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My mother handed down to me her old Galaxy S5 (new phone after two years... feh).

As much as I am appreciative of now having a phone with decent build quality, it trades for that physical construction all the software freedom that made me a fan of my old no-name piece of junk it replaced.

I have a litany of complaints about the software on the S5, but my reasons for wanting to reinstall Android aren't important.

I want to install a fresh copy of Android on this thing - not simply factory reset it. Is this even possible? Do I need to root my phone to do this? If so, where can I get a good walkthrough on how to root? Likewise, from where can I acquire the OS to install (currently running 4.4.4, not sure what the latest is, but the more recent the better)?

The phone is out of warranty, so no worrying about that.
 

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Well is that an unlocked S5? A carrier S5? They are really am different. If its a carrier one, has it already been unlocked? Anyway XDA is the forum for you to go.
 

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I dont think you have to have root to reflash an existing rom. Only if your trying to load a custom rom. In that case though you would need more than just root.

My wifi quit working on my rooted s5 and i reflashed it with odin and it worked. Re rooted it using towelroot everything is gravy.
 

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Well, you have the option of installing custom ROM like Cyanogen(OS), but lately they are not as they used to be. Another option is to do just factory reset, update it to the latest, root and uninstall everything necessary.
This reminds me of Sony C4 (or M4 was it), advertised as 16GB memory, but only less than 2 GB available for user due to bloatware.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So clearly I'm in way over my head...
Quote:
Originally Posted by zemega View Post

Well is that an unlocked S5? A carrier S5? They are really am different. If its a carrier one, has it already been unlocked? Anyway XDA is the forum for you to go.
This is actually a good question... I don't rightly know. It's an AT&T branded device, drowning in AT&T bloatware. However, I'm not an AT&T customer, but my provider piggybacks on AT&T's network...

Is there any way I can check if the phone is unlocked or not?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-Zero378 View Post

You need to download odin and the exact rom that you have now 4.4.4 and you can reload it that way. Here is a guide to do with a verizon phone check xda developers for other carriers if you don't have verizon.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2784880
Okay, but where can I get an Android ROM?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sub-Zero378 View Post

To install a custom rom you need recovery software(twrp,safe strap), root, and a unlocked boot loader.
But where do I get any of these things?
 

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You can check you device information or about phone. Look at the model number there, usually you can tell which is it. You can also google the model number. After finding out which device you have, XDA is still the better forum for you to check?
 
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