As Android is an open source platform, people can utilize its code, add interesting features and can build their own customized operating system. A custom ROM actually replaces your current Android OS known as Stock ROM which is normally stored in Read Only Memory (ROM).
An Android device usually receives updates from its manufacturer for certain period of time and after that, if we want latest features and functions we can either purchase a new phone with latest Android operating system or replace our current OS installed in the phone with customized ROMs. Using custom operating system gives the user complete administrative control over the device which is usually confined when we purchase it from OEM. Along with several advantages attached to custom ROMs there are some precautions to be taken care of. First of all, not every ROM is available for every single device. Secondly, not all the custom ROMs have potential developer support, so if you decide to install some custom ROMs on to your device you might lose developers support after some time. So it is highly recommended to choose the custom ROM made for a particular device or is compatible with the device.
Now, when you have decided to install a custom ROM, then you have to take certain precautions in order to avoid bricking the device. We can brief here 5 important points to be taken into consideration before installing or flashing any custom ROM.
Backup of Application Data and Contacts
Installing a new custom ROM will completely wipe the current operating system along with all the data. So the first and foremost rule of installing any custom ROM is to fully backup your applications, games, contacts, messages and all other important data. There are plenty of backup applications available in the Play store for both rooted and non-rooted devices. We must take complete backup to the SD card or some external storage available at the time.
Backup of your Phone’s IMEI
It is possible that when installing custom ROM your device’s IMEI number might get erased and as a result you will not be able to receive proper network signal or might involve into other complications. To avoid such situations, you just have to take a backup of a folder named “efs” stored in the internal partition of your phone’s storage. To access the folder, you have to install an application which offers root access to your folder like X-plore File Manager, Root Explorer etc. When you locate the folder, just copy the entire folder on your external SD card and also a copy on your computer too. After installing the custom ROM, just copy and paste the folder in the same location where it was.
Backup the complete ROM
If your device is already rooted, it is recommended that before installing a custom ROM on your phone, you must install a recovery agent like ClockworkMod, which is an added advantage as it has the ability to backup the entire ROM, whether it is customized or stock. If after flashing custom ROM, you experience some lag or battery drains at a fast pace or any other situation you don’t like, you can restore the phone to its original state through these recovery agents. All backed up ROMs are located on a folder named ‘clockworkmod’ on your device.
It is very important to check the battery level when installing a new operating system. Even when we receive updates from Google and OEM and try installing updates through USB, they also remind us to check the battery level to avoid any worst situations. Hypothetically, if the phone turns off in the middle of the procedure due to lack of battery, then several things could happen. First of all, you will have to charge it from an external source as the device is already free of memory (flashed) and cannot take charging from standard cable due to absence of the charging feature which was installed in the device. Secondly, you will not able to restart the procedure or restore it. So it is very important to have battery charged at least 70%-80% to avoid any awful situations like this.
Putting Your Phone in Debugging Mode
The option can be found under the system settings and in developer options with the name ‘USB debugging’. If your Android version is above 4.1, then you have to tap 7 times repeatedly on Build Version- Settings-About. Debugging is actually referred to development where official method is not involved. That also means that you are performing the action at your own risk and if something unfavorable occurs it might void the warranty of your phone. You did not develop the ROM you are installing but still it contains work of development. So it is highly recommended to turn on this feature before installation.
After following the above procedure, you are now ready to install custom OS on your phone for butter smooth experience with lots of features. If you need any other information or want to give feedback related to this article, you can comment in the section below. We would try to respond to your query as quick as possible. For now, stay tuned for more updates.