Rooting a mobile phone is not always easy, but it differs from one phone to another. While some Android handsets can be rooted in a single-click, for others one needs to undergo a tedious procedure. Why root an Android mobile? The answer is pretty simple—rooting an Android is a method that allows you to gain administrative rights to the main operating system, which in turn allow you to tweak the device and even install custom firmware. This helps in increasing productivity, performance and also taps into hidden areas of the phone to reveal additional features that the manufacturer does not disclose.
The one good thing about Samsung Android devices is that they never have locked bootloaders, which is the key to gaining root access. Installing custom ROMs can actually be a good option, as you can have a very light operating system — useless applications and eye-candy removed, tweaked kernels for faster processing, additional applications for better tweaking and productivity and a list of other possibilities. In this section, we shall show you how you can go about rooting your Samsung Galaxy Note in a few steps. This method does not increase the flash counter in the phone’s firmware and you can switch back to the stock ROM, if you need to claim for warranty.
Disclaimer: Rooting the phone involves hacking into the firmware and operating system of the phone. As these procedures are risky and can permanently brick or damage your phone, we shall not be responsible for any damage caused to your phone. A bricked phone can cause warranty issues. Root your phone at your own risk.
Here is a list of what you will need to keep ready to get root access to the Note:
- A fully charged Samsung Galaxy Note: Not necessary that it should be charged to 100 %, but around 60 percent and above should do fine.
- The device set to USB debugging enabled: you can do this by going to the following section on your phone’s settings: Settings -> Applications -> Development.
- The micro USB cable of the phone: This cable should be bundled with your device. If you don’t have one, any other Micro USB cable will do.
- A PC with Windows installed
- Drivers for your Samsung Galaxy Note: You can download the latest version of Samsung Kies and install it. Another method is to simply connect the phone to the USB port after USB debugging is enabled and Windows should automatically install the drivers. But, Kies is a safer alternative.
- The flashing utility: you will need the latest version of the Chain Fire Root Flasher (CFRootflasher.zip), which can be downloaded from http://tinyurl.com/7k9p8ro. This utility will do the necessary flashing of the phone. Download the file and extract the contents to a folder on your desktop.
The kernels available for download
- The Kernel: In order to root the SGN, the correct Chain Fire Root Kernel is needed. Download it from http://tinyurl.com/d5hhg39. Now this is where you need to carefully download the exact kernel for your phone. Go to Settings -> About Phone on the Note and check the kernel version. It should be something like ‘220.127.116.11-N7000XXKJ4-CL641703’. The important area here is after the two ‘X’ characters (in this case “KJ4”). Note this down, go to the URL mentioned above and download the file that corresponds to your firmware, which has the characters you are looking for (for example “CF-Root-SGN_XX_XEN_KJ4-v5.0-CWM5.zip”). Download the file and extract the contents to a folder on your desktop.
Now that you have kept ready what you require, let’s get started. Make sure your phone is not connected to the PC at this time. We shall inform you when it is needed.
Step 1: Open the folder, which contains the kernel. You should see a .tar file there. Unzip that too and you should find a Zimage file. Right-click on the file and select ‘Copy’
Uncompressing the files
Step 2: Now open the folder, which contains the Chain Fire Root Flasher utility and browse to the folder ‘Zimage’. Right-click in this folder and click ‘Paste’. This should create a copy of the kernel file in this folder.
Pasting the image file in place
Step 3: Now hit the backspace key and you should go back to the parent folder. Here you should find the file ‘Not-rooted-yet.bat’. Double-click this file to execute it and the flashing process will begin.
Starting the flashing process
Step 4: Now make sure your phone is charged, switched on, has USB debugging enabled and then connect USB cable to the phone and to the PC. Warning: Don’t do anything else, yet.
Step 5: Next, take a look the PC screen where the application window is running. You shall find a list of steps displayed there that you need to do confirm you have ready. Make sure you have done all of it as stated and do not ignore or skip any step there. Double check again and once done, you can proceed further. Finally, only if you are satisfied with the necessary requirements you should press any key to continue.
Basic checklist before proceeding with the process
Step 6: Now, on the PC screen, you will find the utility doing a load of jobs scrolling across the window. Let the utility do the needful, while you wait and watch.
The process in progress
Step 7: This is an optional step, which you need to manually do in case it is needed. If you look at the process carefully, you will come to a stage where the utility will highlight a text which states “if the process gets stuck here for a long time . . .”. if the process continues further, nothing is needed to be done. But if the screen is stuck there for a long time, you need to go to the Settings -> Applications -> Development section of the phone (do not disconnect the phone) and disable and re-enable USB debugging. The utility will find the device and proceed further. If you did not need to do this, ignore this step.
Step 8: If the above was successful, you should see a message stating that temporary root has been obtained and the new kernel will be flashed. You can now press any key to continue. Next you shall see the new kernel being pushed to the phone.
Step 9: If all goes well in the above step, you should get the message stating that the procedure is complete and the phone will be rebooted.
Once the reboot happens, you can disconnect the phone from the PC and check if you have a new icon (application) installed on the phone in the application drawer called ‘Superuser’. If this exists, then you should have a successfully rooted phone. If not, you can try the entire process again.
To check if you have root access, you can download any application from the Android Market that requires root privileges and test it. Titanium Backup, Root Manager, ROM Manager are a few example apps that require root access.
Superuser being enabled
Since this utility also pushes or installs Clockwork Mod recovery on your phone, you can start installing your favorite custom ROMs immediately. To check if CWM has installed on your SGN, power off the phone and press the combination keys ‘Volume up + Home + Power’ to enter the recovery mode.
Advice: Since CWM is already installed now, it is recommended that you initially take a back-up of the phone and store a copy of the back-up on your PC for safety. This can be restored back to your phone in case there are any mishaps, while installing custom ROMs or if you want to simply revert back to your previous ROM.
Alternative: There is another procedure for rooting the SGN using a simple one-click utility for Windows. Check out the site here. Since this procedure and utility is not completely tested by a lot of users, you can try it if you want, but at your own risk.
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