Installing CyanogenMod on a Samsung n7000

Home screen differences

I'd always wanted to install a custom ROM on my Android phone (or even tablet when I had one of those), but even though some of my friends seem to have had no trouble installing ROMs, trying to install CyanogenMod over the last week was a bit more of an ordeal than it probably should have been. I'm not sure if this is because I'm using a Mac and everyone out there seems to be on Windows or something else.

In any case, I first wanted to install CyanogenMod because of this post I read from Danny Choo. Although I can't run CM 10.1 exactly, it's still an upgrade from my current OS. Nice thing is I don't need to root unlike Danny, it seems.

First of all, I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 1, otherwise known as a n7000, so I used this guide on the CyanogenMod Wiki. (Off-topic, but it's hard to find covers for a n7000 since everyone's moved on to the Note 3 and S4...) My phone had been upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich the last time I had it sent to South Korea to repair the faulty charging port, so it fulfilled the requirements.

I don't know about other phones, but the first of the instructions mentioned a 'Download Mode', which can be accessed by booting while holding Power, Volume Down and Home buttons, as opposed to booting to 'Recovery Mode' by holding Power, Volume Up and Home buttons, though that only works after ClockworkMod Recovery is installed. The tip in step 5 was helpful when I got several errors, but a reboot back into Download Mode and trying a different cable seemed to clear my errors up eventually.

That's the easy part though, I wasn't able to get adb working properly, though I downloaded the Android Developer Tools as advised by that page. Ruben helped me with this part, as we searched for adb itself within the Developer Tools folder using the folder and then used the direct path to adb since my system wasn't able to find it by itself. You can check if your device is seen though:

adb devices

Before trying to push:

adb push /sdcard/

Or try the other commands on the Wiki. Either way, I kept getting a permissions error I had no idea how to fix, even if I prefixed the command with sudo. Guess it's not that easy..

permission denied (are you root?)

I noticed the guide said that you can copy the zip to the device using the standard USB Mass Storage or MTP support. That wasn't working either, since my MacBook refused to acknowledge my phone, but I figured the next best thing was to take out the external SD card and just copy it on.

Somehow this worked. I booted into Recovery Mode and followed the rest of the instructions, but instead of choose zip from sdcard I selected to choose a zip from the internal sdcard, which didn't seem to make sense, but it comes to show it helps looking in every directory just in case?

Installing CyanogenModInstalling CyanogenMod

I'm really glad this ended up working, but one thing to note is that CyanogenMod and most custom ROMs don't come with the Google Play Store app. So you can either download apps on your computer and transfer them, go through the web store, or you can download GApps which contains those missing Google Apps. On reflection I don't think I should have installed them, but it is definitely convenient...

My phone still appears to be crashing with alarms, but at least it's now a pleasure to use rather than being tedious. CyanogenMod is rather elegant, though I'm not sure how I feel about the clock fonts or their settings just yet! The process of installing it was certainly much more of pain than I expected it to be, and I almost gave up, but I'm glad that Ruben encouraged me to go on.

Lock screen differences