quote:go to rootzwiki.com or xda-developers.com find your phone and it will have a step by step guide on how to do it
Man, I was really looking into getting away from Apple and getting an S3. I'm pretty computer savvy, but this thread makes me think I would be in way over my head. I might just stick with my iphone, since I can work with the jailbreak easily. I'm bookmarking this thread just in case.
I'm pretty computer-savvy myself, and even I get lost trying to find the proper directions on those sites. There is just SO MUCH information that it can be hard to find what you need, so here is my attempt at breaking down the steps and what each one does, and explaining some of the terminology. Hopefully it will help put some minds at ease and help those of you unsure about things to be more comfortable.
You will hear things like rooting, flashing, ROMs, kernels, bootloaders, etc. Just remember that everything on your phone is a file, and that all we are doing is changing some of those files. Now, these files aren't meant to be changed, which is why there are confusing processes for changing them.
The first big step in the process is using Odin. You will need the Odin program itself, and a rooted stock ROM for your carrier. I won't put the directions here because they are easy enough to find, but all this step does is put your phone back to the way it was on day 1 (you will lose any apps you installed, but this won't be a problem), with a couple of crucial changes. The first change is your phone is now rooted, which makes it possible to modify the files that aren't supposed to be modified (as I mentioned earlier). The other change is you now have a new recovery called ClockWorkMod. At this point, if you were to just power up your phone you wouldn't really notice anything different.
At this point you are rooted, so you can install apps that require root privileges, and you have the custom recovery software ClockWorkMod (CWM). CWM is really where all the magic happens. It lets you flash new ROMs, kernels, etc., and it lets you make a backup of your phone in case something goes wrong. Once you get this far, all future flashing is pretty easy and you don't need Odin anymore. CWM will stay on your phone forever, unless you decide to go back to stock (in which case you will need Odin again to flash the stock unrooted ROM).
Like I already mentioned, once you follow the Odin directions and you get your phone rooted and have CWM, you are golden. From here, all you do is download a ROM you want to try (make sure it's the right one for your carrier) and put it on the phone via USB cable (I made a rom folder to put all mine in). Now, you haven't done anything yet, all you have is a ROM in a big zip file sitting on your phone. To install it, turn your phone off, then hold volume up, home button, and power button at the same time. This brings you to the CWM menu, and you just navigate through "install zip from sdcard", "choose zip from sdcard", then find your ROM file and let it work. What it does is unpack all the files from the zip file and install them on your phone. You would do the same exact process for installing a different kernel, but pretty much every ROM does this for you anyway, so I wouldn't worry about kernels.
Throughout this whole process, you typically won't lose any of your photos or anything, but I would back them up just in case. Also, after I flashed my ROM, when it booted the first time it went ahead and reinstalled all my apps and settings automatically. There is a backup setting on your phone that makes this happen, and I think it is turned on by default, but I would check to make sure first.
I know it seems like a lot, and I don't think many people will read this wall of text, but there isn't really much to worry about. As long as you know how to put your phone in download mode
, home, and power key, whereas recovery mode
is volume UP
, home key and power), and you have Odin and a stock ROM, you can always go back to the way it was.