Root Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean without Factory Reset

Root Galaxy S4 version using CF-Auto-Root

This is a tutorial guide that teaches you how to successfully root your Verizon Galaxy S4 smartphone without the need of wiping phone data. Read the entire post and make sure that you know what you’re doing, so that you will manage to successfully apply root in under 10 minutes. This is a guide for advanced users.

Make sure to root your smartphone and after that you avoid updating it to any official stock firmware that’s release by Samsung. That will revoke root access and you won’t be able to use any applications that require it. However, if you’re planning on installing new custom Jelly Bean 4.x ROMs for your Galaxy S4, then you won’t even receive any OTA Update notifications from Samsung.

Rooting your Verizon Galaxy S4 is easy and you will first need to flash a new kernel, run ODIN and flash the root files using Motochopper utility root exploit, while afterwards you will have to flash again the stock kernel for this device. In order to be sure that you easily flash the rooting files with success, you will need to take a look at the preparation guide below:

  • this is a guide that works only with the Verizon variant of the Samsung Galaxy S4. Don’t try to use this guide with any other Galaxy S4 model, as you will end up bricking them.
  • it works only with Windows computers.
  • make sure that your PC has the Samsung USB Drivers installed – download link here.
  • try and backup some of your most important before installing the root. I know I said that this guide won’t wipe any file from your smartphone, but, you should still save some files.
  • this tutorial has 3 parts, the first one teaches you how to flash a pre-release VRUAMD2 kernel, the second one will help you root the device with Motochopper’s exploit tool, while the third part will show you how to re-flash the stock VRUAMDK stock kernel.
  • make sure that the phone’s battery has enough power before starting the root process.
  • if you cannot complete this guide, then you should ask for extra help in comments.

These were all the general guidelines that you had to go over. Now, below you will find all the files / tools download links, save them on your PC:

> Download ODIN 3.07 from HERE. Extract its contents after the download is complete and place them in a single folder on your computer.

> Download VRUAMD2 Pre-Release Kernel from HERE.

> Download VRUAMDK Stock Kernel from HERE.

> Download the Motochopper Root exploit utility from HERE. Unzip the file and save its contents into a folder.

After you download all these files, you can continue to the next part and begin rooting your smartphone.

How to root Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4 I545 on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean without Factory Reset:

PART I – Flash the VRUAMDK Pre-Release Kernel:

  1. Power off your smartphone.
  2. Boot it into Download Mode like this: press and hold Volume Down, Home and Power buttons simultaneously. When the warning screen appears, press Volume Up to confirm that you wish to boot your device into Download Mode.
  3. Next, launch ODIN executable.
  4. Connect your smartphone to your PC using the USB cable. ODIN will say ‘Added!!’ which means that all drivers have been installed successfully.
    NOTE: if ODIN doesn’t recognize the phone, then you should switch between USB ports or re-install the Samsung USB drivers.
  5. Click the PDA button in ODIN.
  6. Browse your PC for the SCH-I545_MD2_423399_Kernel.tar.md5 and load it into ODIN. Don’t change any other default settings.
  7. Press the START button when you’re ready.
  8. Wait for the install to complete and then wait for your device to reboot successfully.

Now that you completed the steps above, you should continue with the steps listed in the second part of this tutorial.

PART II – Root your VZW Galaxy S4 using Motochopper exploit tool:

Make sure that the Developer Options is enabled. Go to Settings, then open About phone and tap the ‘Build Number’ section 7 times to enable the Android Developer Options. Continue to the tutorial below.

  1. Go to Security Settings menu under your phone’s Settings section. Enable ‘Unknown Sources’ option.
  2. Go to Developer Settings and enable ‘USB Debugging’ option.
  3. Disable ‘Verify apps via USB’ option from Developer Options menu.
  4. Next, connect your smartphone to your PC using the USB cable.
  5. Go to Motochopper Folder and launch the ‘Run.bat’ for the root to be applied.
  6. When the root is complete, your smartphone will restart. Unplug it from computer.
  7. Wait for the home screen to load and then go to App Drawer, launch SuperSU app.
  8. Update SuperSU binaries to complete root.

PART III – Flash VRUAMDK stock Kernel with ODIN:

  1. Power off your device.
  2. Boot it into Download Mode just like you did in PART I – Step 2.
  3. Launch ODIN executable.
  4. Connect the phone to PC via USB cable.
  5. Wait for ODIN to recognize it and don’t change any default settings.
  6. Click PDA button and browse your PC for the SCH-I545_MDK_562219_Kernel.tar.md5. Load it into ODIN.
  7. Click the START button when you’re ready for the installation of stock SGS4 kernel.
  8. Boot the phone into normal Mode.
  9. Check the About phone section to see if the VRUAMDK stock kernel variant has been flashed successfully.

Verify all the applications and other parts of your device to see if the root has been applied. These were all the steps you had to take in order to complete the tutorial and, I hope that you managed to complete all actions and achieve root for your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4.

If you cannot complete the tutorial and you get stuck, then you should leave a detailed comment at the end of this post. We will try to offer you a viable solution for your problems and complete the root.

  • THE_Ryan

    How can I tell if it was root successfully. There is nothing that just says it has root. I was able to successfully do all of the steps. The only difference is now when I boot the phone, I see a screen that says “Samsung Custom” with a little unlocked lock icon on it.

  • JL

    Worked great, thanks a ton!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DrChuck59 Donald C Kowalewski

    This did NOT work on my Verizon Galaxy S4. Odin froze (Step 1) with the following message(s):
    ” File analysis..
    SetupConnection..
    Initialzation..
    Get PIT for mapping..
    Firmware update start..
    boot.img ”
    [NOTE: COM ID prefix removed from each line, as thread interpreted it as html.]

    Also, I recommend that you put average wait times for each step. I let the phone sit 30 minutes, just to be sure. Thank goodness I didn’t brick the phone. Think I’ll wait until this process is a bit better defined (or the instructions are improved).

  • Randy

    Worked perfect on my new VZW Galaxy S4. Developer options were hard to find now that they are hidden but another google search found that (tap build number 5 times and developer options are now visible). Directions were easy to follow though, thanks!

  • Fadamor

    Got as far as the “Disable ‘Verify apps via USB’ option from Developer Options menu.” step and ran into a brick wall. The option (along with “Wait for debugger”) is greyed out and selected. VZW Galaxy S4.

    EDIT: Took a risk and continued with the Root even though I couldn’t disable that selection. The Root appears to have completed successfully. At least there were no errors noted and the phone rebooted fine.

  • freddy

    having trouble with the first kernel, tried opening it with zip7 and an error came up
    does anyone else know a link that may work. my phone is in the middle of the root, if i cant finish it, how do i safely return? please help

  • djmatte

    No go on my phone. Odin said it failed on the first run

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