LG G3 (LS990) Phone Root – The Beginning

Back in February of this year, I switched from AT&T to Sprint as a part of their “Cut Your Bill in Half” event. Having a grandfathered AT&T plan with unlimited data, I was able to get a very nice deal with Sprint. While the service in Houston is (rarely) problematic and I am not a huge fan of their leasing plan plus another issue I’ll get to in a little bit, I was able to get a better overall deal than I was with AT&T. I don’t have any significant complaints about their customer service – in fact, the store staff was more than helpful in getting me set up and making sure my bill accurately reflected what I agreed to. I don’t see myself leaving Sprint any time soon.

That said, I upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S3 with AT&T to an LG G3 with Sprint. My former boss had one and could not speak highly enough about it. Given the options I had with Sprint (e.g. iPhone 6, Galaxy S5, HTC One M8, Nexus 5 and a few others), I went with the LG G3 based on the reviews. Comparatively, they all share similar specs. What sold me on the LG G3 was the battery life, expandable storage, and larger display. My wife went with the iPhone 6.

Despite their arguably invasive data mining and ownership stance, I’ve become a huge Google supporter. The constricted development Apple came with as well as the “forced” use of iTunes drove me away from the iPhone iOS and to the more customizable and, in my opinion, user-friendly Android OS. With AT&T, I was quite content with the Samsung/AT&T variant of Android. However, with Sprint, the bloatware angered me. After some research, I decided I wanted to root my phone and get away from the Sprint stock OS.

Digging about on the Internet for how to go about rooting my phone, I was able to find through the xda Community several posts about how to do exactly that. Being new to the process, I needed either (1) the simplest means for rooting the foot or (2) a detailed walk-through on how to root the phone. At the time, neither option existed because of Sprint’s upgrade from the zv6 to the zv8 software. I would either have to go through the complicated process of downgrading my phone to root it, or I would have to wait for the new software to be analyzed by people who know what they’re doing. So I waited…

Fast-forward to May and I found myself interested in rooting my phone once again. Going back to xda, I stumbled across a thread in the forums for a “one click” root option.

DISCLAIMER: xda is a developer community with no-affiliation to this site whatsoever. Any information or data contained on the xda site belongs with the owners of xda and it’s community as determined by that site’s terms of use. I am not responsible for the results of any advice, directions, or other information you may follow from the xda site. Please also bear in mind that xda is a developer community. As such, the community prefers that you come in as an informed user, willing to contribute to the community rather than simply demand to be told how something works. I highly advise reading any threads thoroughly and doing your own research before posting questions or comments.

I read all 80 some pages of posts to the thread to understand how the process worked and to read the comments on how it had worked for others. From the looks of things, this was a solid option. So I took the plunge.

I’m amazed at the ingenuity of folks out there who take time to really understand technology and other gadgetry. They couldn’t have made it easier for me to start taking control of something I use every day, where the interface and options are taken for granted. I could finally make the phone work, more or less, the way I wanted it to.

So here’s what I did…

MORE DISCLAIMER: I do not claim any ownership in the intellectual property included below. Ownership of the files and information remains solely with the appropriate authors, and will be removed upon their request. I’ve merely made the files accessible for those wish to follow the same process I followed with my LG G3 (LS990) Sprint variant. That said, I do not take responsibility for any device failures, lost information/data, visual impairment, hearing loss, unwanted pregnancies, pirate raids, alien abductions, or other negative consequences you might experience by following these directions.

Instructions (as of May 20, 2015):

  1. Install the LG drivers on your PC (if they are not already installed).
  2. Download avicohh’s LG One Click Root file and extract to a folder of your choice. This is the Graphical User Interface (GUI) version that worked for me. avicohh has a non-GUI version available through the thread previously mentioned above.
  3. Enable USB Debugging on your phone. You will need Developer Access to do this. To access Developer options, follow the directions below.
    1. Go to Settings > General > About Phone > Software Information, tap Build Number seven times. (Android is even nice enough to let you know how many more taps you need to get before gaining Developer Access.)
    2. Once you have Developer Access, go to Settings > Developer Options and turn on USB Debugging.
  4. I recommend disabling any screen “sleep mode” you may have active on your phone at this time and ensure that the screen will stay on, at least through the rooting process. You may need to access the screen on your phone while it is being rooted. If the screen goes into sleep mode, you may miss prompts requiring you to make a selection/authorization, which can cause the rooting process to fail.
    1. This happened to me – my screen went to sleep and I missed a screen prompt. When I “woke up” the phone, the rooting process had paused/crashed and I had to start over again.
  5. Connect your phone to PC.
    1. I used my 64-bit Windows 8.1 machine to perform the root.
  6. Run the LG One Click Root installer to run the script.
    1. I ran the executable in Administrator mode (just to be sure).
  7. Follow the instructions presented by the installer.
    1. If your phone is not recognized by the installer, try to switch between MTP and PTP USB options.
  8. If you got “MSVCR100.dll is missing” error, install Visual C++ Redistributable. If you are a 64-bit user, according to avicohh, do not install the 64-bit version.
    1. I did not encounter this error, so I can’t speak to dealing with it.
  9. Verify a successful root with a third-party root checker besides SuperSU that comes with the LG One Click Root installer. Several options include:
    1. Root Checker
    2. Root Check

Here’s a nice video walkthrough that avicohh included in his thread so you can follow along:

By following these steps, I was able to successfully root my LG G3 (LS990). The next step was to look at installing a new ROM and get rid of Sprint’s stock OS. But we’ll save that until the next post…