• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Rooting then unrooting?

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
A little background: I just got a cheap (as in Android 4.2 and $40 at Amazon) tablet to come up with a replacement for my wife's Zune. It comes with pop-up adds on the main screen every 4-5 minutes, and installs audible and a star wars game in the background. When you try to uninstall the pop-up program, (helpfully named "adloader"), it reinstalls it for you. Then, when you do a malware search, 3 of the 4 files it finds are considered system files and you aren't allowed to uninstall them. You can disable some of them. But there is another I haven't found yet that about every 20 minutes tries to download and install what appears to be random software. I haven't seen the same one twice yet. So I'm going to have to root the phone/tablet just to uninstall the self-installing malware from the manufacturer.

The thing is, a game I'd like to have my wife start playing with me occasionally detects rooting and bans the account. I've talk to some players that have had no issues with running it on a rooted phone, but others have had their accounts banned, and weren't cheating. I can understand why it might do this, as GPS spoofing is a ban-worthy action in the game, and you need to root a phone to do that.

So, is it possible to root the tablet, uninstall the crapware, then unroot it?

This is sort of a proof of concept idea, so I'm not worried about bricking it, as I'd only be out about $40. The thing is I want to get it set up to replace the Zune, as in be able to play audio books (my wife doesn't use it to listen to music), and play the occasional game. I can install audible on this, so she can listen to my collection of audible books as well, so that is a bonus for her right there. If she like it as a replacement, I'll eventually buy a better one for her, but I want to make sure she like it first, especially since this is a surprise present for her. And if she gets into playing Ingress with me, I don't want her to have her account banned on her for nothing she did.

Any decent guides for this?
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Unrooting procedure is almost as device specific as the rooting process. For versions that old there was often an option in SuperSU to unroot either temporarily or permanently. Newer versions of custom roms have a root toggle in the developer options.

To answer your question : yes it is possible and probable , but not guaranteed. I have seen root service a factory reset before (equivalent to using a restore partition on a laptop), but that is one device out of a dozen different kinds.
 

XNine

Official CASELABS Rep
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Location
Los Angeles
I looked into something similar a while back, because I thought "hey, what a great price for a tablet to be a media streamer for my bedroom." Only to be accosted with ad after ad. I would just root it and be done with it. Don't worry about unrooting, it's a $40.00 tablet and not worth all that hassel if it gets damaged. Be aware that Amazon can do whatever they want to that tablet at any time though.
 

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
It really depends on the level of development whether root is even an option for you. XDA is usually the best place to check, though there are other forums of course. Your question is totally moot if there's no known / released root method for the device.

As far as unrooting, it depends on the method. If you root using SuperSU, there is an unroot option right in the app. There are even scripts available to 'fully' unroot and remove any remnants, but the script requires flashing from custom recovery. If root even is available for that device, the chances that anyone has come up with a custom recovery for it are extraordinarily slim.

Regrettably, a quick search of XDA does not give me hope that there is a root method for that device.
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
I did find the firmware listed on a smaller forums, though the full instructions require being registered. So, I'm somewhat hopeful. If not, no worries, as this is a fairly cheap experiment.
 

XNine

Official CASELABS Rep
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Location
Los Angeles
Oh, it isn't an Amazon branded tablet, I just bought it through them. It is a Haehne: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D8DDR78

And the only reason I'm worried about unrooting is the game issue.


Ah, gotcha. Okay, well, as @hokiealumnus said, there really needs to be a root method for your device first. There ARE ways of getting "systemless root" on certain devices, which bypasses the security checks in Marshmallow and Nougat, but again, it has to be available for your device. If it's a super cheapy tablet, there may not be a way unless there's another device on the market made by the same company (some OEMs manufacture for multiple companies).
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
There is a possibility that it is pre-rooted. Get a terminal emulator and type "su" (no quotes) and hit enter. If the prompt changes then it is already rooted. Or just grab a root checker app from Playstore :)
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
Yep, it is rooted. I guess I need to look up the commands to uninstall from root.

Edit: Found an app. Works. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
If it's pre-rooted with SuperSU, uninstalling via the SuperSU app should unroot it. If it's a CyanogenMod-based ROM (now LineageOS since CM's demise), the way to unroot is to use TWRP, mount system and use TWRP's file manager to rename /system/bin/su and /system/xbin/su to s_u .
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
It looks like I accidentally rooted it while I was looking at SuperSU. Now that I've done the complete unroot option, it no longer elevates when typing su at the prompt. I'll see if any other bloat/crapware shows up, but so far it is looking good.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
If it's pre-rooted with SuperSU, uninstalling via the SuperSU app should unroot it. If it's a CyanogenMod-based ROM (now LineageOS since CM's demise), the way to unroot is to use TWRP, mount system and use TWRP's file manager to rename /system/bin/su and /system/xbin/su to s_u .

This reminds me... I think SuperSU is what the jerks that block root look for (as it is what apps that use root require). I think you will have to install SuperSU before you can use root apps. SuperSU installs a set of binaries in /system/xbin so that non system apps can use elevated permissions.

That said: I have no idea what that means in terms of jerky companies and root hating. They may not be able to see you have rooted unless you install SuperSU. Conversely, while hokiealumnus' suggestions may work, you might also be stuck with root. I've only encountered a device like this once and I broke it before I got to do much testing :)
 

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
It looks like I accidentally rooted it while I was looking at SuperSU. Now that I've done the complete unroot option, it no longer elevates when typing su at the prompt. I'll see if any other bloat/crapware shows up, but so far it is looking good.
Great news!
This reminds me... I think SuperSU is what the jerks that block root look for (as it is what apps that use root require). I think you will have to install SuperSU before you can use root apps. SuperSU installs a set of binaries in /system/xbin so that non system apps can use elevated permissions.

That said: I have no idea what that means in terms of jerky companies and root hating. They may not be able to see you have rooted unless you install SuperSU. Conversely, while hokiealumnus' suggestions may work, you might also be stuck with root. I've only encountered a device like this once and I broke it before I got to do much testing :)
The app isn't only what they look for. Games that use partial Safety Net checks (which makes Android Pay work) like Pokemon Go can check for those 'su' files I mentioned as well as for the parts of the /system/ file tree that SuperSU modifies; even with the SuperSU app long uninstalled. It really is a pain.

I have a feeling the game torin3's talking about is indeed PoGo due to the GPS spoofing comment. It's frustrating, because the level of cheating using that method is extremely small I'm sure, relative to the number of players. They could have used other methods of detection that didn't affect the root/custom ROM community, but they went with the easiest way and just added a partial Safety Net check. (You can get PoGo to work without passing Safety Net, so it's not quite as strict as the requirements to use Android Pay.)
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
Great news!

The app isn't only what they look for. Games that use partial Safety Net checks (which makes Android Pay work) like Pokemon Go can check for those 'su' files I mentioned as well as for the parts of the /system/ file tree that SuperSU modifies; even with the SuperSU app long uninstalled. It really is a pain.

I have a feeling the game torin3's talking about is indeed PoGo due to the GPS spoofing comment. It's frustrating, because the level of cheating using that method is extremely small I'm sure, relative to the number of players. They could have used other methods of detection that didn't affect the root/custom ROM community, but they went with the easiest way and just added a partial Safety Net check. (You can get PoGo to work without passing Safety Net, so it's not quite as strict as the requirements to use Android Pay.)

Actually, the game I'm talking about is Ingress, by the same people who make PoGo. Other players say that you can play on rooted devices, but I have also seen reports of people having their account banned for playing on rooted devices, and I'd rather not take the risk. However in Ingress, I think spoofing is probably a bit more of a problem. One of the game activities is setting up large fields to rack up points for one side or the other. And one of the strategies is to anchor the points at locations that are closed for the evening, or even sometimes the season. That way they can't be taken down unless someone breaks the law, or breaks the rules of the game by spoofing their location. Also spoofing can save you a lot on your gasoline expenses, as some of the portals are in remote locations.

For example, I was involved in the operation to make this field:

2017-01-02.png

On this one, there weren't any secure anchors used, and it was taken down right away, but if we had used secure anchors and set it up right at dusk, it should have lasted for the entire night, and been worth 3 times the credit.

Also, just about everyone involved who didn't already have the Onyx (5 levels of badges, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Onyx) badge for this activity, got it for this operation alone.

8453183356320813487-account_id=1.jpg

Yes, that is my IGN for Ingress.
 

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
That looks interesting. I've heard about Ingress, but never played it myself. I have no time to add something like that, but it looks like fun. :p
 
OP
torin3

torin3

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2004
That looks interesting. I've heard about Ingress, but never played it myself. I have no time to add something like that, but it looks like fun. :p

I find it a lot more fun that Pokemon Go myself, but it is also about 3 years older than PoGo. And it is nice that they have the same network of portals and pokestop/gyms. They actually ported it over from Ingress to PoGo, though they seem to have merged areas with really high concentrations of portals into just a few pokestops. It might be worth getting an account just to have access to their Intel web page, which is world map with all the portal locations on it. That way you can scout pokestop/gym locations without having to drive close enough to see them on your phone. If you do decide you ever want an account, PM me and I'll send you an invite. You don't need one to download the game, but if you do it from an invite email link, I get credit for my recruiter badge when you reach level 3.

Anyway, thanks again everybody for helping me with this tablet!
 

hokiealumnus

Water Cooled Moderator
Joined
Oct 14, 2007
I find it a lot more fun that Pokemon Go myself, but it is also about 3 years older than PoGo. And it is nice that they have the same network of portals and pokestop/gyms. They actually ported it over from Ingress to PoGo, though they seem to have merged areas with really high concentrations of portals into just a few pokestops. It might be worth getting an account just to have access to their Intel web page, which is world map with all the portal locations on it. That way you can scout pokestop/gym locations without having to drive close enough to see them on your phone. If you do decide you ever want an account, PM me and I'll send you an invite. You don't need one to download the game, but if you do it from an invite email link, I get credit for my recruiter badge when you reach level 3.

Anyway, thanks again everybody for helping me with this tablet!

Roger, I'll let you know if we ever do go for it. I don't really care about PoGo; it's more my kid's thing. It requires a data connection though and we're not getting him his own LTE phone yet, so he has to play on my / my wife's phones. :p