Update AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 to Android 4.4 KitKat with Official CM 11 Nightly ROM

Install CM 11 Nightly Official build for AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4

Official Nightlies of CM 11 are now available for the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone and you can learn how to update your device using the instructions that I’ve listed in this post.

More info about the CM 11 Nightlies and its features can be found at the CyanogenMod team web page here. This is a custom ROM that is based on AOSP Android 4.4 Kitkat and it packs all the stock features as well as multiple other ones designed by the CM team. Learn how to prepare the device for the installation process using the info below:

  • this post works only with the AT&T model of the Galaxy S4 smartphone.
    – do not attempt to update any other SGS4 phone with the files that you find in this article, as you will end up bricking it.
  • use the guide only for AT&T SGS4 phones that are rooted and running the latest CWM Recovery image.
    – TWRP might work too, but we’ve not tested it.
    – whatever custom Recovery you decide to use has to be updated to its latest version possible, so that it works with KitKat custom ROMs.
  • ‘factory reset’ is required for this tutorial to work, but you need to know that it will delete all data from the system partition.
    – neither internal nor external storage are affected by this tutorial.
    – don’t skip the ‘factory reset’ if you’re coming from a different custom ROM.
    – if your Galaxy S4 AT&T is currently running on a previous Official CM 11 Nightly build, then you can skip ‘factory reset’.
    – if you skip the ‘factory reset’ and the phone doesn’t boot in normal mode, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial once again.
  • backup data from installed applications, SMS text messages and APN Internet Settings using the following tools for Android: Helium SMS backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore.
  • sync your Contacts info with your Gmail account.
    – if you don’t know how to do it, then you should use the info listed here.
  • create a full NANDROID ROM Backup for the installed ROM, so that you will have a restore point set for your device.
    – this step can be found in the tutorial too, don’t skip it.
  • enable USB Debugging from Developer Options menu.
  • this is a post that should be followed by advanced Android users, read all info and don’t skip any steps if you want to successfully update your phone.
  • do not blame us nor the developers in case your phone switches off in the middle of the updating process.
  • if you cannot complete the tutorial, then you should ask for more help in comments.
  • check the phone’s battery charge level and make sure that it is over 50%, so that the phone won’t power off in the middle of the updating process.

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

How to install Official CM 11 Nightly KitKat ROM for AT&T Galaxy S4:

Remember that this is a custom ROM and not an official update released by Samsung.

Also, since it is a Nightly build which is the first stage of all new CyanogenMod ROMs, then you should expect to find some errors and bugs while testing it. If you don’t like how it works with your device, then you can always restore it to its previous ROM using the ROM NANDROID Backup file that you’ll create before flashing the new ROM.

Here’s how to update your phone with a custom CM 11 Nightly ROM:

  1. Download the latest CM 11 Nightly ROM from here.
    – make sure to download the latest build available.
  2. Download Gapps for Android 4.4 ROMs from here.
  3. Use the USB Data cable and connect your smartphone with your PC.
  4. Move both zip files to your phone’s internal storage.
    – after the files are copied, disconnect the phone from your computer.
    – don’t unzip the archived contents.
  5. Power off the phone completely now by removing its battery.
    – re-insert the battery after several seconds pass by and then continue to the next step.
  6. Boot your smartphone in CWM Recovery Mode now.
    – it can be done if you press and hold Volume Up, Home and Power all at the same time.
    > if you can’t manage to boot custom Recovery Mode then you can learn using the info here.
    > note that TWRP might work too, but it has to run the latest version possible just like CWM.
  7. Now that you’re at the main CWM Recovery Mode menu you can start by creating a full NANDROID Backup for the installed ROM:
    – select ‘backup and restore’, name the file and save it to your phone’s internal or external storage.
  8. Next, apply the ‘factory reset’ process:
    – select the option that says ‘wipe data/ factory reset’, confirm.
    > after ‘factory reset’ is complete you can continue to the next step.
  9. Flash the new CM 11 Nightly ROM now:
    – select ‘install zip from sdcard’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’ option now.
    – find the CM 11 zip file and confirm the installation.
    > wait until all files are flashed and then continue with the rest of the tutorial.
  10. When CyanogenMod 11 Nightly ROM is installed you need to select once again the ‘choose zip from sdcard’ option. Now flash the Gapps zip just like you did with the ROM file.
  11. After both files are installed, return to the main custom Recovery screen.
  12. Reboot your smartphone now in normal mode.
    – the first boot process takes at least five minutes to load all files, which is why you should wait without pressing any buttons.
  13. Use your Google Account or create a CyanogenMod profile in order to log into your smartphone’s new interface.

These were all the steps that you had to take, now you’re free to start testing this brand new CM 11 Nightly ROM on your AT&T Galaxy S4. If you have any other questions, then you should post them in the comments field below.

NOTE: if the first boot process displays the CyanogenMod boot animation screen for more than ten minutes and nothing happens, or the device enters into a boot loop, then you will be forced to repeat the entire tutorial.

  • in case you repeat the guide, then you have to make sure that you won’t skip any steps and apply ‘factory reset’ and additionally you need to use the ‘format /system’ options too. Ask for extra help in comments in case you can’t manage to flash the new ROM.

 If you don’t like this new ROM or how it runs on your Galaxy S4 AT&T, then you’re free to restore your phone to its previous ROM using the NANDROID Backup file created in step 7. Make sure that before you decide to restore the previous ROM, you will test all the new CyanogenMod features and functions in order to get a better look at the great work put in these builds by the CM team.