Out of the four US Variants of the flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S III, three come with unlocked bootloaders. Verizon decided to ruin the fun though, and locked the bootloader of their version. Needless to say, this has slowed down development on the device as compared to the Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T models.
The good news is that the developers, dedicated as ever, are looking to bypass the locked bootloader on the Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III. A team, known as CMTeamEpic is planning on getting around the locked bootloader by using kexec – a bootloader workaround you may be familiar with. The idea that the team is working on is to install a custom kernel such that it boots from recovery instead of booting from the bootloader, made possible due to a recent discovery that the Verizon SGSIII can indeed boot custom recoveries. Porting kexec hardboot to the device would then enable users to use custom kernels despite the lockdown.
For those as yet unaware, kexec hardboot is basically a method which allows kernels to be booted through recovery without the need to flash them to the phone. Although the kexec hardboot performed here is slightly different, the overall purpose remains the same and works the same way.
From the CMTeamEpic:
“Also recently, we’ve finished porting kexec hardboot—a method of booting kernels through recovery without needing to flash them to the device—to the Sprint SGS3, a feature that would also enable Verizon SGS3 users to make use of custom kernels despite the locked bootloader”.
The method isn’t yet ready to be tested by just about anyone though, although that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that this is a very welcome breakthrough. The team working on bypassing the locked bootloader is encountering a few unusual problems. One of these is that after the device has been booted with custom recovery, rebooting the device via the power menu redirects users right back to recovery.
Also, a warning for interested users: CMTeamEpic claims the kexec for the Verizon SGSIII is a “proof-of-concept” process and is only for other developers or experienced users to use. If you don’t want to cause irreparable damage to your brand new device, it is advised that you don’t try this out. Also note that the proof of concept kernel does not change anything at all over the stock kernel and is basically just meant for demonstration. If you must, check out the source link for more details on how the process works and perform it on your device.
If you do try the process on your device and face problems or your device stops responding, hold the Power button down for a bit/ This should force a reboot. If it doesn’t, try holding down the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons to reboot into recovery.
Lastly, Verizon is expected to issue an Over The Air update anytime which would make the workaround talked about ineffective. Hence, don’t update until developers confirm that booting into recovery is still possible after the update, if there is one.