It has been a while since I wrote an Android article. Because it has been a while since I saw there was an update for the Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus (model number G901F). Back in July 2015 I wrote two articles for this device:
Since July 2015 I kept using CM12.0 (Android 5.0) on the G901F. The CM 12.1 turned out to be a battery burner and 12.0, although without any updates anymore, still was much better than the original stock Android (Touchwiz) from Samsung.
Out of curiousity I checked, if there was a recent version and, to my big surprise, someone really cared about that device and created new CM versions (see this XDA forums thread).
So this article describes how you can install CyanogenMod 14 (Android 7) on your Samsung Galaxy S5 Plus (G901F). But first some preparations need to be done. As it turns out, the newer Android versions require a newer bootloader and modem driver. I had to fall on my nose myself to figure that out. Please read and follow the following steps carefully.
1. You understand that you most likely void your warranty of your Samsung device. As with all other tutorials, you are responsible for your own actions etc bla bla. If you brick/destroy your device it's your own fault.
2. Download the newest version of Odin from http://odindownload.com/download. Odin is a tool to install/flash firmware to Samsung devices. As of this writing I downloaded and installed Odin 3.12.3.
3. Download newer bootloader and modem driver for this phone with version CPE1. Original links were given to me in the XDA forums by user ruchern:
Some notes on the Bootloader (BL) and Modem (CP) versions: Besides CPE1 I also tried versions BOH4 (always rebooted the phone during the Wifi screen in Android setup) and CPHA (which never completely booted Android).
4. Download a new Recovery ROM. I chose TWRP which can be downloaded here: http://teamw.in/devices/samsunggalaxys5plus.html . Download the "tar" package. During this writing the current version was twrp-3.0.2-0-kccat6.img.tar. Note: In my older article I used CWM recovery. TWRP offers to mount the phone as USB drive when in Recovery, which is very helpful for the installation of zip files.
5. Download and install the Samsung USB drivers (SAMSUNG_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones.zip) if you haven't already. You can download this from http://developer.samsung.com/technical-doc/view.do?v=T000000117.
6. Power off the Galaxy S5.
7. Boot your phone into the Download Mode by pressing the following buttons altogether: [Volume Down] + [Home] + [Power] until you see a warning triangle. Accept the warning by pressing the [Volume Up] button.
8. Start the Odin executable. You might have to unzip/unpack the downloaded Odin version first.
9. Connect the phone to the computer with the phone's USB cable. In Odin one of the ID:COM fields should now show a connection. In the "Log" field you should see an entry like "Added!!".
10. Let's start by installing TWRP recovery. In Odin click on the "AP" button and select the tar file from twrp (twrp-3.0.2-0-kccat6.img.tar).
Then click on Start. The phone will reboot (unless you have unticked auto-reboot in the Odin options). Let the phone finish boot your existing OS and then power off the phone again. Exit Odin and disconnect the USB cable.
11. This is for verification: Boot the phone into Recovery mode by pressing the following buttons altogether: [Volume Up] + [Home] + [Power] until you see a blue text at the top. You should now see the TWRP Recovery. If this was working for you - great, we can proceed. If not, you can try it again or try to install another Recovery (check out Samsung Galaxy S5 (G901F): Pain to install custom recovery or Cyanogenmod again). Power off the Galaxy S5.
12. Boot your phone into the Download Mode again by pressing the following buttons altogether: [Volume Down] + [Home] + [Power] until you see a warning triangle. Accept the warning by pressing the [Volume Up] button.
13. Start Odin again and connect your phone with the USB cable. This time we're going to flash the new Bootloader (BL) and Modem (CP) versions. Click on the "BL" button and select the bootloader file (G901FXXU1CPE1_bootloader.tar.md5). Click on the "CP" button and select the modem file (G901FXXU1CPE1_modem.tar.md5).
Then click on the "Start" button. The phone will reboot again, once done.
14. Now I'm not sure whether your old Android installation will still boot with the new bootloader or not. If it doesn't even after several minutes and it is stuck showing the same screen, just power off the phone (in the worst case by pulling the battery). If it does still boot your old Android OS, do a normal power off of the phone. Disconnect the USB cable. Exit Odin if you haven't already.
15. Boot the phone into Recovery mode by pressing the following buttons altogether: [Volume Up] + [Home] + [Power] until you see a blue text at the top. Connect the USB cable. In TWRP tap on "Mount". In the next window tap on "Mount USB Storage". Your phone should now be appearing as USB storage on your computer and you can simply transfer files to the phone.
16. On your computer download CM14 from http://ionkiwi.nl/archive/view/4/samsung-galaxy-s5--g901f--kccat6xx. In my case, I downloaded the currently latest CM14.0 (cm-14.0-20161208-UNOFFICIAL-kccat6xx.zip). Once download is complete, transfer the file to your phone using the mounted USB storage.
17. On your computer download the Google Apps (GApps) using http://opengapps.org/. Select Platform: ARM, Android: 7.0, Variant: mini (Note: The default "stock" didn't work for me, it has caused a crash of "Google Play Services" in the Android setup after initial boot of the phone). This should give you a file like this: open_gapps-arm-7.0-mini-20161211.zip. Once download is complete, transfer the file to your phone using the mounted USB storage.
18. On your phone in TWRP go back to the main screen and tap on "Wipe". Swipe the blue bar to the right for a Factory Reset.
19. In TWRP go back to the main screen and tap on "Install". Cool in TWRP: You can select several zip files to install one after another. So first select the cm-14 zip file, then tap on "Add more Zips" and then select the open_gapps zip file. After you selected the open_gapps zip file, tick the "Reboot after installation is complete" checkbox. Then swipe the blue bar to the right to install the zip files ("Swipe to confirm Flash").
20. After the installation the phone reboots and the CyanogenMod robo logo should appear. Give the phone some time to boot, it took my phone around 3 mins for the first boot. Then the Android setup starts up. This I really don't need to explain.
21. After the Android setup you can check out your phone's version in Settings -> About.
Enjoy your phone not being dead :D
PS: I created a stale mirror of the mentioned files in case the original links don't work in the future: https://www.claudiokuenzler.com/downloads/G901F-CM14/
Update January 3rd 2017: As you may have heard, the CyanogenMod project is dead. A fork of CM, called Lineage, is available though. This howto of course also works for the newer Lineage zip files. I changed the title of this howto accordingly.