The latest Samsung Galaxy Note III Android upgrade is from 4.3.0 (Jellybean) to 4.4.2 (KitKat) and mostly offers some performance boosts with a few cosmetic upgrades.  Rooting is a bit difficult, unfortunately, thanks to most manufacturers + carriers striving to lock users out of their own devices – something that has few benefits to the user, but is enormously to the manufacturers + carriers’ advantage.  However, there are always people and groups that are able to get around the policy to unlock the full hardware and software potentials of Android mobile devices so that users may be in complete control of their devices.  This article roots a model SM-N900W8 (see the N9000 specs) from  the Canadian carrier WIND Mobile (almost identical to the T-Mobile model) via a Windows 7 PC with the Odin firmware flashing software installed.

Contents

0:  General Discussion
1:  Requirements
2:  Flash ROM Using Odin

0: General Discussion

Updating the Note III from Jellybean (v 4.3.0) to KitKat (v 4.4.2)

Be forewarned that the KitKat bootloader update prevents the Note 3 from being downgraded back to Jellybean!  It is not possible to downgrade the bootloader after flashing KitKat without using a third party boatloader such as TWRP as an intermediary and so tripping the KNOX flag.  This will void the manufacturer’s warranty!

Also worth noting a new feature of KitKat that limits apps so that they cannot access data outside of their specified directories.  This can cause issues for some users, especially those without external SD cards to act as a “holding pen” for all apps to be able to access files.

Recovering from a Bad ROM Flash with a Stock ROM

If something goes awry – such as the wrong country/carrier firmware being used – it is almost always possible to return to a stock ROM.  Before starting out it’s a good idea to downloaded a stock ROM just in case.  Ensure the downloaded ROM geographic region/country code matches the one for the Note 3 being rooted.  Ensure the downloaded ROM three letter country & carrier code matches the one for the Note 3 being rooted (for example, GLW = Global WIND Mobile).

Why Root?

There are many benefits to rooting the Galaxy Note 3 – here’s just a few:

1: Requirements

Rooted Stock ROM

A rooted stock ROM such as Chainfire‘s will be required for flashing.  At this time Chainfire’s N900W8 CF-Auto-Root will induce a bootloop with the message “Recovery is not SEANDROID enforcing” in red; however, the N9005 CF-Auto-Root will work on the N900W8 as well.

Be certain to use the correct ROM for you model, carrier and country or you may brick your phone.

2:  Flash ROM Using Odin

CF-Auto-Root is bundled with a preconfigured version of Odin, or it can be downloaded from many other online sources such as XDA Developers.

To put the Note 3 into Download Mode, first power it of.  Then hold down the Home and Volume Down keys while powering on;  one the boot logo appears, the buttons can be released.  A dialog will appear requiring that Volume Up be pressed in order to enter Download Mode.

Start Odin, and connect the phone to the computer via USB.  One of Odin’s top panels should light up in blue or yellow, with a message such as 0:COM1 beneath it.

Tick the “PDA” box (or “AP”, depending on the version of Odin) and then click the “Browse” button next to it.  Navigate to the unzipped .md5 ROM file and select it; it may take some little while for Odin to unpack and verify it’s integrity as it is a large file.

Once Odin is ready, click “Start”.  Status messages will appear in Odin, and a green progress bar will appear on the Note 3.  After 5 to 10 minutes, the phone will have installed and rebooted with a rooted ROM.  It may also be necessary to install Chainfire’s Super SU from Google Play, depending on the install process results.  Better yet, install the Super SU paid version in order to support the amazing developer who’s dedicated his time and energy to bringing freedom to your device for you! 

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