Epic 4g Touch EL26 Modem/Kernel/ROM – Full Restore – Rooted

Sprint has been trying to ‘push’ a system update to my phone for a couple of weeks – one that is supposed to fix many ‘bugs’ such as LOS (loss of signal) some where having and improve overall performance by updating the phone to Android version 2.6.3.

I have already ‘rooted’ my phone as I described in a previous article using this method with this file.

Even though the ‘root’ I did was the Stock ROM with just the addition of enabling full root access with recovery options, I was leery of running any ‘stock’ updates. Most cell providers have done a piss poor job of pushing out updates and my research showed this update was indeed causing more problems than it was supposed to fix!

So I waited and researched for further updates and ‘custom/patched’ fixes from the great folks at XDADevelopers Forum and the ACS team. My patience and research paid off.

Because my phone is already rooted I am able to use Titanium Backup Pro http://bit.ly/pLtba8 to back up all my application AND settings. I do this nightly to the local SD card AND to Dropbox (pretty much the only reason I use Dropbox actually).

If you want ANY reason why I believe you must root your Android phone, it is for the ability to use this application! If you install nothing else that requires root access or make any customizations you still win if you use Titanium. [OK so major plugging done.]

The guys at XDA now have a full ‘One-Click’ root available here.

I backed my data using Titanium (just in case!) then set about updating my phone following the easy to use (and very precise) directions. I chose the ‘NoData’ package – to preserve all my applications and settings! [but remember I still have my backup just in case!]

Following the instructions it worked flawlessly!!

Then to install even more recovery options (the Clockworkmod – a full system imaging tool!) I followed the directions here. They are simple and precise too. After the update and all the reboots system is up and running WITHOUT ANY ISSUES.

My download speed for both 3G and 4G have increased. My 3G data speed doubled – modem really made a difference!
The responsiveness of the phone is now even faster. Switching between applications and screens is faster and smoother too!

Super video on the ‘Rooting’ using the one-click root little faster than what I originally did!

Once the update to EL26 was complete I installed the Clockwork Mod exactly as described above and laid out in this awesome video below.

The guys at ACS and XDA are GREAT! I can’t thank them enough. To download and access some files you might be required to register for each forum. Both are free and the process is painless – do it!

Well there it is. I hope someone else finds this useful. Peace

More phone tips Galaxy S2 and some iPhone ones

Just thought I’d put up some feature and tip how-to’s for those that care – mostly me so I can get to them if I need them 🙂

Also if you happen to screw up your phone – ‘brick it’ here is how to restore it; bring it back from the brink. Just go here and CAREFULLY follow the directions.

Here are some very good videos for the S2

Feature tips [Voice mode being neatest] for Galaxy S2

Some Must know tips

More Samsung Galaxy S2 Tips, Features & Shortcuts

Some iPhone tips there too.
Generic and 4S specific. http://bit.ly/dqpDBF

Good tips for iPhone here:

You can of course search for WAY more stuff if you are just persistent.

Some more S2 tips here:

BRIGHTNESS CONTROL With auto-brightness disabled, tap & hold on notification bar, then after a moment it becomes a horizontal brightness scroll bar.
APP DRAWER Organize the apps with folders. Tap Menu, then Edit.
APP DRAWER Uninstall programs from the App Drawer. Tap menu, then Edit. Programs with ‘-‘ sign can be uninstalled from there, just tap.
BROWSER AGENT Type ‘about:useragent’ in address bar and tap Go.
BROWSER SHOW TABS Pinch inwards twice (i.e. zoom out) to display all open tabs
CAMERA SOUNDS For full instructions on how to mute the focus and shutter sounds read this post.
CAMERA ZOOM In the camera app you can use the volume buttons to zoom in and out. OR you can pinch to zoom in and out.
DIAL CONTACT Swipe right on contact name from the Contact list.
DIAL CONTACT Swipe right on contact name from Messaging list
DIALLER Start spelling out the name of the contact on the phone keys to avoid scrolling through the contact list
FAST SCROLLING In a few apps such as YouTube, Astro File Manager, Market, etc. use 3 fingers to scroll much faster.
EMAIL GROUP BY DATE In the inbox of the Samsung email app, you can pinch to zoom out to group all emails by date, then expand individual dates or zoom in to expand all again.
HOMESCREEN DOCK APPS To change, go to Applications, tap Menu then edit. Tap & hold to move. Only Home/App. cannot be moved.
HOMESCREEN SLIDER The homescreen identifier dots double as a slider to scroll through your homescreens.
KIES Stop it from popping up on your Galaxy S2 whenever you connect it to USB. Go to Settings > Applications > Development > Select USB Debugging. Done.
LOCK ACTIVE SCREEN While watching videos, tap the power button to disable taps on the screen, the touch sensitive buttons and the home button.
MOVE HOMESCREENS From view of all homescreens, tap and hold then rearrange.
PAN TO MOVE This also works on the Application pages.
PINCH TO ZOOM You can also use pinch to zoom on the app drawer.
PINCH TO ZOOM Do it twice in a row (pinching inwards) in the browser as a shortcut to all open tabs.
PINCH TO ZOOM On homescreen, zoom out and see all homescreens at once.
PINCH TO ZOOM In the inbox of the Samsung email app, you can pinch to zoom out to group all emails by date, then expand individual dates or zoom in to expand all again.
RECENT PROGRAMS Hold down the menu button to switch to a recent program or to access the task manager.
SAMSUNG KIES To disable auto launch when you connect to PC via USB: enable USB debugging in Settings > Applications > Development.
SCREENSHOT Press your home button and lock screen button (power button) at the same time to save a screenshot.
SCROLLING You can scroll much faster on some apps such as YouTube, Astro File Manager and Market by using 3 fingers and if you scroll with 2 fingers you get precise scrolling (no scroll momentum).
SEARCH TOOL Some Android phones have a dedicated search button, to access this tool press the Menu button and hold for a sec.
SEND TEXT Swipe left on contact name from the contact list.
SHUTDOWN (FORCED) Push & hold the power button and just keep holding. Probably takes about 7 secs.
TASK MANAGER Hold down the home button to access recent programs and the task manager.
TOUCHWIZ DEFAULT HOMESCREEN To change your homescreen, you can simply download a custom ‘Launcher application like ADW or Go Launcher.
VOICE TALK Quick access by double tapping home button
WIDGET RESIZE Tap and hold, then release without moving the widget location. Re-size tool appears. Does not work on all widgets. Works on: AccuWeather.com, Agenda (the first one), Ap Mobile, Bookmark, Email, Mini paper, and Picture frame.
ZOOM In the camera app you can use the volume buttons to zoom in and out. OR you can pinch to zoom in and out.

I hope this helps some of you too.

My adventures in a phone upgrade part 2 the root and apps

I wrote about my phone adventure recently here  so I won’t go into WHY I needed a device that I could ‘completely control’ and have full access to. Suffice it to say I must be able to have complete access to the system I own without artificial limitations from the manufacturer or service provider. I want to use my hardware and software to its fullest potential. Humor to illustrate:)


I chose the Sprint Epic 4G Touch as my device. I loved the technical specs and knew from research that it would be easy to root and customize.

With Android devices there are so many different options to customize, tweak and really make the device your own, that it can be overwhelming. There are dozens of ROMs available and even subcategories of the main ones!

But there are some basic and simple tools to at least give you root access enough to be able to install ‘non-approved’ or custom applications and get a taste of freedom from the hardware manufacturer and service provider (ATT, sprint, Verizon etc.)

One of the most important things for me was the ability to be able to totally and completely back up the device – operating system, applications and settings; the WHOLE thing. I need to know that my system is backed up nightly (to the SD card AND the ‘Cloud’) and can be restored in a matter of minutes. I do not want to have to take a trip to a ‘corporate store’ or have to send my device away to be ‘reloaded or reset’. If an update – pushed from my carrier or other application, locks up or otherwise makes my device unusable. I have only one phone so I cannot be without it for any extended period of time.

So my quest led me to first just ‘root’ the stock ROM. Essentially giving me full root access but keeping the rest of the original Stock Sprint ROM. This way the only really operating system customization I was messing with was the actual ability to install and use non-approved applications or ones that require more system access than the carriers want to give you; like the ones for full system backups!

I must give credit here to the folks at these sites; XDA Developers, PPC Geeks and ACS, have a plethora of options, files and techniques for customizing your phone. Full access to these sites and their links and files is free with simple email sign up. I would recommend spending a few weekends just ‘looking’ through their sites; read the FAQs and poke through the different topics, tutorials and guides. You will learn a lot. I have spent years going through XDA and PPC Geeks learning so much about phones and systems.

I used the method and files found here: Stock root or Epic 4G

[Take note that you may need a new GOOD USB cable. I have had SO MANY USB devices report as ‘failed’ or ‘not fully connected’ when it turns out that all that was needed was a better cable! I have spent hours with clients trying to connect printers, phones, cameras etc., installing driver after driver, tool after tool etc.. When all that was needed was a good cable. DO NOT TAKE THIS TIP LIGHTLY! GET A FEW GOOD CABLES!]

OK so after flashing/rooting your device all will still look the same except you should now have a new application called ‘Superuser’ installed; this shows that you now have root access. You can download it here if it does not show up. It will only install if you do indeed have full access to your system.

After insuring that I had root access to my phone, the first application I installed was Titanium Backup AND I bought the Pro Key ($6.00 well spent!). This allows for full backups to the SD card(s) AND to Dropbox ‘the cloud'[I only use Dropbox for this purpose]. I have it set to back up my system nightly to the SD card and Drop Box. Now if I want to experiment with another ROM I can load it (via one of many methods from those great sites; probably ODIN) and if it doesn’t work out then I can reload the Stock ROM as above and reload my full back up and I’m good to go!

I then loaded and installed AppBrain Android market app here. Account is free and easy to set up.

Since I am an IT guy the most important app for me was my LogMeIn application. It was also my most expensive but well worth it. It is an amazing tool! After that the next best application I paid for was iSync. It allows me to sync iTunes playlists and libraries to my phone! AND it works better than I have ever seen iTunes work with any iDevice either.

So below is a list of all the applications I have currently on my phone. Many came pre-installed (Sprint) and some I got on the Android Market ‘daily deals’ for only $.10. I included the links to the applications (as they are on AppBrain; most can also be found in the official Android Market too). Check them out  – or don’t but have some fun!

Device: Samsung Epic Touch 4G

Apps: 73 total, 60 free (82%), 13 paid (17%)

Total Size of installed applications :183MB

Total value (at current prices – note that many apps were purchased on specials for only 10 cents U.S.):


A HIIT Interval Timer
Free 276kb


ADWLauncher EX
$3.28 1895kb


Adobe AIR
Free 8575kb


Adobe Flash Player 11
Free 4583kb


Adobe Reader
Free 2761kb


Advanced Task Manager
Free 412kb


Free 2764kb


Android Lost
Free 121kb


AppBrain App Market
Free 724kb


Auto Mount Your SD Card
Free 68kb


Barcode Scanner
Free 589kb


Camera ZOOM FX
$4.85 961kb [$.10]


Dolphin Browser™ HD
Free 3500kb


Free 3076kb


Drudge Report
Free 193kb


ESPN ScoreCenter
Free 1483kb


Endomondo Sports Tracker PRO
$4.21 3014kb [$.10]


FOX News
Free 1447kb


Facebook for Android
Free 3929kb


Fast Web Installer
Free 418kb


Free 15019kb


GPS Status & Toolbox
Free 454kb


Galaxy Core 3D LiveWallpaper
Free 994kb


Free 2147kb


Google Books
Free 2381kb


Google Docs
Free 2557kb


Google Maps
Free 6379kb


Google Reader
Free 1673kb


Google Search
Free 608kb


Google Shopper
Free 3131kb


Google Sky Map
Free 2212kb


Google Voice
Free 4304kb


Gwang-Ju Subway
Free 81kb


Jota Text Editor
Free 547kb


Free 996kb


Keyboard from Android 2.3
Free 1744kb


Free 9362kb


LogMeIn Ignition
$29.99 2578kb


Lovely Beach Live Wallpaper

$.10 13277kb


Lovely Sky Live Wallpaper
$.10 7914kb


Free 3426kb


Free 37kb


OI File Manager
Free 172kb


Opera Mobile web browser
Free 12881kb


PdaNet 3.02
Free 117kb


ROM Manager
Free 2375kb


ROM Manager (Premium)
$5.99 42kb


Remote Control Add-on
Free 560kb


Remote Web Desktop
Free 2460kb


Root Explorer (File Manager)
$4.06 272kb


Root er
Free 662kb


SMS Backup +
Free 1135kb


SkyDrive Browser
Free 301kb


Skype – free video calling
Free 11828kb


Free 3063kb


Sprint Mobile Wallet
Free 328kb


Street View on Google Maps
Free 281kb


SwiftKey X Keyboard
$4.06 [$.10] 4903kb


Swype Keyboard
Free 1994kb


Tabata Sport Interval Timer
Free 204kb


TeamViewer for Remote Control
Free 1786kb


Terminal Emulator
Free 28kb


Tiny Flashlight + LED
Free 1668kb


Titanium Backup PRO Key ★ root
$6.16 31kb


Titanium Backup ★ root
Free 3234kb


Tuner – gStrings
$2.85 136kb


Voice Search
Free 2267kb


Free 2182kb


Zemna AppList Backup
Free 244kb


iSyncr WiFi Add-On
$0.99 925kb


iSyncr for PC
$2.99 1983kb


iris. (alpha)
Free 518kb


ooVoo Video Call
Free 6327kb

Peace out.