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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rooting and Installing Custom ROMS (Droid 2 Global)

While there are many tutorials on the internet for Rooting Android devices and installing custom Roms, not all of them apply to the Droid 2 Global and the ones that do are not always clear or are spread out among many sites. Today I hope to bring an end to that by writing down all the knowledge I have collected on this topic in one post. Remember that this will only apply to the Droid 2 Global and while some tactics may work on other phones they are not tested. I am not responsible for anything you may do to your phone, rooting will void your warranty. You have been warned. So enjoy! :)

The first thing to talk about is Rooting. Once one roots their device they have the ability to fully control their phone. There are a few different ways to achieve root access on the Droid 2 Global (D2G) but the method I will be talking about is z4Root. z4Root is an application that once installed on your phone will only require a single button press to root your device. Once in the application there will be an option for permanent root. You will want to click this option and wait for the process to finish. If it is successful then in you app drawer there will be a new app named SuperUser. It is possible that the application will get stuck part way through, usually characterized by a wait time of more than 5 minutes. If this happens simply exit the app, close it using a task killer or included app manager and try again until it works. Once finished your device will be officially rooted and able to run wonderful software that was once not available to you.

Once rooted you will already be able to install certain applications, themes, and other things such as Wireless Tether. Wireless Tether will allow you to share your 3G connection with up to 5 devices without paying extra for a tethering plan. You will also be able to control the CPU speed with SetCPU which will allow underclocking and sometimes overclocking depending on the Kernel installed on your device. There are many applications that require root access that range in their functionality, some take screen shots while others allow more complete backups and some can help improve the performance of your Android device. I will not be able to go over every application available to you but will list a few I think will help start you out.
Now that you have been playing around with Root access for awhile you might want to install a custom Rom. Custom Rom's add nice features and remove unwanted ones such as Blur. The D2G has a locked bootloader which makes installing this wonder software much more difficult but not impossible. The first step will be downloading the Droid 2 Bootstrap. This will let you load Clockwork Recovery which is absolutely necessary to the process. Once installed, open the bootstrap application and click Bootstrap Recovery. Once that finished you will want to click Reboot Recovery which will reboot your phone into the freshly added Clockwork Recovery. The first thing you will want to do is make a full backup of your current system. To do this use the volume keys to navigate to (backup and restore) and use the camera button to select. Next you will choose (Backup) which will then immediately begin backup up your system to exactly how it was when you were entering recovery. This will be absolutely necessary if you mess up or need to return to stock Rom for whatever reason. 
Alright so now that you have Clockwork Recovery and a backup of your system we can move on to actually installing custom Rom's. The process will vary depending on which you decide to install but the basic method will be to download the file for the Rom, save it to the SD card (not in any folders), rename it Update.zip, reboot into recovery, perform a factory reset and wipe cache then choose (install update.zip). This is the basic way which may or may not work for all Rom's and some may have a better method available. For example if you wanted to install Fission Rom you could download their Rom manager which will allow you to download and install their software right from the application.
The official Droid Forum for Rom's can be found HERE and will give you access to available Rom's. Not all of the ones on that forum work with the D2G and even ones that are supposed to work could Break your phone so proceed with absolute caution. The only one I have successfully installed is Fission Rom from above. 

If you brick your phone and cannot access recovery to restore your backup from earlier you will have to SBF the device. Instructions can be found HERE

Now lets say you need to return your phone for whatever reason. Verizon or whatever carrier you are on will not accept your phone if it has been rooted. What you must do is use that backup you made to return to the stock rom, make sure any changes you did before backing up are undone, and then you need to open up z4Root again and click on the unroot option. Make sure in the app drawer that SuperUser is gone and there you go, no more Root and you are ready to send back your device. 

Please remember that this article is written as if you are performing each task to the Droid 2 Global. While some methods are the same for other phones not everything will be the same. Use this tutorial at your own risk as you are very likely to Brick your phone and will void your warranty. If you have any questions or if I left anything out please feel free to comment down below. Best of luck to all of you in your rooting adventures. 

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