Why install a custom rom at all?

We all have our reasons for wanting to stray away from the guidance of the manufacturers of our devices. ASUS has been good to us.  The have been pushing out regular updates for the Transformer Pad Infinity since I got it a couple months ago. However any Infinity owner will tell you there is a problem with their devices and that is, SPEED!  The community as a whole from the novice to the expert scratches their heads and says, “How come this expensive top of the line tablet is slowing down for the mundane tasks but totally kicks butt when it comes to graphical performance in apps?

One big issue it deals with, though, is yet another I/O speed throttling issue. Sadly, the Infinity has inherited the Transformer Prime I/O bottleneck problem. For those who aren’t on the latest from ASUS, the answer so far has been using the SIO I/O scheduler to try to squeeze a little more performance out of the tablet. However, ASUS seems to actually want to fix this problem, as the latest OTA actually has a slightly faster I/O scheduler than SIO. It doesn’t make the problem go away, but it’s a little more manageable until a more permanent fix can be found. – Source

If you follow the rabbit hole of links from above and read all the forum posts you’ll find a whole host of tweaks and mods to try and squeeze out performance. I decided to just install Cyanogenmod to try and correct it all in one swoop. I also wanted to root the device for some other apps I was wanting to run anyway.

Is it dangerous?

If you have no experience with technology modifications, YES. You can learn just enough to really hurt your device and build yourself such a headache you won’t want to spend the effort to fix it. So know what you are getting yourself into. I cut my teeth on the NOOK Color with Cyanogenmod. Anyone who has run that gambit knows the headaches I mean. It took me about three days to FINALLY get it stable and working correctly. In the end I still went back to the Barnes and Noble rom as Cyanogenmod wasn’t stable enough for me to put up with. It worked and it was nice for a while but in the end I just wanted to read books. Check out the Cyanogenmod forums for help if you are stuck. A lot of people seem to think its fairly easy to “brick” a device. I have always found that the communities available to those with enough patience ALWAYS seem to provide a solution. That is what makes them all great.

How did I do it?

I started here 

On the whole the instructions were good. But there were some holes in my own education that caused me problems. Namely being that I hadn’t ever used the Android SDK tools from a terminal (start -> run -> CMD,  that black box is the terminal). I had it in my brain that Google had created some packaged software with a GUI interface so I spent some time trying to riddle that one out before it “clicked” that it was all command line.

Which rom to get?

With Cyanogenmod you have basically two option choices for the rom you want to run. There is the “stable” tried and true version and the “nightly” build(s). The first rom I tried was the stable cm-10.0.0-tf700t version. In the end I opted for the nightly build and it worked better for me. I also got the latest version of the gapps package that worked with 10.1. I’m using this combination now and it is working VERY WELL.

Problems I had

1) Make sure your device is ready to be poked at: One thing the instructions assumed I knew but since it had been a while I didn’t remember, was that “You need to put your device in developer mode and enable USB debugging.” Your computer won’t talk to the device without this enabled.

2) There are drivers that your computer needs to talk to the device to issue it the ADB/Fastboot commands: When I initially plugged in the Infinity to my computer (Windows 7) it installed these drivers for me. But if you are having trouble getting the ADB or Fastboot to work you might have to hunt them down. I did have trouble getting the ASUS Android Bootloader to work properly. So I fetched a driver manually from here.

3) Get the correct version of gapps for your CyanogenMod build. In my first install of the rom with 10.0 I installed the 10.1 version of the gapps package ( This caused ALL kinds of issues including multiple crashes and apps stopping left and right. I could barely get the device stable enough for it to reboot. I did try to re-flash with the 10.0 version of gapps ( but it didn’t work and all the problems persisted so I had to start over.

4) Wi-Fi wouldn’t turn on. This happened on the 10.0 version on the first install and I learned it was quite common. I just had to reboot after that first initial boot and the Wi-Fi was fine. This was not the case when I re-flashed the 10.1 nightly build. Everything worked right away.

5) Copying over the gapps and rom zips. The instructions have you push the files to the device via the terminal by putting them in the same folder as the Android SDK Tools. I was having a lot of trouble getting the correct responses from my terminal so I ended up copying the files directly to the internal SD card by dragging and dropping them into the folder on the device in Windows. This meant that when the instructions said to “Install from SD Card” I actually had to use “Install from Internal SD card” instead.

6) There is a command for Fastboot that tells you whether or not your device is being seen. “Fastboot Devices” – This command sometimes will NOT return anything but it is there. I spent a lot of time thinking something was totally wrong and I could not advance before I read some thread that said, “Just do it. Windows sucks sometimes.” Here is a screen shot of my banging out commands before it finally worked. As soon as you get “clockwork recovery”  working it is all uphill from there. Everything went fine after this and I was able to proceed to mess things up the incorrect version of gapps as I said above. I was also able to easily clear out my mistakes and install the nightly build.



7) Clear that “dalvik cache.” In the advanced area of clockwork there is this option. It is the Java Virtual Machine environment responsible for running apps. I don’t understand it entirely but the community seems to agree it is important to clear it between installing new roms or packages. I assume it clears any old associations/configurations that it was using for your apps on the old rom.  I remember having a lot of problems on my NOOK Color by not paying attention to this and so I made sure that whenever I did something in clockwork I ran this first. If you too are having some trouble you might to clear it. It never seemed to hurt anything.

Conclusion. Did it fix the Infinity’s speeds or not?

Initially things were faster than ever. Scrolling was smooth and NOTHING hung up. After a few days (as I started to get all my apps back on) a couple of the old bad habits started to creep back in (sometimes a small hang when opening a new tab in the browser as an example) but no where near the level I was having with the stock rom. My device has not ONCE rebooted on its own for no reason. If nothing else this is the #1 Reason to use CyanogenMod. This rebooting would happen constantly before. I’m also enjoying all the sweet speed of the default launcher and sometimes I will switch the CPU to performance mode if I am doing some heavy things just to make sure I’m getting peak performance. So I’m going with about an 85% yes on the fixing. From what I understand it is ASUS’s fault at the hardware level for the performance issues of the TF700t but Cyanogenmod did right by me this time and I’m glad I did it.


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