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How To Install A Custom ROM On Your Rooted Samsung Galaxy S2

Eric McBride
3

 

 

In part 3 of our new Rooting and Modding section, I'm going to show you how to flash custom ROMS on your phone. This is probably THE biggest advantage of having a rooted phone, as there are so many great and heavily optimized ROMS out there for this amazing piece of hardware. So if you have already followed along with our previous video on how to get root access on your device, lets get started on flashing a custom ROM!

So heres a walkthrough to go along with our video on how exactly to do this. Before flashing the ROM, we are going to do 2 things: First, we are going to flash a custom recovery that will allow you from now on to easily flash any custom ROM that you want onto your phone. You will spend a lot of time in recovery most likely, and your going to love how easy it is to do this :-D

Second, we are going to completly backup the ROM that you currently have, which is another HUGE advantage of having root, as this makes us "safe" in case something goes wrong or if you don't like the custom ROM. Lets get started!

But before that, the usual disclaimer :-D

!!!!DISCLAIMER: Rooting your phone and using custom ROMS have risks, and if instructions aren't followed you can BRICK YOUR DEVICE. We are NOT responsible if your phone breaks, if world war occurs, or if your dog dies!!!! Read this entire article before you make your decision!!!!

And guys, make sure you're battery is fully charged before doing this!!!!!

How to flash ClockworkMod recovery.

So, first I'll show you how to flash recovery. Good news is you only have to do this ONCE and that you won't need Odin anymore to flash custom ROMS again. You will now (in 90% of most cases) ONLY need your phone to flash custom ROMS. Cool right?

To quickly recap, if you see an app called "superuser" in your app drawer, that means that you are properly rooted and ready to proceed. If you DON'T see it, you don't have full root access and need to go back to our "how to root the Galaxy S2" article.

First, we need to flash a kernel that is going to install CWM recovery. So go to your phone, press "settings", and then to the "about phone" section. Once there, look under "kernel version". Every phone is different, but mine in the middle says "2.6.35.7-I9100ZSKG2" with some other numbers after. It's the KG2 that I need to note in my case, and you will need to note what YOUR number is in that field. Don't worry too much about if it's EXACTLY the same. Just find the matching download and use it. The location that you can find the right kernal for your phone is here (be props to XDA member Chainfire for making these available!).

What if there is no matching download? If there's no match, try finding the closest match. You should treat "KG1" as a number, but instead of 1-9, we have 1-9, A-Z (where A would be 10, and Z would be 35). "KG2" is really close to "KG1", "KF1" is not close to "KG1" at all. I hope that makes sense. Once you find the right file for your phone, let's get back to Odin and download mode.

Once you have the appropriate file selected, we need to get back into download mode. So power off your phone, and once it's off, hold the volume down, menu, and power key at the same time. The disclaimer screen will pop up again. Once you see it, press volume up to confirm you wish to proceed. You're now back on download mode again.

You're now going to open Odin again, and just like last time, press PDA. Make sure that with the kernel you downloaded that you have unzipped it. The final file inside should be a file with a "tar" extension, NOT a zip file. After you press pda, navigate to the file you just downloaded and double click it. Once you have it, press start to flash the kernel. It will flash and your phone will reboot. You now have a custom version of recovery for flashing ROMS.

When your phone reboots, we then need to pick out a nice custom ROM for you to flash! There are a HUGE list of custom ROMS, and you're free to flash the one you like, but in this video I will show you how to flash a ROM from XDA member raffaele88. The ROM is called "Batista70 FOXHOUND EDITION", and it has been HEAVILY optimzed (this is a Gingerbread ROM. The Ice Cream Sandwich ROMS are still in alpha release stages, so expect bugs if you choose to flash one of those, and follow the instructions closely on XDA). You can find that ROM here. Props to XDA member raffaele88 for this awesome ROM!

After you have downloaded the ROM, plug your phone into your PC, and drag and drop the ROM onto your phone. Make sure it's on the ROOT of the phone and NOT in any folder.

Once that is done, unplug your phone and look for an app called "CWM". This is the app we flashed in Odin a few minutes ago, and it should now be in your app drawer. Once you find it, press it and you will see some options on the screen. The 2nd option down says "reboot into CWM recovery. Press that, and your phone will now reboot into recovery mode.

Recovery mode is sooooo easy. The big square home button at the bottom center of your phone is the confirm/"I want to do this" button, the power button is to go back to the previous screen, and you navigate using the up and down volume buttons.

Here is where the magic happens. Before we flash it though, let's do something really nice...let's make a backup of your ROM so that in case something goes wrong, we can restore it. So once you're in recovery, scroll down with the volume key to the 6th option that says "backup and restore" and press the big button on your phone to enter it. The top option says, "backup". Press that button, and you're phone will now make an exact backup of the way your phone is now, just in case something goes wrong. It will take a few minutes to complete. You now have a backup for emergencies that's safely resting on your phone.

Now, we need to wipe the phone, and this is exactly what you need to do before installing ANY new ROM, unless stated by the developer. If you're updating your ROM to a newer version, it's a little different. Let me explain (very easy).

On the recovery screen, scroll down to "wipe data/factory reset" and do that. Then when it's done wiping, go to the option below it (4th from the top) that says "wipe cache" and do that. Then lastly, when that's done go down to "advanced" and then execute "wipe dalvik cache". This is what you will almost ALWAYS do when flashing a NEW ROM UNLESS STATED BY THE DEV IN THE FLASHING INSTRUCTIONS. If your UPDATING your ROM and not flashing a new one, wipe the cache and dalvik only. You don't need to do the factory reset for updating in MOST cases.

Once that's all finished, you're back at the main menu. Scroll down to "install zip from SD card". Once you enter that menu, navigate to the ROM that we downloaded and put on the SD card and choose to install it and wait for that to finish. Then, press reboot. The first book can take quite some time, but just leave the phone alone until it's done.

Congrats...you just installed your first custom ROM, and I'm sure it will be the first of many! And the cool thing is, you can do this all without a computer. You can simply download any ROM you want that's appropriate for your phone directly from your phones browser, and then use an file manager app like Androzip to move it to the root of your phone. Once it's there, flash away! 

So what now? What's so great about this ROM? Well, have a look at these modifications from the dev:

Based on the latest official firmware 2.3.6 XWKL1 WIPE
-Deodexed
-Zipalinged
-Abyss 3.0 Kernel by Angelom
-Tw 4.5 English By Fr4ggor
-Browser NO Lag no Over scroll + User agent
-Added the Mod-Battery with incremental rate of 1%
-Delete the sound notifications full charge and minimum charge battery
-GPS Quick-Fix
-All Framework DEODEXED zipaligned and optimized PNG and has been compressed to save space
-Mms.apk no MMS auto-conversion -200 contacts per SMS – fixed received time thanks to (muveszur)
-Added the Mod rom to improve the bitrate audio / video
-Romoved the Wifi-sharing
– Added VOIP for Wifi
– Added multilingual T9 Dictionaries
– Camera Stock is better NOW on 2.3.6
-NEW Sony Bravia mod included to improve quality photo (really work) Thanks ykk_five
-Sony Xloud enable to default to improve audio
-Improved Audio
-Transition animations ICS
-Updated hosts to eliminate advertising and web apps
-Phone.apk CallRec integrated (No Auto Rotation + No Increasing Tone ) FULL SCREEN
-Ringtones ICS
-Notification ICS
-New Market 3.4.4
-New Bootanimation SnakeS
-Video and Audio Gtalk Front Camera 2.3.6
-Torch app
-Last Titanium Backup app
-Gtalk app 1.3
-EmailWidget trasparent
-Added CWM app
-Removed some apk samsung
-SparePart plus
-Agile Lock
-Zoule B&B theme included
-App Manger (includes many mod to customize)
-DSP Manager
-Clock Ice Cream
-Included DownloadALL app
-Ram Scrip added
-Included app_process and system_server from Android(improves scrolling)
-Build.prop tweaks
-Jkay 13.4.1
-NEW Pulldown Animation in StatusBar


As you can see, it's HEAVILY modded, and even has some Ice Cream Sandwich components. It's also running a Sony Bravia Mod, which is a really nice touch. If you choose to install a different ROM from XDA, it's important that you FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS STEP BY STEP. A HUGE list of ROMS can be found here

Again, big shout outs to XDA member raffaele88 for his amazing ROM and XDA member Chainfire for the CWM files! These guys deserve a big pat on the back!

I recommend that ANYONE flashing ROMS become a member of the XDA forums, as these guys are simply the best there is at developing and helping if problems come up. Flashing ROMS is ADDICTIVE, so make sure you follow instructions when you're doing it.

In the next section, I'm gonna show you the ROM, some more features of recovery, how to backup all your apps so that each time you flash a new ROM you won't have to install everything again, and I will also show you how to unroot your phone. Remember, hit me up on skype (username androidmodder) between 11am and 5pm Berlin time if you have questions. Until next time, and enjoy your new ROM!!!

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Comments

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  • Trent Neuman Jan 25, 2012 Link

    Great article.
    I could not agree more on how amazing XDA is.
    I have a captivate that Samsung had refused to support with ice cream sandwich. They claim the captivate can not run it.
    Thanks to XDA I am currently ruining team Hacksungs ics beta 4.0.3 rc 14.
    My phone feels like brand new and has never been more stable and smooth. I have almost NO LAG!

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  • Eric McBride Jan 26, 2012 Link

    Hi Trent,

    I agree big time. I honestly dont know what I would do without those guys. They have saved me so many times when i had problems with my phones and tablets. So much talent in one place!

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  • Don Brachino Apr 15, 2012 Link

    hey guys let me start by saying this video is really helpful I'm bad with phones I followed this exactly and it was great
    so now I successfully managed to change my boot animation and I want to add sound to it but can't locate the sound file can you help ?

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