[RECOVERY][UNOFFICIAL] TWRP 3.7.0 for 2019 Galaxy Tab A 8.0 [SM-T290]

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Magendanz

Senior Member
Mar 25, 2008
941
976
Issaquah, WA
www.Vote4Chad.com
twrp-featured.jpg

What's posted below is a work in progress, but it should suffice to unblock efforts to build custom ROMs for this low-cost tablet. My thanks to @mehanik6 for blazing this trail on 4PDA.

Notes:
  • The current process requires you to reset to factory defaults to remove file-based encryption. Remember to backup your data!
  • This is unofficial and unsupported, so the usual caveats apply. Since we don't flash the bootloader, you should be able recover from any problems...but nothing is guaranteed.

Not working:
  • Support for file-based encryption

Downloads:
Build Archives:
Change Log:
v3.7.0_11-0: (2022-11-20)
v3.6.1_11-0: (2022-03-27)
  • Updated to TWRP 3.6.1 release built from AOSP-11 branch.
  • Updated to T290XXU3CUK4 OEM stock kernel.
  • Using FFS MTP so that custom kernel builds are no longer necessary.
v3.6.0_11-1: (2022-02-20)
  • Added wipeingui for ext4 partitions.
v3.6.0_11-0: (2022-01-23)
v3.5.2_9-0: (2021-10-17)
  • Updated to T290XXU3CUG4 posted kernel source.
v3.5.2_9-0: (2021-05-16)
  • Updated to T290XXU3BUC1 posted kernel source.
  • Updated to TWRP 3.5.2 release built from android-9.0 branch.
v3.5.1_9-0: (2021-03-30)
  • Updated to T290XXU3BUB2 posted kernel source.
  • Updated to TWRP 3.5.1 release built from android-9.0 branch.
v3.5.0_9-0: (2021-01-02)
  • Updated to T290XXU3BTI2 posted kernel source.
  • Updated to TWRP 3.5.0 release built from android-9.0 branch.
v3.4.0-1: (2000-12-09)
  • New custom T290XXS3ATC1 kernel that actually fixes MTP support.
v3.4.0-0: (2000-12-04)
  • Included legacy aboot and vaultkeeper in tarball to allow Odin flash on Android 10 OEM firmware.
v3.4.0-0:
  • Initial release based on @mehanik6's device tree and T290UES3ATC1 kernel.
  • Fixed MTP
  • Default language is now English

Instructions:
From OEM stock firmware:
From existing TWRP install: (No need for data wipe.)
  • Hold Power & Vol Up during restart to enter TWRP recovery
  • Tap Install->Install Image, select your image (.img) file, pick Recovery partition, and then swipe to install
  • Reboot to system

What about rooting with Magisk?
These images are not supplied pre-rooted with Magisk, since it's against the terms of use laid out by Magisk's developer, John Wu. To root the TWRP image yourself, simply use Magisk Manager to Select and Patch a File. More details on this process are available from @ianmacd's topic for the Galaxy S10 series here.

Source:

Donations:
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Last edited:

dark_friend

New member
Jan 13, 2021
2
0
I have tried installing via Odin your twrp custom recovery for my t290 device.
The process with Odin seem to go well and after installation my device restarts however, when I press the + volume button, android recovery shows up and not TWRP.
Any idea why?
 

Magendanz

Senior Member
Mar 25, 2008
941
976
Issaquah, WA
www.Vote4Chad.com
I have tried installing via Odin your twrp custom recovery for my t290 device.
The process with Odin seem to go well and after installation my device restarts however, when I press the + volume button, android recovery shows up and not TWRP.
Any idea why?
There are two issues here:
  1. The process of entering recovery on the SM-T290 using buttons is really finicky, unlike the 10.1" version. My best result has been with holding Power + Vol Up on startup, quickly switching to hit Power to dismiss the bootloader unlock warning page, and then immediately holding Power + Vol Up again for 6 seconds. (Holding longer will cause a hard reset.)
  2. If you miss on the first attempt and haven't installed Multidisabler, it will revert your custom recovery to the stock OEM recovery.
So, try your best to get it right the first time, and don't be surprised if you end up with stock recovery if you mess up.
 

dark_friend

New member
Jan 13, 2021
2
0
There are two issues here:
  1. The process of entering recovery on the SM-T290 using buttons is really finicky, unlike the 10.1" version. My best result has been with holding Power + Vol Up on startup, quickly switching to hit Power to dismiss the bootloader unlock warning page, and then immediately holding Power + Vol Up again for 6 seconds. (Holding longer will cause a hard reset.)
  2. If you miss on the first attempt and haven't installed Multidisabler, it will revert your custom recovery to the stock OEM recovery.
So, try your best to get it right the first time, and don't be surprised if you end up with stock recovery if you mess up.
Got it! thank you very much!
 
Last edited:

Heeni

Senior Member
There are two issues here:
  1. The process of entering recovery on the SM-T290 using buttons is really finicky, unlike the 10.1" version. My best result has been with holding Power + Vol Up on startup, quickly switching to hit Power to dismiss the bootloader unlock warning page, and then immediately holding Power + Vol Up again for 6 seconds. (Holding longer will cause a hard reset.)
  2. If you miss on the first attempt and haven't installed Multidisabler, it will revert your custom recovery to the stock OEM recovery.
So, try your best to get it right the first time, and don't be surprised if you end up with stock recovery if you mess up.

Presumably, if you miss the first time, you reflash and try again? (and as many times as needed?)
 

Magendanz

Senior Member
Mar 25, 2008
941
976
Issaquah, WA
www.Vote4Chad.com
Presumably, if you miss the first time, you reflash and try again? (and as many times as needed?)
If you miss, hold Power + Vol Down for 7 seconds during the boot animation to do a hard reset and try again. Alternatively, you can wait for it to finish booting and then restart, but then you risk Samsung's VaultKeeper "feature" putting the bootloader into a stealth locked state. You can prevent that by connecting to the Internet, enabling Developer Options, and then confirming the OEM Unlocking state as soon as you finish setup. (You don't need to log into Google or Samsung services for Vaultkeeper to maintain the bootloader unlock, but you've got to have Internet access and reenable Developer Options right away.)
 

Heeni

Senior Member
Thanks for pointing out some of the potential potholes along the way. I'm not a stranger to modding, but have experience only with fastboot, so the Samsung method is a whole new ballgame for me. Maybe I just need to take a deep breath and jump in. And backup everything before starting.
 

Magendanz

Senior Member
Mar 25, 2008
941
976
Issaquah, WA
www.Vote4Chad.com
Thanks for pointing out some of the potential potholes along the way. I'm not a stranger to modding, but have experience only with fastboot, so the Samsung method is a whole new ballgame for me. Maybe I just need to take a deep breath and jump in. And backup everything before starting.
Yeah, it never ceases to amaze me how Samsung believes it's adding value with Knox security features like Vaultkeeper and its special Download mode that only works with Odin. My main phone is a Pixel 4a, and I've never felt that Google has taken any flak for making bootloader unlocking and firmware flashing painless. Why does Samsung feel the need to reinvent the wheel?
 

Heeni

Senior Member
Somewhat to my surprise, I was able to get TWRP installed and boot into it on the first try. :) In fact, the biggest difficulty by far was getting Samsung drivers to work in my Windows 10 vm. The vm is still having problems, so hopefully, now that TWRP is installed, I won't need to use Odin for a while.
 

Heeni

Senior Member
Tried patching TWRP with Magisk. No bootloops or other drama, but wifi doesn't work. I notice on the Magisk Github site that a number of people are running into this. Fortunately, restoring the unpatched TWRP also restored wifi.

I think I can live without root much more easily than without wifi!
 

temporarium

Senior Member
Tried patching TWRP with Magisk. No bootloops or other drama, but wifi doesn't work. I notice on the Magisk Github site that a number of people are running into this. Fortunately, restoring the unpatched TWRP also restored wifi.

I think I can live without root much more easily than without wifi!
I have root and wifi, but didn't use the TWRP install method
 

Heeni

Senior Member
Further to this post about the inability to set a password, PIN or pattern:

I reflashed the stock ROM and I can verify the following:-

Stock ROM with (or without) bootloader unlocked will allow me to set up a PIN (I didn't try the other options but would expect that they'd work.

As soon as I install TWRP, the stock ROM will no longer allow me to set up a PIN. I can have "swipe" or "nothing" to unlock, and that's it.

I've tried installing LineageOS 17 GSI, LineageOS 18 GSI and Magendanz's Nexus stock ROM. None of these will accept a PIN, password or pattern.


Therefore, I think that the issue has to do with TWRP, or possibly with something in the multidisabler script.

Googling has come up with nothing other than the instruction to remove /data/system/locksettings.db and related files. I've tried this numerous times without success. I've even tried comparing permissions and ownership with the (working) equivalent on my Moto phones, with no luck.

I'm happy to do any tests, provide logs etc if it would help. The only other alternative seems to be to revert to stock if I need to travel. :(
 

Wadzii

Member
Mar 7, 2009
20
0
I'm going to be using the table in an install that does not allow easy access to be able to use the physical buttons, if I lock the boot loader back after all this will it keep root?

I need root so that I can modify the files necessary to make the tablet turn on automatically whenever power is connected.
 

JCARLOS123

Member
Mar 9, 2017
44
5
Hello,
I am new to TWRP. I have a couple of questions. What is the proper way to back up your rom? I mean what boxes should i check when creating a backup? Also, what is the proper way to do a wipe when I want to restore a backup of a rom? I find myself having to reflash the rom all over again when I try to restore a backup. The rom freezes on the google bootup icon with the bar going across every time I try to restore a backup. I notice that the google icon flickers when it is not going to bootup. I think it has something to do with what I select when I wipe before I restore the rom. I have installed twrp-3.5.0_9-0-T290XXU3BTI2-20210102.tar.md5, Nexus_Stock_AQ_T290XXS3BTL6-20210104, Magisk-v21.4. I love the ROM b the way. Thank You for your hard work. Very much appreciate any assistance.

Thank You,
 

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  • 1
    If that must have been..... Happy New Year 🎇🎆👍

    One more query when I turn off my device and put it to charge it does not go past this screen.....will it be because I previously deleted the system or is it the twrp?
    That's normal. I have the same issue, and it's because you use the bootloader from Android 9 Pie on an Android 11 operating system. If you want it to correctly charge, your device must always be on while doing it.
    1
    Yes, you're one of the lucky users who can follow your rooting guide .. ;)
    1
    Well, I assume you're right ... for your device ..
    Mine (on A11 as well ..) seems to behave differently, see attachments.

    Treble Info say it's an A/B device ..
    Even when you're looking for the stock firmware you can see a difference in the naming scheme of the files:

    SM-290_1_20210607...BUE1 (latest A10 firmware, may _1 meens A-only ?)
    SM-290_2_20210622...CUF8 (first A11 firmware, may _2 meens A/B ?)

    Could it be, that samsung changed the partitioning scheme from A10 to A11 ???
    The result could be that the ones that did an OTA update from A10 to A11 remain on A-Only while the ones who sold the device with A11 or did flash it with stock A11 now are on an A/B partitioning scheme ?
    Your screenshot shows that there is no seamless updates. A/B must be able to do Seamless Updates. If it cannot do Seamless Updates, then it isn't A/B. Google calls A/B and seamless updates the exact same thing: https://source.android.com/docs/core/ota/ab

    This app appears to assume that all devices that are system-as-root are A/B devices, which is not the case. system-as-root works on A-only devices as well, and is often the default configuration for many devices on stock and on custom ROMs. Perhaps this should be suggested in a bug report to the app developer.

    In fact, as far as I'm aware, there is no Samsung device that support seamless updates. Not even the Galaxy S22 supports it.
    1
    Ahh ok, thanks for clearification :)
    Then I'm wondering why s.o. can flash an AB-GSI on this device ... ? :unsure:

    A GSI is differently built depending on whether a device is system-as-root or not. When seamless updates were first launched, A/B devices were the only devices that were SAR, but now all modern devices are SAR. This is why people call it an A/B GSI, although the name isn't entirely correct in today's standards.

    So A/B GSI: system-as-root, A-only GSI: not system-as-root. Since we are SAR, we flash A/B GSIs, and A-only GSIs won't work because our kernel will not support it.

    So anyway, no Samsung device has A/B to this day, and we are no exception. The problem with your device and TWRP lies elsewhere.

    @Magendanz I'm not well versed in building recoveries, but I do have a fully functional LineageOS build. Do you wanna try taking my boot.img and repack it into TWRP? Entirely possible the stock boot.img just hates us.
    1
    I didn't get far. I am just presuming there were some SW changes somewhere and I'm screwed for the most part. Bootloader unlocked but it's otherwise useless for me since flashing anything to get TWRP is met with a black screen.

    Kind of bummed about it thb

    At least you're not alone .. ;)
    You can follow the latest tries (with LOS recovery) in this thread
  • 4
    New release just posted...

    Downloads:
    Change Log:
    v3.5.2_9-0: (2021-10-17)
    • Updated to T290XXU3CUG4 posted kernel source.
    3
    For those wanting to try something new, I've built TWRP 3.6.0 for this device on AOSP11. Technically, this version isn't released yet, so there could be some bugs. That said, it's nice to be done with OmniROM and building on a more current AOSP foundation (which we can do because we've got an Android 11 kernel now).

    twrp-3.6.0_11-0-T290XXU3CUG4-20211125.img

    There's no Odin tarball release for this yet, so just flash the image file from within an older version of TWRP.
    3
    Could you upgrade TWRP for this tablet to 3.6.2? As a final release of TWRP for this tablet.
    Here's a 3.7.0 build...

    Downloads:
    Change Log:
    v3.7.0_11-0: (2022-11-20)
    2
    are there any custom roms for sm-t290?
    I'll have a release of my Nexus Stock custom ROM shortly. It's basically the same as what I've been releasing for the 10.1" version of this tablet over the past year. I'm basically just waiting for Samsung to post the latest kernel source.
    2
    Update for TWRP v3.5.0 release...

    Downloads:

    Change Log:
    v3.5.0_9-0:

    • Updated to T290XXU3BTI2 posted kernel source.
    • Updated to TWRP 3.5.0 release built from android-9.0 branch.