How to Root Your AT&T Inspire 4G

August 8, 2011
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Just a few days after the AT&T Inspire 4G was released, methods and solutions for rooting the device were quickly making their rounds around the Net. That was how quick the Android community’s response was, as far as rooting the AT&T Inspire 4G was concerned.

If your AT&T Inspire 4G hasn’t been rooted yet, this guide will be good news to you. By rooting your handset, you will unlock many of your phone’s hidden powers which would have otherwise been inaccessible to you if the phone remain non-rooted.

In this guide, ClockworkMod Recovery is used to enable the AT&T Inspire 4G to install custom ROMs or firmware. There are other similar applications, although we have little idea about their relative safety or reliability.

This guide also uses CyanogenMod as the example firmware to install on the handset. Again, there are other custom ROMs, mods, and firmware.

Both ClockworkMod Recovery and CyanogenMod are known to be reliable and safe, aside from having a large community of users and developers backing them up.

Before you do anything — Make a backup

Don’t forget to back up your data. If you have synced the device with a Google account, then the contacts, calendar, Gmail, and other selected Google-related data will not be lost and will come back after the next sync.

However, you should backup anything you want to keep that is not stored on the SD card:

It would also be a good idea to back up everything stored on the SD card in the rare case the SD card must be formatted to resolve any major problems.

MyBackup Root, SMS Backup & Restore, and Call Backup and Restore are all free applications that can assist with backing up your data.

Requirements

  • Android Debug Bridge (ADB) shell. You will need this for issuing commands to your Android handset from your computer. You will also need ADB to flash the Engineering HBoot. ADB can be installed by following the instructions for setting up the Android Software Development Kit (SDK).
  • Fastboot. This is needed to install a custom recovery image.
  • Psneuter. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • misc_version 0.02. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • 1.32.405.6 firmware. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • Engineering HBoot. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • Terminal Emulator. Install this app on your HTC EVO Shift 4G.
  • ClockworkMod Recovery image. Download the latest image file to a temporary location on your computer.
  • Latest version of CyanogenMod for the HTC EVO Shift 4G. Make sure you’re getting the version specific to this handset, otherwise it might not work.
  • Google Apps bundle. This is optional, but strongly suggested because a default installation of CyanogenMod does not include the Google Apps.
  • gfree 0.7. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • root_psn. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.
  • Superuser package. Download this and unzip to a temporary folder on your computer.

Rooting the AT&T Inspire 4G

Rooting the Inspire 4G is easy. It takes only a few general steps, such as gaining temporary root access, and then, flashing the Engineering HBoot. After which, you need to install a custom recovery image and flash CyanogenMod on to your phone to complete the process.

*** WARNING: ROOTING THE AT&T INSPIRE 4G WILL VOID THE WARRANTY ***

Downgrading to 1.32.405.6

To be able to use the rooting method for the AT&T Inspire 4G described in this guide, you will need to downgrade your handset’s current firmware down to firmware version 1.32.405.6. This is a copy of the firmware on the international (global) HTC Desire HD. The other steps in this guide will only work with that firmware.

To downgrade the AT&T Inspire 4G to the said firmware version, first create a goldcard. Follow the instructions for creating a goldcard right now before proceeding. Once your goldcard is ready, you can proceed with the following steps:

  1. Go into the temporary folder where you unzipped the files for Busybox. Copy the contents of that folder into the same folder where the adb executable file is located (most often, the folder/directory named “platform-tools” inside the installation directory for the Android SDK). Do the same for Superuser package and Temporary Root package.
  2. Connect the AT&T Inspire 4G to the computer via USB.
  3. On the computer, open terminal and run the following commands:
    adb push psneuter /data/local/tmp
    adb push misc_version /data/local/tmp
    adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/tmp/psneuter
    adb shell chmod 777 /data/local/tmp/misc_version
    adb shell /data/local/tmp/psneuter
    adb shell
    NOTE: You should see the “#” sign instead of the “$” in the ADB shell. If you do, you have temporary root, and can continue with the next command:
    /data/local/tmp/misc_version -s 1.31.405.3
    exit
  4. Copy the 1.32.405.6 firmware to the root of the SD card (NOT in any folders).
  5. On the computer, open terminal and run the following command:
    adb reboot bootloader
  6. On the AT&T Inspire 4G, follow the onscreen directions for flashing the 1.32.405.6 firmware.
  7. Once finished you can can continue to the next section.

Root, S-OFF, ClockworkMod Recovery, and Engineering HBoot

  1. Go into the temporary folder where you unzipped the files for Busybox. Copy the contents of that folder into the same folder where the adb executable file is located (most often, the folder/directory named “platform-tools” inside the installation directory for the Android SDK). Do the same for ClockworkMod Recovery, Engineering HBoot, gfree 0.7, Psneuter, root_psn and Superuser package.
  2. Connect the AT&T Inspire 4G to the computer via USB.
  3. Make sure USB debugging is enabled on the AT&T Inspire 4G by checking Settings » Applications » Development » USB debugging.
  4. On the computer, open terminal and run the following commands:
    adb push busybox /data/local/tmp/
    adb push gfree /data/local/tmp/
    adb push hboot-eng.img /data/local/tmp/
    adb push psneuter /data/local/tmp/
    adb push recovery-clockwork-3.0.2.6-ace.img /data/local/tmp/recovery.img
    adb push root_psn /data/local/tmp/
    adb push su /sdcard/
    adb push Superuser.apk /sdcard/
    adb shell
    chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/*
    /data/local/tmp/psneuter
    NOTE: You will drop out of the shell after the above command. Restart the shell using:
    adb shell
    cd /data/local/tmp
    ./busybox md5sum /dev/block/mmcblk0p18
    NOTE: Take note of the number generated by the above command. We will need it later. For the remainder of this guide, we will refer to this number as md5 #1.
    ./gfree -f -b hboot-eng.img -y recovery.img
    ./root_psn
    sync
    NOTE: This may take a moment, just give it some time.
    ./busybox md5sum hboot-eng.img
    NOTE: Take note of the number generated by the above command. We will need it later. For the remainder of this guide, we will refer to this number as md5 #2.
    ./busybox md5sum /dev/block/mmcblk0p18
    NOTE: Take note of the number generated by the above command. We will need it later. For the remainder of this guide, we will refer to this number as md5 #3.

    • If md5 #1 and md5 #3 match, then gfree 0.07 failed to powercycle the eMMC chip on the device. Either the software version is too high and the device was not downgraded per the previous section or you have to use gfree 0.05 instead. Download gfree 0.05, reboot and attempt again.
    • If md5 #2 and md5 #3 match, then everything should be fine and you can continue.
    • If md5 #3 does NOT match md5 #1 or md5 #2, then DO NOT REBOOT. Ask for more help by joining IRC chat channel #G2Root on Freenode for further help.
  5. Reboot your handset by issuing the command reboot at the command prompt.
  6. The AT&T Inspire 4G is now rooted with S-OFF, the Engineering HBoot & the ClockworkMod Recovery. Continue to the next section.

Flashing CyanogenMod

CyanogenMod is an aftermarket Android-based mobile operating system wherein you can enjoy lots of features not found in the original versions of Android. Try it for yourself and experience Android like never before.

You can flash CyanogenMod in two ways. One way is via recovery and the other is via ROM manager.

Method via Recovery

  1. Copy the CyanogenMod and Google Apps ZIP files to the root of your SD Card. You don’t need to extract the ZIP files.
  2. Boot into the ClockworkMod Recovery. There are several ways to do that. Choose only one of the following ways:
    • If the Android SDK is installed on your computer, you can run the following command from a terminal or command prompt:
      adb reboot recovery
    • Launch the Terminal Emulator app on your device and run the command:
      reboot recovery
    • With your phone initially turned off, press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons simultaneously for a few seconds. The handset will boot to hboot mode or straight away to recovery mode. If it boots in hboot mode, use the Volume Down button to highlight “Recovery” and press the Power button to boot into recovery mode.
  3. Once the device boots into ClockworkMod Recovery, use the side volume buttons to move around, and either the Power button or the trackball to select.
  4. Select the option to Wipe data/factory reset.
  5. Then select the option to Wipe cache partition.
  6. Select Install zip from sdcard.
  7. Select Choose zip from sdcard.
  8. Select the CyanogenMod update.zip. If you are also installing the optional Google Apps bundle, redo steps 6 to 8, but this time around, select the Google Apps ZIP file instead of the one for CyanogenMod.
  9. Once the installation has finished, select +++++Go Back+++++ to get back to the main menu, and select the Reboot system now option. The handset should now boot into CyanogenMod.

Method via ROM Manager

  1. Launch RomManager.
  2. Optional: Choose the first option in the app, Flash ClockworkMod Recovery to update to the latest version.
  3. Select the Download ROM option from the main menu in the ROM Manager.
  4. Select the CyanogenMod option, and then choose the latest version of CyanogenMod from the menu.
  5. Optional: When you select the latest version of CyanogenMod, check the Google Apps* option.
  6. Once the ROM is finished downloading, it asks if you would like to Backup Existing ROM and Wipe Data and Cache.
  7. If Superuser prompts for root permissions check to Remember and then Allow.
  8. The HTC Evo Shift 4G will now reboot into the recovery, wipe data and cache, and then install CyanogenMod. When it’s finished installing it will reboot into CyanogenMod.

Congratulations! You now have your AT&T Inspire 4G rooted. You should now have the capability to install any apps you badly want that call for root access as well as any custom ROMs for this device.

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