All the Xperia Z users know better than us that Sony’s not looking to push the official Android 4.4 KitKat update for their flagship Android devices anytime soon – though Sony has confirmed that it’s working on it. If you want to get a step ahead of other Xperia Z users and install the CyanogenMod 11 ROM on your phone to get all the latest user interface changes and cool features that Google has put under the hood then keep reading.
The procedure itself for installing KitKat 4.4 on Xperia Z is pretty simple – just a few flashes and wipeouts.The tricky part is what comes before – You’ll have to unlock your Xperia Z’ bootloader, root it and install a custom recovery. Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it? Not to worry, the main idea is to flash (install) files on your Xperia Z. You will first have to unlock the bootloader via the command prompt (PC will be connected), then install the rooting package and then install the custom recovery – there are many to choose from, but we’ll be working with ClockWorkMod here.
After all that hard part is done, we’ll reach the last step – and that’s installing the Android 4.4 KitKat based CyanogenMod 11 ROM on your Xperia Z. All the downloads required for the whole procedure will be listed in the downloads section along with where and when you have to use them.
Preparations and Pre-requisites
- You’ll need the USB data cable that came with your Xperia Z
- A computer with a functioning command prompt – needed for issuing commands to your phone.
- Charge your Xperia Z to at least 90% or it might shut down during the installation.
- Make sure you backup all the data you need since you’ll lose it during the process.
- Make sure you have all the drivers installed on your computer to support Sony Xperia Z.
- After you’ve got everything set, download the list of files below.
- Download the Fastboot file from here and extract the file onto your Desktop – you’ll need this to issue commands. Anytime you need to issue a command, you’ll have to open this Fastboot file and then open the command window to give commands.
- Download the ClockWorkMod recovery file and extract the boot.img file on your desktop.
- Download the Root Package to your desktop.
- Download the ClockworkMod 11 Android 4.4 KitKat ROM zip file.
- Download the Android 4.4 KitKat Gapps (Google Apps) zip file.
Unlock Xperia Z Bootloader
Step 1: The first thing we need to do is get permission to unlock the phone’s bootloader. To do this, go to the Service Menu by typing the code: * # * # 7378423 # * # * in the keypad. You should then get a message saying unlockBootloader allowed: Yes. If yes, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Go to this URL on your computer and click Start unlocking bootloader located at the bottom, keep proceeding through the terms and conditions – On the info form, put in your name, email address and IMEI number (you can find that from your Xperia Z by going to Settings > About Phone. Click on Submit.
Step 3: After you’ve done that you’ll be sent a mail on your e-mail account containing the code needed to unlock the bootloader.
Step 4: Now boot your phone into fastboot mode by pressing Volume Up and connecting your phone to the computer simultaneously.
Step 5: Next, open the fastboot file following the command window and enter this command:
-0x0fce fastboot.exe getvar version
If the return value is 0.5, your phone connected correctly.
Now enter this command (and replace the (***) with the bootloader code you received via email earlier):
fastboot.exe-oem unlock 0 x 0x0fce***
After you’ve entered the code command, your boot loader should hopefully unlock.
Install CWM Custom Recovery on Xperia Z
After you’ve unlocked the bootlaoder, most of the hard part is over – you will now have to install the CWM (ClockworkMode recovery).
Step 1: Open the Fastboot file (the one you opened before for unlocking the bootloader) and move the boot.img file to where the fastboot file and ADB drivers are situated.
Step 2: Now boot your Xperia Z into Fastboot mode and open the command window on your computer.
Step 3: Next, enter this command in the window:
cd C:fastboot (assuming your fastboot file is in C: drive)
And then enter this command:
fastboot flash boot boot.img
Step 4: Once the CWM recovery installation is complete, reboot your Xperia Z.
Congratulations! You now have only one thing standing between you and CM 11 KitKat 4.4 custom ROM.
Rooting your Xperia Z
Rooting the Xperia Z is the easiest procedure among the rest.
Step 1: Extract the root package that you downloaded earlier.
Step 2: Connect your Xperia Z to the computer and open the extracted file you got from the root package.
Step 3: You’ll find a file named Runme.bat – open it and a window will pop up.
Step 4: Proceed with the on-screen instructions and the file will walk you through the root – you just have to sit back and watch.
Install Android 4.4 KitKat on Xperia Z
After you’ve done all the steps provided above, it’s time to flash the latest KitKat 4.4 Android version on your Xperia Z.
Step 1: Connect your Xperia to the computer.
Step 2: Move both the KitKat 4.4 CM 11 ROM zip file and Gapps file into your phone’s root storage (not in any folder) You may now disconnect your Xperia Z.
Step 3: Now boot your Xperia Z into the ClockWorkMod custom recovery mode by first turning it off, and then on again by pressing Volume Up + Home button + Power button.
Step 4: After you’re in recovery mode, select Clear cache and then Dalvik Cache under the Advanced option. Now select Data Wipeout to factory reset your Xperia z
Step 5: After wiping out the data, select the Install options and select the CM 11 KitKat 4.4 zip file you moved earlier. Install it, and then do the same for the KitKat Google Apps zip file.
Step 6: Now go back to the recovery menu and hit the Reboot system now option.
The first boot might take a while, but once booted your Xperia Z should be loaded with the Android 4.4 KitKat.