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Thread: Surviving the Android 4.3 Update with a Rooted Note II

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Surviving the Android 4.3 Update with a Rooted Note II

    Greetings,

    As most Note II owners on the Verizon network are probably now aware, Android 4.3 (the last "Jelly Bean" version) is being pushed to our phones. It started in late December 2013 and recently reached my phone in early January 2014. Both my wife and I have Note II's and our phones are rooted. The purpose of this post is to share what I learned during this process so other Note II owners with rooted phones will know what to expect and how to deal with it.

    The 4.3 OTA Update will NOT install on a rooted phone ...
    The first thing to understand is that the over-the-air (OTA) update to Android 4.3 includes safeguards to prevent it from being installed onto a modified phone. If your Note II is rooted, the update will fail. However, this will not stop it from trying to install. What will happen is this:

    You will continue to receive prompts to accept the update. You can "defer" for a while but eventually, the download will be forced to your phone whether you want it or not. It is a very large download (724 MB) so it can have a significant impact on your data plan. I recommend using a WiFi connection to download it so it won't impact your month's data allotment.

    Once the update has downloaded, it will try to install itself. Your phone will reboot into its bootloader mode and you'll see the Android character with a spinning geometric figure in his open chest. A progress bar below him will indicate the progress of the installation.

    A few minutes into the installation (about 20% into the process), the Android figure will fall onto his back as if dead and a red caution sign with an exclamation mark will appear over his open chest. An error message will appear saying that the update was not successful. Once you respond to the message, your phone will reboot back into Android 4.1.2.

    You must return your phone back to a stock unrooted state before the OTA update will install correctly. Unfortunately, this is not a trivial task. In the past, many of us have used the OTA RootKeeper app from Supercurio and Project Voodoo to preserve root-level access through an over-the-air update like this. But this will not work this time. In fact, Samsung and/or Verizon have taken countermeasures to defeat the OTA RootKeeper app. At the time of this writing, Supercurio had not yet discovered a way around the new protections and his app is not compatible with Android 4.3 at all. Furthermore, temporarily unrooting your Note II with OTA RootKeeper will also not work. The Android 4.3 installer will detect the hidden root files of the OTA RootKeeper and it will halt the installation of Android 4.3. This is true even if you uninstall OTA RootKeeper. You truly must restore you Note II back to its pre-rooted state.

    Fortunately, it is possible to do this but it requires the use of your phone's Odin download mode and Windows Odin software. (The "Odin" mode of Samsung Android phones is provided by Samsung to enable Android to be updated by a service technician. Many believe the Odin Windows software was "leaked" to the public by Samsung years ago to help the third-party developer community.)

    Before I get into the steps necessary to restore your Note II to its pre-rooted state and how to re-root the phone after Android 4.3 has been installed, I should let you know that neither my or my wife's Note II phones have unlocked bootloaders. I know many rooters also unlock their bootloaders and, if that is your case and you have a custom ROM installed, my procedures may not help you. Besides, you probably don't care—and that's fine—because you most likely installed a custom ROM that is already be based on or uses many Android 4.3 components. So it is unlikely that you are interested in the stock OTA 4.3 update.

    3 tasks must be accomplished to survive the 4.3 OTA update and keep your phone rooted. They are:

    1. Unroot your Note II and return it to "normal".
    2. Install the Android 4.3 OTA update.
    3. Re-root your Note II.


    The following five posts will address each task. You'll notice that each one has lots of steps. I'll frequently recommend that you wipe the Android system cache and we'll do a total of 3 factory resets. The reason is because of the nature of Android system updates and the problems I've witnessed or experienced in the past (I've been at this for a few years). Less patient folks may see lots of ways to shortcut the process and that's fine. The steps I'm suggesting are not the only way to accomplish our desired outcome. But I hope my steps achieve their goal of producing a stable, trouble-free result and I think it is worth trading a little time now in order to be methodical and careful so as to avoid aggravation later. I'll also try to explain a bit about what's going on so you'll understand the "why" behind the "how".

    Let's get started ...

    Kind regards, FirstLight
    Last edited by FirstLight; 01-11-2014 at 11:32 PM.
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    Lightbulb Task 1: Unrooting Your Note II - (Part 1)

    Task 1: Unrooting Your Note II - (Part 1)

    Unrooting your Note II requires the use of a Windows PC. You will need to connect your phone to the PC via the USB cable that came with your phone and your PC will need to have a Samsung USB driver installed on it before you begin.

    The way to unroot your Note II is to install the original unrooted Android operating system and stock apps back onto it. Fortunately, Samsung has released a stock image for each of the two versions of Android and stock apps that were available for the Note II. Important: It is my understanding that you should not mix Android versions! You must install the same version of unrooted Android back onto your phone as the rooted version that you have now. You will also need to obtain a PIT (Partition Information Table) file and the Windows Odin software. I'll discuss this in the "preparation" section next.


    Preparation
    Many of the things you will need for this procedure can be downloaded with the links provided by Droidstyle of the XDA Developers forum. So it will be necessary for me to frequently point you to his thread titled "How to Root / Rom / Return to Stock the VZW Galaxy Note II!" I apologize for this and hope our moderators will forgive this since it is the only way to obtain the needed resources. The XDA Developers forum is a very technical place, populated by software developers. I do not recommend it for beginners or non-techies. That's why I've taken the time to prepare these posts here—to make the process easier.

    1. If you haven't already done so, download, install and test the Samsung USB driver for your Note II on your Windows PC. It can be downloaded from Samsung here: Verizon Wireless Cell Phones SCH-I605
      .
    2. Find your phone's USB cable. I recommend using the original cable that came with your phone if it is available.
      .
    3. Download the Windows Odin 3.07 software from Section 1b of Droidstyle's first post at XDA Developers here: How to Root/Rom/Return to Stock the VZW Galaxy Note II!
      .
      It is the first link under Section 1b and it is only 453 KB in size. You'll be downloading file "Odin3_v3.07_SGSIII.zip". Since it is a compressed "zip" file, you will need to expand its contents (simply copy the contents to its parent folder). The Windows Odin program (Odin3 v3.07.exe) does not need to be installed—it is ready to use.
      .
    4. Download the appropriate stock Android 4.1.x image file from Section 1b of Droidstyle's first post at XDA Developers here: How to Root/Rom/Return to Stock the VZW Galaxy Note II!
      .
      This will be a large file about 1.5 GB in size and the file server service is slow (it can literally take hours). The file should be saved in the same folder with the Windows Odin program.
      .
      To determine which is the correct image file, use the Android menu on your phone and navigate to: Settings > About phone > Android version and Baseband version. Most of us had Android 4.1.2 with a Baseband version ending with VRAMC3 before the 4.3 update and should use the "Official VRAMC3 4.1.2 5/5/13" download. However, if your phone has Android version 4.1.1 with a Baseband version ending with VRALJB, then use the "Official VRALJB 4.1.1 12/9/12" download.
      .
      Note: The 4.1.2 version of the stock image file has been in high demand and the file server at the link on Droidstyle's post seems to be having trouble keeping up with that demand. As I write, the server is down at the recommended site. Even when the server was working, I was not successful when I tried to download the file several days ago. So I searched and found an alternate site at Dev-Host here: Dev-Host However, you must be careful because Dev-Host surrounds the small black download button with ads (some of the ads look like a download button).
      .
      Once the file is saved onto your PC's hard drive, check its file name extension. It should end with ".tar.md5". If it does not (if it ends with "zip" or "7"), it is compressed and its contents must be expanded before it is usable.
      .
    5. Download the PIT (Partition Information Table) file from Section 1b of Droidstyle's first post at XDA Developers here: How to Root/Rom/Return to Stock the VZW Galaxy Note II!
      .
      It is file "SCH-I605_16gb.Pit" and is only 3 KB in size. The file should be saved in the same folder with the Windows Odin program.
      .
    6. Make a full backup of your phone. If you use the Titanium Backup Pro app, you should choose a "batch action" to "backup all user apps + system data". This should include everything in the main storage of your phone (however, it will not include files on your SD card—we'll deal with them next). In my experience, this provides the best way to restore your contacts and SMS/MMS texts later, after your phone has rooted Android 4.3 running. Note: There are other backup programs that are also great but I'm not familiar with them. I use Titanium Backup Pro because it is like a Swiss Army knife and does just about everything I need (backups, freezes/defrosts bloatware, uninstalls any app, including system apps, cleans the Dalvik cache, etc.). But I am not affiliated with the program in any way nor do I receive any benefit from mentioning it here. As I said, it's simply the program with which I'm familiar.
      .
    7. The final preparation is to back up all of the data in your phone's "storage". My Note II came from the factory with 16 GB of permanent flash memory for internal storage. Plus I added a 64 GB external SD card. Both of these storage devices need to be backed up because they will be erased later. The internal storage will be erased during a factory reset. The external SD card will be erased when we reformat it.
      .
      Copy the contents of both storage devices to your PC. I used a separate folder for each. Important: If your internal flash memory and/or your SD card are encrypted, your backups on your PC must be unencrypted or they will be unreadable later.
      .
    8. Finally, if you plan to download the OTA 4.3 update with a WiFi network (recommended), you should gather all necessary WiFi connection data, including password. You'll need this information later in Task 2 when the Android 4.3 update is downloaded.


    You should now have everything you need to restore your Note II back to its pre-rooted state.
    Last edited by FirstLight; 01-13-2014 at 08:20 PM.
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    Lightbulb Task 1: Unrooting Your Note II - (Part 2)

    Task 1: Unrooting Your Note II - (Part 2)

    Unrooting Procedure
    .
    1. If you have previously "frozen" any bloatware or system components, "defrost" them now so they are once again visible to Android.
      .
    2. If you are using Chainfire's SuperSU Pro for your root access (highly recommended), then launch it, select the "Settings" tab, scroll down to the "Cleanup" section and tap on "Full unroot". This will clean the superuser out of your system. But the Android 4.3 installer will still be able to tell that your phone was once rooted—we aren't finished yet.
      .
    3. Charge your phone's battery to 100%. You do not want your Note II to run out of power in the middle of a factory reset or while installing the original Android image or it will be permanently damaged.
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    4. Turn off your phone and wait 30 seconds.
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    5. Wipe the Android system cache as follows: Simultaneously press the Volume Up + Home (Verizon) + Power buttons to boot the phone into the Android System Recovery Menu. Do not release the buttons until the green Android guy appears. Use the Volume Down button to select "wipe cache partition" then press the Power button to execute it.
      .
    6. Reset the phone as follows: Still in the Android System Recovery Menu, use the Volume Down button to select "wipe data/factory reset" then press the Power button to execute it. When finished, your phone should boot up like it was a new phone. However, there are still traces of it having been rooted so we aren't finished yet.
      .
    7. After it has finished booting, turn off your phone again and wait 30 seconds.
      .
    8. Once again, wipe the Android system cache as follows: Simultaneously press the Volume Up + Home (Verizon) + Power buttons to boot the phone into the Android System Recovery Menu. Do not release the buttons until the green Android guy appears. Use the Volume Down button to select "wipe cache partition" then press the Power button to execute it.
      .
      Why do this again? Because the factory reset sometimes leaves "garbage" in the cache and we want to make sure that we keep your phone as "clean" as possible through this process in order to avoid bootloops and other nasty stuff.
      .
    9. Once the system cache has been wiped, the "reboot system now" command will be selected again. Press the Power button to execute it and reboot the phone.
      .
    10. Your phone probably still thinks it is "new" and will want you to configure it. Skip as much of this as possible. You do not need to enter your Google account or sync any data. We're not ready for that yet so just hurry past all of the prompts until you get to the home screen.
      .
    11. Using the Android menu, erase your SD card as follows: Settings > Storage > Format SD card.
      .
      Why format the SD card? Android stores some system data on the card and, as with the system cache, we want a clean start before the Android 4.3 installer runs.
      .
    12. Using the Android menu, make sure that the phone's USB debugging mode is turned on. To do this, go to Settings > Developer options > USB debugging and make sure "USB debugging" is checked. If the "Developer options" are not visible, then go to Settings > About phone and tap 7 times on the "Build number" to activate the developer mode, go to Settings > Developer options and turn on USB debugging.
      .
      USB debugging must be turned on for the Windows Odin software to download the original Android image to your phone over the USB cable.
      .
    13. Turn off your phone.
      .
    14. Launch the Windows Odin software with administrator privileges by right-clicking on it (Odin3 v3.07.exe) and selecting the "Run as administrator" command.
      .
    15. Click on the "PIT" button near the middle of the window and select the pit file (sch-i605_16gb.pit).
      .
    16. Click on the "PDA" button and load the .tar.md5 image file. If your phone has Android 4.1.2, this will be file KIES_HOME_I605VRAMC3_I605VZWAMC3_1098177_REV04_use r_low_ship.tar.md5.
      .
    17. Boot your phone into the Odin download mode as follows: Simultaneously press the Volume Down + Home (Verizon) + Power buttons. Do not release the buttons until the yellow triangle appears at the bottom of the display. Press and release the Volume Up button to proceed to the Odin mode. (You can cancel by pressing the Volume Down button.)
      .
    18. Connect the phone to your PC via the USB cable. After a few seconds, the Odin software should show a com port number in a yellow "ID:COM" box in the upper left portion of Odin's window. Wait until the com port number appears. If it does not, then you may have a problem with the USB driver for the phone. You'll need to fix it before proceeding. If you do have to fix the USB connection, you can pull the battery from your phone to get it out of Odin mode so you can troubleshoot the connection. However, do not ever remove the battery or disconnect your phone while the Windows Odin program is downloading the image file to it or your phone will be permanently damaged.
      .
    19. Double-check the settings of the Windows Odin software. The pit and .tar.md5 files should both have been selected and loaded. In the "Options" section on the left, the "Auto Reboot", "Re-Partition" and "F.Reset Time" checkboxes should all be checked. The rest of the checkboxes should be unchecked.
      .
    20. Click on the "Start" button to begin the download. Do not allow anything to interrupt the download or your phone will be permanently damaged. You can monitor the progress in the "Message" box in the lower left corner of the Odin program. Plus a progress bar will be displayed in the upper left corner (above the "ID:COM" box).
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    21. Once the download is completed, your phone should automatically reboot (that's why the "Auto Reboot" checkbox was checked in the Odin software). When it does, you can disconnect it from the PC, if you like, and close the Windows Odin program.
      .
    22. After your phone has finished booting, turn it off again and wait 30 seconds.
      .
    23. Yet again, wipe the Android system cache as follows: Simultaneously press the Volume Up + Home (Verizon) + Power buttons to boot the phone into the Android System Recovery Menu. Do not release the buttons until the green Android guy appears. Use the Volume Down button to select "wipe cache partition" then press the Power button to execute it.
      .
    24. Once the system cache has been wiped, the "reboot system now" command will be selected again. Press the Power button to execute it and reboot the phone.
      .
    25. Once again, your phone will think it is "new" and will want you to configure it. Skip as much of this as possible. You do not need to enter your Google account or sync any data yet. We're not ready for that yet so just hurry past all of the prompts until you get to the home screen.


    At this point, your Note II should be restored to its factory "new" condition (speaking digitally) and will contain no traces of ever having been rooted. Now we're ready to install Android 4.3 ...
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  4. #4
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    Lightbulb Task 2: Install the Android 4.3 Update on Your Note II

    Task 2: Install the Android 4.3 Update on Your Note II

    You could wait for the 4.3 update to be pushed to your phone again. But why wait? It can be started manually and that's what we'll do next.


    Install the OTA Android 4.3 Update
    .
    1. The OTA Android 4.3 update is large (724 MB). If you are concerned about using too much of your monthly data allotment and/or you don't have access to a fast 4G connection then you'll want to use a WiFi connection for the download. However, if you followed the steps in Task 1 in the previous post, your WiFi settings will have been erased. Therefore, the first step is to re-enable your WiFi connection.
      .
      Using the Android menu, go to Settings > Wi-Fi to turn on WiFi and connect your phone to your WiFi access point. You may need your WiFi password if your connection needs to be configured manually.
      .
    2. Using the Android menu, launch the update as follows: Go to Settings > My phone and tap on "Software update" at the top. A dialog box will probably appear asking if you want to check for a new software update. Tap on the "Check for new software update".
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      If an update isn't found, you may need to repeat the process again (I did on one of our phones). But it should find the update.
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    3. Tap on the "OK" button to begin the download. Because of its large size, it will take several minutes.
      .
    4. Once the download has finished, tap on "OK" again to begin the installation. Your phone will reboot into its bootloader mode and you'll see the Android character with the spinning geometric shape in his open chest. A progress bar will appear underneath.
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    5. Your phone should automatically reboot after the installation is complete.
      .
    6. Once again, your phone will want you to configure it. Don't. We're going to reset it one last time in order to "clean" the update and any configuring you do now will be lost. But before we do the final reset, let's verify that Android 4.3 is now installed on your phone.
      .
      Using the Android menu, go to System > About phone. The Android version should be "4.3" and the Baseband version should be "I605VRUEMJ9".
      .
    7. Turn off your phone and wait 30 seconds.
      .
      Next, we're going to do a final factory reset to clean the "update". Why? Because neither Google nor Verizon nor Samsung have provided us with a means to do a true "clean" installation. The Android 4.3 OTA update is just that, an "update". And, unfortunately, experience has shown that these system updaters do not do a perfect job of cleaning all vestiges of the older Android system out of our phones. My goal here is to try to arrive at the "cleanest" installation possible so that my phone will be as peppy and as reliable as possible.
      .
      The reason I bracket each factory reset with a wipe of the system cache before and after is to ensure that the reset begins with a clean cache so it will operate smoothly and so any residue left over from the reset will be cleaned afterward.
      .
    8. Next, wipe the system cache once again as follows: Simultaneously press the Volume Up + Home (Verizon) + Power buttons to boot the phone into the Android System Recovery Menu. Do not release the buttons until the green Android guy appears. Use the Volume Down button to select "wipe cache partition" then press the Power button to execute it.
      .
    9. Then reset the phone again as follows: Still in the Android System Recovery Menu, use the Volume Down button to select "wipe data/factory reset" then press the Power button to execute it. When finished, your phone should boot up like it was a new phone.
      .
    10. After booting, your phone will again think it is "new" and will want you to configure it. Skip as much of this as possible. You do not need to enter your Google account or sync any data yet because it may trigger the updating of a host of system apps. Before that happens, you should erase your SD card one final time. Go to Settings > Storage > Format SD card and erase the SD card.
      .
      Why erase it again? This time, we want to make sure that no vestiges of Android 4.1.x are left and reformatting the card will cause Android 4.3 to clear it and install its own system data files onto it.
      .
    11. Turn off your phone again and wait 30 seconds.
      .
    12. Once again, wipe the Android system cache as follows: Simultaneously press the Volume Up + Home (Verizon) + Power buttons to boot the phone into the Android System Recovery Menu. Do not release the buttons until the green Android guy appears. Use the Volume Down button to select "wipe cache partition" then press the Power button to execute it.
      .
    13. Once the system cache has been wiped, the "reboot system now" command will be selected again. Press the Power button to execute it and reboot the phone.
      .
    14. Your phone still thinks it is "new" and will want you to configure it. It is finally time to do that. This is the time to enter your Google account and sync any data. However, a word of caution:
      .
      You will have lost your WiFi settings again after the last reset so you'll probably want to re-establish it before updating apps. When you do, Android 4.3 will want to automatically update many of the system apps. If you want to control the process manually, you'll need to take action before you reconnect to your WiFi access point. Launch the Google Play Store app and select "Settings" from its menu. Then tap "Auto-update apps" and set it to "Do not auto-update apps". Now the system apps will not be updated until you approve.


    Our final task will be to root Android 4.3. I recommend that you delay the re-installation of your many personal apps and data until after your phone is rooted. Of course, if you have no desire to root your phone again, then "go for it" and reinstall your apps and data. I provide some suggestions for that at the end of Task 3 in the next post (however, Titanium Backup Pro will not be able to restore the data for system apps without root-level access).
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    Lightbulb Task 3: Re-root Your Note II - (Part 1)

    Task 3: Re-root Your Note II - (Part 1)

    This, our final task, assumes that stock Android 4.3 has been successfully installed on your Note II. This version of Android has tools for preventing rooting that earlier versions did not have. As a result, many of the rooting techniques that worked on Android 4.1.x will not work here. In fact, some superuser apps are incompatible with Android 4.3. Fortunately, owners of the Galaxy S4 have already had to deal with this issue and solutions were found that also work for our Note II phones and are surprisingly easy to implement.


    Preparation
    We'll need a couple of things before we begin:

    1. This procedure uses the Saferoot process packaged by k1mu of the XDA Developers forum. You will need to go to k1mu's first post in his Saferoot: Root for VRUEMJ7, MK2, and Android 4.3 post to download Saferoot. Don't be confused by the big green "Start Download" buttons near the top of the webpage and again near the top of his first post—they are ads. The link you really want is down near the bottom of his first post in the "Attached Files" box.
      .
      Download file "saferoot.zip" to your Windows PC. It is 3.05 MB in size and, since it is a "zip" file, its contents are compressed and need to be expanded. Simply copy the contents of the zip to the parent folder. When you're finished, you should have "install.bat", "install.sh" and a "files" folder containing 10 files.
      .
    2. Next, we need a convenient way to verify that the phone is properly rooted. I use the Root Checker app by Joeykrim. It is available either in a "free" version or a "Pro" version. I use the "Pro" version because it also checks the BusyBox installation. But the free version will be adequate for testing the main component. Use the Google Play Store to install Root Checker or a similar app onto your phone.
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    Lightbulb Task 3: Re-root Your Note II - (Part 2)

    Task 3: Re-root Your Note II - (Part 2)


    How to Root a Note II with stock Android 4.3
    .
    1. After undergoing the update to Android 4.3 and being factory reset afterward (if you followed the steps in Task 2), it is probable that your phone is no longer in the developer mode. It needs to be and we'll use the Android menu to check it and implement it if necessary. Select "Settings" from the Android menu and scroll to the bottom until "About phone" is visible. If "Developer options" is not also visible above it, then your phone is no longer in developer mode.
      .
      Note: If the Settings are configured for a "tab view", tap on the "More" tab to view the "About phone" settings. The "Developer options" should be visible above it if the phone is in developer mode.
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      To put the phone into developer mode, tap on "About phone" and scroll down. Then tap on the Build number 7 times.
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    2. Turn on the USB debugging mode from the Android menu with Settings > Developer options > USB debugging.
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      USB debugging must be turned on for Saferoot to work.
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    3. Enable apps to be installed on your phone from outside the Google Play Store by going to: Settings > Security > Unknown sources and checking its checkbox.
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      Saferoot will be installing the basic (free) version of Chainfire's excellent SuperSU (superuser) as well as a version of BusyBox (both are essential components of a rooted phone).
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    4. Your phone should not be connected to your PC yet. Right-click on the file "install.bat" that you extracted from the Saferoot zip file and choose the "Run as administrator" command. "Install.bat" is actually a PC batch file containing a script that will handle the rooting process.
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      A Windows command prompt window will appear. Don't be concerned by the fact that "Samsung Galaxy S4" is listed at the top of the window—this process works well and is safe for the Note II, also.
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      A message will appear in the window instructing you to plug your phone into your PC and press any key on the computer's keyboard to continue.
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    5. Connect your phone to your PC via your phone's USB cable. Important: Wait a minute for your computer to recognize your phone and load the Samsung USB driver for it. Do not proceed until your phone is visible to your PC.
      .
      Note: You may have noticed that you do not need to put your phone in Odin mode for this method. It is a very easy procedure and, even if it goes wrong or does not work, it should not harm your phone. That's why its author calls it "safe" root.
      .
    6. Press any key (once) on your PC's keyboard for the script to continue. If a message appears on your phone asking you whether to allow the PC ("this computer") to use USB debugging to access your phone, check the "Always allow from this computer" and tap the "OK" button.
      .
      The Saferoot script will copy a number of files to your phone and begin the rooting process. Then it will reboot your phone and ask you to wait. After the phone has rebooted, Saferoot will check to see if it can detect "su" (the superuser app). If it can't, it indicates that something prevented it from attaining root-level access. If that happens, close the command prompt window and unplug your phone from your PC. Then start over with Step 4 above. It took three runs to successfully root my wife's Note II. But my Note II was rooted on the first attempt. I don't know what happened with hers but the point is: don't give up until you've tried two or three times.
      .
      Saferoot also attempts to disable the "Knox Notification Manager". It was successful on both our Note II phones. The "Knox" is a new security feature to prevent rooting of Galaxy phones and it can generate annoying messages.
      .
      At some point you will be asked to open SuperSU and let it update. To open SuperSU, tap on the "Apps" icon at the bottom right corner of any home screen on your phone then scroll through the apps to find SuperSU. Tap on it to launch it. It should ask you to allow it to get an update. Allow it to do it.
      .
      Next, you will probably get a message from SuperSU asking for permission to allow "ADB shell" to gain root permissions. Allow it to have permission.
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      Saferoot should say "--- All Finished ---" when it is done. Close the command prompt window when it does.
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    7. If desired, disconnect your phone from your PC.
      .
    8. Locate the Root Checker app that you installed earlier and verify that your phone is rooted by tapping on the "Verify Root" button.
      .
    9. Next, I recommend rebooting your phone and using the Root Checker app again to verify that your phone is still rooted. It should be. Congratulations!!!
      .
    10. The next step I did was to return to the Google Play Store and install the "Pro" version of Chainfire's SuperSU. Then I turned on the "Survival mode" feature (not available on the free version) to help it survive future OTA updates.
      .
    11. Next, I recommend restoring the data backups from your phone's internal storage and external SD card. This should be done before attempting to restore the data to any apps because your apps may reference it. For example, I restored the ringtones, notification sounds and pictures to my phone's internal storage because some of them were linked to my contacts and I want the Contacts app to be able to find them when my contacts data was restored. You'll need to think this through and anticipate the dependencies of your apps and restore them before restoring the data for the apps, themselves.
      .
      I recommend using caution so as to avoid writing old system data from Android 4.1.x onto your new Android 4.3. For this reason, don't blindly restore the entire contents of your storage backups without thinking about what you really need. Make a note of the folder and files that Android 4.3 installed on both your phone's internal storage area and your SD card and don't write over them with old versions from your backups.
      .
    12. After you've restored the data from your storage backups, you should install your backup app onto your phone. For me, this meant returning to the Google Play Store and downloading Titanium Backup and its Pro license key. I had already restored the user app + system data backup to my SD card in Step 11 above. Now I can simply open Titanium Backup Pro and restore data to my apps. Naturally, the apps need to be installed first and I never use Titanium Backup Pro for that—I prefer to return to the source (Google's Play Store or Amazon's Android App Store) and install fresh copies of my apps from there. Then I return to Titanium Backup Pro and restore just the data for the app.
      .
      Note: The only time I would install an app with Titanium Backup is if the app is no longer available from other sources.
      .
      Tip: In come cases, you will be restoring data that was created with an older version of an app. This is the case with the Contacts app and text message. If your backup app offers to convert the data between different versions of an app, I recommend turning this feature on. In Titanium Backup Pro, you open the main menu and turn on Preferences... > Migrate system data in the "Restoration settings" section. This feature worked beautifully for me and I was able to restore the contacts and SMS/MMS texts much better than any other method I've ever used. Even the contact photos were visible because I had carefully restored the photo files in Step 11 first.
      .
    13. With regard to restoring apps, my approach was to begin with the system apps first (like the Contacts and text messages). I also used the Google Play Store to upgrade all of the system apps that needed it. Then I returned to Titanium Backup Pro and "froze" all of the bloatware and apps that I don't want to use. I chose to freeze them rather than uninstall them so I can restore them later should the need arise. I saved my personal apps for last—there are a lot—and I wanted to make sure that the system was stable and running very well first.
      .
    14. After all my apps had been restored, I used Titanium Backup Pro to check the Dalvik cache (it was okay) and I did one last wipe of the Android system cache.
      .
    15. Finally, I used the Root Explorer app to edit feature.xml in the system area. It is a CSC (Consumer Software Customization) file that cell phone network providers use to customize the features of our phones. They use it to turn on or off features for various reasons. For example, Verizon doesn't want us to be able to turn off the camera shutter sound, nor do they want us to have an exit button to properly close the internet browser when we're finished using it. I adjust these customizable features based on my needs but, once the feature.xml file is edited, you can't wipe your system cache without also wiping the changes to feature.xml. So I save it for last and wipe the cache beforehand (Step 14).


    Well, that concludes my experience upgrading my family's two Note II phones to Android 4.3 without giving up root-level access. I hope the explanations help fill in some of the gaps you'll find in other procedures on the 'net.

    Kind regards, FirstLight
    Last edited by FirstLight; 01-13-2014 at 08:43 PM.
    gdgtgrl likes this.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Lou89's Avatar
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    4.4.2 build

    Sorry to resurrect this old thread but you seem like the person to ask. Does this process work for installing the new 4.4.2 for the note 2? Obviously the rooting part is different but can I uproot and install 4.4.2 with this process while running 4.3? Would you happen to also know how to then root 4.4.2 on the note 2?

    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by FirstLight View Post
    Task 3: Re-root Your Note II - (Part 2)


    How to Root a Note II with stock Android 4.3
    .
    1. After undergoing the update to Android 4.3 and being factory reset afterward (if you followed the steps in Task 2), it is probable that your phone is no longer in the developer mode. It needs to be and we'll use the Android menu to check it and implement it if necessary. Select "Settings" from the Android menu and scroll to the bottom until "About phone" is visible. If "Developer options" is not also visible above it, then your phone is no longer in developer mode.
      .
      Note: If the Settings are configured for a "tab view", tap on the "More" tab to view the "About phone" settings. The "Developer options" should be visible above it if the phone is in developer mode.
      .
      To put the phone into developer mode, tap on "About phone" and scroll down. Then tap on the Build number 7 times.
      .
    2. Turn on the USB debugging mode from the Android menu with Settings > Developer options > USB debugging.
      .
      USB debugging must be turned on for Saferoot to work.
      .
    3. Enable apps to be installed on your phone from outside the Google Play Store by going to: Settings > Security
      .
    4. Your phone should not be connected to your PC yet. Right-click on the file "install.bat" that you extracted from the Saferoot zip file and choose the "Run as administrator" command. "Install.bat" is actually a PC batch file containing a script that will handle the rooting process.
      .
      A Windows command prompt window will appear. Don't be concerned by the fact that "Samsung Galaxy S4" is listed at the top of the window—this process works well and is safe for the Note II, also.
      .
      A message will appear in the window instructing you to plug your phone into your PC and press any key on the computer's keyboard to continue.
      .
    5. Connect your phone to your PC via your phone's USB cable. Important: Wait a minute for your computer to recognize
      Note: You may have noticed that you do not need to put your phone in Odin mode for this method. It is a very easy procedure and, even if it goes wrong or does not work, it should not harm your phone. That's why its author calls it "safe" root.
      .
    6. Press any key (once) on your PC's keyboard for the script to continue. If a message appears on your phone asking you whether to allow the PC ("this computer") to use USB debugging to access your phone, check the "Always allow from this computer" and tap the "OK" button.
      .
      The Saferoot script will copy a number of files to your phone and begin the rooting process. Then it will reboot your phone and ask you to wait. After the phone has rebooted, Saferoot will check to see if it can detect "su" (the superuser app). If it can't, it indicates that something prevented it from attaining root-level access. If that happens, close the command prompt window and unplug your phone from your PC. Then start over with Step 4 above. It took three runs to successfully root my wife's Note II. But my Note II was rooted on the first attempt. I don't know what happened with hers but the point is: don't give up until you've tried two or three times.
      .
      Saferoot also attempts to disable the "Knox Notification Manager". It was successful on both our Note II phones. The "Knox" is a new security feature to prevent rooting of Galaxy phones and it can generate annoying messages.
      .
      At some point you will be asked to open SuperSU and let it update. To open SuperSU, tap on the "Apps" icon at the bottom right corner of any home screen on your phone then scroll through the apps to find SuperSU. Tap on it to launch it. It should ask you to allow it to get an update. Allow it to do it.
      .
      Next, you will probably get a message from SuperSU asking for permission to allow "ADB shell" to gain root permissions. Allow it to have permission.
      .
      Saferoot should say "--- All Finished ---" when it is done. Close the command prompt window when it does.
      .
    7. If desired, disconnect your phone from your PC.
      .
    8. Locate the Root Checker app that you installed earlier and verify that your phone is rooted by tapping on the "Verify Root" button.
      .
    9. Next, I recommend rebooting your phone and using the Root Checker app again to verify that your phone is still rooted. It should be. Congratulations!!!
      .
    10. The next step I did was to return to the Google Play Store and install the "Pro" version of Chainfire's SuperSU. Then I turned on the "Survival mode" feature (not available on the free version) to help it survive future OTA updates.
      .
    11. Next, I recommend restoring the data backups from your phone's internal storage and external SD card. This should be done before attempting to restore the data to any apps because your apps may reference it. For example, I restored the ringtones, notification sounds and pictures to my phone's internal storage because some of them were linked to my contacts and I want the Contacts app to be able to find them when my contacts data was restored. You'll need to think this through and anticipate the dependencies of your apps and restore them before restoring the data for the apps, themselves.
      .
      I recommend using caution so as to avoid writing old system data from Android 4.1.x onto your new Android 4.3. For this reason, don't blindly restore the entire contents of your storage backups without thinking about what you really need. Make a note of the folder and files that Android 4.3 installed on both your phone's internal storage area and your SD card and don't write over them with old versions from your backups.
      .
    12. After you've restored the data from your storage backups, you should install your backup app onto your phone. For me, this meant returning to the Google Play Store and downloading Titanium Backup and its Pro license key. I had already restored the user app + system data backup to my SD card in Step 11 above. Now I can simply open Titanium Backup Pro and restore data to my apps. Naturally, the apps need to be installed first and I never use Titanium Backup Pro for that—I prefer to return to the source (Google's Play Store or Amazon's Android App Store) and install fresh copies of my apps from there. Then I return to Titanium Backup Pro and restore just the data for the app.
      .
      Note: The only time I would install an app with Titanium Backup is if the app is no longer available from other sources.
      .
      Tip: In come cases, you will be restoring data that was created with an older version of an app. This is the case with the Contacts app and text message. If your backup app offers to convert the data between different versions of an app, I recommend turning this feature on. In Titanium Backup Pro, you open the main menu and turn on Preferences... > Migrate system data in the "Restoration settings" section. This feature worked beautifully for me and I was able to restore the contacts and SMS/MMS texts much better than any other method I've ever used. Even the contact photos were visible because I had carefully restored the photo files in Step 11 first.
      .
    13. With regard to restoring apps, my approach was to begin with the system apps first (like the Contacts and text messages). I also used the Google Play Store to upgrade all of the system apps that needed it. Then I returned to Titanium Backup Pro and "froze" all of the bloatware and apps that I don't want to use. I chose to freeze them rather than uninstall them so I can restore them later should the need arise. I saved my personal apps for last—there are a lot—and I wanted to make sure that the system was stable and running very well first.
      .
    14. After all my apps had been restored, I used Titanium Backup Pro to check the Dalvik cache (it was okay) and I did one last wipe of the Android system cache.
      .
    15. Finally, I used the Root Explorer app to edit feature.xml in the system area. It is a CSC (Consumer Software Customization) file that cell phone network providers use to customize the features of our phones. They use it to turn on or off features for various reasons. For example, Verizon doesn't want us to be able to turn off the camera shutter sound, nor do they want us to have an exit button to properly close the internet browser when we're finished using it. I adjust these customizable features based on my needs but, once the feature.xml file is edited, you can't wipe your system cache without also wiping the changes to feature.xml. So I save it for last and wipe the cache beforehand (Step 14).


    Well, that concludes my experience upgrading my family's two Note II phones to Android 4.3 without giving up root-level access. I hope the explanations help fill in some of the gaps you'll find in other procedures on the 'net.

    Kind regards, FirstLight

  8. #8
    Super Moderator ggrant3876's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou89 View Post
    Sorry to resurrect this old thread but you seem like the person to ask. Does this process work for installing the new 4.4.2 for the note 2? Obviously the rooting part is different but can I uproot and install 4.4.2 with this process while running 4.3? Would you happen to also know how to then root 4.4.2 on the note 2?

    Thanks!
    Welcome to the forum. If your Note II is rooted you just need to ODIN the stock 4.4.2 and reroot. Basically the same as above but using 4.4.2 instead of 4.3.

    Note 8
    Galaxy S8 Plus
    OnePlus 6T

  9. #9
    Member Tonik's Avatar
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    The original post is about the Verizon note 2. If that is what you have there is no root for 4.4.2.

  10. #10
    Member Tonik's Avatar
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    And I will add, safestrap does not work on 4.4.2 for the note 2.

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