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How I rooted my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Google IO edition)

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Intro

I needed to root my Android tablet so I could test a web application under development on my company's intranet. Reason: access to the intranet requires VPN; it's a Juniper-based VPN, and there's a mobile client for it called Juno's Pulse, and while the iOS version of it includes the ability to tunnel all traffic to the network (equivalent to the Network Connect feature seen when connecting from a desktop browser), the Android version of it does not include tunneling (as of August 2011, presumably because of limitations in Android); however, Juno's Pulse for Android can tunnel on a rooted device.

Disclaimer

  • Your mileage may vary: the steps I describe may not work for you, and there's a chance you could brick your device.
  • No, I can't help you with your device. Unless you know me personally and how to sweet talk me. :-)

Steps

If you also have the Google IO edition of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 running Android 3.1, I'll cut to the punchline and tell you what steps I should have done:

  1. Install the Android SDK on your PC.
  2. Download tabrooteasy.zip (link below) to your PC and unzip it.
  3. Connect the tablet to your PC as a storage device, and copy Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-10.1-root.zip to its top-level folder.
  4. Turn off the tablet. Start it in fastboot mode: hold Vol Down + Power until two icons appear (USB logo and Downloading / Bug Droid at Work); press Vol Down to select left icon (USB logo), then Vol Up to go into it. Text regarding fastboot mode appears.
  5. Install the Android Bootloader Interface driver from the SDK so Windows can communicate with the tablet in fastboot mode. Use the fastboot tool from the SDK to verify the communication: 'fastboot devices' should show the tablet's serial number.
  6. Use fastboot to start the Clockwork Recovery tool on the tablet: fastboot boot recovery-cwm_4.0.0.4-sam-tab-10.1.img
  7. From Clockwork Recovery, apply Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-10.1-root.zip as an update (see YouTube video).
  8. After the tablet reboots, start Juno's Pulse. When it starts, it will request root access, triggering the Superuser app to pop up and ask for permission. When you grant permission, Juno's Pulse briefly shows a notification that it installed support for tunneling and requires a tablet restart.
  9. After rebooting the tablet again, start Juno's Pulse and log in to the VPN. Click the Status button. Now VPN status reads Connected. Success!

Files

Where I Had Trouble

First, I didn't realize that the retail edition and Google IO edition are different: the retail edition requires a tool like Odin to first write Clockwork Recovery to the recovery partition, then you restart the device in recovery mode (as shown in the YouTube video); however, the Google IO edition already supports fastboot, which makes it easy to boot another image like Clockwork Recovery without having to write it to the recovery partition. As a result, I spent some time trying to get Odin to work, and at first some driver issues were keeping Odin from talking to the device.

Second, I spent some time trying to use nvflash since I couldn't get Odin to work at first.

Third, I had trouble getting the fastboot tool to recognize the device. While in fastboot mode with the device connected, I had to find the device in Windows Device Manager labeled 'fastboot' with the yellow exclamation icon, then specifically install the Android Bootloader Interface driver for it from the C:\android-sdk-windows\extras\google\usb_driver directory.

Fourth, I was never able to get into the 'stock IO recovery'. Not sure where I went wrong with that, but once I got Clockwork Recovery started via fastboot, it was a moot point.

More Info

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