Tuesday, December 31, 2013

How to root the Sprint Galaxy S3 on Android 4.3 (SPH-L710)

My friend had a lot of issues rooting his Galaxy S3 after the 4.3 update, and asked me for help. The first successful method I found was explained in this YouTube video, but it's a little hard to follow. I wanted to document the steps here.

  1. This should be obvious, but backup anything important on your device! Also, if you wish to not void your warranty, do not proceed.
  2. Install Samsung Kies 3.
  3. Download the following 2 files:
    Odin v3.09, open the EXE.
  4. (Optional) If you've messed up the current installation, or prefer a fresh install, restore the factory 4.3 as follows:
    1. Turn off the device and remove the battery. Write down the HEX number on the sticker found underneath it.
    2. Start the device in Download mode (hold the power button, volume down, and home at the same time). Plug it into the computer.
    3. Open Samsung Kies 3, go to Tools > Firmware Upgrade and Install.
    4. Follow the instructions. When prompted, enter the Model number SPH-L710. The MEID number is the HEX value that you noted earlier.
    5. Grab some lunch, the download and install will take a while.
  5. Start the device in Download mode (hold the power button, volume DOWN, and home at the same time). Plug it into the computer.
  6. Launch the Odin v3.09 EXE.
  7. Ensure the first block under "ID:COM" shows something, like "COM0". This confirms that Odin can see the device.
  8. Click the AP button under Files. Select the philz_touch file.
  9. Uncheck "Auto Reboot".
  10. Click Start. This will install the PhilZ Touch recovery mod.
  11. When installation is complete, power down the device (if necessary). Start the device in Recovery mode (hold the power button, volume UP, and home at the same time).
  12. Select PhilZ Settings. Select the third option titled Re-Root System. Click Yes to confirm.
  13. After a few seconds, a message on the bottom will state the system has been rooted. Select Reboot System from the top of the home menu.
  14. When the phone reboots, complete Android setup and install SuperSU from the Play Store. If your phone is busy updating other apps, you can go to My Apps and click Cancel before installing SuperSU. Otherwise you'll have to wait for all of the apps to update.
  15. Open SuperSU. When prompted to install the binary, select to install it using the normal method.
  16. SuperSU should then ask you if you would like it to disable Knox. You definitely want to disable this, as it will try to remove root from your device. Click OK. If it fails, you'll need to look for other ways to disable it.
  17. Your device is now rooted! You can check by installing any root app, or a simple Root Checker app.
Refer to the video mentioned above if you would like a visual reference. Note that I have updated a few steps to use Kies 3 and a newer version of Odin.

I can't guarantee this will work forever, but I hope it helps somebody out. Let me know if any of my instructions need clarification.