S-Off and S-ON: How To Get S-Off and S-ON On HTC Android Smartphones

S-OFF and S-ON.

If you own an HTC Android smartphone such as the HTC One, HTC Evo 4g, HTC Desire etc. or any other HTC Android smartphone for that matter, then you must have come across terms like S-OFF and S-ON especially if you are familiar with the world of Android development. If you are new to the world of Android flashing and rooting then you must be looking to understand what terms like S-OFF and S-ON stand for and why do you have to deal with them in the first place. In this article we will be looking to answer just these questions.

So What Is S-OFF and S-ON?

Basically S-ON is a security measure implemented by HTC on their Android smartphones which means that you do not get full access to the NAND portion of the device and have restricted access to some areas of the system files. S-off of course means that the s-on security feature has been disabled and the user can now have full access to the devices NAND.

s-off

Getting your device S-OFF is absolutely necessary if you want to successfully root your device and flash custom ROMs on your HTC smartphone. It doesn’t really matter if you have an S-OFF HTC one Verizon or on sprint or even career unlocked as the S-OFF and S-ON feature is independent from other variables.

Check Whether Your Device Is S-OFF and S-ON:

You are probably wondering how to check whether your device is S-OFF and S-ON. The process to check the status is a simple one. Simply boot into HBOOT. If you do not know how to boot into HBOOT then follow the steps below.

  • With your device turned off, hold down both power button and the volume down button.
  • After holding for around one second, release the power button but keep holding the volume button.
  • Keep holding for a few seconds and you would boot into hboot.

On the HBOOT screen you would be able to see whether the device shows as S-Off or S-ON.

Why do we have to deal with S-OFF and S-ON?

When the device is set to s-on, it carries out a firmware signature check to confirm the firmware’s integrity before it can be written to the system memory. This security is put in place to make sure that the firmware doesn’t get tampered with.

HTC s-off

But as Custom ROMS cannot pass the check, we have to disable S-ON before we can flash a ROM or a Kernel on the device. So when it is set to S-OFF, these restrictions get lifted off and we get full access to the NAND memory and the system partitions, enabling us to achieve full customization potential.

How To Turn S-OFF and S-ON On Legacy HTC Devices:

If you have a legacy HTC device such as the HTC desire HD or the Droid Incredible, then there is a very easy process to get S-OFF and S-ON. A very nifty utility called Unrevoked will let you achieve just that.  Simply visit the unrevoked website and follow the onscreen instructions to S-Off or S-ON your device easily.

If you have any other questions or are facing any difficulties then please do let us know in the comments below.

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