Archive for the ‘ Rooting ’ Category

Install Custom ROM on Your Sony Xperia Phone

Disclaimer: Modifying your phone can lead to an expensive paper weight if you do it wrong. Do it at your own risk.

How to Install Custom ROM on your Sony Xperia Phone

If you root your Android phone, you can do virtually anything, right from enabling career-blocked tethering to installing a custom ROM. The android community is so active that chances are that you can get tens of custom ROMs for your phone model. If you have a Sony Xperia Mini Pro, you can have hundreds of custom ROMs from the XDA forums. These custom ROMs provide you with more performance, flexibility, and more.

In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to flash custom ROM on your Xperia Mini Pro. You can use the same method for any Xperia phone. Before installing a custom ROM, you need to unlock the bootloader of your phone, though there are a few custom ROMs that can be installed on a locked bootloader. But unlocking the bootloader is well worth it, meaning you can install custom Kernel that provide you with more benefits such as more battery life or overclocking.

Unlocking the bootloader

You have two options while unlocking the bootloader. The official method which includes using your IMEI to unlock from official Sony website. Though this is the official method, you lose your warranty, and DRM too.

The other method is called the ‘test point’ method which uses a tool called S1 tool and requires you to use a test point. Though this method seems a little complicated, it’s easy and reversible. By unlocking with this method, you won’t lose DRM and whenever you want, you can relock the bootloader. But even this method has a disadvantage. Not a disadvantage but a risk-you may make your phone into an expensive paper weight, if you do it wrong. But don’t worry, it’s safe if you do it carefully. I have unlocked the bootloader of my XMP with this method and it worked like charm. Follow the instructions from here or here to unlock the bootloader with the test point method.

***Ensure that your phone is charged at least 50% before proceeding***

What You Need:

1. Sony PC Companion

2. Flashtool

3. Preferably a phone with unlocked bootloader

4. Your custom Kernel and ROM

5. Stock ROM in FTF format. Search the XDA forums for your model number. You can also create one.

How to install:

Installing the custom Kernel and ROM is very easy. Follow these steps.

1. Make a backup of your phone data such as SMS, contacts, call logs, calendar, and so on using your favorite app.

2. Install PC Companion and Flashtool so that ADB and Fastboot drivers are installed. On your phone, go to Applications>Development>check the USB bebugging check box. Connect your phone to PC and let it install the ADB driver. This is important because, should something go wrong, you can always flash your phone stock ROM (FTF file) using Flash tool. So before proceeding, ensure the adb (and fastboot) drivers are installed. For more details, check out my previous post Root Your Xperia Phone Without Voiding Warranty.

3. Place the downloaded ROM in zip format on the micro SD card. You can do it through phone or using  a card reader.

4. Turn off your phone and connect it to your PC while pressing the specific button on phone to enter the fastboot mode. For my Xperia Mini Pro, it’s the Vol + to enter fastboot mode. Wait till the driver is correctly installed.

5. Open Flashtool and click the Flash (thunder symbol)>Fastboot Mode>OK.

fastboot1

6. On the Fastboot Toolbox window, click Select kernel to Flash button.

fastboot2

7. Navigate to the folder where you have extracted the Kernel file (.img). Select it and click Open.

fastboot3

8. After flashing is complete, remove the cable and reboot your phone. While the phone is booting, press Vol – or Vol + button repeatedly until the phone boots into recovery. (This recovery is installed along with kernel)

9. Do these: wipe data.cache partition, advanced>Wipe Dalvik Cache, and wipe cache partition.

10. Select install zip from sdcard>choose zip from sdcard>select the ROM file (zip) and press Yes.

That’s all. Reboot your phone to enjoy the new ROM.

What to do if something goes wrong and my phone doesn’t boot up?

While installing custom ROMs can be fun, it may also render your phone unbootable. If you install a custom ROM and and it doesn’t work, you can always flash the stock ROM using Flashtool and start all over again. Look for the FTF file of your stock ROM on the XDA forums. You will certainly find one. You can also make an FTF file of your stock ROM. Check out my post How to Create an FTF file of Your Xperia ICS Firmware.

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How to Root Your Xperia Phone’s ICS Firmware Without Voiding Warranty

Some time back, I wrote an article on how to root your Xperia phone without voiding warranty. That’s a bold statement because you are technically voiding warranty when you do something that Sony don’t want you to. But if you flash back with the latest ROM using PC Companion or SUS, you’ll have a fresh, and unrooted phone. Hence you have done no permanent modification to the phone and for all practical purposes you have the warranty intact. Now, Sony has released an Ice Cream Sandwich update to all its Xperia 2011 phones sans Play. The latest firmware version as of this writing is 4.1.B.0.431 . You cannot root this firmware. But that isn’t going to stop us from rooting it.

How to Root Your Xperia Phone’s ICS Firmware Without Voiding Warranty

If you are not on ICS and wanting root after upgrading, don’t upgrade to ICS. To root your Xperia ICS firmware, you need to first downgrade it to a rootable Ginger Bread firmware like 4.0.2.A.0.58 if you have already upgraded. Anything above 4.0.2.A.0.58 cannot be rooted easily. You can find the firmware from the links given below. So backup all your apps and data like SMS, call logs etc. before proceeding. Once you downgrade, you need to root it (preferably using the Do0omlord’s method). Then you have to edit the /data/local.prop file. Don’t worry, I’ll show you an automated process. Once done you need, to upgrade the firmware to ICS using PC Companion, or SUS or Flashtool (if you have your ICS FTF file) without clearing user data. Then you need to execute a file to root your Xperia Firmware. It may sound too daunting but it’s pretty easy. This tutorial is based on this XDA thread.

What You Need to Root Xperia ICS

If you can’t find your firmware:

Downgrading and Rooting

Follow the steps in my article how to downgrade and root Xperia phone. After you have downgraded the firmware and rooted, go to the next step.

Rooting ICS

Download the ICS rooting files and extract all files to somewhere.

Connect your phone to PC with USB debugging enabled and run the file 01-local-prop.cmd from the folder where you extracted the file. This will automatically edit the /data/local.prop file. Don’t do anything else and go to the next step.

edit-local-prop

Now upgrade the firmware using PC Companion, SUS, or Flashtool. Don’t wipe data.

Go to the same folder and run 02-push-root-files.cmd. Re remember to close PCC, SUS or Flashtool before doing this.

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That’s all. Your phone is now rooted.

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