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Friday, February 21, 2014

How to Root the Cherry Mobile Flare HD

If you're not familiar with rooting then you probably have a few questions such as:

What is rooting


Why should I root my Android Device? 

Instead of answering these questions myself, I'm going to leave it to the pros:

9 Reasons to Root Your Android Device - Gizmodo
Top 10 Reasons to Root Your Android Phone - Lifehacker
6 benefits of rooting your Android phone or tablet -Android Authority

That's about as noob-friendly as this post would get. Apologies for that! For those who aren't confused yet... here we go:

Rooting History

I'm no stranger to rooting. I've rooted my first Android Phone, the Cherry Mobile Nova, and another Android tablet before their warranties even expired. The CM Nova came with Android 2.2 Froyo but through rooting I was able to install Cyanogen MOD, a custom kernel, and upgrade my phone to Android 2.3 Gingerbread!

My CM Nova's About Phone 
ROM Manager Installed
Superuser and Termina Emulator Installed
I've tried 2 methods of rooting my phone. One is with SUTLR, a computer program, and Z4Root which was a one click root app. Both worked as intended but Z4Root was definitely easier to use. Back then Boston Mania, was my main resource for Commtiva Z71 (CM NOVA) ROMs.

Flare HD Rooting

Thanks to this thread at the Symbianize forums. I was able to join a Facebook group: Cherry Mobile Flare HD UNITED. It's a Closed Group so you would have to send a request first. And thanks to them, I discovered Framaroot, an up-to-date one click rooting app. (Z4Root's last update was back in 2010!)

!! Important !!
Please be informed that rooting voids your warranty. If you did not install custom ROMs or custom Kernels, and did not uninstall stock apps, unrooting your device can possibly unvoid your warranty. Also, Catnippy will not be responsible if your device gets bricked. To avoid this, please read and follow the instructions carefully.

Please continue at your own risk! Catnippy will not be responsible for any damage caused directly or indirectly by rooting your device.

Framaroot is easy to use! According to the thread:

  1. Download it on your device (links are available at the end of this post)
  1. Install it with a file explorer or directly from your internet browser, if android warn you about security risk, say OK and check Unknown sources to allow install of applications outside of Play Store.

Open Framaroot and select one of the following action: Install SuperSU, Unroot or Execute script (for advanced users)

I chose 'Boromir' to root my CM Flare HD.
You can also Unroot your device using Framaroot
Option to execute script for advanced users

The rooting process didn't even take a min! You choose 'Install SuperSU' and then choose an exploit from the list (Why do they call it exploit? Does anyone know? It makes it sound so dangerous to use!). I chose Boromir as suggested by the users from the Cherry Mobile Flare HD UNITED group and it worked as intended. Within seconds, I saw a dialog box instructing me to reboot the device to finish the installation. Apologies for not having a screenshot of that. My bad because I pressed OK by instinct and totally forgot to take a screenie!

Before and After Rooting

For the next screenshots, I used Simple Root Checker (self-explanatory that one).

Simple Root Checker
Before Root
After Rooting
Please take note that only SuperSU will be automatically installed by Framaroot. After rooting, I installed ROM Toolbox PRO and used that app to install Busybox

TIP: Make it a habit to backup your ROM! Do it after rooting. Do it after you before/after you install root apps. Do it before/after you apply changes. Do it often, and make sure to have backups of your backups!

When I tried to backup my ROM, I had trouble with the stock recovery. When you boot into Recovery Mode, you use the volume rocker to navigate up/down, the menu button to select an option, and the power button to display/hide the menu. Since the Flare HD does not have a Menu Button, I found it impossible to backup. (If you know how using the stock recovery, please comment below!) TWRP's Recovery Mode has a touchscreen interface! That solves the problem for Android phones that have no Menu Button. I installed TWRP using Mobile Uncle. An .img file of TWRP compiled for the Flare HD is available in the Files section of the Cherry Mobile Flare HD UNITED group.

Flare HD rooted! What now?

Now you can install root only apps! There are non-root apps that are able to customize your Android. However, root apps provide greater customization. Below is a screencap of root apps I've installed so far (save Play Store and Settings).

BusyBox combines tiny versions of many common UNIX utilities into a single small executable. It provides replacements for most of the utilities you usually find in GNU fileutils, shellutils, etc.
A one-click application to install Superuser and su binary on phone.
Control device with MULTITOUCH and MULTITASK gestures similar to iPad. Works in all applications. You can even hide status bar and enjoy full screen in your favorite games or while browsing.
A complex Xposed module targeted for devices running Android 4.1/4.2/4.3, which turns vanilla ROM into feature-packed "non-flashing" custom ROM.
Greenify help you identify and put the misbehaving apps into hibernation when you are not using them, to stop them from lagging your device and leeching the battery, in an unique way! They can do nothing without explicit launch by you or other apps, while still preserving full functionality when running in foreground, similar to iOS apps!
Also, Greenify has a non-root version available now!
ROM Toolbox combines apps like Titanium Backup, ROM Manager, Root Explorer, SetCPU, Ad Blocker, MetaMorph, Autorun Manager, Terminal Emulator, Script Manager, SD Booster, BuildProp Editor, Font Installer, Boot Animation Installer & many more apps into an all-in-one app! 
Record great quality screencasts directly from your phone or tablet!
Screencast captures your phone screen at high frame rates into a high quality MPEG4 video with audio. It can also take snapshots of your screen by holding the search key on your phone.
  • SuperSU
SuperSU allows for advanced management of Superuser access rights for all the apps on your device that need root.
Xposed is a framework for modules that can change the behavior of the system and apps without touching any APKs.
Screenshots of Gravity Box tweaks:
Customized my QuickSettings using GravityBox
Customized my Battery Indicator using GravityBox
Remember Technoclast's video review of the Flare HD that I linked last time? Rooting fixed the Home Button! If you're using the default Launcher, pressing the Home Button will now send you back to your Home Screen. Whereas before rooting, if an app was open pressing the Home Button only sends you back to the Launcher. Not necessarily your Home Screen.

There you have it! A rooted Flare HD. I'm still tinkering with it. I don't think I'll be installing a custom ROM or custom kernel anytime soon. If a Cyanogen MOD comes along, I might consider it for sure!

Is your device rooted? What method did you use? What root apps do you have installed? Tell me about it! Comment below!


Do you like my theme? Watch out for the app review!

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