Monday, August 12, 2013

Rooting Samsung Nexus-S

Since my Samsung Nexus-S was having issues updating existing programs that I installed onto it and I was mainly using my LG Nexus-4, I decided to root my Samsung Nexus-S after I purchased a replacement battery for it (because the original battery that I had would not last more than half a day based on very light usage). Another reason why I finally decide to re-root my Samsung Nexus-S was because there hasn't been an upgrade to OS for the Nexus-S in a long time (nor do I expect an upgrade to the OS). I had rooted it in the past but when I upgraded the OS software, it reverted to a non-rooted state and because I was only using two applications that required root access, I opted not to root it until recently. Every time the OS is officially upgraded, one of the steps involved in rooting the phone generally wipes the phone back to factory defaults. I found this to be time consuming (reconfiguring the phone and reinstalling all the applications that I had) and not worth it for the 2 applications that I use which require root access. Since there hasn't been an OS update for the Samsung Nexus-S in a long time and I recently replaced my Nexus-S battery, I felt now was a perfect time to root my Nexus-S again.

I did some research on rooting my Samsung Nexus-S and came across this video on YouTube showing how to root the Nexus-S. You can view the YouTube video below or by clicking *HERE* (I did not create this video). A shoutout goes to QBKing77 for creating this video and providing instructions/steps and shoutout also goes to the creator of the program WugFresh.

My instructions are based on the above video and things that I noticed when I tried to root my Samsung Nexus-S. Just like with my blog post on installing Android on the HP TouchPad, I am including my standard disclaimer.

My instructions are geared towards people who are somewhat familiar with computers and know how to troubleshoot simple installation issues or go into certain directories using the command prompt. Regardless of whether you are or aren't such a person, I am including the usual disclaimer that I am not responsible for anything that might go wrong when you follow my instructions or use my files. These instructions and files worked for me and they should work for you.

The instructions that I followed from the YouTube video mention downloading a file. I've included this file on my blog which you can download directly *HERE*. After watching the video to its entirety, download the file either from the site mentioned on the video (or in the description area of the video) or you can download it from the link on my blog.

Please note that everything will be wiped from your phone when you root your device (during the unlock process).

I won't detail everything that the video goes through but will write about some of the issues that I had.

The first issue was that I wasn't sure which version of the Nexus-S I had. In my case, I purchased my Nexus-S from a Canadian carrier called Fido which uses the same frequency/bands as Rogers Wireless in Canada and AT&T in the US. After doing some research (since I could not locate this information on my phone), the Samsung Nexus-S version that I had from the menu selection was the 850MHz i9020a version (which might be the information shown in Settings -> About Phone -> Baseband version).

In terms of which version of Android I was using, I got this information from Settings -> About Phone -> Android version.

From the program screen, I clicked on the "Full Driver Installation Guide" button and followed the instructions. During step 2 of the driver installation, I was presented with the screen/window below:

The recommended solution based on my set-up was Driver Solution #1 based on the screen. However, I tried using the recommended solution a few times (rebooting my computer multiple times and uninstalling/reinstalling the drivers) and the step would always fail during the the Fastboot Check (the ADB check worked without any issues). I decided to try using Driver Solution #2 and after rebooting my computer, both the ADB check and the Fastbook check worked without any issues.

I then proceeded to unlock the bootloader and didn't run into any issues.

When rooting my device using the "Root" button, at first I didn't select the "Custom Recovery" option but after running into a minor issue during boot-up, I redid the step using the Custom Recovery option. After completing all the steps when I clicked on the "Root" button, it didn't add "Superuser" or "SU" to my Samsung Nexus-S.

The video makes mention to the possibility of this happening. To fix this, you will need to download the SU application. I have a copy of it *HERE*. After downloading this ZIP file, you will place it on the root directory of your Samsung Nexus-S (which will probably place it into the /sdcard directory).

After doing this, you will remove your Samsung Nexus-S from your computer and turn off your Samsung Nexus-S, wait a few seconds and then on your Nexus-S push the power button and volume up button at the same time to get into the Boatloader screen. Use the volume key to select "Recovery Mode" which will bring you to the Team Win Recovery screen. Select "Install" and then locate the "" program. CWM-SuperSU-v0, will install. This is also shown in the video but I thought that I would make mention of it because it did apply in my situation.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

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