Well, I turned the tablet back on after a couple of years. I should have done it a couple of months later because around that time custom ROMs for this tablet started creeping out on XDA.
You should probably IGNORE my old post here and instead go look at these links (and search for newer ones since this update).
- Aim OS Nougat 7.1.2 (this is the one I ended up trying)
- Aim OS recently went into dead mode, no longer making ROMs, but the existing ROM isn't affected.
- Detailed install instruction post (should also work as a base for installing the others listed here)
- LineageOS Nougat (7.1.2)
- Resurrection Remix Marshmallow 6.0.2 ... may have performance benefits over CM13
- CM13 Marshmallow (6.x) on the tablet
- Original OEM ROM for 4.2 (just in case you need to revert) ... instructions. And a link to the USB drivers (for your Windows machine to communicate with your tablet).
ENJOY! I won't be back to this post as the custom ROMs definitely do a better job of carrying this tablet farther. Read through the threads for the ROMs that interest you to see if there are any gotchas. There are apparently some other ROMs for the same chipset out there (MT6582) but may not be tested on this specific tablet. If you want to look for even more ROMs here is a place to scan.
I know this guide has been linked a bit from places like XDA. At some point a long time ago I lost root on this device after an OTA update and, really, it wasn't worth it for me to go through the various steps again. However tonight I found a simple way to get root back on the device (I'd started using it again as my phone took a dive).
NOTE: I'm unsure whether this abbreviated process will work for your A10 / A7600F without having been rooted with the original longer method detailed below. Chances are 50/50 that something will go wrong if you attempt to do this updated portion first. However it may help those folks who have rooted, updated, and then lost root.
Revised Steps are simple:
- Download Kingo Root (not King Root, that failed) APK version for Android.
- Run Kingo Root.
- If it fails, reboot, and try again (mine failed the first time)
- Assuming Kingo Root worked the second time (if not, see the original detailed steps below) ... DON'T REBOOT yet (when I did this, the root disappeared, so I had to run Kingo Root a 3rd time)
- Install a Root Checker and verify root access
- Install (first time) or uninstall and re-install (updating is fine if yours was out of date) SuperSU by Chainfire (other SuperSU may or may not work, Chainfire worked for me)
- Re-run Root Checker to verify root access (don't run Kingo Root before this) ... it should be using SuperSU to grant root, NOT Kingo
- If rooted, uninstall Kingo Root
- Re-run Root Checker to make sure SuperSU continued to work after removing Kingo Root.
Just some notes that hopefully someone else finds useful. I bought a Lenovo Idea-series A10-70 (also known as the A7600-F) tablet for myself and my parents bought one for my grandparents. I wanted to get ClockwordMod recovery installed on them both just in case they did something bad on theirs and so I could play with ROMs if any new ones ever come out for it (I doubt they will, the Mediatek 8121 chipset seems like it never got developer love, but you never know). I also wanted to be able to remove some of the default apps that the grandparents will never use.
These notes may help you get there if you're having problems on the same or very similar device. The biggest issue I had was that all of the other instructions (linked) were in Russian or French. The other issue was the need for a different USB driver during pre-boot to get the flashing program to work.
- I'm not storing these files online for the future, so if they have disappeared I'm sorry, but please don't ask me for online copies.
- These instructions are for the WiFi-only version of the tablet. At one point I had found a CWM Recovery Scatter file for the 3G version. I can't promise that this works for all versions of the A10-70. Mine is the 16GB WiFi-only version. Even if you have this same model these instructions are AT YOUR OWN RISK. And doing all of this will VOID your warranty. [caveats done].
- DO NOT UPGRADE TO ANDROID 4.4 IF YOU HAVEN'T YET unless you KNOW that you won't have the reported WiFi issues (I was lucky, I didn't). See later on in these notes for Android 4.4 upgrade notes.
- Make sure you have a data-capable USB cable. Yeah, the one that came with mine doesn't seem to do anything but charge. Data functions are removed. But if you're seeing this at all you probably have one somewhere.
- Make sure you have the main Android SDK USB device drivers installed. If you can't communicate with the device via "adb devices" to see the device. You can get them from here. Once you've downloaded and extracted them you need to edit 'android_winusb.inf' to add these lines:
%CompositeAdbInterface% = USB_Install, USB\VID_17EF&PID_7731&MI_01
(courtesy this post)
NOTE: If you have a 64bit system, and who doesn't, make sure to add them to the [Google.NTamd64] section, not the 32bit [Google.NTx86] section.
- Plug in the device while it is booted up. Make sure you've turned on USB Debugging. Then open your Device Manager and you should see the USB device marked as missing a driver. Right-click it to install the driver from where you extracted it for step 2.
- Grab this file to get the Mediatek MT65XX Preloader driver. Extract it somewhere. No need to edit another .ini file.
- Power off the tablet and unplug the USB. Then plug it back in while it is powered off. During this time it will load just enough to give you a charging screen. Keep Device Manager open, watch for the MT65xx Preloader device to appear with the missing driver icon. It will go away quickly so make sure you right-click it to "Update Driver" as soon as it appears. As long as you start the driver update dialog before it goes away you can complete this step fine.
- Now you can follow the instructions here. I've verified that the ClockworkMod Recovery image in this link (from the instructions post) does work on my A10-70.
- Summary of the instructions (I didn't come up with these, I'm just giving them to you in English with notes from my experience):
- Extract the files from the link above (CWM Recovery Lenovo A7600F.zip). This uses SP Flash Tool to do the updating
- note: to get the MT65XX Preloader driver you downloaded a different version of SP Flash Tool for it. Ignore that SP Flash Tool, just use the other zip file to install the MT65XX driver and then delete that version of SP Flash Tool.
- Open the extracted directory 'CWM Recovery Lenovo A7600F' and then go into 'SP_Flash_Tool_v3.1336.0.198'.
- Right-click on 'Flash_tool.exe' to run it as Administrator (might not be necessary, but I seem to need to run a lot of Android flashing tools as Administrator and it is frustrating to realize after many attempts not doing it that this was what stopped things from working).
- Click 'Scatter-Loading' and load 'MT6582_scatter_LVP0-WIFI-ROW.1.016.01.txt'. You can see a video of this process (from the earlier linked post).
- If it worked properly, then none of the items in the list of images (PRELOADER, MBR, etc) should be checked. Before I had the USB drivers installed properly I was seeing ALL of them checked before I had selected them. If you see that you may be having similar issues.
- Double-click on the '[ ] RECOVERY' item to open the file selection dialog.
- Select 'CWM Recovery.img' and press "Open".
- If your tablet is powered on, power it off.
- If your tablet is connected to your computer via the USB cable, unplug it.
- In the "Smart Phone Flash Tool" window, click the 'Download' button.
- It will probably tell you 'Not ALL images are correctly loaded ... '. Click 'Yes'. The status bar should show "Searching" in the 3rd column.
- Plug the USB cable into the tablet but don't press any buttons.
- The Smart Phone Flash Tool window should almost immediately begin downloading the ClockworkMod Recovery image and end with a big green "O" for "Download OK".
- Close the green "O". Close the Smart Phone Flash Tool program completely.
- Unplug the USB cable. The tablet should still be powered off.
- Power up by pressing 'Volume Up' AND the Power/Lock button on the side at the SAME time. You can release them both once you see the "Select Boot Mode" screen.
- On "Select Boot Mode" it will PROBABLY already be on the [Recovery Mode] option, if not, use the 'Volume Up' button to scroll to that option and then press 'Volume Down' to select it.
- You SHOULD see Clockwork Mod. The first line will be 'CWM-based Recover ...'. If so ... you got it!
Doing the next list of steps ended up breaking the root I had working with Kingo root. You may want to SKIP the next few lines and just use your Power/Lock button to shut off the tablet from CWM and then use Power/Lock again to reboot normally. However I'm not sure if this will have issues with CWM later on. See notes at bottom.
- NORMALLY you would do this:
- Use the 'reboot system now' option to boot your tablet up.
- Clockwork Mod can disable the 'recovery flash' option. My first tablet didn't need this but go ahead and do it. It just makes sure Lenovo doesn't overwrite your but go ahead and use the Volume keys to arrow down to this choice and hit the Power/Lock button to select it.
- The next screen allows you to root the device. Go ahead and do that now. Saves us from needing to bother with Kingo root (which did work for me when I did it on the first tablet).
- Done with the basics :) If you skipped using CWM's root then you can use Kingo root to root the device.
- SOME people have had serious WiFi issues with this version of Android. I don't, it works fine with my Linksys EA6500 router, but that doesn't mean it will work fine with yours. My guess is the Mediatek WiFi driver is unstable with SOME routers in Android 4.4. If you update to 4.4 and have this problem, you'll need to go find instructions for downgrading to 4.2. I didn't think to make a backup of Android 4.2 (which came on the unit when I bought it in October 2014) so I don't have one for you.
- There is a very REMOTE chance that Cyanogenmod might support this in the future, or do enough work to allow a developer to do so. Cyanogenmod has been experimenting with support for the "Android One" phone, which is based on the Mediatek MT6582 chipset. I'm not sure if the MT8121 chipset will be close enough to matter and people would need to create configuration files to support the tablet's other hardware (screen size at the least). However given that the A10-70 uses the MT65xx Preloader ... perhaps they are similar chipsets
- If you've done something that disabled root, like telling CWM to root during reboot, just download this update.zip file found on the french post linked earlier and install it from an external SD card. It will root you and install SuperSU which can then be updated from the Play store.