OnePlus One – How to Unlock Bootloader, Install Custom Recovery and Root

oneplusone unlock bootloader install custom recovery root

Setup, Preparation and Prerequisites

I know there are already a few root guides out there for this phone, but I found that they weren’t very detailed. This guide is thorough and explains each and every step in a noob-proof manner.

Basic tasks that I may refer to throughout this guide:

  • Open command prompt – Press Window Key + R, type in “cmd” (without the quotes), and hit enter.
  • Enter fastboot mode- Turn the phone off. Hold volume up + power until the “fastboot” screen appears.

ADB & Fastboot Installation:

  1. Download the full Android SDK here (scroll to the bottom of the page>DOWNLOAD FOR OTHER PLATFORMS>SDK Tools Only) or get a slimmed version containing only the essential components here
  2. Extract the zip and place the android-sdk-windows folder on your desktop.
    **If you chose to download the slimmed sdk skip to step 5**
  3. Only if you downloaded the full sdk: Go into the android-sdk-windows folder and run SDK Manager.exe. Install the following packages (there are a total of 4 packages):
    – Tools > Android SDK Tools, Android SDK Platform-tools
    – Extras > Android Support Library, Google USB Driver
  4. Only if you downloaded the full sdk: Go back into the android-sdk-windows directory, and you should see a new folder named platform-tools. If you don’t see this new folder, repeat the step above.
  5. To confirm that it is indeed working, open a command prompt window and enter the following commands:
    Code:
    cd Desktop/android-sdk-windows/platform-tools
    adb version

    If it displays “Android Debug Bridge version x.x.xx” it is working. If it is gives an error saying that adb is not a recognized command, it has not been successful. Carefully repeat the steps above if this is the case. Close the command prompt window when you are done.

  • Show File Extensions – Open a command prompt window and run “Control folders” (without the quotes). Go to the View tab and uncheck the “Hide extensions for known file types” option. This will help avoid confusion when renaming files.
  • Battery – Ensure that your phone has at least 60% battery remaining, and that your PC is plugged in and wont shut down spontaneously during the process. The procedure doesn’t take very long (5-15 minutes), but its best to have enough charge in case something goes wrong.
  • Backup (Optional) – Unlocking the bootloader will completely wipe all data from the device. This includes apps, settings and even the contents of the internal sdcard (pictures, music, etc.). Copy all important files off the phone onto a PC or upload them to a cloud.
  • Driver Installation – Download and install the Universal ADB Driver. Alternatively, use this method.

Downloads
Download a custom recovery and the SuperSU zip below. Place both files (recovery image and root zip) in the platform-tools folder located on your desktop within the android-sdk-windows folder.

Custom Recovery:
TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP)

Root:
SuperSU

Information
Rooting this device is actually quite a simple and easy process. Before you begin, it is recommended that you at least try to understand what each part of the process will do. Although this guide will elongate each step in order to show all of the details, the method used can be broken up into 3 main steps: Unlocking the Bootloader, Installing a Custom Recovery and finally Rooting. Each new step relies on the previous step to have been completed, and a basic summary of each part is:

  1. Unlocking Bootloader: Opens the door to the internal memory of the device to be written on to. This allows you to flash images onto the main partitions of the phone.
  2. Installing a Custom Recovery: A custom recovery is flashed onto the recovery partition of the device and overwrites the stock recovery that exists by default. Custom recoveries bring lots of functionality and give you the ability to perform wipes, install flashable zips, create full backups of your NAND (Nandroid backup), and various other features. An unlocked bootloader is needed to install a custom recovery.
  3. Rooting: You can gain root by either flashing via recovery a pre-rooted custom rom, or flashing a zip containing the SuperSU binaries. A custom recovery is necessary to do this.

After completing these steps your phone will be rooted, the phone will have a custom recovery installed, and the phones bootloader will be unlocked. This, in my opinion, is the most practical and beneficial method for rooting your phone. It gives you some basic adb/fastboot knowledge, and should hopefully help you have a decent understanding of what is going on. Also this method will work regardless of what android version your phone has.

 

1. Unlocking Bootloader

  • Turn the phone off. Then boot it into fastboot mode by holding volume up + power. The phone will display “fastboot” text indicating that it has successfully entered fastboot mode.
  • Plug the phone into your PC, then open a command prompt window and type:
    Code:
    cd Desktop/android-sdk-windows/platform-tools
    Code:
    fastboot devices

    This command will list the connected devices. If your phones serial number shows up you are good to go and may continue. If the phone is NOT listed this indicates that your drivers are not installed correctly. In order for you to continue you must fix your drivers so that your phone is listed under fastboot devices.

  • If the phone has been recognized by the command above, proceed to unlocking the bootloader with the following command:
    Remember that this step will wipe EVERYTHING off the phone

    Code:
    fastboot oem unlock
  • After the above command has finished excuting, run the following
    Code:
    fastboot reboot

    The phone will reboot. Wait until the phone has fully booted up into android, then adjust the following settings on the phone:

  • USB Debugging – On your phone go to Settings > About phone > Tap on Build number 7 times. This will enable Developer options. Now go back to Settings > Developer options > Enable USB debugging
  • Disable CM Recovery Protection – On your phone go to Settings > Developer options. Then disable the ‘Update recovery with system updates’ option.
  • Close the command prompt window and proceed onto the next section of the guide.

2. Installing a Custom Recovery

  • Turn the phone off. Then boot it into fastboot mode by holding volume up + power.
  • Rename the recovery file that you downloaded above to recovery.img. *Make sure that you rename it to recovery.img NOT recovery.img.img* Remember that this file should be placed in the platform-tools folder inside of the android-sdk-windows folder on your desktop.
  • Open a new command prompt and run the following commands:
    Code:
    cd Desktop/android-sdk-windows/platform-tools
    Code:
    fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  • Once the flash has completed, Don’t use the “Fastboot Reboot” Command Instead Unplug Your phone then Manually turn it off by pressing and holding power button until it switches off. Now to enter your newly installed custom recovery, hold volume down + power. The phone should boot into recovery mode. Now that you have a custom recovery, you may continue to the final step.
  • Close the command prompt window.

3. Rooting
Now that your phone has an unlocked bootloader and a custom recovery installed you have a two options to gain root (Pick one or the other. You don’t need to do both)

Option A) Flash SuperSU binaries which will give you root with the stock ROM

  • Confirm that you have downloaded the SuperSU zip from the downloads section above and that it is located in the platform-tools folder inside of the android-sdk-windows folder on your desktop.
  • Turn the phone off then boot into recovery mode by holding volume down + power. Leave the phone at the main screen of the custom recovery for now.
  • Open a command prompt window and run the following commands:
    Code:
    cd Desktop/android-sdk-windows/platform-tools
    Code:
    adb push UPDATE-SuperSU-vX.XX.zip /sdcard/

    This will copy the SuperSU zip onto your phone. Once the command has completed continue.

    Instructions for TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP):

  • Install > browse to SuperSU zip and select the it
  • Swipe to confirm the installation. Then reboot.

    Instructions for ClockworkMod (CWM):

  • install zip from sdcard > choose zip from sdcard.
  • Next, browse to the location where you previously copied the SuperSU zip and select the it.
  • To confirm the installation, scroll down to “Yes” and select it. The installation shouldn’t take very long, and once it has completed you may reboot.

Option B) Flash a custom rom which will come pre-rooted

  • Note that not all custom roms will be pre rooted, however the majority of them are. Read the OP of the ROM thread to see what the verdict is.
  • Copy a custom rom (you can find these in the ONE Android Development and ONE Original Android Development section) onto the phone (remember the location of where you copy it to)
  • Turn the phone off then boot into recovery mode by holding volume down + power. To install a custom ROM the general procedure to follow is: factory reset, wipe cache + dalvik cache, flash ROM, flash GApps. Here are the recovery specific instructions:

    Instructions for TeamWin Recovery Project (TWRP):

  • Wipe > Swipe to Factory Reset
  • Install > browse to the location where you previously copied the ROM zip and select it > Swipe to confirm the installation
  • Install GApps using same process as ROM, then reboot.

    Instructions for ClockworkMod (CWM):

  • wipe data/factory reset
  • wipe cache partition
  • advanced > wipe dalvik cache
  • install zip from sdcard > choose zip from sdcard > navigate to the location of the ROM > select the ROM > confirm the installation by selecting “Yes”
  • After that you may install the GApps using the same method for flashing the ROM, and finally reboot the phone.

Keep in mind that the first boot after installing a custom ROM & wiping the phone may take longer than usual, as the phone will need to rebuild the dalvik cache and initialize other first boot stuff.

Congrats! That is all! Your phone now has an unlocked bootloader, a custom recovery installed and is rooted. Enjoy :)

Source : xda developers

Ravindra Paradhi

Engineer & Blogger.

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