Yes, Android might be an open source platform which can be easily rooted, unlocked and other customization processes but this doesn’t mean that it can’t be limited. Google created Android a few years ago with the intention of being completely open source and customizable. And most of the times, it has been this way. But everything changed when other OEMs joined the party.
Since Android is open source, OEMs can easily take the stock firmware and completely modify it, changing the user interface and adding proprietary applications. The situation becomes even worse when it comes to carriers. Some US carriers like Verizon try their best to stop users from rooting carrier-branded devices. Verizon has gone even further by locking the bootloader of some Android devices. Even to this date, there are a few phones that cannot enjoy root access because no developer has figured out how to unlock the bootloader.
Now, Sony has done the same thing but in a smarter way. Sony doesn’t want you to unlock the bootloader of its Xperia devices but it also doesn’t want to think you so. The company has announced that it supports custom development of Xperia devices and there are a ton of guides how to unlock the bootloader and root the system. However, you should be careful as there is a small note at the end saying that unlocking the bootloader will cause the loss of DRM keys.
DRM keys are responsible for enhanced camera quality and other Sony UI features. When these keys are lost, the phone performance becomes noticeably worse. So, in order to enjoy root access, you have to deal with the loss of DRM keys.
Luckily, a user over at XDA forums called “CubicU07” has found a way of unlocking the bootlaoder and rooting the system of the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet without loosing DRM keys. You will need a few files, so make sure to carefully follow the guide below.
The most important thing of this process is to backup the TA partition or simply said, backup the DRM keys. You will loose them during the process so this is a key moment. Follow this guide how to backup TA partition on Xperia phones.
Flashtool – download
Stock SGP621 firmware – FTF file
Advanced stock kernel – Z3TC-stock-twrp.img
PRFCreator tool – download
SuperSU – link
SonyRICDefeat – RICDefeat.zip
Now that you have acquired all the files that you need, you can go ahead and root the Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet following the guide below.
Rooting Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet without loosing DRM keys
- Flash the stock SGP621 file using the Flashtool program.
- Now unlock the bootloader of your device following this tutorial. At this point the DRM keys will be lost but do not worry, you have the backup so it doesn’t matter.
- Using Flashtool, flash the stock kernel that you downloaded from the link above.
- Using the PRFCreator tool, root the stock firmware by using SuperSU. Move the rooted firmware to your phone. Boot into recovery and flash the rooted file.
- Now your device will be rooted but the DRM keys will be lost.
- Again follow the tutorial above to restore the TA partition.
Once you have completely done the process above, you will have a Sony Xperia Z3 Compact Tablet with rooted firmware while DRM keys are intact.