Booting

How to Root Your Android Phone with Magisk (So Android Pay and Netflix Work Again)

Android users have been rooting their phones since the beginning of the operating system, but in recent years it has gotten much more complicated. More recently, a new method for handling root management has emerged, and it’s called Magisk.

What Is Magisk?

Traditionally, rooting an Android phone has gone something like this: unlock the bootloader (or find an exploit), flash a custom recovery, install SuperSU. And for years that worked very well.

But starting with Marshmallow, Google essentially blocked the most popular root methods of previous versions—dropping the “su” daemon into the /system partition and running it with the required permissions at startup. This resulted in a new sort of root access, called “systemeless” root, named such because it doesn’t modify the /system partition in any way.

As part of this increased security, things like Google SafetyNet have been put in place to keep services like Android Pay secure, which leaves users having to choose between root access and valuable services. It’s a bummer.

But that’s where Magisk comes in. This is a basically the evolution of root access and management on Android. It leaves SafetyNet untouched, so users are still able to access Android Pay and Netflix, but still allows for powerful root tools like Xposed to continue working. It’s truly the best of both worlds.

It’s completely open source, under constant development, and getting better every day. Now may be the time to make the switch to this new root solution if you’ve been concerned about losing things like Android Pay.

How to Get Started with Magisk

First, you’re going to need the Magisk file. You can read about all the benefits of Magisk and grab the download by heading over to this thread on XDA. Go ahead and grab the Magisk Manager while you’re at it—you’ll need it later. Copy both to your phone’s internal storage or SD card.

Note: If you’ve used a different root method before, you’ll have to completely unroot your device before using Magisk. We recommend the unSU Script for doing so.

You’re also going to need a custom recovery like TWRP to flash Magisk on your phone. I’m doing this process on a completely stock, bootloader-unlocked Nexus 5, so your mileage may vary.

To start the process, boot into your custom recovery. Doing this is a bit different on every phone–for example, you may have to hold the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously, then use the volume keys to boot “Recovery Mode”. Google instructions for your specific model to see how it’s done.

From your custom recovery, flash the Magisk ZIP you transferred to the phone earlier. In TWRP, that means tap on “Install,” then find the Magisk file. Tap on “Install Image.”

Confirm all the details here, then swipe to confirm the flash.

The file will take a few seconds to flash. Once it’s finished,…

What to Do When Windows Won’t Boot

blue-screen-of-death

You turn on your computer one day and Windows refuses to boot—what do you do? “Windows won’t boot” is a common symptom with a variety of causes, so you’ll need to perform some troubleshooting.

Modern versions of Windows are better at recovering from this sort of thing. Where Windows XP might have stopped in its tracks when faced with this problem, modern versions of Windows will try to automatically run Startup Repair.

“Windows© Update” Repair
Follow These Simple Steps. Fast, 2 Minute Repair (Recommended) defender-pro.com/Repair

First Things First: Has Anything Changed?

Be sure to think about changes you’ve made recently—did you recently install a new hardware driver, connect a new hardware component to your computer, or open your computer’s case and do something? It’s possible the hardware driver is buggy, the new hardware is incompatible, or that you accidentally unplugged something while working inside your computer.

If the Computer Won’t Power On At All

If your computer won’t power on at all, ensure it’s plugged into a power outlet and that the power connector isn’t loose. If it’s a desktop PC, ensure the power switch on the back of its case—on the power supply—is set to the On position. If it still won’t power on at all, it’s possible you disconnected a power cable inside its case. If you haven’t been messing around inside the case, it’s possible the power supply is dead. In this case, you’ll have to get your computer’s hardware fixed or get a new computer.

Be sure to check your computer monitor—if your computer seems to power on but your screen stays black, ensure your monitor is powered on and that the cable connecting it to your computer’s case is plugged in securely at both ends.

The Computer Powers On And Says No Bootable Device

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If your computer is powering on but you get a black screen that says something like “no bootable device” or another sort of “disk error” message, your computer can’t seem to boot from the hard drive that Windows was installed on. Enter your computer’s BIOS or UEFI firmware setup screen and check its boot order setting, ensuring that it’s set to boot from the correct hard drive.

If the hard drive doesn’t appear in the list at all, it’s possible your hard drive has failed and can no longer be booted from.

“Windows© Update” Repair
Follow These Simple Steps. Fast, 2 Minute Repair…

What Is UEFI, and How Is It Different from BIOS?

New computers use UEFI firmware instead of the traditional BIOS. Both are low-level software that starts when you boot your PC before booting your operating system, but UEFI is a more modern solution, supporting larger hard drives, faster boot times, more security features, and—conveniently—graphics and mouse cursors.

We’ve seen newer PCs that ship with UEFI still refer to it as the “BIOS” to avoid confusing people who are used to a traditional PC BIOS. Even if your PC uses the term “BIOS”, modern PCs you buy today almost certainly ship with UEFI firmware instead of a BIOS.

What Is a BIOS?

BIOS is short for Basic Input-Output system. It’s low-level software that resides in a chip on your computer’s motherboard. The BIOS loads when your computer starts up, and the BIOS is responsible for waking up your computer’s hardware components, ensures they’re functioning properly, and then runs the bootloader that boots Windows or whatever other operating system you have installed.

You can configure various settings in the BIOS setup screen. Settings like your computer’s hardware configuration, system time, and boot order are located here. You can access this screen by pressing a specific key—different on different computers, but often Esc, F2, F10, or Delete—while the computer boots. When you save a setting, it’s saved to the memory on your motherboard itself. When you boot your computer, the BIOS will configure your PC with the saved settings.

The BIOS goes through a POST, or Power-On Self Test, before booting your operating system. It checks to ensure your hardware configuration is valid and working properly. If something is wrong, you’ll see an error message or hear a cryptic series of beep codes. You’ll have to look up what different sequences of beeps mean in the computer’s manual.

When your computer boots—and after the POST finishes—the BIOS looks for a Master Boot Record, or MBR, stored on the boot device and uses it to launch the bootloader.

You may also see the acronym CMOS, which stands for Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor. This refers to the battery-backed memory where the BIOS stores various settings on the motherboard. It’s actually not accurate anymore, since this method has been replaced with flash memory (also referred to as EEPROM) in contemporary systems.

Why the BIOS Is Outdated

The BIOS has been around for a long time, and hasn’t evolved much. Even MS-DOS PCs released in the 1980s had a BIOS!

Of course, the BIOS has evolved and improved over time. Some extensions were developed, including ACPI, the Advanced Configuration and Power Interface. This allows the BIOS to more easily configure devices and perform advanced power management functions, like sleep. But the BIOS hasn’t advanced and improved nearly as much as other PC technology has since the days of MS-DOS.

The traditional BIOS still has serious limitations. It can only boot from drives of 2.1 TB or less. 3 TB drives are now common, and a computer with a BIOS can’t boot from them….

How to Repair GRUB2 When Ubuntu Won’t Boot

Ubuntu and many other Linux distributions use the GRUB2 boot loader. If GRUB2 breaks—for example, if you install Windows after installing Ubuntu, or overwrite your MBR—you won’t be able to boot into Ubuntu.

You can easily restore GRUB2 from a Ubuntu live CD or USB drive. This process is different from restoring the legacy GRUB boot loader on older Linux distributions.

This process should work on all versions of Ubuntu. It’s been tested on Ubuntu 16.04 and Ubuntu 14.04.

The Graphical Method: Boot Repair

Boot Repair is a graphical tool that can repair GRUB2 with a single click. This is the ideal solution to boot problems for most users.

If you have the media you installed Ubuntu from, insert it into your computer, restart, and boot from the removable drive. If you don’t, download a Ubuntu live CD and burn it to a disc or create a bootable USB flash drive.

When Ubuntu boots, click “Try Ubuntu” to get a usable desktop environment.

Ensure you have an Internet connection before continuing. You may need to choose a Wi-Fi network and enter its passphrase.

Open a Terminal window from the Dash and run the following commands to install and launch Boot Repair:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair boot-repair

The Boot Repair window will automatically scan your system after you run the boot-repair command. After it scans your system, click the “Recommended repair” button to repair GRUB2 with a single click.

You can choose to use the advanced options here, but Ubuntu’s wiki recommends you not use the advanced options unless you know what you’re doing. The recommended repair option can fix most…