Monday, February 3

How to root your Sony Xperia Z1 C6903 with 14.2.A.1.136 firmware

UPDATE : Please check out my latest post on updating and rooting the new 14.3.A.0.757 firmware
How to root your Sony Xperia Z1 with C6903 14.3.A.0.757 firmware

This is how I put root on my Sony Xperia Z1 with the latest firmware C6903_14.2.A.1.136_SingTel SG 1276-7941_R4B which Sony is currently rolling out in February. This is still a Android 4.3 JellyBean based version with some minor upgrades from the previous firmware. Mainly a white balance function for those who were unlucky enough to get a yellow screen and didn't manage to get it replaced. As mentioned before my screen was the renasys one which was pretty good but the brightness was too much.

Oh before I forget, Happy Chinese New Year to all. What a great year of the horse this is going to be!

PHASE 1 : Download all the needed software

My .290 firmware was only partially rooted as I had decided previously I wanted to keep the bootloader locked for warranty reasons. But my phone has been washed and dropped a couple times without any problems, so should not be needing any RMA soon. Also I read a post about a user flashing and bricking the phone and Sony still warrantied it anyways. In addition, yummy Android KitKat 4.4 will be out soon and I dun wanna have to be waiting for some way to root without unlocking the bootloader whilst everyone else is having fun with their rooted phones...

So the first thing is to unlock the bootloader on the phone. Well like anyother flashing operation, some preparation work is needed. Below is a list of stuff you should download first.

1) If you do not have PC companion installed, you may have to get the SONY XPERIA Z1 USB Drivers at installed.
2) Also needed are the unlock bootloader code (follow the instructions from Sony, you will need a working email for this) and
3) Fastboot software (for unlocking bootloader)
4) Now I am downloading a very very BIG FTF Firmware file from MEGA, the new megaupload (900MB++) You can grab the version you fancy from here.
5) Backup TA  from here this is for backing up your DRM keys. (You will have to be running a rooted phone to do this. You can find out how to root the phone using .534 firmware from one of my earlier posts.)

Ok off to cook dinner whilst the files get downloaded.........
..........Just finished a nice papaya fish soup and mushroom fried egg dinner, back to tinkering.

Lucky I remembered, apparently contains some DRM Keys from Sony which are specific to my phone and essential for the X-Reality/Bravia engine thingy in it to run properly. Should get something like what I got below using a program called Backup TA v9.10

Just press Y and it will backup for you.

Ok now that my TA is backed up, next I can start unlocking my bootloader. Ohhhh exciting, first time I am unlocking any bootloader of any kind.  Off the phone and put it in Fastboot Mode by pressing the up volume rocker as you connect  the USB cable to the PC.

In the cmd windows type in fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version
If a value is returned (it will return 0.5), it means the phone is correctly connected.
Type in fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY and replace KEY with the key which u received earlier. Disconnect after reboot, green android comes out on first reboot then phone turns off and reboot again like a normal reset. All my data gone as warned...

Sony Xperia Z1 with Bootloader Unlocked
You can double check that the bootloader is unlocked via this secret code *#*#7378423#*#* on the keypad. This brings up a hidden service menu. Select the Service info then Configuration. You should see something like the pic above.

PHASE 4 : Flashing the C6903 14.2.A.1.136 firmware with flashtool.
Nothing special here, just the usual ftf firmware flash with flashtool- I actually spent freaking 2 hours trying to flash my phone with version until I downloaded the 9.11 version. the newer version seems to be screwed on my laptop and installs the wrong S1 device driver to interface with the phone. The 9.11 version installs detects and installs the phone as SEMC device when in flashmode and the firmware flashes fine. If your flashtool is working fine with the .290 firmware flashing then just leave it alone, no need to update.

Root with the awesome CWM-Based Recovery Touch Recovery for Xperia Z1
(Includes the stock kernel and CWM recovery which is used to root.) Detailed instructions are in the link. I flashed mine with flashtool though which has a fastboot mode.

Sony Xperia Z1 with root and 14.2.A.1.136 installed

RELOCKING  BOOTLOADER is possible and I did it by restoring the TA Backup with the TA Backup Program which I had used before. Unfortunately it had the effect of softbricking my Xperia Z1. Luckily I just had to reflash the stock firmware again to boot and repeat the process of unlocking my bootloader again to install the kernel to root.

So now I have full root for the 14.2.A.1.136 firmware on my phone. My bootloader is still unlocked but I think Sony will happily warranty my phone as the only things I am running are stock firmware and stock kernel, with only difference is root and CWM recovery added which definitely won't affect the phone adversely.

So far .136 looks to be very stable and fast and energy efficient and I haven't had any problems with it yet so once again, looking forward to KitKat 4.4!!!

Hope you manage to root your phone and please follow or add my blog to your RSS! I will definitely be rooting KitKat 4.4 when it becomes available for this fantastic phone :D

Please check out my latest post on updating and rooting the new 14.3.A.0.757 firmware
How to root your Sony Xperia Z1 with C6903 14.3.A.0.757 firmware
  1. Thanks for this post BlueKelah. I need a clarification.

    I am currently in 14.2.A.1.136 version. I would like to root my Z1. But before that I would like to backup my TA. But if I understand the process to backup the TA correct, the first step is to have the phone rooted. And precisely this is my confusion - on a phone which is not rooted, how do I backup my TA?

    Please do provide me some thoughts on the same.


  2. Thanks for your prompt response. Just one more stuff - this is with respect to re-locking the bootloader that have mentioned in the above post. First you backed up the TA, then unlocked the BL, rooted the phone the re-locked it. Post the re-locking you still have your DRM. X-reality engine as well as root. Please correct my understanding if it is wrong. Once again thanks for your effort. A noob like me is definitely to benefit a lot.

    1. So in other words to add to what I had posted earlier, after boot loader unlocking and then subsequent locking along with Kernel flashing for rooting does not remove the DRM / X-reality stuff.

    2. Yes I can still download music info and option for X-reality on/off is still there, this is despite experts saying DRM keys will be gone. Maybe unlocking bootloader on .290 does not remove DRM keys? Maybe because of fixing the camera broken after bootloader unlock for the earlier update Sony decided not to remove DRM keys? Maybe running stock firmware like mine is Singapore Singtel .136 does not need DRM keys? I am too tired to find out, so long as my phone is rooted and working perfectly.

  3. I need some help here, got. 136 and wanna have root in my Z1 but Im afraid to brick it.

    Can somebody here(the author maybe) help me out using Teamviewer?

    Im such a noob and it's so diferent the process unlike my Xperia T.

    Thanks for your work and time.

    1. don't worry you can't brick it if you follow the instructions :D

  4. Replies
    1. Just flash any version of the default stock firmware from sony and it will be unrooted again.

  5. My wifi doesn't want to start after rooting my sony z1

    1. Have you tried forgetting your usual wifi's name and then adding it back again? If other thing are working try doing a factory data reset under Backup and Reset in option. Otherwise try rooting firmware from another country. hope this helps


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