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For this week’s custom ROM of the week for Sprint Galaxy S4, check out the latest MJA stock rooted Android 4.3 ROM. This is the official Android 4.3 Sprint firmware that Sprint pushed out and for those of you already rooted, you probably do not want to unroot and get this update as it will add Knox counter to your phone.
If you don’t know what Knox counter is, it is basically like binary counter that Samsung has put on starting with new phones like Note 3 and Android 4.3. It may benefit just a few of you who are using your phone for business and need additional security features but for rest of us custom ROMers, this is simply bad news as it can tell Sprint whether you’ve rooted your phone or not.
So, here’s how to install the rooted Android 4.3 firmware so you can enjoy it without upgrading to the latest Knox bootloader.
You can use this method to also install any Android 4.3 TouchWiz-based custom ROMs.
Step 1. Power off your phone, then put it into ODIN Download mode by holding down Volume Down, Center Home, and Power button together for about 5 seconds.
Step 2. Hit Volume Up button to enter ODIN Download Mode then connect a micro-USB cable from your phone to your computer.
Step 3. Download MJAUpgrade.zip and unzip.
Double-click on the file “odin3 v1.85.exe” to run ODIN program.
Once ODIN runs, you should see a yellow-highlighted box with a random COM number. If you don’t see this, download and install Samsung USB drivers.
Next, choose “PDA” then browse and find the file “philz_touch_5.18.2-jfltecan.tar.md5”. Then choose “Phone” and find the file “MJA-ModemOnly.tar.md5”. Then hit “Start”.
Step 4. Once done, you will see “PASS!”.
Step 5. Next, go ahead and download the latest rooted Android 4.3 stock ROM OR you can also download Android 4.3 custom ROM of your choice. Download it straight to your phone or to your computer then copy over to your phone.
Step 6. Once your phone reboots, double-check that your “Baseband version” in Settings->About phone has MJA modem that you’ve installed. If not, you can repeat Steps 3-4 again until it does. Sometimes you may have to flash it 2-3 times for modem to install correctly. FYI, modem installation is optional, you do not need to upgrade your modem but I recommend it.
Step 7. Next, let’s install an Android 4.3 custom ROM. So power off your phone, then enter the Philz recovery by holding down Volume Up, Center Home, and Power button together until you see “recovery booting” at top-left of your screen.
Step 8. Once in Philz recovery, choose “Backup and Restore”.
Step 9. Then choose “Misc Nandroid Settings”.
Step 10. Then make sure “Process SE Context – JB 4.3” is checked on with “X”.
Step 11. Go back to main menu and choose “Wipe data/Factory Reset”.
Step 12. Choose “Clean to Install a New ROM”.
Step 13. Next, go ahead and go back to main menu and choose “Install Zip” and find the Android 4.3 custom ROM zip file you want to install and install it!
Step 14. Reboot and in a few minutes you should be on the latest Android 4.3 stock ROM with root and latest modem. Congrats!
If you want hotspot tether, see here.
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!