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.
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_22.214.171.124.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.
Your Galaxy Note 3 should runs on Android 4.4.2 firmware such as the following OTA updates:
- N900TUVUCNF9 4.4.2 KitKat update.
- N900TUVUCNF4 4.4.2 KitKat update.
- N900TUVUCNF1 4.4.2 KitKat update.
- N900TUVUCNE6 4.4.2 KitKat update.
- N900TUVUCNB4 4.4.2 KitKat update.
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.
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.
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.