It has been more than a year since the performance race in the Android world started, and since then we have been gifted with numerous devices which try and push and the limits of the current technology as high as possible. Just a couple of months ago it seemed impossible for a smartphone to carry a quad core processor and 2 GB of RAM, but this stuff is no longer breaking news now. Probably the devices that started this craze not so long ago were the now famous Samsung Galaxy S II and the HTC Sensation. While HTC decided to stick to one device for all its markets, Samsung went further ahead and personalized their Galaxy S II flagship to the needs of any bigger client. This was exactly the case with the T-Mobile version of the Galaxy S II SGH T989, as it did not offer different hardware, but it did come in a different case than the international version.
Nevertheless, owning a Samsung Galaxy S II of any kind meant that sooner or later you would be faced with a critical yet deciding question: should I root my device? While most of the conservative people out there would surely say no, those brave enough would recognize the benefits of this procedure and would go on without a doubt. The goal of this article is to provide you with a secure, easy and simple way of rooting your T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II T989 if it is running on the latest official firmware: the UVLE1 ICS one.
Before starting anything, you will have to check if your T-Mobile Galaxy S II T989 runs on the aforementioned firmware version. To do this you must go to Settings -> About Phone and see if you can find the UVLE1 codename there. If you can you are good to proceed but you are unable to find it you must first update your device to this latest version of Android and then proceed with this guide.
As always, rooting your T-Mobile Galaxy S II T989 means that you will lose your warranty, so if you are not prepared to take this step you should stop here. Keep in mind that although rooting means losing your warranty, you can simply revert back to the official UVLE1 Android 4.0 ICS firmware by using the PC software updater. This means that if you do not like having access to the best apps on the market you can simply revert back to stock firmware in a few minutes.
Having said this, there is now one last paragraph that you must read and understand before beginning the actual guide, and this one is all about the disclaimer notice: This software is not our creation so we must warn you that you cannot hold us responsible for any damage that might occur to your device by following the procedures in this guide. However, we will try to help you sort out any glitches or problems that might arise by following the steps in this guide to the extent our knowledge limits us. By going further into this guide you have accepted the risks and terms above.
After understanding the terms above we can now move on to the first part of our guide. This part is going to cover all the aspects regarding the back up of your personal data. Although the procedure should not erase your personal data, it is always better to be on the safe side with this sort of things. We would have gone for making a backup of your T-Mobile Galaxy S II T989 using the official software, but it is impossible as the Samsung KIES application doesn’t recognize any rooted firmware out there. To this extent we have summed up a list of third party applications and a couple of procedures that will help you backup all of your personal data as well as restore it in case you need to.
- Text messages – We will back them up with the following application : SMS Backup & Restore
- Phone Contacts – You can simply synchronize them to your Gmail account or export them to the micro SD card as a .vcf file
- Call Log – We will use the following application to backup your call log : Call Log Backup and Restore
- Pictures, Music, Videos, and other files – Simply copy them to your microSD card.
- Internet & MMS Settings – Write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”
If you do not have a memory card on your Galaxy S II T989 do not be alarmed, as saving the data on the internal memory card will be just as good.
After having secured your personal data it is now time to move to the second part of our guide, the one that covers the essential requirement needed for the updating procedure. We warn you not to treat the lines below lightly, as doing so might result in a bricked T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II T989 on your behalf. These safety precautions are in place to ensure that everything goes as smooth as possible with the update from a hardware point of view:
- Make sure that you own a T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II T989 before proceeding any further.
- Please charge your device to full or to a minimum of 60% to ensure that the phone will not power off during the install process. If it does power off there is a big risk of it turning into a very expensive brick.
- Please enable the USB debugging option in your Samsung Galaxy S2 T989. This can be done from the following path: Settings -> Applications -> Development-> USB debugging. The USB Debugging option should be ticked.
- The last requirements concerns your PC, so please turn off or disable any antivirus as well as firewall tools in your computer as these tools tend to interrupt the process of firmware update. It is also advisable to turn off the security software running on your Galaxy S II T989 if you are running any at all.
So far so good as we have covered all the critical aspects that need to be taken care of before applying any update to any Android smartphone out there. After doing so we are ready to proceed to the third and last part of our guide, which covers the actual steps of the updating process. Please do not skip any of the steps below, as doing so might result in permanent damage to your T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S2 T989.
- As always, we will begin by downloading the necessary software, and this case we are talking about two things: the Rooting Package and the Odin Package. The first pack contains the necessary files for the root process while the second package contains the application that we will use to allow the root to happen. You will also have to download this Root.zip package which will be used later on.
- In the second step you will have to extract the zip archives downloaded at step to an easily reachable location such as your desktop folder.
- Next up you will have to power off your T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II T989 and reboot it into download mode. This can be done by simultaneously pressing and holding the Volume Down Key and the Center Key and afterwards pressing the Power Key. This odd combination should result in your smartphone starting into download mode, and you can easily recognize if it has done so looking for a big green triangle with a droid working inside it.
- In the fourth step you will simply have to open the folder where you have extracted the Odin program previously and start it.
- The fifth step involves connecting your T-Mobile Galaxy S II T989 in download mode to the computer already running the Odin software and waiting a couple of seconds or in the worst case minutes for it to recognize the device. You can check when Odin has recognized your device by looking at the color of the ID: COM window. If it is yellow you are ready to proceed. If it however decides not to turn to yellow you will have to do the following:
- You will have to make sure that the USB driver of the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II T989 is installed on your PC.
- Ensure that the Samsung KIES option is ticked on the phone. You can enable this option by going to the following path: Settings -> Wireless & Network -> USB Settings.
- In this step you will have to press the button labeled “PDA” in the Odin program and select the file named “recovery.tar.md5” from the extracted rooting package downloaded at step 1. After doing so please make sure again that the program has recognized your T-Mobile Galaxy S II T989 and then press the “Start” button in Odin.
- Pressing the Start button will start the first step of the rooting procedure, and once it finishes, your Galaxy S II T989 will automatically reboot in the normal mode, and it will prompt you for language and country settings.
- Once your device lands in the normal home screen, you will have to copy the Root.zip archive downloaded at step one to the root folder of either the external memory card or the internal one on your Galaxy S II T989. Make sure not to place the file into any additional subfolders as you will have a harder time finding it later.
- After doing so you will have to restart your T-Mobile Galaxy S II into the new recovery you have flashed at three steps above. You can do this in the same way you accessed the download mode on your device, so please turn off your smartphone and simultaneously press and hold the Volume Down Key and the Center Key after which you will have to press the Power Key. Your Galaxy S II should now reboot into the Clockwork Mod recovery.
- Once the device has entered the custom recovery please select the following options: Install zip from SD card -> Choose zip from SD card and afterwards select the Root.zip package that you have previously placed on your device and just wait for the file to be flashed.
- Once the update is complete, you will have to go back to the main menu of the Clockwork Mod recovery and select the “Reboot now” option in order to restart your Galaxy S II into the normal mode. The updating process should not take more than 1 minute.
After doing this step above you will have reached the end of the rooting tutorial for the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S II T989 running on the official UVLE1 ICS firmware. If all has gone according to plan you are now running an official ROM with the root active, and this means that you can start installing apps that require root permissions immediately.
If the updating process has gone wrong in some place or if your device refuses to start up in the normal way and gets stuck in what is known as a boot loop, you will have to pull out and reinsert the batter after which you will have to start the last part of our guide all over again. If you still can’t get it to work please drop us a line below and we will try to help you.