Some last minute questions before I try to mod my DX

Discussion in 'Droid X Hacks' started by Es0ter1c, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Es0ter1c

    Es0ter1c Member

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    Hello all,

    I have been lurking around here for a few days now, researching the net and reading up on the root/hack processes for the Droid X.

    I have several questions and concerns that I hope you all can help me resolve before I activate anything other than root, which I got done with z4root.

    Here's my specs, just bought the DX (the wifey got one too)this week on the bogo deal with V$W.
    System version:
    Version.2.3.151.MB810.Verizon.en.us
    Android version:
    2.2
    Kernel version:
    2.6.32.9-g23d7ba5

    I have been searching through many sites and understand the basics.

    I am wondering what, specifically, ClockworkMod does to the OS on the Droid. Does it simply backup the ROM that's installed? Does it make a SEPARATE temp copy of the ROM in its rooted state? Also what is/are the difference between ClockworkMod and Nandroid backup? Do I need them both?

    I have z4root installed, as well as Titanium Backup, ClockworkMod (part of z4root I think) and ROM Manager. As I understand it, I need to backup my apps and personal data using Titanium (and make a copy of my SD card data on my PC, then I need to flash clockworkmod (which I have NOT done yet), which does WHAT specifically? Can I, or do I need to make a copy of my stock OS to store on my PC? I just want to ensure that I can return the phone to its native condition if I ever need to return it for an exchange.

    Also, do I need to change my kernel or mess with the newest leak for any reason? If so, how does that change what I need to do?

    My basic goal here is to gain root functionality to install the cyanogen ROM, protect the phone(s) more, try out some of the other ROMs if I feel comfortable, and maximize battery and storage efficiency.

    Also, I understand that I need to unroot prior to grabbing any updates from the carrier, but my wife is not as tech savvy as I am. If I were to mod her to a different ROM, will I have the ability to prevent her from accessing the updates from VZ, like can you unroot after you install a different ROM? Then I would assume I could just re-root if/when she needs any changes made...

    Sorry for the mass collection of questions. I just figure it's better safe than sorry with so much money invested.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

    Es0
     
  2. chkmate

    chkmate Silver Member

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    Welcome!!!

    Bootstrap Recovery App for Droid X will allow you to get into clockwork where you can make a nandroid backup(copy of your system). Since you are rooted when you make a copy of the system files I believe you stay rooted when you restore it. And yes, in Clockwork you make a backup which is a copy of your system. It will name the copy by a date/time stamp so you know when it was done. Then you can rename it to whatever you want as long as it has (.zip) after it.

    Titanium BU is good for backing up apps and app data. Or Titanium BU is good for freezing the apps you don't want running, bloatware and such. Then defrost them if you need them in the future. This is only with the paid version of TBU. It's not always a good idea to restore all apps after installing a ROM, causes some conflicks. Double apps and messaging.

    I don't know about kernels. All I know is the Bootloader on the Droid X is still locked down and doesn't seem to be going anywhere. And I am not a leak person. Don't like em, don't use them. Maybe someone can give you good advice on that.

    Best thing to do before grabbing an update is flashing SBF to get it back to stock. I have found the re-installing app apk's, fixing permissions and unrooting doesn't always allow for updates. It's the risk you take.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
    #2 chkmate, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  3. Strikeir13

    Strikeir13 Member

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    Ok, well this got a little long, but hopefully it's helpful for someone just starting out:

    Quite a few questions, but I'll try to answer what I can as best I can:

    ClockworkMod is a custom recovery. Your DX has a stock recovery which you can access by booting up the phone while holding the VOLUME DOWN and HOME buttons. As I understand it, ClockworkMod provides an alternative to this stock recovery, performing all of the same functions and more. However, because of the locked bootloader, the ClockworkMod on the DX is not quite the same as it is on other devices. For the Droid X to boot into the custom CW recovery, the phone has to load certain stock processes but then is hijacked at some point in the boot to switch to the CW recovery. This hijack or "bootstrap" is accomplished by the aptly named Droid X Bootstrapper app created by the CW creator, Koush. It lets us run CW on our bootloader-locked phones.

    From CW recovery, you can create a nandroid backup (Yes, they're they same thing, though on other phones it actually says "nandroid" in the CWmod recovery.). This backup is essentially a backup of all the data on the phone itself, including system files and apps (It is important to note that I don't think the nandroid backup will completely backup your apps to the point you can uninstall them, restore a backup and still have them installed. That would probably not work, so don't try it. You have TB, so use that to backup apps and app data.) The backup is like a snapshot of the phone at a point in time. You can make modifications after the backup and if you don't like them, just revert to the backup and your phone SHOULD be the exact same as it was when the backup was created! (However, larger scale modifications have the potential to disrupt that backup-ability. This is why it's a good idea to make backups before updating ROMs, etc.)(Also, the backup does not touch your SD card, and any calls/texts/other phone data NOT stored on the SD card generated after the backup was created will be erased when the backup is restored.

    To use CW on the DX, you need to have the Droid X Bootstrapper and ROM Manager apps. Both have free versions, but buying the paid versions and donating to their creator is always a classy move ;) You can find other instructions on how to use them, but here's the basic installation:

    1. Install Droid X Bootstrapper app (from market)
    2. Install ROM Manager app (from market)
    3. Go into ROM manager and tap the top option, "Flash ClockworkMod Recovery" which will allow you to USE the second option, "Reboot into Recovery." If you reboot into recovery, you'll be in the ClockworkMod recovery.

    So the ClockworkMod is the system within which a nandroid backup is made. By having CW, you have the ability to make nandroids. Any more specific information than the above is beyond me...

    I covered part of this above, but flashing the ClockworkMod recovery in ROM Manager simply enables you to boot into the ClockworkMod recovery. ***You must have the Droid X Bootstrapper installed for this to work!!!*** (Also, I've found that using the bootstrapper app to bootstrap the recovery, and then booting into recovery from within the bootstrap app is just easiest. ROM Manager is a nice utility for managing stuff, but you can do just about everything in ROM Manager from within the CW recovery.) You should make a nandroid backup as soon as you are able, i.e. as soon as CW is flashed. If you wanted to store that on your PC, you could move it from the CWM folder on you SD card to your PC, but that's not necessary as most phone processes will not touch your SD card unless you explicitly tell them to do so.

    The best way to return your phone to a stock condition is by using a SBF file. The SBF file completely reprograms all your phone data (again, not touching the SD card) as though it had been programmed for the first time. ***The key here is to make sure you have the proper SBF file for your system!!!*** There are a few floating around. Your system version is 2.3.15, so you *should* need the 2.3.15 SBF (available in the Team Black Hat app as well as other places for free online). If you ever accept an Over-The-Air update (OTA), you will likely need a different SBF file, and it may or may not be available. Motorola is pretty touchy about those being out in public, but they ARE available for all but the latest leaks. Flashing a SBF file involves using RSDLite, a computer program. I’ll let you find out how to do that, but a good site is rootzwiki.com. ;)

    As far as the kernel goes, the only way that changes on our phones (currently) is through OTA updates. I don’t think the ROMs based on those updates includes the kernel, and because the bootloader is locked, we have no way to change the kernel ourselves without triggering the dreaded E-fuse (I’m NOT going into that, but suffice to say outside of an OTA we can’t change the kernel right now without bricking our phones…)

    For the newest leaks, the only danger is attempting to apply it, failing, and needing the corresponding SBF file for that leak. Like I said, most of the leaks have a SBF file available *somewhere* online, you just have to find it. Forums are good places to look, as well, but since they can’t be posted, you’ll have to receive it via PM from another user.

    An admirable goal! Unfortunately, Cyanogen and his team only develop for phones with unlocked bootloaders because their ROM uses a custom kernel. Hopefully that will be available for the DX someday, but right now, it’s not, so don’t try to install it! That would be bad. Installing any custom ROM will prevent OTA updates from happening. I’m not sure exactly on how that happens, but it does. The good thing about that is that the ROMs are sooooooooooooo much better than the stock ROMs they’re replacing! J

    About your wife’s phone, I would encourage you to wait until you are completely comfortable modding your own phone before you mess with hers. I know firsthand the anguish of modding my GF’s phone (which wasn’t even a DX only to complicate things) only to have her come back to me upset because it wasn’t being 100% reliable, something that non-modders will take for granted. Having the same phone will help, but with some modding and especially overclocking and undervolting, each phone can have different tolerances.

    As far as “protecting the phone,” I would say the best way to accomplish that is to use a case. ;) There aren’t too many legitimate security apps out for phones right now, as there isn’t a huge need for them. You could try out the Lookout Mobile Security app. I use it but I don’t really use it much… For battery life, I would investigate using the Droid X Overclock app (any of them on the market, but jrummy’s app has lots of helpful extras for a new DX modder J) to undervolt your phone while keeping it at stock clock speeds. This, combined with an efficient ROM – and may I plug the RubiX series here which are great for increasing battery life and phone efficiency and speed – will extend your phone’s battery life much longer than stock. Again, I’ll let you investigate undervolting on your own, but feel free to PM me with questions on my experiences.

    I hope this helps!
     
  4. Es0ter1c

    Es0ter1c Member

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    Fantastic information!

    So okay. I paid for the bootstrapper, and installed it. I will avoid CyanogenMod, as it obviously sounds dangerous to the X, being incompatible. With my level of understanding, I AM comfortable asking for recommendations as to which ROM(s) would be best, obviously you mention Rubix, is there a specific build for my version? I am guessing so, and once I find it, do I use the ROM manager to 'install' it, then use bootstrapper to load it? Once I become comfortable with the process of installing ROMS, are there others that are considered contenders?

    I have, since my last post flashed the ClockworkMod Recovery, but that is all.

    Taking my time with this to avoid a paperweight. LOL.

    Thanks again for your help!

    Es0:greendroid:
     
  5. chkmate

    chkmate Silver Member

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    So if you hit "Bootstrap Recovery", got success and hit ok, go here for instructions on making a nandroid backup >>> How To: Create Nandroid Back Up On Motorola Droid X
     
  6. Es0ter1c

    Es0ter1c Member

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    I notice that the ROM manager recommends wipe/format on some ROMS. If I were to install 'rubix Blurry 0.3' or 'Focused 1.0', would I need to wipe? If so, how? Is it part of the automated ROM Manager, or is there something additional I need to do first?
     
  7. turdbogls

    turdbogls Active Member

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    early this morning i was in the same boat as you are now. here is what i did.
    download z4 root and toot the phone (you have already done this)
    download bootstrap from the market, flash bootstrap recovery.
    download ROM manager from market, flash clockworkmod recovery, should say successful,
    find the ROM you want to try out (i am on rubiX 1.9 with the black juice green theme..the theme is optional but it is awesome) and download it in the browser(or from your computer then move it to the phone). download the theme as well if you want a themed ROM

    once it is finished, open up bootstrap and hit the reboot into recovery button, it will reboot into clockwork, go to nandroid, and backup your current ROM. it will take a while to do this so just let it run. then reboot system. go back into bootsrap and reboot into recovery again, wipe data and cache. then go to install .zip from SD card. choose .zip, navigate to your download folder (or where ever you put the ROM.zip file), choose the ROM.zip file, and choose yes...this will install the ROM. once finished, reboot system....let it download all the apps again (this takes some time depending on the number of apps and your connection). once you get the notification that all apps have been restored, reboot into recovery again, and install the theme the same way you installed the ROM.

    after that, go into titanium and backup all the data from the apps you backed up.

    i was on 2.2.15 stock rooted, and now i am running a custom themed ROM and this phone is blazing fast. i would love to suggest rubiX, but i honesty dont know how the others perform in comparrison. i have heard fission is good as well, but i choose my ROMs based on their themes available.
     
    #7 turdbogls, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  8. chkmate

    chkmate Silver Member

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    If you pick a ROM in ROM Manager from the SD card or from a list of ROM's they provide, when you go to install it ROM Manager will ask you to check the box on what you want to do. Such as wipe data/cache before installation.
     
  9. Strikeir13

    Strikeir13 Member

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    Just to clarify, you have the bootstrapper, but do you also have ROM manager? You don’t technically need it, though it is slightly easier to do all of this through it. Regardless, you can bootstrap the recovery and boot into CW with only the bootstrap app.



    To get to the CW recovery, go to the bootstrapper app, tap "Bootstrap Recovery," wait for it to say "Success!," click OK, and then tap "Reboot Recovery." In CW recovery, you navigate with the volume keys for up and down, the camera button selects your choice, and the power button functions as the back button, moving you to the previous menu without selecting anything. Once you're in CW, most ROMs will have you wipe either data and/or cache, some may have you mount /system, and some may have you wipe the Dalvik cache and battery stats. It's always best to flash with a full battery, as well. AND ALWAYS MAKE A BACKUP!! I would advise booting into CW just to look around. Remember, you can always hit the power button to move back to the previous menu. That way you can avoid wiping anything until you want to do so.

    Edit: For the most part, ROMs will have you download the .zip file, place it on your SD card, reboot into CW recovery, wipe data/cache or do whatever other preinstallation tasks, and then install the zip from the SD card.

    ROMs:

    Yes, stay away from CM. It would probably brick your phone seeing as it has a different kernel… Also avoid FlyX. It’s old, outdated, and no longer supported since mrbirdman sold his X (that the community donated for! REALLY lametron…). As far as overarching advice concerning ROMs goes, I would stick with the more popular ones. With more people on them, the devs have more incentive to keep developing them, and those ROMs will have better community and developer support.

    You’ll need to decide whether you want a ROM with blur or without it. Blur is the custom user interface that Motorola plasters over Android. It’s what you interact with on your phone, and, to a large extent, it’s what slows your phone down and disrupts it. That’s not to say it’s without merit, but a vast majority of the modding community dislikes it. You can get ROMs that are made to be as blur-free as possible, or you can get ROMs that include blur but also include speed tweaks so that you can do everything motoblur allows you to do but with a much improved version.

    RubiX: Blurry has blur (obviously) and Focused is without blur. The most up-to-date versions out there are 1.6.3 for blurry (posted over at androiddoes.com I believe) and 1.9.0 for Focused. (If you are installing the ROM directly from 2.3.15, you’ll want to avoid any version that is for leaks. They are meant for people who have installed the leaked updates.) I really like Focused, though I’m sure Blurry is just as good but with blur. drod2169 is the developer behind them both, and though he’s about to be swamped with school finals, he does a great job updating them when new leaks or features are available. (I like RubiX because of the slightly more lax installation recommendations. I have installed the most recent version without wiping data OR cache and it’s just about problem free!)

    Fission: Blurless, and just about as AOSP as they come right now. (AOSP is Android Open Source Project, and generally means the ROM is compiled as much as currently possible from that source code. Phones like the Nexus One are straight from AOSP, and phones with custom UIs from their manufacturer, i.e. Motorola and Motoblur, HTC with Sense, Sprint with TouchWiz, all have proprietary code and differences. If our phones were all AOSP, there wouldn’t be much to mod. ;) ) Fission is pretty fast and is very similar to RubiX (as drod2169 is the chief X developer for both), but is a little stickier and more involved as far as installation goes. Still, Fission has its own version of ROM Manager, which is attractive, and it’s being developed on very actively.

    That’s really about all I’ve tried myself (because I like RubiX so much), but other ROMs I would consider would be the following:

    Tranquility (p3droid is the guy behind this one, and it’s been around since the beginning of DX ROMs. He is also largely behind any leaks for the DX, and tranquility is very polished.
    Apex – Fabolous, the dev behind this ROM, is pretty well-known and accomplished, and while it’s not as blurless as others, I’m sure it’s a quality ROM.
    Rumm RX – Jared Rummler is the guy behind on of the overclock apps on the market and lots of other great apps including root tools, I haven’t tried this one but I’m sure it would be fast.
    GummyJAR – Kejar31 is the dev behind this and he’s branched off from another ROM. This one is very new but promising as the most AOSP ROM out there so far.
    Simply Stunning X (SSX) – This developer, ChevyNo1, has done great things for the OG Droid so you can expect this ROM will be equally polished.
    DarkSlide – I don’t know much about this but its fans are pretty loyal so that says something)
    UltimateDroidX – This is in beta and hard to find but promising. If you google Cyanogen and blackdroid you may find yourself biased against the developer of this ROM… It might be on Cyanogen’s page, too.
    Epic DX – Personally, this one sounds a little too buggy to try right now, but it’s a step in the right direction as far as AOSP DX ROMs go.

    There is a ROM called Obsidian that is in the works for which I am very excited. No ETA on release dates, though, but it should be as good if not better than ANYTHING out there now. Once Obsidian drops I’ll be checking that out ASAP. It’s made by the developer of Sapphire for the OG Droid and that is one of the classic ROMs for that device, right up there along with CyanogenMod. (Of course, IF CM were available for the DX, I’d be on it in an instant! Fingers crossed for unlocking the bootloader! :/ )

    Like I said, I haven’t tried many ROMs, really only RubiX and Fission, but they’re both solid. I would say read through the release threads and see what features you like, and then decide based on that. For someone who is new to this, you may want to avoid ROMs with lots of script-based features since those can be a little more involved. Fission is pretty user-friendly, with its download manager, but having to wipe everything can be a pain. If I were to try another one besides RubiX, it would probably be RummRX and then GummyJAR, as they have reputable developers behind them and seem to be well put together.

    Choose wisely and ALWAYS MAKE A BACKUP!!! Before you install ANY rom, make a backup. (You can rename your backups through ROM Manager, which is helpful.) Oh, and BEFORE YOU INSTALL ANY ROM, ***MAKE A BACKUP***. You can always flash different ones until you find one you like!
     
    #9 Strikeir13, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  10. Es0ter1c

    Es0ter1c Member

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    Thank you

    Sry caps.
    Srsly though, I think this is the best info I could have expected on short notice. You all were great with the answers. I have a lot to sleep on. I work 3rd shift, so I will let you all know how it goes tonight sometime. After I find the Rubix file site I will be on the right track.
     
  11. Strikeir13

    Strikeir13 Member

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    I just learned this and it is very important: you need to match your bootloader number with the proper sbf file if you ever try to sbf or else you will be on trouble... Chances are you need the full .320 sbf that was just released recently. If you have bootloader number 30.04, you need the .320 sbf. Check mydroidworld.com for more details.

    Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
     
  12. Es0ter1c

    Es0ter1c Member

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    How long should Rubix take to boot? It looks like its looping at startup.