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I installed CWM sometime back and switched back to a stock ROM. When I installed CWM I lost my userdata, by which I mean the phone started as it would for the first time after opening the box. I used fastboot oem unlock to unlock the bootloader so I could install CWM.

I want to root my phone, but I don't want to lose all my userdata this time. Is CWM is a must for rooting?

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It depends, what device are you using? –  onik Nov 21 '12 at 13:14
    
What do you mean by userdata? Has you device gone in factory reset status or you lost data from SD card? –  Sachin Shekhar Nov 21 '12 at 13:15
    
Sorry, but what model of you device? I'm firstly hear about lost data, but it may be because of script error or fastboot oem unlock command, where it already unneeded (it needed first time, and it format userdata for security reason). –  Penguinolog Nov 21 '12 at 13:15
    
live with walkman sony...(wt19i) –  Sreekar Nov 21 '12 at 13:22
    
yes..I lost all contacts and apps etc...I lost my personal words keyboard learnt sofar..that was most painful –  Sreekar Nov 21 '12 at 13:24
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2 Answers 2

  1. fastboot oem unlock always deletes userdata for security reasons, so it must be used only once (until you lock again manually).

  2. CWM is needed if you want to flash a root package (you can't push it via fastboot), but that is not usually the only way to root a device. The CWM install needs only the fastboot flash recovery recovery_name command, which does not affect user data.

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Root application not flash - it realy put into flashed system. –  Penguinolog Nov 23 '12 at 6:24
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The only reason you lost your user data was because of the oem unlock command - the documentation says this will erase all user data for security.

You can install cwm using fastboot fastboot flash recovery <path to recovery image>, and to will not erase userdata.

Recovery isn't a must for root - but it is recommended.

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