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[Q] Root after unlocking bootloader, retain stock rom & bootloader

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Thanks Meter: 0
By dwhizz, Junior Member on 29th January 2014, 12:24 AM
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I am sorry if this is a dupe of other threads but I couldn't find a complete answer to my problem anywhere else.

I have a nexus 7 (2012), on stock 4.4.2, unlocked bootloader (i think, unlocked padlock on startup).

I want to root. I gather this will not wipe? (or will it?) and what tool should i use? I already have N7 toolkit and android sdk, so i can use that most easily, otherwise any other program needed is fine. I want to use stock bootloader and stock rom and ensure ota updates will occur. (i understand i may lose root through ota updates, but i assume i can just reroot as i have unlocked the bootloader?)

29th January 2014, 04:12 AM |#2  
Senior Member
Thanks Meter: 1,041
Since your tab has already gone through the bootloader unlocking process, there is neither a need nor a requirement to wipe the device.

And since you want to stay as close to Stock as possible, you can even "root" without ever flashing a recovery: you just soft-boot a recovery image rather than flashing one. That is - "fastboot boot (...etc)" instead of "fastboot flash (...etc)". That allows you to use a custom recovery every once in a while while leaving a stock recovery on the tablet. That preserves maximum compatibility with future OTAs.*

And with that soft-booted recovery, immediately take a Nandroid backup including the Stock recovery (which is still on the tablet because you soft-booted the recovery you are using). In the same session, use "adb pull" to get a copy of your 100% pure-stock Nandroid backup off the tablet. (Make sure you name it clearly so you will know exactly what it is 12 or 24 months later)

Finally, use a flashable .zip installer package for SuperSU to "flash root".

After an OTA, you can just reinstall root by soft-booting a custom recovery and using the same (or updated) flashable .zip installer method for reinstalling SuperSU. And just like above, capture a new 100% pure-stock Nandroid backup (including the new stock recovery) *before* re-rooting.

This strategy allows you to roll back to any version of stock you please at any time in the future.

good luck

* flashaholics prefer to have a recovery hard-flashed on their device so they can flash things on a whim, wherever they are. The approach here is a bit more restrictive as you have to have a PC handy in order to soft-boot a recovery in order to do any flashing. I would say that the biggest limitation of this approach is that it tends to reduce the number of Nandroid backups of your ROM personalization.

Backup are a good thing. You can always throw them away later, but you can't create a missing one that is urgently needed.
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