My daughter has a Galaxy Note 2, which already had a rooted stock ROM installed. However, the version of Android on the phone was very old, so I wanted to update it to newer version, peferably Cyanogen Mod 11. I already had ClockworkMod installed, so I was anticipating the update to be an simple download the zip file and install via CWM. However, I was to be proved very wrong! To cut a long story short I tried installing CyanodgenMod 11 (several versions) and SlimKat. Each time I rebooted the phone and the boot process stuck at the logo screen. I double checked that I was using the correct version of the ROM for my phone (an LTE) and did numerous wipes of the cache and factory resets, all to no avail.

Eventually, I decided to go back to installing a stock ROM. Finding the correct stock ROM for my phone proved very difficult for some reason. I found an article on International Business Times with a link to a ROM on sammobile. The download page says that the ROM is for Cyprus, but fear not it works fine on my UK phone. The first time you boot the phone when it asks you to set up Android it defaults to German, but it's easy enough to change the language to English. There are also a couple of Vodafone apps installed, but these can easily be deleted.

All the usual disclaimers apply. This worked for me. If you brick your phone don't blame me.

On to the installation process. I use Linux, so installation using Odin is a non starter, instead I use heimdall. I found a very helpful blog post, which gave me all the information I needed to install the stock ROM. Note heimdall also works on MacOS and Windows, but I have never tried using it on these operating systems.

  • First unzip the zip file and unpack the contents of the tar file it contains.
  • Change to the directory where you unpacked the tar file. This should contain all the individual components of the ROM.
scamper2 ~ » ls /home/ian/Downloads/GalaxyNote2/stock_kitkat/N7100XXUFNE1_N7100VFGFNE2_CYV/binaries/N7100XXUFNE1_N7100VFGFNE2_N7100BUUFND2_HOME
boot.img  cache.img  hidden.img  modem.bin  note2.pit  recovery.img  sboot.bin  system.img  tz.img
  • Put your phone into recovery mode by holding the home button and pressing Volume Down, then press the power switch.
  • Check that heimdall can see your phone:
sudo heimdall detect
  • Download the partition table:
sudo heimdall download-pit --output /tmp/note2.pit --no-reboot
  • Push all the ROM files to your phone using heimdall:
heimdall flash --pit /tmp/note2.pit --verbose --SYSTEM system.img --BOOT boot.img --RECOVERY recovery.img --CACHE cache.img --HIDDEN hidden.img --RADIO modem.bin --TZSW tz.img --BOOTLOADER sboot.bin

This can take a few minutes, so be patient. At the end your phone should reboot and you should see all the Samsung TouchWizzery bling. It's a fresh install, so you will have to complete the intial steps of completing the details of your Google account and letting Google restore your apps, etc.

Note that heimdall's command line options are case sensitive! Use uppercase where indicated.

The next step is to root the phone. I decided to use Philz Touch Recovery, rather than ClockworkMod, as I wasn't completely sure that CWM supported my version of the Note 2. You will also need to download the SuperSU zip file.

  • Put your phone into recovery mode.
  • Install the recovery image from Philz Touch using heimdall:
sudo heimdall flash --pit note2.pit --RECOVERY recovery.img
  • Copy the SuperSU zip file to your phone. Your phone will reboot. Turn it off.
  • Start the phone in Philz Recovery by holding down the home and volume up keys, then pressing the power button.
  • Use the "install zip from SD Card" menu option to install SuperSU. Reboot your phone and you should now be rooted.

I was left with one final problem. TitaniumMod refused to back up to the external SD card with various errors. A xda-developers explains the problem. You fix this manually by editing /system/etc/platform.xml:

  • Find “WRITEEXTERNALSTORAGE“
  • Add an additional group definition:
<permission name="android.permission.WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" >
    <group gid="sdcard_r" />
    <group gid="sdcard_rw" />
    <group gid="media_rw" />
</permission>
  • Reboot your phone.

A much easier solution is to download SD KitKat Fixer from the Play Store, which does the whole thing for you.


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