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Install CM11 on Galaxy SL I9003 and Update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat Firmware

Even though Galaxy SL will no longer receive official OTA updates as Samsung announced that there won’t be any Android 4.4 KitKat OS available for the mentioned advice you can still spice thing up. How to do it? Well, if you want to update your Galaxy SL to Android 4.4.2 firmware then you can anytime use a custom ROM software; and which custom ROM to use if not CM11? So, if I have managed to arouse your interest, then take a look below and learn how to safely install CM11 on Samsung Galaxy SL I9003.

As you know CM11 is the most used Android 4.4 KitKat based custom ROM by all the Android users, whether we are talking about mid-range handsets or high end gadgets. The firmware is compatible with almost all the devices out there, so it was about time to have a suitable update for the Galaxy SL. But for being able to flash CM 11 on your smartphone, first you will have to prepare the same for the installation procedure that will follow. The pre requisites along with further details related to this process and to the CM11 platform are being described during the guidelines from below, so don’t hesitate and give this tutorial a try.

CM11 is a custom ROM so we can conclude that this Android 4.4.2 KitKat software is not an official update rolled out by Samsung or by Google. In that matter, you can flash the firmware only manually and only by using a dedicated step by step guide like the present one. Actually CM11 is nothing but a free aftermarket distribution of Android 4.4 OS, which has been developed by third party devs, and which is now available for your Samsung Galaxy SL I9003. This will be a complex and risky update procedure so for avoiding unpleasant situations from happening I recommend you to check all the lines from below – try not to mess things up as you can end up in bricking your Android device.

As I have stated before, CM11 is one of the most popular custom ROM that is available on the Android market. Why? Well, mainly because the firmware is bringing a stable and smooth Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS that is also installed with stock and extra (that cannot be found on the default version of the Android system) features, capabilities and apps. Also, CM11 will run faster than any other custom or official Android 4.4 KitKat software while you will be able to receive more power from your Galaxy SL. In a few words, now you will be able to power up the performances of your Android device.

In that matter, your Samsung Galaxy SL will provide more power, increased speeds and an improved battery life. At the same time, you will have access to the internal system of your phone so you will be able to remove bloatware and in built programs and apps. Also, CM11 will bring a custom version of KitKat which means that you won’t enjoy the pure Android UI as the ROM is featuring its own looks, themes and so on. If you like what you see, then you do have to complete this step by step guide.

As I have specified on the introduction of this tutorial, the pre requisites are being required if you want to safely install CM11 on your Galaxy SL. So, the first thing to do before going any further is to root your Samsung device. The root access is essential as without the same you will not be able to complete the other tasks from below thus you won’t update your phone to Android 4.4.2. Be aware as by rooting you are performing the first unofficial operation which will modify the binary flash counter of your phone. Because of that the warranty of your Galaxy SL will be void.

A tip related to the warranty: you can revoke root access and reset binary flash counter by applying the stock Android OS on your device. So, if you want the warranty back just downgrade your Samsung Galaxy SL I9003 to stock or official Android firmware.

The next thing to do is to replace the stock Android recovery image with a custom one. When applying a custom ROM you can’t flash the firmware file by using the stock recovery. So, because of that you need to get a custom one. Since CM11 is working only with the latest versions of CWM and TWRP recovery I strongly recommend you to use one of the mentioned apps. Else you won’t be able to safely update your SL to custom Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS.

Also, on the update process, by using the already installed custom recovery image, you will have to perform a wipe. When wiping the system, your data might get corrupted or even erased. So, the best will be to make a backup for saving everything that’s there on your phone’s internal storage memory. In that matter you can use apps from Google Play and you can also use the custom recovery in order to make a Nandroid backup (you can save and if needed restore the current ROM without using a step by step guide like this one).

On the other hand or at the same time if you like, you need to make sure that a computer can be used. You will have to connect your device with that computer, so your phone’s USB cable must be near you. Due to same considerations, on your handset the USB Debugging option must be enabled; you can do that by going to “menu – settings – developer options”. I recommend you to temporarily deactivate the security protection that is featured on your PC because in rare cases the antivirus and antimalware programs are interfering with the update process. Your Galaxy SL might get bricked if it gets turned off in the middle of the flashing procedure of CM11. That’s why, first you have to check the battery status: if there is less than 50% power left, you should plug in the charger before starting the steps from below.

This version of CM11 Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware has been optimized and developed especially for your Galaxy SL I9003. That’s why the ROM is stable and smooth and that’s why you can install the same only on the mentioned Android device. In a few words that means this step by step guide is compatible only with the Galaxy SL and with no other smartphone or tablet – keep that in mind when applying the process from below.

How to Install CM11 Custom ROM on Samsung Galaxy SL I9003 and Update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat Firmware

  1. On your computer download the required files.
  2. From this page you can get the Android 4.4 based CM11 custom ROM firmware.
  3. While from here you can download the Google apps package – it is not included on the update file, so flash Google apps separately.
  4. Place both files on your computer, preferable on desktop.
  5. Don’t unzip any of the downloaded files.
  6. Connect your Galaxy SL with your computer; of course use the USB cord for establishing the connection.
  7. Then place or transfer the files located on desktop on your phone’s SD card.
  8. And unplug the USB cord as the computer is no longer useful.
  9. Turn off your Android device as you need to boot it in recovery mode.
  10. For learning how to enter recovery mode use our dedicated tutorial from here.
  11. From recovery first perform a wipe by selecting “wipe data factory reset”.
  12. Also clear cache by choosing “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvick cache”.
  13. Then return to main menu of recovery.
  14. From there this time select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
  15. Just pick the CM11 firmware file and flash the same on your Galaxy SL.
  16. Repeat the same step and install Google Apps package on your smartphone.
  17. When the update procedure ends, go back to recovery and select “reboot system now”.


In some cases, rare ones though, in the end after completing all the steps, your smartphone might get stuck in a boot loop. If that happens, you can resolve the problem by doing the following tasks: reboot into recovery mode once more (press and hold Power, Volume Up and Home buttons at the same time); from recovery select “wipe data factory reset” and also “wipe cache partition”; go back to main menu of recovery; choose “reboot system now”. If you are experiencing any other issue, try to resolve the same by using our dedicated tutorial from here.

So there you have it; that was the how to method that can be used for updating your Samsung Galaxy SL I9003 to Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS. Now CM11 custom ROM firmware should be running on your device; the first thing to do should be in testing the software. If there are bugs, or if something isn’t working as expected, do feedback us and share your experience with us and with other Android users who might want to use our tutorial.

Also, if CM11 is not on your taste and if you have made a Nandroid backup as I have prompted your before, you can choose to restore the old firmware without using a method like the one described on this step by step guide. So, go to recovery mode and from there select “backup / restore”; follow the on screen prompts and re-flash your favorite Android OS on your Samsung Galaxy SL. Stay close for further tutorials compatible with your smartphone.

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