Samsung and Verizon have released an OTA update for the Samsung Galaxy S4 (SCH-I545) a while back with the Build number JDQ39.I545VRUAME7, although not officially described, but the latest update contains a new bootloader and kernel. It’s not a big problem for regular users, but it might be a very serious trouble for users who enjoy modding their device, since the OTA firmware in most cases includes a security patch that does not allow us to regain root access and might also block unlocking the bootloader. Consequently, we will never be able to run a custom ROM and custom recovery on our smartphones.
In case you are already updating your phone to the latest OTA, it seems you have to wait a little longer, but I’m sure sooner or later there will be a new exploit that will be able to work with the new firmware. However, if you not yet installed the update and still rooted, you can take several steps below to stop your phone receiving an OTA update notification and accidentally updating Verizon Galaxy S4.
We need to freeze, rename or remove any apps that served to accept an OTA update, make sure your phone is rooted before doing the following steps.
- Find a file manager app that has the capability to read and write system folder. You can get this type of apps on Google Play Store, free or paid.
- After installing a root file manager app, now head to /system/apps folder and look for “SDM.apk” and “fwupgrade.apk”, after locating it now you can remove it (but don’t forget to make a backup) or by changing the file extension from .apk to .bak so the both apps won’t be recognized by your handset.
- We can also use tools similar to Titanium Backup Pro that can perform all the manual steps above automatically.
- Once you’re sure have done all the steps correctly now reboot your device.
For those who already downloaded the OTA update, you can delete the downloaded update file by going to the /cache folder then remove the firmware file.