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Install CM11 on Galaxy S3 Mini and Update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat Firmware

Android 4.4 KitKat will be made available for the non-Nexus devices starting from this month. But, not all the Android smartphones and tablets will receive the KK touch as the same time as the official roll out will take a few months to complete. If we are to take the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini for example there is still no word about its upcoming OTA Android 4.4 firmware, so if you have this phone and want to test the latest Android features ahead of official release, you will have to install a custom ROM, like CM 11.

Because of that, if you use this step by step guide you will be able to achieve the same: update your S3 Mini with CM11 Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware. The installation procedure is not hard to complete though there are a lot of things to take care of. Since this is an unofficial flash procedure, before applying the software on your smartphone you should read the guidelines from below. We will be talking about the advantages that come along with CM11, we will detail the risks implied on this operation and we will also be checking on how to prepare your Galaxy S3 Mini for the update process that will follow.

As promised, first of all we will talk about CM 11. The first aspect to detail when talking about a custom ROM is the following one: it is not an official Android update, so in our case CM11 has nothing to do with Samsung or with Google. The software is developed by third party devs and then it is customized and optimized for your Android device, which in our case is Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. Furthermore, the present version of CM is based on official Android 4.4.2 KitKat firmware, but a modified variant of the KK system will be flashed on your S3 Mini.

In order to be more precise, CM11 comes with both stock and extra features, apps and capabilities. This means that the ROM will bring its own user interface and looks and modified apps and capabilities. These capabilities can be then used for improving the performances of your Galaxy S3 Mini, while on the same time a stable version of Android 4.4.2 will be running on your handset. The same features can be used for improving the speeds, updating the web browsing experience, obtaining more power and upgrading the battery life.

If you want all that and even more for your Galaxy S3 Mini then you must install CM11 Android 4.4.2 KK OS on your smartphone. These are the positive aspects that come along with this tutorial. But, since this isn’t an official update operation, you should also know which the risks are. First of all you need to know that the warranty of your Galaxy S3 Mini will get void (I will tell you why in a minute – also I will teach you how to restore the same). Also, your data will get wiped out so you will have to backup everything that’s important for you.

The warranty will get void because root access must be gained on your S3 Mini. Without root, you will not be able to safely install CM 11 on your phone. So, achieve root for unchaining the internal system of your handset. Well, when rooting the binary flash counter of your SGS3 Mini will be increased and that’s when the warranty will get void. As you can already tell, for restoring the warranty you will have to reset the flash counter; in order to do so you need to downgrade your Galaxy S3 Mini to stock Android Jelly Bean OS, or wait for the OTA update to be rolled out – take note that on a rooted device the official updates can be only manually installed.

After rooting your S3 Mini you have to install a custom recovery image, like CWM or TWRP recovery because the stock recovery can’t be used when trying to flash CM11 or any other custom ROM firmware. Use only CWM or TWRP recovery because these apps were used by the devs for testing the Android 4.4.2 KitKat based CM 11 custom ROM. Also, remember that I have mentioned something about a backup.

When applying CM 11 a wipe will be required and when doing the same everything that’s saved on the internal storage memory of your SGS3 Mini will get wiped out. Because of that before going any further you need to use suitable backup and apps from Google play for saving your contacts, text messages, call logs, market apps, EFS folder and even the current ROM – via a Nandroid backup.

This guide is showing a manual update procedure that can be used for updating the Galaxy S3 Mini to Android 4.4.2 OS. But for succeeding with your plans you will have to use a computer, your phone and its USB cable. Then on your computer first of all you have to disable the antivirus and Firewall protection because the security programs might interfere with the flashing operation. Also, on your handset the USB debugging option must be enabled as you will have to connect your S3 Mini with your computer – go to path “menu – settings – developer options”. At the same time, you need to check the battery status of your device: if there is less than 50% power left you have to plug in the charger.

Finally, this tutorial is compatible and will work only for the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. Installing CM 11 Android 4.4.2 Custom ROM by using the next steps on a similar or different Android based device will probably brick your handset or damage its internal system. So, be careful, read all the lines from this tutorial, don’t perform things by yourselves and try not to mess things up.

How to Install CM11 on Galaxy S3 Mini and Update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat custom ROM Firmware

  1. On your computer you have to download the update file and the Google apps package – the same is not included on the CM 11 platform.
  2. Go here and download the Android 4.4.2 based firmware.
  3. Go here and download Google apps package.
  4. Save these files on desktop and don’t unzip anything.
  5. Connect your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini with your PC.
  6. Establish the connection by using the USB cord.
  7. Copy-paste the downloaded files from desktop and place the same on your phone’s SD card.
  8. Remove the USB cable as the computer is no longer useful.
  9. Turn off your phone because you have to enter recovery mode on your S3 Mini.
  10. Do that and then use the recovery mode menu for wiping the system and for clearing the cache.
  11. Wipe the system by selecting “wipe data factory reset”.
  12. Clear the cache by selecting “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvick cache”.
  13. From the main menu of recovery now select “install zip from SD card” followed by “choose zip from SD card”.
  14. Pick the CM 11 firmware and flash the KitKat 4.4.2 OS on your SGS3 Mini.
  15. Do the same thing and install Google Apps package.
  16. Finally, in the end return to recovery and select “reboot system now”.

You are done; that was all for now as you have successfully installed CM11 on your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini. Android 4.4.2 KitKat OS is running on your phone, so test the same and see how it performs. According to those who have already flashed CM 11 on Galaxy S3 Mini, the software is table and there are no bugs or things that aren’t working perfectly. Anyway, after trying the new OS, use the comments area from below for sharing your experience with us and with other Android users who might consider in using our step by step guide.

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