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This is a complex question for me so I appreciate anyone helping me through it. I have a galaxy s4 that hasn't been updated since purchase b/c I was afraid to lose root.

I'm in the process of backing everything up now.

My concerns are...

1 Should I unroot? Will I screw up unrooting. I'm not familiar with the latest tools available and I don't know if it's necessary b/c...

2 I assume I can just do a factory reset and that will negate the need to unroot? Am I wrong?

3 Again I assume after doing the factory reset I can do the updates via my device OTA. Here's my most significant concern, that I shouldn't do all the updates b/c the most recent update has somehow thwarted whatever rooting tools might be currently available.

4 reroot, install a current ROM, reset up device.

I've done this a number of times with a number of devices but I haven't done it since I got this galaxy s4 shortly after release. That's how long it's been. I know there are tutorials and videos and tools and forums but I think I have some unique issues and context here. Any help will be appreciated.

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    They are not unique issues. :D For 2) and 3): su binary (allows access to root user) is located inside /system and not /data or /cache. When you factory reset, only /data and /cache (and optionally, your internal SD card too) is cleared. In that way, the app managing root access would be lost (if you didn't make it system app already) but su binary would remain in the /system. Hence, if you attempt OTA, system integrity would be found lost and so, OTA would not proceed IMO (it's theoretical for me; I never do OTA updates). – Firelord Oct 28 '15 at 5:16
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    As a fellow Galaxy S4 owner myself I would consider just changing the rom you are running. No need for the official samsung firmware if not otherwise specified. When you want to install an AOSP based rom(which I strongly suggest because of the newer android version) : 1) no need to update your stock firmware 2)go to the corresponding xda forum and look for "Original Android Development". If you want to run a Samsung Touchwiz based rom then look for the "Android Development" forum and check if you need to update your bootloader/modem to work well with the new rom. – benjamin Oct 28 '15 at 8:42

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