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Update T-Mobile Galaxy S2 to Android 4.3.1 with Dirty Unicorns Custom ROM

Android 4.3.1 is the latest version of Android OS that has been made available on the market. The system is coming with several bug fixes, with stability improvements and with minor improvements for customizing the performances and the speeds of your handsets. Unfortunately not all the Android based devices will receive this new firmware due to hardware limitations, the same applying for the T-Mobile Galaxy S2 too. But, don’t worry, as during the following lines I will explain you how to flash Android 4.3 on your T-Mobile Galaxy S2, though we will not use an official software.

As you can already tell, I am talking about a new custom ROM firmware that is based on Jelly Bean 4.3.1. The software is dubbed as Dirty Unicorns and is being powered by AOKP and CM10.2, so features ported from the mentioned platforms will be installed on your Samsung Galaxy S2 T989. The Dirty Unicorns system is stable and according to those who have tested the same it is smoothly running on the SGS2. The best is that the firmware is coming with all the Android 4.3.1 stock features along with extra ones that can be used for improving the performances of your smartphone, for bumping the speeds or for upgrading the battery life of the same.

As you will see, this operation implies in several procedures that are not official and that are nothing to do with Samsung, T-Mobile or Google. Because of that, for being able to avoid the unpleasant situations you will have to stick to the guidelines which are being explained here; else you can end up in damaging your phone’s system or worst you can even brick it.

Of course when I have mentioned the unofficial procedures I was mainly referring to root access. This tutorial will take you through the installation procedure of a custom ROM. Since a custom ROM is only based on stock firmware, in order to apply the same on your T-Mobile Galaxy S2 and update to Android 4.3.1 you will have to first root your handset. But, by doing the same you will interfere with the default settings of your phone, which implies in losing the warranty of your SGS2. Don’t worry though as nothing bad happens if you follow the steps from below and of course if you use a suitable root solution that can be applied on the T-Mobile version of the Samsung Galaxy S2.

For the future, if you will need to restore the warranty, or if you will have to reset the binary flash counter of your phone, you will have to revoke the root access. That can be performed by following a dedicated tutorial, or by downgrading your Galaxy S2 to sock or official Android OS. The warranty gets void in the first place only because the flash counter is being increased so if you can reset the same you are out of problems.

Updating your T-Mobile Galaxy S2 to Android 4.3.1 with Dirty Unicorns custom ROM is also implying on using a custom recovery image, like CWM or TWRP recovery. The stock recovery that comes pre-installed on all the Android devices isn’t useful when you are dealing with custom updates, so before going any further you will have to flash CWM recovery on your T-Mobile S2; else you will not be able to install Dirty Unicorns firmware. Do note though that a custom recovery image can be installed only on rooted systems, so first of all remember to gain root access.

Another thing to do before starting the proper guide is to take care of the essential pre requisites. The preparation tasks are being explained during the list from below, so don’t skip the same if you want to safely update your T-Mobile SGS2 to Android 4.3.1 with Dirty Unicorns firmware.

  • Remember to root and install a custom recovery image on your phone.
  • Backup the data that is saved on the internal storage memory of your handset.
  • Since your smartphone is currently rooted and installed with a custom recovery, the backup can be easily performed as there are numerous apps available for free on Google Play; so use the same and backup EFS, contacts, messages, call logs, internet settings, calendar info, current ROM, personal data, info and accounts and basically everything else you need to.
  • You will have to use a computer and on the same you need to deactivate the antivirus programs or the Firewall protection. Don’t worry, your PC will not be infected with viruses, malwares or with worms, this is only for preventing the security tools to interfere with the update process that will be performed soon.
  • USB Debugging must be enabled on your phone (go to path “menu -> settings -> developer options”); do that because you need to connect your S2 with the computer.
  • Also, make sure your device is charged – the battery status should indicate 50% or higher battery power; else take your time and charge your smartphone.
  • Install Android 4.3.1 Dirty Unicorns custom ROM only on the T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S2 which is dubbed as T989; go to “settings -> about phone” and check for the version number of your handset. Flashing this update on a different smartphone will probably brick the same.

How to Update T-Mobile Galaxy S2 to Android 4.3.1 with Dirty Unicorns Custom ROM Firmware

  1. Start the update guide with the download operations. You need to save the required files on your computer (preferable on desktop) without unzipping them.
  2. Download the Dirty Unicorns Custom ROM Firmware from here.
  3. Optional, but recommended: download Google Apps package from here – the Google apps are not included on the Dirty Unicorns package so you will have to install the same separately.
  4. Connect your Galaxy S2 with the computer by using the phone’s USB cable.
  5. Next, transfer the downloaded files from desktop to your handset’s SD card – place the files on the root of your SD card.
  6. Disconnect the devices by removing or unplugging the USB cable.
  7. Turn your phone off is extremely important as up next you need to boot your S2 into recovery mode – use this tutorial for learning how to do that.
  8. Then from recovery you first have to clear the cache and wipe the system; because of that your data will be wiped out so remember to backup everything you might need afterwards.
  9. Wipe the system and clear cache by selecting “wipe data factory reset”, “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvick cache”.
  10. Now, return to main menu of recovery.
  11. From there select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
  12. Select the update file from the SD card and flash the same.
  13. Repeat the procedure and pick the Google Apps package and install the same.
  14. Finally, when you are done, from recovery select “+++go back+++” and “reboot system now.

Good job. Now your T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S2 T989 is running on Android 4.3.1 Jelly Bean OS; of course, a custom version of the Android firmware because in fact the Dirty Unicorns custom ROM is being featured on your smartphone. So, test the new software, test its features and capabilities and then return here for sharing your impressions and thoughts with our team.