A member of the Android community (mrRobinson at XDA) has been gracious enough to prepare some Odin files for us to use that will allow us to very easily root our devices without triggering the Custom ROM Flash Counter. All of the "standard" methods for rooting trigger this counter. However, it's possible to "slipstream" root into a specific Odin file in a specific way and BAM - you have root access without triggering the counter! Then all that's left is to get a custom Recovery installed without triggering the counter (details below - certain methods DO trigger the counter, so be careful).
(What is this counter thing? Any related questions about what the counter is and why you care, please put into that thread there and keep out of this thread.)
Before any details, some warning info...
If you follow steps in this post, your phone will probably brick, catch on fire, explode, then become possessed and eat your goldfish! After that, your toilet will explode and your house will be flooded with sewage. Also, there is a risk that this process will not work and your flash counter could be triggered anyways. Simply by trying any of these steps, you void your warranty FOREVER. Jaxidian, RootzWiki, nor anybody other than YOU are responsible for any of these consequences! So proceed with caution! Better yet, close this window now and leave your phone running stock. You shouldn't be doing this!
Before we get started, I want you to understand the following prerequisites:
- You must be using a Windows computer. Windows XP, Vista, and 7 have all been tested. I'm unsure if Windows 8 works (there are some known fastboot issues there - I've not tested this method on it though).
(P.S. Mac/Linux users might be able to use Heimdall but I in absolutely no way have any idea if it will work and I strongly encourage you to NOT try it unless you're ready for your phone to turn into a newt and to try to see if you float in order to determine if you're a witch or not.)
- You must get your drivers installed for your phone! I believe all of the different carriers use the same drivers but Samsung has different download URLs and filenames for each carrier, so I encourage you to find them yourself. Just for convenience, here's a link to T-Mobile's 64-bit drivers. For all other carriers, use this link and simply type your phone's model number in the search box (for T-Mobile, I just had to type "t999" without quotes and it popped right up).
- You must have Odin. If you don't, go download it from here.
- DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!!!!!!! As soon as you have rooted your phone, you MUST BACKUP YOUR EFS PARTITION!!! Failure to do so may render your phone 100% useless once you start flashing ROMs!!! (this step may or may not apply to CDMA users - I simply do not know.) Learn and discuss more about the EFS partition here.
- Be prepared to brick your phone into oblivion. If you're not willing to accept that possible consequence, stop right now.
- Each carrier has files specific to them. Do NOT try to use files from one carrier with another. If you do, you will have a bad day. It should be recoverable but don't try it. Just for clarification, that means each carrier and not each model number (as evidenced by AT&T, Bell, Rogers, and Telus all having an i747 but different images).
- Download the custom Odin file and unzip it from the .7z archive.
- Flash the custom Odin file in using the PDA field in Odin.
- Flash your custom Recovery via the dd command in ADB SHELL or a terminal. DO NOT USE ODIN FOR RECOVERY!