If you want to update your Samsung Galaxy S4 with an Android 4.4 based custom ROM like CM11, AOKP, SlimKat and so, you will have to previously install the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery custom recovery image on your smartphone. You need to do so because all the new custom updates can be flashed only by using compatible CWM and TWRP apps – for example if you have an older version of CWM recovery installed on your Galaxy S4, the Android 4.4 custom ROMs will not run properly on your Android device.
So, considering this aspects, I have developed the present step by step guide. Thanks to those of xda-developers, who have developed and offered the latest version of CWM recovery for the Samsung Galaxy S4, now you are able to flash the same on your device, everything on that matter being explained and detailed during the guidelines from below. Furthermore, before going any further note that the CWM recovery app from this tutorial is compatible with the C Spire and Canadian models of the Galaxy S4 – model numbers R970X and I337.
CWM recovery represents a custom recovery images that can be used on any Android device. The tool is quite popular as it is compatible with almost all the smartphones and tablets out there and also usually it can be downloaded from Google Play, after gaining root access. But, the official variant of CWM recovery isn’t suitable with all the devices from the market. Because of that manual installation procedures like the present one are being required. Don’t worry though as the custom release of CWM recovery is similar with the official one.
The best it that this version – the latest one – of CWM recovery can be installed on the Galaxy S4 by using Odin. As you know, Odin is an official program developed and offered by Samsung and used on update and flashing operations. Furthermore, root access isn’t required for this step by step guide, so you can perform the steps from below for both rooted and un-rooted devices. Don’t worry as you can anytime gain root access afterwards, as for installing an Android 4.4 based custom ROM, an unlocked phone will be required.
CWM recovery is not an official application. The same is replacing the stock recovery that comes pre-installed on all the Android devices. Usually, CWM recovery is being used for complex and unofficial operations like: flashing a custom ROM, gaining root access, installing a custom kernel, overclocking the Android device, make a Nandroid backup, wipe the system, clear the cache and so on. So, CWM recovery is actually a link between you and your phone’s internal system. Therefore performing this guide should be the first thing to do when thinking in tweaking your Samsung Galaxy S4.
Even though Odin will be used a backup is still being required. In some cases the data which is being saved on the internal system of your smartphone might get corrupted, so the best will be to backup the same before going any further. The backup can be easily completed as there are suitable backup and restore apps available on Google Play; use the same and save your contacts list, call logs, EFS folder, market apps, personal info, accounts and everything else that means something for you.
Of course, then, just before heading to the proper flashing procedure, you need to ensure that you can use a Windows running computer, your Canadian or C Spire Samsung Galaxy S4 and its USB cable. On both computer and handset you have to deactivate the security protection because the security programs might interfere with our work. You will have to connect your phone with the computer so on your S4 enable the USB debugging option from path “menu – settings – developer options”. The installation process of CWM recovery will take a few minutes and it is recommended to charge your device in case it has less than 60% power left; you can brick your phone if it gets turned off in the middle of the flashing operation.
As I have stated before, it should be clear for you that this step by step guide is compatible only with the Canadian and C Spire Samsung Galaxy S4; so don’t use the steps from below for installing CWM recovery on another Android based device as you will risk in bricking your handset.
How to Install CWM Recovery (compatible with Android 4.4 custom ROMs) on Samsung Galaxy S4 (C Spire and Canadian models)
- From here download the CWM recovery file compatible with the Canadian Galaxy S4.
- From here get CWM recovery for C Spire SGS4.
- Save these files on your computer.
- On the same download Odin and unzip the file on desktop.
- Unzip the CWM recovery file on the same folder as Odin.
- Install the SGS4 drivers on your computer; if you don’t know how, download Samsung KIES for achieving the same.
- On your computer run Odin and turn off your phone.
- Enter your Galaxy S4 in download mode: press power, volume down and home buttons at the same time.
- Then connect your device with your computer; use the USB cable in order to establish the connection.
- Once the USB cord plugged in, on Odin the “added” message should be displayed while the ID:COM section should turn yellow or blue.
- If that’s not happening, you will have to unplug the USB cable, close Odin, reflash the drivers on your computer and repeat the steps from above.
- Up next, from Odin select the “PA” option.
- Pick the CWM recovery file from desktop.
- Install the same on your Galaxy S4 by pressing on “start”.
- In the end, on Odin the “pass” message will be displayed and the ID:COM section will turn green.
If Odin gets stuck while CWM recovery is installed, you need to close the program. Also, disconnect your handset from computer and force restart your phone. On the computer try to reinstall the S4 drivers once more and then repeat the flashing operation from step 1. On the same time, if in the end your SGS4 gets stuck in a boot loop, you need to: enter recovery mode and from there select “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”; return, select “reboot system now” and you are done. For any other problems, use our dedicated tutorial from here.
Congratulations, you have successfully installed the latest version of CWM recovery, which is compatible with Android 4.4 based custom ROMs, on your C Spire and Canadian Samsung Galaxy S4. Now you can safely root and update your smartphone as a custom recovery image has been flashed.