Rooting Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro

After successfully rooting my HTC, I decided to root my Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro. After all, it was great to gain more memory and thus able to install much more Android apps then it would otherwise be able without me having to buy another new higher end Android model just so to have more memory to install apps. I’m planning to save up some money to go for Android tablets instead to replace my netbook stolen by my runaway Indonesian maid.

Having used this Xperia X10 mini pro for almost 2 years now, my main grouse with it is the insufficient working RAM memory of 176MB. With the many application running in the background most of the time I get a balance of about 30MB or RAM memory which really slows down my X10 mini pro. The internal ROM memory was 212MB which was about 50MB more than my HTC Cha Cha still gives the X10 mini pro an edge for App installation especially it has less bloatware in comparison with HTC too helped to save up on the ROM memory usage.

My rooted Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro with the Superuser icon

So if ever I get a new Android phone or tablet, memory points to note are:

  • Make sure it has a generous internal ROM, at least 1 GB in size. The more the merrier of course!
  • Make sure it has a generous working RAM, at least the bare minimum of 512MB, but to be comfortable 756MB to 1 GB of working RAM would be better especially if the internal ROM is large, which means more apps would be installed and that means more background RAM would be used if the app runs in the background
  • Less pre-installed software apps especially if the app is useless to you. Their data and cache would just be hogging the internal ROM and if running in the background, hogging your CPU process and working RAM too. If you need the apps, in most cases you could find them in the Play Store (Android Market).

Of course, I would also like to have more powerful CPU for less lag, and a more powerful battery for longer usage between battery charging and clear crystal screen display while within my budget constraint of affordability.

Rooting the Xperia X10 mini pro

The Sony X10 don’t have the S-on/S-off issue like that of the HTC Cha Cha that I have. So there was no need to unlock the mobile phone. There were many methods to root the Xperia X10 mini pro, in the end only one method worked for me.

As usual before doing any technically advance things to your android mobile phone, do make BACKUPs of all your precious data. One thing good about current smart mobile phones nowadays is the cloud computing, the ability to sync with online accounts such as Google Gmail for emails, contacts, calendars, etc, for notes with Evernote, and to a certain extend your photos and videos with Facebook and Flickr (though for photos and videos I would still prefer to directly backup to my PC since FB and Flickr would degrade your picture and video quality in order to reduce size.) So your precious data would still be fairly intact should the android phone be reset.

Method 1 – z4root

Upload the z4root.apk file, install it, enable USB debugging mode and run it.
If it works, your Sony X10 mini pro would be rooted
It didn’t work for me, so…

Method 2 – SuperOneClick

Your Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro should be updated from Android version 1.6 to version 2.1 (2.1.1.A.0.6). Anyway the highest update that was released by Sony for X10 is Android 2.1. You won’t see any more updates to other higher Android versions from Sony as they prefer to concentrate on other new models. If you managed to root your phone, you could try some of the ROM images that use higher Android versions. For me, I just stick back to stock versions just so the phone would work as it should and face fewer problems getting hardware to work on non-official ROMs.

1. Download “SuperOneClick”.
2. Enable “USB Debug”.
3. Connect phone to “PC” and select “Charge Phone”.
4. Open “SuperOneClick” and select “Root”.
5. Wait!
6. When it is done, reboot.

Nada, didn’t work for me either…
So much for anticipation.

Method 3 – Exploid

This requires command line terminal from your windows PC. The above two were suppose to be automatic rooting based on the command line

Requirements: Sony PC Companion and Android SDK and of course the exploid files.

Enable USB debugging on the phone in Settings>Applications>Development and connect the phone to PC via USB.
Suggestion to add the Power Control widget to your active widgets on the phone desktop, so you can quickly switch off / on the WIFI.
From the command line (on windows it’s cmd.exe) do the following:

cd c:exploid_x10mini (or another folder where you’ve extracted the files from
adb push Superuser.apk /sdcard/Superuser.apk
adb push su /sdcard/su
adb push exploid /sqlite_stmt_journals/exploid
adb push busybox /sqlite_stmt_journals/busybox
adb shell
cd sqlite_stmt_journals
chmod 755 exploid
chmod 755 busybox

Immediately after the next command, you will need to disable and enable WIFI using the power widget on the phone:

then run:

enter password rootnow
prompt will change to # – now we have root

./busybox cp /sdcard/Superuser.apk /system/app/
./busybox cp /sdcard/su /system/bin/
./busybox cp busybox /system/bin/
chmod 4755 /system/bin/su
rm /system/bin/rootshell
exit – out of rootshell
exit – out of adb shell

When you run the abd shell again and issue su command, the Superuser.apk will run on the phone and will ask whether to allow the root permissions…

Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me either! How frustrating! So digging around I finally found another method:

Method 4 – using psneuter

Requirements: psneuter file, Android SDK files (adb.exe, AdbWinApi.dll and AdbWinUsbApi.dll) and extracted files from SuperOneClick – superuser.apk, su, busybox.

On your X10 mini pro phone, enable active USB Debugging:
Settings > Applications > Development -> USB Debugging
and connect the phone to PC via USB (select Charge Phone)

Goto folder where you unzipped the SuperOneClick stuff
adb push superuser.apk /sqlite_stmt_journals/Superuser.apk
adb push superuser.apk /sqlite_stmt_journals/superuser.apk
adb push su /sqlite_stmt_journals/su
adb push psneuter /sqlite_stmt_journals/psneuter
adb push busybox /sqlite_stmt_journals/busybox
adb shell

cd sqlite_stmt_journals

This should kick you back out to the command line
adb shell (to go back in)

You should now be root ( # prompt ) (run the command: id to make sure you are root)

mount -o remount,rw -t yaffs2 /dev/block/mtdblock0 /system (assuming /system is on block0 (not block3))

cd sqlite_stmt_journals
./busybox cp busybox /system/bin
chmod 755 /system/bin/busybox

busybox cp Superuser.apk /system/app
busybox cp superuser.apk /system/app

busybox cp su /system/bin
chmod 755 /system/bin/su

Reboot phone
adb shell
should logon as shell ( $ )

su (pause, Superuser.apk should appear on screen, select allow and the phone is rooted)

Finally, voila! My phone was rooted!
I hope yours was too!
Some of the steps in Method 4 may need redoing using steps in Method 3 (I forget which ones, so you just have to try it for yourself).

It took me the better part of a full day to find the information, download the various software and try out each method. In some cases the software was not readily available and have to dig through various forum and other sites before find the correct information and software. And of course very frustrating tries for each method including the last one before the rooting worked. Sometimes I wonder how some of the people in the forum managed to root their phone so quickly given that each phone model hardware and software has differences that would cause the methods to work on some and fail on others.

Anyway with my Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro rooted, I downloaded Link2SD, partitioned my microSD card and freed up my internal memory for more additional android app download and installation.

The only thing now is to find out how to get the linux swap-file to work in order to free up the working RAM and hopefully speed up my X10 mobile phone.

Related posts:
Rooting the HTC Cha Cha to gain more memory
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini pro review

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