Install custom ROM in Galaxy S4 Mini

A quick guide from stock S4 Mini to having a custom Android 7.1.

Installing the TWRP Recovery

The recovery will allow us to install the custom Android. This part applies to the majority of Samsung phones.

    1. Go to a Windows machine (a virtual Windows works 1).
  1. Download latest odin 2. (I used the 3.12.10) and extract it with 7zip. Execute the .exe. Odin will allow us to install the recovery.
  2. Download the recovery 3
  3. If you had not connected the phone to the Windows before, connect the phone, on, and wait for the windows to autoinstall drivers. Then unplug the phone.
  4. Do:
    1. Turn your device OFF.
    2. Press AND hold ‘PWR’ + ‘VOL. DOWN’ + ‘HOME’ buttons.
    3. Connect your USB cable and press ‘VOL. UP’ button to confirm that you want to enter into DL mode.
    4. Start Odin, uncheck “F. Reset Time”, and then click ‘AP’ button.
    5. Select my ‘recovery.tar.md5’ file that you previously extracted from my 7zip archive and press ‘Start’ button. The phone will reboot when finished.
    6. When the phone begins to vibrate just before rebooting : IMMEDIATELY press and hold ‘VOL. UP’ + ‘HOME’ buttons to boot straightly into your new recovery. […]
  5. In the recovery, swipe to Allow Modifications. This will write the recovery on the phone.

Installing the custom Android (ROM)

The process is similar to any Android phone that has TWRP recovery. The only change is the ROM you download.

  1. Download a ROM to install. We used Xenon HD 4.
  2. Download google apps. You will want ARM 7.1 pico.
  3. Install ADB on a computer (it can be Linux and Mac too). In Debian, you can sudo apt install adb. In Mac or Windows, the easiest way is to install AndroidStudio, which auto-installs ADB.
  4. Go to a terminal in the computer and execute adb devices. Your phone should appear, otherwise check adb and connection. Try with another USB cable.
  5. Plug the phone on the computer where you installed ADB. This time can be Linux and Mac too. In the recovery, go to Advanced > ADB Sideload. Check Wipe Dalvick Cache and Wipe Cache, and swipe to start sideload.
  6. In the computer, execute on a terminal adb sideload xenon_hd_filename.zip.
  7. When done, on the phone press back and swipe again to sideload again.
  8. In the computer, execute on a terminal adb sideload gapps_filename.zip.
  9. In the recovery, just press Reboot and your new Android system should boot. Note that the first-time boot takes a while.

Happy coding 🙂

  1. If you use a Linux host, Check this out if the virtualbox doesn’t show any USB plugged-in.
  2. From this post
  3. From this post.
  4. From this post.

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