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The process of rooting your Samsung Captivate mobile phone allows you to have total control over the phone, even getting by limitations your carrier or manufacturer placed on it. Sometimes there are applications that you may want to download that require the phone to be rooted in order for them to work.
Whatever your reasons for wanting to root your Captivate, the process of doing so can be a bit complicated. There is a program called Super One Click that can easily root your phone, but you first need to sync your phone to your computer. This is the tricky part, as the Captivate is notorious for being difficult to sync with computers.
There is a sync tool from Samsung called Kies that you can try, but this is far from guaranteed to work. The full Kies software (which is needed to sync the phone to a computer) has no official support in the US, though it is possible to get Kies to work with a little effort. Of course, the key word there is “possible."
Another option is syncing through the Android Debug Bridge. This is the more likely option of the two to work, though it requires some effort to get the phone recognized by the computer through this software.
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Sync Using Kies
As mentioned before, using Kies is a bit of a gamble, as it is possible that Kies may not even work with your Samsung Captivate. To download and install Kies, navigate to the official Samsung Kies download page and download and install the software to your computer.
After you have downloaded and installed Kies to your computer, take the USB cord that came with your Captivate and plug one end into your phone's USB port and the other into your computer’s USB port. This should automatically cause Kies to open and begin recognition of your phone. If it does recognize your phone, then you are all set. If not, there are a few steps you can take to see if you can get Kies to work.
Obtain an unlock code for your Captivate through, either your carrier (most likely AT&T), or a third party website. Once you have the code, remove the current SIM card from your phone and insert a SIM card from a different network (such as T-Mobile). When the phone asks for the unlock code, enter in the code you obtained to unlock it. With the phone unlocked, press the “Menu" button and select “Settings." Select the “Applications" option and choose “USB." Select the “Samsung Kies" option (if it appears) and connect your phone to your computer with the USB cable. If Kies recognizes the phone, you are good to go. If not, there is still another option.
The other option is to unmount the Captivate’s internal SD card, though you should be aware that this will delete photos, videos, contacts and other information stored on the card. To begin the process, press the “Menu" button and select “SD Card and Phone Storage." Choose the “Unmount SD Card" option and wait until a message appears stating that the card is unmounted. Select the “Format SD Card" option and, when the message appears stating the phone is done formatting, select the “Mount SD Card" option. Connect the phone to the computer with the USB card and see if Kies recognizes your Captivate. If it does not, you will need to try another option rather than Kies.
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Sync Using Android Debug Bridge
If you cannot sync your Captivate and computer through Kies, the Android Debug Bridge is your other option. Navigate to Oracle’s Java website and select to download and install the Java Platform (JDK) to your computer. After installing the platform, visit the Android Developers site and download and install the Android SDK. Right-click the file for the SDK software and select “extract all." Click “Next" when the extraction wizard appears and choose to extract the files to your desktop. Select “Make a new folder" and give the folder a name. Click “OK" and click “Next." Click “Finish" to finish the extraction process.
Open the folder you created and click the “SDK Manager" option. Choose “USB Driver package, revision…" and select “Install." While the installation process is underway, you can set up your Captivate for the connection.
Press “Menu" on your phone and select the “Applications" option. Choose “Settings," then “Applications" and finally “Development." Choose to turn on “USB debugging" mode. Use the USB cord to connect the phone to the computer and wait for a message to appear stating that the “Device driver software was not successfully installed." Click this message and you should see another stating that the driver for your Captivate was not found. Click “Close."
Click the “Start" button on your computer’s desktop and right-click “Computer." Select “Manage." Select “System Tools" and then “Device Manager." Expand the “Other devices" option in the right pane and select the device icon. Right-click it and select “Properties."
Click the “Update Driver" button on the window that appears and choose “Browse my computer for driver software." Select the “Let me pick from list of device drivers on my computer" option and click “Next." Click “Have disk" and choose the “android_winsub" option. Click “Next" and confirm that you want to update the drivers by clicking “Yes." Wait until the message appears that “Windows has successfully updated your driver software" and click “Close." The phone and computer should now be in sync.
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Download and Install Super One Click
Navigate to the dkszone.net “Root Samsung Captivate Using Super One Click Tool" site and click on “SuperOneClick.zip" to download and install Super One Click to your computer. Once it is downloaded, extract its contents using the same method as you would when extracting the Android SDK software.
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Rooting Your Captivate
However you end up syncing your Captivate to your computer, once they are synced (and you have Super One Click installed), you are ready to root the phone. Press the “Menu" option on your Captivate and select “Applications." Choose “Settings" and select “Applications." Select the “Development" option and check the box next to “USB Debugging."
Connect your Captivate to your computer with the USB cable and open the folder you created when you extracted the content from Super One Click. Find and open “SuperOneClickv.1.6.5-ShortFuse" and click “SuperClickOne.exe." Once this opens, select the “Root" option and the software automatically begins the process of rooting your phone.
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- dkszone.net - Root Samsung Captivate Using Super One Click - http://www.dkszone.net/root-samsung-captivate-super-one-click
- hmtweb.com - How to Connect Your Samsung Captivate to Your PC Using Samsung Kies - http://www.hmtweb.com/imd/?p=394
- dkszone.net - How To Setup ADB (Android Debug Bridge) On Windows - http://www.dkszone.net/setup-install-adb-android-debug-bridge-windows-7
- Samsung - Mobile Phone's Software & Manual - http://www.samsung.com/ca/support/mobilesoftwaremanual/mobilesoftwaremanual.do?page=MOBILE.SOFTWARE.MANUAL
- idautomation.com - Extracting .zip files in Windows - http://www.idautomation.com/kb/extract.html
- Mobile Unlocking Guide - Samsung SGH-I897 Captivate Unlocking Instructions - http://www.mobileunlockguide.com/samsung-sgh-i897-captivate
- Oracle - Java SE Downloads - http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html
- android developers - Download the Android SDK - http://developer.android.com/sdk/index.html
- Samsung Captivate photo courtesy of amazon.com
- Computer USB Port photo courtesy of ladyada.net