How to root your Samsung Vibrant or Captivate


***UPDATE*** This process has be superseded by a new one-click rooting application for Mac and PC. Check it out over at xda-developers: here

Thanks to the hacker that rooted to original Samsung Galaxy S, it’s relatively easy to root the US versions for T-Mobile and AT&T, the Vibrant and Captivate. Why would you want to root? Well, for starters, you can remove all that bloatware that carriers love to install. You can also now use wifi tethering applications, and other root-only applications. And it opens you to the world of custom ROMs and doing pretty much anything you want to your phone.

And as always, be aware that modifying your phone like this may or may not void your warranty, and you could brick your phone. Although this procedure is fairly simple and safe, you have been warned. Let’s get started.

For the Vibrant:

1. Download the attached zip and rename to:
2. On your device, navigate to Settings > Applications > USB settings and select Mass storage
3. Plug your device into your computer, select mount USB from your device’s pull-down window
4. Copy the to the INTERNAL SD memory (~14gb on this drive, not the one w/ Avatar if you’ve still got the 2gb SD card in)
5. Turn your phone off.
6. Hold down volume up and volume down while powering on the phone, this should get you to a recovery menu, you may have to try this a few times.
7. In Recovery menu select ‘Reinstall Packages’ (use vol_down then power to select)

And for the Captivate:

1) You may need Samsung drivers if you are on a PC, which you can learn about here: ADB Drivers at the Unlockr
For 64 bit Windows, you’ll need these drivers:…iver-download/
Don’t proceed until your phone is fully installed on Windows with the drivers!

2) Download the attached zip and rename it to update or if you are on a Mac. Scroll down the notification bar and click “mount” to allow your computer to read the internal memory. Put the file on the INTERNAL SD card of the Captivate, which won’t be tough to figure out if you don’t have an SD card in the phone.

3) This step requires the Android SDK, and Android Debugging enabled. You can get the SDK here: Android SDK. Just download the zip, extract it to something like C:\Android. You won’t need the Java dev pack or anything.
You can enable Android Debugging like this: From the homescreen, press Menu, then click Settings. Navigate to Applications>Development and check USB Debugging. Now, hook the phone to the computer. Next,
On a PC, click start>run>”cmd” (in the text box) or on a Mac, spotlight “Terminal”. Linux users, you know what to do.
The command you will use is in the tools folder of wherever you extracted it to (IE: C:\android\tools), so be sure your working directory of command prompt is in that tools location!
Finally, type:

adb reboot recovery

4) Once the phone is booted into recovery, use the volume keys on the phone to scroll to “Reinstall packages.” Use power to select what you have highlighted.

5) Give yourself a pat on the back. You are now rooted. You should see a Superuser application now.


Sources: [xda-developers and xda-developers]

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Ben is the owner/editor of The Android Site, as well as the main writer. He has been writing about Android related news since 2009 and obsessed with everything Google and Android related. You can find him on Reddit, Twitter, Google Plus and most other websites under the username benmarvin

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  • Ravi Teja

    Dude, love you buddy, it just worked out like some one said, really like a charm… you are the one.

  • mymy

    There’s an android logo that appears and it says Downloading… Do not turn off Target!!! But it doesn’t seem to do anything!? Is this normal?

    • Damien

      Mine is doing same. Not sure what to do????!

    • Sdomfe

      Mine is doing the same

  • jose

    ok so i have the superuser app but when i open it nothing shows, is that normal?

  • bo.Punk

    I’m with Jose here. Superuser app is showing, but nothing is showing inside it when run.


  • i tried to root my vibrant using the method above but can not access the recovery menu. tried several different ways of pushing the buttons but none worked

    can anyone help?

  • All ways worked like a charm for me 🙂 – Captivate sx

  • Tiffany

    So I feel stupid but this is the first time I have done this. . .I want to root my vibrant so I can update it to have an adobe flash player. Is this all I have to do or is there other software 2?? Just scared of messing up my phone. Thanks!

  • Damien

    Worked like a charm 😉

  • Nit

    there is a problem lik ,,signature verification failed .. so wat can i do 

  • Cloorlando

    AWESOME! Just as you said!

  • The Draftsman

    please help.
    anyone in denver area willing to walk/talk me through rooting, installing cm7,

  • The Draftsman

    i need step by step instructions from beginning to end for my samsung captivate built 2011.07.12 (1108) w/2.2 i have a moto droid 1 for verizon and was able to figure it all out, 1.5yrs worth of rom swaps oc,ing etc. so somewhat savvy. the steps for cmd promt and android/tools are lacking, as i can not get it to work. i would greatly appreciate any help i can get ie:beer or whatever. i do not have a credit/bank account or paypal, so real life real time, poss. phone call or something???

  • unfortunately for me, I get an error at the next to last step.  When I get to the “reinstall applications” part, I execute the command and get a “signature validation” error and it fails.  I am using a Captivate with kernel version, baseband version I897UCKB2. 

    Anybody have any suggestions on what might be happening?

  • Goodspeed1989

    i use an AT&T captivate, i’ve done everythin that u’ve said but all i get in recovery mode on the phone is 
    E:Error in /sdcard/
    (status 7)
    Installation Aborted

  • Hotboxinsaint

    keep getting E:signature verification failed

  • Shawn

    does this work with the update to 2.2?

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