This blog post tells you how to unlock, root and install at custom ROM on a Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830 mobile phone.
I’ve purchased a second-hand Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830, and thought I would write a getting started guide, covering my initial setup of this Android mobile phone, such as performing an unlock, root and installing a custom rom.
More specifically this guide covers the following:
- Performing a factory reset.
- Resolving the ‘draw pattern to unlock’ issue.
- Rooting the S5830.
- Unlocking the S5830 (you don’t need to pay for an unlock code!).
- Installing CWM recovery and backing up the rom.
- How to install a custom rom on the Galaxy Ace.
WARNING: You use this Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830 guide at your own risk. There are different ACE models, so please make sure you are using the correct Ace model for this guide! If you damage your hardware or get into any trouble or break the law, you are not to hold 8Bit Mammoth, or any business or person associated with the blog responsible. It is possible you could ‘brick’ your phone, and it won’t work.
WARNING: There are some circumstances where unlocking your phone is illegal! Please respect the law. You will void your warranty by using this guide!
WARNING: This guide is for Android Gingerbread users! There could be differences for people using earlier versions of Android and I don’t recommend you follow the guides, if you are not at least using version 2.3.3.
WARNING: The final warning is please make sure your mobile phone is fully charged at every step below. You don’t want it running out of juice / power during these steps.
The Galaxy Ace I purchased is old, no-longer covered under a contract and isn’t stolen! I brought this phone, along with a new microSD card from a large second-hand phone seller. Previously I was using the Galaxy Mini as my main phone, and what attracted me to this phone is the improved specification, such as the screen, processor and camera, for a reasonable price.
I also decided to install a custom rom on this phone, which is covered below. Though if you only want to root, unlock and backup your phone, those details are also covered. The screenshot above is of a custom rom.
How to perform a factory reset
Upon turning on the phone, I was presented with ‘draw pattern to unlock‘. I looked through the supplied paperwork and couldn’t find the details, and then thought about contacting the seller. Then I just decided to save time and perform a ‘factory reset’.
Now performing a factory reset will wipe data off the phone (not the microSD card). I’m not interested in someone else’s old data, and I was sold a new microSD card anyway!
- Turn the phone off.
- Press the power button (right side) and the menu button (middle bottom) until you enter the ‘Android System Recovery’ menu.
- Then select ‘wipe data / factory reset’, deleted all the data, and after that ‘wipe cache partition’.
- Now reboot the phone.
It then took a while for the phone to boot up, but the swipe pattern lock had disappeared.
How to unlock the Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830
Next I was presented with ‘Enter Network Lock Control Key’. Major problem as I’m not on the same ‘carrier’ as the original owner, and secondly I don’t have a sim for that carrier! So basically my phone was locked! However below is how to unlock the S5830.
Part 1 – Join a WIFI network, link to your Google account and install two apps
- Select ‘Dismiss’ under the network lock message.
- Connect the phone to a secure (not public) WIFI (wireless) network.
- Select ‘Google Market’ and enter your Google account details.
- Via the Google Market install the free ‘Superuser’ application.
- Then install the ‘Android Terminal Emulator’ by Jack Palevich.
Part 2 – How to root a Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830 phone
- Download the root application from here.
- Transfer the application to your microSD card via a usb cable connection.
- Reboot into ‘system recover’ by holding the power and menu buttons down at boot.
- Select ‘apply update from sdcard’, and then selected the zip file you have downloaded.
- Once the update is installed, reboot your phone / system.
Part 3 – Obtain your network unlock key from your Galaxy Ace.
Now after all that hard work, it is time to obtain the key from your phone. Please note you can only do this stage, if you are running a ‘stock’ rom. i.e. A standard rom from a carrier or Samsung, and not a custom rom.
- Now follow ‘Method 2’ instructions as brilliantly described here.
Additional notes about the unlock process:
- When searching for the unlock code using the ‘Hex Editor’ application mentioned in the link, I had to hit ‘F3’ to search three or four times. The first few times I was just seeing zeros, but then a eight number code was found.
- I rebooted my phone, entered the code and the ‘network unlock successful’ message appeared and it connected to my chosen carrier.
Installing a custom rom on the Samsung Galaxy Ace GT-S5830
The phone was already running Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread, but I wanted to install a CyanogenMod 7.2 based rom. I’m not looking for a 4.x.x experience just yet on this phone, but want some extra bells and whistles!
Note: Before proceeding please make sure your mobile phone’s battery is fully charged.
Part 1 – Install CWM Recovery.
Whilst the standard ‘system recovery’ is pretty great, I wanted the ability to backup my rom images, enabling me to revert back to previous roms if required. I’ve used another version of this package before, and wanted to make sure it was installed ASAP.
- Download the file ‘recovery-clockwork-126.96.36.199-galaxyace.zip’ from here, which was kindly provided and mentioned here.
- Transfer the zip file via usb to your microSD card in the phone, and then turn the phone off.
- Boot the phone into ‘system recovery’ by pressing the ‘power’ and ‘menu’ buttons at the same time during boot.
- Select ‘apply update from sdcard’.
- Select the ‘ recovery-clockwork-188.8.131.52-galaxyace.zip’ file, and once installed select ‘reboot system now’.
Part 2 – Backup your existing rom!
It is important that you backup your existing rom image, which will solve a few headaches if you need to roll-back! Especially if you are thinking about selling the phone in the future.
- Boot into the CWM recovery mode by pressing ‘home’ and ‘menu’ buttons at boot.
- Select ‘backup and restore’ from the menu.
- Then select ‘Backup’ and the next menu.
Part 3 – How to install a custom rom on the GT-S5830.
Now it was finally time to install the custom rom. I choose one based on performance, reviews and the fact it was updated this year (2013). I picked the ‘The Ultimatum 3.0 final’ rom for this ACE model. This is based on Android 2.3.7.
- Download the rom from here.
- Reboot into CWM recovery mode.
- Perform a ‘wipe data / factory reset’ and ‘wipe cache partition’.
- Select ‘install zip from sdcard’, and then select ‘choose zip from sdcard’.
- Select the zip file for the ‘The Ultimatum’.
- Next you run through a wizard selection various options. I left everything as the default options selected, apart from selecting ‘Fire’, instead of ‘Swap All’.
Note: The first time the phone boots with the custom rom it will take a take a minute or two to boot. After that the phone should boot up more quickly.
I didn’t bother using the Samsung Kies software to see if there was a ‘stock’ rom upgrade. I quite like the look and feel of the custom rom I’ve installed, but it is early days and I might roll-back the OS, else try another.
In the future please expect more blog posts related to this phone. In the meantime if you have any feedback, please feel free to leave a comment.