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Flash Official CM 11 Nightly KitKat ROM for Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3

CyanogenMod 11 Nightly ROM is now ready for the Verizon variant of Galaxy S3. This is not an official release by Verizon nor Samsung, so you should install it at your own risk.

CM 11 is based on AOSP Android 4.4.2 ROM, it packs the pure KitKat experience and with something little extra. There are numerous other features incorporated by the CyanogenMod team, so that users will get the bet out of one of the most popular custom ROM builds that are currently available for almost any Android device.

CM 11 Nightly is the first stage of custom Android 4.4 ROMs and the CyanogenMod team continues its work on releasing a full Stable build by the end of February. Use this custom ROM only if you want to test KitKat and see what great features are incorporated withing CM builds. More info about this ROM here.

Read the guidelines below before starting the installation of this new ROM:

  • Use this post only with the Verizon variant of the Samsung Galaxy S3 phone.
    – don’t attempt to update any other smartphones with the files that you will find in the tutorial.
  • This is a guide that will work with rooted Verizon Galaxy S3.
  • Your phone has to run the latest CWM or TWRP Recovery.
    – this guide uses the CWM Recovery to flash the ROM, but the TWRP Recovery will work too if you carefully apply the corresponding actions.
    – TWRP and CWM should be updated to their latest build.
  • Make sure to create a full NANDROID ROM Backup of your installed OS.
    – this will set a restore point for your phone.
  • Factory Reset is required for the new ROM to install successfully.
    – you can skip Factory Reset only in case your device already runs on a previous CM 11 Nightly build.
    – Factory Reset wipes all data from system partition, while internal and external storage won’t be deleted.
  • If you want to backup data from installed apps, SMS text messages and APN Internet Settings, then you should use the following tools for Android: Helium — download link here.
    – root access is required for these apps.
  • Sync your Contacts info and People details with your Gmail account.
    – guide here.
  • Enable USB Debugging from Developer Options.
  • The phone’s battery charge level has to be over 50%, so that the device won’t switch off in the middle of the updating process.
  • This is a guide for advanced users, do not blame us in case your brick the device nor in case you lose any important data.
  • Follow all the info listed, don’t skip any steps and you should be able to complete the guide in no time.
  • In case you need extra help, use the comments field listed at the end of this post.

Now that you know all of the above, continue to the next part of this guide. Remember that this release is not an official update by Samsung, but a simple custom ROM build that should be used by those of you who want to test an AOSP Android 4.4.2 OS.

How to flash CM 11 Nightly ROM for Verizon Galaxy S3:

  1. Download the CM 11 Nightly zip from here.
    – make sure to grab the latest build available.
  2. Download Gapps for Android 4.4 from here.
  3. Connect your phone to your PC and then move both files to your device’s internal storage.
    – when the files are copied successfully you can disconnect the VZW Galaxy S3 from computer.
  4. Power off the phone and then boot it in CWM Recovery Mode.
    – guide here for those that don’t know how to boot recovery.
  5. Create a full NANDROID ROM Backup for the installed OS:
    – select ‘backup and restore’, save the file and then continue to the next step.
  6. Next, apply the Factory Reset for your device.
    – select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’ and confirm the process.
    > don’t skip this step unless you’re already running a previous build of CM 11 Nightly ROM.
  7. Install the new CM 11 Nightly ROM:
    – select ‘install zip from sd card’, then ‘choose zip from sdcard’ and find the CM 11 Nightly zip.
    > confirm the installation and don’t press any buttons until the process is complete.
  8. When the ROM is installed you should repeat step 7 actions and flash Gapps zip as well.
  9. Return to the main custom Recovery screen and reboot your device in normal mode.
    > don’t press any buttons until the first boot process is complete.
  10. Use the CyanogenMod / Google account to take control over your device.
    > now you can start testing all the new features and customize the entire CM 11 UI in order to get the best custom KitKat experience.

These were all the steps that you had to take in order to complete the installation of CM 11 Nightly.

If you have any other questions, then you can ask for more help in comments.

In case the installation isn’t completed at your first attempt, then you should try to repeat the entire tutorial once again. Make sure not to skip any steps and to apply Factory Reset. If the device doesn’t boot after the second installation attempt, then you should apply ‘format /system’ action too — it can be found under Advanced Recovery Mode options or under ‘Mounts and Storage’.

If you don’t like how this new ROM works with your Verizon Galaxy S3, then it would be best for you to restore the phone to its previous ROM. Obviously this can be achieved only if you’ve created a NANDROID ROM Backup file in step 5. If you did create such file, then you can easily restore the phone’s previous ROM with the same custom Recovery Mode.

Remember that since this release of CM 11 is a Nightly build, then you will surely might find some bugs and errors while testing. Make sure to keep updating your Verizon Galaxy S3 with new CM 11 builds using the Settings > About Device and CyanogenMod Updates section. Check for new builds, click once to download the file that you wish to flash. After the download is complete you click the file and then confirm that you wish to update your Verizon Galaxy S3 with a brand new CyanogenMod 11 build. Note that the phone will reboot in order to complete installation, which is why you shouldn’t press any buttons until the process is complete.