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Install Official CM 11 Nightly Android 4.4 ROM for Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4

The official CM 11 Nightly ROM is ready to be installed on your Verizon Galaxy S4 device. Use this tutorial and learn how to successfully update your S4 with a great custom KitKat ROM.C

CyanogenMod team has packed and released their first take on the AOSP Android 4.4 ROM, it contains all the stock Android features and other CM-based ones. More info about this release can be found at the developer’s blog web page here. Make sure to read the guidelines below before starting the installation process of this new ROM, as you will learn how to prepare the device and manage to complete the tutorial at your first attempt. Here’s what you need to know:

  • use this post only with the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 phone.
    – do not attempt to update any other smartphones nor tablets with the files that you find in this article, as you will brick their firmware.
  • this guide will work only with rooted and factory unlocked Verizon Galaxy S4 phones.
  • the latest CWM Recovery version has to be installed on your device, as otherwise you cannot flash the new custom ROM zip.
    – TWRP Recovery might work too, but that has not been tested yet.
  • create a full NANDROID Backup for the ROM that is currently installed on your device.
    – this will set a restore file for your phone’s OS and it can be used in case the CM 11 Nightly build doesn’t boot after installation or in case you simply don’t like the new ROM.
  • ‘factory reset’ is required in order for your device to boot in normal mode with the new ROM, which is why you shouldn’t skip this step.
    – this process will delete all data that is stored on your phone’s system partition, while leaving the internal / external storage unaffected without losing any data stored there.
    > this step shouldn’t be skipped, as otherwise you will brick the phone and the new ROM will not boot.
    > you can skip ‘factory reset’ only in case your device already sports a previous build of CM 11 Nightly.
    > if you don’t skip the ‘factory reset’ and the phone still doesn’t boot, then you should read the ‘NOTE’ listed at the end of this post.
  • if you want to backup data from installed applications, SMS text messages or APN Internet Settings, then you should use the following tools for Android: Helium SMS backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore.
    – root access is required for some of these applications.
  • sync all the Contacts info and People details with your default Gmail account.
    – guide here for those of you who don’t know how to do it.
  • enable the USB Debugging option from the Developer Options menu.
    – if ‘developer options’ doesn’t show up in Settings, then you should open ‘About Phone’ and then press seven times on the ‘build number’ section.
  • check your phone’s battery power and make sure that it is over 50%, so that the device won’s switch off in the middle of the installation process.
  • this is a post for advanced users, read the entire article and make sure not to skip any steps that I’ve listed in the tutorial.
  • we cannot be blamed in case you brick the phone or lose any important data in the process.

Now that you know all of the above, continue to the next part of this article and learn how to successfully update your device.

How to flash CM 11 Nightly ROM for the Verizon Galaxy S4:

  1. Download the custom ROM zip from here.
    – make sure to download the latest available build and not some old one.
  2. Download Gapps for Android 4.4 Custom ROMs from here.
  3. Connect your smartphone to your computer, then copy both zip files to its internal storage.
    – disconnect the phone from PC when the files are copied successfully.
    > do not unzip the files.
  4. Power off your Galaxy S4 completely and then boot it into CWM Recovery Mode.
    – if you don’t know how to boot custom Recovery, then you can use the guide here.
    – CWM is recommended to flash Android 4.4 custom ROMs, while TWRP might work but we didn’t manage to install it.
  5. When you’re at the main CWM Recovery screen you will first have to create a full NANDROID Backup for the installed ROM:
    – select ‘backup and restore’, save the file to your phone’s internal / external storage, doesn’t matter which one you choose.
    > continue to the next step when done.
  6. Now you can apply the ‘factory reset’ step:
    – select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’ and complete the process.
    > you can skip this step only in case your device already sports a previous CM 11 Nightly build.
    > if you’re coming from a different ROM then this ‘factory reset’ step is mandatory.
  7. Install the new custom ROM:
    – select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’, find the new CM 11 Nightly zip and confirm its installation.
    > don’t press any buttons until the process is complete.
  8. After the new ROM is flashed, repeat step 7 actions and install the Gapps zip file.
  9. When both files are installed, return to the main custom Recovery screen and reboot your device in normal mode.
    – note that the first boot process of CM 11 Nightly will take several minutes to load all the files.
    – don’t press any buttons until you see the home screen.
  10. Enter your Google and / or CyanogenMod account details and take control over your device once again.
    – that’s it, now you’re free to start testing this brand new ROM and see what are its best features.

These were the steps you had to follow in order to update your Verizon Galaxy S4 to custom Android 4.4 via CM 11 Nightlies. I hope that you did manage to complete the tutorial and that your device is now running smoothly.

NOTE: if the first boot process gets stuck at the CyanogenMod boot screen for more than ten minutes, or in case the device enters into a boot loop, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial instructions once again.

  • if you decide to repeat the tutorial in order to retry installing CM 11 nightly, then you have to make sure that you don’t skip any steps.
    – make sure to apply the ‘factory reset’ process and additionally you should use the ‘format /system’ option, your device should now boot in normal mode.

If you have any other questions, then you should post them in comments.