For many people out there, ROM files are nothing but a black box full of fun and surprises awaiting to rejuvenate their devices. Depending on the phone manufacturer, you may see the ROM files in the form of zip files, which are normally flashed through recovery and are the preferred format by many devs on XDA. However, there are times where the files will not be in a recovery-flashable format, but must come packed in a different type of black box. This is the case for Samsung devices in general. More often than not, the updates from Samsung will come packaged in tar format, that can only be flashed through programs like Odin, Heimdall, and Mobile Odin. These packages contain all of the goodies that we crave, but they are slightly more complicated to crack open than regular zip files. Since we cannot always wait on a dev having the time to turn the tar files into usable ROMs or to extract things from them, XDA Recognized Contributor rwilco12 has decided to put together a guide to help people get what they want out of tar files whenever they want to.
The dev starts off by saying that one of the easiest ways to go about doing this is via dsixda’s kitchen, but since there are people out there who like more manual approaches, he has been kind enough to provide a guide that does not require said approach and can be done directly from a Windows environment. Steps are relatively simple to follow, and are required to have a few programs for your PC before getting started, namely 7-zip (or some WinZip-like utility), DiskInternals Linux Reader, and SGS2Ext4. The links for all of these have been provided in the thread, and they are all free. The process (in a nutshell) involves unpacking the tar and turning it into an image file (.img). From that point on, the .img gets turned into .ext4.img and then mounted via DiskInternals. You should then see a virtual drive on the PC, which will have this image mounted. From this point onward, you can navigate through the internal directories of the file and simply picking and choosing the files, apps, and any other goodies that you want to extract.
Again, this is a simple process that is further simplified by using a kitchen like dsixda’s (and in fact, the method itself is similar to what the kitchen does). However, getting down and dirty with not-so automated processes is one of the best possible ways to learn how to do something. Teach a man how to fish, if you will. We hope this helps those of you trying to learn proper development. Please post any feedback you may have.
I’ve received a TON of PM’s and emails asking how to do this and I’ve decided to do a write-up for everyone.
You can find more information in the original thread.
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