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231 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 151588 29-Aug-2014 20:05
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I've been using my 2degrees S4 on 4.2.2 with TWRP backup, root access, Xposed installer and Wanam Xposed for some time now but feel like an upgrade.

I am downloading 4.4.2 from sammobile and I am pretty confident I can get the phone into download mode and install the firmware via odin but I have a few questions.

1. Will flashing the official rom (I9505XXUGNE5) over a rooted rom cause any issues - I believe it wont as I'm sure everything gets wiped anyway but thought I'd ask.

2. Can 4.4.2 even be rooted? I glanced over something mentioning KNOX and that it could be a problem.

3. Is there anyone using the 2degrees variant, 4.4.2 and gone through the root process that could provide a "how to" or a link? 

4. Would it better just to install a rom through TWRP? If so, what do you recommend and why?

When I had a galaxy s2 I installed roms like there was no tomorrow, that thing seemed to be bullet proof and I had a dongle to bring it back from death if I had to.
My S4 however feels more fragile and it didn't seem like an easy process the first time round so instead of just going for it and trusting my gut I would appreciate any advice and help.

Cheers ;)



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579 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1118456 30-Aug-2014 11:34
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I wouldn't worry too much about the S4 being "fragile" for ROM installs. In some ways it's less fragile than the S2, because the recovery is completely separate from the rest of the OS. You can completely screw up a ROM install, but still be able to access recovery to start again.

I can't comment on the Knox angle, because my phone lasted maybe 6 hours before TouchWiz came off. I have heard that the latest version is far more invasive, and doesn't really like root, so you may not want to start with stock firmware.

I would say that your best bet is to to a full backup in TWRP, then flash a de-Knoxed ROM from a decent source (e.g. XDA). You might even be able to do a dirty flash, not wiping your existing data, but that could also end up with force closes or boot loops. If things turn nasty, just restore your backup and try again.

If you feel like trying something a bit different, try one of the custom AOSP ROMs out there. I've been using NamelessROM for a while. It's largely based on the popular CyanogenMod ROM, but adds a bunch of extra bits, such as notifications on your lock screen. Custom ROMs also tend to pick up security fixes quicker. I'm still not sure whether Samsung's latest versions include fixes for the Heartbleed vulnerability that made big news a few months back.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1120548 2-Sep-2014 15:31
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Best bet is to look on XDA for info.

There are 4 different S4 models, it is important you know which one you have as the ROMs will only work on the specific models. GT-i9500, GT-i9505, GT-i9505g and GT-i9506.
XDA link: http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s4

I
f your phone is already rooted, and has a custom recovery installed, you can boot into that recovery and install a custom ROM as a .zip file saved onto your phone. There should be no problems.
If not you can install the official Samsung firmware with ODIN and then follow the root and recovery installation procedures from XDA.

KNOX is a security feature and once you 'trip' KNOX (by installing something that doesn't have an official Samsung signature like a custom recovery) there is no going back. In saying that, there are no real bad implications to tripping KNOX if it is a personal phone. It is said to void warranty but I would love to see that fly in NZ if the phone develops a hardware fault not related to anything to do with software (good old CGA). Most f the time you can root a stock ROM without tripping KNOX if you retain the factory recovery, then you get the benefits of root without the worries of KNOX-voiding.

Personally Cyanogenmod is soooooo freakin fast on the S4, fluid and smooth. But you lose all the Samsung software gimicks like motion, air-view etc.
My absolute favourite set-up at the moment is Cyanogen with gem-flat theme and xposed running tinted status bar module, a thing of beauty.

I could rant for days on this :)




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231 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1120851 2-Sep-2014 21:52
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Thanks for the help guys!
I may make a backup tonight and give cyanogen a spin but I have always found it a bit...bland, or at least lacking character.(i think thats the point in ASOP roms)
Maybe this can be fixed with themes?

Since you are here, have installed cyanogen and to save me some reading could I ask you a few simple questions?

1. Do you I need clockworkmod recovery for cyanogen or will TWRP do?

2. Do I need a separate modem or anything other than the Cyanogen rom and Gapps?

3. Are themes a completely different build of the rom or can they be applied and/or changed easily?

I hope you don't mind me trying to skip a bit of the reading and picking your brain instead!

Cheers.
Evilst

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1120977 3-Sep-2014 08:53
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1. You can use any CWM-compatible recovery to flash with. I personally use PhilZ Touch, because it's closer to the original CWM but has a number of useful features. I tried TWRP for a short period, but found it to be incredibly laggy compared to the alternatives.

2. None of the ROMs that are built from source (e.g CyanogenMod, OmniROM, MIUI, etc) come with a modem. They'll just use whatever you've got on your phone. My standard clean install is ROM, GApps (minimal package), and SuperSU.

3. CM only comes with a single theme. It's easy to find new themes in the Play Store, and I'm sure there are other sources out there. After installation, if you go into the theme manager and tap on a category (theme pack, interface, icons, sounds, etc) there should be a Get More link at the top right.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1120983 3-Sep-2014 09:17
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I'm a bit the same and find CM bland and lacking some of the Samsung bloatware I've gotten used to but it is usually quicker but some of the other custom rom's available are very good. Check out the rom's with the S5 ports as they are quite good.

There are also custom Roms where you can use the old bootloader so you don't trip Knox and I tip toed around it for ages but with the S5 I didn't worry about it as I'm pretty sure that if it gets a warrant-able issue the CGA will cover it.

If you want to change the modem you can find them easily enough on XDA and need to flash them using Odin, un-tick reboot and once flashed manually reboot into download mode and reflash modem again and then reboot, check on XDA as I may have that wrong but instructions are there.






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231 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1121439 3-Sep-2014 21:52
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Have been reading through the Cyanogenmod XDA forum and it seems there are still some issues which puts me off a bit.
At the moment on the rooted stock rom I only have 2 main problems that I would like a new rom to fix.

1. The bluetooth sometimes doesnt play nicely with my car stereo, sometimes the music will come through the phone instead of the stereo, I think this was fine before I rooted and/or installed xposed/wanam. 

2. Without updating I cannot get google play music to save/cache songs to the external SD so I run out of space quickly on my device, I did try an xposed module to try and force the songs to the SD card but it just kept wiping the cache.

Cyanogenmod had some issues with bluetooth which rules it out for me, I used it a lot.

Can anyone suggest any other roms worth a try?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1121462 3-Sep-2014 22:43
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If you want to play with CM, it sounds like the M9 snapshot build was fairly stable. They made some big changes about a week after that, and those changes have been the cause of the instability you've read about.

I've been using NamelessROM for several months and it's been great. It's effectively CyanogenMod, but with some useful additions and minus the major bugs. I'm running a build from about 2 nights ago and the only issue I've had was that the SIM card wasn't initialized on the first boot. That's more to do with my settings than anything else, and a reboot fixed it.



231 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1121472 3-Sep-2014 23:07
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I'll have a look at that one in the weekend.

Meanwhile I'm kicking myself asking why I always have to mess with things!
Had a crack at installing a Google edition port from here http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2544474

Went without a hitch except it couldn't find a network and the camera doesn't work.
Then I couldn't get into recovery using the hardware buttons!

Downloaded romtoolbox and booted into recovery from there, restored my backup and now I'm waiting nervously for it to boot.

I really wish I had 2 phones, one to play with and one incase of emergency!



231 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1122139 4-Sep-2014 20:52
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OK I have finally managed to move to another ROM and it was stupidly easy!

Im not sure how long it has been around but cyanogenmod now have an app for both PC and your phone that takes you through the steps on installing clockworkmod recovery and then cyanogenmod almost automatically!

I have 1 gripe though, the theme showcase app and associated themes on google play say that they are not compatible with my phone :(

Thanks for your help and advice guys.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1122516 5-Sep-2014 13:02
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This theme is the shiznit:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mac.theme.gem&hl=en

You can get it free from the Android apps and themes thread on XDA but once you have tried it you will no doubt want to flick the dev two bucks for making your phone so awesome :)




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- Mitchell and Webb

 

 

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2103 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1123744 7-Sep-2014 18:06
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Ive been hopping between stock and modified stock roms and CM for a while. I think I might stick with it this time. My only problem with it is the camera app doesnt seem as good.

 

But the thing i hate about being with stock is not being able to update when you're rooted, Cyanogen is rooted by default and updates come out every night! Although I only use milestone releases really

 


DrDee: This theme is the shiznit:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mac.theme.gem&hl=en

You can get it free from the Android apps and themes thread on XDA but once you have tried it you will no doubt want to flick the dev two bucks for making your phone so awesome :)


 

Installing that now. Looks awesome!



231 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1123951 8-Sep-2014 00:04
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I am using this theme: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=release.thyrus.darkuinte

The black play store and play music apps are a good enough reason themselves to buy this theme.



So far so good with cm11, with only 1 issue which makes google play music redownload my entire collection every time I boot the phone. I think this is less to do with cm and more to do with storing the songs on the external sd card.

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