Thursday, August 30, 2012

custom roms on xperia mini pro with unlocked bootloader

Let me start by stating, once again, I nor any devs whose contribution we will be using are responsible for any damage to your phone. Proceed at your own risk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alrighty then. You have unlocked the bootloader of your favorite phone. With this you have unlocked the full capacity of your device. No need to bother losing CWM after every install of any custom rom. Developing for unlocked bootloaders appears to be easy, since majority of the rom devs initial release will be for unlocked ones. With unlocked bootloaders we will be installing CWM into a seperate partition which will not be touched during custom rom installation. So whatever happens with your rom installation the CWM is still there. Anything wrong with the current installation of the custom rom, you wipe it and install a new one OR restore a previously working, backed up rom.

Now we know the advantage of unlocking the bootloader w.r.t installing custom roms. For disadvantages please refer the previous post. Let us start with the fact that whatever roms were dicsussed in the locked bootloader post are available in the unlocked ones also. Since the rom development for our favorite phone is happening at a rapid pace owing to newer developers taking up the mantle to serve us with their hot-baked versions of custom roms the roms mentioned in the previous post is very minimal. It is recommended to visit this post, to see the recent roms and the pace of development activity on this phone.

It would be apt to talk of few roms which impressed me with their unique abilities. This is a very subjective selection. I live it to you to find the rom which suits your taste. The serial number is also the roms "I" rank in order of my preference

1. When we talk about custom roms we cannot leave out the unlocked bootloader specialist cyanogenmod 10. This is v10 of the cyanogenmod project based on Jellybean 4.1.1. Since it is a very recent project there is a long list of "not working". A working/not working list is maintained by M66B.
I loved this rom for it smoothness(result of project butter) and wifi connects almost immediately. Remember that installing cyanogenmod requires install of their own kernel. They dont play well with other custom kernels. In fact M66B compiles the cm10 kernel with additional drivers. It is a good choice to install his kernel. He releases his kernel in parallel with the cm 10 kernel. If you want a basic jellybean system look no further. And the project releases updates regularly.

2. If ICS is what you want to eat, then the first preference would be cyanogenmod 9 Lot of work has gone into this rom and very much usable. The advantage is it is a basic implementation of ICS.

3. If Ginger bread is your preference then look no further than this. This is developed by shprakash and sandy( I believe they are from bangalore ) called HaSa Rom. Remember this is based on sony's rom with additional tweaks and modifications. For this you can use any of the kernels mentioned in the previous post( choose the GB ones. There will be two versions of the kernels. one for GB and one for ICS.

4. Sandy and shprakash have an ICS offering also it is Xperia icecream pureness. This is again based on sony's official ICS rom with tweaks and modifications.

5. When it comes to UI customization and eye candy nothing can beat the MIUI project, but it comes at a cost of higher utilization of ram and rom space. If eyecandy is what you want then you can choose between
a. Hasa miui ICS. This, as the name suggests is developed by the duo sandy and shprakash. The rom is a very good implementation of miui on a sony base.
b. JB exmiui. This rom is a combo of MIUI JB version and cm 10. It will have the same working/not working as of cm10. But mark my words, It is beautiful.

Some other roms impressed you, Tell me.

Thanx to all the devs, testers and fellow users, sony for allowing to unlock the bootloader, AOSP project and the Linux kernel project.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rooting and installing CWM on xperia mini pro Unlocked boot loader

Unlocking the bootloader on xperia phones voids your warranty claims. All the DRM keys go out. They cannot be returned back(or, I dont know any method to bring back the DRM keys). I nor any devs are responsible for any damage your phone may suffer because of any implementations of the discussions below.

Here we go. We are now bored with all the hassles required to install custom roms on xperia mini pro with a locked boot loader or your xperia mini pro is now out of the warranty period. Installing custom roms on a locked boot loader is a pain in the neck for the rom users and also for the devs. For a locked boot loader, the CWM is installed in a portion of the rom memory which get over-written during the installation of the custom rom. So, How do we think that our CWM is safe during the custom rom installation? We cant. Only if the devs have a version of CWM in the custom rom zip properly configured and zipped, your options of losing CWM are iminent. For an easy method of getting back the CWM on locked bootloaders please refer my previos post.

Now, we go to the next logical step. Unlocking the bootloader(You are warned again, Your warranty will be void. There have been cases wherein, sony has refused to repair phones with unlocked bootloader. So continue at your own risk). Unlocking the boot loader on xperia phones is a straight forward process and sony should be thanked for making it very simple. Fire up ur favorite search engine and search for "xperia unlocking boot loader". You will get guides and the sony developer site is very user friendly.

See to it that your phone is recognized by sony pc companion. That just shows that all the necessary drivers are in place.

Basically the steps are

1. GO to the sony developer site and click on unlock boot loader
2. Keep the IMEI number of your ready (Dial *#06# on your phone dial pad)
3. Follow the steps on the sony developer site.
4. Note down the unique code given out and then,

follow the procedure given here

After this, installing CWM is a piece of cake. Go to point number 11.
Here ignore everything from point 4.
Download flashtool.
Install it
Run it
Shut down the phone
Now connect the USB cable first to ur laptop and then press and hold the volume up key while connecting the USB cable to phone. The phone LED turns blue and you get info on the flashtool application that the phone is now connected in the fastboot mode. Click on the 'lightening" icon and select fastboot. Here select "flash kernel" and browse the "boot.img" of your favorite kernel. Thats it. disconnect the phone and reboot.

After this step, You get a custom kernel pre rooted and CWM. The kernels available for xperia mini pro(ICS) and known to work with majority of the custom roms and also stock(pre-rooted  plus  CWM)
1. Rage(All drivers within the kernel)
2. Mesa(All drivers within the kernel)
3. kamarush(You have to flash the wifi-modules from CWM)

Thanx to all the devs for making the xperia mini pro a true hackers phone. Thnx to sony for allowing the unlocking of bootloaders. Thnx to all th users over at XDA for testing and reporting.............