Rookie Rooting - Samsung Galaxy S2 Forum : Samsung Galaxy S2 Forums

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Old 09-16-2012, 05:04 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rookie Rooting

Hi everyone!

I've had my galaxy S2 for a year now and I never rooted it nor flashed a custom rom because of warranty issues. Now that I am no longer under warranty, I want to do it but I'm a bit scared to do it. I have no knowledge at all in phone troubleshooting, especially Android.

I've seen videos of how to root my GT-i9100 and it seems easy. But flashing a new ROM confuses me. There are terms I don't quite well understand like, wiping, kernels, recovery mod, etc. Which of these does what? What factors do they play? What happens when I fail to load a custom rom? How do I undo it?

I hope you guys can answer my questions. I would really appreciate all the help.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Re: Rookie Rooting

Okay I'll try explaining what I can...

Wiping is just that, wiping the phones partitions. In the case of flashing ROM's this is done in recovery which is a custom recovery like Clockwork Mod recovery.
To flash a ROM you would wipe most of the phones partitions, the easiest way to do this is a Factory Reset from within thirty, this wipes the data and cache partitions. Next you'd format the system under Mounts & Storage, then wipe Dalvik Cache under the Advanced menu. The phone would now be ready to flash a custom ROM. Wiping must be done before installing a custom ROM so as no data clashes, this can cause adverse effects such as bricking or bootloops.

The kernel is the part of the software that communicates directly with the hardware, it tells the phone what voltage the CPU frequencies run at, what the BUS voltages are, screen auto brightness stages etc. This is the software when customized that allows overclocking of the CPU and GPU, undervolting, CPU scheduler and governor selection etc.

Android has a recovery by default but a custom recovery is what is used to flash zip files to the phones existing software or to replace that software.
The most recognized custom recovery is CWM or ClockworkMod, most other recoveries are based on this. I think there is a TWRP (Team Win Recovery Project) for the S2 but I am unsure as I have not used it on the S2, this is because the custom recovery is usually replaced when flashing a custom kernel. I do use TWRP on my Nexus 7 but as I use a custom kernel in my S2 that has a custom recovery inbuilt that's the recovery I use.
With a custom recovery such as CWM you can backup the entire system, this is known as a nandroid backup. Before flashing any custom ROM or kernel you should always perform a nandroid backup, this way if something goes wrong the backup can be restored and you won't have to flash the phone with Odin to restore the phone which results in you starting again from scratch. A nandroid backup is an exact copy of your phones software at the time of the backup so all data is copied including settings, SMS messages, call logs, email accounts, wallpaper etc.

So you flash a custom ROM and the ROM bootloops, a bootloop is when the phone does not fully boot resulting in the boot animation repeating over and over. Many things can cause this including an incomplete wipe or a bad flash, so long as the phone starts to boot and you get a bootloop your okay, simply reboot into recovery to fix. This can be done by entering recovery, here either try wiping the cache and dalvik cache then reboot to see if the bootloop has been fixed or reboot to recovery again to perform a full wipe as above and reflashing the ROM or restoring a nandroid backup.
The wrist thing that can happen to any device is a full brick, this is when something has gone wrong during a hacking process and the device will not boot at all. Generally the S2 is quite fared to completely brick, so long as you can boot into recovery or the download mode you can fix the device. If the Phone cannot be booted to one of these and it is bricked you'd either need to find a JTAG service to fix the device or have the motherboard replaced.

I hope this goes some way to answering your questions, I'm sure though that after reading that you'll have more so let me know and I'll help if I can.

Swyped from my AOKP ICS powered GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

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