New Root Method for AT&T Samsung Galaxy S 4 (OTA MF3 + Safe update to MK2)

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jortex

Member
Dec 24, 2011
43
688
HOWTO:
  1. Use a card reader to format the micro SD card to exFAT (FAT32 or other formats does not work) in Windows. I haven't tried Linux or MacOS X, so they may not work.
  2. Download the attached file (Root_for_ATTSG4_FM3.rar) and extract it into the root of your EXTERNAL microSD card using the card reader in Windows. (You can do the extraction using WinRAR or 7-zip).
  3. Put the SD card back to the phone and download the Android Terminal Emulator app.
  4. Open the Terminal Emulator app and run below 3 commands:
    Code:
    cd /mnt/extSdCard
    ./pwn
    ./script.sh
  5. Then, open SuperSU and check everything looks good.
  6. Then open a root app and it should be working properly.
  7. Reboot your device once to confirm root is still working after reboot.
  8. Come back to the post and press the THANKS button :)

Notes:
  • I uploaded a screenshot from the Terminal screen where the instructions are entered. Yours should be the same except you don't need to enter the "ls -l" command. It's just to show what files I have on the SD card. Ignore LOST.DIR directory.
  • Remove any SuperSU apps from your phone before following the above steps. script.sh installs it automatically.
  • You can use adb shell instead of a terminal app which is more convenient but requires Android SDK. Follow these steps only if you are about to use adb:
    • Download and install all Samsung Galaxy S 4 drivers from here.
    • Activate Developer options -> USB Debugging mode. To have the phone show the Developer options, go to Settings -> More -> About device. Tap on "Build number" 6 times.
  • You have to use an external SD card. No other alternative have been found yet. Using the device storage, i.e. /mnt/sdcard, or /data/local/tmp, DOES NOT work.
  • Warning (suggested by rushi.1986): "We have root for MF3 but we neither have a working recovery, nor an ODIN back to stock package. Be very careful what you do with your root. At this point, there is no way to recover even from a soft brick. (unless you know exactly what caused the soft brick and can correct it using adb)"
  • For those who do not know how to format an SD card on Windows (thanks to jee'sgalaxy):
    1. Insert the micro SD into the computer (may have to use a reader or a micro SD adapter).
    2. Go to "My Computer".
    3. Right click on your SD card that showed up.
    4. Click Format.
    5. Choose exFAT as the format.
    6. Click "OK".

Stopping AT&T Auto Software Update
Since AT&T just rolled out the new update (4.3), I add this short guide on how to stop it before it becomes late! Note that these steps require root, so you should follow the rooting steps first.
  1. Download and install "App Quarantine ROOT/FREEZE" from Play Store.
  2. Open the app and go to settings by tapping on the wrench icon at the top right of the screen.
  3. Uncheck the "Hide system services" option.
  4. Go back to the app and select "AT&T Software update".
  5. Tap on the lock icon on the top right of the screen.
  6. It may ask you to enable the USB debugging.
  7. Feel safe from AT&T's new attack :D

How to get MK2 without losing root
I have tested this approach and it worked for myself. You should consider the risk of losing the root access and follow these steps on your on risk:
  1. Root your MF3 phone using the approach described earlier in this post.
  2. Stop AT&T from pushing the update as described above.
  3. Install Super SU Pro. Note that this is not a free app and it is an add-on for Super SU.
  4. Run Super SU. Go to Settings and check the "Survival Mode". If you don't have this option, probably you don't have the Pro version.
  5. Disable your guard against the AT&T update by enabling "AT&T Software update".
  6. Let the device update itself and hope for the best.

Don't forget to press the THANKS button. :)

Credits:
***Exploit adapted for AT&T by Jortex***
***Original Guide by Open1Your1Eyes0 for Verizon Galaxy S 4***
***Original Exploit by DooMLoRD***
 

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Last edited:

Billsfan99

Member
Jul 14, 2013
22
1
Buffalo
I get permission denied. In terminal emulator I type
CD /mnt/extSdCard
./pwn
Then it says permission denied

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using xda app-developers app
 

ddslee

Senior Member
Aug 18, 2010
75
4
Question

Does this mean that we can flash Google Edition rom on the MF3 AT&T S4?
Or do we have to wait until more exploits are discovered?

I was rocking GE rom until I went back to the stock Samsung ROM to SIM unlock my phone.
I got screwed by the OTA MF3 and have been following this forum everyday for a new root method.
 
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jortex

Member
Dec 24, 2011
43
688
Does this mean that we can flash Google Edition rom on the MF3 AT&T S4?
Or do we have to wait until more exploits are discovered?

I was rocking GE rom until I went back to the stock Samsung ROM to SIM unlock my phone.
I got screwed by the OTA MF3 and have been following this forum everyday for a new root method.

This only allows you to root your device. No method to use custom ROM has been found yet.
 
Last edited:

Nick James

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2011
484
128
OnePlus 9
Google Pixel 7 Pro
So my phone WAS rooted, stock ROM.
I installed the OTA update on accident.
Ran the new exploit
Installed SuperSU
It asked me if I wanted to update the binary, I told it "Continue" and it comes back with "failed"

I suspect this is because of my previous root?
 

jortex

Member
Dec 24, 2011
43
688
So my phone WAS rooted, stock ROM.
I installed the OTA update on accident.
Ran the new exploit
Installed SuperSU
It asked me if I wanted to update the binary, I told it "Continue" and it comes back with "failed"

I suspect this is because of my previous root?

No need to install anything yourself. Uninstall everything and run SuperSU. Let it update itself. If that doesn't work, a reboot may help.
Also try to make sure that you have root.
 
Last edited:

Nick James

Senior Member
Feb 5, 2011
484
128
OnePlus 9
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Yes. It is being installed by the script.sh. You just need to update it. That's it.
I'm not following you. What do you mean I just need to update it? The script never installed it. I had t download it from the market and once I did that it asked me, upon opening it for the first time, "The SU binary needs to be updated. Continue?" and when I hit Continue it then says "If you have a custome recovery like TWRP or CWM, that can be used to (try to) install the SU binary. this is recommended for HTC devices. How would you like to install the SU binary? Normal or TWRP/CWM

I've tried both options with no luck.
 
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jortex

Member
Dec 24, 2011
43
688
When I run the exploit, it also says my device isnt supported but stays it obtained root?

That's fine. It tries several exploits. The first one does not apply to your device (SG4), but the last one does.

UPDATE: You already "obtained root". Look at the prompt which is changed from $ to #. As wahbob suggested, continue running script.sh. This file installs SuperSU for you. Then you can run it without explicitly getting it from Play Store.
 
Last edited:

Trendkill21

Member
Dec 8, 2010
9
3
Sorry for the noob question but when I run the cd/mnt/extsdcard command I get a "not found". Does anybody know what I'm doing wrong?
 

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  • 632
    HOWTO:
    1. Use a card reader to format the micro SD card to exFAT (FAT32 or other formats does not work) in Windows. I haven't tried Linux or MacOS X, so they may not work.
    2. Download the attached file (Root_for_ATTSG4_FM3.rar) and extract it into the root of your EXTERNAL microSD card using the card reader in Windows. (You can do the extraction using WinRAR or 7-zip).
    3. Put the SD card back to the phone and download the Android Terminal Emulator app.
    4. Open the Terminal Emulator app and run below 3 commands:
      Code:
      cd /mnt/extSdCard
      ./pwn
      ./script.sh
    5. Then, open SuperSU and check everything looks good.
    6. Then open a root app and it should be working properly.
    7. Reboot your device once to confirm root is still working after reboot.
    8. Come back to the post and press the THANKS button :)

    Notes:
    • I uploaded a screenshot from the Terminal screen where the instructions are entered. Yours should be the same except you don't need to enter the "ls -l" command. It's just to show what files I have on the SD card. Ignore LOST.DIR directory.
    • Remove any SuperSU apps from your phone before following the above steps. script.sh installs it automatically.
    • You can use adb shell instead of a terminal app which is more convenient but requires Android SDK. Follow these steps only if you are about to use adb:
      • Download and install all Samsung Galaxy S 4 drivers from here.
      • Activate Developer options -> USB Debugging mode. To have the phone show the Developer options, go to Settings -> More -> About device. Tap on "Build number" 6 times.
    • You have to use an external SD card. No other alternative have been found yet. Using the device storage, i.e. /mnt/sdcard, or /data/local/tmp, DOES NOT work.
    • Warning (suggested by rushi.1986): "We have root for MF3 but we neither have a working recovery, nor an ODIN back to stock package. Be very careful what you do with your root. At this point, there is no way to recover even from a soft brick. (unless you know exactly what caused the soft brick and can correct it using adb)"
    • For those who do not know how to format an SD card on Windows (thanks to jee'sgalaxy):
      1. Insert the micro SD into the computer (may have to use a reader or a micro SD adapter).
      2. Go to "My Computer".
      3. Right click on your SD card that showed up.
      4. Click Format.
      5. Choose exFAT as the format.
      6. Click "OK".

    Stopping AT&T Auto Software Update
    Since AT&T just rolled out the new update (4.3), I add this short guide on how to stop it before it becomes late! Note that these steps require root, so you should follow the rooting steps first.
    1. Download and install "App Quarantine ROOT/FREEZE" from Play Store.
    2. Open the app and go to settings by tapping on the wrench icon at the top right of the screen.
    3. Uncheck the "Hide system services" option.
    4. Go back to the app and select "AT&T Software update".
    5. Tap on the lock icon on the top right of the screen.
    6. It may ask you to enable the USB debugging.
    7. Feel safe from AT&T's new attack :D

    How to get MK2 without losing root
    I have tested this approach and it worked for myself. You should consider the risk of losing the root access and follow these steps on your on risk:
    1. Root your MF3 phone using the approach described earlier in this post.
    2. Stop AT&T from pushing the update as described above.
    3. Install Super SU Pro. Note that this is not a free app and it is an add-on for Super SU.
    4. Run Super SU. Go to Settings and check the "Survival Mode". If you don't have this option, probably you don't have the Pro version.
    5. Disable your guard against the AT&T update by enabling "AT&T Software update".
    6. Let the device update itself and hope for the best.

    Don't forget to press the THANKS button. :)

    Credits:
    ***Exploit adapted for AT&T by Jortex***
    ***Original Guide by Open1Your1Eyes0 for Verizon Galaxy S 4***
    ***Original Exploit by DooMLoRD***
    14

    Sorry guys. I missed one step. You should format the external SD card to exFAT. Windows supports it.
    13
    Hopefully, this might help save some people a little trouble. Unfortunately, the ones that will get into this trouble usually don't take the time to read and learn about things they attempt in the first place. But, oh well, hear it goes...

    ............................................................................................................................................................................................................

    Do not use this or any other method to root if you have not read this entire thread.

    Do not use this or any other root method if you haven't read about or learned about any definite methods to unroot (if any exist).

    Do not modify or delete ANYTHING on your phone unless you know for sure what it is. Even then, use Titanium Backup (or similar) to just freeze apps to see what effect not having them will have on your phone. If nothing is effected, then delete them if you want to.

    You can not use custom recoveries or install custom ROMs on MF3 at this time. You can not ODIN to stock with MF3 and Kies will do you no good on MF3. If you screw something up on your phone, you more than likely can not fix it at this time. This is stated several times in this and many other threads that you should have already read.

    Use the forum's search function to find posts that will answer any questions you have. More than likely, your question or issue has already been posted and answered several times. Search, Read, and learn before you do ANYTHING to your phone. If the search function isn't working for you, use your eyes! You learn by researching and reading before you do anything to your phone, not by asking repetitive questions after you screw something up.

    Read the "pinned" threads that are at the top of the first pages in the "General" and "Q & A" sections. Also, visually scan the first couple of pages in each sub forum. More than likely you will find plenty of related posts and topics that already exist about any issue you may be having. This is part of the XDA rules and it is your responsibility to do so. By being in the XDA forums you agreed to the rules.

    Take responsibility for learning about your actions before you do anything. Stop thinking you can screw stuff up and just ask someone else to fix your problems because you didn't take the time to read and learn.


    .............................................................................................................................................................................................................

    Like I said, unfortunately many will not read this or use common sense in the first place. Understand, this post isn't directed at anyone individually. If you take personal offence to anything in this post, it is because you know that you didn't do what you should have done in the first place and you probably still aren't, If you put yourself in a bad situation because of one of the reasons I listed above, hopefully you have learned from your errors.

    I am making this post because the number of people "needing help" because of the reasons I listed above are getting to ridiculous numbers...and it's the same things over and over again.

    Taking responsibility for your actions, researching, and reading would have prevented almost all of the problems being posted over and over again.

    For the next 100 or so people that don't read and cause the same issues for themselves, please feel free to direct them to this post so they can see why they are in the mess they are in (not reading), and then hopefully take some time to search for the fix for their issue without asking 100 more redundant questions (again, because they didn't take the time to read).

    Search, read, learn, and enjoy. Good luck.
    11
    So my phone WAS rooted, stock ROM.
    I installed the OTA update on accident.
    Ran the new exploit
    Installed SuperSU
    It asked me if I wanted to update the binary, I told it "Continue" and it comes back with "failed"

    I suspect this is because of my previous root?

    No need to install anything yourself. Uninstall everything and run SuperSU. Let it update itself. If that doesn't work, a reboot may help.
    Also try to make sure that you have root.