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I have a rooted Verizon Galaxy S4 SCH-i545 (edit: NOT GT-i9505) updated to the ME7 baseband version.

I would like to upgrade to this Lollipop ROM, which appears to be designed for the GT-i9505, but I don't know much (read: anything) about flashing and I can't understand which methods are or are not expected to work:

  • Flashing with TWRP or CWM Recovery apparently (?) requires an unlocked bootloader; with a locked bootloader, installing TWRP or CWM and rebooting just brings up an "unauthorized software" screen. However, there is an open bounty for unlocking the bootloader for Verizon S4s including (I think) those with the ME7 baseband. So does this mean that TWRP and CWM Recovery can't be used on my phone?
  • It appears that the standard way of bypassing the locked bootloader is to use Safestrap, but there are some comments in the ROM announcement thread and in the announcement itself at this somewhat sketchy-seeming site stating that Safestrap can't be used with this ROM. Is that actually the case? Why are some ROMs not usable with Safestrap?
  • Will Odin or Heimdall allow me to bypass the bootloader and install either the ROM itself or CWM or TWRP?
  • Is there anything I can do with the Android SDK and associated tools (fastboot, adb, etc) to circumvent the bootloader problem?

If none of these are expected to work, how exactly is the above ROM supposed to be used with a Verizon S4? Are people with the ME7 and other bootloader-locked baseband versions just out of luck?

EDIT: Are the GT-i9505 and SCH-i545 even comparable?

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It's unfortunate that you learnt it the hard way, so posting this here for benefit of others who may be similarly placed

Very bright chances of bricking your phone if you flash a ROM not specifically meant for your phone. Custom ROMs are made by developers to cater explicitly for models specified by them, and being "closest" to your phone model doesn't mean anything in this context. Please read these to get more understanding

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I bricked my phone attempting to use Heimdall to overwrite the bootloader. I do not believe the Verizon S4 with the ME7 baseband can be flashed with a custom ROM.

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