Beginners Guide to flashing a custom ROM on TF700T
I hope this guide will make it a little easier for those users who wish to unleash the potential of this tablet but have no idea where to start. This is meant to be for inexperienced users who may be flashing for the first time.Last edit: June, 2017
Not suprisingly interest in this tablet is diminishing and I do not have the time to maintain two threads. I will still update the XDA version for a while, go there to find the latest version of this guide:
If you find information I provide here to be incorrect or outdated, please do chime in!
And the standard disclaimer: I am not responsible if you misunderstand instructions I give here, if my instructions are wrong, if you forget to charge the battery and the tablet dies halfway through a flash or if your house goes up in flames.
YOU DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK
First things first:
Backup everything on your tablet you care about to an external microSD or your PC. Don't worry about your apps. You can always install them from the Play Store.
This is just common sense. It is not inherently risky to flash custom ROMs. But something can wrong at any time and you have to be careful. If you are, this is a safe procedure.
Basically the process of flashing a custom ROM on the TF700 involves three steps:
1) Unlock the bootloader using Asus' Unlock tool
2) Install a custom recovery on the tablet
3) Flash a custom ROM of your choice using said custom recovery
Rooting is optional
To install a custom ROM it is not necessary to root the tablet. You do have to unlock the bootloader and install a custom recovery no matter what, but in my opinion rooting is an unnecessary step since any custom ROM you flash will be rooted anyway.
But if you want to root the TF700 on stock firmware there are two ways to go about it:
Up to firmware version 10.6.1.14.8 you could use a tool called Motochopper to root the TF700. Asus plugged the hole Motochopper exploited in the last firmware update.
For firmware version 10.6.1.14.10 there is Kingo Android Root (only works on Windows AFAIK).
There was some controversy around Kingo. Late last year their threads on XDA got closed because they used the vroot method which had a sniffer component that collected information and sent it to servers in China. The developers of Kingo removed vroot and worked it out with XDA. Their threads got re-opened in December. So I believe Kingo is safe to use - but you be the judge of that....
Unlocking the bootloader
Your tablet should be fully charged at this point!
- Make sure "USB debugging" is checked in Settings > Developer Options (if you don't see it, go to About Tablet and tap 7 times on Build Number)
- Go to the Asus Support website: https://www.asus.com/support/Downloa...oq64av1O95u/8/
- Select your device, choose "Android" for OS and look for the "Utilities" on the resulting page.
- Download the Asus Unlock Tool v7 (not v8! see below)
- On your tablet, in Settings > Security check "Unknown Sources"
- Copy the .apk to your tablet.
- Find the apk in your tablet's file browser, tap it and let it install
- Open the app and follow the instructions. You will loose your warranty as soon as you click "I agree".If you get an unspecified "network error" you could be in for some major headaches. Many tablet's serial number and the mac address of the mainboard seem to be registered incorrectly in Asus database. This problem is widely discussed on several forums, just google: "cannot unlock TF700" or similar and read the threads. Too many variables to discuss this here...Feb 2015: Google threw us another curve ball, it seems. If the apk does not install, go into the settings of your Google account on the web and search for a setting that allows to install "less secure apps". Turn that on and then install the v7 Unlock tool. v8 doesn't seem to install no matter what....). https://www.google.com/settings/security/lesssecureapps
July 2015: And another wrinkel... It seems to be pretty consistent now that the Unlock Tool hangs on the Google account password step. I suspect something changed on the Google side. It probably doesn't allow the tool to check/compare the password anymore. There have been quite a few security changes lately and the unlock tool never gets updated so I suspect that Google now is blocking access by the tool to it's servers.
The work-around is easy enough: Delete the Google account from the tablet (Settings > Accounts), then run the tool again. If that doesn't do it, do a factory reset from Settings, reboot and during the initial setup establish a WiFi connection but skip the google account setup, then run the tool
To check if you are unlocked, boot the tablet and read the tiny script. It should say:
The device is unlocked.
Installing a custom recovery on your tablet
I highly recommend you choose TWRP as your custom recovery. If you want CWM, you are on your own.
To push TWRP to your tablet you need to set up "Fastboot" between your tablet and your PC. Fastboot is a protocol that enables you low level access to your tablet.
Power down your tablet and disconnect it from the dock
Push and hold the Volume Down key (left side of the rocker) and the Power key until you feel the tablet vibrate twice. Let go when you see the tiny script. Read it and it tells you that your tablet is now in fastboot mode and you will see three icons (I assume again you are on a JB 4.2 bootloader. In older bootloaders you had 4 icons and had to select the USB icon to get into fastboot mode):
RCK - (which should be flashing) is your recovery (the stock recovery at this point, but once TWRP is installed this is one way to get into it)
Android - is your system, selecting it boots you back to into your ROM.
Wipe Data - stay away! Especially with custom software installed never, ever use this option!
To toggle between the three icons use Volume Down, to select one use Volume Up. Try it but do not push Volume Up when the 'Wipe data' icon is flashing!
Installing ADB and fastboot plus the necessary drivers
For a working ADB/fastboot connection from PC to tablet you need:
a) Asus device drivers if you connect the tablet to your PC and it's recognized as a portable device you should be ok. If not, download the Asus Sync Utility from their support/downloads site and install it to get the drivers, then uninstall the program from your PC if you don't want it. The drivers will stay.
b) Fastboot and ADB drivers which will be installed if you run the tool below.
Download and run this cool little tool [TOOL] [WINDOWS] ADB, Fastboot and Drivers - 15 seconds ADB Installer v1.1 - xda-developers (don't forget to hit the Thanks button)
The tool installs the adb and fastboot.exe to a folder on your C:\ drive (look for adb) and the corresponding drivers. Takes about 15 seconds
On Windows 8.+ you need to turn off the driver verification feature. Here's a great video on how to do it:
Win XP (and all other Win versions if the above does not work for some reason)
I recommend the "ADB Install Tool" mentioned above or the 'Minimal ADB Fastboot Tool': [TOOL]Minimal ADB and Fastboot [7-18-13] - xda-developers
Either works fine.
If you need the drivers, get them here and install manually in Device Manager: [ADB/FB/APX Driver] Universal Naked Driver 0.72 (We dont need no stinking HTC Sync) - xda-developers
Win7 and Win8 users seem to have the best luck wth the drivers sbdags provided here: [SCRIPT][Windows 7/8][TF700T][Install Recove… | Asus Transformer TF700 | XDA Forums
It's fine if you want to use his Recovery Install Tool. But I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with basic fastboot commands! There are lots of tuturials all over the web.
Linux:Check out this site https://code.google.com/p/adb-fastboot-install/
iOS: [GUIDE] Set up ADB and Fastboot on a Mac easily (With Screenshots!) - xda-developers or:
The fun begins
Fastboot does not play well with USB 3.0, so use a USB 2.0 port for this. And no hubs and such....
- Boot the tablet into fastboot mode and connect it to your computer via the original USB cable
- In Windows Explorer navigate to the folder that contains your adb.exe and fastboot.exe
- Win 7/8: Shift + right click and select "Open command window here".
- In Win XP select 'Run' from the Start menu, type
and hit Enter. In the resulting command prompt type
Code:cd C:\adb\ (or whatever the path to your fastboot folder is..)
- In the command window on your PC type:
- If that command returns a string of numbers and letters, you are good as gold.
- If it returns: "No devices found", fastboot is not working - yet - and you have to troubleshoot.
Getting the correct drivers working can be the hardest part of this exercise. If your computer does not "see" the tablet in fastboot, try to uninstall the existing driver (if any) in Device Manager and manually install the Google Universal Naked Drivers.
Let's assume everything is good:
- On your computer go here: https://twrp.me/devices/asustransfor...ityTF700T.html
- Download the latest version of TWRP (2.8.0 or later). These are ready for KitKat and Lollipop custom roms as well as backward compatible with JB ROMs.
Edit 6/3/15: do not use TWRP 126.96.36.199 oder 188.8.131.52. The former has a bug with f2fs conversions, the latter does not reboot into anything but itself. You have to force reboot the tablet to get out of recovery. Use the official TWRP 2.8.4 or the lj50036's Kang version from here: [RECOVERY] KANG TWRP TF700T 2.8.x.x@AREA51 J… | Asus Transformer TF700 | XDA Forums
FYI only: Formatting /data in TWRP 2.7.+ takes a lot longer than in previous versions (up to 90 minutes). LET IT FINISH. DO NOT INTERRUPT THE FORMATTING.
Formatting data is only necessary in cases of data corruption.
- You can rename the TWRP file to make typing the fastboot command less error prone, but do not change the extension. For example: "TWRP_184.108.40.206_TF700.blob" can become "twrp.blob". "TWRP_220.127.116.11_TF700.img" can become "twrp.img"
- Place the file into the same directory as your fastboot.exe.
- Again check the connection with
If you get the connection, in the command window type:
Example: If your twrp file is named "twrp.img"
Code:fastboot -i 0x0B05 flash recovery <nameofyourfile>
This will flash the recovery to the recovery partition
Code:fastboot -i 0x0B05 flash recovery twrp.img
If it is successful type:
and let the tablet boot up normally.
Booting back into the (not rooted) stock rom you may get a dialog from TWRP asking you if you want to root.
You can accept or cancel it - doesn't matter. I assume you are going to install a custom rom and they are rooted anyway.
Create a nandroid
Your almost there! You are now on the stock ROM with a custom recovery installed.
Power the tablet down and boot into the bootloader menu with Volume Down and Power buttons.
With RCK flashing, push Volume Up and you should boot into TWRP. Familiarize yourself with the many options of the touch based interface without executing anything yet. TWRP is very user friendly. You basically cannot do anything of consequence "by accident", so don't be shy.
Touch "Backup", leave the default selection as they are and swipe the button to create a nandroid (a backup) of your current system.
This is a very healthy habit to develop: You always want to have a nandroid of your last working system squared away so that you can do a simple restore if you flash something that does not work, or something goes wrong during a flash. With a working recovery and a good nandroid you are minutes away from a working system if you soft brick your tablet.
Installing a custom ROM
The most popular custom ROMs for the TF700 are CROMi-X, CROMBi-KK, CyanogenMod (CM) and ZOMBi-X. See below.
Note: Whatever you decide to flash: READ THE OP of the corresponding thread and make sure you have the correct bootloader and the required recovery installed! I can't stress this enough! If you are not sure, DO NOT FLASH!
Look for the ROMs in the Development section of the XDA forum for this tablet: Transformer TF700 Android Development - xda-developers
Note: It is mandatory to do a Factory Wipe in TWRP before installing a custom ROM or going from one ROM base to another (a so called clean install).
If you choose 'Wipe' in TWRP, all you have to do is swipe the button - 'Factory Wipe' is the default selection under the 'Wipe' menu. You will loose your apps, but it will not wipe your /data/media/ folder where your files, pictures, etc live.
If you do this right before flashing the custom ROM, make sure you have the zip file of your custom ROM on your microSD - not on your internal SD where it may get wiped....
From here on out it's as easy as downloading the installation file of your custom ROM, booting into TWRP, choosing "Install" and navigating to the zip of the ROM you want to flash.
If you see a "signed" in the zip file name (best_rom_ever_signed.zip), make sure you check "verify zip signature" under the Install menu. Some devs sign their ROM zips - a better way to ensure file integrity than md5 sum.
Alternative methods to install TWRP
Edit July 25:
In this section I originally explained how to flash TWRP to your device using apps like GooManager (currently not supported anyway), TWRP Manager or Flashify from the Play Store which do it right from your tablet. These apps "save you the trouble" of getting ADB and fastboot set up and working on your PC. These methods still exist and they do work sometimes, but I will not recommend or promote them any longer.
I've seen it go wrong too many times....
They seem to pull the partition table from their own database and that database is not always correct! The partition layout for each device is different. You do not want to flash the recovery to the boot partition for example!!!! fastboot reads it off your device, these apps seem to get it wrong once in a while...
I have spent quite a few hours helping 3(!) users during the last two days who got themselves into a situation where the only thing they could access on their tablet was recovery, but they did not know anything about adb/fastboot and did not set it up when the tablet was still working. To get it to work with a soft bricked tablet is much, much harder!!
If you are not willing to invest the time to learn the basics about ADB and fastboot (google adb fastboot xda tutorial) and install the necessary drivers on your PC, you should not be flashing anything to your tablet!
GET ADB AND FASTBOOT WORKING!
Sooner or later you will do something stupid (I have done it and so will you) and ADB/fastboot may save your bacon IF you had it working when you didn't really need it.
For a general overview and comparison of ROMs check out Gtanner00's thread, post 2 + 3. Note that he describes roms for the TF300, but since the framework for the TF300 and TF700 is very similar there is usually an equivalent rom for the TF700 at the XDA Developers forum.
[GUIDE] How to Root/Install ROMs on the TF300. Jelly Bean KitKat and Lollipop ROMs
Do not follow or downlaod from any of the links he provides! I only link to his thread for general information!
ROMs for the TF700
CROMi-X is based on the latest Asus firmware (JB 4.2.1) for this tablet with many, many tweaks and improvements, but since there have been no further Asus updates, development on this rom has stopped. This rom would give you the most Asus-like experience on this tablet.
[ROM]★★[JB 4.2.1][CROMi-X 5.4][D… | Asus Transformer TF700 | XDA Forums
CROMBi-KK is based on CM11 and tweaked for this tablet - best supported ROM ever if you ask me... Very stable and few bugs. Edit: development has stopped. There will be no further updates on this rom
[ROM]★★[TF700 KitKat 4.4.4r2][CR… | Asus Transformer TF700 | XDA Forums
CM is build from the ground up, CM10.x emulating JB 4.3, CM11 emulating KitKat (JB 4.4). CM 12 emulating Lollipop 5.0. CM was not build with a transformer (keyboard) in mind, but the dev has ironed out most of those bugs.
[ROM][4.4.4][OFFICIAL] CyanogenMod 11.0 Nigh… | Asus Transformer TF700 | XDA Forums
ZOMBi-X: From the same team that developed CROMi-X and CROMBi-KK. Based on OMNI rom with multi-window support.
[ROM]★[TF700 KitKat 4.4.4][ZOMBi-X OMN… | Asus Transformer TF700 | XDA Forums
ZOMBi-POP: The latest project from the CROMI/CROMBi/ZOMBi team. Still in beta (but not much longer, I'm sure) and already an amazing rom for this device. Seems to me all the experience of this dev team with the improvements of Lollipop gel in this rom. I have flashed practically everything for this device - this rom is the best. So far. I doubt sbdags & co are done
[ROM]★[TF700 LP 5.1.1][ZOMBi-POP OMNI … | Asus Transformer TF700 | XDA Forums
A note: This rom will run with data formatted to ext4, which is the OEM default. But it benefits from /data on F2FS, the new file system developed by Samsung, more than any other rom before it. Changing the file system for /data to F2FS has become very easy ever since the TWRP team build support for it into their recovery. I wrote a guide for converting your data partition to F2FS here:
[GUIDE] Convert /data to f2fs with TWRP 2.8.… | Asus Transformer TF700 | XDA Forums
There are quite a few more variants, check them out in the XDA Development forum and don't forget to make a nandroid before flashing anything new
Any questions - please ask.
AND IF YOU LIKE YOUR NEW ROM, SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION AND DONATE TO THE DEVELOPER!
Once you installed a custom recovery NEVER EVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES - AND I REPEAT: NEVER! - use the 'Wipe Data' option from the bootloader menu or the "Factory Reset" option in Settings > Backup&Restore.
In your custom recovery you have the option to wipe, backup and restore every partition on your tablet selectively or collectively. Any wiping, any backup and any restore of the system, data, recovery or boot partitions MUST be done in your recovery (or in fastboot)!
You can safely use Titanium Backup or Asus Backup for apps and settings, but that's it. For everything else use your recovery.
P.S.: Hit the 'Like' button if this helped you