There are many benefits to be gained from hacking and
modding your phone. But it can be a daunting process
with a steep learning curve. Many users will find
themselves following instructions without really
understanding what is happening.
To help you understand a bit more about the issues
involved we’ve taken a look at some of the frequently
asked questions users have about rooting.
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Will I still get OTA updates
on a rooted phone?
The answer to this depends on who manufactured your
phone. Generally speaking, if you are rooted but still
running the original, unmoved ROM then your device
should still check and alert you to the availability of
over the air updates. Installing them will very likely
unroot your phone in the process so you will need to
If you have modded your ROM, including relatively
simple things like removing pre-installed apps, then the
OTA update will probably fail. Reversing the mods
should make it work again.
If you’re running the Xposed Framework you will
need to uninstall this from within the app for an OTA
update to work. If you’re running a custom ROM you
will have to install updates from the ROM developer.
Can I install KitKat or
Android L on my phone?
If your phone is no longer getting official updates from
the manufacturer then you can in theory update it to the
latest version of the Android OS using custom
ROMs. Older devices, or those with low-end specs,
may not run so well, but most devices can be updated
with varying degrees of success.
There can be compatibility issues especially with older
devices, since developers will need drivers for the
hardware components of the phone, and if they don’t
exists for that combination of component and OS then
the developer will have problems implementing certain
features, such as camera support.
In some cases devices use processors that are no longer
supported, so cannot be properly updated to newer
versions of the OS.
Unless you are able to build the ROM yourself you
are reliant on your device having developers who are
making the ROMs for you to install. Most mainstream
phones will have a few devs working with them, and
will be working on ROMs; the cheapest or most
obscure handsets may not.
Can a custom ROM stop my
apps from working?
Apps that make use of DRM, or require a high level
of security, such as banking and finance apps, will often
not work on devices that have been rooted.
There are some solutions that enable you to hide the
fact that your phone is rooted, but these are by no
means fool proof.
Don’t forget that if you need to you can unroot your
phone even while running a custom ROM.
I’ve bricked my phone—how
can I fix it?
If you flash a lot of ROMs or mods then it is
inevitable that you will brick your device at some point.
A soft brick is generally not a problem. This means
your phone turns on when you press the power button,
but won’t boot. A hard brick, where the phone shows
no sign of life when you press the power button, is much
rarer and may not be salvageable.
If your phone won’t boot after flashing a ROM the
first thing to do is wait. The first boot after flashing
can take in excess of ten minutes.
Next, take out the battery or reset the phone by holding
the power button in for ten seconds.
Restart the phone
and boot into recovery mode .
Work your way through the menus to either reflash the
ROM; wipe your data (not doing this is a very
common cause of a non-booting ROM) then reflash; or
restore the Nandroid backup that you should have made
before you attempted to flash the ROM first time
On many devices you can also use fastboot mode to
recover from problems, including reinstalling your
custom recovery if that has been wiped.
Recovery is a small piece of software that runs on a
separate partition to the Android OS.
this partition enables you to access all parts of your
phone, including the files in the OS.
Recovery is used to back up or update the Android
OS and its data.
Every device comes with a recovery. The stock
recovery is not a consumer feature so has very limited
functions. A custom recovery, which is an essential part
of the rooting process, can do a lot more, including
flashing a ROM, creating a full backup, and mounting
the internal storage or SD card as a drive.
The two main custom recoveries are ClockworkMod
and TWRP. They have different interfaces but
largely similar feature sets; it doesn’t really matter
which you choose. see ( http://www.gistpluz.com/2015/06/how-to-flash-custom-recovery-like-cwm.html)
Do I need to clear the
Dalvik cache and data when
flashing a ROM?
The dalvik cache is a cache of optimisations that makes
your apps run faster (and will be phased out in Android
L in favour or ART). You should always clear this
when flashing a ROM.
The data and cache contains all of your data, including
your files, game save, text messages and so on. You
need to back this up before you flash a ROM as there’s
always a chance it will be lost if something goes wrong.
Ideally you would always wipe your data before you
flash a ROM. If you’re updating to new version of
your current ROM then you probably don’t need to,
but if you’re moving to a whole new build then you will
definitely need to.
If you don’t wipe and your phone won’t boot after
flashing, wiping your data and reflashing is the first
solution you should explore.
Will rooting or flashing a
custom ROM break my
The main thing when hacking your device is to follow
the instructions closely.
Make sure the ROM or mod is designed for your
specific device before you flash it (and note that some
devices have country-specific and international models,
so make sure you’ve got the right one there, too).
Also make sure that your phone is either fully charged
or, preferably, plugged into a power supply before you
start flashing anything.
Rooting and flashing ROMs will likely void your
warranty. In most cases you will be able to revert the
process before making a warranty claim—Samsung
devices being the notable exception to this.
lastly ( http://www.gistpluz.com/2015/06/how-to-root-your-android-phone-or