Sprint VPUAMDL Firmware Update Root Fix!

For those of you having problems with the latest VPUAMDL firmware, this is because Sprint has added a SetUID restriction on the kernel with the latest update.  This can easily be solved by flashing a stock kernel with the restriction removed.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE ON VPUAMDL build OTHERWISE THIS KERNEL WILL BREAK THINGS IN YOUR PHONE!

After using ODIN to flash CWM or TWRP, boot into CWM or TWRP recovery and flash this stock kernel:

Download Stock MDL kernel with SetUID restriction removed

Then follow the rest of the steps to install CWM SuperSU zip file in recovery.

Credits – XDA <— Please donate to developer or hit “Thanks” button on XDA if this has helped you!

What is a Custom ROM?

A custom ROM is a custom, modified operating system that you can install on your Android device. Basically it's like installing Windows OS on a Macbook. By installing a custom ROM, you can bypass stock factory settings like locked hotspot tether, install new Android versions early, or even convert your phone into another OS.

With a custom ROM, you can really maximize the capabilities of your smartphone by adding custom features that have been developed by open source developers.

How to Install Custom ROMs

First, you will need to root your device, if it is not rooted yet, follow our root tutorial and root your phone.

Once rooted, you should have TWRP installed on your phone. Installation of a custom ROM is easy if you learn the basic of it. If you don't know how to install custom ROMs using TWRP recovery, see our tutorial on How to Install Custom ROM using TWRP!

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47 Responses

  1. James says:

    The download does not work.

  2. James says:

    nevermind, the site was apparently having issues when I attempted earlier.

  3. Joe says:

    Hey so I’ve never used ODIN, but Im pretty tech savy if you have a quick second to explain how to do this part. Thanks!

  4. Joe says:

    For some reason Im getting a verification error in cwm recovery mode when I try to install this zip file.

    • shamir says:

      I am also getting a verfication error when trying to flash the stock kernel as well as when trying to install SuperSU. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

      • JMC says:

        same problem as Shamir – verification errors flashing both stock kernel as well as when installing Super SU. Has there been a reply?

  5. SR says:

    Awesome!

    Odin+CWM+Kernel Fix == rooted S4!

    Does anybody know how to remove the “Detection Information” popup? Looks like Sprint uses something to detect root activity and prompts you to reboot your device (probably for the ‘reflash’ utility that would restore the SU mods.

    Thanks.

    • Tim says:

      Hey SR i been trying to find the solution to that problem for the longest and that pop up also slows the phone down like a lot you will notice it certain times like texting paragraphs or viewing certain pages just loading time period. but i found a solution find the stock rom for sprint SPR md5 file flash it in odin then reroot from stock and never update until someone comes up with a stable root technique for sprint

      • SR says:

        Hey Tim,

        I haven’t noticed any slowdowns with mine-though I haven’t spent lots of time with it as of yet. I guess I’ll just wait for the fix unless I start seeing performance problems.

        Thanks!

    • Sam says:

      Try this, to get rid of that nasty pop up message I’ve used the BloatwareFreezerFree app from play store.
      In System bloatware find seandroid and freeze it. You can use any other app that’s capable to freeze system apps.

    • Jonathan says:

      i need help, i have mac and i cant do the cwm or twrp method. i NEED to root my phone

  6. ronald says:

    what is the “make sure you are on the VPUAMDL build”…You confuse there…

  7. ronald says:

    how do you check for this

  8. SR says:

    @ronald: Settings–>more–>about device–>Software Version: L720VPUAMDL (that’s mine).

  9. Albert says:

    Max,
    Well I did odin, and then i did the cwm but when it reboots in to recovery, I dont see the file like superuser,, I think it is something else like
    my version or something.

    I can get CWM to come up but only after I get the pass then pull battery out after that no file to flash the superuser.

    Any ideas,
    Albert

  10. John Beckett says:

    I have spent DAYS trying to root my sprint galaxy s4- followed every method imaginable. then discovered that the phone did not come with an sd card installed -I pulled one from my old epic 4G. Is that okay? I did a hard reset hoping to erase evrything . I use odin and get PASS and a reboot, do the next step and load supersuser zip but I get failure messages in red. It never said specifically load from SD card. I tried putting superuser zip in both the phone directory and on the sd card , then rebooting as directed and unzipping superuser zip. I’m stuck. I have read about this sprint issue and exploit. I”m going to try this but keep reading about setting the phone to reboot into recovery mode? I assume that is through the keys on the phone..if not, please tell me what i’m not doing thanks1

  11. John Beckett says:

    Oh, and my phone is the sprint galaxy s4 SPH L-720 yes with vupamdl

  12. leaps says:

    Can you please elaborate on what the exact steps are to “boot into CWM or TWRP recovery and flash this stock kernel”?

  13. Cafe says:

    I’ve successfully used the method on this page to root three phones each were Sprint Samsung S4, with L720VPUAMDL kernel version. If you’re having trouble, and have gotten stuck I have several recommendations:

    (1) If you’ve been unsuccessful and don’t know what you have and haven’t done, follow the instructions on: http://galaxys4root.com/galaxy-s4-tutorials/how-to-unroot-galaxy-s4-and-remove-root-completely/
    to get back to square one. I used this on one phone where another person got partway through someone else’s root procedure and messed things up – in that case the phone got to the yellow Sprint screen and stopped progressing. Getting back to unrooted stock and starting over got me to a successfully rooted phone, with the user data intact.

    (2) This page is a supplement, not the complete path to installing SU.
    You need to follow the instructions on this page, _along_ with the instructions on:
    http://galaxys4root.com/galaxy-s4-root/how-to-root-galaxy-s4-cwm-method/
    This page contains the EXTRA steps that you need when you’ve got kernel L720VPUAMDL.
    So start on the other page, where you download ODIN and install CWM, and then just before you get to the step of installing SuperSU, first install the “kernel with the SetUID restriction removed” using the instructions from this page, then continue with installing SuperSU.

    (3) if you are getting an error trying to install any of the zip files, I’d recommend you check the file size and the MD5 checksum to be sure they were downloaded correctly.

    For myself, the main purpose of installing SU is to use tethering. The relevant instructions are at:
    http://galaxys4root.com/galaxy-s4-tutorials/how-to-wifi-tether-sprint-galaxy-s4-sph-l720/

    • Albert says:

      Cafe,

      I tried every which way and nothing for me. I got stuck on the Odin with trying to flash old firmware but I had to unplug and stop for the night.

      Any one have an idea?
      Sprint S4 with the new update, VPUAMDL
      I cant bring up recovery but it will show or see the superuser at all at that point but it did install as an app.
      I checked to see if I have root and NO ROOT.

      Albert

  14. KD says:

    I keep getting signal verification errors just like a couple of the above users when I try to do this kernel update or install TWRP. I tried doing a google search as to how to get around this and the only thing I found was a video about one of the galaxy tablets and there was a “toggle signature verification” option somewhere in the stock recovery that allowed you to turn off this check… Anyone know of something similar with the S4?? Thanks!

  15. John Beckett says:

    I started this question yesterday and have NOW gotten almost everything to work. I”m rooted. titanium backup has superuser status. The secret? Everytime that the phone wants to reboot-pull the battery when the phone goes dark for 30 seconds or so. Don’t know why that works, but its the only way I’ve ever then seen the update from (external) card) option-which I do, and everything worked fine. No error messges.

    The Only reason I started this whole thing was to get a wifi hotspot on the phone that still doesnt work and I received the authors message about how he did it. oxed and deoxed file. I tried the deoxed..and downloaded wifi hotspot free, but the phone is still resisting…Honestly that is the ONLY thing I care about. I would happily go back to stock phone if I could get that feature to work…

  16. kevin says:

    I have tried and tried and its just not working.. I receive 3 red errors verifications with su zip file, and one verification error in red again with the kernel…my phone doesn’t say to install any of these 2 files from the sd card. it ask me to apply update from interal or sd. the pictures from the website show the phone asking to install. im clueless!

  17. Albert says:

    Victory,
    I finally got root but with a cost. I get the message that detection device and reboot. I swipe it away but its like the terminator it just keeps coming back for more nuisance. Is there a fix to this?

    Thanks Albert,

  18. Albert says:

    I should have mention that I was using a 64 gig SD card and it never recognized it.
    Change it to a 32 and there it was all the zip files and stuff.

    Albert,

  19. brian says:

    I have a sprint s4 and I odin cmw and when I try to reboot into recovery its just regular android recovery I have tried both recoverys

    • brian says:

      I have the sprint s4 and odin passes flashing the recovery but when I reboot into recovery it goes to android recovery no custom recovery

  20. john beckett says:

    I just want the wifi hot spot. can I do that without rooting?

  21. john Beckett says:

    I’m back to square one. Factory reset and starting from scratch. I have both the super user and the sprint mdl modified ROM on both an 8 gb sd card, a 16 gb sd card and on the phone too..When I boot into recovery, I see those files but when I unzip i get errors. The worked for me 2 weeks ago, when I booted into recovery and saw INSTALL ZIP FILE FROM SD CARD. I could then unzip from the SD card, just like the video and everything worked great. So the question is…why AREN’T I seeing the INSTALL ZIP FILE FROM ZIP CARD command?

  22. john Beckett says:

    SOLVED!!!! after you flash the recover in ODIN and you get the final yellow PASS ..PULL THE BATTERY!!!..after that everything worked great! I booted into recovery- NOW there is the option to unzip from sd card!! flashed the sprint rom with restriction removed, rebooted went back into recovery-there is the command again! unzip from sd card!!, ran super user and now I have root! Next I’m going to download http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2261943
    and flash force Rom 2.3 which has the wifi hot spot built in and has taken all of the ‘bloatware’ out.

  23. Brandon says:

    To those getting the “Detection Information” pop-up. Go to Titanium Backup –> Backup/Restore –> SEAndroid –> Freeze!. TA-DA, no more pesky reboot message!

    Please note you must have the paid key to freeze apps.

  24. john beckett says:

    I see my final post didn’t post. Here it is again. Total success rooting. After getting the yellow pas in Odin, PULL THE BATTERY. When you reboot into recovery the unzip from sd card message is there any everything went great.
    I loaded FORCEROM from the xda site for sprint samsung s4, which undid everything I had done on this site (but THANK YOU for getting me this far) . This custom Rom, cleared a ton of bloatware and toggles the built in hotspot for wifi.
    Loaded like a charm.

  25. Donald says:

    I’m sorry, this is my first time trying to root a phone. I don’t understand what

    After using ODIN to flash CWM or TWRP, boot into CWM or TWRP recovery and flash this stock kerne

    means.

    I have ODIN downloaded and have used it before, but does this mean that I need to search for the zip using PDA, do I need to unzip the file, is it something completely different? I’m lost.

  26. ReaperXero says:

    Brandon that did the trick..

  27. Aaron says:

    I keep receiving the following error when using ODIN in download mode:

    Get PIT for mapping..
    Removed!!
    There is no PIT partition.

    Then it just fails. I’ve rooted and used custom roms on my S2, but no dice on my new SPH-l720

  28. donnetta davis says:

    My reason for wanting root is to have wifi tether on my phone. I did the root, and the sprint update, but I’m having trouble with the wifi app. I have to restart my phone in order for devices to connect and if I plug my phone up to the charger it disconnects the wifi. How do I fix this?

  29. travelint says:

    how about with sprint’s new firmware update VPUAMF9

    • Brandon says:

      CF auto root works on MF9. ODIN back to MDC update all the way to MF9 then ODIN CF auto root. It will restore your recovery to stock so you will need to re-flash CWM or TWRP after.

  30. Adam says:

    My software version shows L720VPUAMDL, but my build number shows L720VPUAMF9. My android version is 4.2.2. Should I still be using this for rooting my Sprint S4 or should I use a different method?

  31. Quest Yarbrough says:

    GUIDE FOR NEWLY PURCHASED S4 OWNERS – Software Version L720VPUFNAE
    ========================================================
    For anyone who recently purchased their phone and/or is on the latest Samsung Android OS (as of July 12, 2014)

    I was able to boot into CWM and install SuperUser only after taking the following steps. Before I did them I could *NOT* boot into CWM Recovery and could not install the SU ZIP file. Note that I am NOT an Android dev and I just reverse engineered these steps from reading several guides and comments; follow them at your own risk.

    1. Make sure you’ve already put the SuperUser zip file on your phone’s SD card (see Step 7 from http://galaxys4root.com/galaxy-s4-root/how-to-root-galaxy-s4-cwm-method/ )

    2. Download the “Latest NAE firmware” with no bootloader included from this thread: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2338919

    3. Extract and then flash the firmware using Odin’s PDA mode. It’s the same method you used to try and install CWM

    4. Let your phone reboot (may take a while, I think mine froze at the Sprint screen) and then power it back off

    5. Remove the back cover off your phone so the battery is visible

    6. Boot into the mode used to flash CWM Recovery (see the guide I linked in Step 1). Launch Odin, UNCHECK “Auto Reboot”, then flash the CWM Recovery .tar

    7. After CWM Recovery finishes flashing (and Odin did NOT automatically reboot your phone), unplug the phone from your computer and pull the battery. This will look scary, because the phone will still say it’s “downloading”, but do it anyway.

    8. Boot into CWM Recovery (step 8 from the aforementioned guide). The latest CWM Recovery interface looks different from the guide, but you should still see “Install Zip from SDCard”.

    9. Install the SU Zip you put on your SD Card in Step 1.

    10. Exit out of CWM Recovery and boot back into your phone. Look for “SuperUser” on your phone. If you see it, congrats! You should now be rooted.

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