If flashing has become an addiction for you, you might want to pause for a while for some trivia: newer Samsung devices have a built-in flash counter that tracks how many times you have flashed a kernel through Odin.
The Samsung Galaxy Note, unfortunately, has such a counter. If you root the Galaxy Note by flashing a prerooted kernel, the Note’s flash counter will increase. No one knows for certain what the flash counter will be used for, but there are fears that Samsung may use it to refuse honoring warranties.
Understandably, then, you’d prefer to flash pre-rooted kernels to your Galaxy Note without increasing its flash counter.
Fortunately, XDA Developers member mashi was able to improvise a new rooting method which doesn’t affect the flash counter. The secret lies in a pre-rooted system.img.ext4 inside a pda.tar which can be flashed through Odin. According to experts, this method flashes the image directly–and the system partition is rooted permanently, too.
If you want to root your Galaxy Note while staying away from the flash counter’s radar, check out the rest of this guide.
- AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note SGH-I717. These instructions may not work with other Galaxy Note variants.
- A computer running Windows
- Odin-flashable pre-rooted ROM for AT&T Galaxy Note SGH-I717 (att_note_root.zip, 535.5 MB, md5sum: 9c1dff3867e014774d776f45375956b5) — Download from here
- Odin3 v1.85 — Download from here (198 KB)
- USB drivers for Samsung Galaxy Note. Install these on your computer. You can get them from here.
- Charge the phone’s battery to at least 70% or more to make sure it lasts throughout the entire flashing process.
- Disable system tools such as Samsung KIES, firewall programs, and anti-virus software to avoid interruption while you root your phone.
- Backup your personal phone data, files, and settings.
- This rooting guide works only with the AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note SGH-I717. Using this guide on a variant or on another device may cause damage.
- Follow these step-by-step rooting instructions at your own risk. We will not be held liable for any damage arising from the use of this rooting guide.
- Download att_note_root.zip from the link above. Save the file to your computer.
- Extract the content of att_note_root.zip. You will get one huge file called att_note_root.tar. This is the file that you will flash through Odin3.
- Download Odin3 v1.85 from the link provided above. Extract the ZIP package.
- Run the newly extracted Odin3 v1.85.exe executable file to launch Odin3 on your computer.
- Enable USB Debugging on your phone. You can do that by going to Settings > Applications > Development > USB Debugging.
- Turn off your Samsung Galaxy Note.
- Hold down the Volume Down key and Power button simultaneously to reboot your phone into Download Mode.
- Hook up your mobile phone to the computer using USB cable.
- Once connected, the ID:COM box in Odin will turn yellow. This signals that your device has been successfully connected to your computer. If not, make sure the appropriate USB drivers are installed on your computer.
- In Option in Odin3, make sure that only Auto Reboot is checked. Leave the other options unchecked.
- Click on the PDA tab and select the att_note_root.tar.
- Click the Start button in Odin3 to flash the ROM. Your phone will automatically reboot.
- Disconnect your phone from your computer once the phone has completely rebooted.
- Verify successful flashing and rooting by checking for the Superuser app. Optionally, you can also update the su binary at this point.
Congratulations! You have successfully rooted your AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note SGH-I717 by flashing a ROM through Odin but without increasing the device’s flash counter.