How to Install Custom ROM on Verizon Galaxy S4 or AT&T Galaxy S4! [Safestrap]

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For those of you who have been waiting to install custom ROM on your Verizon Galaxy S4 with ME7, ME7, MI1, MJ7, or MK2 firmware or AT&T Galaxy S4 with MF3, MK2, NB1, or NC1 firmware, there’s finally a new method using SafeStrap Recovery by XDA user Hashcode.

SafeStrap Recovery is usually used on Motorola devices but it is now implemented on Verizon and AT&T Galaxy S4 to get around Verizon’s lock on the bootloader.

First, you will need to root your Galaxy S4, so follow the Verizon Galaxy S4 ME7 root method before beginning this tutorial if you have Verizon S4 and follow the AT&T Galaxy S4 MF3 root method if you have AT&T S4. (This is for Android 4.2.2 ONLY, for Android 4.4.2 see below!)

UPDATE: If you have Android 4.4.2, you will need to follow How to Root AT&T or Verizon Galaxy S4 on Android 4.4.2 instead!

 

Step 1. Download the Verizon custom ROM or AT&T custom ROM you want to install on your Galaxy S4 and copy to either internal or external storage on your phone.

Step 2. Download latest version of SafeStrap from XDA:

Download SafeStrap for Verizon Galaxy S4 from XDA

Download SafeStrap for AT&T Galaxy S4 from XDA

Step 3. Open and Install Safestrap APK file using My Files app.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-1

Step 4. Open Safestrap app and choose “Install Recovery” then “Reboot to Recovery”.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-2

Step 5. Choose “Boot Options”.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-3

Step 6. Choose “ROM-Slot-1″.  You will notice you can create up to four different ROM slots.  Yes, you can have 4 different custom ROMs installed if you want.

UPDATE: I no longer recommend using ROM slots as some ROMs are not compatible with ROM slots, just use Stock ROM slot after making a backup ROM!

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-4

Step 7. Choose your data partition size and choose “Create ROM slot”.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-5

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-6

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-7

Step 8. When done, go back to main menu and choose “Wipe”.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-8

Step 9. Swipe to do a factory reset.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-9

Step 10. This is IMPORTANT!  If you get “Unable to mount internal storage” error, you need to reboot recovery.  If you don’t get that error, skip to Step 14.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-10

Step 11. Choose “Reboot” and “System”.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-11

Step 12. When rebooting, hit the Menu button when you see the Safestrap menu during boot.  That will enter you back into Safestrap Recovery.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-12

Step 13. Try wiping again, this time you should just get “Updating partition details”.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-13

Step 14. Next, choose “Install” and find the ROM zip file you want to install and install it.

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-14

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-15

Step 15. When done installing ROM, reboot and you should see your new custom ROM booted!  That’s it!

howto-install-custom-rom-verizongalaxys4-me7-safestrap-16

Anytime you want to revert back to stock ROM, it’s easy to do.  Just reboot into recovery (hit Menu button during boot when you see Safestrap Recovery menu) and select Stock ROM under Boot Options.

 

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NOTE: THE AUTHOR OF THIS SITE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE IF YOU MESS UP YOUR PHONE, PLEASE READ INSTRUCTIONS TWICE BEFORE TRYING IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME TO ROOTING AND CUSTOM ROMS!

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103 thoughts on “How to Install Custom ROM on Verizon Galaxy S4 or AT&T Galaxy S4! [Safestrap]

    1. Max Lee Post author

      I don’t think so, but if you have trouble with wifi/bluetooth, that’s supposed to fix. I didn’t have to flash it though and my wifi/bluetooth is working fine.

      Reply
      1. Tommy

        That is because you have a older Baseband.. REAL MF3 people NEED that module to get older roms to work. Unless they say otherwise that it will work with safestrap specifically.

        Reply
      2. Rithivk

        YES YOU DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        WIFI AND BLUETOOTH WILL NEVER WORK WITHOUT FLASHING THAT MODULE AFTER THE ROM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Reply
      3. Tony

        I installed safetrap 3.62 and can not install recovery “install recovery” is not highlighted. it says “state:newer version installed” . Uninstall recovery and reboot to recovery is highlighted. Tried to go into recovery and it just reboots back up. I also uninstalled recovery and i still can not select install recovery. I have deleted the program several time and installed several other version but keep having a same issue. Please advise. Thanks in advance.

        Reply
    2. Richard

      hey guys..i have had hyperdrive installed for awhile now but was downloading a new rom when i accidently ‘saved’ or the stock rom partition because i forgot to make a new rom slot [stupid me]. does anyone know where i can find the original me7 rom that safestrap came with? it would be really helpful, thanks!

      Reply
  1. Tommy

    You forget that too, but you also want to mention the maximum data partition you can have is 3gbs, and currently only hands off the kernel to tw based roms. (The gplay Rom also works)

    Reply
  2. Chrys

    Hey Max.

    I am running ME7. I’m rooted and have the latest Safe Strap installed. Got all the way to the point where I am flashing Hyperdrive on the first formatted slot and it comes back with an error that it can’t open the Hyperdrive zip file.

    Any thoughts on how to get past this?

    Also prior to the boot screen I use to have the Samsung screen with the lock icon that is open, is now back to the factory Samsung “Galaxy S4″ screen. I checked with Titanium Backup that I am still rooted. Thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Tommy

      redownload the zip.. just must have became corrupt in the download.. happens.. if you can open it on your desktop, then your phone can open it

      Reply
        1. Chrys

          It went for well over 10 minutes. I had to pull the battery to get back to Safe Strap. Tried installing again. Same thing. It’s a black screen when the install is complete and it says to reboot. It stays black indefinitely until I pull the battery and go back into Safe Strap. I am going to boot back into the stock rooted ME7 ROM for now.
          Any ideas?

          Reply
            1. Tommy

              You might need to look through XDA on which roms are compatible… that hyperdrive rom might not be.. Im using the GPlay edition rom, and im pretty happy with it :)

              Reply
              1. Chrys

                In my case, I needed to add a second zip file to flash after the ROM, but before rebooting, with were the ME7 modules.

                Reply
                1. Tim

                  I tried this but it still went black.

                  In order:
                  Flashed Cyanogenmod 10.2 (cm-10.2-20131011-NIGHTLY-jfltevzw.zip)
                  Flashed ME7 Kernel Modules (jfltevzw-ME7-modules.zip)
                  Flashed GAPPS (gapps-jb-20130813-signed.zip)

                  still black screen after boot.

                  Anyone?

                  Reply
  3. antonio

    Hey max ive used safestrap on att mf4 and everything works fine only thing is I messed up and installed over the stock is it anyway I can recover it? Or do I have to unroot it

    Reply
    1. Tommy

      If it works.. dont touch it.. if you flashed to stock, theres no way back unless you take it to Best buy and have them Odin it back for you (we cant odin it ourselves, at least with the ATT MF3 image)

      Reply
      1. Alex E

        So did you get it to boot into the ROM or do you still get black screen? Or how exactly did you get it to work like at what point did you flash the ME7 Modules?

        Reply
        1. Chrys

          You load the first zip file which is going to be the custom ROM then add an addition zip file (there is a button for this). And then swipe the bar to flash. Make sure that after the ROM has installed that you uncheck the reboot checkmark and then continue and it will automatically flash the second zip file which are the ME7 modules.

          Reply
    1. Oliver

      No, you retain the original ROM unless you install the new ROM over the stock ROM. I am currently running stock and hyperdrive.

      Reply
  4. Cj

    Working now. Just had to flash the me7 modules. If downloading hyperdrive make sure up uncheck the reboot after you’re done with the aroma installer.

    Reply
          1. Tommy

            Nope.. your wrong there. MF3 is in the EXACT same boat as ME7. No custom recovery whatsoever (except Safestrap). Safestrap DOES work on MF3. DO NOT TRY TO USE GOO MANAGER TO INSTALL TWRP, IT WILL BRICK YOUR PHONE. Or CWM for the matter. There are no ways of installing twrp or cwm to att gs4. Only safestrap.

            Reply
  5. xsellize

    Thanks! Anyway you could give me a link if you have one? I know this is off subject considering I’m posting in me7 but I would appreciate it.

    Reply
  6. Oliver

    So i made the mistake of factory wiping the stock rom while in safestrap. Now the phone will not boot past the verizon logo. any advice?

    Reply
    1. Tommy

      try flashing a rom to the stock, since its not working anyways. If that fails, if ME7, odin or KIES it back to stock, or MF3 you have to take it to best buy to ODIN it for you.

      Reply
  7. Eric

    Does safestrap increment the binary counter? If I remove safestrap, will i still need to reset my binary counter before returning to Verizon?

    Reply
    1. Tommy

      Locked bootloaders, from what i’ve seen, doesn’t have a binary counter for flashing, since its made not to flash in first place. I’d say don’t mess with the triangleaway if i were you.

      Reply
  8. kevin

    I get the trouble with wifi/bluetooth on hyperdriver rom even i did flash the ME7 and the MDK?
    (AT&T mf3 build)

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      Make sure in Safestrap you didn’t see error while installing? Make sure you reboot Safestrap if you see mount error, otherwise it’s like trying to install ROMs on broke phone.

      Reply
  9. Jonathon

    I’m no noob to flashing firmwares and I always read up first. So let me get this straight.. I can bypass the bootloader to install this recovery and back up my stock ROM as well as install another custom ROM with a separate data partition with no qualms? I’m using a rooted AT&T Galaxy S4 on MF3

    Reply
    1. Max Lee Post author

      Yup exactly, safestrap just keeps your stock ROM so you don’t have to make a backup, just uses another area of your internal storage to boot other ROMs.

      Reply
      1. Jonathon

        So could I somehow modify that to share the same data as the stock rom or store data to an external SD card? I’m pretty sure it isn’t possible, but I have seen a patcher on xda that allowed such a thing

        Reply
        1. Ryan

          This ^ I only have 16Gb internal storage, and nearly 7 gigs of that is taken up by touchcrap UI. That leaves me 10Gb for a new ROM AND all the apps I want to install on it.
          Is it possible to share storage space, or partition everything EXCEPT the Stock ROM (to preserve it) into another section so I can have my 10gb free for whatever I want to download on that ROM.
          I know there are ways of installing apps to an SDCard, but SdCard read times are slower, and generally cause things torun funny, so I prefer internal if and when possible, especially for games and such.

          Reply
  10. Christopher

    I just downloaded the Virgin Google Edition Rom the Samsung Galaxy S4. I went to recovery and I created a ROM slot, when I install the ROM everything seems to go good, but it says it cannot find the MD5 or something like that. I Wipe the data and reboot. It just shows the Samsung Galaxy S4 boot screen and the led glows Light blue to Dark blue but the screen stays black, after about 30 seconds, the phone reboots and I boot back into recovery. Am I doing something wrong? What all am I supposed to install since it can’t find the MD5 thing. I am only installing 1 zip file.

    Reply
      1. Christopher

        No. I have no idea what that is to be honest. I remember reading about that but that was for Verizon. Could you please give me a link or something? What exactly do the respective modules do?

        Reply
    1. Raj Patel

      I had the same problem as you did. The problem is the ROM. Safestrap cannot install 4.3 Roms. You must download 4.2.2 Roms. There is a Google play edition ROM version 4.2.2 for the galaxy s4. That is what I am using right now. After you have installed that in your notifications it will say update to 4.3 DO NOT DO IT. It will make you lose your settings app and some other things.

      Reply
      1. Christopher

        Okay. I was leading to that. Could you send me a link to the ROM you ate currently using for GPE? Is it working good? Any bugs?

        Reply
        1. Raj

          Sadly I cannot give out links but if you Google Google play edition s4 4.2.2 it should be named AOSP google play edition 4.2.2 final. make sure you do
          Get mf3 modules for galaxy s4 att or verison me7 modules. U must install that after the installtion of the rom.

          Reply
  11. Jack Quinn

    AT&T i337 MF3 build…
    Can I install INFAMOUS S4 ROM with a loki kernel and the MF3 modules? Or is this not compatible? Sorry, kinda new to Safestrap!!

    Reply
  12. omar t.

    can you please help i installed the hyperdrive rom and after it rebooted the screen went black. i checked to make sure that there werent any errors and there werent i have the verizon ME7 galaxy s 4

    Reply
    1. Christopher

      Might be the ROM. They explained to me that if its a 4.3 ROM it won’t work. You need 4.2.2 Roms. I downloaded the Google Play Edition 4.2.2 by Jamal and it worked. The 4.3 didnt.

      Reply
  13. omar t.

    i havent found any 4.2.2 roms. im terrible at looking roms up can someone please reccomend a good rom and possbily put the download link

    Reply
    1. Christopher

      What kind of ROM are you looking for? I have a Google Play Edition ROM that works perfectly. There are a lot of 4.2 ROMS.

      Reply
  14. Tony

    Hey Max,
    I installed safetrap 3.62 and can not install recovery “install recovery” is not highlighted. it says “state:newer version installed” . Uninstall recovery and reboot to recovery is highlighted. Tried to go into recovery and it just reboots back up. I also uninstalled recovery and i still can not select install recovery. I have deleted the program several time and installed several other version but keep having a same issue. Please advise. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Christopher

      I’m not Max, but I believe you should completely uninstall Safestrap via ADB. That’s what I did to uninstall mine. You can also use Terminal on your Android Device with Super User Permissions. The message you are getting is( I believe) referring to a newer version of safestrap is currently installed. Just removing the app and selecting uninstall recovery will not suffice.

      Reply
      1. Tony

        Thanks Christopher,
        How do I remove it and I rratheruse the terminal but I’ll take both way of removing the program . If ther is a link please send it to my email address.
        Again tanks for your response.

        Reply
  15. Martin

    Will this work with the New OTA Verizon just released a few days ago? Or at the very least are we able to install safetrap prior to taking the new OTA and then running recovery?

    Reply
  16. Chris

    Did you get the message? if not i’ll just put it here.

    So the problem here is that my phone won’t enter recovery mode. I think it’s because it’s deleted. I installed safestrap and did a factory wipe but it gave me errors(something about datamedia/media) so i just deiced it’s best to deal with it in the morning, so i rebooted. The phone stayed on my boot logo(Samsung Custom) and then things started to get worse. I hold the 3 buttons to boot into recovery, only problem is that the blue “entering recovery mode” text shows up for a split second and then gives me the android figure you would see if you were in download mode for another split second and then reboots.

    I know that MF3 is having some flash problems so i can’t flash the stock rom because i already tried with 2 different stocks rom. I also already tried to use the custom pit files that were used to fix the bootlop issue with kies or whatever (adonis.pit, MF3_BTL_FIX and SGS_I337_16GB), which came out with no luck.

    If anyone can help me out that would be awesome!

    Reply
    1. Chris

      Lol
      “Did you get the message? if not i’ll just put it here.”
      I copied and pasted a private message so i’m not being an asshole when i say that!

      Reply
  17. Andrys

    Hi!! like two months ago i changed from hyperdrive to cm10 because i had no cellular data , now i just installed the new release and still cant get the data to work , and its only with hyperdrive rom cm10 works perfectly, please help

    Reply
  18. nathan

    I followed all the instructions, so after step 15, i rebooted. My phone stayed on the Samsung boot screen, i tried rebooting a couple more times with no luck. I went into recovery, but it booted into the Touch Wiz recovery. I tried factory resetting and rebooted but its still stuck on the Samsung screen, How do i fix this?

    Reply
  19. ChinaDog

    Android rooted is fuck the world. iOS 7 apple kick ass of android fuck! Go eat shit of dogs? Fucker u all….eat dog ass FUCK! Son of the gun?

    Reply
    1. GS4

      You can only installed 4.2.2 roms do not try to install 4.3 roms. Go to xda forums there is information on what roms you flash and you MUST flash the MF3 lib files to ensure your phone will functions properly.

      Reply
  20. Andrei

    did anybody find a way to return to stock from safestrap? i accidentally saved over the stock rom slot in safestrap so now i dont know how to get back to stock and really trying to avoid going to best buy just so they can flash back my phone

    Reply
  21. Jason

    The safestrap app will not start up. I have verified that my phone is rooted. When I enter into reboot recovery mode my device completely reboots. It does not go to the set up page to create a partition.

    Reply
  22. Matt

    So just like Eric posted on Oct 13th, “Whenever I try to install the rom on an AT&T S4. I get nothing but a black screen upon reboot. What am I doing wrong?” Except when I do attempt to flash I get “md5 file not found”, yet the flash is still deemed successful by the program. I’ve flashed both the rom and the mf3 module, and all I get still is a black screen upon reboot. Any help would be appreciated. My apologies for seeming uninformed. Learned most of this stuff today.

    Reply
  23. Jesus

    Hi, I have a galaxy s4 mf3 at&t version. I try to install 4.4 rom with Safestar onmi and when I restart I get a black screen. then I have to restart again in recovey.
    I can never load the rom installed, just go back to stock rom
    Help please

    Reply
    1. Jonathon

      No, you can only install 4.2.2 ROMs. You shouldn’t try anything else but ones approved. Do some research on XDA before you do a thing. Good luck

      Reply
  24. antonio

    Hello guys thats trying to flash roms on the att mf3 version safestrap wont let you flash aokp roms yet like carbon or pacman rom it only let you flash like bobcat and wicked then with those the wifi dont work so its kinda usless to flash as of now

    Reply
  25. Yoshi

    so i’m on ME7 and first time rooting this. i had a DroidX on MIUI before and trying to flash MIUI on this now but i keep getting this error after flashing the miui_i9500_3.12.20_fe02bdcc1c_4.2.zip file


    Updating partition details. . .
    Running boot script. . .

    Finished running boot script.
    Updating partition details. . .
    Updating partition details. . .

    Wiping Dalvik Cache Directories. . .
    -- Dalvik Cache Directories Wipe Complete!

    Wiping data without wiping /data/media . . .
    Done.
    Formatting Cache using make_ext4fs function.
    Removing all files under '/system'
    Updating partition details. . .
    Installing '/external_sd/download/miui_i9500_3.
    Checking for MD5 file. . .
    Skipping MD5 check: no MD5 file found.
    Verifying zip signature. . .
    assert failed: getprop("ro.product.device") ==
    getprop("ro.build.product") == "ja3g"
    E:Error executing updater binary in zip '/exter
    Error flashing zip '/external_sd/download/miui_
    Updating partition details. . .

    is MIUI not compatible or something?

    Reply
  26. Jonathon

    I can’t find anything on XDA. Has no one thought about just modifying the MF3 package with a built in bypass for the bootloader since it’s a Samsung signed package? Tell me if I’m wrong, as I don’t know enough to count myself as a real modder or developer

    Reply
  27. Pandu Ari

    SafeStrap Recovery is usually used on Motorola devices but it is now implemented on Verizon and AT&T Galaxy S4 to get around Verizon’s lock on the bootloader.

    Reply
  28. koschi

    Hi,
    I have a SGH-337s with Android 4.3 Buildnumer JSS15J.I9500ZSUEMJ6. Can I install a custom ROM like cyanogenmod on that? I rooted it already but didn’t install a custom recovery yet.

    Thx!

    Reply
  29. Richard

    Will this work with NCF1 on ATT? They finally got a root that will work for it. But I wanted to ask which version of safestrap to install on NCF1 if it works.

    Reply
    1. Trent H.

      I’m with you there.

      I installed 3.75 SafeStrap and I can’t get it to boot recovery mode…

      After doing further research it appears as if there is no way with the NC1

      Reply
  30. jwb

    I have a i337 MF3 rooted phone, stock rom 4.2.2,
    1) can I install other ROMs like 4.4.2 Graviton, Hypedrve 4.3? if not, I can not find 4.2.2 ROMs,
    2) the ROM installed must be TouchWiz-based ROMs?

    Please advise, thanks a lot

    Reply
  31. leothepisces

    I opened up safestrap but it wont let me install recovery it says “installation complete” but it also still says “State: Not installed” and reboot to recovery is not highlighted

    Reply

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