Hacking devices can/will void your warranty and can turn your expensive consumer electronics into worthless trash if you don't know what you're doing. This blog is for information purposes only, and if you try to hack into your own consumer electronics, you do so at your own risk. The device I'm currently hacking is the Canon SX10 IS camera.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

shutting off the data plan on platinumtel sanyo zio

Time and time it comes up: Why do you want to shut off the data plan on the phone? You've paid for the features, why not use them?

Simple: Platinumtel charges for the data. I wanted the features for when I was home and could surf / watch on the internet, and not have it automatically connect to 3G every time I went somewhere. And I can't use airplane mode or else I lose ability to receive calls and SMS messages. Programs on the market don't work to shut off the data, mainly because they are written for non CDMA phones or gingerbread, and...platinumtel uses CDMA and Froyo.

There's a "safe" way -- dial *#*#INFO#*#* (that's *#*#4636#*#* for phone newbies)
when you type the last * it should automatically take you to a special screen (you don't have to hit the phone button to call -- if it didn't go to the screen, you typed it wrong).
Select "Phone Information"
select the menu button. There will be an option on the bottom right side "Disable data connection". it will only have that option if you are currently connected to 3g. If you are connected to wifi it will say Enable data connection.

Basically every time it disconnects from wifi it automatically connects to 3g so you have to go in and disable the data connection. Well that sucks.

But there is another way.

Root it, then load DroidWall and then whitelist only wifi. Sounds simple enough, but quite a lot involved.

Quick note on rooting platinumtel sanyo or kyocera zio PLS-8600. If you root it, you violate the warranty. A rooted phone can give access to apps that they shouldn't have. And you can also end up bricking the phone. So if that scares you, use the other method for a while. When you get tired of that, come back and read how to root it. Just make sure that any apps that request root access only be given root access if you expected them to request it and you know why they need it.

Rooting this took a while to get it figured out, and nobody really had an answer anywhere else so I figured I'd post the necessary steps.

See, the PLS-8600 has no drivers. There's drivers for the SCP-8600, but none for the PLS-8600, at least none I could find with a good amount of searching. You can access the phone via USB and see the directories, but in order to root it with a PC you need to be able to run the ADB program (or have a program that uses ADB) and without the drivers, ADB can't see the phone. So you can't use the methods that use a PC, such as superoneclick.

But, gingerbreak.apk file will do it. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1044765

You have to install that onto your phone. In order to do that, you have to enable "unknown sources". So go into the menu / settings and select applications. Check the unknown sources to allow installation of non-Market applications. Now go fetch the APK. Or, if you'd prefer, you can do it from the SD card. Copy the gingerbreak.apk onto the SD card, then put it back in the phone and go to the market and install and run appinstaller (funtrigger version). There are probably others that worked, but some crashed on me and that is the one I ended up using that worked. Run it and install gingerbreak.

Now enable debugging mode. Go into the settings menu, select applications, select development and checkmark the USB debugging. Now go run the gingerbreak. Select root, and wait.

It'll reboot the phone. And the phone will seemingly get stuck on the "ZIO" screen. Be patient, it takes a while. I started thinking I had just bricked the phone. Anyway, once it finally goes on, you'll have a new program called "superuser". Now pull droidwall from the market. Once you get it up and running, you'll see a screen with lots of apps and nothing checked. From here, you can manually check the left column (the wifi column) for any apps you want to grant access to wifi. There is one that will give access to any app if you want all apps to have wifi access. Click menu button and select apply. It'll ask for superuser access. Grant and allow it to remember that it has access. Otherwise it will need to request it every time you make a change. Next go to the menu and select the firewall button. I think it initially says "disabled" or something like that. When you enable it, it will turn green.

There ya go. Now whenever you leave the wifi, it will still connect to 3G but very, very little will be used on the data plan. You can bring up the browser to confirm. It'll still retrieve any cached pages (such as the initial google search page) but anything else will be denied. If you want access to 3g, just bring up the droidwall and turn off the firewall. That'll give you full access to 3g, or you can enable specific programs to have access all of the time. Just remember to apply the changes.

One more thing. Once you've rooted the phone, don't update. Usually you have to unroot and restore everything on the phone before you apply updates. On my Atrix, I had frozen some programs and altered some others. I couldn't get the updates on until I restored everything back the way it was before I rooted it, including the programs I had altered and unfreezing others and then unrooting the phone. The update, in that case, just kept crashing about 1/3 of the way through.

Unrooting the Sanyo will be manual, since you can't use something like Peter's Motorola root tools to put things back. So track everything you do that required root access and make sure you undo it. Then you can manually uninstall it using a terminal emulator on the phone. There are several on the market. Once you run them you'll need to:
mount -o rw,remount /system
rm /system/app/Superuser.apk
rm /system/{,x}bin/su

The unrooting instructions above are theoretical. I haven't had a need to do it, but should I ever need to, I now won't have to look it up and I'll make sure these instructions are correct. Basically it remounts the system directory as read/write, then removes the Superuser program and the su program. There may be others that need to be removed. At this point, I haven't really looked. busybox might be one. But all that research will come later, if and when I need to do it.