Rooting the Cincinnati Bell Blaze (Commtiva Z71) + custom ROMs

Necessary software: http://www.project107.net/public/downloads/android+rom+files.zip
This file contains:

Z4Root apk (z4.apk)
com.koushikdutta.rommanager_v4.3.3.0.apk (RomManager compatible with Android 2.1)
RomManager.apk (v 4.8.0.7 - compatible with Android 2.2+)
SUTLR_v1.7.0.zip (unzip to desktop (Win only) and run setup.exe to install)

2 folders
2.2 -
jellybean => JellyBean_Dalvick_Phone.nb0
cyanogenmod 6 => update-cm-6.1.2-Z71-signed.zip

2.3 -
cyanogenmod => update-cm-7.1.0-Z71-signed.zip, gapps-gb-20110828-signed.zip
SuperAOSP => SuperAosp-ST@-Boston-8.6-AW.zip

To root the Cincinnati Bell Blaze (Commtiva Z71), install the z4root app via sdcard. Click the root button and let it do it’s thing. Viola – you have a rooted device. It will reboot and install the SuperUser app. Done with this step.

Assuming the Z71 is stock on Android 2.1, you need to install the rommanager apk that works with 2.1:
com.koushikdutta.rommanager_v4.3.3.0.apk.
Install this through the sdcard.

Once installed, you can flash ClockworkMod Recovery on the device. After it’s flashed successfully, move the ROM of your choice to the root of the sdcard. One of the Z71’s we have wouldn’t run the latest cyanogenmod 7 stable release – it installed fine, but the touchpad simply didn’t respond at all. The other device installed it and worked fine, except the battery would drain (even at idle) at the rate of 10% per hour. Unacceptable. Pity, too, because the ROM was very cool.

The first device was then flashed with theAndroid 2.2 version of Firetrap JellyBean and is running perfectly with an unreal battery lifespan. Really. Unreal.

The second device (mine) was flashed to the SuperAOSP 8.6 rom (Android 2.3.4), and everything went smooth except the network connection couldn’t be made, nor could the wireless. To get around this, it had to be flashed to JellyBean, then to SuperAOSP. Everything works great now and the battery life, like JellyBean, is unreal. It’s far superior to the CM rom on this device.

Instructions after root and RomManager have been installed:

CyanogenMod 7:
Copy the update-cm-7.1.0-Z71-signed.zip AND the gapps-gb-20110828-signed.zip file to the root of the sdcard. From the RomManager app, choose Install zip from sdcard. Select to wipe data/cache, factory reset, wipe dalvik cache (if it asks you). It will boot into clockworkmod recovery and install the rom. Device will restart and you’re done. I understand that flashing other kernels will help with battery consumption, which was my only issue, but I elected to choose another rom.

Firetrap JellyBean:
You’ll need to install the SUTLR software on a Win machine. Boot your device into download mode – hold red button + vol up + power. When you get to a black system screen and it is polling every few seconds, you’re where you want to be. Start the SUTLR software, locate the .nbo file, and select to wipe/reset data and click Next. All done. ROM is now flashed and you’re running Android 2.2 Firetrap JellyBean. You could stay here and be happy with excellent battery life and stability.

SuperAOSP 8.6:
I had to flash the JellyBean rom before I could install this one. It doesn’t take a long time, so to be on the safe side, follow the JellyBean instructions before doing this one. Use rommanager to flash SuperAOSP from JellyBean and let it wipe and clear everything. All done. SuperAOSP is what I’m running and the battery differences from cyanogenmod are like night and day. I really dig it, and everything works like it’s supposed to. I have only a few minor criticisms of the rom, but they’re mostly cosmetic and buried in the settings menus.

Adding more as I find out…

* Update 01.06.2012 *
Battery life is impressive. I’m not on my phone all day, but I get exchange email, gmail, sms,  mms, make/receive calls, and surf the web without moderation.

5 Comments

  • Lucas

    March 12, 2012 at 7:06 pm Reply

    Hello,

    I have a few questions. I’m currently running CM7.1.0 on the exact same phone as you (Blaze). I adjusted the Kernal version to 2.6.32.9-EA (which was the battery charge/lifespan fix suggested in the cm forums that i finally found after fishing around for a very long time). Also, there was a camera patch that i had to download. It doesn’t have the mega drain issue ( though I’m sure the battery life could be a little better) and it allows me to actually charge the phone now. I’ve had this setup for about a month and a half / two months and everything seems to be running fine except for my bluetooth. And, every now and then it kinda hiccups and i have to run fix permissions (actually it happens frequent enough that it’s starting to get a little annoying). I have a Mac so the only way I can really flash ROM’s is via recovery mode.

    My questions are:
    If I want to switch to SuperAOSP am I going to have to downgrade to jellybean and then go back up to Super?
    Is the fact that I changed the Kernal going to cause me issues?
    Is it technically “downgarding” Android (CM7 is technically Droid 2.3.7 whereas Super is Droid 2.3.4)
    Does everything seem to be running in tip top for you?
    And finally, as a side note. Am I wrong or is that a front facing camera on the top left corner next to the earpiece of our phone. Because if so, the option to utilize it is nowhere to be found on CM7. I’m hoping it would be on SuperAOSP

    Please get back to me through my email if you can. There are’nt to many resources regarding our specific Z71 floating around on the internet as I’m sure you know.

    Thanks In Advance
    Lucas

  • Lucas

    March 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm Reply

    P.S. Sorry about the run-on sentences and typos…

  • Lucas

    March 12, 2012 at 7:43 pm Reply

    I almost forgot…

    With CM7 my mobile provider is always listed as either unknown, or it’ll say AT&T, T mobile, or even on occasion Verizon (I guess because those are the towers it is trying to use). But it never says Cincinnati Bell (who is my provider). It still works and I’m still getting a bill, but I got this feeling that I may be getting roaming and an additional boost to my data costs because it thinks I’m piggybacking off of somebody else’s tower… I live in Indiana, but there is a tower very close by that CinBell/I-Wireless either owns or uses.

    Sorry about the response bombardment, and again, thanks in advance.
    Lucas

  • Daphne

    June 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm Reply

    I’m looking for a new screen for my cincinnati bell blaze and someone who can install it….any ideas? I also don’t have a very long charge on my battery…I don’t know how to do all the fancy stuff you guys talk about here, but I would pay for it to be done, if necessary.

    • admin

      June 20, 2012 at 8:42 pm Reply

      Daphne,
      I have no idea where you’d find a new screen for it. The Z71 is a dated device and Cincinnati Bell sucks. We just moved to iPhones on AT&T and the difference is night and day. If that’s not an option for you, I’d consider selling you my Blaze instead of shooting it. Contact me if you’re interested. It’s fully wiped and waiting for a gmail account.

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