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Root, Flash, Clockwork?


Guest Chinren
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Guest Chinren

Hey all,

I'm old school* when it comes to technical stuff, so I just want to make sure I understand things a bit better, before I start rootin' and so on on my Asus and other devices.

I just want to clarify the terms:

Root access - I understand this to be a 'patch' which would allow one to access various system functions on your Android device. If you root your device then it won't change anything on your currently loaded system, but will let you patch stuff you otherwise wouldn't.

Custom ROM - Okay, I know ROM is the hardware, or firmware anyway. Flashing it (is this the term used for Android devices these days?) with a custom ROM will give you another 'version' of Android. This is what I want to do for my Chinese bought Asus Transformer, so I can access the English version of the market and get rid of the stock Chinese rubbish apps on the thing. Mainly access the English version of the market though.

Clockwork mod - As I understand this, this is a mod that helps enables you to flash the firmware (ROM, thought technically it should be EPROM if you're going to be fussy). Is this a root mod though?

Am I right in these terms? Sorry if this are noob questions, but I just want to be certain I'm on the same wavelength and so forth.

*Mainframes and PCs, BASIC, COBOL, Assembler etc.

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Guest SilentMobius
Hey all,

I'm old school* when it comes to technical stuff, so I just want to make sure I understand things a bit better, before I start rootin' and so on on my Asus and other devices.

I just want to clarify the terms:

Root access - I understand this to be a 'patch' which would allow one to access various system functions on your Android device. If you root your device then it won't change anything on your currently loaded system, but will let you patch stuff you otherwise wouldn't.

Custom ROM - Okay, I know ROM is the hardware, or firmware anyway. Flashing it (is this the term used for Android devices these days?) with a custom ROM will give you another 'version' of Android. This is what I want to do for my Chinese bought Asus Transformer, so I can access the English version of the market and get rid of the stock Chinese rubbish apps on the thing. Mainly access the English version of the market though.

Clockwork mod - As I understand this, this is a mod that helps enables you to flash the firmware (ROM, thought technically it should be EPROM if you're going to be fussy). Is this a root mod though?

Am I right in these terms? Sorry if this are noob questions, but I just want to be certain I'm on the same wavelength and so forth.

*Mainframes and PCs, BASIC, COBOL, Assembler etc.

"Root" is the traditional name for the unix superuser account. A superuser can has the highest level of access the system can provide. In the general case a user does not need root access to use a device. However if a specific task is difficult or impossible to do under a limited user account (like making a copy of an application) root access makes it possible and/or easy.

Most of the storage in a tablet or phone are in the form of "flash memory", all of this is read/write at the hardware level. However colloquial usage in the modding community has labelled any area/partition that is generally read only as ROM.

To flash a new ROM you need an unlocked bootloader not root access. The bootloader is like the BIOS and often prevents a system image being written if it isn't digitally signed by the manufacturer.

The "recovery" partition generally holds a small amount of code that assists in restoring and or flashing your device. Hence modifying this can assist in flashing a ROM. Clockwork mod is just such a modification.

The path to a custom ROM depends on how locked down your device is. Generally:

1. Gain tempory root access

2. Gain access to bootloader through exploit or official means

3. Flash clockwork mod to recovery

4. Boot into recovery

5. Flash custom rom with built-in permanent root.

*Edit apologies for typos, was replying on train with tablet*

Edited by SilentMobius
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