WeakSauce is a crafty tool developed specially for HTC’s flagships because it creates a replacement class for the HTC system access. Furthermore, the finishing touches which make the exploit work involve disabling and enabling the Bluetooth. Doing so makes it trigger the pwn.sh. It’s popular for when the devices were running the earlier stages of Kitkat and now the second coming of the same is around for the final stages.

Android 4.4.4 is the last number under the KitKat name that comes with all of the great features we know from the chocolate software, plus bug fixes and minor UI tweaks such as the revamped phone dialer. From there each phone manufacturer applies some minor changes to their default apps too.

Weak Sauce

As I’m sure you know, all the buzz is around Android 5.0 Lollipop. However, since there isn’t many custom ROMs available for that version of Android yet, many people into rooting are still installing ROMs based on KitKat.

Rooting phones voids any remaining manufacturer warranty for the device. You can’t use the warranty again to flash stock official firmware back on the device, or you take root access away from another means such as using any app from Google Play.

What Is Rooting the Android Operating System?

When you buy a new smartphone, you might not know it, but the Android operating system is in a “locked” state. For the most part, it will not make much difference to you: most apps are still available to use, and there are benefits to this locked state such as better security. When you root the Android operating system, you are gaining full administrative rights over the OS.

Why Would You Want to Root Android?

Gaining full administrative rights over the operating system has some perks to some people. For example, out of the millions of applications available on Google Play, some of them will not be able to run on your device unless it has root access. Until you have a specific need for wanting Android rooted, you probably want to leave Android as it comes out of the box. But if you need to unlock an app, then that is when you want to look into rooting methods. Using more apps is only one example of why you may want root access, here is the full list of benefits:

  • Unlock more applications. Some of the apps available for Android cannot run unless you have root access. This is because the app’s features cannot run without the root permissions because the features require the full system access before they can be useful.
  • Better battery life. Smartphones are great, but they have one caveat, which is each time you recharge the battery, it loses some of its overall lifespan. That means smartphones, in general, do not make great investments, and if your weekly paycheck is low, you will want to limit the number of smartphones you go through. One of the ways you can do that is by removing bloatware and creating a better battery life.
  • Bolster performance. If you are the budget-conscious shopper, you may want to increase the device’s performance. This can be done by removing the bloatware as well. The more processes you have running, the more memory that is used. By removing some of the apps, it can help lighten the load on your hardware.
  • Customize Android with themes. With root access, you can download and install any theme that’s at your disposal. That includes any customized theme you can find.

What Are the Risks of Rooting?

If you are buying a smartphone that is not running iOS, then it is probably the Android operating system that you want running as the ideal software to pair with your shiny new hardware. It is, in fact, the Android OS that offers you the chance to customize the OS considerably more than iOS: custom themes, run any app you know about, the works. For many users, the “openness” of an operating system is important, because it offers them more freedom which means running into fewer problems with their investments. But there is a reason iOS likes a far more locked approach: the ability to customize is not for everyone, and if you do not know what you are doing it can lead to a lot of problems which can define your time with the OS rather than freedom.

With power (full admin permissions) comes greater responsibility. Here are some of the main risk factors when it comes to rooting:

  • Malware becomes a larger threat. You might read the occasional news article about how new malware is wreaking havoc in parts of the world on Android. But the Android operating system with root access becomes considerably more vulnerable to exploits because applications are no longer prisoned off in their own sandbox environments. This means if you accidentally download malware, it can do more damage because it can spread throughout the operating system and even jump into other applications and potentially view sensitive data.
  • You can accidentally brick the smartphone. There is always a chance that you end up bricking the smartphone before you had the opportunity to use it with root access. That is because if you are going to brick it, it is going to happen during the rooting process.
  • You may void the warranty. Most manufacturers do not allow you to root the Android operating system and still get to bring it in for repairs under warranty. Whether they are legally meant to do that or not is another question, but it is now common knowledge that most do not want to help you if they find out you have unlocked the OS with root access.

Details of Note

  • You should be an advanced Android user if you are following the steps. Don’t attempt customizing your device unless you are experienced.
  • If you are experiencing a black screen you can try flashing official software manually.
  • Enable USB Debugging Mode from the Developer Options.
  • The Developer Option is hidden in Android 4.2. You must be running Android 4.4.4 KitKat to follow this guide. Check what version of Android software you are running by navigating to Settings > About Device.
  • You must have the latest USB drivers for connecting with the computer. If you are accessing the phone data from the computer you know the drivers are working already and you don’t need to find them.
  • Those looking for new drivers can get them from the official HTC website, third-party files or from any official HTC utility.
  • Temporarily disable the security application on the HTC One M8.
  • You may only follow the steps if you have the Verizon Edition. You’ll notice the branding stamped on the shell of the phone.
  • You can read more in the Weak Sauce exploit and how it works by clicking through here.
  • You may follow the steps even if you have a locked bootloader. That’s unusual since the bootloader is normally the first thing that must be unocked for tweaking the HTC One away from the default factory restrictions.
  • You must have a working computer, notebook or laptop that allows connecting via the USB slot. You connect the phone to the slow and transfer the file that way.
  • You can use any computer for transferring files such as Mac, Windows or Linux.
  • Backup the data so it’s easily restored again if you need it in future. Sometimes things go wrong for unknown reasons. If you are one of the unlucky ones you can’t send it away for repairs. It usually means booting it up in recovery mode and performing a full factory reset or a hard reset.
  • You can backup the data locally or by downloading any number of apps from the Play Store. Sometimes the applications cost money to unlock the premium features.
  • Use the HTC sync manager to import photos, music, videos and other media to the computer from the phone.
  • Other backup options include saving the phone contacts to the online account and exporting the contacts from the people app to the SD card.
  • There is an application you can install from Google Play that allows users to apply the hard reset. You can download the simple factory reset here. Understand that if something does go wrong you may have to apply the reset manually. Luckily all modern-day devices do have that feature.
  • Enable “Dalvik mode” by navigating to¬†Settings> Developer options.

How to root the HTC One M8 for Verizon subscribers

  1. Download the Weak Sauce app here.
  2. Navigate your way to Settings > Security and enable the ‘Unknown Sources’ option.
  3. Transfer the file over to the internal storage SD card of the phone.
  4. Install a file manager app from Google Play.
    – choose from ASTRO file manager or various others.
  5. Open the app drawer and run the Weak Sauce tool.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the task.
  7. Download the SuperSU application.

That’s all the steps to open up the system internals away from the factory restrictions put in place to close off the OS. If you decide you want to go back and have a stock Android smartphone running official software you can do that any time by downloading the root checker and unroot pro app. Otherwise, flashing most future software updates manually takes away root access.