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How to Get S-OFF on your HTC One M8 (All Models)

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A Quick Word on S-OFF:

S-OFF stands for security-off as opposed to S-ON which means security-on. I am not going to go into the deep technical details of what S-OFF or S-ON is, but I will tell you that with S-OFF you have complete access to every nook and cranny of your HTC One M8 or any other HTC smartphone. In other words, you get the maximum customization capabilities on your HTC One M8. For example, you can even change the splash screen (the screen you see when you power on your HTC One) of your HTC One M8 with S-OFF.

Splash screens are usually stored on the NAND memory, and with S-ON you don’t get access to NAND memory, however, with S-OFF NAND memory is yours with full write access allowing you to make changes to things like the splash screen.

Anyway, I said I won’t go into much detail, so let me show you step-by-step on how to get s-off on your HTC One M8 …

STEP ONE: Prerequisites

  1. Make sure you have an unlocked bootloader on your HTC One M8
  2. Make sure you have a ROOTED HTC One M8

Do not proceed if you don’t meet the above requirements. Click here to be directed to a step-by-step video guide that will show you how to Unlock the bootloader of your HTC One M8 and ROOT your HTC One M8.

Once you have completed the above steps, come back here and continue following this guide.

STEP TWO: Download Required Files

  1. Grab the Android SDK Bundle (approx. 500MB in size)
  2. Grab the Firewater S-OFF Tool

When you are downloading the firewater tool from their website, grab the one for “normal, rooted device method”. You will see what I am talking about once you visit the website.

STEP THREE: Prepare the files

  1. Once you have the files downloaded, go ahead and extract the Android SDK Bundle that looks like “adt-bundle-windows-blah-blah.zip”.
  2. Once the extraction is complete, launch the extracted “adt-bundle-windows-blah-blah” folder.
  3. Go inside the “sdk” folder.
  4. Find the “platform-tools” folder, and copy it over to your desktop to keep things simple.
  5. Now, delete the “adt-bundle-windows-blah-blah.zip” and the actual folder that you extracted.
  6. You now have a “platform-tools” folder sitting on your desktop.
  7. Next, go and copy/cut the firewater file and place it inside your platform tools folder.

STEP FOUR: Prepare your HTC One M8

  1. Make sure your HTC One M8 is turned on.
  2. Go into the “Settings” of your phone and scroll all the way down.
  3. Do you see a “Developer options” menu?
  4. If YES, Skip to 7.
  5. If NO, go into “About > Software Information > More” and tap the “Build number” 7 times with your finger.
  6. Now go back into the main “Settings”. You should now see “Developer Options” towards the bottom. Go inside “Developer Options” and make sure you check the checkbox next to “USB Debugging” to enable the USB debugging mode.
  7. Say OKAY to any prompts that may pop up on your HTC One M8.
  8. Go back into the main “Settings” screen.
  9. Look for “Battery Manager” options. Go inside. Scroll all the way down where it says “Fast boot” and make sure it is disabled by unchecking the little box next to it.
  10. Go back into the main “Settings” screen.
  11. Scroll down to “Security”. Go inside. Choose “Screen lock” and make sure you choose “No lock screen” to disable the screen security.
  12. Connect your HTC One to your PC using a USB cable.

FINAL STEP: Run firewater tool to Gain S-OFF on your HTC One M8

Open the platform tools folder. Press AND hold SHIFT on your keyboard and right click on your mouse as seen in the picture below and select “Open command window here”. This will launch command prompt.

Now, we are going to type in a series of commands (I bolded the commands) in sequence (see the screenshot below):

  1. adb devices (to verify adb is working)
  2. adb reboot (this will reboot your phone, wait for it to come back on after you run this command)
  3. adb wait-for-device push firewater /data/local/tmp (this will send the firewater tool to your phone’s internal storage)

Next we will type another sequence of commands. Press enter after you type each command (see screenshot below):

  1. adb shell
  2. su
  3. chmod 755 /data/local/tmp/firewater
  4. /data/local/tmp/firewater

After the last command you will see a disclaimer screen below. Read the disclaimer, and then all the way at the bottom type in “Yes” and press enter as shown by the arrow.

After you type in “Yes” and press enter and let the firewater run it’s course. It may take 1-5 minutes. After the process is complete, you should see the following at the bottom of your command prompt window:

If the process FAILS the first time, try it again. If it fails again, try it for a third time. I have received reports from my youtube viewers that they tried this multiple times before finally getting s-off on their HTC One M8.