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Is it possible to use adb remount with a standard firmware and without having rooted the device? If not, is there another way to force the system to make /system writable without rooting the device?

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I believe this is the purpose of rooting... – jlehenbauer Jun 20 '12 at 19:05
Wait, actually... while I'm installing an app, /system has to be unlocked, right? Because there are .apk files of all installed apps at /system/apps... – thejh Jun 20 '12 at 19:20
No, those are only the system apps. User apps are stored in /data/apps/. – Matthew Read Jun 20 '12 at 19:44
@MatthewRead: Oh, right. – thejh Jun 20 '12 at 20:03
even updated versions of '/system' apps don't overwrite their original versions in /system/app – ce4 Jun 20 '12 at 20:58
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Without root: No, for security reasons this command is only accessible for the superuser.
Standard firmware, rooted: Yes, if the partition you like to remount is not in a locked flash region (HTC calls that S-on/S-off)

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Thanks. Well, I guess what I was trying to do won't work. :( – thejh Jun 20 '12 at 19:08

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