To install custom ROMs, some basic requirements must be met. The first is to have an unlocked bootloader, which means you are allowed to modify the phone’s software. The second requirement is the latest update of the MIUI firmware, which is the phone’s current operating system. Finally, you need to have the latest version of TWRP recovery, which is a custom recovery tool that allows you to install custom ROMs and perform other modifications on your phone’s software.
What are custom ROMs for Android?
Custom ROMs are Android versions made by users and developers rather than the manufacturers of the phones. This is because Android is open-source, meaning anyone can modify its code to improve it. Sometimes, the changes made by manufacturers to Android can be frustrating or unnecessary. Custom ROMs solve this problem by offering a modified version of Android that meets users’ needs. These ROMs are made by groups of people who work together to provide a bug-free and up-to-date version of Android. Different levels of changes can be made to a custom ROM, ranging from small tweaks to significant modifications.
Custom ROM Modification Level One
Custom ROMs can make changes to the Android operating system at different levels. Level 1 changes are the most difficult and involve modifying the core code of the operating system. These changes are uncommon in custom ROMs and are usually only made by experienced developers. Level 2 changes are more common and involve modifying the code in specific apps or features. OEMs, like Samsung or Xiaomi, make changes at this level to add their own features and customization to Android. Custom ROMs can also make similar changes at level 2.
Custom ROM Modification Level Two
Level 2 and 3 changes refer to the modifications made to Android’s existing codebase, which allows developers to add or remove features to create a custom ROM. These changes are not as extensive as level 1 changes and do not modify the Android codebase significantly.
Custom ROMs are often created by groups of developers who modify the codebase to their liking, resulting in various ROMs with different features and modifications. These changes are often subtle but noticeable enough to attract users looking for specific features not available on their device’s default ROM.
Custom ROM Modification Level Three
Level 3 changes are minor tweaks made to the custom ROM, such as changing values or bundling different apps. These difference may seem minor, but they can actually make a big difference in the performance of the ROM.
CAF ROMs are a specific type of custom ROM focusing on hardware-centric modifications. They have both level 1 and 3 changes to improve the performance of the device’s hardware. These modifications specifically target hardware and aim to improve the device’s overall performance.
Stock ROMs, like MIUI, Samsung One UI, Huawei EMUI, and OnePlus Oxygen OS, are all modified versions of Android that have undergone multi-level modifications. The device manufacturers make these modifications to improve the user experience and add new features.
How to install custom ROM on Redmi Note Series
Installing a custom ROM on your Redmi Note phone involves following specific steps. These steps are similar to most custom ROMs.
It is important to follow the instructions provided in the firmware thread to avoid any problems like bugs or boot loops.
To install a custom ROM on your phone, you need to first unlock the phone’s bootloader. This is an important step that allows you to make changes to the phone’s software.
Unlocking Bootloader on Redmi Note Series
Before you can install a custom ROM on your Xiaomi device, you need to unlock the bootloader. This process can be more complex than on other Android devices. You will need to download Google platform tools and make sure you have an active internet connection.
It’s also important to remember that unlocking the bootloader will erase all of your data, so it’s very helpful idea to create a backup of your important files before proceeding. Make sure to follow the instructions on rightway to avoid any issues.
Here are the steps to unlock the Redmi phone’s bootloader:
- Go to the website https://en.miui.com/unlock/ and log in with your Mi account to apply for unlocking the bootloader.
- Download the Mi Flash Unlock tool on your computer from the download section that can be accessed using the unlock link provided earlier.
- Enable USB debugging and OEM unlocking on your Redmi Note 5 by going to Developer Options in the Settings menu.
- Go to Settings > Additional Settings > then Navigate to Mi Unlock Status.
- Launch the Mi Flash Unlock Tool on your computer and sign in with your Mi account.
- Open the Command Prompt in the directory where the platform tools were extracted and type in the command “ADB reboot bootloader” under the Command Prompt window.
- Once your phone boots into fastboot mode (bootloader mode), click on the unlock button to unlock the bootloader.
After completing the previous steps, you need to wait for the time displayed on the Mi Flash Unlock Tool. This waiting period is necessary for Xiaomi to approve your request to unlock the bootloader. Once the waiting time is over, your bootloader should be unlocked.
The next step is to flash TWRP or CWM recovery on your phone, depending on the custom ROM you want to install. TWRP or CWM are tools that allow you to install custom ROMs on your phone. To flash TWRP or CWM, you need to download the recovery file from a trusted source and then use the fastboot command to install it on your phone. Once the recovery is installed, you can use it to install custom ROMs or other modifications on your phone.
2. Flashing/Installing Custom Recovery
Installing custom recovery in a Redmi phone is super easy. You need to make use of ADB Fastboot, And Second App unlocks the bootloader. If you complete these things, follow this procedure :
- To install a custom recovery on a Redmi phone, you need an unlocked bootloader and ADB fast boot.
- Launch Command Prompt and type “ADB reboot bootloader,” assuming ADB is already set up.
- Type “fastboot flash recovery filename.img” and press Enter when it finishes.
- Turn off your device and directly boot into recovery using the key combination without booting the device to Android OS.
- Warning: If the phone boots to Android OS, the custom recovery TWRP/CWM will be replaced by the stock recovery. Repeat the steps if that happens.
- Once you are in the recovery, you can flash the No Verity zip file using TWRP.
- That’s it. You have successfully flashed the custom recovery.
3. Installing Custom ROM
After installing the custom recovery, it’s important to download the necessary files onto your phone’s storage. This can be done on an SD card, an OTG device, or the phone’s internal storage. By doing this, you can prevent the possibility of accidentally deleting the files while performing further steps.
Once you have collect all the required files, you can then follow the steps to install the custom ROM on your Redmi phone. It is important to follow the instructions carefully to avoid any issues while installing the custom ROM. This process may take some time, but once completed, you will have a customized version of the Android operating system with additional features and improvements.
- Boot your Redmi phone into recovery mode using either ADB or a key combination.
- Wipe the System, Cache, and Dalvik Cache partitions using the custom recovery.
- Select the downloaded custom ROM file from the “Install” option. Add the GApps package if required by the custom ROM.
- After the installation is complete, wipe the Cache and Dalvik Cache partitions again.
- Reboot your device and wait for it to boot up. The first boot may take longer than usual.
Congratulations! Your Redmi phone should now have the new custom ROM installed and running.
What is a Custom Kernel?
Custom Kernel is another important aspect of customizing an Android device, which hasn’t been discussed much in the article. The kernel is like the brain or heart of the ROM, as it has all the necessary code that tells the hardware how to perform under different conditions. While the ROM brings customizations and features, most of these features can’t be supported on the default kernel, so it’s important to flash custom kernels too. The custom kernel not only supports features but also fixes many bugs found in ROMs and allows fine-tuning of variables that can significantly improve the device’s overall performance. For Redmi Note, many custom kernels are available, including Kali Netunter, Kangaroox, and more.
Updating the firmware and downgrade warnings
Updating a custom ROM or Android firmware is an easy process. You just need to download the latest version of the custom ROM or firmware and flash it using a tool like Mi Flash or custom recovery.
Downgrading is where things get complicated.
MIUI is the user interface developed by Xiaomi for their Android devices. Anti-rollback (ARB) is a security feature introduced by Google that prevents the installation of older or non-verified ROMs. Xiaomi devices have ARB enabled and cannot be disabled just by unlocking the bootloader. Unlike Google devices, where unlocking the bootloader disables ARB. This means that you need to be careful when installing firmware on Xiaomi devices to avoid issues.
Anti-Rollback is a system implemented by Google that stops devices from installing older or unverified ROMs. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t install older firmware. You can still install firmware with an ARB index that is equal to or higher than the firmware already installed on your Redmi phone. But if you try installing firmware with a lower ARB index, it can cause your device to stop working, known as “bricking.”
Sometimes, you may want to install an older version of firmware on your Redmi phone, which has a lower ARB index. If that’s the case, you need an unlocked bootloader and a special recovery supporting ARB downgrades. Once you have both, you can easily install the firmware with a lower ARB index. However, downgrading can be risky, so it’s important to be careful and ensure that you have the necessary tools and knowledge to do it properly.
For your Xiaomi device’s firmware with a lower ARB index, it is essential not to use TWRP custom recovery. This is because TWRP does not have ARB check support on MIUI devices. In this case, it is safer to have a stock recovery or the MIUI Flash Tool, which automatically rejects firmware or Android ROMs with a lower ARB index. So, to avoid bricking your device, it is better to use the recommended methods to downgrade the firmware on your Xiaomi device.
First, connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable. Next, you need to boot your phone into fastboot mode. Then, open the Command Prompt on your computer and type a specific command. When you hit enter, the Command Prompt will display your device firmware’s ARB index version number.
fastboot getvar anti
You can use the ARB checker tool to check the Anti Rollback index version of different firmware. The ARB checker tool is helpful for custom ROM enthusiasts who may need to upgrade to newer firmware or downgrade to older firmware. Anti-Rollback is a feature in stock Android firmware that prevents the system from installing older or non-verified ROMs. It is important to check the ARB index version of firmware before attempting to flash it, as attempting to move to a lower ARB index firmware can potentially brick your device.