Install Cyanogen Mod 11 on Samsung Galaxy Tab GT-P3110

Breathe new life into an old Android device. Look for Cyanogen Mod 11 firmware and make it as good as new. Also, in bargain, you get to remove old vulnerabilities, upgrade to a compatible, later version of the Android Operating System flavour and enjoy the newer programs that release on Google Play Store. And most important, better control and security than the default Android firmware updates provided by the hardware manufacturer like Samsung.

This post is about how to go about installing Cyanogen Mod 11 on the old Samsung Galaxy Tab GT-P3110. As per guidelines, Samsung does not release newer firmware for any Android devices it makes after 18 month of their release. These are called legacy devices for which no firmware will be released in future, even if Android Jelly Bean is outdated and Android Lollipop is launched. This gives us users of those old devices a major handicap and leaves us at risk of any discovered vulnerabilities that may be a security threat to it. One major threat is the Poodle vulnerability, which I will not delve. You can look it up on the Internet.

Thanks to the dedicated folks at Cyanogen Mod, we have a path to upgrade to their new Cyanogen Mod 11 firmware and breathe new life into our old device, the GT-P3110. The folks at Cyanogen Mod support many devices.

Follow the instructions below to install Cyanogen Mod 11 on the Samsung GT-P3110. The instructions below were performed on a Linux desktop. Note, you do so at your own risk and you also void the warranty if your date of purchase is within the last 12 months. I have expanded on this post based on my experience of installing Cyanogen Mod 11 on the Samsung GT-P3110 Galaxy Tab.

1Install heimdall and adb on Ubuntu Linux on the Computer
Open a terminal window in Linux and install heimdall-flash and android ADB tools
$ sudo apt-get install heimdall-flash android-tools-adb

If you use Windows, you will find a Windows version of the above tools on the internet.

2Download the required files from your computer
This is the ClockWork Mod Recovery Tool.

MD5: 9817fdec107648d3e835780e7b3177b3
This is the Advanced ClockWork Mod Recovery Tool.

md5sum: 5dea45415f8c77a0b5a788dc22832eb2
This is the Cyanogen Mod 11 firmware build for the Samsung GT-P3110 tablet.

md5: ea0894b45481c4f56e7ea43a650150c9Google Apps required if you want to connect the tablet to Google Applications like Play Store. By the way, what’s the fun if you do not have Google Play Store to install applications on your Cyanogen Mod 11 Samsung tablet? — Just download gapps.

Now, all downloads are done.

3Take a data backup and then factory reset the device

Power on the Galaxy Tab and take a data backup of your Contacts and any data you may need.

Then Factory Reset the tablet. Factory reset required if you do not want your credentials, data and downloaded apps to go onto the stock firmware backup you will take at later stage.

Power off the tab

4Connect the USB cable to the computer
Make sure the USB cable is connected to the USB 2.0 port and not a USB 3.0 port or even not connected to the computer via a hub. Only works with USB 2.0 port and a direct connection to the computer.

On any other port will display “Failed to detect compatible download-mode device“.

5Rename the ClockWork Mod Recovery image
Open a terminal window on your Linux desktop. Rename the clockwork*.img file to a shorter name recovery.img for convenience
$ mv clockwork- recovery.img
6Put the tab into Download Mode
To get into Download Mode, boot Galaxy Tab by holding Volume Down and then the Power button.

Now connect USB cable to the Galaxy Tab

7Flash the Recovery Tool Image onto the tablet
$ sudo heimdall flash --RECOVERY recovery.img --no-reboot

Heimdall v1.4.0 
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This software is provided free of charge. Copying and redistribution is
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Initialising connection...
Detecting device...
Claiming interface...
Attempt failed. Detaching driver...

Claiming interface again...
Setting up interface...
Initialising protocol...
Protocol initialisation successful.
Beginning session...
Some devices may take up to 2 minutes to respond.
Please be patient!
Session begun.
Downloading device's PIT file...
PIT file download successful.
Uploading RECOVERY
RECOVERY upload successful

Ending session...
Releasing device interface...
Re-attaching kernel driver...

A blue bar appears at the bottom of the tab screen. Transfer is done.
Disconnect the USB cable from the tab.

8Take a backup of the stock firmware
Boot into recovery mode by pressing Volume Up and then the Power button and you get the ClockWork Mod Recovery Menu.Choose - backup and restore to take a full backup of the stock ROM first.

Choose - backup to external SD Card to make a backup of the full ROM. It will backup to the external SD Card.

Reboot the Galaxy Tab.

9Copy the backed up clockworkmod folder to the PC
Connect the tablet to the PC via USB and copy the backup folder clockworkmod to the computer.

Next, while connected to the PC, copy the following files to the SD Card of the tablet.

After that, unmount and disconnect the tablet from the PC.

Power off the tablet.

10Wipe the cache, dalvik cache
Start the tablet by pressing Volume Up and then Power Key to get to Recovery mode.

Choose the option Wipe the cache and then Wipe the dalvik cache.

11Install Cyanogen Mod 11 firmware zip file
In the Recovery mode menu, select “Install zip from SD Card“.

Then select “choose zip from external sdcard". Select the file, then Yes install

This step will normally display an error with Status 7. That means the ClockWork Mod recovery version installed does not support installation of the Cyanogen Mod 11 firmware.

To overcome this, you need to use the Advanced Recovery Tool called Philz_Touch which supports the installation.

12Install Philz_Touch Advanced ClockWork Mod Recovery
Boot into recovery mode, by Press Volume Up and then the Power button and you get the ClockWork Mod Recovery Menu.

Select option Install Zip from External SD Card. Select the file. Install it, and restart the tablet.

Note that Philz_Touch is a touch-sensitive Recovery Menu and a slight touch will perform actions. Therefore, touch the options carefully.

13Clear Cache, Dalvik Cache and Factory Reset from the Recovery Menu
Start the tablet into Recovery menu by pressing the Volume Up and then the Power button.

Select Wipe and Format Options -> Factory Reset, Wipe Cache & Wipe Dalvik/ART Cache. Click on <| to go back and select Reboot System Now.

Once the tablet is re-started, press the Power Button to Power Off.

14Install Cyanogen Mod 11 firmware zip file
In the Recovery mode menu, select Install Zip -> Choose zip from /storage/sdcard1. Then select “choose zip from external sdcard“.

Select the file, then Yes install.

Note that this time, the firmware will be installed.

15Install Google Apps on the phone
In the Recovery mode menu, select Install Zip -> Choose zip from /storage/sdcard1. Then select “choose zip from external sdcard“.

Select the file ”, then Yes install

After installation, you will need to reboot.

Now you can set up the tablet and install the applications you want from Google Play Store after setting up the Tab. Next time, we will look at how to harden the security of the Cyanogen Mod 11 tablet.