??? How do I install it?
A. CWM, as it is generally called, is a custom recovery for Android. It offers many more options than those offered by the stock recovery and it's generally used to flash custom ROMs.
Installing CWM on your phone is dead simple. Again, thanks to Dr Ketan for his awesome guide. Here you go.
6. What is a custom ROM?
A. A custom ROM is a fully standalone version of the OS, including the kernel (which makes everything run), apps, services, etc - everything you need to operate the device, except it's customized by someone in some way.
Since Android is open source, developers are free to pick up the stock ROMs and modify them the way they like. As simple as that!
7. So how do I decide which is the best custom ROM?
A. There in no best custom ROM as such. Different ROMs have different advantages and disadvantages. Some give you incredible speed, some give you battery, some are better looking and so on. You have to decide what works best for you.
8. Do I really need to install a custom ROM or is stock good enough?
A. Ask yourself! Personally, I feel stock is crap. Also, there are many ROMs that offer stock experience whilst removing everything that makes the stock ROM crap.
9. Can I brick my phone while installing custom ROMs?
A. Yes and no. While it's pretty hard to actually brick a phone, it's possible. Use the CORRECT files and follow the steps as mentioned by the developer. But, as I said, it's highly unlikely that you'll end up with a bricked phone.
10. Okay, so I am ready to install a custom ROM. I know the risks and everything. How do I install it?
A. First of all, you need your phone to be rooted and you also need to have a recovery, like CWM. Now, different ROMs have difference installation procedures so I advice you to just read their respective threads thoroughly, know more about the ROM, decide if it's good enough and follow what the developer says. Use the CORRECT files.
Also, whatever you do, make sure you make backups of your current system through CWM. If ever something goes wrong, these backups will help you restore to your previous system.
Go on, it should all be easy!
Edit: Do not make Nandroid backups in CWM when on LPY, LPF, i9220 repack or other unsafe kernels. There's a very high risk of bricking your phone. Read the stickies!
11. What is Overclocking/Underclocking?
A. Simply put, overclocking is the process of increasing the clock frequency of your phone's processor. Underclocking is decreasing the frequency. It basically makes the processor run faster/slower according to what you set it for.
12. Risks of OC?
- Overclocking reduces the lifespan of the hardware of your phone.
- It's possible to incurr permanent damage to the phone's compenets by OC.
- Overclocking voids the warranty of your phone, but rooting has already done that!
13. Should I overclock?
A. Personally I think there is no use of OC except to fry off your processor and get higher quadrant score (which doesn't mean anything really!). With all these phones with fast processors, OC is less necessary.
14. How to overclock?
A. You need a kernel that supports overclocking. Like franco's kernel supports OC I think. Then you need an application (like SetCPU, No Frills CPU etc) to OC your device. Sometimes, OC options are built into a custom ROM as well.
15. I've had enough of rooting and custom ROMs. I need to go back. What do I do?
A. The easiest way to go back to stock ROM is to just simply flash any of the unrooted stock ROMs through PC Odin. As simple as that. Refer to Dr Ketan's guide for this.
16. What is an unsafe kernel?
A. Most stock ICS kernels are affected by the emmc bug, popularly known as the brick bug. The official CM9 kernels and some new other kernels are although free from this.
17. F***! I am on an unsafe kernel. What to do?
A. You should actually firstly know what not to do and than what to do. DO NOT wipe data in CWM, DO NOT factory reset your phone through either recovery or the Settings Menu and DO NOT delete big files from your internal or maybe even external memory. This heavy R/W operations triggers the brick bug and most often leaves the phone as useful as a paperweight.
Now, what should you be doing? If you're not gonna do any of the above, you're most probably as safe as those on a safe kernel. If you wanna get rid of this emmc bug altogether, you have to firstly go back to GB, use PC Odin method as stated above and then flash any of the new ROMs with safe kernels, read the dev section.
18. I wiped my data previously on an unsafe kernel and now my phone wouldn't boot up. I tried going back to stock GB with the PC Odin method but I'm stuck at "factoryfys.img". OMG! I can't even breathe now.. HELP!!!!
A. Superbrick. Yes, that's the word. Unfortunately, your phone is now bricked and only Samsung could help you now. Or if you're comfortable you can read and watch the DIY guides to replace the affected parts (motherboard).
So, this is all what I could think of at the moment. If you have any more Q&A that could help others, do add them!
Hope this helps..