Root & Install CWM Recovery on Galaxy S3 SCH-I535 4.1.1 / 4.1.2


Rooting an Android device is almost considered a must for those who want to venture out for third-party custom ROMs and mods and not just stick to official features available for the device. Not only custom ROMs but thousands of apps ready to increase phone's performance and usability need the device to be rooted.

But that does not mean that rooting isn't dangerous. Rooting a Samsung Galaxy device is much easier though as compared to other OEMs' devices. But even in them, rooting a Verizon Samsung phone is quite complicated. But, does that stops our great developers from finding solutions? The credit for rooting Verizon Galaxy S3 SCH-i535 goes to the XDA member open1your1eyes0.

Important: The process of rooting, unlocking the bootloader and installing a custom recovery tool on your Verizon Galaxy S3 SCH-i535 is considered risky. Rooting will also void the warranty of your Verizon Galaxy device, so please make sure to be aware of what you are getting in to and understand the seriousness of things before going forward.

Prerequisites to check before you root your Verizon Galaxy S3:

  • Ensure that your Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 SCH-i535 carries more than 70% of charge.
  • Rooting does not wipe any data from your phone but we strongly recommend you to create a backup of all important data in your Galaxy device.
  • Enable USB debugging option by pressing Menu > Settings > Applications. Navigate and tap on Developer Options to ensure that USB Debugging is enabled.

How to root & install CWM recovery on Galaxy S3 SCH-i535 Android 4.1.1 / 4.1.2:

Files to download: Download the Odin3-V3.07 tool and extract the zip on your desktop. Download Samsung USB Drivers and install on your PC. - skip if you have already have them on your desktop.

Download the custom Bootchain file: VRALEC.Bootchain.Tar.Md5 & the CWM Recovery: CWM6023TouchVZW.Tar.Md5

Download SuperSU file (root only): CWM-SuperSU-V0.99.Zip OR SuperUser file to (root and unlock Bootloader both): SuperSU_Bootloader_FIXED.Zip

Bootchain file for VRBLK3 (Android Jelly Bean 4.1.1): VRBLK3_Bootchain.Tar.Md5 OR 

Root, and unlock Bootloader:

  1. Copy the file to your phone’s internal or external SD card.
  2. Switch off your Verizon Galaxy S3 and boot it into Download mode by holding Volume Down, Home & Power buttons simultaneously until you see a warning screen asking you to press Volume Up key to continue. You'd get into the Odin or Download mode after pressing it.
  3. Open the Odin folder in computer and run the .exe file present there. Now connect your Galaxy S3 to PC using a USB cable. You will see ID:COM port turning Blue and Added!! text at the message box in Odin once it detects your device.
  4. Ensure that Auto Reboot and F Reset Time are checked on Odin. Click on the PDA button and select the VRALEC.bootchain.tar.md5 file. Click on Start button on Odin box.
  5. The bootchain file will flash in a few seconds and you will get a RESET!! message with blue signal on ODIN. Your S3 will reboot automatically. Close the Odin and disconnect the USB cable from PC.
  6. We would now the ClockworkMod recovery too. Boot the phone into Download mode again in the same way as in Step 2.
  7. Relaunch the Odin and connect the Verizon S3 using the cable. Uncheck the Auto Reboot option on Odin.
  8. Next, click on the PDA and select the CWM6023TouchVZW.tar.md5 file and click on the Start button.
  9. CWM Recovery will be flashed to your phone followed by a PASS!! message. Your phone will not reboot automatically. Close the Odin window.
  10. Pull out the back cover of the Galaxy device and remove the battery. Place the battery back to its place after about 30 seconds or so.
  11. Boot the phone now into ClockworkMod recovery mode by holding the Volume Up, Home & Power buttons simultaneously. Keep the 3 keys pressed till your phone vibrates. When it does, release the Power button but keep the other 2 keys pressed till you get a gray background with Clockworkmod Recovery in blue written on the top of the screen.
  12. Once in CWM recovery mode, you can either select options by tapping on the screen or using the volume and power keys.
  13. Once there, go to install zip from sdcard followed by choose zip from sdcard and select the file. Confirm the installation and wait for it to finish.
  14. When completed, tap on the reboot system now. But before your device boots, pull out the battery. Place it back after a few seconds.
  15. Now again for the third time you will have to boot the device in Download mode. Do it same way as in Step 2.
  16. Relaunch Odin again and connect the phone to computer. Click on PDA button and select the stock bootchain file (VRBLK3 OR VRBMB1) depending on what file you have  downloaded.
  17. Click the Start button to initiate the installation and wait for it being finished. Your device will reboot automatically once it's done.

After all this hard work, your Verizon Galaxy S3 SCH-i535 is fully rooted with unlocked bootloader and installed CWM recovery tool. Have fun playing around with custom ROMs and apps.