Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rooting My Samsung Gravity #android

Samsung Galaxy S
Image Source: http://bit.ly/Y2QM7Q

My daughter and I swapped phones recently. She got my Galaxy S (looks like the photo above), and I got her Samsung Gravity Smart, which looks like the image below:
Image Source: http://bit.ly/Y2QZIj
Ugh. Although I didn't mind the smaller screen size or the keyboard, I hated the fact that the Gravity ran out of memory when updating its own apps. Then, I remembered Scott L.'s advice about rooting Android phones. With that advice in mind, I decided to take the plunge. After all, if it all went south, I could always reset to factory settings.

This blog entry details the path I took.

BUT, before jumping into the steps, I wondered if rooting was illegal or could cause problems. I read this article, The Pros and Cons of Rooting Your Android Phone, which shared some popular myths about rooting your phone. Here are some of the items--there are more myths featured in the original article--that reflected my fears:

  1. Rooting is Illegal – Not true. In fact, the U.S. federal government recognized the legality of jailbreaking a phone back in July of 2010. It is true that carriers are blocking some tethering apps. Here’s a good article about this.
  2. Rooting Voids Your Warranty – Although it’s true rooting your phone could void its warranty, if you restore it to its original factory condition, it’s unlikely your carrier could tell it was ever rooted.
  3. It’s Easy to Brick your Phone – Not true. Most Android phones are not easy to brick, if you carefully follow all rooting directions.
  4. Rooting is Difficult – Although it varies from phone to phone, rooting your phone isn’t as hard as it once was. In fact, one-click rooting apps are available in the Android Market.
 Ok, those myths aside, I decided to proceed...the screenshots below are what my phone looks like now, albeit with more timely dates/times:

Image Source: http://bit.ly/Y2PqtW

Steps I followed to Root My Phone - Samsung Gravity Smart

Step 1 - Re-read the instructions online in this forum several times and try to make sense of them.

Step 2 - Download a free partition editor known as MiniTool Partition Editor. I was surprised to see this, as I didn't know there were free partition editors for Windows and had always depended on GNU/Linux Gparted to do my partition resizing, etc.

Step 3 - Partition your micro-SD card. I inserted my micro-SD card in an Adapter SDcard thingamajig, then used MiniTool Partition Editor to partition the card into two partitions. Great instructions appear online at this web site. Since I had a 2gig micro-SD card, I partitioned it into two pieces:
  • 1.x gigs for FAT32 and set it as a Primary Partition (important)
  • 559 megs for Ext2 format and set it as a Primary Partition (important)
Step 4 - Download the ROM file--the software that will replace the software on my phone--from this web site (update.zip); don't unzip the file. You'll be copying it exactly how it appears.

Step 5 - Copy the ROM file (Update.zip) onto the FAT32 partition of the micro-SD card. Do not unzip the file.

Step 6 - Follow these instructions. Here's the relevant excerpt:

  1. power off phone
  2. slide open the keyboard and hold down the button and the button until the recovery appears
  3. use the to scroll to and hit the button to confirm
  4. use the to scroll to and hit the button to confirm
  5. use the to scroll to and hit the button to confirm
    - rom will install and reboot phone automatically
    - first boot will take a minute
  6. open Link2Sd app - inform the app the 2nd partition is a partition and reboot phone
  7. open Link2Sd app after reboot - hit the key then click on tab
  8. check the box and click on and click
  9. most apps downloaded from market will default to the sd card
  10. you will have to open Link2Sd app after installing apps and move the app back to the phone then you will have to click each installed app in Link2Sd interface and click on and link all thats permitted
Step 7 - Install NoFrillsCPU to speed up phone. This is what it does:
No-frills CPU Control is a tool you can use on your rooted [1] device to quickly set the CPU frequencies and governor to use. It allows you to use the highest frequency your phone supports and gain some precious FPS in your preferred game, or go down to the lowest frequency and gain some more juice when your phone is sitting idle.
 The frequencies to set for my Samsung Gravity were as follows: 325 minimum, 800 maximum.

It's all working great! Woohoo! It's like having a new phone.

Next steps? I may want to try this out.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes this worked!
A Couple of notes:
When you enter the recovery mode, slide open the keyboard and hold down the button and the button until the recovery appears
- use the to scroll to and hit the button to confirm
- use the to scroll to and hit the button to confirm
- use the to scroll to and hit the button to confirm

The instructions above were not as clear

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