Rooting Tips for Noobs

Here are a few rooting tips that I have for Android devices:

Root AndroidAndroid has some jargon “built in” that is a bit confusing when trying to customize your device. This short “rooting tips” guide may help to de-mystify things.

NOOB is short for newbie or new user. It is not intended to be derogatory but some “old timers” may assume it so. In my case, I use the term simply to help new users find this article and the help they need.

Rooting is the same as the iOS “jailbreak” and means that you are unlocking the operating system to allow you more control. Once you have “rooted” a device, you can even change the entire operating system ROM (Read Only Memory). It is like reformatting your computer and replacing Windows with Linux.

Carrier Unlocking is NOT the same as rooting. Cell phone carriers may lock a phone so that it will only work with their own service. And example, AT&T phones normally will not work on T-Moble’s system, even though they may use the same frequencies. When a phone is carrier unlocked, it can be used with different carriers if they use the same frequencies and protocols. This process is not directly related to rooting and can be done on both rooted and unrooted phones. Contact your carrier to see if they offer the service for free.

Device Unlocking is required when a manufacturer locks a device to make it more difficult to root. This is generally not a problem with Android devices but when it is necessary, the instructions will typically be included with the rooting instructions. And example is the Nexus 7 tablet.

Recovery is the program that allows you to install a new ROM or make other very low-level changes. It is similar to the BIOS of your computer.

Flashing is the term used for writing a new ROM to your device. There are many similarities among devices but the precise function is linked to a specific device. So, don’t use the instructions for your phone when “flashing” a rom on your tablet.

When you upgrade/flash a newer version of a custom ROM from the same developer, you can usually do a “dirty” flash. That means that you can simply flash over the existing rom. No need to wipe or clear anything. If the developer has any specific requirements, they usually state that you should do a particular type of wipe / clear.

In Recovery, the option to “Factory Reset”: means that all the old data on the INTERNAL emmc memory (setup, apps, data, etc) is erased and the device will be restored to the ROM that was last installed on the device. If you have never flashed a custom ROM, then it would literally be the “Factory” or stock ROM. Otherwise, it means the last rom you flashed e.g., a custom ROM. The Factory Reset includes both the Wipe Cache & Wipe Dalvik Cache. After executing this option, you will be required to do the initial setup & re-install any apps that Android does not restore. All application data is lost. (You may be able to restore apps/data with Titanium Backup if you previously backed up the data.) Using this option extends the boot time for the first boot (see Dalvik, below).

Wipe Cache: Clears old temporary data. Does not require you to set up again or re-install apps. Always safe – and recommended rather than a “dirty” flash. Could also be required to repair some issues when using Android.

Wipe Dalvik Cache: Clears the indexing that Android does on the first boot. This is also safe but it will extend the boot time for the first boot after wipe. You may notice a dialog something like, “Android is upgrading x of y” while it is rebuilding the index.  Could also be required to repair some issues when using Android.

Wipe Battery Stats: Means nothing (except for “techies”) and does nothing of real value. If it is suggested by someone, just ignore it.

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18 Responses to Rooting Tips for Noobs

  1. Pingback: Jelly Bean for the Kindle Fire

  2. Dallas says:

    Hello sir. ^..^ i am kind of new to this whole rooting process and i do have a nook tablet. i want to hack it so i can get android apps etc but i no longer own a sd card or memory card of any sort. Is it possible to any way hack my nook tablet in order to get android apps etc with the sd or memory card? if so what process must i take

    • Dallas says:

      i mean without an sd or memory card my apologies

      • Ray says:

        There is a way to use ADB (search this site) but it is pretty technical to set up and use – especially on Windows and with older devices.
        SDCards are less than $10 at Walmart and even cheaper on Amazon. My suggestion is to spend a few bucks and do it the easy way.

  3. Doug says:

    hey im very new to this and feel like an idiot but every time I try to install the drivers I get on the install wizard google.inc (Win.usb)…install failed ….? ive looked and im sure im doing something wrong but any help greatly appriciated

    • Ray says:

      Hey Doug. Merry Christmas!
      It would be difficult for me to know how to help you since I do not know what device you have or what you are trying to accomplish. The “Tips” page is not meant as any type of guide – only as a general reference to the terms used on other articles.
      It sounds like you are trying to install the Android Developer’s package. That is not generally needed for users. It is meant for those people who want to build / develop applications for Android.
      If you are trying to root an Android device, visit our pages for that device and, if you still have problems, leave a comment on that article.
      Unfortunately, we do not have guides for all devices (or even a large number of devices.) I operate this site by myself & using my own funds to buy devices for which I create the guides. However, many of our articles are general enough that it will help you understand the processes for other devices. Again, visit one of our guides and leave your questions there.

  4. deltarunner says:

    How many Micro SD cards will I need to Root my Nook Tablet 1.4.3 and what sizes do I need to purchase?

  5. nguyentuananh says:

    Can I up rom for Creative 10″ Tab ?

    • Ray says:

      I am not sure what you are asking. I don’t have a creative tab but very likely, these tips work for it. HOWEVER – NEVER try to flash a ROM unless the description states specifically that it will work for your device!

  6. Nate Euclid says:

    Hey Ray
    Im trying to root my Kindle fire 7.2.3 and I am having several set backs
    first my kindle and win 7 PC aren’t communicating or syncing
    I downloaded Kindle fire Utility were it says ADB status:offline
    and Boot status: unknown how do I fix this?

  7. Mike says:

    Thank You for leaving Instructions on “Jailbreaking” Android products..but I wonder IF readers will know that “Google Nexus 7” (and probably Android products in general) won’t be able to be used by those using APPLE iPhones & iPads that use “MyWi” or “PDANet” for wireless connectivity!!

    That’s right!!

    If you planned (like I did!) to but the cheaper Nexus 7 32gb and USE my iPad 3 (with 4G LTE) and be able to “wirelessly” connect as a Hotspot, with my MyWi 5.0….well then you are in for a BIG SHOCK, because Google Tech Support guy named “Josh” told me that, the reason I won’t be able to connect & use iPad 3’s wifi is because…”Apple uses 2.4hertz and we(google) don’t”!!

    Huh??!!

    You mean, after all the Tech Pundits ranting about how GREAT the Nexus 7 is, that no one thought that the ONLY Mobile Hotspot Apps on phones out here…won’t be able to work with Nexus 7’s??

    Well, I just got my RMA slip from Google and am planning to RETURN this 32gb product and HAVE to buy an iPad MINI to able to enjoy mobile hotspotting with a 7inch product!!

    Conclusion: DON’T BUY the Nexus 7 & plan on using Apple’s Jailbroken apps, MyWi & PDanet~!!

    • Ray says:

      Thanks for the comment, Mike. However, I believe that you have some misleading info. Not sure who “Josh” is or where he is getting his info but he is WRONG!
      First, there is a STANDARD for WiFi and both Apple and Google are participants. ALL WiFi (except “A”) is on 2.4 GigaHertz (not hertz). That includes B/G/N devices. The A WiFi is on 5GHz. All channels are on standard frequencies and they MUST be for inter-operability of the routers / a/p devices. You do NOT buy a WiFi router for Apple and another for Android. As long as you are on the same version of WiFi (A/B/G/N) then they will inter-operate. What is NOT always the same is the type of Security (WEP/WPA/WPA2). There is also a variation of WPA that uses either a pre-shared key (PSK) or an enterprise server. Then they have two types of encryption: TKIP (preferred) and AES. But there is almost ALWAYS some set of WiFi & security that can be used with any two devices.
      Second, you mis-stated the proper buying protocol. IMHO, the correct statement is “DON’T BUY the iOS junk if you plan on using real “big-boy” toys!” (grin)
      TRUTH: From reading the FAQs on their respective websites, the iOS app MyWi only does (weak) WEP security and iOS app PDANet does not appear to support ANY type of security.

      • Mike Daniels says:

        Ray;
        Thank You for taking the time to reply to my FRUSTRATED comment, regarding the audacity of Google Tech Support, to tell me that I cannot connect my Nexus 7 to the (2) paid apps that run on my iPad 3, thus preventing me from enjoying ‘Net access away from my house~!

        I felt so comfortable reading your reply (and agreeing with what you said 100%!) that I am donating $10 dollars to your site via PayPal account right now!!

        Most people, who have websites or chatrooms, would have SHOUTED me down for daring to speak my mind about a product they love (or family does!) but you treated me with the “decency” of someone that felt/feels that they were cheated out of money by purchasing products..and for this, please accept that this donation is/was my way of saying “Thank You Ray~!”

        In closing, I just became a Subscriber to this Website/Blog, and will be reading articles you have, on trying to find solutions on this Nexus7 and the many problems it has!

        I wish you & your family a SAFE & PLEASANT Week-End~!

        E.M.Daniels,
        elite1700@gmail.com

        • Ray says:

          Thank you Mike! How very kind of you to reply AND send a donation! I do hope that you find a solution to the problem. Actually, my son may give my wife an iPhone for Christmas. If so, I will be working on the same concept since she already has a Kindle Fire that I will try to tether.
          Rather than contacting Google, you might contact the app developers. I am sure that they have some solutions since that is what their apps are designed to accomplish.

    • Ray says:

      After doing some additional searching, I have found that MANY people are having trouble with their iOS 6 devices and the hotspot function. Even those trying to use the carrier version ($10/mo) cannot get it to work for any other device – not just Android. Here is a link on the Apple forums: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4479268?tstart=0
      Evidently, it is a problem with either ios 6 or with the Apple hardware.

      Here are a couple ways that seem to work for some users:
      http://support.apple.com/kb/TS2756
      From Apple user, jamesfishn
      Re: I am not able to use my personal hotspot after updating iOS 6.0.1
      Nov 21, 2012 1:18 PM (in response to Dhavala)
      This is from another apple user but fixed my issue.

      I figured out the issue. Turn off FaceTime over cellular, restart the iPhone and the tethering works. Somehow turning on FaceTime over cellular breaks tethering.

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