Install CWM Recovery and Root Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini [i8190/N/L] [How to Guide]

After Samsung’s success with its flagship device Samsung Galaxy S3 in 2012, Samsung announced the mini version of the phone for its fans who could not afford the Galaxy S3 itself. The Galaxy S3 Mini caught the user’s eye having a 4.0 inch Super AMOLED screen, 1GHz Dual core processor, 5 MP camera at the back and a VGA camera at the front. The device comes with 8 and 16 GB of the internal memory while it has a RAM of 1 GB, out of the box, the device runs on Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1. Being mini in size and hosting a lot of features, the device was well received by the users and the developers as well.

GALAXY_SIII_mini_Product_Image(4).jpg_610x406

Although having already said that it’s a smaller version of Samsung Galaxy S3, but it still is a great device to play with beyond the boundaries of the operating system. Many of the Galaxy S3 mini owners might be looking up for modifying their device in different ways, this may include flashing a custom recovery, flashing custom roms, flashing mods to enhance the use of their device by installing different features, and playing with the clock speed of the device. While all this is only possible after having root access, so following the need, we will today learn how we can install a custom recovery that is ClockworkMod and root the Galaxy S3 Mini i8189, i8190N and i8190L.

***Please keep in mind that as soon as you install custom recovery or root your device, you may void the warranty. As the methods involved in rooting/flashing/modifying your device are highly custom, and these have nothing to do with the manufacturer, that is Samsung in our case, so make sure that whatever you do, you are doing at your own risk. Follow the instructions explained below to the letter, in case you didn’t you may end up bricking your device and we may not be held responsible in that case.***

Before we begin, here are some pre requisites that you must have:

      • Make sure that your phone’s battery is charged over at least 60%.
      • Use the original data cable for establishing the connection between your PC and Mobile phone.
      • Use this method only on Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini i8190 or i8190N or i8190L not on any other device.
      • Make sure that you back up all of your important ContactsCall Logs & Messages. Although rooting your device does not delete any files, but this is highly recommended as it may become helpful in case of any mishap or data loss.

Things you need to download / install:

      1. Download Odin3 PC and extract it. – Get it Here.
      2. Download and install Samsung USB Drivers – Get Here.
      3. Download and extract CWM Recovery – Get it HERE.
      4. Download the Root file – Get it HERE.

Here’s how to install ClockworkMod recovery on your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini:

      1. Open Odin3.
      2. Put your phone in download mode. To do so, press and hold Volume Down + Home Button + Power key simultaneously and your phone should reboot showing you a warning, press Volume Up to continue.download-mode-500x397
      3. Connect your phone to your PC.
      4. As soon as your device is detected by your PC, the ID:COM box should turn blue in the top left corner in Odin3.
      5. Hit the PDA tab now and select the extracted CWM recovery file here.
      6. Make sure that the options selected in your Odin are only F.Reset Time and Auto Reboot, and is exactly as shown below in the pic.odin_explained
      7. Hit Start, this should take a few seconds to install the CWM recovery in your phone, as soon as your device restarts, plug out the USB cable.
      8. Congrats! You’ve successfully installed the CWM recovery on your device now. To boot into recovery mode, press and hold Volume Up + Home Button + Power Key simultaneously and your device should now reboot into recovery mode.

Here’s how you can root your Galaxy S3 Mini.

      1. Place the downloaded root.zip file on your device’s storage.
      2. Boot into recovery mode on your device now. To do so, press and hold Volume Up + Home Button + Power Key simultaneously and your device should now reboot into recovery mode.
      3. Now select ”choose zip from sd card”.
      4. Now choose the directory here, where you placed the root.zip file. Whether it is external sd card or internal sd card you can navigate to the file here. To move between the options in cwm recovery, you may use Volume Up ad Volume Down key, while to make a selection you may press Home Button or Power Key.
      5. After you’ve navigated to the root.zip file, select it and press yes.
      6. It should take a few seconds to flash the root.zip file, after the flashing process gets completed, reboot your device.
      7. Phewww! You’ve successfully rooted your Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini now. Find the SuperSu app in your app drawer 😀

Now wondering what to do with your rooted phone? 

Here’s the answer for you!

Rooting your phone gives you complete access over all the data which is apparently locked by the manufacturers. This includes removal of the factory restrictions and making changes to the internal system and the operating system. Gaining the root access gives you the privileges to install various applications to enhance the performance of your device, allows you to remove the built-in applications/programs, helps you to upgrade the battery life of your device & install the apps which require the root access for the proper functionality and modify your device in so many other ways e.g using mods and custom roms.

How to keep Root after OTA Updates

The OTA updates rolled out by the manufacturers wipe the root access on your phone. In case you don’t know how you can restore the root access after OTA update, you’ll have to root your phone once again, but there is no need to do it as you can restore it using the OTA Rootkeeper App which is available in the Google Play Store. The app creates backup of your root and simply restores it after any OTA update.

Root Credits: Shaan – Xda Recognized Developer

Recovery Credits: Seedrom193 – Xda Senior Member

In case you got any queries, feel free to leave us a comment. We will try our best to help you out.


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Usama M

+Usama M: Ex Farmviller | Android Fanatic | Software Engineer,Founder - TechBeasts.com
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  • Li

    Thanks for this awesome tutorial, btw can I reset to original factory after I do it? How?

  • nights619

    there are many root files on this link which should i download

    • Usama Mujtaba

      @nights619:disqus there is only one root file in this tutorial. you’re supposed to download that one only, under the files you need to download the 4th file.

  • Anon

    To put in download mode it’s Volume Down+Power button+Home button (not volume up)

    • Usama Mujtaba

      I guess in the above post, It is mentioned that Volume Up _ Home _ Power key is for Recovery Mode.

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  • Vicjen Azaña

    when i try to boot to download mode by pressing vol. down + home + power it boots on Factory Mode ? How is that happen ?

  • Yash

    After Successfully Rooting, My S3 Mini Crashes At 78% Of Battery And Reboots With Only 2% ! I Guess It’s Not Normal !!

    It Doesn’t Even Warn Me ‘Bout The Battery 😐

    • Usama Mujtaba

      @disqus_HfnUHF0uz7:disqus boot into cwm and wipe cache and dalvik cache. Let me know if resolves the issue or not.

      • Yash

        How To Boot In CWM ?

        • Usama Mujtaba

          @disqus_HfnUHF0uz7:disqus turn off your device completely and then turn it while pressing and holding Volume Up + Home Button + Power Key. You should boot into cwm, clear cache and dalvik cache. You should also bypass the CM logo. First boot after installing CM takes up to 10 minutes.

          • Yash

            The Issue Is Still There… It Crashes At 80% And Reboots With Only 2 Percent And Ly Phone Keeps On Rebooting… What Should I Do ?

          • Usama Mujtaba

            @disqus_HfnUHF0uz7:disqus Flash stock firmware and go back to your old system.

          • Yash

            Flashed Stocked Firmware… 4.1.2 ! No Prob In Doing That Thank You 🙂

            But The Problem Is Still Here… :S Should I Change My Battery ? Cause My Stockfirmware Flashed Correctly… No Cwm Nor Root On It ! PLEASE Help Me Usama !!!

          • Usama Mujtaba

            @disqus_HfnUHF0uz7:disqus Unfortunately I have to say that it’s a hardware problem. Try changing the battery. It’s obvious now that the problem is not with the software. Good Luck.

          • Yash

            You Sure ? :/

  • jake

    my back button not working…what should i do

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  • Dylan

    When I try to flash CWM through Odin it passes the MD5 check and starts the flash but fails immediately after it begins the NAND write with the following message:

    FAIL! (Auth)

    Any idea how to fix this?

    • Usama Mujtaba

      You’re probably having connection problems. Try using a different PC and let us know.

  • David

    hi there? i’ve just gone through the comment and non of them have the kind of problem i have. when i pressing and holding Volume Up + Home Button + Power Key it just reboots. what can be the problem

  • Usama Mujtaba

    @disqus_adaHgSK0cc:disqus for this guide, Yes, you have to install CWM recovery first.

  • Usama Mujtaba
  • Usama Mujtaba

    @disqus_R0tVYnpnTv:disqus please follow the guide carefully. This is a working tutorial, you must be missing some step.

  • burhan

    teşekkürler çalıştı good job 🙂

  • basith

    i cant select the root.zip file

  • Ivan mieres

    Nice post,clear and direct to the point BUT I am still failing to install the CWM recovery file, everything seems to work, ODIN detects the s3 mini and downloads successfully the CWM recovery file (the number of binary downloaded files shown in download mode increases after each attempt) but when I reboot the mobile in the recovery mode the default samsung system recovery is still there. Any clue of what can be the issue? Any help is very welcome.

    • @ivanmieres:disqus flash stock firmware on your device and then flash the recovery again. Your issue should be resolved.

  • Wheelz

    I’ve booted into Download mode and connected USB. The phone shows “Downloading . . .” as per image above but JOdin3 is still showing “Disconnected”. How long am I supposed to wait?

    • @disqus_342AL6LwMG:disqus you need to boot into recovery mode, not download.

      • Wheelz

        “2. Put your phone in download mode. To do so, press and hold Volume Down + Home Button + Power key simultaneously and your phone should reboot showing you a warning . . . ” Is this not correct??

        • @disqus_342AL6LwMG:disqus that was a typo that I corrected later. I’ll have to look into JOdin as I haven’t used it personally yet. Hold on while I get back to you with a solution.

          • Wheelz

            I downloaded the Heimdall Suite and the phone will connect on that one, but I’m now struggling with the instructions. Noob, haha

          • @disqus_342AL6LwMG:disqus Not a problem, I haven’t had any experience with MAC that’s why I’m taking sometime to help you in this regard. You need to keep patience.

      • Wheelz

        Agh! Suddenly I can’t load https://builds.casual-dev.com/jodin3/ as it says it’s untrusted and certificate has expired. I create exception and it delivers a 404 error.
        Hang on, just downloaded JOdin3 to desktop. The phone is connecting to Mac via USB but not showing “Connected” in JOdin3.

      • Wheelz

        It connects to Kies ok, but not JOdin3.

  • Kapatro Wikaa

    Hello,

    I did what is described on this website
    The rooting seem sto have worked correctly,

    Then the second part, the upgrade described on this link, has a strange result.

    http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/515320/20131021/upgrade-samsung-galaxy-s3-mini-i8190-i8910l.htm#.VAG0LWN4w3z

    My
    phone seels to launch CyanogeMod 10.2 like it should. But I do not find
    the Google Play Store anymore. I checked and it is not in the hidden
    apps or so.
    I tried via their website and read their ‘help’, but in
    the end it says ‘if you do not have the white-bag-app, to bad, you can’t
    have it.
    For the rest internet works. So what went wrong?

    The
    second strange thing is that I can’t see the external SDcard via the
    ‘explorer’app that in the CyanogeMod. I can check how much space is on
    it, but that’s all.

    I know I can do restore, but I do not want to give up on Android 4.3 yet.

    I hope you can help, because I can’t download any App at all !

    Kathy

    • @kapatrowikaa:disqus you can simply flash a Gapps using your custom recovery, and your play services will come back. No idea about the external SD thing that might be a bug here. You may find KitKat for S3 Mini on our site, that’s a stable version and you can flash that as well. You can also download apk files and install your apps manually. Let me know if you need further assistance or any help links from our site. Good Luck.

      • Kapatro Wikaa

        Hello Usama,
        your answer was very helpful, I did have to do some more reading about the terminology, bus my goal was achieved. Sory for the delay in anwering, but it took some time before I got it done.
        Now I should find some time to figure out how to get some things back, for exempe there is no radio application anymore on the phone. I downloaded some via the Playstore, but they do not seem to work very well. Also I want to put some shortcuts on my startupscreen, but I can’t seem to find the option to do this. Is there somewhere a ‘list’ of the existing apf-files?

        • @kapatrowikaa:disqus your ROM might be having issue with the radio that’s why it doesn’t include it for now. Check if any latest build has it. For the shortcuts, try long tapping the icons and see if it allows you place on homescreen or not. Let me know if it works or not.

  • Colin IG

    I have a problem with that error, E: failed to verify whole-file signature.
    1st – i have no “choose zip from sd card” option – mine have just:
    reboot system now
    apply update from ADB
    apply update from external storage

    wipe data/factory reset
    wipe cache partition
    apply update from cache

    I tried the 2nd with the root.zip (apply update from external storage) and it came the E: failed to verify whole-file signature error.

    2nd – it may be the version of odin, coz i used 3.09 instead of 3.07?

    THX

    • @colinig:disqus No, this might be because of the recovery version, I’ll post update the links soon and let you know. you may install latest CWM recovery and give it a try.. The link will be updated tonight.

      • y3nis

        the ‘new’ CWM doesn’t work. It gives me the same menu.

        • Rica Lange

          Hey,
          I had the same problem. I followed every step exactly but can’t choose “choose zip from sd card” in the recovery mode. Instead i took “apply update from external storage” and got following report after choosing the zip-file:

          Finding update package…
          Opening update package…
          Verifying undate package
          E:failed to verify whole-file signature
          E:signature verification failed.

          Do you have an idea, where the problem is?
          Thanks 🙂

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  • Juha Metsäkallas

    The steps descibed are way too complicated for a layman like me.

    Firstly, this page is garbled with advertisements making hard to see what the steps are. Secondly, what does “to root” means? I know the noun “root”, like roots of tree, but as a verb…

    In prerequisites, where you mention that this method can be used on certain sub-models. Where to find this info?

    I’ve downloaded Samsung USB drivers and installed them, I think, as I get prompted for confirmation for privileged rights but nothing happens after that.

    It took me a while to figure that you call “recovery-clockwork-touch” CWM Recovery. And, I got it initially downloaded as an EXE file which was not accepted by Odin3. It took a second file to realise that the two download buttons produce different downloads: an EXE and a MD5.

    There is a newer Odin3 with different names on buttons. Can this newer version be used? What buttons to choose there?

    The show-stopper for me was “i. Place the downloaded root.zip file on your device’s storage.” Eh, how do you that?

    Later you talk about sd card. Eh, my phone (or actually my wife’s phone) has no sd card. Is this whole method valid in that case, i.e. is a sd card a prerequisite?

    • @juhametskallas:disqus

      This is what root means:

      Root: Accessing the core of your Android OS. That usually is locked on unrooted devices.

      Rooting your phone gives you complete access over all the data which is apparently locked by the manufacturers. This includes removal of the factory restrictions and making changes to the internal system and the operating system. Gaining the root access gives you the privileges to install various applications to enhance the performance of your device, allows you to remove the built-in applications/programs, helps you to upgrade the battery life of your device & install the apps which require the root access for the proper functionality and modify your device in so many other ways e.g using mods and custom roms.

      A newer version of Odin will work as same as descrbied above.

      If you don’t have SD card, you can also put root.zip on internal storage.

      Download on your storage means, copy and download to either external or internal SD card.

      If you got any more questions, feel free to ask me.

  • Matthew

    I installed this. Everything was fine but when the phone rebooted it seems I dont have connection and my SIM card doesnt work. Is there any solution to this?

    • @disqus_ktEHvpTlG2:disqus the issue stays or after some time it detects the SIM Card?
      If it detects SIM card after sometime, then there is nothing to worry about. This is normal and is supposed to happen this way.

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  • @juhametskallas:disqus You’ve to carefully identify the download button and click on it. Clicking on the wrong button can lead to the installation of such stuff.

    the internal storage works as the SD card. Just place it on that. Just connect your phone and copy paste the file to the internal storage.

  • @syedjaffersathik:disqus that means you want to remove bloatware. You can do so by using a root app delete application.

  • Rica Lange

    Hey,

    I had the same problem like described some posts below. I followed every step exactly but can’t choose “choose zip from sd card” in the recovery mode. Instead i
    took “apply update from external storage” and got following report after
    choosing the zip-file:

    Finding update package…

    Opening update package…

    Verifying undate package

    E:failed to verify whole-file signature

    E:signature verification failed.

    Do you have an idea, where the problem is?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Yassine Chelali

      just use the internal phone memory 🙂

  • Yassine Chelali

    travaille 100%/// working 100%// يعمل 100″

  • @rozaqabd:disqus Unfortunately these issues with custom ROMs are common. Try flashing a different recovery and see if it works or not. Otherwise flash a stock firmware to fix it completely.

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