I AM IN NO WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS (GOOD OR BAD) AS A RESULT OF THESE INSTUCTIONS, AND THE SAME GOES FOR FLASHING OR ATTEMPTING TO FLASH ANYTHING POSTED HERE!
There, now don't we all feel better?
So without further ado - here are the steps I followed. The steps listed here are the very-much-over-detailed steps, but in the second post I offer up a MUCH simpler listing of the same steps for those that are already comfortable with a number of the terms/concepts/actions listed here.
GOING FROM UNROOTED STOCK TO ROOTED/FLASH READY:
FILES YOU NEED:
* ODIN - this is version 1.83, but there are others.
* CWM Recovery - this is the recovery.bin from here in an ODIN-able .tar.md5 format.
The rest depends on what you want to do...
* If you only want root, then you need the Superuser.zip from androidsu.com - when I did this the most up-to-date file available was Superuser-3.0.7-efghi-signed.zip - I would NOT recommend using a newer one at this point, as pretty much every report I've heard has indicated (if nothing else) newer iterations are no where near as stable as that 3.0.7 has been.
* If all you want to do is root the stock rom and NOT flash any custom rom/kernel, AND if you want to keep CWM Recovery on your phone, then use this modified Superuser 3.0.7 CWM zip (md5 D69A153E4C1018C726521E069327F654), as it will install Superuser as well as remove the pesky install-recovery.sh file that overwrites CWM recovery with the stock recovery on every boot. Simply flash this file where I reference Superuser 3.0.7 and you should be good to go :)
* If you want to flash a custom rom or kernel, then you need the .zip file for it.
1) On the phone, go into Settings > Applications > Development and make sure the USB debugging box is checked
2) Make sure drivers are installed on the computer you will be using. In my case all I did to do this was... connect the phone to the computer via USB. The computer is running Windows 7, and it did all the hard work for me. The phone has within it the necessary drivers, and it should just install on its own. If it doesn't let me know and I can post the drivers from the phone.
3) Download things you need. This includes Odin and the ODIN-able CWM recovery (these stay on your computer), as well as whatever files you may want to flash in CWM recovery. Whatever you want to flash needs to get moved to the /sdcard/ of your phone PRIOR to flashing the CWM recovery in ODIN.
4) Make sure the phone is not connected to the PC, then turn OFF your phone - make sure the phone is fully off, meaning the capacitive buttons should NOT be lit up. This takes less than 30 seconds typically.
5) Open up ODIN on your PC (make sure to Run as Administrator - that should be an option if you right-click the Odin .exe), and select the PDA button. Navigate to where the ODIN-able CWM recovery file is on your computer and select it. Also, make sure to UNcheck ALL the boxes - especially the Auto Reboot.
6) Connect one end of the USB cord to your computer (preferably rear usb port if using a desktop), and while holding down the volume down button connect the other end to the phone - this should get you into Download mode.
7) Press the appropriate button to continue (you get a "scary" warning screen about flashing custom stuff and first), and then you will get to a screen with an Android image above some text (Downloading... Do not turn off target!!).
8) Verify that ODIN "sees" the phone (you will see some stuff appear under ID:COM - the box will be yellow - as well as an Added!! message in the Message box), and if so click the Start button.
9) Wait until ODIN says the process was completed (it should take less than 15 seconds), and if it says it was successful disconnect the phone from the USB cord.
10) Now the "tricky" part - simultaneously hold down the volume down, volume up, and power buttons... you will have to hold them for a bit. Once you are holding all three, after about 10-15ish seconds the Download screen will go away and you will see the Samsung logo - KEEP holding. The logo will then go away for just a second and come back - at that time you can let go of all the buttons.
11) If all was done successfully - you should boot into the custom CWM recovery (version 18.104.22.168 I do believe). Once here, you navigate the menu using the volume up/down buttons, and you select options with the power button. The back button also functions as a... well, a back button, but there are menu options that do the same thing.
Now you are ready to flash things in CWM! To flash, after whatever wipes are called for (these should be explained by whoever made the file you are flashing - usually you wipe cache and (under advanced) dalvik cache, but many roms instead suggest wiping data/factory reset) have been completed I always make sure to first go into mounts and storage and mount /system (when it's mounted, it will say unmount next to it). Then you install zip from sdcard, and then choose zip from sdcard, and navigate to whatever it is that you are trying to flash.
In my case, all I wanted to do at first was root, so I flashed the Superuser-3.0.7-efghi-signed.zip file, then selected reboot system now and I was all done. You could easily replace this step with flashing a custom or rooted rom - just make sure the rom is listed as being rooted.
You can also flash kernels in CWM recovery. For example KnightCrusader's kernel he posted here can be flashed in CWM recovery using this file.
I hope this helps those who were struggling with getting their phone rooted! Let me know if there are any problems or suggestions on how to make this guide better!
CWM Recovery .tar.md5
NOTE: The .exe needs to be pulled out of the .zip file
KnightCrusader's EI2 kernel CWM-flashable
Edited by dwitherell, 19 November 2012 - 07:55 AM.