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[HOW-TO][ROOT][5.02][SGP621] Rooted Lollipop on Locked Bootloader

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hellocng

Senior Member
Apr 14, 2011
204
98
Vancouver
www.hellocng.com
There are quite a few threads that have all the information but for new Z3TC owners, it can be challenging to know where to start and to understand the process.

How I started here is recently purchasing a Rogers Z3TC and to my surprise, the bootloader cannot be unlocked. I shouldn't have been surprised since carriers do tend to lock the bootloaders and if I did my research, I would have found out that Sony offers unlockable and non-unlockable versions of the same hardware. I have never had to worry about having a recovery to root the device or install custom ROMs with root. For anyone new to Android, the recovery is probably the single most important mode to setting up your device the way you want. A prerequisite for that is of course an unlocked bootloader so you can install the recovery of your choice - ClockworkMod (CWM) or TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP).

So what makes the process confusing for some new Z3TC owners, such as myself, is that the process is somewhat backward. For most of my previous devices, it is:

1. Unlock bootloader
2. Install recovery
3. Gain root through flashing SuperSU or a rooted custom ROM

Because for my Rogers Z3TC cannot be bootloader unlocked, the process now looks like this:

1. Obtain root
2. Install recovery
3. Flash a pre-rooted Lollipop ROM

The only way we can get root on Lollipop is on a pre-rooted ROM because there is no exploit yet to do it directly. The only way we can install a pre-rooted ROM is through a custom recovery. The only way we can get a custom recovery is to be rooted. For unlocked bootloaders, they can get recovery through flashing the img of the recovery. The only way we can obtain root is through an exploit on a Z3 ROM, which thankfully works on the Z3TC due to the similar hardware.

So without quoting all the instructions of each step, I will provide the links and you just have to follow the instructions for each part.

Before you begin, you will need Flashtool and install the drivers for Flashmode and your device. You will not need Fastboot because unfortunately, you wont be doing anything with it on a locked bootloader. You may install it if you want.

If you are on Windows 8.1/10, you will need to to disable driver signature.

1. Obtain root by first flashing SGP621_23.0.1.A.0.167_CE.ftf and the system partition of D6603_23.0.A.2.93_Generic_20GLOBAL.ftf. Then use giefroot to root.
2. Prepare prerooted flashable zip of 23.1.A.0.690 NOBA on your internal storage or external SD.
3. Install XZDualRecovery and now you will have TWRP to install 23.1.A.0.690 NOBA on your SD card.

I would finish off by running SGP621-RICDefeat.zip to get R/W system access.

This is the simple template that I would imagine be the way those of us with locked bootloaders will install custom ROMs, obtain root or upgrade Android.

Thank you @lowtraxx for the root instructions and @[NUT] for the XZDualRecovery.
 

ux50jp

Senior Member
Oct 23, 2010
264
60
I am running stock Lollipop now.
If I take above mentioned steps,
do I lose the data with apps and settings I am using now?
 

hellocng

Senior Member
Apr 14, 2011
204
98
Vancouver
www.hellocng.com
I am running stock Lollipop now.
If I take above mentioned steps,
do I lose the data with apps and settings I am using now?

I have tried downgrading from Lollipop back to step one without wipe in Flashtool but I think the system data are incompatible and caused bootloop.

Once I flashed a fresh SGP621_23.0.1.A.0.167_CE.ftf, I did not bother setting up any apps until I did a fresh install of the pre-rooted Lollipop ROM. If you can back up everything first, that would be best. If you cannot, try Flashtool without wipe and worst case scenario if you bootloop, there is a shut off button beside the SIM card tray and you can still get back into Flashmode.
 
Last edited:

GigaSPX

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2012
1,171
408
I have tried downgrading from Lollipop back to step one without wipe in Flashtool but I think the system data are incompatible and caused bootloop.

Once I flashed a fresh SGP621_23.0.1.A.0.167_CE.ftf, I did not bother setting up any apps until I did a fresh install of the pre-rooted Lollipop ROM. If you can back up everything first, that would be best. If you cannot, try Flashtool without wipe and worst case scenario if you bootloop, there is a shut off button beside the SIM card tray and you can still get back into Flashmode.

If someone could do a tutorial video, I think a lot of people along with myself would highly appreciate it. I tried doing root on locked bootloader prior to Lollipop, but it just wasn't happening for me. So I decided to give up and just update it since it was too much of a hassle.
 

scoobydu

Senior Member
May 16, 2005
476
44
Thanks for the post.

Has anyone else tried this?

I am wondering why the root method previously need to unlock the bootloader to get the 621 firmware back on an rooted.

What has changed for this to work without unlocking the bootloader?

Thanks in advance
 

Jiyeon90

Senior Member
Nov 8, 2012
987
234
1. Obtain root by first flashing SGP621_23.0.1.A.0.167_CE.ftf and the system partition of D6603_23.0.A.2.93_Generic_20GLOBAL.ftf. Then use giefroot to root.
2. Prepare prerooted flashable zip of 23.1.A.0.690 NOBA on your internal storage or external SD.
3. Install XZDualRecovery and now you will have TWRP to install 23.1.A.0.690 NOBA on your SD card.

I would finish off by running SGP621-RICDefeat.zip to get R/W system access.

This is the simple template that I would imagine be the way those of us with locked bootloaders will install custom ROMs, obtain root or upgrade Android.

Thank you @lowtraxx for the root instructions and @[NUT] for the XZDualRecovery.

Will I lose my drm keys by doing this? I want to get root but dont wanna unlock my bootloader
 

Speedy Gonzalez

Senior Member
May 4, 2011
266
75
Louisiana
Will I lose my drm keys by doing this? I want to get root but dont wanna unlock my bootloader

yes if you don't follow this steps

1- flash stock 4.4.4 with flashtool
2-flash the 4.4.4 Z3 system only" with flastool
3-factory reset in settings enable usb debuging etc,etc
4-obtain root with giefroot
5-backup TA partition
6-unlock boot loader
7-install dual recovery
8-flash prerooted 5.0.2 with custom recovery
9- gain get system R/W access with ricdefeat
10-relock boot loader restoring TA

good luck ;)
 
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hellocng

Senior Member
Apr 14, 2011
204
98
Vancouver
www.hellocng.com
Will I lose my drm keys by doing this? I want to get root but dont wanna unlock my bootloader

No, we cannot unlock our bootloader so we will not lose DRM.

yes if you don't follow this steps

1- flash stock 4.4.4 with flashtool
2-flash the 4.4.4 Z3 system only" with flastool
3-factory reset in settings enable usb debuging etc,etc
4-obtain root with giefroot
5-backup TA partition
6-unlock boot loader
7-install dual recovery
8-flash prerooted 5.0.2 with custom recovery
9- gain get system R/W access with ricdefeat
10-relock boot loader restoring TA

good luck ;)

Step 3 and 5 is not necessary because we cant do step 6.
 

ux50jp

Senior Member
Oct 23, 2010
264
60
1. Obtain root by first flashing SGP621_23.0.1.A.0.167_CE.ftf and the system partition of D6603_23.0.A.2.93_Generic_20GLOBAL.ftf. Then use giefroot to root.
2. Prepare prerooted flashable zip of 23.1.A.0.690 NOBA on your internal storage or external SD.
3. Install XZDualRecovery and now you will have TWRP to install 23.1.A.0.690 NOBA on your SD card.

I would finish off by running SGP621-RICDefeat.zip to get R/W system access.

These steps don't unlock bootloader. So DRM stays intact. No need to backup/restore TA!!!
 

Jiyeon90

Senior Member
Nov 8, 2012
987
234
Thank you, its working now, yeah no need to backup TA, unlock bootloader, etc.
It was a bit tricky but not as hard as in the other threads.
I did one mistake, I flashed the SGP621 pre-rooted zip on my SGP611, it wouldnt turn on obviously, so I created a pre-rooted file for the SGP611 and now I'm on lollipop with root and dual recovery :)
Flashing the ricdefeat file fails everytime though but thats a very minor issue.

Here's the pre-rooted file for the SGP611 users
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz4ANHmLVuVTR2FqWHEzemxORjg/view?usp=sharing

It seems really hard to brick the device too, I ran out of space on my pc while flashing 4.4.4 with flashtool so the processes was aborted at about 50% but I was still able to get into flash mode again.
 
Last edited:

GigaSPX

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2012
1,171
408
Thank you, its working now, yeah no need to backup TA, unlock bootloader, etc.
It was a bit tricky but not as hard as in the other threads.
I did one mistake, I flashed the SGP621 pre-rooted zip on my SGP611, it wouldnt turn on obviously, so I created a pre-rooted file for the SGP611 and now I'm on lollipop with root and dual recovery :)
Flashing the ricdefeat file fails everytime though but thats a very minor issue.

Here's the pre-rooted file for the SGP611 users
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz4ANHmLVuVTR2FqWHEzemxORjg/view?usp=sharing

It seems really hard to brick the device too, I ran out of space on my pc while flashing 4.4.4 with flashtool so the processes was aborted at about 50% but I was still able to get into flash mode again.

Could that prerooted 611 file work on my lollipop 612? Or would it need 612 specifically to work?

Thanks
 

Jiyeon90

Senior Member
Nov 8, 2012
987
234
Could that prerooted 611 file work on my lollipop 612? Or would it need 612 specifically to work?

Thanks
I'm not sure, you could give it a try.

Or just make a pre-rooted file yourself, it's quite easy, just remember to use the right lollipop .FTF file for your 612 device.
 

Jiyeon90

Senior Member
Nov 8, 2012
987
234
Just follow the same instructions from the first post?

Yes, what I did was.
Downgrade to 4.4.4 using flashtool, if you are on 611 or 612 dont use the ftf file in the first post as your device wont turn on, use the correct ftf file for your device.
Flash z3 compact system using flashtool (dont wipe anything and exclude everything but system, you will end up with with the z3 system and you will get error messages when you turn it on, thats fine)
Root using giefrrot (it took me 3 tries to get it rooted)
Install double recovery.
Put the pre-rooted file in your phone memory or sd card.
Flash the pre-rooted lollipop file and reboot, thats all.

But as you have the 612 device I would recommend you to make your own pre-rooted file, just follow these instructions
http://forum.xda-developers.com/crossdevice-dev/sony/tool-prfcreator-easily-create-pre-t2859904
 
Last edited:
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hellocng

Senior Member
Apr 14, 2011
204
98
Vancouver
www.hellocng.com
Flashing the ricdefeat file fails everytime though but thats a very minor issue.

It seems really hard to brick the device too, I ran out of space on my pc while flashing 4.4.4 with flashtool so the processes was aborted at about 50% but I was still able to get into flash mode again.

The RICDefeat is quite important if you want to remove bloatware or alter the system in anyway, which is one of my prime reasons for rooting. What was the error or message?

Flash mode is intact as long as the bootloader is locked as we cannot modify any of the kernel or boot partitions.
 

GigaSPX

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2012
1,171
408
Yes, what I did was.
Downgrade to 4.4.4 using flashtool, if you are on 611 or 612 dont use the ftf file in the first post as your device wont turn on, use the correct ftf file for your device.
Flash z3 compact system using flashtool (dont wipe anything and exclude everything but system, you will end up with with the z3 system and you will get error messages when you turn it on, thats fine)
Root using giefrrot (it took me 3 tries to get it rooted)
Install double recovery.
Put the pre-rooted file in your phone memory or sd card.
Flash the pre-rooted lollipop file and reboot, thats all.

But as you have the 612 device I would recommend you to make your own pre-rooted file, just follow these instructions
http://forum.xda-developers.com/crossdevice-dev/sony/tool-prfcreator-easily-create-pre-t2859904

I want to personally thank you for the instructions. I'm now running perfectly as is prerooted Lollipop SGP612. It took me several tries too with the rooting with giefroot because each time I run it, I can't get it connected to USB anymore, which I had to constantly restart to get.
 

Jiyeon90

Senior Member
Nov 8, 2012
987
234
The RICDefeat is quite important if you want to remove bloatware or alter the system in anyway, which is one of my prime reasons for rooting. What was the error or message?

Flash mode is intact as long as the bootloader is locked as we cannot modify any of the kernel or boot partitions.
I don't remember what error message I got, all I remember is seeing the word 'aborted' with the green Android guy laying down.

I have removed several apps that came pre-installed using titanium backup, I also installed the SD card fix so I can use the SD card freely. I haven't had a single issue so far.

---------- Post added at 12:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:03 AM ----------

I want to personally thank you for the instructions. I'm now running perfectly as is prerooted Lollipop SGP612. It took me several tries too with the rooting with giefroot because each time I run it, I can't get it connected to USB anymore, which I had to constantly restart to get.
No problem, glad I could help [emoji2]
 

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  • 15
    There are quite a few threads that have all the information but for new Z3TC owners, it can be challenging to know where to start and to understand the process.

    How I started here is recently purchasing a Rogers Z3TC and to my surprise, the bootloader cannot be unlocked. I shouldn't have been surprised since carriers do tend to lock the bootloaders and if I did my research, I would have found out that Sony offers unlockable and non-unlockable versions of the same hardware. I have never had to worry about having a recovery to root the device or install custom ROMs with root. For anyone new to Android, the recovery is probably the single most important mode to setting up your device the way you want. A prerequisite for that is of course an unlocked bootloader so you can install the recovery of your choice - ClockworkMod (CWM) or TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP).

    So what makes the process confusing for some new Z3TC owners, such as myself, is that the process is somewhat backward. For most of my previous devices, it is:

    1. Unlock bootloader
    2. Install recovery
    3. Gain root through flashing SuperSU or a rooted custom ROM

    Because for my Rogers Z3TC cannot be bootloader unlocked, the process now looks like this:

    1. Obtain root
    2. Install recovery
    3. Flash a pre-rooted Lollipop ROM

    The only way we can get root on Lollipop is on a pre-rooted ROM because there is no exploit yet to do it directly. The only way we can install a pre-rooted ROM is through a custom recovery. The only way we can get a custom recovery is to be rooted. For unlocked bootloaders, they can get recovery through flashing the img of the recovery. The only way we can obtain root is through an exploit on a Z3 ROM, which thankfully works on the Z3TC due to the similar hardware.

    So without quoting all the instructions of each step, I will provide the links and you just have to follow the instructions for each part.

    Before you begin, you will need Flashtool and install the drivers for Flashmode and your device. You will not need Fastboot because unfortunately, you wont be doing anything with it on a locked bootloader. You may install it if you want.

    If you are on Windows 8.1/10, you will need to to disable driver signature.

    1. Obtain root by first flashing SGP621_23.0.1.A.0.167_CE.ftf and the system partition of D6603_23.0.A.2.93_Generic_20GLOBAL.ftf. Then use giefroot to root.
    2. Prepare prerooted flashable zip of 23.1.A.0.690 NOBA on your internal storage or external SD.
    3. Install XZDualRecovery and now you will have TWRP to install 23.1.A.0.690 NOBA on your SD card.

    I would finish off by running SGP621-RICDefeat.zip to get R/W system access.

    This is the simple template that I would imagine be the way those of us with locked bootloaders will install custom ROMs, obtain root or upgrade Android.

    Thank you @lowtraxx for the root instructions and @[NUT] for the XZDualRecovery.
    3
    I have tried downgrading from Lollipop back to step one without wipe in Flashtool but I think the system data are incompatible and caused bootloop.

    Once I flashed a fresh SGP621_23.0.1.A.0.167_CE.ftf, I did not bother setting up any apps until I did a fresh install of the pre-rooted Lollipop ROM. If you can back up everything first, that would be best. If you cannot, try Flashtool without wipe and worst case scenario if you bootloop, there is a shut off button beside the SIM card tray and you can still get back into Flashmode.

    If someone could do a tutorial video, I think a lot of people along with myself would highly appreciate it. I tried doing root on locked bootloader prior to Lollipop, but it just wasn't happening for me. So I decided to give up and just update it since it was too much of a hassle.
    2
    I am running stock Lollipop now.
    If I take above mentioned steps,
    do I lose the data with apps and settings I am using now?

    I have tried downgrading from Lollipop back to step one without wipe in Flashtool but I think the system data are incompatible and caused bootloop.

    Once I flashed a fresh SGP621_23.0.1.A.0.167_CE.ftf, I did not bother setting up any apps until I did a fresh install of the pre-rooted Lollipop ROM. If you can back up everything first, that would be best. If you cannot, try Flashtool without wipe and worst case scenario if you bootloop, there is a shut off button beside the SIM card tray and you can still get back into Flashmode.
    2
    So I can get root even if I skip step 3, 5, and 6?

    Yes.
    1
    Will I lose my drm keys by doing this? I want to get root but dont wanna unlock my bootloader

    yes if you don't follow this steps

    1- flash stock 4.4.4 with flashtool
    2-flash the 4.4.4 Z3 system only" with flastool
    3-factory reset in settings enable usb debuging etc,etc
    4-obtain root with giefroot
    5-backup TA partition
    6-unlock boot loader
    7-install dual recovery
    8-flash prerooted 5.0.2 with custom recovery
    9- gain get system R/W access with ricdefeat
    10-relock boot loader restoring TA

    good luck ;)