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If rooting isn't required to flash a new ROM (unlocking your bootloader is), why do many people recommend rooting your device before flashing it?

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    I think this one really depends on the device and procedures involved in installing a new ROM. For Nexus devices, there's really no point because you can just fastboot oem unlock the bootloader. Other devices, however, may force you to use tricks that require root in order to unlock the bootloader. However, I'm not 100% up to date on non-nexus ROM installing and such so I could be mistaken. – dotVezz Dec 30 '13 at 17:51
  • @dotVezz That's not a comment, but an answer, go ahead posting it as such :) Maybe a hint to custom recovery wouldn't hurt either, as that might require root permissions to be installed (and on most devices is the pre-condition to flashing custom ROMs). – Izzy Dec 30 '13 at 20:01
  • @Izzy, I just posted it as a comment since I wasn't quite sure of the non-nexus procedures. But I'll go ahead and put a slightly expanded version of that as my answer. – dotVezz Dec 30 '13 at 20:13
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I think this one really depends on the device and procedures involved in installing a new ROM. For Nexus devices, there's really no point because you can just fastboot oem unlock the bootloader and install your new recovery with fastboot flash recovery [file].

Other devices, however, may force you to use tricks that require root in order to unlock the bootloader. For example, in order to install a ROM on a device which doesn't support , you may need root in order to install a custom recovery.

  • I don't remember ever having used fastboot, but I have CWM on some of my devices. So while some certainly require flashing it via fastboot, there must be other means; but I'm not aware of any such method not involving root :) +1 from me :) – Izzy Dec 30 '13 at 20:48

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