I have Lollipop 5.11 (Note 4), and I have the device encrypted.

Will flashing CWM or TWRP or a new software (like Marshmallow) ruin my phone?

I would like to add the device is still not rooted.

Also one more question, is it possible that I can get the decryption key of my phone as a file for emergencies?

  • Full disk encryption only encrypts data partition. Recovery partition remains out of the reach of encryption. Dirty flashing an OS may or may not ruin the device. It can't be guaranteed. – Firelord Apr 16 '16 at 15:52
  • @Firelord What do you mean by Dirty Flashing? I plan to flash with stock roms only (apart from root requirements). – The Quantum Physicist Apr 16 '16 at 15:57
  • Dirty flashing means flashing a ROM without wiping out cache and data partition. – Firelord Apr 16 '16 at 15:59
  • @Firelord Thanks for the info. So for flashing I MUST wipe my data partition? Even if I just want to flash the boot loader with CWM or TWRP? – The Quantum Physicist Apr 16 '16 at 15:59
  • No. If you intend to flash a recovery then there is no need to touch anything other than recovery partition. I'm not sure but is the bootloader of your device unlocked? If not, then unlocking a bootloader would trigger a wipe of data partition. – Firelord Apr 16 '16 at 16:01

What carrier is your Note for? I don't think all US carriers have unlocked bootloaders. I personally nearly bricked my Developer Edition Galaxy S5 because I accidentally left "Reactivation Lock" enabled. If your data partition is encrypted, I would strongly suggest you take due care and unencrypt it if possible and make a backup of your data before you proceed. Being a Samsung, I think you will need to use TWRP, but I suggest joining the forums over at XDA. There are a huge number of posts and input concerning rooting and loading custom ROMs over there. It's what they do.


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  • Thanks for the response. It's not from a specific carrier... I bought the phone over eBay Germany. It's a N910C. Does that say anything? – The Quantum Physicist Apr 16 '16 at 18:14

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