Android, being the open system it is, allows us to customize our devices to our liking. It basically becomes a symbol of what we are and what we like.
These days, we spend a lot of time on our smartphones, be it making calls, texting, reading, going on social media or watching videos.
In order to have total access to our Android system, we have to do something called “rooting”, which doesn’t sound weird if you’re familiar with the UNIX based systems.
Root access allows us to use complete phone backup tools, and remove bloatware, often included in carrier locked smartphones – though the most important, in my opinion, is the access to custom ROMs.
Today I’ll be explaining how to root a Huawei P8 Lite, which I’ve been using every day.
I did this on 64 bits Windows 7, but I’m sure that whichever version (be it 32 or 64) we choose, as long as it’s between 7 and the 10, won’t pose any problems when rooting.
Update 11/08/2015 – Those who follow these steps can not do the software update through the “Update” menu. Soon I will give some instructions on how to update this device manually.
What you’ll need before rooting
First of all, if you have any kind of screen lock on your phone (password, PIN, pattern, etc) remove it to follow this tutorial. I had problems when uploading the files because my phone was password locked and, although it seemed like I had completed every single step successfully, the root binary files just wouldn’t install.
- Download drivers (by Koush);
- Unlock bootloader ;
- Get the files with the tools and custom recovery image in order to install the SuperUser binary files;
- Access developer menu;
- Enable USB Debugging;
- Lots of patience and attention!
If you’re feeling a little uneasy about the entire installation process, follow each step carefully. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below.
1 – Installing the drivers
This is the simplest step. Installing the drivers is done right after sending the “bootloader unlock code request” email.
You only need to prompt the UniversalAdbDriverSetup.msi file and follow the installation steps. Do not change anything unless you wish to install the drivers in a different location.
2 – Accessing the “developer” menu
You only need to follow a few steps in order to access the developer options menu:
- Go to Settings -> About phone -> Tap “Build number” 5 times, and that’s it!
3 – Enabling “USB debugging”
Simply go to the developer options menu and enable USB debugging option.
4 – Unlock boot loader on your device
In order to change your device’s recovery, it’s essential to unlock the boot loader. To do so, request the unlock code from Huawei by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to write in the subject line of your email “bootloader unlock code request” and the following information in the body of your email:
Product: HUAWEI ALE-L21
SNo: “Your device’s serial number”
IMEI: “your device’s IMEI”
Product ID: “your device’s product ID”
To find the information required above, follow the instructions below
Serial number – Go to Settings -> About phone -> Status
IMEI – Go to Settings -> About phone -> Status
Product ID – Type *#*#1357946#*#* in the dialer
On the e-mail, you should write in english that you need a code to unlock your device and and enter the above mentioned data.
NOTE: A reply to your email can take a few hours.
As soon as you have the code, do the following:
- Remember what you downloaded in the beginning of this article? Okay, unzip that file to a convenient location on your computer;
- Open the folder Root/data, hold SHIFT and right-click on an empty area in the folder.
- Click Open command window here;
- In the command window type dir and make sure that, among the files in the folder, you find the adb.exe and fastboot.exe files;
- Connect your phone via data cable to your PC and in the command window type adb devices. Check if can see your device’s serial number and the message normal in front of it. This means that all drivers have been successfully installed and that adb recognizes the device.
- Next, type adb reboot-bootloader to reboot into fastboot mode so you can flash the modified recovery.img.
- Wait for the device to restart and show you the Android logo on a white background. You will see the message “Phone locked” under the Android logo, meaning the boot loader is still locked.
- In the command window type fastboot oem unlock ****************, where * refers to the 16 digit unlock code that’s been emailed to you. You’ll see that the Phone locked message turns into PHONE unlocked;
Once this is done, type fastboot reboot in the command window and your device will restart normally.
5 – Installing custom recovery.img
Now we’re going to flash the custom recovery image so we can install the root binary files:
- Have your phone one, open command window and type adb reboot-bootloader;
- Restart in “fastboot” mode to flash the custom recovery image;
- Again, as soon as your phone shows the Android icon, saying PHONE unlocked, on a white background, type in the command window fastboot flash recovery moderecovery.img;
- Wait until it’s finished and check if there’s a message in the command window that indicates the process was successful.
- Next, type fastboot reboot and wait for your phone to restart completely;
- As soon as your phone restarts, type adb reboot recovery. Huawei’s logo will pop up and stay there for a bit, just like it does every time we turn the phone on, and then the screen will turn completely black. DO NOT FREAK OUT! It’s part of the process. The installed custom recovery image does not have a graphical user interface, so there won’t be any images;
- With your screen completely black and your command window open, type adb push UPDATE-SuperSU-v2.46.zip /su.zip. This will also upload the .zip with the binary files to the root of your device, where it will be renamed su.zip. Wait for a confirmation message in the command window.
- Once the custom recovery image has been uploaded, type adb shell /sbin/recovery –update_package=/su.zip in the command window. This will have the su.zip file installed with the root binary files and it will only take 5 seconds. Once this is done, your smartphone will restart automatically.
- Now we’ll restore your smartphone’s stock recovery image. To do so, have you phone on, type adb reboot-bootloader and wait for the phone to prompt the fastboot screen;
- As soon as you’re on the “fastboot” screen, type the fastboot flash recovery stockrecovery.img command. This will restore the stock recovery image and it will allow us to access the official Huawei updates.
- Once you get a message confirming the success of the previous step type fastboot reboot and wait for your phone to restart.
6 – Installing the SuperUser app
Now you need an app to manage root access to your device. There are several options out there but I personally like the “SuperSU by Chainfire” one best. It’s simple and reliable.
To install this app, you can either just go to Google Play and look for it or click here.
Once the app has been installed, open it and check if there are any error messages. If nothing pops up, then that means you finally have root access to your device. Otherwise, you’ll have to redo all the steps and meticulously check everything written in this tutorial.
Now that you’ve reached the end of this tutorial, you finally have full access to your device. Much like J. Hector Fezandie once said:
“With great power comes great responsibility”.
Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions (use the comments section below).
We’ll also have a few tutorials on what you can do once you root a smartphone, very soon.
Note: Tutorial made by Gabriel Picareli in android-emotions.pt and translated by Soraia Almeida