So, here we are, finally! A rooting tutorial. Now, before you say “there are tons of such tutorials on the web!”, know that many do not work properly or do not have the hole information you need to successfully root your Ice Cream Sandwich Android smartphone.
What does “rooting” even mean?
Well, in short, rooting is the process that allows you to use apps that require special permissions to access protected data on your phone, normally locked by the Android OS. The explanation is much more complex but I won’t bother you with details. Those of you who have used Linux OS in the past should be familiar with the terms “root” and “superuser”.
How to root Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones
The process is identical for other Android versions also. I have used it to root my Nexus S on Android Gingerbread and ICS (we will give you an update for Jelly Bean after I install it). Before we move on, I have to warn you that rooting/unrooting your Android device will erase all data on your phone! So better make a few backups before you proceed.
1. You will need to download and install the Android driver for your device. The Android ADB Interface is required for you to proceed further. A quick search on Google for the Android ADB for any device will give you lots of places from where you can acquire them. After the download, install the driver.
2. Power off your device and enter Recovery Mode. On some smartphones (Nexus and SGS series), you do this by holding down the Power Button and the Volume Down button together. If this does not work, again, ask Google how to enter Recovery Mode on your device. Once you are there, plug your phone to the USB cable and connect it to your computer.
3. Download the Fastboot for your device. A list of fastboot zip files is available here (Fastboot Files). If not, consult the forum from XDA developers under your device, you will certainly find the zip there. After downloading the file, unzip it to a folder (I prefer to put it in my C:/ partition because it’s easier to find later on).
4. Open a Command Prompt and start unrooting. Use the “cd\” command to navigate to the folder with the fastboot you’ve just downloaded (example: cd\ fastbootICS, if you have the folder on your C: partition and it’s called fastbootICS). When reaching the folder, type the following line in the Command Prompt: fastboot oem unlock.
You will see that your screen has changed (on your smartphone), asking you if you want to root. Select “Yes” by using the Volume Keys and press the power button. Now your phone will restart and enter the Bootloader. You will see the Lock State of your phone change from “LOCKED” to “UNLOCKED”. Congratulations, you have now rooted your device! But there is one more thing you need to do before you are done.
Your smartphone might be unlocked, but you still have to install a Recovery and the Superuser app. I recommend the ones from Clockwork, they work really good, and now they have developed a recovery that works on the touchscreen.
5. There are a few ways to download the Recovery file. An app called ROM Manager is available on the Play Store that allows you to download it, or the old fashioned mode, by searching for the zip file. A list of zip files very well sorted by devices can be founded on the ClockworkMod Website. Go ahead and download the file and place it in the same folder as the fastboot file.
After doing so, return to the Command Prompt and type the following: “fastboot flash recovery name of the recovery file”. Your phone will restart when the process is complete and then you will see the Recovery option on the Bootloader. You can navigate to it by using the volume keys.
6. After doing this, the last step in rooting your device is to install the Superuser app. The app can be found on many websites, here is a link for downloading one from the XDA forum.
After downloading it, head back to your phone and enter the Recovery Mode by using the volume keys to scroll and selecting with the Power Button. Upon entering, you will see lots of options, scroll to the “Mount – Mount USB Storage” option and select it. Now your computer will see the SD card from your phone. Copy the Superuser zip file on your SD card. After doing so, click “Unmount”.
Now, from your phone, navigate to the “Install” button, (if another menu shows up, select “Install zip from SD card”) and navigate to the zip file. Click on the file and install it (“Flash Now”). After the flashing of the file is complete, select the “Reboot” option and you are done!
Now you can enjoy your completely rooted Android Smartphone, complete with the Superuser app. This will allow you to use apps that require special permissions, like Titanium Backup, overclock your smartphone or use custom ROMs. Also, for more information, visit the XDA Forum, there you will see a complete list of almost any Android device and any issues you might have will find an answer.