The Galaxy S4 comes in different model numbers around the world. It is particularly notable when we talk about the international variant compared to the US version. However, even inside of the US they can change with carriers and the SPH-L720 is Sprints version of the Samsung galaxy S4 on this occasion. That leads me to my first point: you need to be going on the SPH-L720 model to use this guide. How Do I check the model number on Android? If you still have, the box, it came with it will be on the packaging. Otherwise, look on the casing on the handset. Alternatively turn on the handset and go to Settings > About phone, and the number will appear here on the screen.
Even though, this is strictly Sprint’s variant it still carries all of the same features as the other. It started out with Android 4.2.2 and was updated to Android 4.3, and now it even has one of the latest Android 4.4.3 KitKat builds running. It is not the latest anymore because other devices that we have covered over the past few days are using 4.4.3. Anyhow, you can’t get that for this handset just yet. As long as you are running 4.4.2 KitKat this guide will work.
Download and install the Samsung USB drivers from here. Install them on your windows-based computer. It has to be a PC because we use the Odin tool. Samsung developers make Odin, and the developers did not cater for any other operating system when they made it such as mac or Linux. It will work for all computers ranging from Windows XP through to Windows 8. I like to use it on a minimum of Windows Vista and save the files to my C: Drive where I can then easily find them again. If you don’t download the USB Drivers then you cannot flash any root files. Also, using Odin will prove impossible because the app will not detect the smartphone.
Backup all important data you cannot afford to lose such as contacts, the EFS folder, photos, video, music and anything else. You can use apps such as Helium available from the Google Play store, sync with Samsung Kies or Google Gmail accounts and more. Otherwise, if you have any space left, backup to the device’s internal storage space. The S4 comes with 64 GB of built-in storage space so most of you will have some left to backup. If you don’t you can buy an extra 64 GB via microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC storage expansion. Google Drive is another Google service that loves to get users storing data there.
If you did use Samsung Kies, please disable it now along with any other security apps or programs that are running on the Android OS and the computer. It includes firewalls and antivirus because they can cause problems and interfere with what we are trying to do. It is OK to temporarily disable these for now because I can assure you the file in use is 100% safe. Just remember to turn it back on again when using your next session online so that when you browse the web there is no malware or virus that will harm the software. Once you leave this site, I cannot guarantee anything.
Like all modern smartphone, the Samsung galaxy S4 comes with USB charging and is a USB Mass Storage device. What that means is that when plugged into the computer’s system unit it will automatically start charging the battery. It can be used as a secondary charger if you real one fails. The point I’m getting at is that it’s a ‘non’ factor when other blogs tell you to charge to a certain amount because it will end up finishing with more battery than when you started naturally. However, for some people USB charging can fail, and if yours is not working then I also recommend you having at least 50% battery power remaining before starting. If you notice the battery symbol working when it in the USB slot then, you have nothing to worry about here.
Enable USB Debugging Mode from Develop Options. Those running Android 4.4.2 could have this menu hidden because Google did this when they released it. If you want to unlock it open the app drawer, go to Settings > About Device > Build Number > Tap it seven times to unlock it. Navigate your way back out of here and to the Setting’s menu and Developer Options will be displayed now.
When we root we void the device warranty. There is nothing we can do about this. Even with applications such as Triangle Away that are made by ChainFire it will only taking away the yellow triangle and reset the flash counter. It still trips Knox, and there is nothing that can we do about it. In case you don’t know, ChainFire is also the developer who made this root possible and you will get to see the experience as close to stock Android as possible thanks to him.
How To Root The Samsung Galaxy S4 SPH-L720 from Sprint
1. Download the CF-Auto-Root package to the desktop of the C: Drive. If using XP, I would use a desktop or else the data will be hard to find if you forget the path. Others can go to Start > Search Box and type in the name and the file will show up.
2. Install Odin 3.07. The direct link is on the first page.
3. Boot the handset in Download Mode by pressing Power + Home + Volume Down at the same time. Do not release any fingers from the buttons until the screen changes to show an Android logo.
If you turned the smartphone on by accident because you did not time this right then you must shut it down and try again.
4. Start up the Odin application. We do this before plugging the S4 into the PC so that the program can detect it.
5. Now plug the S4 in using the USB cable. One end of the cable fits in the phone, and the other will fit in the system unit.
6. Watch Odin ID: COM ports change color, and it say, “added” on the screen.
If what I described did not happen then the USB drivers are likely out of date. Try to get them from another source or to download them because you didn’t the last time.
7. Click on the PDA button and upload the tar.md5 kernel.
8. Once the file extension is visible then it has loaded, and we can press start to begin.
9. After pressing start, do not touch anything. It is important to let it finish uninterrupted.
10. It will say “pass” on the screen and the ID: COM port will change to a successful color.
11. Shut down the app and disconnect the device properly by clicking on the safely remove the hardware symbol in the system tray. It is in the taskbar on the bottom of the screen.