I have recently bought Xperia M C1905 and of course, rooted it on the same day itself. But further customization such as unlocking the bootloader, installing CWM, etc seems to be a little difficult as it’s my first Sony smartphone and never dealt with a bootloader locked device. I’m having Galaxy S4 and things are pretty simple there. So, I started to search over the forums (XDA, definitely) and could see that the tutorials are scattered over various sections and I had to switch between various tabs on my Chrome to complete the procedures.
For all newbies out there, here’s the only guide you ever need to read about the Sony Xperia M. This tutorial is meant for bookmarking and reference. So, if you own an Xperia M and want to root, unlock the bootloader, install CWM, flash custom ROMs, and swap memory(increase internal memory), save this page. This is definitely gonna help you.
We will be going through these procedures in order to unleash the power of your charming Xperia M.
Table of Contents
Rooting and unlocking the bootloader of your phone voids the phone warranty. All these steps are risky enough to damage your phone. Rooting is my hobby and it’s not a big piece of guava for me. I followed all of these steps and successfully achieved root, unlocked the boot loader, installed CWM recovery, and even installed KitKat (not used now). So do it at your own risk and I will not be taking any responsibility for the malfunctioning of your creature. Beware!
1. Rooting Sony Xperia M C1905/1904
Rooting is the first step towards further customization of your phone. So we will be guiding you to root your Xperia M with the help of Framaroot. Let’s see how it can be done.
- Download and install Framaroot [link] on your phone.
- Now choose “Install SuperSu” and then choose Galdalf to exploit as shown below. Wait till it shows a success message. After getting root, reboot your phone.
- Now download and install the Busybox app [link] on your phone. In the busybox, choose the install directory as SYSTEM/XBIN. Now click Install and select Normal Install. After installation completes, just reboot your phone again.
- Your phone is now half rooted and you have basic root privileges to install root apps etc. But you can’t edit or modify your system files. If you try to do so, your phone will reboot at that instant. Now we’re going to fix that in the next step.
- Download the toot fixing file and extract it. Install Sony PC companion on your computer as it will install all necessary phone drivers. Also, turn on Android debugging from developer settings on your phone. Then in the extracted folder, find supersu.bat file after connecting your phone to the computer. If all drivers are installed properly, you will be detected by it and will give further instructions to proceed. Grant root permission on your phone while asking. Disconnect your phone after the success note.
- Now you have fixed the reboot issue by giving shell access to root requests.
2. Unlock the Bootloader of the Sony Xperia M
Unlocking the bootloader means breaking the manufacturer’s locks. Certain companies like Sony and HTC lock their phone with the bootloader. It’s essential to unlock the bootloader of your phone in order to modify your phone to the next level such as installing CWM, custom ROMs, etc.
- By unlocking the bootloader, you’re out of official Sony updates and supports. So do this step at your own risk and we will not be held responsible for any kind of damage in any manner. Caution. Also, bootloader unlocking will completely wipe your internal SD card. So better back up all your data.
- It’s highly recommended to back up your TA partition (In order to re-lock your bootloader in the future). Read the tutorial here to back up your TA partition.
- Download fastboot drivers and extract them on your computer.
- Now get your phone’s IMEI number by typing *#06# on the dial pad.
- Click here to go to Sony’s official bootloader unlocking portal and get your unique key via mail. For this, you have to provide your IMEI number by removing the last digit. You will get the key like this.
- After getting your bootloader key, open the fastboot folder from the extracted fastboot driver package.
- Being in the fastboot folder, open a command window there (by holding the shift key and right-clicking on white space). If you’re on Windows XP, you can’t do that in the above manner. Install this tool and right on on the fast boot folder to do so.
- Now switch off your phone and connect to the PC in fastboot mode. Press and hold the volume up key and connect the phone to the USB cable. [Make sure that you have installed the necessary drivers. Otherwise, it won’t work. ]
- If all are set as explained above, in the command window type fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce getvar version
- If you get a value of 0.5, you’re properly connected. Instead, if you’re getting <waiting for device>, install all the drivers again and restart your computer. Then do the same.
In the command window, type fastboot.exe -i 0x0fce oem unlock 0xKEY [Replace KEY with your unique key which you have got via mail]. Press enter and you’re done. Whoopie.
3. Installing CWM Recovery on Sony Xperia M
Now you have gained full root access and you are ready to install Clock Work Mod in order to flash custom kernels, ROMs, and scripts. Read through this section and we will be guiding you to install CWM in your Xperia M.
- Power off your Xperia M and connect to the computer by pressing and holding the volume up button along with it. The LED will turn blue in color. Release the button then.
- Download the CWM file [link] and extract it. Now copy the .img file from the folder and copy it to the fast boot folder.
- Again open the command window there and execute (replace boot_image_name.img with the name of .img file in the cwm folder)
fastboot flash boot boot_image_name.img
- Wait till it finishes the shell. Done.
NOTE : In case the shell can’t detect your phone, try this; Open command window in the fast boot folder. Now connect your phone in to the computer as said above. Execute the command. Got it?
You have now rooted, unlocked the bootloader, and installed the latest CWM recovery on your Xperia M. The next step is to check whether CWM is installed properly. For this,
- Reboot your phone and while displaying the SONY image, the LED will turn pink. Now press the volume up button and the LED will change to Cyan color. Bham!! CWM there. Enjoy.
4. Flashing Custom ROM in Xperia M
I know that you are eagerly waiting to update your ROM. As you have installed the CWM, you can easily flash any custom ROMs, say CM 11 on your phone. But remember one thing. Before directly flashing CM 11, extract the ROM folder and flash the boot.img file first with the help of fast boot (Similar to the installation of CWM. Copy the boot.img file to fast boot folder and open the command window there. Then execute fastboot flash boot boot.img . That’s all.
5. Swapping Internal Memory with SD Card in Xperia M C1905
We all know that Xperia M is a snappy phone. But the only thing that I feel bad about it is its low internal memory. It has got 4 GB memory inbuilt. But we could only avail around 2 GB. To get rid of this issue, you can swap your internal memory with an external SD card. Just go through this.
- Download the script and copy it to your phone’s memory. For example, copy to sdcard0/android/data.
- Download the script manager app from the Play Store. Now open the app, and choose browse as root.
- Load the text file from the folder tap it and open it as Script/Executable.
- After opening it, select the SU icon, boot icon and choose save. Now it will turn yellow in color. Switch off the phone and reboot. See the magic. Look at my storage info. (I have an Xperia M C1905 single SIM variant and I’m not sure about the Dual SIM version)
This is definitely a long post and I have covered almost all necessary guides together for customizing your Xperia M. Through this guide, I have detailed how to root, unlock the boot loader, install CWM, custom ROM, and swap internal memory with external SD card for Xperia M C1905/04.
Credits/Thanks: XDA Xperia M development portal, geeky devs out there, etc.