needed to use the latest android to get access to some developer tools. only had a development tablet galaxy tab2 7.0 (3110 model). as usual, official updates from samsung are hopeless. so off to try cyanogenmod that everyone says is so easy, nice, great and everyone should root their stuff cause of all the nonsense you can then install. so sure, how hard can it be..
first of all, just forget about transferring any data from the old apps to the new OS version. root is needed for any reasonable backup programs and manually guessing directory names is just hopeless. and to root just as well as to update the os bunch of stuff needs to be guessed. here is the correct sequence of actions (for me it was, for anyone else this is likely the same kind of gibberish as everyone elses post was for me):
download clockworksmod, this is what every website refers to when they say CWM. how hard would that be to tell? and dont even hope to find it on some site like the clockworksmod.com as that is obviously hopeless. instead, rely on some random links on the internet, half of which do not work and half of which point to some alien sites that could just as well root your tablet with malware of all kinds. nice.
now there is a good chance the clockworksmod file is an “.img” file. and then they will tell to use some tool called heimdall. which will give errors such as libusb 12 error or claiming interface failed. and install it with samsung usb this and that, which is obviously not on the heimdall list. and so on. oh but there is a tool called odin, which is supposedly from samsung but can only be downloaded again from some random sites giving a good indication of installing a bunch of malware. but what are your options? none, thank you. but odin is the tool i used after downloading from somewhere odd.
so we try odin.. and it requires a .tar file and will not take a .img file. how nice. and all sites tell you to get the tar file from somewhere. yeah sure, rooting the tab or installing cyanogenmod just seems like such a lovely idea. if only i had gotten the nexus thing.. so off to google for some filename with the .tar in the end for the clockworks. this we then install with odin. and we need to put it in the PDA slot thank you very much. many sites talk about choosing the PIT as some device or OS type. which opens a file dialog, thank you very much, makes no sense.
and you need to put your tab in a “download” mode. which should be done by booting it up while pressing power+volume down. but nothing happens. of course you must remove the USB cable first which no-one tells you. so we get there, now what? now we run odin and how do we know odin is happy? there is a bunch of small rectangles in odin, and in one of them some text like COMx appears. thats it. whee. then we load the .tar file into the PDA slot and hit start. all seems to go great.
but wait, we boot the device up and we need to make it enter something called “recovery mode”. thats what all the sites tell you, now boot it up in recovery mode. so, of course if we just reboot the device it goes into this mode right? not. and lets not forget that the sites tell you to leave the odin settings on to reboot the device after and all that. so the reboot takes you back to the old OS and nothing seems to have changed. great.
what then? we reboot and somehow find out that to enter recovery mode we must hit power+volume UP now. ooh. but wait, it loads a recovery mode but there is a problem. how do we get it to install the cyanogenmod OS now? well it appears we must load the cyanogenmod as a zip file, put it on a microSD card, and we should install it from there. so we get a microSD card, download the correct version of cyanogenmod (of course only nightly builds are available, how reassuring) and put it on the card. insert card into tab. now what? not we boot into the recovery mode we discovered. then we choose install from external storage (the menu moves with volume key and power key selects, gee i though it would power the device off..). of course it complains that the zip is not signed. what is wrong?
well what is wrong is that the recovery mode is not actually clockworksmod but the original samsung recovery mode. so what happened to the clockworksmod that we thought we installed? apparently if you dont boot straight into it after installing it the tab overwrites it or something like that. and if you leave the odin settings as was instructed it boots right away and you have no time to invoke the “recovery mode” once you figure out what that is. whooppee.
so we disable autoboot from odin and reflash that in the download mode that we need to reboot to after having booted the device for the 100th time again. once the flash is done, we then manually boot it straight into clockworks. this time the recovery mode actually says clockworks and this allows us to install the unsigned zip file from the sd card. whee now it will work for sure.. or not.
so we boot and it gets stuck on cyanogenmod logo showing and some cycle turning around it while the picture size is distorted. and there it hangs forever. solution? you need to go back to clockworks and do “factory reset” to wipe data. here i though that would get the actual original rom back. no, it is needed. as is wiping the cache on the main menu and again in the advanced menu for dalvik. and after this it boots into the same stuff. ooh.
but if we wait long enough now the circle turns the right size and finally it boots into the vanilla, boring and pretty ugly standard android with nothing special in it. oh yeah and with nothing special i mean no gmail, no google play, none of that. so how do you get any apps or whatever? well this is what all the sites refer to when they say “install clockworksmod (or CWM as they would say), cyanogenmod (or some weird acronym for that), and gapps”. yea the “gapps” is google apps. this includes google play, gmail and all that.
so off to google for that and download it. put the zip of the sd card again and install by booting to clockworks again. luckily this time at least clockworks was still there. and after booting again we get all the usual android install gimmicks with google play and all that. finally.
and now it starts to download all your apps from the google play store, you just lost all the data for them but it tries to install them again without the data. that seems to work, whooppee. it seems i am also rooted after this. so now i could backup my app data, too bad it is gone already.
so, all in all very easy and simple right. why doesn’t everyone root their stuff and install cyanogenmod? after all it is so simple, my mom could do it. yeah, absolutely.