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Update Rooted Verizon Galaxy S3 SCH-I535 with Latest OTA Packages without Losing Root

posted by Rakesh Shukla

Verizon-Galaxy-S3-SCH-I535-Jelly-Bean

The Galaxy S3 is one of the best smartphones on the planet. If you have the international version of the device, it’s very easy to root and install a custom recovery on it. But the scene changes when it comes to rooting a Galaxy S3 from Verizon, the largest network provider in the US. Most devices from the carrier come with locked bootloader and therefore the procedure becomes a little complicated.

While the other variants of the Galaxy S3 received the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update months ago, the Verizon Galaxy S3 SCH-I535 lagged far behind and finally received the 4.1.2 OTA update in early March. Usually, the user is not able to receive the official updates on a rooted device and installing official firmware manually takes away the root. Thus, root and update are contradictory things.

But Android is a wonderful world of possibilities! You can install a pre-rooted stock firmware without an increment in the flash counter of your device, or install the OTA update even if your phone is rooted. And what is the better part- it’ll also preserve the root, custom recovery and unlocked bootloader! Now this is really great because it saves a lot of time, effort and risk.

If you have a rooted Verizon Galaxy S3 SCH-I535 with CWM or TWRP Recovery installed on it, you can download the appropriate OTA update package from below and install it using custom recovery. These OTA update packages are  modified versions of the official releases.

Also See:

Root & Install CWM on Verizon Galaxy S3 SCH-I535 on 4.1.1/4.1.2

Unsigned OTA Update Packages for Verizon SCH-I535

These updates are for Verizon Galaxy S3s that have been rooted, with custom recovery, unlocked bootloader, and have Google Wallet and the associated NFC libraries installed. If you did all those things to your S3 and want to apply the stock OTA updates, this is for you.

unsigned-d2vzw-JRO03L.I535VRBLK3-from-IMM76D.I535VRALHE-ota.zip [4.1.1]

SGS3-TW-US_variants-lib_nfc-fix-jellybean_4.1-goo.gl-4G5Fs-v1.zip

unsigned-d2vzw-JZO54K.I535VRBMB1-from-JRO03L.I535VRBLK3-ota.zip [4.1.2]

Android 4.1.2 (install it over the VRMB1 firmware):  I535VRBMD3_firmware.zip   —   Mirror Link

Android 4.1.2:  d2vzw_VRBMF1_firmware.zip (Latest)

To install the CWM flashable latest Google Wallet on your phone, visit this XDA thread.

How to Install:

Please note that these OTA update  packages are only meant for Verizon SCH-I535 with rooted stock TouchWiz firmware. Installing them on any other base might prove fatal to your phone.

If you have ever used ClockworkMod or TWRP recovery, installing the OTA packages should be an easy job for you. In case you are new to such things, follow the quick steps given below:

  1. Download the correct files from above and copy it to internal or external SD card on your phone.
  2. Charge your device to ensure 50% battery at least.
  3. Turn off phone and boot it into recovery mode: hold down Volume Up+Home+Power buttons simultaneously till you see the Samsung logo with device model. Now release the Power key but keep other two keys pressed till you enter CWM or TWRP recovery (depending on what you have on the device).
  4. Now scroll to “install zip from sdcard” using Volume keys and select it using the Power key.
  5. Select the update zip you copied to the phone in Step#1 and confirm your choice.
  6. Wait till installation is finished and go back to main menu.
  7. Go to “advanced” and “wipe dalvik cache”.
  8. Finally, reboot your Galaxy S3.

When the phone boots up, it should have the newly updated firmware installed on it. Enjoy!

Other Useful Stuff for Verizon Galaxy S3

Top 5 Touchwiz Custom Roms for Verizon Galaxy S3 SCH-I535

Things to Do Before and After Flashing a ROM

source, 1

About the Author

Rakesh Shukla

A multi-faceted person with his heart and mind in English literature and technology, Rakesh is a teacher by profession and Android lover by vocation. He has penned down numerous books and is a theme-maker, modder, small-time developer and also a political activist. He enjoys learning, discovering, growing and sharing the newest and latest trends in the world of Android.   Current Devices: Nexus 5 Galaxy Note 3 , HTC One, Galaxy Note 10.1, Xperia Z1, and iPhone 4S.

Published by: Rakesh Shukla
  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Let me check. I’ll get back to you.

  • Brad

    Rakesh, one more question, I have wanted to download a custom Rom for a while now,but haven’t had time to sit down and do it. My question is with the new kit kat rom, has the wifi issue been resolved?

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Hi Brad, you’ll have to replace the TWRP recovery with stock recovery. Since you have VRBMF1 firmware on your S3, you have 3 choices:

    1. Find the stock recovery in .tar format and flash it with Odin.

    2. Install the Android 4.3 firmware manually using Odin. I already gave you the link to it in my previous reply.

    3. Download a custom ROM that is based on the latest Samsung firmware.

    The first and second methods will uproot and remove TWRP from your device. Please note that you will not be able to install TWRP or CWM on the latest firmware.

    In case you go with the 3rd method, you’ll be be able to enjoy any ROM, even KitKat, and the root and TWRP reman intact too. If I were at your place, I would go with the 3rd option.

    Let me know of your choice.

  • Brad

    Rakesh, I already have the new ota update downloaded. Verizon pushes those across, but when I click on install update my phone rboots into twrp recovery. after this happens, I don’t know what to do. I looked through the folders in twrp, but I dont see the update. So I click on reboot and phone reboots with a message saying update failed. Could you help me with a step by step process?

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Hi Brad, a guy used to share the OTA ZIPs for Vzw S3 but he doe not do it any more. To update your phone to the latest Android 4.3, download this firmware: http://samsung-updates.com/details/22638/Galaxy_S_3_Verizon/SCH-I535/VZW/I535VRUCML1.html

    And install using Odin: http://www.droidviews.com/how-to-downgrade-firmware-on-samsung-galaxy-devices/

  • Brad

    HI Rakesh, i have the verizon galaxy s3 with version i535VRBMF1. My phone is rooted. i wanted to know how to install the latest OTA update with my phone rooted.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    BLK3 is good in performance. I’ll suggest you to stick with it.

  • David

    My gs3 is at I535VRBLK3. Which file should I use?

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    No, you can’t. You should rather try installing this firmware that will upgrade the device to Android 4.1.2.

  • troy

    hi my build number is IMM76D.I535VRALG1 running ICS 4.0.4. Can I use your file unsigned-d2vzw-JRO03L.I535VRBLK3-from-IMM76D.I535VRALHE-ota.zip [4.1.1] to update even though my build number is not VRALHE?

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Seems we have missed an OTA file that should be installed BLK3 version. I’ll have to look for the solution.

    Why not you try to install the full firmware: http://hotfile.com/dl/233201455/b70504c/VZW-I535VRBMF1-20130627174111.zip.html

    and then root your phone: http://droidviews.com/2013/root-and-install-cwmtwrp-recovery-on-verizon-galaxy-s3-sch-i535-android-4-1-14-1-2/

  • DW4LyF

    Nope, but when I did the flashing it said successful. But if I try to flash the I535VRBLK3-ota.zip [4.1.2] piece it fails.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Your phone’s About screen does not show Android 4.1.2 even after updating?

  • DW4LyF

    Rakesh, I’m sure you’re busy so I won’t expect immediate replies, but just wanted to send another update. Since flashing VRBMF1 my phone went thru an optimization, did not update to 4.1.2, and now my Camera is not working.

  • DW4LyF

    Sorry I miss typed. I did the d2vzw_VRBMF1_firmware.zip (Latest) one and it seemed to work, but didn’t change me to 4.1.2.

  • DW4LyF

    Almost there, one step closer. I got TWRP installed. Went to install the above stated zip and it fails. I did do the Android 4.1.2 (install it over the VRMB1 firmware): I535VRBMD3_firmware.zip and it installed successfully, rebooted and the phone optimized my apps, but the information still shows 4.1.1, Baseband: i535VRMF1, and Build VRBLK3. I’m not sure if there is an order to the above links you have or what I’m missing.

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Yes, this error often occurs when you try to install unsigned packages through stock recovery. Try with CWM or TWRP.

  • DW4LyF

    Rakesh,

    I am attempting this method and I have unlocked my bootloader, and upon selecting the unsigned-d2vzw-JZO54K.I535VRBMB1-from-JRO03L.I535VRBLK3-ota.zip [4.1.2] zip file The process fails at Verifying update package. Errors is “E:signature verifcation failed” Am I missing something here? I’m not sure I have CWM. maybe that’s the issue?

  • http://droidviews.com/ DroidViews

    Hi, I would recommend installing update packages one after another. If you later wish to root your device, I would suggest you to refrain from the MF1 version. If not, you can install it.

  • uat

    Hi, I am currently running 4.1.1 VRBLK3 and I’d like to upgrade it to 4.1.2 VBRMF1. Do I need to do this in 3 steps, for example, apply unsigned-d2vzw-JZO54K.I535VRBMB1-from-JRO03L.I535VRBLK3-ota.zip to bring it to VRBMB1 , then I535VRBMD3_firmware.zip and finally d2vzw_VRBMF1_firmware.zip? Or I can simply do d2vzw_VRBMF1_firmware.zip to bring it from VRBLK3 to VRBMF1?

  • http://droidviews.com/ DroidViews

    Hi Samuel, having a rooted phone has its own advantages and if it is a Verizon device, rooting again and again might screw things. If you want to enjoy 4.2 on your SCH-I535, you will have to switch to AOSP based Rom.

    Here is the best choice for an AOSP ROM:http://droidviews.com/2013/want-a-fully-customizable-aosp-rom-for-your-android-try-carbon-rom/

    You might also like this: http://droidviews.com/2013/paranoidandroid-rom-3-review-tips-and-complete-walkthrough/

    I hope you would like them.

  • Samuel Lopez

    Hey im running 4.1.2 on a rooted verizon s3. but i want to update to 4.2 or 4.2.2 whichever. I dont know if this is possible but if it is can you please tell me :D. I really want some of those features. And oh I dont want to lose my root. I depend on it heavily lol

  • http://droidviews.com/ DroidViews

    Sorry for that, Daniel. But factory reset is a part of downgrading. Here is our guide for rooting, in case you need it: http://droidviews.com/2013/root-and-install-cwmtwrp-recovery-on-verizon-galaxy-s3-sch-i535-android-4-1-14-1-2/
    Cheers!

  • Daniel

    Thank you! I have successfully rolled back to VRBMB1, though unfortunately the method you provided has rendered my phone unrooted, lost CWM, and forced a factory reset. Though backing up everything and re-rooting should not be a problem from here on out. Again thank you for your assistance! :D

  • http://droidviews.com/ DroidViews

    Hi Daniel, the procedure you chose to downgrade is not correct. Any OTA package is meant for a firmware version that is just below it and it is always used to upgrade, not downgrade. I know that VRBLMD3 is not pleasant enough and can understand why you want to downgrade.

    If you wish to downgrade, download the full VRBMB1 firmware from here:
    http://droidviews.com/2013/manually-update-verizon-galaxy-s3-sch-i535-with-official-jb-ota-package/

    Then install it using this guide: http://droidviews.com/2013/how-to-downgrade-firmware-on-samsung-galaxy-devices/

    In case you have a backup of the ROM previous to VRBLMD3 update, you can restore it back via CWM.

  • Daniel

    I’m having a problem flashing the unsigned-d2vzw-JZO54K.I535VRBMB1-from-JRO03L.I535VRBLK3-ota.zip with CWM. I’m currently running the VRBLMD3 firmware with the hopes of rolling back to the firmware mentioned, yet I get this error as shown. Help please? O:

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