If you aren’t using a Google Nexus device then there is no Android 4.4 KitKat available for you, at least not for the next 3, or 4 months. That’s pretty bad especially for those who own high end Android based handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100. Usually, for receiving a new OTA update that has just been released, you have to wait several months as each carrier will roll out the firmware on different dates, while the OTA will also be offered gradually which means that you some Galaxy Note 2 users will receive the Android 4.4 notification sooner than others.
But, if you want to skip this period on which you have to wait for the official Android 4.4 KiKat update to be released for your Note 2, you can choose to go for a custom ROM update. If so, before applying a firmware on your phablet make sure that you choose the best ROM that is available for your device. Well, for the Galaxy Note 2 model number N7100, the best software based on Android 4.4 KitKat OS is the CM 11 platform. Anyway, by using this tutorial you will be checking how to install an unofficial port of CM 11 Android 4.4 KitKat firmware on your Galaxy Note 2, which means that this software is not yet stable.
It is important to know though that this CM11 Android 4.4 system is coming with minor bugs only, so you can flash the update for a daily use. Also, those of xda-developers (they are developing this Android 4.4 AOSP based CM11 OS, so we have them to thanks for the present step by step guide) are working on resolving the existing issues, so all the problems will soon be resolved and you will be updated with a stable variant of CM 11 that will smoothly run on your Samsung Galaxy Note 2; but, until then, this software should be just perfect.
Now, according to those who have already installed Android 4.4 CM 11 firmware on their Galaxy Note 2, it seems that the bugs aren’t notable at all. On the other side, the features, apps and capabilities that are included on this update are great. As usual, CM 11 is coming with stock and extra Android 4.4 features and capabilities, which can be used for powering up the performances of your SGN 2; at the same time, by using this firmware you will be able to bump the speeds while the battery life is upgraded, enjoy a redesigned KitKat OS and use improved web browsing experience.
If you want all that and even more, don’t hesitate and use this tutorial. Do note before that CyanogenMod is a custom ROM and not an official update released by Samsung or Google for your Galaxy Note 2. CyanogenMod is a free aftermarket distribution of Android system and currently the CM 11 version is based on Android 4.4 KitKat OS. So, you will not flash the default or pure Android software as a custom variant of the same will be installed on your phablet.
Good; now if you have decided to complete this step by step guide, first learn how to prepare your device for the update operation that will shortly follow:
- Root your Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100. The root access must be previously gained because CM11 like any other custom ROM can be flashed only on an unchained device.
- When rooting, you are applying the first unofficial procedure on your phablet. So, be careful and try not to mess things up. Also, keep in mind that the warranty will get void, so if anything bad happens you will be by yourselves.
- As you might know, the warranty can be restored afterwards – of course if you do that the root access will be revoked and you will not be able to apply CM 11 firmware anymore. In order to get back the warranty you will have to downgrade your Note 2 to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS via Odin.
- Now, the second unofficial operation that must be performed if you want to safely complete this tutorial is the following one: install the latest version of CWM or TWRP recovery on your Samsung Galaxy Note 2.
- Replacing the stock recovery with a custom one isn’t an option for you as Android 4.4 KitKat based CM11 software can be flashed only by using the same.
- A backup is another operation that is recommended at this point. Applying a custom ROM implies in wiping the system and clearing the cache. Well, while applying the wipe procedure, your data (which are saved on the internal storage of your handset) will get erased or just corrupted. That’s why, if you have something important placed on your device, consider in backing up the same.
- Your Note 2 is rooted so you can use suitable backup and restore tools from Google Play, while you can use CWM recovery for making a Nandroid backup (and save the current ROM) and for backing up EFS.
As soon as the up mentioned tasks are being completed you can turn your attention upon other aspects such as: access to a computer or notebook must be ensured; on the computer first temporarily deactivate the security (antivirus, antimalware, etc.) protection because these programs might interfere with the update operation; on your phablet the USB debugging option must be checked from path “menu -> settings -> developer options” since a connection between the computer and smartphone must be established; the battery of your handset must display more than 50% power left – if not you need to plug in the charger as you don’t want to brick your Note 2 while trying to update with CM 11 custom ROM.
Finally, just ensure you are applying the Android 4.4 KitKat based CM 11 firmware only on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 model number N7100. The steps from below are compatible only with this version of the Note 2, which means that trying to complete this tutorial for a different Android based device, will probably brick your beloved handset.
How to Update Galaxy Note 2 N7100 with CM 11 Android 4.4 KitKat Custom ROM Firmware
- First of all, on your computer (preferable on desktop and without unzipping anything) download the required files: get the CM 11 Android 4.4 firmware file from here and optional get the Google Apps package from here.
- Google apps are not included on the present update so that’s why you will have to flash the package manually and also separately – don’t worry, is not hard.
- Take the USB cable and plug it in; connect your Galaxy Note 2 with your computer.
- From desktop, select the downloaded files; copy-paste or drag and drop the same on your phone’s SD card.
- Disconnect the devices, by unplugging the USB cord.
- And turn off your phablet.
- You need to turn off the device because recovery mode must be entered; so do that by using our tutorial.
- You need to wipe the system and clear cache via recovery mode.
- You can do that by selecting “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”.
- Also, after returning to recovery menu select “advanced” followed by “wipe dalvick cache”.
- When done, return to main menu of recovery.
- And then select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
- Pick the update file now and flash it on your handset.
- Repeat the same operation (the last step) and install Google Apps too.
- In the end, from the main menu of recovery select “reboot system now” and you are done.
Since this is a manual update operation, in some cases you might experience some issues. Usually, these issues are referring to:
- Your Note 2 is stuck in a boot loop – in order to resolve that you have to reboot into recovery again and choose “wipe data factory reset” and “wipe cache partition”; then reboot and enjoy CM 11.
- The system you have installed is too buggy and you want to use your old ROM. Well, you can do the same by rebooting into recovery mode; then if you had made a Nandroid backup as explained, now you can select “backup / restore” for restoring your previous firmware.
- If you have encountered any other problem try to use our dedicated tutorial: how to resolve the most common Android issues.
Good; we are done for today so good job guys. You have updated your Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N7100 with CM 11 Android 4.4 KitKat Custom ROM firmware. As stated before, this is an unofficial variant of the CM11 OS, so there might be some bugs included on the system. Test the software, see how it performs on your Note 2 and then use the comments area from below for sharing your impressions and results with us and with other users who might want to apply this step by step guide.