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Install CM 11 Nightly KitKat ROM for US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S3

The official CM 11 Nightly ROM for the US Cellular Galaxy S3 has been released and now you can learn how to successfully install it on your smartphone using the instructions listed in this article.

CyanogenMod team has launched the first Nightly build of CM 11, one that is based on AOSP Android 4.4 KitKat. This means that it packs all the stock features along with tons of other ones that are created by the CM team. More info about this release can be found at the CyanogenMod blog web page here.

Before starting the installation process you will first need to take a look at the preparation guide below:

  • Use this post only with the US Cellular Galaxy S3, don’t attempt to update any other smartphones using the files that you’ll find in the ‘how-to’ part of this post.
  • your Galaxy S3 US Cellular has to be rooted and running the latest build of CWM Recovery.
    – TWRP Recovery might also work with this guide.
    – whichever custom Recovery you decide to use has to be updated to its respective latest build.
  • this is a guide that you should use only if you’re an advanced user who wants to test one of the most popular KitKat custom ROMs.
    – remember that the CM 11 is still in its ‘nightlies’ stage, which means that you might find some errors and bugs while testing it.
    – with each new Nightly build being released you will get a better new version compared to the previous one, soon we will get better builds that will be used on a daily basis.
  • you will need to create a full NANDROID ROM Backup for the installed OS.
    – this process will set a restore point for your phone, one that you can use in case the new ROM won’t boot in normal mode.
    – this step is listed in the tutorial part of this guide, so you shouldn’t skip it.
  • ‘factory reset’ has to be applied for a clean installation of CM 11 Nightly ROM.
    – the ‘factory reset’ process only deletes data from system partition while leaving the internal / external storage unaffected.
    – this step is listed in the tutorial, you shouldn’t skip it.
    > ‘factory reset’ can be skipped only in case your device already sports a previous build of CM 11 Nightly ROM.
  • backup data from installed applications, SMS text messages or APN Internet Settings using the following tools for Android: Helium | SMS backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore.
  • sync Contacts info with your Gmail account.
    – if you don’t know how to do it, then you should read the info here and learn.
  • enable the USB Debugging from Developer Options.
    – if it is already enabled, then you can skip this action and continue reading the next guidelines.
  • check the phone’s battery charge level and make sure that it is over 50%, this way you will know for sure that it won’t switch off in the middle of the installation process.
  • this is a guide for advanced users, so you shouldn’t blame us in case you cannot complete the guide nor in case you brick the phone.
    – also, note that the installation shouldn’t wipe any data from internal storage.
  • if you cannot complete the guide, the you can ask for extra help in comments.

Since you’ve read all of the above, continue to the next part of this article and learn how to update your phone with a brand new Android 4.4 custom ROM.

How to flash Official CM 11 Android 4.4 Nightlies for US Cellular Galaxy S3:

  1. Download the CM 11 Nightly ROM zip from here.
    – make sure to grab the latest build available.
  2. Download Gapps for Android 4.4 ROMs from here.
  3. Connect your device to your computer, then move both zip files to your phone’s internal storage.
    – after the files are copied you can disconnect the phone from PC.
    – do not unzip the contents of the zip files.
  4. Power off your Galaxy S3 now.
  5. Boot the phone in CWM Recovery Mode.
    – note that the custom Recovery has to be updated to its latest build available.
    – TWRP Recovery should work with this guide too.
    – if you don’t know how to boot custom Recovery, then you can learn easily with the info posted here.
  6. First thing that you have to do is to create a full NANDROID Backup for the installed ROM:
    – select ‘backup and restore’, name the file and then continue to the next step when the backup process is done.
    > you shouldn’t skip this step.
  7. Now, apply the ‘Factory Reset’ process for your device:
    – select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’, confirm.
    > you can skip this step only in case your phone already runs on a previous CM 11 Nightly build.
    > if you skip the step and the phone doesn’t boot in normal mode, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial once again.
  8. Next, flash the CM 11 Nightly ROM:
    – select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’, find the custom ROM zip and confirm its installation.
  9. After the ROM is flashed, select again the ‘choose zip from sdcard’ option, then you need to flash the Gapps zip file.
  10. When both files are installed you can return to the main custom Recovery screen.
  11. Reboot your smartphone in normal mode now.
    – note that the first boot process takes a while to complete, which is why you shouldn’t press any buttons until the home screen appears.
  12. Use your CyanogenMod / Google account and take control over your device.
    – now you can start testing all the new features and functions that were installed by this CM 11 Nightly ROM.

These were all the steps that you had to take in order to successfully update your device. In case you cannot complete the guide or the device experiences any problems while running CM 11, then you can ask for more help in comments.

In case the US Cellular Galaxy S3 device doesn’t boot with the new ROM, it gets stuck at the boot animation screen or it enters into a boot loop, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial once again. Also, use the comments field to ask for more help, but make sure to leave a detailed comment.

If the first installation attempt fails and you decide to repeat the guide, then make sure not to skip any steps and to apply the ‘wipe data/ factory reset’ step. Also, it is recommended for apply the ‘format /system’ action, too. Flash the ROM, then boot in normal mode. If CM 11 boot is successful, then you should reboot in Custom Recovery and then flash Gapps file.