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Samsung Galaxy S III
Installing CyanogenMod

Jim Carter, 2012-10-23

Table of Contents

Upgrade History

See also: GSM Radio.


Your first task is to gain root access, and the procedure varies for different phones and operating system releases. On the Galaxy S III, your subgoals are:

Getting Into Download (Odin) and Recovery Modes

This is from Team Epic's instructions. As of 2012-10-26, the procedure in the official CyanogenMod instructions was not clear and I was not able to get it to work. The procedures are nearly identical for both modes, differing in whether you press volume-up or volume-down.

Here's a video on Youtube showing how to get into download mode by advicesmedia, 2012-07-06.

Stock Image Components

You should download the stock components in case you need to revert from your hacked state. You should download and save them as soon as you get the phone, or as soon as they become available, because files have a tendency to disappear when you most need them.

Latest Stock ROMs for VERIZON SGS3 (SCH-I535) by AdamLange, 2012-07-06. This posting has links for the latest ODIN-3.07 (flasher tool) and for image version I535VRALF2 (released 2012-07-05, built 2012-06-15). Links are to ; I'm not sure what their business model is, but they are an unofficial repo for unmodified system images for Samsung phones.

I downloaded ODIN (1Mb), the system image, and the kernel image (5Mb). Oops, download link for system image yields nothing, but the name is See the VRALG2 system image in invisiblek's section.

Non-Stock Image Components

The first job is to find ClockworkMod Recovery.

Rooting Procedure by Invisiblek

Root Recovery Bootloader Unlock SCH-I535 (d2vzw) Verizon Galaxy S III by invisiblek, 2012-07-07. Begin by downloading these files (get links from the post):

  1. (1.1Mb)
  2. Verizon_Wireless_I535_GSIII_Samsung_USB_Driver_v1_4_6_0.exe (23Mb)
  3. Odin 3.07 (1.2Mb) (this one is from
  4. VRALEC bootchain (2Mb)
  5. VRALF2 kernel (5.7Mb, filename: stock.kernel.tar)
  6. Recovery, TWRP- for d2vzw (5.6Mb). You could substitute ClockworkMod Recovery; see the section above for links.
  7. VRALF2 bootchain (2.0Mb, filename BOOTLOADER_I535VRALF2_618049_REV09_user_low_ship.tar.md5 )
  8. VRALE6 bootloader (1.3Mb)
  9. VRALF2 system image, 817Mb, filename is MD5sum: 1bb3e3480ac87d5f5bb9fbafa29132a5

Overview of the procedure (see the post for detailed instructions which you need to follow exactly): You're going to use Odin to flash a bunch of stuff.


TriangleAway v2.10 by Chainfire, originally posted 2012-02-12 and most recently updated (to 2.10) on 2012-10-16. On (many) Samsung devices there is a counter in NVRAM that they increment when you flash custom images, and if this is nonzero a lurid warning is shown during booting, which signals carrier personnel to refuse warranty service. This app (which requires root) inspects and resets the counter. On the Android Market it's non-free, but the developer posts a free version here for those too cheap to pony up (jimc's sarcasm).

Miscellaneous Rooting and Unlocking Methods

GS3DebugFSRoot: Root the Verizon GSIII without flashing by Noxious Ninja, 2012-08-15. This is a Windows BAT file which will do whatever it does, and install su. If all you want is root, it's simpler than invisiblek's method, but that's not my situation.

Verizon Galaxy S III Bootloader Unlock App Hits Play Store by Cory Gunther on, 2012-08-17. Once you have root, you can install the EZ-Unlock app (ad supported) and install (or revert) an unlocked bootloader.

Official CyanogenMod Procedure

As of 2012-10-26 this procedure does not work on the Verizon Galaxy S III because its bootloader is locked. You need to stomp that first. Sorry.

Samsung Galaxy S III: Full Update Guide dated about 2012-08-26, receives the most love from Gu1dry. They bypass the entire unlocking process.

The next step would be to flash CyanogenMod itself. You can use ROM Manager if you already have root, but I will do it through Recovery.

Team Epic's Procedures

Team Epic have put together instructions for installing ClockworkMod Recovery on all Galaxy S III variants. Their charter is for devices supported on Sprint (not Verizon), and so you will need to use the corresponding Verizon files. You will also need to unlock the bootloader, whereas Sprint variants are shipped unlocked. The frst section [doesn't] give instructions to upgrade from an older version of ClockworkMod, which is not my situation. (Look at the very end of the page; I think someone inserted material between the headline and the content.)

The second section tells how to do a fresh install using Odin. There is also a video. This is what I will have to do. The main interest of this section is instructions how to use Odin. Jimc's summary:

A lot of people have trouble with this method, and useful replies or help are rare. Frequently reported problems:

Preparing to Install

Having downloaded your files, your next problem is to get some of them onto the SD card. In Jelly Bean, or at least in the Samsung stock image, both SD cards' root directories have mode 775 root:media_rw, and the individual files are 775 system:media_rw. The ADB agent is not in group media_rw and I don't see an official way (before rooting the phone) to turn that on. Thus you can't use ADB to load the images to be flashed.

Can't Write to SDcard , 2012-10-26, OP is Muuhmann, reply by danger-rat. OP was prevented from making backups. Danger-rat says, boot into ClockworkMod Recovery, plug in USB, start adb shell, and it will work; Recovery of course runs as root. Change whatever permissions you need -- OP needed chown -R media_rw.media_rw /data/media/* Of course you need to have deposited the ClockworkMod recovery.img file on the SDcard first…

I'm going to take the easy way out: remove the SD card and copy the files on the big computer. This will be the CM-10 nightly image and, Google Apps.

When you finish installing CyanogenMod you will end up in the Setup Wizard, which will ask for your Google identity. Create one ahead of time, or if you already have one, be sure you know your e-mail address and password.


The following notes are documenting what I did using Odin for Windows (Win7) to install CyanogenMod on the Verizon variant of the Galaxy S III, using Invisiblek's procedure. See the section about this, for a link to the post, which you should have open in a web browser window so you can follow his instructions closely and error-free. It would be much more sanitary to use Heimdall on Linux, assuming it had achieved support for the Galaxy S III, which it hadn't as of 2012-10-26.