Lately, it seems like the Samsung Galaxy S2 has been receiving quite a lot of attention from both the developer community and from Samsung itself. This was made very clear once Samsung released the much awaited Android 4.0 ICS update for the Galaxy S2 and the developer community started their own improved versions of the update and some new work based on the mix between the official update and the Android 4.0.4 ICS source code. Unfortunately, this combination has resulted in quite a wide variety of firmware versions for the Galaxy S II. Among the official ones we can find at least three that run on the Android 4.0.3 ICS build customized by Samsung, and amongst them we can find this latest XXLPS build that requires a different setup for rooting. This article is aimed at showing you an easy and safe way of rooting your device once you have the XXLPS update installed. If you want to check out what firmware version you have on your Galaxy S2 please go to Settings > About Phone > Firmware Version. Also you should note that this guide is addressed only to the international version of the smartphone, the GT i9100.
As with any Android running device out there, rooting it will void the warranty, so if you are not ready to lose it you should just stop here. Having said this, you can also return to the original state by applying the XXLPS update if you change your mind after rooting your Galaxy S II. And now for the usual disclaimer: As with any software that is not our own creation, 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. With this in mind you should not worry very much as the whole procedure presented here has been tested prior to its release and should work flawlessly.
We will start this guide with some safety precautions. These concern both the backing up of your personal data and the minimum requirements for being able to safely run the update.It is very important not to use the KIES PC Suite to back up your personal data as it does not support any of the custom ROM’s or rooted official ROM’s out there. As such, we chose the to use the apps and procedures below so please follows them carefully:
- Text messages – We will back them up with this 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– The simplest way to backup them is to move them to the microSD memory card
- Internet & MMS Settings – You will need to write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”
- Charge your device to full or to a minimum of 70% to ensure that the phone will not power off during the install process. It is of utmost importance that the battery has enough power to survive the rooting procedure
- Enable the USB debugging in your Samsung Galaxy S2 GT I9100. This can be done from the following: Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging. The USB Debugging option should be ticked.
- Turn Off all the antivirus as well as Firewall tools in your computer as these tools can interfere with some critical aspects of the rooting process.
The second and last part of this guide is the one which thoroughly explains the steps that need to be taken in order to root your Samsung Galaxy S II running on the XXLPS firmware. There is a common belief that rooting your phone is a risky and dangerous business, but if done properly it actually poses less of a risk that installing and running a simple application. Gaining root access to your device also means that you will be able to back up the entire phone in a couple of clicks with a nandroid backup so that no harm can come to it from failing any other flashing procedures. Please use caution while following the steps below:
- The first step in this guide is all about downloading the correct software kit. This software comes in the form of this pack here: XXLPS Rooting Package. After downloading it please sure to extract the files in the archive to an accessible place, such as your destkop.
- The second step consists of starting the Odin application from the downloaded pack and rebooting your phone into download mode. In order to do the latter you need to power off your device, remove and then re-insert the battery. Then you need to simultaneously press and hold the Volume Down Key, Center Key and the Power Key. This combination should bring you to a screen with a green robot on it which marks the download mode.
- The third step involves connecting your phone in download mode to the computer already running the Odin software and waiting a couple of seconds/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.
In case the ID: COM windows fails to turn yellow you will have to check the following two things:
- Make sure that the USB driver of the Samsung Galaxy S2 is installed on your PC.
- Ensure that the Samsung KIES option is ticked on the phone. You can find this option by going to Settings > Wireless & Network > USB Settings. You will have to restart your S II in order to get to this option.
- The fourth step is a little bit trickier as you will need to click on the PDA button in the Odin software and select the “CF-Root-SGS2_XX_OXA_LPS-v5.4-CWM5” file located in the pack you have previously downloaded. You can chec if you have ade the correct settings by looking at the picture below:
- The fifth and last step is the easiest so far, and it only requires you to press the Start button in Odin and to wait a couple of minutes for the firmware to be flashed on your phone.
As soon as the flashing process is complete you will see the phone rebooting and once you see the home screen you can rest assured as the rooting process has been finished successfully. In order to check if everything is in order you should power off your device and enter recovery mode. You can enter recovery mode in exactly the same way as you have previously entered the Download mode. This recovery mode is also one of the biggest features of rooting your device as it allows for modifications to be done to your device on the go.
From here on you can check out the various options your newly rooted Samsung Galaxy S II has. We recommend doing a nandroid backup now in order to have a working copy of the rooted software ready. You should also enjoy the benefits of an ICS firmware, as most smartphones out there still rely on Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the time being.