Samsung doesn’t allow its Snapdragon-powered flagship devices sold in the U.S. and other few markets to be bootloader unlocked. Folks active in the development sector know what is its implications – no root or custom ROMs possible on these devices. Nonetheless, custom developers were able to crack into Samsung’s firmware and gain root access on the older Snapdragon versions of Galaxy S and Note flagships by exploiting certain loopholes or whatsoever in the firmware. Similarly, the root access wasn’t possible on the most recent devices such as Galaxy S9 Series, Note 9, but until now.
Thanks to a renowned developer, Elliwigy at the XDA Developers, Snapdragon editions of Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9 can be rooted despite bootloader locked. Some of you might be familiar with the method which is quite popular and known as the Extreme Syndicate Root. The procedure is almost the same for the three of the devices except you’ve to get the right file depending on the device you’ve.
Root Snapdragon-based Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9
It took almost a couple of years for the developers to get the root access on Snapdragon-based Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 9 devices.
Points to Ponder
- This does NOT trip KNOX so don’t ask.
- The warranty won’t be void
- Biometrics broken
- The bootloader is of course still locked.
- This uses some partitions from combo firmware which means 80% battery.
- Variants this should work on are N960U/U1/W, G965U/U1/W, G960U/U1/W.
- Initial files/methods will leave you on the Oreo stock root.
- You might be able to run Pie GSI
- MTP not working, devs are working to resolve the issue in a later release.
- S9 and S9+ also might have some issues with the selfie cam which also should be fixed in a later update release.
Extreme Syndicate Root Method
- Download the file for your device. For instance, Galaxy S9 users need to download only the Galaxy S9 file given below.
Galaxy S9: Download
Galaxy S9+: Download
Galaxy Note9: Download
- In Odin folder, flash the combination firmware(put under AP option).
- Once the combination is booted, run the root.bat. When done phone will reboot to download.
- In Odin, flash the bootswap.tar.md5 file. What this does is it swaps the boot and recovery images which allow the system to be mounted rw(read/write).
- Now when done flashing you need to hold the buttons to boot to recovery but since we swapped boot and recovery images it will boot system.
- Now put your phone in airplane mode. This must be done whenever using Flashfire. Copy the system.img, vendor.img, and ODM zip files to your phone.
- In Flashfire, choose zip and select the odm zip. Then choose firmware and choose the system.img and the vendor.img. Then choose data wipe and wipe user and system data (the default choices). Make sure the option “inject super su” is NOT enabled. Disable it. Do not let flashfire inject root!!
- Now click flash. When finished you will have to hold buttons to reboot to recovery until you see boot animation. You must do this on every reboot. If you do not it will reboot to stock recovery. If it reboots to stock recovery just reboot system and hold buttons to reboot to recovery again.
N.B: MTP is unfortunately broken on ROM, so your PC will not recognize the phone for MTP file transfer. ADB does still work so you can transfer via the PTP transfer method.
Last but not the least, you may flash the latest stock firmware and revert to normal. Knox will be intact, voila!