There are a number of methods for getting root access into the phone documented on the Web, because the specific method changed over time during the popular life of the phone. Of course, I bought it for cheap after its useful life expectancy was past, so I’m documenting the final method that applies, as of December 2013.
The final ROM version released by Samsung for this phone is Gingerbread 2.3.6 FC09. Here is how I did it.
- Reference instructions:
- Copy pre-rooted Epic ROM image onto SDCARD: Deodexed-FC09-BML.zip
- Use Odin3 v1.85 to install ClockworkMod Recovery ROM: cwm-126.96.36.199-epic4g.tar.md5
- Boot into download: keyboard “1” key plus power button
- Boot CWM and install the ROM file from SDCARD (Deodexed-FC09-BML.zip)
- Boot into CWM recovery: volume down key plus camera button plus power button
I rooted the phone and even tried out CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.1 Jellybean) before I activated the phone on Ting. Everything worked as expected, playing with Android apps on Wifi.
I was not able to activate the phone on Ting service while it had any variant ROM installed. I had to go back to the stock Samsung FC09 ROM to get activation to work. Ting’s help system says this is common for Android phones. After activation, I was able to use the phone with both FC09 rooted and Cyanogen 10.1 ROMs.
When I tried CyanogenMod 10.1, most features worked consistently, reliably. The Android apps and customization enhancements all worked excellently. Voice calling, SMS text and WIFI all worked with no problems, but mobile data was inconsistent. Usually 3G (slow) would work, while 4G WiMax only worked occaisionally. After a while, 3G, WiMax, and bluetooth all stopped working, for no apparent reason. I was only able to get them working again by returning to stock FC09 ROM.
It is possible that it has something to do with Ting needing settings that vary from the Sprint standard settings.