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Old 04-12-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
Belfaborac
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N00b question about rooting

Just so we're clear, I know basically nada about the inner workings of Unix/Linux/Android.

Anyway, I bought my first smart phone a little while back, a Sony Xperia Arc, and despite being in mortal fear of the outcome I've decided I want to root it. I thought I'd use SuperOneClick since it seems to be both popular and as idiot-proof as rooting tools come.

What I don't know though is what happens after I've rooted the phone (while hopefully avoiding bricking it).

1. Can I still update the firmware in the regular way? ICS is right around the corner for the Arc, so if not I'll wait until it's out.

2. Does rooting affect installed apps? In other words, will I have to re-install stuff after the phone has been rooted?

Your assistance will be very much appreciated!
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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2. In general, not really (to my understanding). It just grants you permission to do certain things like remove some things (bloatware) and run other specialized apps like overclocking tools or flash a new ROM to the device. If you flash a different ROM to the phone, you'll probably have to re-install things you may have downloaded from Google Play, but those are tied to your Google account.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #3
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Thanks RL, much appreciated!

Anyone have an answer to question 1? I'm ready to go here, but I'd like to know first...
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Thanks RL, much appreciated!

Anyone have an answer to question 1? I'm ready to go here, but I'd like to know first...
You can update the software after rooting, but you will probably lose root as a result. But the question here is, if you are not certain what rooting brings to the tablet, why would you go through the trouble?
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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Thanks RL, much appreciated!

Anyone have an answer to question 1? I'm ready to go here, but I'd like to know first...
In general (I have HTC phones & tablets, so YMMV) when you root, you are doing two things. First you have to achieve S-off (security off), in other words you have to "unlock" the device (the carriers are selling you a device "locked" so that you can't use another carrier. This is what they mean when you buy an "unlocked" phone). Secondly, you have to install Superuser to that you can have full read/write access to the operating system. Most "one-click" root program do both, I think.

Once S-off and rooted, if you install OTA upgrades from your carrier, most likely you will loose root. You want to ignore the carriers OTA updates and try to get "rooted" updates (try XDA developers for more info).
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Old 04-12-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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What I don't know though is what happens after I've rooted the phone (while hopefully avoiding bricking it).
Nothing rooting your phone just gives you super user (Administrative) privileges. The term "root" is a UNIX term that is synonymous for Administrator. Once you have super user privilege you have complete control of your phone and can backup apps, remove apps, ROM your phone, and damage your phone so be careful.

If you never do nothing with your root priviage you'll not experience any difference.

[QUOTE=Belfaborac;2039591]
1. Can I still update the firmware in the regular way? ICS is right around the corner for the Arc, so if not I'll wait until it's out.

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2. Does rooting affect installed apps? In other words, will I have to re-install stuff after the phone has been rooted?
Yes it does, but I only know of one instance. Google can detect if your phone is rooted and will not allow you to rent movies. I believe some people root and unroot their phone to bypass this limitation.

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Old 04-12-2012, 02:19 PM   #7
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You can update the software after rooting, but you will probably lose root as a result. But the question here is, if you are not certain what rooting brings to the tablet, why would you go through the trouble?
Hang on, hang on, I do know the answer to this one....

Ah yes - in order to get rid of the plentiful, but uniformly useless proprietary crapware which clogs up the available memory and slows everything down. The same reason why the first thing I've done every time I've bought a laptop has been to format and re-install OS.

Android n00b or not, I like a lean, optimised machine whatever the platform.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:42 PM   #8
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I was probably unclear and/or ambiguous in the OP. I did know what rooting entails, in terms of getting SuperUser access and such, I simply didn't know what happens with the apps and whether the ability to install manufacturer updates would be affected. None of the guides I've read have mentioned it, so I thought I'd better ask before I go ahead.

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Yes it does, but I only know of one instance. Google can detect if your phone is rooted and will not allow you to rent movies. I believe some people root and unroot their phone to bypass this limitation.

=X=
That's something I can live with, given that I had no idea Google rented movies. In any case, I'm positive their rental service won't be available in Norway.

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First you have to achieve S-off (security off), in other words you have to "unlock" the device
Thankfully there's no carrier lock involved, so no need to worry about that.

Quote:
Once S-off and rooted, if you install OTA upgrades from your carrier, most likely you will loose root. You want to ignore the carriers OTA updates and try to get "rooted" updates (try XDA developers for more info).
Roger that.

Thanks a lot for your help folks, you've successfully allayed my paranoia.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #9
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Hang on, hang on, I do know the answer to this one....

Ah yes - in order to get rid of the plentiful, but uniformly useless proprietary crapware which clogs up the available memory and slows everything down. The same reason why the first thing I've done every time I've bought a laptop has been to format and re-install OS.

Android n00b or not, I like a lean, optimised machine whatever the platform.
Fair enough, that's as good a reason as any. Before you remove any bloatware, make sure you make a backup of your phone with ClockworkMod. In fact, the very first thing you should do after rooting is backing up the whole OS, so you can always come back to it should you mess up anything.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:02 PM   #10
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Is ClockWorkMod to be preferred ahead of Titanium Backup? TB is the one I had planned to go with for backup and such, due to it being mentioned by everyone and his dog.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:34 PM   #11
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Is ClockWorkMod to be preferred ahead of Titanium Backup? TB is the one I had planned to go with for backup and such, due to it being mentioned by everyone and his dog.
Clockworkmod is a custom recovery, where you can install roms and also do a "nandroid backup", which is a backup of the entire OS, installed apps and data to an image. Titanium backup is an app for backup of apps and data only.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:44 PM   #12
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Ooops, gotcha. Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:35 PM   #13
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Well, bugger....there's always something.....

I thought I had 2.3.3 installed, which is what SuperOneClick will root. Turns out I forgot I updated to 2.3.4, which is a no-go.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:24 PM   #14
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Well, bugger....there's always something.....

I thought I had 2.3.3 installed, which is what SuperOneClick will root. Turns out I forgot I updated to 2.3.4, which is a no-go.
If you really want to remove bloated crap etc instead of just rooting you would be better off installing an AOSP rom like CM9. XDA is the best place to find out what roms are available for your phone. Manufacturers keep promising updates but it takes them months and years. I have been using ICS for about 4-5 months where as the manufacturer has stopped updating the phone.
Another reason for using AOSP roms like cm9 is that you can get bugfixes and security updates as soon as google releases them as most AOSP roms merge and release nighties in 2-3 days of the google source update.
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Old 04-12-2012, 11:36 PM   #15
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Hmmm, maybe I ought to look into that then. I've just had a quick look at custom ROMs, including CM9, since I thought I'd have to root the phone first in any case. I gather that's not correct then?

Edit: of course it has to be rooted first. Duh.

Last edited by Belfaborac; 04-12-2012 at 11:47 PM.
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