Root Your Xperia Phone Without Voiding Warranty

Root Your Xperia Phone Without Voiding Warranty

**Update**

If you have already updated to ICS, read my other article on rooting Xperia ICS. Keep in mind that you still have to downgrade to GB first before rooting ICS.

** Update **

Wotan is no more free for flashing Xperia phones. I have updated this tutorial with Flashtool, which is a free tool to flash xperia phones. You need not unlock the bootloader in order to use Flashtool. So your Warranty is still there. But you need to find your firmware.

Disclaimer: By following this method, you are NOT permanently modifying your phone and Sony Ericsson won’t have a “clue” that you are rooting your phone. You can perform a repair using SEUS to claim warranty at any time. I’m posting this for informational purposes only. Secondly, I won’t be responsible if you brick your phone, which is almost impossible.

If you have an Android device, or any smart phone for that matter, you can do almost anything that you can with a PC. As Android is an open source mobile operating system, it can be tinkered with in different ways. While Android, by default, doesn’t allow that, you can get root access to the OS and enjoy the full potential of your phone. In most of the Android phones, you need to unlock the bootloader in order to root it. But Sony Ericsson Xperia phones can also be rooted without unlocking the bootloader, thus preserving the manufacturer warranty.

This tutorial is based on this thread on XDA Forums. The tool we are going to use here is called DooMLoRD’s Easy Rooting Toolkit. The tool works very well until the firmware number 4.0.2.A.0.58. Sony Ericsson has patched the later ROM versions and hence this method doesn’t work if you have already installed the latest update. You need to unlock the bootloader for rooting if the you have that 62 firmware. Though other methods do exist to root the 62 firmware, they are not for those who are new to rooting as the methods are risky. DooMLoRD’s Easy Rooting Toolkit can also root devices from other manufacturers. Have a look at here for supported devices. If you want to claim warranty, you can always flash your phone using the official tool with the latest firmware.

I’m going to explain how you can root your Xperia phone even if you are already on the latest firmware (4.0.2.A.0.61 or 62 and up). You are going to downgrade your firmware in order to root your phone.

What you need to root your Xperia mobile:

If you can’t find your firmware:

Downgrading your Firmware:

Flashtool requires that you download your firmware separately. Use the link I have given. If you can’t find the exact firmware in ftf format, use Global firmware. (I found Application Installer missing in the firmware I installed. I rooted my phone and installed it using Flashtool.)

Let’s get started.

Before downgrading the firmware, you need to install the ADB driver for your phone. On your phone, go to Settings>Applications>Development and enable USB debugging. Connect your phone to PC and wait for the ADB driver to install. Go to Device Manager on your PC and look for something like Sony Ericsson ##### ADB Interface Driver. If it’s not properly installed right-click the improperly installed device and install through Windows Update. The ADB driver should be installed now.

adb installed

1. Download and install Flashtool.

2. Install the necessary drivers for your device. The drivers can be found under C:\Flashtool\drivers. Skip this step if you already have the ADB drivers installed.

3.  Place the firmware you downloaded in C:\Flashtool\firmwares.

4. Connect phone to PC and open Flashtool. Allow it to detect your phone.

flashtool_main

5. Select the flash symbol and select Flashmode then click OK.

flashmode

6. In the next window, select the firmware if you have more than one and click OK.

select_firmware

7. In a few seconds, Flashtool prompts you to switch off the phone, press and hold the service button (which differs from phone to phone. For Mini Pro, it  is Volume down) while connecting your phone to PC. Flashtool will automatically start flashing.

start_flashing

Now that you have downgraded your firmware.

Rooting your Xperia phone:

Extract DooMLoRD’s Easy Rooting Toolkit zip file to somewhere. ( The folder contains a folder and runme.bat.)

1. Click runme.bat. Ensure that you do what the window asks you to do.

2. Press any key on your keyboard.

doom

In a moment, your phone will be rooted and rebooted. This method will automatically install Super User.

You can check for root status by installing Root Check Basic from the market.

android root

Congratulations! Now you have a rooted Xperia phone. Enjoy the full potential of your Android phone.

Note: While Wotan client provides the firmware flashing service for free, it looks like it is a limited period offer. So use it until the offer lasts which I think should be for the entire year (2012).  It is also possible to flash an Xperia phone with the .ftf file using Flashtool (that shouldn’t void warranty for all practical purposes.). I don’t currently have a proper source the ftf files for the different models. If you can find (or make) a credible source of ftf files for all Xperia phones (with country specific customizations), please post the links in comments. That would help thousands of people. Thanks.

**Update 2**

If you are feeling lazy to follow all these steps, simply install the ftf file from this thread using Flashtool. While this is probably a different ROM than you already have, you need NOT unlock the bootloader to flash it. The ROM is pre-rooted. If you install this this, you will lose all data in phone (SD can not affected). Take a backup of all important data. I use APN Backup & Restore, Call Log Backup & Restore, SMS Backup & Restore for backing up data.

Old Method

** This option is no more free **

Since Wotan no longer provides free flashing service, I have updated this article with flashing with using Flashtool. If you are not able to use Flashtool for any reason, you can buy credits from Wotan. It’s actually cheap.

1. Download Wotan client to somewhere on your PC.

2. Install USBFlashDriver.exe

3. Open WotanClient.exe and wait for it to finish updating its database.

4. Follow exactly what appears in the next window. There are 8 pointers for you to follow. For many of the Xperia phones, the service button is Volume Down.

detect phone

5. In the next window, check Enable advanced settings.

6. Your model will be automatically selected. Select 4.0.2.A.0.58 firmware or lower.

7. In the CDA drop-down box select your region.

phone settings

8. Enter your user ID and password and click Update. You will get one credit.

9. Click Next.

wotan settings

Wotan client will download the necessary files and flash your phone. On successful flash, Wotan client will ask you to disconnect the phone from PC and reboot. Now you have downgraded your firmware and you can root your phone without unlocking the bootloader.

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  1. “without voiding warranty”, that means it won’t unlock my bootloader ? :)

    • Yes it won’t unlock the bootloader and hence you aren’t voiding warranty. Simply use SEUS and repair and you can claim warranty.

    • death
    • April 7th, 2012

    this is safe to use right?

    • Yes Doomlord’s easy rooting toolkit is safe to use.

    • death
    • April 7th, 2012

    how long does it take?

    • death
    • April 7th, 2012

    why i dont see the superuser???? i finish installing it

      • ivan
      • April 13th, 2012

      i also don’t see the superuser. why?

      • It should be there if everything went well

    • death
    • April 8th, 2012

    thank you now i see my superuser :)

    • Aditya
    • April 8th, 2012

    I searched on Google, but could not find .ftf files. Did fine .42 file on Hotfix. Google the entire Firmware name, you may get some lucky hits.

    • Yeah I already did that. Just wanna make sure they are tried and tested.

    • death
    • April 9th, 2012

    btw can i use this to root lg optimus net or this is for sony only?
    thank you

    • Bharat Veeranki
    • April 13th, 2012

    Hi Vijay,
    If I root my phone, will I be able to upgrade my phone to ICS when released next month?
    If upgraded, will it still be rooted or I have to root again?
    Thanks
    Bharat

    • Yes you should be able to update. Not sure about the root status.

    • Bharat
    • April 13th, 2012

    Hi Vijay,
    I downgraded my ROM and rooted my phone. After the process is finished, my phone shows me that an upgrade to 4.0.2.A.0.62 is available. Can I upgrade now? or will it go back to the old state?

    Thanks
    Bharat

    • Hi, After downgrading, your phone will say a new version is available because you are not using the latest ROM. Just ignore it as I have been doing. I have heard somewhere that rooting and then and installing OTA update would preserve root. I’m not sure about that and I haven’t done that. When I get time, I’ll try that and update the post.

      • VIJAIKUMAR
      • September 24th, 2012

      Follow this awesome link….Thanks vijay……Don,t search for firmware(ftf) file from other site ….Use SK17i_4.0.2.A.0.58_GLOBAL for mini pro sk17i…..

    • Bharat
    • April 13th, 2012

    Thanks for the reply. I am ignoring it for now… but have seen some posts which say that all the bloatware returned, you have to unroot to do the upgrade etc.
    After rooting, I installed titanium backup which said it needs to fix the su access and I clicked yes. So it changed something in su permissions. Did you have to do this?

  2. You can always use Wotan server to reinstall to remove root and upgrade to ICS. You can also look for the ftf files so that you can use flashtool to flash your phone. Yes Titanium Backup asked me once and I clicked Yes. But I have several times reinstalled the firmware and it didn’t ask me to change the permission every time.

      • Bharat
      • April 13th, 2012

      Thanks. I will avoid the current upgrade and wait for ICS to come out.

    • Otaku
    • April 15th, 2012

    Wotan server isn’t free T_T……

    • Thanks for notifying. I’ll update my post with flashing using Flashtool soon.

    • death
    • April 18th, 2012

    hi Sir Vijay
    why when i factory restore my phone my superuser didnt get deleted?? and then when i check my superuser in link2sd it was in system application did i did something wrong?? or its good for my phone? wish this can be answered :((

    • Carlos
    • April 20th, 2012

    hi
    how can i use flash tool? because wotan is no more available
    need your help

    • Carlos
    • April 23rd, 2012

    okay thank you. . . i will wait for it
    thank you so much in advance wish it will be done very soon
    have a nice day

    • Nikhil
    • June 18th, 2012

    thanks for the post..Everything went perfectly well..

    • roger
    • June 20th, 2012

    thks for every thing, works great was even able to upgrade to ICS via PC Companion with good results

    • doubtingtomie
    • June 22nd, 2012

    Is there anyway I can root my SE Xperia Play R800i without unlocking the bootloader? I’ve already upgraded to ICS since January this year and I just found out about rooting my phone a few days ago. I want to root my phone, but I don’t want to change the version from ICS. I don’t mind unlocking the bootloader, but I’m not sure if when I unlock the bootloader, I’ll lose all my files because I have a lot of files (games) which I do not want to have to re-download again and I don’t know how to do a recovery for files I’ve lost. Plus I don’t know where to get a stable rom or kernel to install that won’t give me problems after unlocking my bootloader and will aid full functionality of my device. Help!!!

    • danny
    • July 2nd, 2012

    how do i take it off

    • You’re asking how to unroot? Just flash your phone with flashtool or PCC or SUS.

    • Shouka
    • July 3rd, 2012

    Hello Vijay,

    I had a Galaxy S3 and i want to root but i must not lose my warranty.
    Will this method work for me ( without voiding my warranty ) and also i have the latest update for ICS already in the phone.

    Thanks

    • kuban83
    • July 3rd, 2012

    After 7 step using Flashtool i get this log:
    03/015/2012 12:15:07 – INFO – Flashing finished.
    03/015/2012 12:15:07 – INFO – Please wait. Phone will reboot
    03/015/2012 12:15:07 – INFO – For flashtool, Unknown Sources and Debugging must be checked in phone settings
    03/015/2012 12:15:07 – INFO – Device connected in flash mode

    And my xperia mini is still switch off and connected to PC. What should i do next? Disconnect it and try to switch it on? Or do i have a mistake if it didnt reboot and switch on automatically?

    • android2.3.3
    • July 6th, 2012

    hey this is Erik
    well i rooted my xperia play phone right, i want to restore it back to how it was before .idont wnat it to be rooted anymore .can you please help me
    if you can thnks so much

    • If you have used the Doomlord method, there is an unroot script that you have to run. Don’t use it if you have rooted with some other method

    • lee85
    • July 7th, 2012

    hi, i haves .62 firmware. can i use u’r method to rooting? if not then what i must do. thanks a llot

    • You cannot root that firmware easily. Just follow the steps i have given to downgrade and root.

        • terry
        • June 6th, 2013

        my firmware is not avalivable in list what do i do ??? my build number is 4.0.A.0.62

    • Sath
    • July 30th, 2012

    When I disconnect and reconnect my xperia ray, its says ‘drivers need to be installed for connected device’. But I already install the driver. Any solutions Mr.Vijay?

    • You can try uninstalling and reinstalling the driver. If that doesn’t work, use Windows update the install the drivers.

    • Zha
    • August 1st, 2012

    You said that it’s for Xperia phone, does this method work for Xperia U ?

    • Not very sure, but if you phone had official 4.0.2.A.0.58 or below firmware, you should be able to root with this method.

    • Prinz
    • August 4th, 2012

    i did the first method , firmware .42 , but when i switch on, i dont get the menu icons , the status bar works , but the screen is blank, can anyone help ??

    • surajhodi
    • August 15th, 2012

    i install wt19a Ginger Bread firmware
    and root it then now can install firmware ics wt19i
    bcoz my model is wt19i

    • Try not to mix up the firmware. Also, if you install the American firmware on an international model, certain features may not work correctly. I think you can get the GB World firmware in many places.

    • uvimala
    • August 20th, 2012

    Dear Vijay,
    Your advice is perfect. Thanks. I follow your advice to flash my Sony Ericsson Xperia Ray Phone. I want to downgrade Firmware from 4.0.2.A.0.62 to 4.0.2.A.0.42. to get my device rooted. But I made a mistake while I was flashing it. I accidentally switched off the phone before it automatically finished reboot. Now my device does not boot up any more. I’m at a loss. Can you help me?

    • Did you try to reflash it again with Flashtool or SUS? You should be able to flash again.

    • uvimala
    • August 21st, 2012

    Dear Vijay,
    Thanks for your reply. No need to say I wanted to try to flash my device again. But I am not able to do it. Whenever I press the power button on the phone, only welcome screen (Sony = Sony Ericsson) appears again and again. When welcome screen appears, my computer can detect it, and then it can’t detect it. The reason is that my phone reboot again and again. It can’t boooot up fully. If I can access your email, I’ll send a video file to you. Sorry to bother you!
    uvimala

    • salman
    • August 22nd, 2012

    can we downgrade d firmware…root it…and again upgrade d firmware???

    • numan
    • August 23rd, 2012

    sir while i was flashing my xperia mini st15i my flash tool process stucks at 40% at flashing system.sin .what should i do please help…

    • Try flashing with Sony Update Service. Then try. Also you might want to reinstall Flashtool, SUS and PC Companion so that the drivers are correctly installed.

    • gvm
    • August 26th, 2012

    hi, i downgraded my xperia mini pro and used the same firmware as given in the pics. …4.0.2.A.0.58….i cant find the ‘application installer’ app.(the same problem you faced). can u paste a link to download that app. Also when i try to add a google account getting an error saying “cant establish a reliable data connection to the sever”. can you please help me out…

    thanks

    • You can use Flashtool to install Astro or ES file explorer to install apps. For your second query… are you sure you are connected to Internet? You may want to try WiFi if that’s possible. I also assume, since you haven’t configured the APN.

    • shubham
    • September 3rd, 2012

    i want to root xperia u
    can u help me plz ?

    • Jaydeep Deb
    • October 2nd, 2012

    I tried to flash my sk17i with flashtool, but at 42% it showed ERROR……ABORTED. Now my device shows a pic of a phone with ‘!’ sign & turns off. Plz, tell me what to do now. I have sony pc companion & flashtool 9.1.0 with drivers installed.

  3. sir, I’m in a great trouble with my sk17i. I tried to flash my phone with 4.0.A.0.62 follwing your suggested steps. The flashtool was working accordingly.But when it showed 100% completion, I disconnected the phone because it wasn’t showing any confirmation message for a long period. Now my phone doesn’t start up. It’s just stuck on the welcome screen and goes off. I tried reflashing with flashtool. Tried PCC and SUS. They cant even detect my phone. I downgraded the firmware successfully in the previous time following your directions. But I think I have a great mistake this time. See what happened:
    03/053/2012 22:53:42 – INFO – <- This level is successfully initialized
    03/053/2012 22:53:42 – INFO – Flashtool Version 0.8.0.0 built on 2012-05-27 21:57:12
    03/053/2012 22:53:42 – INFO – You can drag and drop ftf files here to start flashing them
    03/053/2012 22:53:51 – INFO – Device connected with USB debugging off
    03/053/2012 22:53:51 – INFO – For 2011 devices line, be sure you are not in MTP mode
    03/053/2012 22:53:51 – INFO – Device connected with USB debugging on
    03/053/2012 22:53:52 – INFO – Connected device : SK17
    03/053/2012 22:53:52 – INFO – Installed version of busybox : BusyBox v1.18.4 (2011-04-04 18:40:20 CDT) multi-call binary.
    03/053/2012 22:53:52 – INFO – Android version : 2.3.4 / kernel version : 2.6.32.9-perf
    03/053/2012 22:53:54 – INFO – Remounting system read-write
    03/053/2012 22:53:54 – INFO – Installing toolbox to device…
    03/053/2012 22:53:54 – INFO – Pushing C:\Flashtool\custom\root\ftkit.tar to /data/local/tmp
    03/053/2012 22:53:55 – INFO – Running installftkit as root thru sysrun
    03/053/2012 22:53:55 – INFO – Root Access Allowed
    03/056/2012 22:56:02 – INFO – Selected SK17i_4.0.2.A.0.62__1251-0103_.ftf
    03/056/2012 22:56:02 – INFO – Preparing files for flashing
    03/056/2012 22:56:14 – INFO – Please connect your device into flashmode.
    03/056/2012 22:56:25 – INFO – Device disconnected
    03/057/2012 22:57:05 – INFO – Opening device for R/W
    03/057/2012 22:57:06 – INFO – Start Flashing
    03/057/2012 22:57:06 – INFO – Flashing loader
    03/057/2012 22:57:06 – INFO – Ending flash session
    03/057/2012 22:57:06 – ERROR –
    03/057/2012 22:57:06 – ERROR – Error flashing. Aborted
    03/057/2012 22:57:06 – ERROR – Drivers need to be installed for connected device.
    03/057/2012 22:57:06 – ERROR – You can find them in the drivers folder of Flashtool.
    03/057/2012 22:57:07 – INFO – Device connected in flash mode
    03/057/2012 22:57:33 – INFO – Device disconnected
    03/003/2012 23:03:46 – INFO – Device connected in flash mode
    03/004/2012 23:04:26 – INFO – Device disconnected
    03/004/2012 23:04:47 – INFO – Device connected with USB debugging off
    03/004/2012 23:04:47 – INFO – For 2011 devices line, be sure you are not in MTP mode
    03/005/2012 23:05:51 – INFO – Device disconnected
    03/008/2012 23:08:57 – INFO – Device connected with USB debugging on
    03/008/2012 23:08:57 – INFO – Connected device : SK17
    03/008/2012 23:08:58 – INFO – Installed version of busybox : BusyBox v1.18.4 (2011-04-04 18:40:20 CDT) multi-call binary.
    03/008/2012 23:08:58 – INFO – Android version : 2.3.4 / kernel version : 2.6.32.9-perf
    03/008/2012 23:08:59 – INFO – Root Access Allowed
    03/014/2012 23:14:23 – INFO – Selected SK17i_4.0.2.A.0.62__1251-0103_.ftf
    03/014/2012 23:14:23 – INFO – Preparing files for flashing
    03/014/2012 23:14:43 – INFO – Please connect your device into flashmode.
    03/014/2012 23:14:48 – INFO – Device disconnected
    03/015/2012 23:15:16 – INFO – Device connected in flash mode
    03/015/2012 23:15:16 – INFO – Opening device for R/W
    03/015/2012 23:15:17 – INFO – Reading device information
    03/015/2012 23:15:17 – INFO – Phone ready for flashmode operations.
    03/015/2012 23:15:17 – INFO – Start Flashing
    03/015/2012 23:15:17 – INFO – Flashing loader
    03/015/2012 23:15:19 – INFO – Loader : S1_Loader_Root_773f – Version : R4A066 / Bootloader status : ROOTABLE
    03/015/2012 23:15:19 – INFO – Flashing kernel.sin
    03/015/2012 23:15:22 – INFO – Flashing fota1.sin
    03/015/2012 23:15:22 – INFO – Flashing fota0.sin
    03/015/2012 23:15:23 – INFO – Flashing adsp.sin
    03/015/2012 23:15:26 – INFO – Flashing amss_fs.sin
    03/015/2012 23:15:26 – INFO – Flashing amss.sin
    03/015/2012 23:15:36 – INFO – Flashing apps_log.sin
    03/015/2012 23:15:36 – INFO – Flashing system.sin
    03/017/2012 23:17:22 – INFO – Ending flash session
    PLEASE help me in this regard. Thank you in advance.

    • Milind
    • December 25th, 2012

    it is not rooting my xperia u it is not even starting

    • Mohd
    • February 5th, 2013

    Mr. Vijay,

    Thank you so much for your tips and help suggestions.

    I wonder if you have tried to downgrade Xperia ray to 4.0.2.A.0.42 , Root it and update with WIFI through the phone NOT PC companion to 4.0.2.A.0.62 if the root will stay?

    I heard in many places that if you update to 4.0.2.A.0.62 with WIFI (on Air phone update) the root will stay with the update to 4.0.2.A.0.62.

    Can you kindly confirm .. thanks a lot

    • Hi Mohd,

      Even I have heard, but never tried. Moreover I’m currently using another ROM. But these phones have already received ICS updates and updating a rooted phone with 4.0.2.A.0.42 to ICS will remove root. If you want rooted 4.0.2.A.0.62, you can get a pre-rooted ftf from XDA forums.

    • Mohd
    • February 26th, 2013

    Can you kindly send me the link to the pre rooted 4.0.2.A.0.62 on XDA forums?

    So I just flash it to the pre rooted 4.0.2.A.0.62 and thats it?

    Do you know of any great ROM for Xperia ray on XDA forums?

    I don’t think i want to Update to ICS because of the lag issues especially with gaming. if you have suggestions on how to increase performance of the ICS I might update and root ICS which is easy

    Thanks

    • Hi the ROMs should be there on XDA. Please perform a search in google itself. Thetre are so many custom ROMs for Xperia moels on XDA. Again, you can search.

    • gdn
    • March 30th, 2013

    Can i use this method for Sony Xperia U….???
    Plz Reply :)

    • Hi gdn, it might not. You may want to look at the XDA forums.

        • Shahrey
        • May 11th, 2013

        hi mr.vijay, i have rooted my xperia play 4 days ago n i’ve deleted some of the system apps. now my music player can’t even detect my music files..i’ve tried another music player app but atill didn’t show my music files. so i think maybe i’ve did something that can cause this by deleting system apps. can i repair it via SEUS or PC Companion?. how about the root status?. hopefuly you can help.

      • Hi,

        Don’t worry, you can get it reverted. But you may have to reflash your phone with Flashtool Get the firmware of your phone in ftf format from XDA developers and flash it, then root your phone.

        • Shahrey
        • May 11th, 2013

        i’m using 2.3.4 (4.0.2.A.0.42)

    • terry
    • June 6th, 2013

    please how can i root my xperia play (r800i ) android : 2.3.4 bulid number : 4.0.a.0.62
    please i have treid everything and its not working !!!

    • 4.0.a.0.62 is not rootable. You will have to downgrade your firmware. I have thoroughly explained it in my blog.

    • nikhil shetye
    • November 8th, 2013

    can i root xperia m c1904 having 4.1.2 jb with firmware 15.1.A.1.9 ??

    • surya
    • December 5th, 2013

    I want to root my sony xperia Mdual phone bcoz i am not happy with less phone memory and want to transfer all my apps an game in s card so is this procedure will help me to do it?

    • Pls check the XDA forums. There will mostly be a way.

    • Hassan
    • December 9th, 2013

    can i downgrade my xperia ion JB 4.1.2 to ICS 4.0.4?

    • If your phone had an official ICS version, yes. Just search the XDA forums for the ftf file and flash your phone with Flashtool.

  4. Hi..I need some help. I’ve rooted my xperia C this morning. Then I tried to change the font using font changer. After I’m done I reboot my phone and now my phone can load the home screen. Is there anyway you could assist me. The phone is running on jelly bean 4.2

    • Marios
    • March 3rd, 2014

    Isn’t there a way to root .58 without losing warranty and then upgrading to .62 without losing root?

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