How to Flash a Custom ROM onto Your Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Enhance Your Android Experience

The new Samsung Galaxy S4 just received an update to Android 4.2.2, so why is it that my Galaxy Note 2 is still running an older version of Jelly Bean? It felt like yesterday that my device was finally updated to 4.1.2, but why even bother since 4.2 has been around since last November?

If you want to stay up to date on Android like I do, stop waiting and take matters into your own hands.

Flash a Custom ROM

ROM stands for read-only memory, referring to your phone's internal memory where the firmware and apps are stored.

Flashing a custom ROM simply means overwriting your current OS with a new version of the firmware. Custom ROMs created by third-party developers can contain performance tweaks, new features, and updated versions of firmware you couldn't get waiting for your carrier to catch up.

While it may sound complicated to flash a ROM—especially if you're a n00b—it's actually pretty easy. It just takes the SoftModder spirit. So, today I'll take you through the entire process, step by step, on installing a custom ROM to your Note 2.

Step 1: Root

Before you go about flashing a ROM onto your Note 2, you'll need to make sure that your device is rooted. If you haven't rooted yet, check out my last article to see how using ODIN on Windows.

Step 2: Find a ROM

Now that your Note 2 is rooted, you'll want to find a custom ROM to install on your model-specific Note 2. Most of you will want to jump right into finding a Jelly Bean 4.2 or higher one. There a quite a few out there, including PACMan, SlimBean, and CyanogenMod.

For this article, I'll be flashing a popular ROM called Jedi X 13 for the Note 2 (AT&T) by dev ptmr3. If you want to install this same ROM, but have a different phone carrier, here's the links for the T-Mobile and Verizon versions.

Image via postimage.org

If you want to install another ROM, scour online for any ROMs that interest you, but make sure they're specific to your model. Flashing a ROM that isn't for your exact model device may brick your phone, so be warned. You can find your model number either under the battery or in "About device" under your "Settings" menu.

Step 3: Back Up

Now that you've found a ROM to install, make sure you back up all of your data and your original ROM to your computer, preferably with NANDROID. In case something goes wrong, you can flash your old ROM back to your device. In case everything goes well, you'll want to restore all of your data to your new ROM.

Step 4: Download the ZIP File

Install the ROM you have chosen, either on your computer or directly onto your Note 2. If you download it onto your computer, you'll have to connect your device to the computer and drag the .zip file onto the root of SD card (not in any folders).

Make sure you don't unzip the file, KEEP AS IS.

I prefer the second method, as it is much easier. I used my Note 2's browser and downloaded the ROM zip file (this is AT&T specific) directly onto my device, which took about 10 minutes.

Step 5: Boot into Recovery

After the download is completed, turn off your device. You can then hold down the Volume Up + Home + Power buttons in order to boot your Note 2 into Recovery Mode.

Step 6: If You Haven't Already—Back Up

If you haven't already, you can backup your phone directly from recovery mode. Simply scroll down using the Volume buttons and select backup and recovery with the Home button.

Step 7: Wipe Data

Now that you've backed up your device, select wipe data/factory reset, scroll down and select yes. This will delete all of your contacts, pictures and apps, but you shouldn't worry if you backed up your device.

The factory reset will allow your custom ROM to be installed much smoother, without any problems.

Step 8: Locate Your ZIP File

After your device is wiped, click on install zip from sdcard and then click on choose zip from sdcard in order to find the .zip file you downloaded of the custom ROM.

Go to where you saved the ROM file. Since I downloaded it straight from my phone, it will be under Download/.

Step 9: Flash Your New ROM

Find your ROM. Mine is named JediXP13.zip. Click on it and select yes to begin the process.

Step 10: Wipe Cache

Next, click on wipe cache partition to get rid of any unwanted temporary files so your phone boots correctly. Scroll down and select yes.

Step 11: Reboot

Finally, you can now select reboot system now. This will restart your phone, which may take several minutes to start up. Your new ROM should now be on your Note 2 and you'll have to start all over as if you had a brand new spanking phone.

Now—enjoy your new ROM on your Note 2! Depending on the custom ROM you used, it can feel like an entirely different device. The mod that I installed adds features such as tweaks (for battery, network, performance), transparent multi-window enabled for all apps, Sony Walkman music, Awesome Beats, and more.

Now that you've become a master at flashing ROMs, you can move on to flashing MODs, which are modifications and tweaks that can customize your ROM. Check back later for an article on MOD flashing!

Cover photo via Phandroid

10 Comments

The jedx13 rom is my favorite rom. But it is not 4.2.2 it is 4.1.2. None of the 4.2.2 roms that are out for the note 2 (and there are many) have Samsung touchwiz interface. So if you are a tw fan you will have to settle for a 4.1.2 rom.

Not worth the trouble flashing a ROM that disables most of the significant features of the Note 2 - in particular. It might be good for "standard" android devices but on the Note 2 you lose too much of what you got it for in the first place. You definitely have to root your Note 2 but then get a launcher like Nova that gives you many of the special features in a good ROM like CyanogenMod

I just used this ROM as an example, there are plenty of other ROMs that include Photosphere and other features that otherwise wouldn't be available on stock. What are the significant features that you had disabled?

Your post is very misleading, you do not lose custom Samsung note specifics features you speak of as long as you stick to a touchwiz based rom. Aosp and aokp roms are better left alone if you use your stylus, for example, but stick with a tw rom and you'll be fine

Hiya I am new to this whole thing and find this so overwhelming! maybe its a newbie thing or a blonde girl thing so, I am honestly asking for some seriously honest advice here, I love my S Pen and don't wanna lose a heap of features and I want more from my Note 2 G7105 than the standard system provides so sorry for asking the dumb questions here guys but should I just use ODIN and install super user and install a few custom apps from Play store or is there so much more I can do? there is just so much conflicting info I dunno where to start..... can you recommend a safe walk thru start and a ROM suitable for me I live in AU but bought my note online it did come from Europe going by the plug. See the dumb thing again I have another question do I need to ROOT my phone say with Super user before even installing a custom ROM? I am so totally confused even with the SOFT MOD HOW TO? as to wether it installs all those options or just tells you how to I know this is prolly in the wrong place but I am so confused that a push in the right direction would be so much appreciated that I would so eternally grateful, PLEASE HELP.. Yvette

Hi Yvette, I also have G7105 purchased online and I am in Oz. I think you should wait until the official update comes. Samsung is skipping the 4.2.2 for the Note 2. When the Note 3 is released in Sept the Note 2 should get a lot of the Note 3 software updates including 4.3 Jelly Bean. Until then try rooting your phone and installing a launcher like Nova, Go or Apex. There are several good apps that will also keep you busy with customizing your phone. The risk to reward ratio is too high for trying to install a new rom. Patience is the key right now I think.

there is this thing comes out says that
E:signature verification failed

it means what? cant install the rom?
need advice asap for next steps. ty

I HAVE A NOTE II ON T-MOBILE. JUST ONE QUESTION. I HAVE THE 4.1.2 AND IF I FLASH THE MIUI ROM THAT SAYS 4.2.2 WILL IT GIVE ME THE 4.2.2? CAN SOMEONE HELP ME OUT ITH THIS..

I'M NEW AT THIS FLASHING A ROM..

hello sir/madam i am using samsung galaxy note 2 i am rooted my phone But After Install Crdroid Custom Rom My Phone Working 1 Hour After Phone Automatically Shutdown Now Phone Not Getting Power On Please Tell Me What To Do?

Hi eveyone!
I accidentally deleted my default ROM before installing Ditto Note 4.
Do you think that with the method you explained in this video I will be able to get my default ROM back?

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