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    Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 10.4 block Bootloader and Root using Magic

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    Valery Aloyants
    @valeryaloyants

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    In this guide, we will show you how to unlock Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 10.4 (2020) bootloader and root using Magisk. This guide is applicable to any Galaxy Tab A7 running Android 10 (One UI 2.5) with model numbers SM-T500 (WiFi variant) and SM-T505 (LTE variant).


    At a time when most device makers have retired from creating Android tablets, Samsung is still in the game. According to recent data, Samsung holds the second major share in the tablet market, right next to Apple. The manufacturer released the Galaxy Tab A7 10.4 a few months ago and it packs some nice powerful hardware at a fairly affordable price.



    On the software side, the Tab A7 runs Android 10 out-of-the-box with Samsung's One UI 2.5 skin positioned on top. There is no doubt that Samsung has significantly improved its software with One UI, compared to the old Samsung Experience.

    Before starting

    Before you start following the instructions provided, there are a couple of things you should do.


    1. Perform a full backup

    First of all, you should make a full backup of all your important data stored on your tablet. Unlocking the bootloader will completely erase all data, including installed apps, messages, contacts, and everything stored in the internal memory. You can also check out our article here on backing up different types of data stored on Android devices.

    2.Install driver USB Samsung

    Typically, your Windows computer will automatically install the required USB drivers for your Samsung tablet. But that's not always the case. So, if you are running on a Windows machine, you may want to download and install the official Samsung USB drivers provided on this page. If you are using a macOS / Linux PC, you will not need any additional drivers.



    3. Charge your Galaxy Tab A7

    If you're new to things like unlocking the bootloader, we highly recommend that you take your time to understand what each step does. Having enough battery power in your Tab A7 will ensure it doesn't turn off as you follow the instructions and execute them. It is recommended to charge the tablet to a minimum battery level of 40-50%.


    Instructions

    The process of unlocking the bootloader and rooting the Galaxy Tab A7 is a tried and true method. We've broken down the instructions into nine steps so it's easy for you to understand the whole process.

    The only things you will need are:

    • Your Galaxy Tab A7 with model number SM-T500 / SM-T505
    • A Windows computer
    • A compatible USB Type-C cable

    With the requirements out of the way, let's start with the instructions.


    Step 1: Enable OEM unlocking

    The first step is to enable the “OEM Unlock” switch on the tablet. This option must be enabled before you can attempt to unlock the bootloader. OEM unlock resides in the “Developer Options” menu, which is hidden by default to prevent users from accessing it unknowingly.

    You can activate Developer Options by following our tutorial. Once enabled, go to 'Settings'→'Developer options'on your Galaxy Tab A7 and turn on the switch next to'OEM unlocking'. Then select "Enable”When asked to confirm.


    Step 2: Unlock the Bootloader

    With OEM unlocking enabled, you can now unlock the bootloader on your Tab A7.

    Unlike most other OEM devices, Samsung does not require the use of quick launch commands or the recovery of unlock keys. It could be done directly on the device itself. When you activated the switch, the bootloader enabled a special "Device Unlock Mode" which is used for unlocking.


    To unlock the bootloader, shut down the Tab A7 first. Then connect it to your computer by holding down the Volume Up and Volume Down keys at the same time. You should now see the bootloader screen, as shown in the figure below.

    Now long press the Volume Up key to access the how to unlock the device. You should now receive a confirmation request to unlock the bootloader. Finally, press the Volume Up key to confirm and unlock the bootloader on your Galaxy Tab A7.

    Your Tab A7's bootloader is now unlocked and should reboot automatically. You should also see a warning message just before the Samsung home screen, just as shown in the image below. This is a mandatory and completely normal warning message. And before you ask, no, there's no way to get rid of it (unless, of course, you lock the bootloader again).

    The first boot after unlocking the bootloader may take some time (it took me about 3-4 minutes). So be patient.

    Now that the bootloader is unlocked, let's check it out. After the card starts, connect it to the Internet. Then enable Developer Options as shown in step 1 and go to " Settings "→" Developer options ". The OEM unlock switch should be disabled and indicate that the bootloader is already unlocked.


    Now that the bootloader is unlocked, it's time to get started with the rooting process.

    Step 3: Check the software build number

    Before you can download the stock firmware package, it is important to check the build number of the software installed on your Galaxy Tab A7. This will ensure that the correct firmware file is used and patched in the steps below.

    To check the build number, go to " Settings "→" About the tablet "→" Software information "And write down the information just under the section" Build number ". The last part of the information shown is the build number.


    For example, see the screenshot below. Show full build number information on my Galaxy Tab A7 (SM-T500) as - " QP1A.190711.020.T500XXU1ATJ2 “. Who, " T500XXU1ATJ2 ”Is the build number of the software I will need.

    Final report: While checking the build number, it is a good idea to also check for any pending software updates by going to “Settings” → “Software Update” → “Download and Install”. By doing this, you'll make sure your Tab A7 is on the latest software available and eliminate the hassle of manually updating right after rooting.

    Step 4: Download the stock firmware package

    Unlike most other OEM Android devices, the Ramdisk on the A7 card does not reside within the / boot partition. For such devices, Magisk creator John has come up with an ingenious way to install Magisk in the / recovery partition.

    This is something that users have been following since the Galaxy S10 series came out. Following the same approach, rooting the Galaxy Tab A7 involves patching the AP firmware file with Magisk.

    Then, start by downloading the stock firmware package for the software build number currently installed on your Galaxy Tab A7.

     Although online databases such as SamMobile, SamFrew, etc. can be used, it is recommended to use the Frija tool or Samloader to download the stock firmware package. These tools download the latest firmware directly from Samsung's update servers with no speed limits.

    Step 5: Extract the AP firmware and transfer it to the A7 card

    Once the firmware package is downloaded, the next step is to extract its contents using an archiving utility such as 7-Zip. Then, open the location on your computer where the firmware package was downloaded, right click on it, then select “7-Zip” and extract the contents to a folder.

    The extracted folder should contain the individual firmware files in .tar.md5 format. These will be:

    1. AP
    2. BL
    3. CP (for SM-T505 only)
    4. CSC and HOME_CSC

    While you'll only need the AP firmware for the patch, don't delete the rest of the files. These files will be needed later in this guide.

    Now connect your Galaxy Tab A7 to your computer via USB and enable “File Transfer” mode. Copy the extracted AP firmware file to the card's internal memory. Although you can copy this file anywhere, we suggest you copy it to the root directory (i.e. outside all folders) for easier access.

    Step 6: Patch the AP firmware via Magisk Manager

    With the required AP firmware now transferred to your tablet, it's time to apply it via Magisk Manager.

    Then, download the latest Magisk Manager APK file from the official Github page. Once downloaded, install the APK on your tablet (don't know how? See: How to install an APK file).

    Then, go to the app drawer and launch the Magisk Manager application on your Galaxy Tab A7. Then press the settings icon (cogwheel) at the top right of the app window and press the option " Update channel ". Select " Beta ”From the list and return to the main screen of the app.

    Why do we have to do this? The latest version of Magisk, namely Magisk 21.1, is only available on the public beta channel for now. Don't worry, the builds on the public beta channel are completely safe to use.

    Now, press the button " Install "And choose" Select and patch a file ”From the list of available installation methods. This should immediately open the file selection window for you to choose the file you wish to patch with Magisk. Then, go to the location where you transferred the AP firmware file and select it.

    Once the file is selected, press' LET'S GO! 'to correct the file. Magisk Manager will download the latest version of Magisk and patch the AP firmware. The patching process may take a minute or two depending on the size of the file.

    When the process is complete, the patched AP firmware ( magic_patched.tar ) will be stored in the folder " Download ”Of the internal memory of your Tab A7. Connect the card to your computer and copy the patched AP firmware file to the folder where the other firmware files (BL, CP, CSC, etc.) are located.

    Step 7: Boot your Galaxy Tab A7 into Download Mode

    In order for Odin to recognize your Galaxy Tab A7 and install the patched AP firmware, you need to boot it in download mode.

    To do this, turn off the card first. Then connect it to your computer via USB while holding the Volume Up and Volume Down keys together. You should now see the Bootloader screen (what you saw while running step 2). Just tap the Volume Up button once to enter download mode.

    Step 8: Download and launch Odin Tool on your computer

    To flash the AP firmware file, you will need the infamous Odin Flash Tool. Then, download Odin v3.14.4 from this repository and extract the contents of the ZIP package to your computer.

    Now start the Odin tool by double clicking on the executable file " Odin3 v3.14.4.exe ". If you are asked to display a message on the screen, select " Ok ". You should now see Odin's interface on your computer screen.

    The tool will automatically recognize your Galaxy Tab A7 in download mode and display the corresponding COM port number on the top left of the interface.

    Suggestion: if you are running on a Linux / macOS computer, you can flash firmware on Samsung devices using Heimdall.

    Step 9: Flash the patched AP firmware to root the Galaxy Tab A7

    With everything now ready, it's time to flash the patched AP firmware file and root your Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 with Magisk.

    Now, load the firmware files into the Odin tool as given below:

    • First, click " BL "And select the BL firmware file ( BL_xxxxxxxxxxx.tar.md5 )
    • Click on " AP ”And select the patched AP firmware file Magisk ( magic_patched.tar )
    • Then click " CP "And select the CP firmware file ( CP_xxxxxxxxxxx.tar.md5 )
    • Finally, click on " CSC "And select the CSC firmware file ( CSC_xxxxxxxxxxx.tar.md5 )

    Few things to note:

    1. The CP firmware is only applicable for the LTE variant of the Tab A7 with the model number SM-T505. This file does not exist for the WiFi variant.
    2. It is essential to perform a factory reset when installing Magisk for the first time. For this same reason, it is recommended to use the normal CSC file instead of HOME_CSC.
    3. Do not attempt to flash the patched AP firmware by yourself. It always flashes along with the rest of the firmware files such as BL, CP and CSC).

    Once all the firmware files have been loaded into the corresponding slots, click on " starts ”To start the update process.

    When the flashing process is complete, you should see a message ' PASS! 'message in Odin and your Galaxy Tab A7 should restart automatically. You can close Odin and disconnect the tablet from the computer.

    Your card may reboot one (or more) during the first after rooting. It may take some time, so be patient. Once the card is launched, you will need to do the initial setup following the instructions and connect it to the Internet.

    Step 10: Complete the additional Magisk installation

    While the rooting process is now complete, there are only a couple of things to do before you can start using Magisk.

    Then, go to the app drawer and launch the Magisk Manager app. The app initially installs a stub and will ask you to install the full Magisk Manager app. Then select “Ok” and then “Install.

    Once the full Magisk Manager is installed, launch the app and you will be prompted to complete the additional setup. Then press "Ok" and wait for the magic to happen. Once completed, the card will restart automatically.

    Your Galaxy Tab A7 is rooted!

    That's all! You have successfully rooted your Galaxy Tab A7 10.4. To check this, you can launch the Magisk Manager app and you should see the Magisk version installed right next to the “Installed” label. You can further check if your rooted card passes SafetyNet by pressing the “Check SafetyNet” button in Magisk Manager.

    SafetyNet fails and shows “Hardware” evalType? It means that Google's new hardware-backed claim is now in effect on your tablet.

    Now go ahead and start using root applications like Titanium Backup. You can also hide root from banking and security apps which generally may not work on a rooted device. From Magisk v20.4 onwards, Magisk Hide is disabled by default on new installations. Then, you will have to turn it on manually by going to the Magisk Manager settings.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Now let's take a look at some questions you may have after rooting your tablet.

    Q: How can I install software updates on my Galaxy Tab A7 after rooting?

    • Yes. After a new software update is released, download its firmware package and perform steps 5-9 of this tutorial again. Do not attempt to flash the stock AP firmware file once rooted.
    • During the update process, you can use the HOME_CSC file when performing step 9 instead of the normal CSC. This will ensure that no data is deleted while the update is being performed.

    Q: Do I have to press a special combination of buttons to log into the Magisk system with root and restore stock?

    • Unlike other Samsung phones, there is no need to press any specific button combination for any boot mode. A normal boot (without pressing any buttons) will always boot the card into the rooted system with Magisk.

    Q: My rooted Galaxy Tab A7 fails the SafetyNet test and shows Hardware evalType. Is there anything I could do?

    • There is very little or nothing that can be done in this case. This is something Google controlled on their part.
    • However, you could try using the MagiskHide Props Config module and try to fake your Tab A7 as another device to temporarily switch SafetyNet.

    That's all! You have learned how to unlock bootloader and root Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 10.4 using Magisk. If you have any questions or encounter difficulties while carrying out the instructions, please do not hesitate to let us know.

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