[Guide]Everything About Root and Unlocking (4.4.4)[13/11/2014]

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blueether

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2011
3,391
1,639
Te Awamutu, New Zealand
GETTING YOUR ULTRA ROOTED AND
READY FOR FLASHING

This guide should in theory make your Ultra ready for flashing custom ROMs, and with that said...

...here comes the warning: If you follow the steps contained herein
Your warranty is now voided. I/we are not responsible for bricked devices, or whatever you might end up with.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Warnings
ROOT KitKat (Android 4.4.4)
Back up TA Partition
Install Recovery
Unlock the Bootloader
Install Custom ROM
Using Flashtool
Back to Stock
Handy Links
Glossary
Misc.

Warnings:

Backup your TA partition before unlocking your bootloader - you will lose DRM keys and other stuff during the unlock

Unlocking the Bootloader will wipe your phone, so backup your stuff

Never Flash a FTF to a ZU GPe - it will kill it

Your warranty is now VOID

ROOT KitKat (Android 4.4.4):
Rooting 4.4.4
FTFs
  • 14.4.A.0.108
  • 14.4.A.0.118
To root KitKat we have a handy tool called Easy Root by @zxz0O0. This tool will root all modern Xperia devices running KitKat. Please read the thread.

To use this tool first upgrade to one of the above FTFs or use Sony's PC companion to update the phone to Android 4.4.4

Instructions:
What you get
  • Root
  • Access to /system rw

Requirements
  • USB debugging enabled
    Settings => About phone => Click 7 times on Android Build to unlock developer options
  • Unknown sources enabled
    Settings => Security
  • adb drivers installed

How to use
  1. Download the latest version and extract it
  2. Start your device and plug it to your computer
  3. Run install.bat and follow the instructions on screen
  4. Install SuperSU by Chainfire (recommended!)
  5. Congratulations! You should now be rooted.
    Don't forget to make a donation or thank the OP in the original thread

Rooting Pre 4.4.4
Upgrade to one of the 4.4.4 FTFs listed above to save any hassle

Rooting The GPe

GPe Owners: Do not try and flash any FTFs to your device. You will BRICK it with no way to recover it.
Go to this thread and follow the steps.

Back up TA Partition:
The TA partition is the "Trim Area". There are lots of things stored in here like root certs, revoked certs, DRM keys, current firmware version,... the list goes on. What we are concerned about here is with the DRM keys. Some service centres will not service a Sony device if these are missing. Unlocking the BL will erase these.

Once you lose these keys, you can't get them back, so backup the TA and upload it to your Dropbox etc

You will need Backup TA for Sony Xperia by @DevShaft Please read the thread.

Instructions:
  1. Download the latest version of Backup TA.
  2. Extract the ZIP file to a folder location of your choosing.
  3. Navigate to the folder location of Backup TA.
  4. Make sure no other script or application which is using ADB is running.
  5. Make sure the device is booted in normal mode (the way you normally use it).
  6. Run Backup-TA.bat
  7. Read the last paragraph of the license before continuing.
  8. Read the information and follow the instructions given by the tool.
    Don't forget to make a donation or thank the OP in the original thread


Install Recovery:

Download the latest version of @[NUT]'s Dual Recovery

Instructions:
  1. Make sure you have USB debugging turned ON.
  2. download ZU-lockeddualrecovery[VERSION]-BETA.installer.zip from http://nut.xperia-files.com
  3. Windows:
    1. unpack at C: or somewhere you will remember!
    2. navigate to the resulting directory and look for install.bat, double click it to run;
  4. Linux:
    1. unpack in your home folder with 'unzip ZU-lockeddualrecovery[VERSION]-BETA.installer.zip'
    2. navigate to the resulting directory and 'chmod +x install.sh', then execute it, follow instructions.
  5. Your phone WILL reboot when installation has completed and it will go into the default recovery for the first boot.
  6. Reboot to system from recovery to allow the installer to clean up after installation (it is safe to skip this step).
  7. Enjoy DUAL RECOVERY!
    Don't forget to make a donation or thank the OP in the original thread

Unlock the Bootloader:
This will wipe your phone, so backup your stuff
You only need to unlock the bootloader if you want to run either a custom kernel or a custom ROM. Most ROMs based on the Sony releases will run on a locked bootloader.

Instructions:

  1. Go to Sony's Developer site
  2. Request the unlock key and check your mail straight away. Email is quick these days.
  3. Open the latest Flashtool on your computer
  4. Click the "BLU" icon
  5. Follow the steps and enter your unlock key


Install Custom ROM:
To install a custom ROM you will have to complete the steps above (ROOT, Back up the TA Partition, and Unlock the Bootloader) you dont need to have installed recovery but it will help you make a backup of the current state of your device.

After the above are done:
Backup current software with custom recovery (TWRP or cwm - use the same recovery the the new ROM uses*)
  1. Downlod ROM
  2. Extract boot.img from within the .zip
  3. Flash the boot.img (not absolutely necessary but will mean you are on a recovery that is tested to work with the ROM)
    In fastboot mode use either flashtool or the fastboot commands
    - If you want to use the boot.img's recovery to make a back up of the current software/state of the device use:
    • Code:
      fastboot boot boot.img
    - or if you just want to flash the kernel and recovery to flash the ROM use:
    • Code:
      fastboot flash boot boot.img 
      fastboot reboot
  4. Wipe Data
  5. Wipe Cache
  6. Wipe Delvik Cache
  7. Flash ROM
  8. Reboot

*CM based ROMs normally use CWM. Slim and Omni based normally use TWRP

Using flashtool:
Please use this very good guide: Flashtool XZU


Back to Stock:

To get back to pure stock Sony there are several things that need to be done:

  1. Make sure you have root
  2. Backup any data/photos/etc on the phone
  3. Restore your TA backup with the TA backup tool above
    • If you are on a custom kernel or ROM you ZU will not boot at this stage
  4. Start flashtool and load a FTF
  5. Start the flash and wait for the onscreen instructions to connect the ZU
  6. Connect your ZU in flashmode
    • With the ZU powered off
    • Connect to PC while holding the volume down key
    • Flash will start
  7. Wait for flash to complete

Handy Links:
FTFs: The FTF depository thread
Flashtool: http://flashtool.net
SuperSU: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.supersu&hl=en

Glossary:
FTF: A flashable package of Sony's stock firmware. These can be found in The FTF depository thread

TA Partition: The TA partition is the "Trim Area" there are lots of things stored in here like root cert, revoked certs, DRM keys, current firmware,... the list goe on. What we are concerned with is the DRM keys. Some service centres will not service a Sony device if these are missing. Unlocking the BL will erase these.

Bootloader or BL: This is the thing that loads Android. To run a custom ROM (non Sony) you have to unlock this

Root: You are GOD

boot.img: The kernel and recovery (on Xperia)

XDA:DevDB Information
Z-Ultra Root Guide, Tool/Utility for the Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Contributors
blueether, H. E. Pennypacker, adfurgerson, LordManhattan, [NUT], geohot, many others

Version Information
Status: Stable

Created 2014-11-13
Last Updated 2015-01-01
 

unidentifier

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2012
62
19
Toronto
As always, very informative blueether.

Questions:
(1) Does this mean we no longer need to downgrade/upgrade/restore imei etc?

(2) Unlocking the bootloader is a requirement for installing any rom? No way around this?

(3) I understand the need for the disclaimers but rooting/unlocking BL doesn't automatically void your warranty does it?
 

blueether

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2011
3,391
1,639
Te Awamutu, New Zealand
As always, very informative blueether.

Questions:
(1) Does this mean we no longer need to downgrade/upgrade/restore imei etc?

(2) Unlocking the bootloader is a requirement for installing any rom? No way around this?

(3) I understand the need for the disclaimers but rooting/unlocking BL doesn't automatically void your warranty does it?

1/ was only needed on 4.2
2/ added a line
3/ ring Sony and say this: "I rooted my ZU, and now it won't boot. Can you fix it for me?" what do you think their response will be?
 

unidentifier

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2012
62
19
Toronto
With the warranty question: I asked because I'm more concerned about the cracked glass issues than bricking the device because I couldn't follow instructions. Thanks again for the instructions.
 

anandbohra

Member
Apr 6, 2011
5
0
Mumbai
I may sound dumb but if I am only interested in root just for link2sd feature & foldermount to overcome internal storage limitation by transfering to SD card then do I have to follow all steps ? or only first 2 step will do i.e. Root & install SU.

I will just root it & don't want to touch TA or Bootloader as not planning to update with custom rom. please suggest that even for rooting do I need to backup TA / unlock bootloader.

also will new update of Android Lollipop will wipe my root or will I be able to upgrade to lollipop in later on stage with Root.

please reply on this.
 

unidentifier

Senior Member
Mar 5, 2012
62
19
Toronto
I may sound dumb but if I am only interested in root just for link2sd feature & foldermount to overcome internal storage limitation by transfering to SD card then do I have to follow all steps ? or only first 2 step will do i.e. Root & install SU.

I will just root it & don't want to touch TA or Bootloader as not planning to update with custom rom. please suggest that even for rooting do I need to backup TA / unlock bootloader.

also will new update of Android Lollipop will wipe my root or will I be able to upgrade to lollipop in later on stage with Root.

please reply on this.

My XZU hasn't arrived but my experience with other phones is that root alone should allow you to use link2sd and fouldermount.

Can't speak to OTA updates being blocked on rooted phones..
 

blueether

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2011
3,391
1,639
Te Awamutu, New Zealand
I may sound dumb but if I am only interested in root just for link2sd feature & foldermount to overcome internal storage limitation by transfering to SD card then do I have to follow all steps ? or only first 2 step will do i.e. Root & install SU.

I will just root it & don't want to touch TA or Bootloader as not planning to update with custom rom. please suggest that even for rooting do I need to backup TA / unlock bootloader.

also will new update of Android Lollipop will wipe my root or will I be able to upgrade to lollipop in later on stage with Root.

please reply on this.

Yes if you just need root the only go that far

OTA will probably fail with root, and flashing a FTF will wipe root when L arrives
 

krystan

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2004
55
2
Melbourne
rooting is not working. stops as there is no tr.apk included. In the guide there is nothing about tr.apk needed to be downloaded as well as that you need to donate before you can download. I dont mind to donate but I need to know it will work.
 
Last edited:

adfurgerson

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
2,179
762
rooting is not working. stops as there is no tr.apk included. In the guide there is nothing about tr.apk needed to be downloaded as well as that you need to donate before you can download. I dont mind to donate but I need to know it will work.

Are you only wanting to root, or do you plan to install recovery also?
 

anandbohra

Member
Apr 6, 2011
5
0
Mumbai
Yes if you just need root the only go that far

OTA will probably fail with root, and flashing a FTF will wipe root when L arrives

Thank you very much for your prompt reply.
will post my experience once I receive my piece & just plain root it.
anyhow as per google Lollipop might take another 4-5 months for Xperia Z Ultra (might be May-15)

Thanks every one.
 

blueether

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2011
3,391
1,639
Te Awamutu, New Zealand
Thank you very much for your prompt reply.
will post my experience once I receive my piece & just plain root it.
anyhow as per google Lollipop might take another 4-5 months for Xperia Z Ultra (might be May-15)

Thanks every one.
Just roo should be fine
We are getting close to haveing a working AOSP L, give it a few days I guess (but pleas dont clog this thread up with L stuff for now
 

adfurgerson

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
2,179
762

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krystan

Senior Member
Mar 6, 2004
55
2
Melbourne

adfurgerson

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
2,179
762
Thank you adfurgenson
If I do dualrecovery will I be able to get 5.0?
Or only manually?

I am pretty certain that you have to go back to stock to receive the OTA, but I think that would apply also if you only rooted. Flashing an ftf file with flashtool without checking the boxes to wipe data is what I have seen recommended to get back to stock. I hate giving an answer I am not one hundred percent sure is correct so I will call on some experts, @blueether or @HEPennypacker can you confirm this is correct please.
 

blueether

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2011
3,391
1,639
Te Awamutu, New Zealand
I am pretty certain that you have to go back to stock to receive the OTA, but I think that would apply also if you only rooted. Flashing an ftf file with flashtool without checking the boxes to wipe data is what I have seen recommended to get back to stock. I hate giving an answer I am not one hundred percent sure is correct so I will call on some experts, @blueether or @HEPennypacker can you confirm this is correct please.

meh, can't be bothered writing a reply. What you said will work if/when the OTA fails
 

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  • 28
    GETTING YOUR ULTRA ROOTED AND
    READY FOR FLASHING

    This guide should in theory make your Ultra ready for flashing custom ROMs, and with that said...

    ...here comes the warning: If you follow the steps contained herein
    Your warranty is now voided. I/we are not responsible for bricked devices, or whatever you might end up with.

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Warnings
    ROOT KitKat (Android 4.4.4)
    Back up TA Partition
    Install Recovery
    Unlock the Bootloader
    Install Custom ROM
    Using Flashtool
    Back to Stock
    Handy Links
    Glossary
    Misc.

    Warnings:

    Backup your TA partition before unlocking your bootloader - you will lose DRM keys and other stuff during the unlock

    Unlocking the Bootloader will wipe your phone, so backup your stuff

    Never Flash a FTF to a ZU GPe - it will kill it

    Your warranty is now VOID

    ROOT KitKat (Android 4.4.4):
    Rooting 4.4.4
    FTFs
    • 14.4.A.0.108
    • 14.4.A.0.118
    To root KitKat we have a handy tool called Easy Root by @zxz0O0. This tool will root all modern Xperia devices running KitKat. Please read the thread.

    To use this tool first upgrade to one of the above FTFs or use Sony's PC companion to update the phone to Android 4.4.4

    Instructions:
    What you get
    • Root
    • Access to /system rw

    Requirements
    • USB debugging enabled
      Settings => About phone => Click 7 times on Android Build to unlock developer options
    • Unknown sources enabled
      Settings => Security
    • adb drivers installed

    How to use
    1. Download the latest version and extract it
    2. Start your device and plug it to your computer
    3. Run install.bat and follow the instructions on screen
    4. Install SuperSU by Chainfire (recommended!)
    5. Congratulations! You should now be rooted.
      Don't forget to make a donation or thank the OP in the original thread

    Rooting Pre 4.4.4
    Upgrade to one of the 4.4.4 FTFs listed above to save any hassle

    Rooting The GPe

    GPe Owners: Do not try and flash any FTFs to your device. You will BRICK it with no way to recover it.
    Go to this thread and follow the steps.

    Back up TA Partition:
    The TA partition is the "Trim Area". There are lots of things stored in here like root certs, revoked certs, DRM keys, current firmware version,... the list goes on. What we are concerned about here is with the DRM keys. Some service centres will not service a Sony device if these are missing. Unlocking the BL will erase these.

    Once you lose these keys, you can't get them back, so backup the TA and upload it to your Dropbox etc

    You will need Backup TA for Sony Xperia by @DevShaft Please read the thread.

    Instructions:
    1. Download the latest version of Backup TA.
    2. Extract the ZIP file to a folder location of your choosing.
    3. Navigate to the folder location of Backup TA.
    4. Make sure no other script or application which is using ADB is running.
    5. Make sure the device is booted in normal mode (the way you normally use it).
    6. Run Backup-TA.bat
    7. Read the last paragraph of the license before continuing.
    8. Read the information and follow the instructions given by the tool.
      Don't forget to make a donation or thank the OP in the original thread


    Install Recovery:

    Download the latest version of @[NUT]'s Dual Recovery

    Instructions:
    1. Make sure you have USB debugging turned ON.
    2. download ZU-lockeddualrecovery[VERSION]-BETA.installer.zip from http://nut.xperia-files.com
    3. Windows:
      1. unpack at C: or somewhere you will remember!
      2. navigate to the resulting directory and look for install.bat, double click it to run;
    4. Linux:
      1. unpack in your home folder with 'unzip ZU-lockeddualrecovery[VERSION]-BETA.installer.zip'
      2. navigate to the resulting directory and 'chmod +x install.sh', then execute it, follow instructions.
    5. Your phone WILL reboot when installation has completed and it will go into the default recovery for the first boot.
    6. Reboot to system from recovery to allow the installer to clean up after installation (it is safe to skip this step).
    7. Enjoy DUAL RECOVERY!
      Don't forget to make a donation or thank the OP in the original thread

    Unlock the Bootloader:
    This will wipe your phone, so backup your stuff
    You only need to unlock the bootloader if you want to run either a custom kernel or a custom ROM. Most ROMs based on the Sony releases will run on a locked bootloader.

    Instructions:

    1. Go to Sony's Developer site
    2. Request the unlock key and check your mail straight away. Email is quick these days.
    3. Open the latest Flashtool on your computer
    4. Click the "BLU" icon
    5. Follow the steps and enter your unlock key


    Install Custom ROM:
    To install a custom ROM you will have to complete the steps above (ROOT, Back up the TA Partition, and Unlock the Bootloader) you dont need to have installed recovery but it will help you make a backup of the current state of your device.

    After the above are done:
    Backup current software with custom recovery (TWRP or cwm - use the same recovery the the new ROM uses*)
    1. Downlod ROM
    2. Extract boot.img from within the .zip
    3. Flash the boot.img (not absolutely necessary but will mean you are on a recovery that is tested to work with the ROM)
      In fastboot mode use either flashtool or the fastboot commands
      - If you want to use the boot.img's recovery to make a back up of the current software/state of the device use:
      • Code:
        fastboot boot boot.img
      - or if you just want to flash the kernel and recovery to flash the ROM use:
      • Code:
        fastboot flash boot boot.img 
        fastboot reboot
    4. Wipe Data
    5. Wipe Cache
    6. Wipe Delvik Cache
    7. Flash ROM
    8. Reboot

    *CM based ROMs normally use CWM. Slim and Omni based normally use TWRP

    Using flashtool:
    Please use this very good guide: Flashtool XZU


    Back to Stock:

    To get back to pure stock Sony there are several things that need to be done:

    1. Make sure you have root
    2. Backup any data/photos/etc on the phone
    3. Restore your TA backup with the TA backup tool above
      • If you are on a custom kernel or ROM you ZU will not boot at this stage
    4. Start flashtool and load a FTF
    5. Start the flash and wait for the onscreen instructions to connect the ZU
    6. Connect your ZU in flashmode
      • With the ZU powered off
      • Connect to PC while holding the volume down key
      • Flash will start
    7. Wait for flash to complete

    Handy Links:
    FTFs: The FTF depository thread
    Flashtool: http://flashtool.net
    SuperSU: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.supersu&hl=en

    Glossary:
    FTF: A flashable package of Sony's stock firmware. These can be found in The FTF depository thread

    TA Partition: The TA partition is the "Trim Area" there are lots of things stored in here like root cert, revoked certs, DRM keys, current firmware,... the list goe on. What we are concerned with is the DRM keys. Some service centres will not service a Sony device if these are missing. Unlocking the BL will erase these.

    Bootloader or BL: This is the thing that loads Android. To run a custom ROM (non Sony) you have to unlock this

    Root: You are GOD

    boot.img: The kernel and recovery (on Xperia)

    XDA:DevDB Information
    Z-Ultra Root Guide, Tool/Utility for the Sony Xperia Z Ultra

    Contributors
    blueether, H. E. Pennypacker, adfurgerson, LordManhattan, [NUT], geohot, many others

    Version Information
    Status: Stable

    Created 2014-11-13
    Last Updated 2015-01-01
    2
    Now I have root for Lollipop for locked and unlocked bootloader for C6833 and C6802

    Now I have direct root on Lollipop. Wait for post tomorrow (I need time to translate it in English) :p
    Work 100% .
    2
    No need to backup TA for root, its only when you unlock bootloader. Dont be afraid! ?

    Sent from my C6833 using XDA Free mobile app
    2
    I got a rooted C6833. If I wanted to unlock the Bootloader, would I need to use the sony website to get an unlock code? Are there alternatives to that?
    AFAIK, rooting can be removed by reflashing the stock rom, thereby keeping the warranty. I am not interested to install a custom rom yet, but if or when I get bored and want to try out 5.0, I might be interested.
    I bought mine from amazon warehouse deals.

    1/ back up the TA
    2/ get code from sony
    3/ unlock via flashtool or fastboot

    Yes flashing a FTF will remove root, warranty may or may not be OK with a unlocked BL - that is why we back up the TA as restoring the backup, then flashing a FTF will make it as if nothing was done.
    2
    does bootloader automatically gets locked after flashing ftf or we manually have to do it?

    You will have to do it your self by restoring the TA back up (or if you dont have that by using flashtool or fastboot)