XDA member mrRobinson is back. After successfully releasing pre-rooted stock ROMs for both the Sprint Galaxy Note 2, as well as its Verizon counterpart, which gave users root, without tripping the dreaded binary flash counter on Samsung devices, mrRobinson has now turned his attention towards the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2.
The rooted stock ROM is based on the latest T889UVALJ1 stock Jelly Bean 4.1.1 based firmware. Since it is a stock ROM, and does not need a custom recovery to be flashed, it steers clear of the flash counter. The binary counter is an inbuilt security mechanism in Samsung devices, which tells Samsung that the original firmware the device came with has been tampered, and hence voids the warranty. The more ROMs you flash, the higher the counter goes.
As always, we have put together a handy guide below on how you can root your T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 without tripping the flash counter. [Important] Needless to say, rooting and flashing of custom firmware on devices is tricky stuff that should be avoided unless you know exactly what you’re doing and what you want out of it. Most people, and by most, I mean 75% of smartphone users get by just fine not even knowing what root is, so be absolutely sure before you go ahead with this.
How to Root the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 without tripping the Flash Counter
- First off lets start with downloading all of the required files and tools that are needed to achieve root on the TMO Note 2.
- USB drivers from Samsung : 32 bit (x86) Windows | 64-bit (x64) Windows – These are essential so that your PC is able to detect your phone correctly.
- The actual Rooted ROM that we would be flashing on the phone : Mirror 1 | Mirror 2 – Filename: root66_TMO_T889UVALJ1.7z
- Odin – The main tool that we would be using to flash the ROM on to your device. Download it Here
- Install the Samsung Drivers on your PC. Reboot the system for good measure.
- Next extract the Rooted ROM zip file that you downloaded to get a file named root66_TMO_T889UVALJ1.tar.md5
- Extract the Odin package to your desktop. You should have four files in the extracted folder. Check the folder for the Odin3 v3.07.exe file.
- Now turn off your TMO Note 2 completely. We will now be putting your phone into Download mode. Download mode is basically a Samsung Exclusive mode which allows flashing of firmware on the device. Odin can only communicate with your Samsung device when it is in Download Mode. To initiate download mode, press and hold these keys together: Volume Down + Home + Power till the screen turns on. Then press Volume Up to enter download mode
- Launch Odin by double-clicking the Odin3 v3.07.exe file from Step 4.
- Now connect your TMO phone in Download Mode with your PC. The Odin window should now show a green box to the left, with the message Added! This means that Odin has recognized your device and is ready to roll.
Note: If you don’t get the Added! message, make sure that you have installed the drivers correctly, from Step 1-Point 1 OR Try using a different USB Port on your PC OR Try using a diferent USB cable, preferably the one that came with the phone.
- Now in the Odin window, click the PDA button, and navigate to the root66_TMO_T889UVALJ1.tar.md5 file you extracted in Step 3 and select it.
- Leave everything else in Odin as it is. Do not touch any other buttons or check boxes. Just make sure that the Re-Partition check box is NOT checked, and Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time boxes are checked.
- Double check everything from Step 9 once more, and then click the Start button in Odin. This will start the ROM flashing process, and you will see progress in the Odin Window. Once the flashing is complete, you phone will reboot automatically. If the flashing process has been successful, Odin will show a PASS message with a green background. This means it is now safe to disconnect your phone from the PC.
What to do if Odin gets stuck: If Odin gets stuck and doesn’t seem to be doing anything, or you get a FAIL message (with red background) – Disconnect the phone from the PC, close ODIN, remove battery from phone, reinsert it, and repeat Steps 7-10