My Samsung Galaxy TAB S 10.5: Rooting, etc.

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by Hook, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    I acquired a Samsung Galaxy TAB s 10.5 for Christmas and had started to post about it in another thread, but decided I should actually post this information here where someone else with the TAB S might look for it. I'm not necessarily the most technically savvy or most experienced person here at Brighthand, but I post information that I usually wish I had found in one spot when I was trying to figure things out. I hope it's helpful, because otherwise it's just me prattling on. :vbrolleyes:

    Having spent almost all of my time with Android in the Nexus world, except for a year with the Samsung Galaxy Player 5, I have become quite spoiled. Samsung devices, at least the flagship models (and this is decidedly a premium tablet), have better quality hardware than most Nexus devices, but, man, are Nexus devices easy to root and mod. However, I didn't like what I saw about the Nexus 9, I wanted a bigger screen and, honestly, the idea of a tablet with a max of 32GB memory seems just ridiculous. Although the TAB S has only 16GB internal memory, I have added a Sandisk 128GB MicroSD card. I'm very happy with my purchase. Combined with a Logitech Type S keyboard case (although the keyboard is slightly smaller than the optional Samsung keyboard case, unlike the Samsung one it holds the Tab firmly for lap usage), I really have a very powerful but light-weight Ultrabook convertable. You can read some of my first impressions in that previosly mentioned thread.

    Rooting:

    If it's such a great tablet, why root, especially since, unlike Nexus devices, it voids warranty. I suppose ultimately because it's my tablet, not theirs. There aren't than many attractive alternate ROMs for this tablet, but rooting lets me do the following things that are of interest to me.

    1. Install an alternate recovery so I can make full Nandroid backups
    2. Use Titanium Backup to backup, freeze and otherwise manage apps
    3. Debloat the tablet by getting rid of both Samsung and Google apps I don't want or use.
    4. Make us of utilities that need system level permissions to add capability.

    The method I used is Chainfire's CFautoroot. I used the instructions from post #3 in this thread at XDA:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-tab-s/general/cf-auto-root-chainfire-t2881826

    One thing I ran into that others might not was that this method requires the Samsung USB drivers for Odin to talk to the tablet. That's not very surprising, but I don't usually install the Samsung drivers because a) most everything else works fine without them and I don't use KIES and b) the Samsung drivers play havok with the ADB connectivity for my Nexus 5. So, in my odd case, I installed the Samsung drivers to do the rooting and then did a Windows Recovery Point from before they were installed to return to the setup I had for my Nexus 5. Worked for me. :vbwink:

    The second variation in the instructions is that I used Odin 3.09 rather than the version (3.07) included in the zip by Chainfire (though I did use CF's Odin.ini file). I did this because, in post #99, someone suggested that 3.07 had trouble with the latest (Nov 2014) update to the TAB S, which I knew I had.

    Other than that, everything went very smoothly and I have happily thrown my Knox bit, which invalidates my waranty. :vbeek: :thumbsup:

    So far, I have:

    Installed TWRP recovery using Flashify and made a complete Nandroid backup in case anythig goes wrong while I'm debloating the tablet. This backup will restore the device to full stock with root before any changes were made.

    I installed Titanium Backup. I discovered the KitKat trap of TB not being able to save backups to the SD card because it didn't have write permissions. Found a nice utility from a trusted developer that fixed that right up.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nextapp.sdfix&hl=en

    I'm pretty much set to begin debloating and customizine. I'll post whatever I find that I think is interesting or might help someone else as I go along. If you have a TAB S, feel free to add your own information.
     
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  2. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Welcome my friend to Samsung family. :D
     
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  3. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    Either way, I read the whole thing. o_O
    Unless my logic is flawed, based on your statements, prattling on = whatever you think is interesting. :)
     
  4. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    Took you long enough to notice. :vbrolleyes:

    There is that... :vbwink:
     
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  5. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    These are the kinds of things that make rooting and flashing fun and exciting... :vbeek: :vbwink:

    Started picking up a lot of complaints with the 2.8.x versions of TWRP for this tablet. I flashed 2.8.3.0 and, honestly, had not run into any problems flashing or making a backup where many others had. Everything seemed fine and I'm used to other people having problems when I don't (the old only the folks with a problem post thing). However, on the TWRP website I saw this which corresponded with some of the complaints I'd seen:

    Known issues for this device:
    Restoring data may prevent you from being able to read/write to the internal storage

    Ummm. I hadn't tried a restore, but decided that was an experiment I could live without, so for now I've flashed 2.7.1.1. I'll test the restore after dinner, but should be fine. I'll hold 2.8.x.x off until they take the known issue down).
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2014
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  6. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    True, but the other nice thing is that with Samsung stuff being so popular, especially on the high end, they get a lot of support. I was stunned by how quick and painless it was to root my Galaxy S4, without ever even connecting it to my PC. CF autoroot for the win.

    Agreed, and jealous. Those 128 GB cards call to me, even though I couldn't possibly justify one even if I had a spare $100. It does make me think of the "questionable old days" though, back when I burned something like $200 on a memory card... a 4 GB CompactFlash card. It seemed like such a breakthrough, actually carrying all my music with me instead of dealing with two 256 MB cards.

    I'm always nostalgic about those days of discovering how to get internet access through USB, my first PocketPC, etcetera. Right up until I remember what they were actually like. It sucked compared to today's reality of easy everything and internet everywhere. Although I do still note that I'm pretty sure it was one of our guys who first used the term "internet cloud."

    To my mind, these are the very best arguments, always. Personally I haven't bothered with custom ROMs in quite a long while. Maybe I'm wrong, but few of them seem to really offer anything of value beyond "Look at this cool thing I did!" Little to no real new functionality except building in things that you could take five minutes to download. The biggest benefits of custom ROMs were always getting rid of unneeded stuff, and you can do that to the stock ROM with RootUninstaller, Titanium Backup, or others. And really, I wouldn't want to use most web browsers without some kind of ad blocker installed. Too much noxious crap out there.
     
  7. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    I think that will be my take for ROMs on this device-- not a lot of good ROMs for Tablets, it seems. I'll probably flash a stock 5.0 when it becomes available if it offers some advantage. On a really well-supported device, a really good ROM will give you a well curated set of features that are fully integrated which is often more stable than a collection of apps. Dirty Unicorns for my Nexus 5 was unbelievable and I am chomping at the bit for the Lollipop version-- which won't be soon because they put things out when they are ready and stable, and not before. :vbwink:
     
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  8. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    While I've rooted my phones, I've only flashed 1 ROM on my E4GT. I've been pretty happy with stock. However, now that I've got a Chromebook, I might consider flashing a ROM with tethering capabilities. There hasn't been a decent tethering option for Sprint's LG G2 on stock, and it's gotten worse. Developer support is VERY poor and outdated, but I might not mind flashing to an older, stable version as long as it has tethering built in. We'll see.
     
  9. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    Making progress slowly as I continue to get pulled away by IRL stuff. However, I set up MW manager. It made me install Xposed Framework which I sort of didn't like (I get a little impatient when I install something and then I get told I have to install somethings else, especially when they didn't make that clear in the Google Play description). So, made a nandroid and installed Xposed, and I now have the appa I want to multiwindow assigned to the app bar. It works wonderfully. I haven't added the mod that can give you 4 windows instead of just two. I'm not sure, even on a 10.5" screen that having windows that small is useful. The two window setup seems perfect and I may see if I can float the windows (so, like Windows, they can be larger and overalap). AFter I've gotten more familiar with the setup I'll take some screen shots.

    I've had a large number if "system" apps, Samsung and Google, frozen for several days with no ill effects. Probably on Jan 1st, I'll take another Nandroid and delete them. A couple of the Google apps I delete I'll reinstall from the play store, there's just no reason for them to think of themselves as system apps.

    I suppose now that I have it, I'll explore the other capabilities that Xposed offers.
     
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  10. Hook

    Hook Phone Killer ;-) Arrrrr...f

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    Scott, looking through Xposed Framework modules, I just noticed they have a module to expand the Gaffitti area on high res screens (I assume for the old Graffiti app). Don't know if that would make it worth installing Xposed Framework (I believe you are rooted already, yes?), but thought I should let you know. Xposed is easy enough to uninstall if it doesn't work. If you want I'll try i for you, but it would be on my tablet.

    Here's the module in the play store:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.nephiel.graffitiheightfix

    Sent from my SM-T800
     
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