Rooting AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II Step by Step

The AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II phone has been out since October 4th and it is indeed a great phone.  However, most that buy this phone will at some point look to be able to push it even further by getting rid of bloatware as well as possibly installing custom ROMs.  There are already a few articles out there on how to root the AT&T GSII but we wanted to put together a how to on our experience doing this.  There are a couple of areas that we wanted to key in on that we had problems with and show you how we got around them.

Installing the KIES Drivers

Samsung KIES is Samsung’s software that interfaces with their mobile devices which allow for updates to the phone as well as syncing abilities via both cable as well as wireless interfacing between a computer and the mobile device.  The most important aspect of this for us in rooting our GSII is that it installs the drivers necessary for our Windows 7 computer to properly interface with the GSII and allow for smooth communication between our software and the device.

The download for the KIES drivers and software can be found here:

Using ODIN to install ClockwordMod Recovery

After getting things setup with your PC and phone as far as software and drivers, the next step is to replace the stock Recovery software on the phone with the modified ClockwordMod Recovery which will allow for us to use the SuperOneClick software to Root the phone.

First things first, we need to download the ODIN utility and the Clockword software.  Don’t untar the ClockwordMod .tar file as ODIN will read the .tar file and apply it.

ODIN: Direct Download

ClockwordMod Recovery Download

So from here we are ready to get things going with preparing for the root.

  1. Power off your Galaxy S II
  2. Make sure your USB cable is plugged into the computer with the drivers and ODIN, don’t plug in phone yet
  3. With your phone powered off, hold down your volume up and volume down buttons while at the same time plugging in the USB cable to your phone – ** Note this takes a little dexterity in your hand to hold the buttons down and then at the same time plug the cable in, however, it is doable.
  4. When you perform the above process, your Galaxy S II will boot into “ODIN MODE” and this will actually be displayed at the top, you will have a green Android man logo and “Downloading Now….” will be displayed at the bottom.
  5. If you look at ODIN the far left rectangle box will be yellow and diplay the COM port number that it has linked up with your phone
  6. Click the PDA button in ODIN and select the ClockwordMod .tar file
  7. You are now ready to begin the process and click the START button
  8. Once you click START, the process will take a few seconds to complete so sit tight and your phone will reboot when the process finishes



We are now ready to run the SuperOneClick utility.  Now, at this point, there are still some bugs with SuperOneClick and the AT&T version of the Galaxy S II, so expect a couple of hang ups that we will discuss in a minute.  The last check we made on the website, the post dated from October 10th – there is mention of working with AT&T owners on the errors they are seeing running the utility.

We pulled down version 2.1.1 which can be downloaded from the XDA website: Direct Download

There were two places that the SuperOneClick utility hung when we tried to root our AT&T Galaxy S II:

  • When it gets to “Waiting on Device”
  • When it gets to “Rooting Device”

On both “hangups” the resolution was to quickly unplug the Galaxy S II, you will have to turn off the USB debugging option quickly to plug it back in, and then select that option again.  On both places, again, this moved the process forward.  After doing this, the root process proceeded and completed successfully.

Once the rooting process finishes, you will want to reboot your phone to make sure everything takes effect.  After you reboot, check under your “Applications” and you should see a Superuser entry which signifies the process worked.


Final Thoughts

All in all the rooting process is fairly straightforward and most will be successful if they pay attention to the process and have the correct files in place.  Rooting your Galaxy S II will open up some really cool things you can do such as install the Adfree plugin which IMO is perhaps the greatest advantage to rooting.  You can then enjoy free apps without ads which is awesome.  Wireless hotspotting is also possible after completing the root process.  There are many other things you can do also such as installing custom ROMs.  The mobile phone geek will definitely want to take advantage of the root process to take their Samsung Galaxy S II to the next level.

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