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Get Android 4.4 on the Samsung Galaxy S2 with CM 11

Kris Carlon
26

Wow, it was only just last week that I showed you how to get Android 4.3 on your Galaxy S2 with CM 10.2, and now CM 11 will get you Android 4.4 on the aging Galaxy S2. This just goes to show that the Samsung Galaxy S2 is far from ready to retire yet. So if you haven't yet followed the tutorial to upgrade to 4.3 you can skip that one and go straight to the top of the Android pile and get Android 4.4 on your Galaxy S2 right now with CyanogenMod 11.

BackS2Plus
There's life in the old beast yet, and now there's KitKat too. / © AndroidPIT

Warning

The installation of custom ROMs is risky, so if you do not follow the procedure properly, you can end up with an unusable phone. Back up all your data first, knock on wood, cross your fingers and get a comprehensive dental plan. Neither AndroidPIT nor myself will be held responsible for anything wayward as a result of this process, especially if it relates to cavities, crowns or fluoride treatments.

CyanogenMod 11, which is based on the Android 4.4 code base, is still in the early development phase, so this version may include a lot of bugs. Its installation and use is therefore slightly restricted to an audience of intrepid adventurers or tech veterans. If you are not comfortable with crashes, bugs and the like, then perhaps stick with my previous Android 4.3 tutorial because it is going to be much more stable than this little baby. While it may be tempting to start taking advantage of KitKat right now on the S2, if you do not know exactly what you are doing, you're going to end up with more headaches than joy. Fair warning, now let's proceed.

S2P WM 4
The CM 11 ROM is only for those who know their S2 and how to deal with bugs. / © AndroidPIT

Prerequisites

We'll start with the assumption that your Galaxy S2 (I9100) is rooted and you have already made a backup of your system, that you have copied to your PC, cloud service or other external media. Backup your app data too, as we will be deleting everything during the course of this tutorial. I'll also assume you've read up enough on the known issues with CM 11 and are comfortable going ahead anyway.

To summarize:

1. Root

2. Nandroid backup

3. Backup important data and apps

If you're unsure how to root your Galaxy S2, go to this old S2 root tutorial and complete the steps there first.

Downloads

Get the CyanogenMod 11 ROM for the Galaxy S2 I9100, based on the Android 4.4 KitKat code base. As always, there's nothing preventing you from flashing a newer version, once it is available, or substituting the appropriate firmware for another version of the S2, if available.

Also download the Google applications for Android 4.4 KitKat package: gapps-kk

Install Android 4.4 on the Galaxy S2 KitKat

Since your S2 is rooted, we will use the good old custom recovery method. As a reminder, here is the procedure:

1. Download both zip files given above.

2. Place both files in the root of your S2.

3. Turn off the Galaxy S2 and restart in Recovery Mode (Home + Power + Volume up until the third vibration)

4. Perform a wipe by selecting and confirming the option "Wipe Data/Factory Reset" then "Wipe Cache".

5 . Then select "install zip from sd card" and "choose zip from sd card" (the names of these exact menus may vary depending on the version of CWM you have).

6. Locate the ROM file, and then click "Yes" to confirm.

7 . Now flash the gapps file.

8. Return to the main Recovery Menu and select "Reboot System Now".

The first reboot on CM 11 may take a few minutes. Let us know how you like it!  

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Comments

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  • Sasha Shepherd 9 months ago Link

    Love my S2 so much. With a cheap silicon case, I've dropped it on concrete so many times..dropped it from about 7 feet onto straight concrete a few days ago. It's in perfect condition.

    A cool tip with these is that for only about $15 you can order extended 3000mAh batteries on eBay. Come with a new case and cover and everything. Make the phone bulkier, but I kind of like that. Huge improvement in battery life.

    I honestly see no advantage whatsoever in upgrading to a new model handset. This meets my needs so perfectly..except the GPS is horrible, but I bought it second hand, it's never worked very well. Other than that, phone is brilliant.

    Can't wait to get KitKat on it.

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  • Harshith Srinivas 9 months ago Link

    What happens if we install this ROM on galaxy s advance?

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  • Harshith Srinivas 9 months ago Link

    Can we install this ROM on galaxy s advance?

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    Admin
    Kris Carlon 9 months ago Link

    Hey @Harshith, I wouldn't do that. Each ROM is specific for a device, so you need to get the right ROM for your specific model phone. Check out XDA Developers to see what custom ROMs are available for the Galaxy S Advance.

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  • Nik Burin 9 months ago Link

    @Harshith or check directly on CyanogenMod website,full list of devices on cyan wikia

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  • +1 Apps 9 months ago Link

    this version is a desaster - crashing processes all the time, display errors and it looks like my battery is at -1061814476% right now - nice! going back to 4.2 ;)

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      Kris Carlon 8 months ago Link

      Yeah it's early days yet. Keep an eye on the comments at XDA and see when it calms down, then you can have another crack at it!

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      • Shining Stars 8 months ago Link

        Is there any way to get android 4.4 on sky Vega a840s ? Orignally comes with Jelly bean 4.1.2.

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        Kris Carlon 8 months ago Link

        HI @Shining Stars, just go to XDA Developers and enter your device name - you'll quickly see what custom ROMs are available for your particular device and if there's any based on the KitKat code base. Just be sure to read up on the comments to see how stable/buggy the ROM is and backup and the rebackup before you flash anything.

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  • Ron Rutledge 8 months ago Link

    I've installed CM11 and 4.4 on two Samsung Galaxy S Showcases (used the Fascinate files). Definitely handles the limited memory more efficiently. Can't comment on data or voice, these are just "play phones" for us.

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      Kris Carlon 8 months ago Link

      Nice work @Ron. I'm really happy with CM 11 on my Nexus 5, but that was probably always going to be a given.

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  • Michael Phang 8 months ago Link

    NVM *** Working - Link is down to download CyanogenMod 11 ROM for the Galaxy S2 I9100

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      Kris Carlon 8 months ago Link

      Hi @Michael, I just checked and the download file is still ok. Have you tried again recently?

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  • Hasanul Banna Siam 8 months ago Link

    I installed omni a few days ago but it was full of bugs..so i reverted to previous version.

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      Kris Carlon 8 months ago Link

      Which version did you revert back to? And which version of Omni was full of bugs? I've heard that the CM 11 ROM on the S2 is super buggy, but I'm sure it'll settle down in time. Still, it's nice to know CM are working on it.

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  • Shaun Houlahan 8 months ago Link

    Followed the instruction and now have 4.4 on my galaxy s2 all seems to be working fine except one thing. I charge my phone overnight and according to the meter its 100% charged. I remove the charging cable and boot my phone. The first thing that pops up is a little panel telling me my battery is low and to put it on charge. I check the charge in the battery on the phone and it informs me that my battery is -1061814476%. I use the extended battery which is 3000mAh. Can anyone shed some light on this

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    • Ron Rutledge 8 months ago Link

      I had battery issues on my S also. I'm in the middle of recalibrating now. Downloaded a little app to help with it. Basically it requires you to completely drain the battery, then charge to 100, then run the app. It deletes the battery.bin file that stores battery stats. Then you use the phone to empty, then recharge again to 100%. All should be well then. I used https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nema.batterycalibration but there are several others. Good luck!
      Ron

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  • Yosef Kaner 8 months ago Link

    I installed it on a Galaxy S2 i9100, that had been running CM10 prior to the install. Now Google apps crash right and left, the battery indicator tells me that my battery status is -118456%, CWM restore does not see any files (and so will not allow me to flash back to a previous ROM that worked). For this S2 it is not ready for prime time.

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  • ihedioha Udodiri 7 months ago Link

    Can android 4.4 kitkat run on my galaxy Note 10.1?

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      Kris Carlon 7 months ago Link

      Depends how you want to do it and which model you have: 2014 or 2013 Edition? The 2014 Edition will get the official Android 4.4 update before too long, maybe March/April if not a little before. The 2013 Edition Note 10.1 may get it later in the year, but both devices can of course handle KitKat right now courtesy of any of the custom ROMs available based on the KitKat code.

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  • ideal bresa 7 months ago Link

    hi there , i just did everything like in the description , to instal kitkat 4.4 on my s2 i9100, i rebooted my phone , at the begining some apps started crashing, and then i tried to sign in with my google account ,but it just keep loading, and my battery shows the same issue from the other users (-1061814476) , please help , i like the look of this version , can someon tell me how to fix this ?

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      Kris Carlon 7 months ago Link

      Hi @Ideal, have you tried the Battery Calibration app mentioned in a comment above? That'd be a good place to start. Happy to know the ROM is relatively stable for you otherwise. The S2 still hasn't been added to CyanogenMod's stable build device list. Perhaps the S2 got abandoned (or delayed) after the initial problems?

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      Kris Carlon 6 months ago Link

      Hi @Ideal, the S2 has finally got official support form CyanogenMod and has Nightlies out for it right now. I'll write an install tutorial shortly.

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  • nav sha 6 months ago Link

    I tried 4.4 as per your instructions given above.............everything is working great.........except for the battery error as told by other people...........I thought to revert back to 4.3 but now the CWM is not showing me the CM & gapps which I copied into my sd card...

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  • Muhammad Zeeshan 2 months ago Link

    admin i didn't understand the 2nd point in Install Android 4.4 on the Galaxy S2 KitKat so would u please explain me that where to place it exactly .

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      Kris Carlon 2 months ago Link

      Hi @Muhammad, just use a root manager like ES File Explorer to move them to the root directory of your device. In ES just keep tapping at the top until you see only the /. This is root level. Then carry on.

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