Sony Xperia Neo L is a device that we seem to have forgotten while covering hacking tutorials for other phones. Thanks to our readers who have posted queries on our Facebook page to let us know what they need. Rooting Xperia Neo L is not quite easy as rooting other Xperia phones. FlashTool is one great tool for Xperia devices that lets you root most of the Xperia devices with a single click using a backup and restore method. This method however does not work on Xperia Neo L and hence it needs to be flashed with a different firmware to obtain root access. In this post, we’ll guide you with the procedure to flash firmwares and rooting Xperia Neo L. If you face any issues, you can let us know in the comments below or post queries on our Google+ community to get a faster response.
Before you proceed with the rooting guide. make sure you backup everything on your phone. Please don’t blame us for any data loss.
- Back up all apps using ASTRO File Manager. You can get the APK files using ASTRO and later restore it. Rooted users can use Titanium Backup which also backs up data along with the apps.
- Back up all contacts to SD card.
- Backup SMS on Android.
- Backup call log on Android.
- Have minimum 60% charge on your phone else you might get stuck while the update process is running on your device.
- Remove any security or Anti-virus app if you have them installed.
- Enable USB Debugging. This can be don by Settings>Applications>Development and making sure that USB Debugging is checked.
Disclaimer: Hack My Android is not responsible for any damage that your device may face during this process. The developer is also not responsible for the same. There are little chances that your device may face any issue. However, try this at your own risk. This process voids the warranty of your device.
Saving CDF/Customization Number
If you are flashing something on your phone for the first time, make sure you save your phone’s CDF number which will be useful while you return to your stock firmware. If you wish to install custom ROMs in future, you can simply ignore the steos below. To save your CDF,
- Go to the dialer and dial *#*#7378423#*#*
- Tap on Service info
- Tap on Software info
- You will find:
Save the number somewhere safe. You may wonder why you need the customization number. The reason for saving this is that if you flash a firmware of a different region (not yours), the CDF number gets changed. So when you try to revert back to a firmware of your region using Sony PC companion, the software reads the CDF number to identify your region and then updates your phone. To roll back to a firmware of your region, you will have to edit the buil.prop file which is present in /system folder and in the lines which contain
You can edit the number and replace it with your CDF number. Use Root explorer app to edit your build.prop file.
You may also wish to backup your current regional firmware for which you can head over to this thread. The steps in the thread let you create a .ftf file for your firmware which can be flashed using FlashTool.
So now you are all set for rooting your Xperia Neo L.
- DoomLord’s rooting toolkit (Unzip contents to C:\ drive).
- Download your current firmware’s kernel and .562 kernel (first one below). You can find your current firmware from Settings>About Phone. The reason why you need the .562 kernel is that rooting is currently possible using .562 kernel only. To root your phone, you will have to flash .562 kernel, root the phone and flash the Current firmware kernel back.
- FlashTool (Install in C:/ drive).
- I assume you have drivers installed. If you don’t you can find them in the FlashTool directory inside the “drivers” folder.
Flashing .562 Kernel
- Go to Xperia>Connectivity>USB connection mode. In Settings>Security, check “Unknown sources”. Turn on USB Debugging in Developer options.
- Copy the downloaded .562 kernel ftf file to C:/FlashTool/Firmwares folder.
- Run FlashTool.exe present in FlashTool folder as administrator.
- Click on the FlashMode “thunder icon” on top left and select “Flash mode”.
- Now select the kernel .562, Select “No Final Verification” and click ok.
- FlashTool will now ask you to connect your phone in Flashmode. To do this, disconnect phone from PC and turn it off. Press and hold back button and connect it to the PC via USB cable simultaneously.
- Once FlashTool finishes flashing, disconnect phone from PC and reboot it.
- Your phone will vibrate but screen might not turn on. Don’t panic, this was expected because of the .562 kernel.
Root Sony Xperia Neo L
- Open up the folder where you had extracted the DoomLord’s rooting toolkit.
- Make sure your phone is connected to PC via USB.
- In the extracted folder, double click the file “runme.bat”.
- It will ask you to turn on USB Debugging etc just ignore it and hit Enter button.
- Your phone will reboot several times and the script will finally say that your phone is rooted.
Flashing Current Firmware Kernel
You can follow the same steps as flashing .562 kernel to flash your CF kernel. Just place the CF (Current Firmware) kernel in the firmwares folder and select the CF kernel file in FlashTool options while flashing. To power off your phone, just re-insert the battery and connect it in Flashmode in the same way as you did before.
You now have the same stock kernel and firmware, the only difference is that your phone is now ROOTED. If you face any issues, feel free to comment below.
The credit for this guide goes to LoneWanderer at XDA Forums.