How to Root T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900T 4.4.2 KitKat Update

If you have your T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 (SM-N900T) rooted before but  now you already received or updated to the new Android 4.4.2 KitKat software update. So you’ve lost root, then wondering now how  to manage and root it again, this is for you.  Just read the whole rooting process below as you may need to refresh some important matters before proceeding or attempting to root your device.

Things you may need to know first before thinking to root your device.

Rooting  Samsung phones lately that already runs on latest Android OS such as Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) and the new Android 4.4.2 (KitKat) will now triggers KNOX warranty void flag counter from “0x0” to “0x1”, of-course there are no exemption to this new policies and this also include the T-Mobile’s  Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900T 4.4.2 KitKat update 

If you are an advance users who already knows about this, then maybe you need to skip this simple reminder.  This is only for beginners who did not knew the risk and downsides of rooting their phone.

What is KNOX and how it get tripped?
This is all explained in the KNOX white paper available on the Samsung website but this one is just a small detail about why if we install root it triggers this KNOX platform. KNOX has its own  isolated and secure environment within the mobile device,  so-called container. One of these containers also  includes  a secured bootloader. The bootloader is the place in the Android system (Qualcomm SecureBoot)  where tinkerers should avoid from messing it up. Once the bootloader detects any unsigned ROMs, kernels, modem, including root kernels it trips the KNOX WARRANTY VOID flag is set to 0×1. In short, it will switched the device into CUSTOM when you try to put something else in there that it doesn’t approve by the KNOX security system. KNOX has its own isolated memory causing red-flag once it gets re-written by any unsecure boot (kernel), recovery and other system images that are not officially designed by Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 KNOX Warranty Void 0×1.

This is an example of Samsung Galaxy Note 3 System Status switched to Custom and shows the KNOX Warranty Void: 0×1.

This security platform can be actually seen when you reboot your Galaxy Note 3 into Odin download  mode screen, and it   tells you that device is switched to CUSTOM from Official status. When this binary counter has being tripped-off it will automatically void the smartphone’s warranty and causing the KNOX warranty void 0×1 red-flag. The problem is, it is not reversible by any means by now,  you can’t turn it back to normal status again.

So again, if you are aware with that new Samsung and your network providers policy, then you must think first before rooting your device.

Disclaimer: Rooting might or might not void the warranty of your Galaxy Note 3.  This article only shows the rooting guide for educational purposes only and we are not forcefully encourage you to do so. We and in-behalf of the developer of this root method shall not take any responsibility when anything happens to your device.  We encourage you to do a careful research first before attempting to use of these files that are associated with this guide. You may proceed at your own risk!

Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900T Root Tools:

We need a CF-Auto-Root for SM-N9005 – Download
This file has been updated and it worked on international Galaxy Note 3 (SM-N9005) and has been tested by the members at XDA- developers and it also perfectly worked on T-Mobile’s Galaxy Note 3 recent 4.4.2 KitKat update build N900TUVUCNB4.  The default CF-auto root for T-Mobile Note 3 SM-(N900T ) seems will not work at this time, if you’ll try to use this file it results into bootloops, so until there is no update yet to fix this issue, we now temporarily use the SM-N9005 CF-Auto root but as soon the CF-Auto gets an update you may use it instead.

Download CF-Auto Root for SM-N900T –  http://download.chainfire.eu/354/CF-Root/CF-Auto-Root/CF-Auto-Root-hltetmo-hltetmo-smn900t.zip

The Odin flasher program – Odin3_v3.09

A USB Driver –  Samsung Android USB Driver
Download Galaxy Note 3 USB driver which is now on Kies 3 for Android 4.3, this is only needed if you have not yet installed Kies 3 in your computer. download here

Just unzip the file, you can use winzip or 7zip tool for extracting the compressed file, then run the “Samsung_Mobile_Phones_USB_Driver_1.5.27.0.exe” program to install the USB Driver. Without the USB driver your computer will not recognize or detect your Galaxy Note 3 device.

Getting Started Into Your Note 3 Root Thing:

  • First thing first , fully recharge your Note 3 battery before engaging into flashing process. Power interruption or failure during flashing process might ruin your device in no time.
  • Back-up all important files, this root method may delete all of your files that are stored from your device. So copy all of it and save it in a very safe place in your computer. When we say all files, this includes contacts, messages, call logs, photos, videos and even apps. If something might went wrong andthen it force you to perform a full factory reset then it’s all gone bye-bye.  So don’t be lazy, you can back up your files as simple as this – http://support.t-mobile.com/docs/DOC-8371
  • Prepare a Windows base OS computer or laptop, Odin flasher tool will not run on MAC and other OS.
  • Use the supplied USB cable, a bad USB cable will be causing flashing errors.
  • Unzip or extract the files,  compressed file can be extracted using 7zip, winzip, winrar or any unzipping program in your computer.
  • Enable USB debugging mode if you are having issues connecting your device to the computer try to enable the this option. In your Samsung Galaxy Note 3, go to Settings>> About device>> then look for the firmware build number and then tap that build number for around 7-times until a message pop-ups that says something “congratulations you are now a developer”.
  • Remove the external  micro SD card if you have one, to avoid any failures and error during the flashing process.
  • TURN OFF the Reactivation Lock – juts tap on Settings>>Security>>Reactivation Lock and then uncheck the Turn Reactivation lock on. This is only needed if you already turned-it-ON, from which you cannot modify the system when it’s turned-ON.

How to turn-off the Activation lock on Samsung galaxy Note 3.

How to turn-off the Activation lock on Samsung galaxy Note 3.

Your Galaxy Note 3 should runs on Android 4.4.2 firmware such as the following OTA updates:

Working with Galaxy Note 3 Download Mode and Odin Flashing

Run the Odin3_v3.09.exe in your computer desktop.
Head on Odin chekcboxes options, make sure the “Re-Partition is unchecked. Both Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time check-boxes leave it as checked.
Boot your Galaxy Note 3 into Download Mode: Turn it off, then Press the Volume Down+Home+Power keys simultaneously, until a warning screen prompts you that let you choose to continue or cancel.  To continue juts hit the Volume Up key then you will see a download mode screen.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Download Mode.
How Reboot Samsung Galaxy Note 3 into Download Mode.

Grab the USB cable then hook-up your Galaxy Note 3 to the computer. Look for Odin’s ID:COM bar, it should turn to blue color and shows you the USB port number of your Galaxy Note 3 connection with the computer. There is also a word that says “Added” in the log-cat box. If you ain’t see any response, try to recheck the USB cable and re-install the USB Driver.
Now hover your mouse to Odin’s button.
– Click the AP button then browse and select this file ‘CF-Auto-Root-hlte-hltexx-smn9005.tar.md5′.  Then wait a couple of seconds for it reads the MD5 checksum for a while.

Root on T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005T with 4.4.2 KitKat

Hit the Start Button
Once both AP and CSC files filled with the right files, simply click that Odin’s “START” button to begin flashing. Wait and watch the progress bar as it will show you the exact time how it completes the flashing and it takes a couple of minutes before the flashing finishes, you have a time to relax  for a while.

A huge word “PASS” will then prompts you once it has successfully finished. Wait a couple of seconds again until your Galaxy Note restarts.

From here your Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900T should be rooted. If you want to take any tweaking deep further and just needs root so you can install any ROM’s based on AOSP or from official firmware, then you may also need to install a custom recovery.

There are two custom recovery that has already proven and it worked on T-Mobile’s Galaxy Note 3 Android KitKat update, the TWRP recovery  and Philz-Touch recovery.  You can directly download these custom recovery at XDA-Developers.
Philz Recovery can be found here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=49080591&postcount=1
While TWRP recovery is also here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=46190669&postcount=1

Installing the custom recovery is similar to the above procedures using Odin tool and or by can be flash via recovery mode.  So, you’ll just use the guide above if you want a custom recovery running on your Galaxy Note 3.

Wait! there is more work-around.

You may also need the ‘External SD Card Fix’ since this useful for  some apps like Root Explorer, Titanium Back-up and among other stuff to be able to make it write to the external SD card. As you may know that on 4.4.2 there is some difficulties of writing files into your external SD card, so this apps has been also very useful for advanced Android users. Just simply grab it here  http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2671445, then install or flashed it via  custom recovery.

Have something to say about this root method? Did it worked or not? Just let us know and so your fellow T-Mo Galaxy Note 3 users knows about.

32 thoughts on “How to Root T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 SM-N900T 4.4.2 KitKat Update”

  1. The root method worked perfectly but I have installed twrp recovery thru Goo manager and via odin and when I try to boot into recovery it is getting stuck in a boot loop just like it did when I tried rooting it with the CF auto root for the 900t for 4.4.2…The recovery is 2.6.3.8 …I guess that I will try Philz

    1. This doesn’t trip Knox. It’s 100% safe to use as long as you can read and follow instructions you’ll have a rooted note 3 from t-mobile.

  2. I downloaded everything that I was suppose to and it seem to work perfectly until the phone restarted after the root and I didn’t see the supersu. I did root checker to see if it was rooted and it said it wasnt. I looked at Odin and it said it was successful. What did I do wrong?

  3. This method does not work. I am on a SM-N900T with Baseband N900TUVUCNB4 and Android Version 4.4.2 (KitKat). When using Odin 3-v.3.0.7 I try flashing CF Auto Root SMN9005 (tried SMN900T as well, same result) and when I press “Start” in Odin it does not show “Pass” but rather it shows “RESET”. After I unplug the phone from the USB cable and wait 2 minutes then Odin shows “PASS”. On my phone I see a red Android icon and some text scrolling up and then the phone reboots again. Then, when I reboot into recovery and when the phone opens in recovery mode I do not have any options to flash a rom. What good is this rooting method if you can’t flash a rom with it? I should have never upgraded to Kit Kat.

    1. I think you should try to use another computer and re-download everything, I can clearly see that’s it’s a computer issue and not the root method. Again, please take a look at the source link above, it has been confirmed a thousand times that the root worked:)

    2. Sounds as though you may have confused rooting with custom recovery. These are two very different and both are very important and necessary distinct steps. Rooting gives you general administrative access and functions and is the function that is performed when you use Chainfire’s auto-root. What you describe next in your message however is instead having a custom recovery which is needed in order to be able to flash in custom ROMs and changing operating systems and so forth. Barebones minimum, you need to first be rooted to use some apps and some higher level functions but in order to go beyond this such as flashing in ROMS as you referred to, you will then need to install a custom recovery to replace the garbage one usually installed by default on the phone. Just simply running Chainfire’s auto-root alone does not replace your recovery; rather, it just gives you root capability alone. You need to install the customer recover yourself after you have rooted the phone. I strongly recommend TWRP (TeamWin) as one of the best out there and that is the one that has given me the least troubles. Generally first thing I do with phones is root them (either manually or with CF auto-root) and then the second thing I do typically is install TWRP recovery. After this, I will make nandroid full backups of the base system I am working with and then move on to setting up customer ROMS and/or kernels.

  4. I re read the instructions many times. I unfortunately had the same issue as someone else who responded to this post. I downloaded all mentioned files above. I checked Odin to make sure that what needs be checked of and what need to be checked on are good. I make a solid connection between pc and phone. Once I place said file in AP (Odin) I hit start. 2 parts of this process do not make sense. First, instruction indicate that AP & CSC are filled with correct files. Instruction don’t indicate what files to place in CSC. So CSC never populates! Second, instruction indicates it take a few minutes, mine took seconds. Then, Odin goes to Pass after it reboots. Clearly something is not correct? Can anyone help. Thanks

    1. here’s simple explanation, – there are now two 4.4.2 update that came around. the first one is the 4.4.2 N900TUVUCNB4 which is this root method run smoothly, then there was this N900TUVUDNE6, which give us some pain. Once and every update there is this sort of new firmware patches in the bootloader, so the root file may not be compatible or been outdated. This is a known issues for Advanced users when the 4.4.2 came around as Samsung and carrier providers tried to forbid us into rooting, and its annoyed to everyone. Now, to make this story short, and fix that issue, Try to use Odin 3.09, then I want you to grab the latest SuperSu from PlayStore – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.supersu and via chainfire’s website. http://download.chainfire.eu/204/SuperSU/CWM-SuperSU-v0.94.zip?retrieve_file=1, then manually install it.

      more help is here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2672393

  5. Confirming this method works with the latest (as of 6/25/2014) firmware update from samsung. Successfully rooted and installed TWRP with zero problems.

  6. Had a custom ROM and now going back to stock. I think I accidentally formatted the modem firmware. Phone no longer recognizes SIM. So I can’t use the phone or data. How do I fix this?
    I put the stock firmware back on the phone, it’s not working.

  7. i would like say thank you i have done this in less then 2 min with everything provided only thing is the sd part i got lost in that area it was kind hard understand thread i had issues trying this sd stuff i would love see a video on how to do so on the sd part more info would just make this post a 5 star post in my book!
    thank you

    note-3 v4.4.2 (SM–n900t) (n900tuvucnb4)

  8. My T-Mobile note 3 is updated running 4.4.2 (N900TUVUCNB4), I rooted it with CF Auto-Root-SM-N9005. The phone runs fine until I try to flash a custom recovery (Philz Touch), then it starts a recovery bootloop. I have to restore the stock recovery to stop the recovery bootloop. Can anyone assist me on getting Philz Touch to work properly?

  9. It wasn’t working for me just like above..
    Then.. I though, have some patience and leave it plugged in after it reboots.
    And
    It works. you just have to leave it connected even after the phone reboots. I waited 5 minutes and ODIN said PASS. and Superuser was there

  10. How do root my Note 3 4.4.2 t mobile phone. The build number is N900TUVUCNF4 and yes that’s right F4. I checked it 3 times. I can’t find anything on the Internet. Help help please, I am kicking myself for updating.

  11. I bought my Note 3 couple days ago. Apparently, T-Mobile has also put a tattle app on the phone. It tells the carrier all about what’s going on. What tower you’re using most, how much wifi, how much mobile data, whether you are rooted or not. I figure you have seconds before your phone tells them that it has been rooted.

    1. In response to martin whitteker on September 5th, actually Tmobile does not really care so much on the phone being rooted itself but if you want to know what to rip out aside from Knox, get rid of the 3 ‘service manager’ named apks buried on the phone as this is actually Carrier IQ. Also each phone release, they typically have a couple of apps that are modded malware versions of the actual programs as backdoors which varies phone to phone. In the case of the Note 3, the app for this purpose is the Tripadvisor app. Forcibly kill this app and replace it with a confirmed clean copy if you do actually need tripadvisor. Also, going through the system and ROM apks, dump any that are have “TMO” designations as part of the APK name. It goes without saying that “Tmobile My Account” is probably the worst garbage on the phone. By itself alone “My Account” causes the most problems with resource consumption and stability problems and should be one of the very first things to go away. Most information provided by the app can be viewed using USSD dial codes anyway. No matter what method of root you use, make sure to get “Triangle Away” from Chainfire and use this to reset your flash counts and system custom flags. I am not sure if I want to post the insider technicals here publicly but this does indeed make a difference on certain tower functions and how priorities are allocated. Getting rid of the garbage can very substantially increase the overall performance of your phone as well as drastically improve raw internet speeds as well. For those who want to leave no stone unturned and want to go for a much wider scope, it is good to build the entire OS completely clean and just lose T-mobile and Samsung entirely off the phone 100% completely. I still have my watch, s-pen, and tv remote control as well as bluetooth, nfc, and other functions and I do not have a single piece of code from either samsung nor T-mobile on any of my phones —- all completely 100% built from scratch running Lolipop that everyone is working on catching up on at the moment so I am a good several months ahead of everyone still at the moment. You do not have to go that extreme naturally but if you adhere to the few tips and hints I have included in this message, you should be able to enjoy substantially increased performance from your phone regardless.

  12. hi, thanks for the info. Just thought I would mention the following instructions did work to root my phone, but it also tripped the knox counter to 0x1. i was on 4.4.2, tmobile, on the N900TUVUENK3 baseband version. Not complaining…I know that this was stated in the above pre-instructions. Thanks.

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