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Install Unofficial CM 11 Android 4.4 custom ROM for Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3

The Unofficial CyanogenMod 11 build of Android 4.4 is a custom ROM that you can flash now on your Verizon Galaxy S3. Read this entire tutorial and you will learn how to successfully update your smartphone.

All functions and features of KitKat are working with this tutorial, but the camera firmware is still the one used with Android 4.3. Hopefully, when the official CM 11 Nightlies are released we will get working Android 4.4 camera functionality for Galaxy S3 VZW. In order to complete this tutorial without bricking your device, you will first have to take a look at the preparation guide below:

  • use this post only with the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3.
    – don’t update any other Galaxy S3 variants with the ROM listed in the tutorial.
  • your phone has to be rooted and running the latest CWM Recovery image.
  • a ‘factory reset’ is required for the new ROM to flash successfully.
    – this means that you will lose all data that is stored on your smartphone’s system partition, while the internal storage won’t be affected by this tutorial.
  • backup data from installed apps using the Helium app – Google Play Store here.
  • backup SMS and APN Internet Settings values using the following tools for Android: SMS backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore.
    – root access is needed for some of these applications.
  • sync Contacts data with your Gmail account.
    – guide here for those of you who don’t know how to sync such data.
  • enable USB Debugging from Developer Options menu.
  • this is a guide for advanced users, read the entire tutorial and don’t skip any steps that I’ve listed in the ‘how-to’ part of this post.
  • check the phone’s battery charge level and make sure that it isn’t over 50%.
    – this will prevent the device from switching off in the middle of the updating process.
  • do not blame us in case something goes wrong and you brick the phone or lose any important data in the process.
  • if you cannot complete the guide, then you can ask for more help in comments.

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

More info about this unofficial CyanogenMod Android 4.4 ROM can be found at its XDA thread here. UPDATE: the XDA thread isn’t supported any more, but you can follow the “sspencer10”, the ROM developer, on Google+ for new builds.

How to flash Unofficial CM 11 KitKat build for Verizon Galaxy S3:

  1. Download the custom ROM from here.
  2. Download Gapps for this ROM from here.
  3. Connect your smartphone with your PC and then move both zip files to its internal storage.
    – after the files are copied disconnect your smartphone from your PC.
    – do not unzip the archived files.
  4. Power off your phone now.
  5. Boot the Galaxy S3 in CWM Recovery mode.
    – if you don’t know how to boot custom Recovery for Galaxy S3, then read the info here.
  6. First thing that you need to do is to create a full NANDROID Backup of your installed ROM:
    – select ‘backup and restore’, save the file and continue to the next step.
  7. Now you need to apply the ‘factory reset’ for your device:
    – select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’, confirm the process.
    – also, you can ‘format system’ too.
  8. Finally, flash the new Unofficial CM 11 ROM:
    – select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’, find the zip and confirm the flash process.
  9. When the ROM is installed, repeat step 8 actions and flash the Gapps zip.
  10. When both files are installed you can return to the main custom Recovery screen.
  11. Reboot your smartphone now.
    > note that the first boot process takes a while to complete which is why you shouldn’t press any buttons until the process is complete.
  12. Enter your Google Account details and start testing this brand new custom ROM.

If the first boot process doesn’t complete after ten minutes or the device enters into a boot loop, then you should power off the device and then repeat the entire tutorial once again. In case you do decided to repeat the tutorial, then you should make sure that you won’t skip any steps that I’ve listed above. Factory Reset and Format System should be applied.

OPTIONAL: In case you want for the search feature to work with the dialer, then you should flash the PA Kanged Gapps after the phone boots in normal mode with the first gapps file. Download the PA kanged Gapps from here.

These were all the steps that you had to take in order to update your Verizon Galaxy S3 with a custom Android 4.4 ROM. Remember that the ROM you installed hasn’t been released by the CyanogenMod team, as they are still working on releasing the first CM 11 Nightly build.

If you don’t like this new ROM, then you can always choose to restore your smartphone to its previous ROM using the NANDROID Backup file create in step 6. For other questions, use the comments field below.