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Install Official CM 11 Nightly ROM for Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4

The official build of CyanogenMod 11 Nightly ROM has been launched for the Sprint Galaxy S4, use this post if you want to learn how to successfully update your smartphone with the files listed below.

Nightlies marks the first stage of official CM 11 KitKat builds and you need to know that it might still pack some errors or bugs while using them. CM 11 Nightly is based on AOSP Android 4.4 KitKat and it packs all the AOSP features as well as multiple CyanogenMod-based features such as Secure Push messages for SMS, screencasting etc. More info about this release can be found here at CyanogenMod’s blog web page.

This is a guide that has to be used by advanced users and tinkerers that wish to test as many Android 4.4 custom ROMs on their devices. Remember that Samsung / Sprint didn’t launch the official KitKat OTA Update, as that is expected to happen in 2014.

If you’ve found this guide, then you already know the basic about CM 11 Nightly and what it stands for, but now you should take a look at the guidelines below and learn how to prepare the device for the installation process:

  • use this post only with the Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4 device.
    – do not attempt to update any other phones or tablets with the files that are listed in this article.
  • your device has to be rooted and running the latest CWM Recovery image.
    – TWRP might work too, but we were unable to test it.
    – note that whichever custom Recovery you use, it still has to feature the latest CWM Recovery version.
  • before starting the installation you will need to ‘factory reset’ the Sprint galaxy S4, this will allow you to install a clean new ROM.
    – this is a step that shouldn’t be skipped and you need to know that it will wipe all data stored on your phone’s system partition.
    – ‘factory reset’ doesn’t delete contents stored on your phone’s internal or external storage.
    > this step can be skipped only in case your phone already runs on a previous official build of CM 11 Nightly ROM.
    > if you skip the ‘factory reset’ and the new ROM doesn’t boot, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial once again.
  • it would be best for you to create a full NANDROID ROM Backup of the ROM that is now installed on your device.
    – it will set a restore point, one that you can use in case the new CM 11 Nightly build doesn’t boot or it doesn’t run as expected.
  • data can be backed from installed applications, SMS text messages and APN Internet Settings using the following tools for Android: Helium | SMS backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore.
  • make sure to sync your Contacts info with your Gmail account.
    – guide here if you don’t know how to do it.
  • check the phone’s battery charge level before starting the installation of CM 11 Nightly, it should be over 50%, so that the device doesn’t power off in the middle of the updating process.
  • read this entire post before starting the installation.
  • this is a guide for advanced users, do not blame us in case you brick the phone or lose any important data in the process.
  • do not skip any steps.
  • for any extra questions, use the comments field.

Now that you’ve gone past all of the above guidelines, you can continue to the next part of this article and learn how to successfully update your device with the latest Nightly build of CyanogenMod 11.

How to install CM 11 Nightly ROM for Sprint Galaxy S4:

  1. Download the Custom ROM from here.
    – grab the latest build available not older versions.
  2. Download Gapps for Android 4.4 custom ROM’s from here.
  3. Connect your smartphone to your PC after the files are downloaded.
  4. Now copy both zip files to your device’s internal storage.
    – don’t unzip the contents of this zip.
    – disconnect the phone from computer when all files are copied successfully.
  5. Power off the phone now.
  6. Boot the device in CWM Recovery Mode.
    >TWRP might work too.
    > remember that the custom Recovery you use has to be updated to its latest build available.
  7. First, create a full NANDROID Backup of the ROM that is installed on your phone.
    – select ‘backup and restore’, then save the file on your phone’s internal storage.
    – continue to the next step when done.
  8. Next, ‘factory reset’ your phone:
    – select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’ and confirm the process.
    > don’t skip this step unless your device already runs on a previous CM 11 Nightly build.
  9. Install this new CM 11 Nightly build now:
    – select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’, find the CM 11 Nightly zip and confirm the process.
    > don’t press any buttons until the process is complete.
  10. When the CyanogenMod 11 Nightly is flashed, select once again the ‘choose zip from sdcard’ option in order to flash the Gapps file as well.
  11. Return to the main custom Recovery menu when done with the installation of both files.
  12. Reboot the phone now in normal mode.
    – note that the first boot process will stay at the CyanogenMod animation screen for a few minutes then continue to load all the new installed files.
    > do not press any buttons until the reboot is complete.
  13. Enter your Google / CyanogenMod Account details when the new home screen appears CM 11 Nightly ROM.

These were all the steps that you had to take in order to successfully install the new custom ROM. I hope that you did manage to update the Galaxy S4 Sprint smartphone using the CyanogenMod 11 Nightly ROM.

NOTE: if the first boot process takes too long to complete or it enters into a boot loop then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial once again. Make sure that in case you do decide to repeat the guide, you won’t skip any steps and apply ‘factory reset’ and then ‘format /system’ option. If you cannot complete the tutorial then you can ask for more help in comments field.

CyanogenMod 11 Nightly is still in its early stage and you might find some errors and bugs while testing it, which is why you shouldn’t use it as a daily ROM. If you don’y like the new ROM, then you can always restore the Sprint Galaxy S4 to its previous ROM using the files created in step 7.