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[RS Guide] Now That I've Rooted, What Do I Do?

This is a discussion on [RS Guide] Now That I've Rooted, What Do I Do? within the HTC Thunderbolt Development forums, part of the HTC Thunderbolt Hacks category; Now that you are successfully rooted you are looking at a phone that looks the same, so what do you do next? I am going ...

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Thread: [RS Guide] Now That I've Rooted, What Do I Do?

  1. #1
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    [RS Guide] Now That I've Rooted, What Do I Do?

    Now that you are successfully rooted you are looking at a phone that looks the same, so what do you do next? I am going to attempt to answer this question along with several others in this guide.

    As always please remember that neither myself, nor anyone involved with these forums are responsible for any damage you may do to your phone while following this guide. You assume all risks and liability for anything that you may install.

    One of the first things everyone notices after rooting their device is that there is a new application in their app drawer called SuperUser. No this is not a virus, nor is it spyware that we tricked you into installing on your phone. It is actually one of the most important apps you now have on your phone. SuperUser very simply monitors programs that are asking for access to normally locked portions of your phone and lets you choose to allow or not allow these programs access. Think of SuperUser like that hateful Security Popup on a windows computer. Every time you start a program that is going to make some changes or access portions of the system that is normally not allowed, SuperUser is going to ask you if it is ok. If you initiated the process by opening a program, then you should generally answer “Yes” and check the box to remember your selection, so that it doesn’t ask you each time you start that program.

    So what do you need to install, and what is it used for?
    1) The first thing you should do is to install Rom Manager from the market. The free version is fine. This program will allow you to install a custom recovery that will enable the flashing of custom Roms and Kernels, along with some additional functionality that you will need on your newly rooted Tbolt.

    2) Once Rom Manager is installed; open it up choose the first option in the list “Flash ClockworkMod Recovery” Without this you will not be able to do very much with your newly rooted device. This installs the custom recovery mentioned in step 1.

    3) Once ClockworkMod Recovery (CWR) is installed, it is time to make a Nandroid Backup. In simple terms, this creates a restore point on your phone. It takes a snapshot of your entire system and backs it up so that you can restore to this point. To do this open Rom Manager again, in the list of options, you will see the option “Backup Current Rom.” Choose this option. Name the backup whatever you wish, and select ok. If prompted for SuperUser permission, answer yes. At this point you phone will reboot. Don’t panic, this is normal. You will see the white HTC screen and then the screen will go black with some with writing. Do not interrupt the process, when it is complete you phone will reboot.

    4) The next thing that most people do when they have recently rooted their phone is to install Titanium Backup. This program will allow you to make a backup copy of all of your user apps and data, allowing you to replace your programs without having to replace the entire system. Download and install Titanium Backup from the market.
    (Note: I highly recommend, trying the free version and if it works out for you, purchasing the pro key for Titanium. See below for the Titanium Pro options).
    When you open Titanium for the first time, you may get an error message saying you do not have root access. That is ok. At the bottom of the screen, press the button that says “Problems?” and follow the prompts to install BusyBox. When busybox is installed Titanium Backup will close. Reopen the program. Press the menu button, select batch, and choose “backup all user apps/data” This will create a backup of all programs that you have installed on your phone. You should repeat this process and “backup all new apps and newer versions” whenever you install something new on your phone. These backups will be invaluable when you start flashing custom roms because you will be required to wipe all of your system during the custom rom install.

    5) Titanium Backup Pro: by purchasing the Pro key, Titanium will automate the process of restoring your backups, when you do need to reinstall you apps. In addition to that Titanium will allow you to “Freeze” apps in your system. This allows you to make the apps unusable, and will remove them from the application drawer. This is helpful to get rid of any pre-installed applications that you do not want and prevent them from taking up valuable resources. There are other methods to do this manually, but freezing them is the simplest, fool-proof method.

    To freeze an app with Titanium Pro, open up Titanium Backup; at the top of the screen choose Backup/Restore. This will bring up a list of all applications installed on your device. The ones that are listed in red are the system apps that you normally can’t get rid of. To freeze the app, simply short-click on the app you want to freeze, and choose “Freeze” from the popup that appears. That’s it, the app is frozen, you can “thaw” these apps out if you ever need them by using the same method.

    Other Helpful Root Applications
    - Root Explorer: This is a paid application that is a file manager. Unlike other file managers that you may have seen, this one allows you read/write access to your system files on your phone. Using this app without knowledge of what you are doing can be very dangerous.

    - SetCPU: This is a paid application that allows you to control the speed, and usage of custom Kernels when they are installed. Using SetCPU allows you to have the processor run at a slower speed when the phone is not in use, and then a higher speed when you need the power, thus saving your battery.

    - Android Terminal: This is a free application that allows you to open a Linux command terminal on your phone. From this terminal you can input commands to run custom scripts.

    - Root Checker: This is a free program that checks the status of your root access and reports back the results. This is a handy program to have in case you are having issues and are not sure your rooting process completed correctly.
    Last edited by Sele; 05-16-2011 at 10:11 AM.





  2. #2
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    The following was originally posted by jntdroid. We thought that it would be more helpful to move this information to this thread so we could keep all of this together for easy reference.

    [Root] File System Tweaks and Tips
    So you finally rooted your Thunderbolt, now what? There are some great apps out there that take advantage of being rooted. There are some great custom ROMs, and those will greatly increase on the Thunderbolt in the near future, I'm sure. But what can you do yourself now that you have access to all of these files?

    Personally, I'm a fan of rooted stock - always have been. There are some great ROMs out there, but I like my phone the way it came, but with full access. I know exactly what I want to do with my phone once it's rooted, and thought I would share some of the tweaks you can also do, simply by knowing where to look and how to do it.

    Disclaimer 1: I use Root Explorer. Always have and probably always will, and I think it's one of the more popular rooted/file system apps out there - all my instructions will be based on how it's done in Root Explorer.

    Disclaimer 2: I'm no developer. I know a little adb and have some coding background, but I'm no developer. So here's your grain of salt ahead of time...

    Disclaimer 3: A lot of these will apply to other Android phones besides the Thunderbolt. I've owned a Droid 1, HTC Inc, and Droid X before the TB. I'll make note of the items that apply to all of them vs. just the TB. Some of these will likely apply to any Android phone, but I don't want to assume too much about other manufacturers and what they do to the OS structure.

    I'll indicate in each subject which phone it applies to (TB, DX, DInc, D1, other Android phones).

    Rule #1 - backup... nandroid, Titanium, etc. - backup first. Some of these tweaks are simple, and some of them are not. I'm not responsible if you take any of this on and don't backup first. I highly recommend a nandroid backup before doing anything so you can, worst case scenario, restore back to normal through recovery.
    Rule #2 - I rarely delete any files. More often than not, I simply rename it from filename.apk to filename.apk.bak.
    Rule #3 - For those unfamiliar with Root Explorer, longpressing on a file or folder is the key to bringing up options like renaming, copying, changing permissions, etc.
    Rule #4 - Speaking of permissions... almost all tweaks require the file to have the permissions set to "644", and that is how I'll refer to it from this point forward. If it's any different, I'll specify. 644 permissions look like THIS, and under the filename, it should read "rw-r--r--". To edit permissions, you simply longpress on the file and select Permissions.

    So let's get started...


    Boot Sound Removal/Customization (TB only):

    The first thing I wanted to do when I got my Thunderbolt was get rid of that boot sound. It scared the heck out of my wife more than once late at night as I was tinkering, and it wasn't real inconspicuous if I did any tinkering/rebooting at work. The name of the file is FinalThunder.mp3, and the location is /system/customize/resource/. Simply longpress and rename to FinalThunder.mp3.bak.

    This would also be a simple way to customize your boot sound - copy an mp3 from your SD Card into the same path and name it FinalThunder.mp3 - though I recommend staying close to the same filesize as the original. If you do copy a new file into that location, you'll want to make sure it has the permissions set to 644 (see rule #4 above).


    Battery Calibration (TB/DX/DInc/D1, and likely others):

    So you can't actually calibrate your battery in the file system. You can, however, "reset" the file that's used as the "brain" for how Android uses and reports the battery life, for lack of a better word. The file is batterystats.bin and the location is /data/system/ - it's been that location on every Android phone I've owned. If you delete or rename this file, the OS regenerates it upon reboot. Therefore, to get the cleanest start possible, or the cleanest calibration possible, on the final reboot in your calibration, go in and rename the file to batterystats.bin.bak (or delete it) right before you reboot. Do this once you know you'll be using your phone in a "normal" fashion on a day to day basis. That way, your battery will be fully calibrated, and this file will be reading/reporting based on normal usage and a fully calibrated battery. I can't attest to this, but I've read before that it's a good idea to clear this file out on a regular basis anyway (every few months or so).


    Ringtones/Notifications/Alarms (TB/DX/DInc/D1, and likely others):

    So yes, you can already set custom alarms, ringtones, and notifications off of files that are on your sd card. But what if your sd card is busy? Or is just slow to read for whatever reason? Then your phone will pick some other sound it can get to efficiently to replace what you've set - might not happen often, but is annoying when it does. What I always like to do is move my custom sounds into their appropriate directories in the system - so they're a part of the OS without having the "restrictions" of the sd card. Most of the system sounds are .ogg files, but some are .mp3. The location is /system/media/audio/ and then there are three main directories: /alarms, /notifications, and /ringtones - self explanatory. Copy the files you want for each into the correct directory, and verify that each file has the permissions set to 644 (same as above). You'll likely need to reboot before you can go into settings/sound and see them listed.


    Wifi scan interval (TB/DX/DInc/D1, and likely others):

    By default, your wifi settings (if turned on) scan for a wifi signal every 15 seconds. This can suck up battery life. Most TB owners are simply turning off wifi until they need it. But if you want to improve this area without completely turning it off, there is a way to change how often it scans for wifi. The file is "build.prop" and it's under the /system directory. This file is important, so I don't recommend messing with anything else in this file, and I highly recommend backing it up and never deleting. To change the scan interval, long press the file, scroll down, and select "open in text editor". Now, this part will vary a bit per phone, but you have to find the section where it has the line "wifi.supplicant_scan_interval=**" (** likely being 15). 15 is the number of seconds. Simply change the 15 to your preferred time (in seconds), hit the menu key, then hit "save & exit". Root Explorer should also automatically make a backup of this file for you.


    Apps, where are they, can they be "reset proof"? (TB/DX/DInc/D1, and likely others)

    First and foremost, if you use this part of the instructions to pull .apk files that are paid apps and send them to others for free or post them online for free, then you are stealing from the developer and appropriate action will be taken if discovered (i.e. we'll never see you again on our forums). If not discovered, then just know that you are stealing from someone who worked hard to create the app, and it's likely not their day job, and they likely have a family to feed. It's piracy, plain and simple.

    So, with that aside, there are some benefits to knowing where the apps are installed. For one, you can back them up yourself. I have a handful of apps that I never want to lose, so I keep a copy of the .apk in my file sharing/storage system. And yes, I'm anal. You can also get rid of "bloat" or apps pre-installed on your phone that you don't want. You can also move apps into a location where they will be "factory reset" proof - so if your phone is stolen and that's all they do to it, the app will remain.

    Where are they? Most apps you download and install off the market go into the /data/app/ directory - a few go into /data/app-private, and I honestly don't know the difference (anybody?). System apps and "bloat" typically are found in the /system/app directory. To remove bloat, simply go into the /system/app directory, find the .apk files that refer to whichever bloat app you're looking to get rid of and... wait, this is where I'm cautious. Some people simply delete, but I rename to bloat.apk.bak - just in case. Or, to keep it even cleaner, create a "bloat" directory on your sd card and move the .apk's into that directory. That way, it truly gets rid of them, out of your OS completely, but you still have them easily accessible if something goes wrong. Some bloat apps are obvious, but sometimes they're not, and I don't want to mess anything up. So I recommend renaming or moving to the sd card, not deleting.

    [Follow up: It would appear that Titanium Backup's "freeze" functionality will have the same result as renaming the bloat.apk to bloat.apk.bak (or whatever you name it). Please see this post for more detail.]

    Reset proof? Just know that anything in the /system/app directory will still be there after a factory reset - a factory reset doesn't touch the /system partition. There are a lot of great apps out there for remotely tracking/wiping/securing your phone. If you install these off the market, you can move (not copy) the .apk file from the /data/app directory into the /system/app directory, and it will remain there upon a factory reset. There aren't too many cases where this is helpful, but with the security related apps, it could come in handy. You'll need to reboot after moving any app into the /system/app directory, and it will reinstall upon reboot.


    OTA Updates (DX, D1, likely TB and DInc and others):

    This one came in handy with the D1 when we were trying to grab "master" OTA files for reverting back to stock. Given that the next OTA is likely (not guaranteed) to be 2.3/Gingerbread, this could come in extremely handy when that starts rolling out. So you're rooted, you have access to your entire file system. You get notification that a system update is available. You download it to your phone... where in the world does it go? Well, on the D1 and DX (and likely, but no guarantee, on the DInc, TB, and others), it's a zip file that's placed in the /cache directory. When you go to the /cache directory, it's typically obvious which .zip file it is. The settings/about phone page will typically tell you the filesize, so you can match those up to verify. But the filename will also tend to be some sort of longer, complicated name, as a .zip file. Before you "restart and install", grab that file out of that directory and copy it to your sd card. It'll come in handy in more ways than you know, and the community will want you to share! Oh, and also, if history is any indication, installing just about any OTA update causes you to lose root access.
    Last edited by jntdroid; 05-17-2011 at 11:46 AM.



  3. #3
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    Extremely helpful Sele.

  4. #4
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    Works like a champ.
    ThunderBolt
    Rooted | Liquids-ICS-V1.5-MR2


    I don't always test my code. But when I do, I do it in production.

  5. #5
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    Thanks, if anyone knows of something else that needs to be added, let me know and I will add to the op.

  6. #6
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    Great write-up once again Sele. Another fine guide to point our newly rooted members to.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallica View Post
    Great write-up once again Sele. Another fine guide to point our newly rooted members to.
    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Tbolt Operative
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    Super Manager in the market works as a root explorer also, and it is a free app. I stumbled across it and it works rather well.

    Kernel manager is an app that might be worthy of adding.

    Sent from my ADR6400L
    Last edited by DeathGrind; 05-16-2011 at 10:24 AM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks, I've never used super manager, I'll have to put that in there as well.
    Kernel Manager, doh, I forgot about that one. I have it and have used it some, but lately I've had come issues running it. I'll have to go back and try it some more and add that as well. Thanks.

  10. #10
    *RS Leader*
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    I've never used super manager or kernel manager, I've always used root explorer, and flash kernels manually. I'll check em out though


 
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