Tag Archives: Personal computer

How To Root And Update the Samsung Galaxy S4 I9500


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You just bought yourself a new Samsung Galaxy S4 i9500 and you are impressed with your investment. The smartphone was shipped to you with an older operating system version of Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and the shopkeeper informed you to go ahead and update it from the Internet. You readily agreed and went home to start the phone and set up the email accounts and all the necessary applications on it. You also noticed the update from Samsung available and went ahead to install it. Now that you are pleased with the performance, you want to root it. Uh-oh! You went through a lot of websites online to find a method to root it and got the easiest one out. But it happened to be working on the older version of the operating system. Unfortunately, you have already updated to the latest firmware version from the Internet. Now your smartphone shows you the version or build number as “I9500XXUAMDK“, which is not being rooted with the older method. So, how do you root your S4?

There are a lot of websites helping users out on rooting the Samsung Galaxy S4, but most of these are methods to root the older version of the operating system, which has been blocked by Samsung. The new version for the S4 states build number “XXUAMDK” and cannot be rooted as easily with the older method. We show you how you can root this version with great ease. So let’s get started.

First, confirm that the Galaxy S4 you are using is the I9500 (Exynos version) and not the I9505(qualcomm version). You can confirm this at the booting screen itself or via “Settings -> More -> About Device”. Check your build number here too – it should reflect “XXUAMDK” as the last few digits. Now you need to get your phone ready for the rooting. And for this you need to enable the USB Debugging mode. But the newer operating system does not have the “Developer options” visible or enabled in the settings by default. To enable it, click on “About Device” and scroll down till you see the “Build number”. Now keep tapping continuously on the Build number field till  you see some messages on the screen counting down to enable the Developer options. After a while, you will see a message informing you that the “Developer mode” is enabled. Hit the back button and you will find the Developer options field available. Click on it and enable it with the toggle switch on the top right. Now head below to the “Debugging” section and enable “USB debugging”. Finally, go back to the “Security” options and click on the field “Unknown sources” to allow third-party apps to be installed. Your phone is now ready for being rooted. Now all we need are two files and a simple utility to be downloaded from the Internet. Download the files from the links below.

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Samsung SGS4 drivers. These are drivers required for the PC to recognise your phone.

Odin. This is the utility that will help you flash the above two files to your phone.

Adam’s kernelThis is an insecure kernel that needs to be replaced with the Samsung SGS4 kernel; it will also root the phone for you in a single step. It has a built-in auto rooting feature.

ClockworkMod Recovery. This is a recovery utility that you need to install on your phone to flash ROMs and take backups of your existing operating system.

The entire rooting takes around 10 minutes (even less actually) once you have everything in place. So let’s begin.

Preparing the phone: Make a folder on your desktop and unzip the files you downloaded into this folder. Switch off your SGS4 and wait for a few seconds. Now press the “Volume down” button and the “Home button” together and keeping the two buttons held down, press the power button. Release the buttons when you see the Samsung logo on the screen. You shall see a message stating that the phone is in download mode and asking you to continue by pressing the “Volume Up” button. Go ahead and press the Volume Up button once. Your phone is now in download mode and ready for being flashed with new files.

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Flashing and rooting: Plug in the USB cable to the phone and the PC. Windows will now be seen installing the necessary drivers for the phone. Wait for a while till all the driver installation work is done. Now open the folder where you have your files you downloaded for the rooting. Double-click on the Odin executable file. Odin will start up and you should see the phone connected to the utility and ready for flashing. To confirm this, the field “ID:COM” should have a light blue colour with “0:(ComXX)” written in it. (Please note that XX can be any number and will vary from PC to PC). This states that your phone is recognised by Odin and is ready. Now click on the button “PDA” and choose the file “GT-I9500_AdamKernel.V1.2.Odin.tar” from the folder where you stored the downloaded files on your desktop. Next, ensure that the check boxes “Auto Reboot”, “F. Reset Time” and “PDA” are the only check boxes checked and the rest are not. Double check and hit the “Start Button“. Watch the “Message” box on the lower left side to see if everything runs fine and there are no errors. This process will take a few seconds and Viola! The phone should reboot on its own. After the phone restarts, you should see the “Superuser” app installed and the phone already rooted automatically by this kernel. To confirm that the phone is successfully rooted, download any app that needs superuser permissions (such as Titanuim backup, ROM manager  or Root explorer) and you should be prompted for the root access

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Flash the CWM Recovery: Now that your phone is rooted, you will need the recovery utility to be flashed. The procedure is very simple and involves similar steps that you followed earlier. Proceed similarly as above—shut down the phone and put it in download mode and start Odin. This time, click the PDA button and choose the file “recovery-clockwork-6.0.3.2-i9500.tar.md5”. Once again, ensure that the check boxes “Auto Reboot”, “F. Reset Time” and “PDA” are the only check boxes checked and the rest are not. Hit the “Start” button and wait a few seconds till it gets done and the phone restarts automatically. Disconnect the phone from the PC and shut down the phone. This time, press the Volume Up button and the Home button together, and keeping the two buttons held down, press the power button. The phone should now enter the recovery mode automatically.

Congratulations! Your phone has now been rooted and you are free to install root-level applications and flash your own custom ROMs. For starters, go ahead and make a complete backup (Nandroid) of your existing operating system from the recovery mode to ensure that the operating system can be safely restored in case of a mishap.

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Note: Rooting your phone is considered risky and can brick or damage your phone permanently. Rooting also will void any and all warranty on your phone. Proceed with the steps mentioned above with extreme caution. We are not responsible for any damage to your phone. The steps in the workshop are limited to the mentioned build version only. Do confirm this before you proceed. Root your SGS4 at your own risk.

 

Top 5 Secrets to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal for Free


Wireless Router
Wireless Router (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Wi-Fi is probably the biggest thing in wireless technology since the telegraph. It can power devices at a distance and even send large amounts of data in a matter of seconds. Though many prefer wired connections for their PCs and other devices, there’s no arguing with the fact that with regards to convenience, Wi-Fi will always come out on top. But there are problems with Wi-Fi that many of us would like to fix but wouldn’t know where to start with. In this piece, we’ll try to uncover some of the ways in which you can boost your signal without any major expenditure like buying repeaters and such.

 

#1: Change the Channel

 

Not the TV, dude, your router! When you set up a router, it picks a default channel that provides connectivity to your network. Normally, the least congested channel is chosen by default, but in your case, this may not be true. But to do this you need a special tool, like the inSSIDer – it’s a free tool and it gives tons of information about your network, but don’t worry about all those graphs that give you an overload of data; just check the column that says ‘channel’ and see how many are on the same channel as you, in your area. Once you’ve identified the least crowded one, go to your router’s interface and change it to that (you can see how to get there in the router’s user manual.)

 

#2: Update your Firmware

 

Network device manufacturers periodically update the software that is used on their routers. Though business devices get automatic notifications when there’s a new version available, consumer units may not have this as a standard feature. If the channel-changing doesn’t work, then head to the manufacturer’s website and check for updates that will make your connectivity better. Most fixes address connectivity issues so it’s likely that you’ll find a solution in this method. Most consumers don’t even know that they need to regularly update their firmware, so be one of the first few to be in on this secret.

 

#3: Update your Driver Firmware

 

Another great method is to download and install new firmware for the wireless adapter on your PC, laptop or other device. A good thing to remember is that major connectivity issues can be addressed by fixing your router and your wireless adapter. By updating the firmware, you’re riding the crest of a wave set up by the manufacturer to fix ongoing issues such as connectivity, stability, etc. Do this and you’ll probably be the first of your friends to tap into this little nugget.

 

#4: Change the Router’s Position

 

This is probably the least technical of all solutions, but may end up being the best. It’s possible that your router is nested somewhere between the modem and the power strip behind your PC, on a table, in the corner of the room furthest away from your door! That might give you a clue as to why visitors in the living room can’t get a decent signal from your router. You can buy an additional cable if what you have isn’t enough to get the router into a more elevated and central position, but then it would be a ‘secret… for free’ anymore. However, even a minor change in position can often strengthen the signal to a surprising extent. Try it and see if that was the problem in the first place.

 

#5: Get DD-WRT Software

 

This one’s a bit dicey because getting this software to optimize and enhance your router’s performance may not be an easily reversible process. Besides, if your router is under warranty when you do the installation, it may get voided altogether. Though not highly recommended for those with little or no technical knowledge about how this software works and how to uninstall it, it is a tremendous way to boost the performance of your entire system. The software is open-source so it’s free to use, and the site http://www.dd-wrt.com/ can tell you whether your router is supported.

 

These are all great ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal for free. With this arsenal of secret methods in your hands, odds are that you’ll find at least one (maybe more) of them gives you the kind of signal boost that you’re looking for. Happy surfing!

 

How To: Use a laptop as a Wi-Fi repeater


 

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Almost all homes and offices today have an Internet connection either via a cable operator, telephone line or USB dongle. Sharing a single Internet connection with all other wireless-enabled devices at home or office requires a wireless router and these are available for as little as Rs. 1,000. But wireless routers are usually stationed at home or office and cannot be carried around because of the power requirements. There are times when you go on a holiday or travel around and need an Internet connection. USB 3G Internet dongles serve the purpose of an Internet connection whilst you are outdoors, but this connection is only available on your laptop or a tablet that has USB internet dongle compatibility. But what if you want your mobile or iPad also connected to the Internet at the same time? The Internet connectivity needs to be shared and a router is the only possibility. In this case, you will share the network connection of your laptop with the other devices and Ad-Hoc connectivity is the only option. But this method again has a limitation and only one device can connect at a single given time. We will show you how to create a temporary router using any laptop or PC within a few minutes. This will save you the cost of a new portable router.

Take another scenario where you are at home. You have your broadband connection and a router installed and configured. Your router is beaming out the Internet connection for all the devices you have. You need to chill out in your building premises with friends or monitor your children in the play area, while still using your mobile or tablet on the Internet.  Now, you know that your home router will not be able to beam out the Internet to this distance and it will call for a relocation of the router to the balcony or the main door. But this is not practical and you will need to get yourself a wireless repeater, which will wirelessly relay the home internet to a further distance. This calls for an investment of a wireless repeater and they don’t come cheap. We will show you how to create a wireless repeater using any laptop or PC in less than Rs. 700.

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In this How-To, we shall show you how simple it is to convert any regular laptop or PC into a wireless router or repeater using some freely available software. Before you begin, let’s take a look at the requirements.

  • A laptop or PC with Windows XP SP2 or higher operating system
  • A wireless USB adapter
  • Any of the following software: Connectify, MyPublicWiFi or MaryFi
  • An Internet connection (USB 3G dongle, broadband or DSL)

To convert any PC or laptop into a router, you will need the computer to have an Ethernet interface, a USB port and a wireless USB adapter or Wi-Fi network card. Laptops usually have all of the above, while desktop PCs will definitely sport the USB and Ethernet interfaces. Some newer desktop PCs have motherboards with wireless networking interfaces. If your PC does not have a wireless interface, then you will have to get a wireless USB adapter; these are available for as cheap as Rs. 700. Any brand will work fine as long as you install the drivers correctly.

To convert the PC or laptop into a wireless repeater, you will need two wireless network interfaces. In this mode, one wireless interface works as a client to receive the Internet from a wireless router while the other interface relays the same Internet connection to other devices. Laptops usually have a single wireless network interface and to make a repeater, you will need to install a wireless USB adapter. PCs will have to use two of the USB adapters.

Once you are ready with the hardware requirements, it is time to download the software.
Download any of the following software from the Internet. These software utilities have the capability of converting a regular PC with an Internet connection into a wireless hotspot as a router or repeater. The software takes the Internet connection from the PC and shares it via the wireless interface, allowing other devices to connect and use the Internet from it. The download links are given below.

The entire procedure is very simple and will take you just a few minutes to configure and deploy. All you need is to download any of the above software, install it, restart the PC once if required and start the utility. Here is how you can configure each of the three utilities. We shall explain using Connectify as an example; you can also apply the similar methods to the other two utilities.

Router mode:

 

Step 1: Click the settings tab
Step 2:  Enter the SSID name or Hotspot name for your network. (free version has limited access to using the entire SSID name, while paid version users can specify any name)
Step 3:  Enter a desired 8 – digit password for securing the wireless network
Step 4:  Select the Internet line you want to share from the list in the “Internet to Share” drop-down list. This will be your Ethernet network or USB dongle / DSL dial-up connection.
Step 5:  Expand the “Advanced Settings” tab. Here, choose the wireless interface in the “Share over” drop-down list and choose the security mode for the network in the “Sharing Mode” drop- down list. Paid version users can have the option to set up the firewall and allow or disallow Internet and local network access.
Step 6:  Once done, hit the “Start Hotspot” button and your PC/laptop is now a wireless router. Connect your devices to the PC router using the SSID and password you just specified.

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Repeater mode:

 

Step 1: Follow the same steps mentioned above, but just make a small change in the Step: 3where you will need to select the first wireless network interface in the “Internet to Share” drop-down list and the second network interface in the “Share over” drop-down list. Do make sure that your first wireless network interface is already configured to connect to the host router for an Internet connection.

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using the other two utilities is very similar and takes a few seconds to implement. There may be many more similar utilities that can do the same and if you stumble on any of them, do mention it in the comments below for the benefit of other readers. If you are using any of these or other utilities and find out any issues or tweaks to make it function better, please post your comments too.