Rooting the Karbonn A9+ and Karbonn A21

Karbonn A9+ and Karbonn A21 Side by Side

Karbonn A9+ and Karbonn A21 Side by Side
Karbonn A9+ and Karbonn A21 : Side by Side

The Karbonn A9+ and Karbonn A21 are part of Karbonn’s Duple series mobile phones. Hardware and Software configuration-wise, they are nearly identical as they both sport a Qualcomm 1.2GHz Dual Core CPU, Adreno 203 GPU, 384MB RAM, 512MB ROM (to store apps), 2GB Internal Memory and Micro-SD Slot for expandable memory up-to 32GB. Both phones run on stock Android 4.0.4 OS and Karbonn’s contribution to customisation has been limited to adding a few apps.

The 3rd party apps that come pre-installed with the phones are:

  • WeChat
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • NexGtv
  • Times of India
  • PayTm
  • Popi
  • Kingsoft Office
  • WhatsApp

These apps are listed as ‘System Apps’ and it is not possible to disable/uninstall these  apps. The apps are updatable but continue to remain in System Memory.

In normal circumstances, the presence of some these apps will not matter to most users, but Karbonn phones have a big problem – miniscule RAM. At just 384MB, the Default browser often crashes on image heavy websites or JavaScript heavy websites. Alternate browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox for Android suffer from similar issues. Only Opera-Mobile is able to fare slightly better. Even Flipboard occasionally crashes while loading.

Since Apps like WeChat, Yahoo Messenger & WhatsApp are automatically started at boot, they occupy precious RAM and result in dramatic slowdown of the user interface. After a few hours of phone use, the Contacts list is terribly slow to display.

It’s a marvel of Android OS’s memory management techniques that the phone even continues to work with such low RAM.

It is possible to uninstall these ‘system’ apps if the user has access to ‘Root’ mode on the phone. These apps can also be ‘frozen’, thus disabling them without un-installing them. While there is no dedicated rooting software for Karbonn mobiles, many generic rooting software that can root Android 4.0 phones, also work on the Karbonn phones too.

To root my phone, I used “Root MANY ANDROID! [Upd: 18.12.2012]” by “Bin4Ry”. The software is available at XDA-Developers forum. The developer is constantly updating the software to handle more and more phones and you should grab the latest version from the links present in the first post of the thread. Of all the rooting tools for Android OS available on the net, I found this one to be least demanding and straight-forward.

For the uninitiated, the software is really simple to use and I strongly encourage that you view the video tutorial on Youtube before proceeding.

This article is not about “How-to” root your Karbonn phone. The discussion thread at XDA-Developers forum provides instructions for an already easy-to-user software. This article however illustrates the performance gains that can be had from rooting your Android Phone.

The first difficulty I faced was with USB Drivers for the phone. Karbonn does not give drivers for the phone either via CD or Internet Downloads. Support-wise, Karbonn scores a big zero with thousands of users complaining about non-functioning support numbers and Service Centers that are actually closed.

Karbonn sources these phones from generic manufacturers in China and brands them for sale in India. As such, when connected to the computer, the phone shows up as ‘Tianyu HS-USB Android Modem 9025’. There are drivers available on the Internet titled as ‘Qualcomm USB Network Driver Package’. The problem I faced was that these drivers refused to install on my Windows 7 Home Basic x64 with ‘incorrect platform’ message. Clearly, I needed 64-bit drivers.

One solution is to use ‘Moborobo’. It is an application developed in China that can manage a wide range of Android mobile phones. The application can backup Contacts, SMS messages, Media and you can even control the phone from your PC (very useful for sending SMS messages). It does it by connecting the phone to the Computer over USB Debugging facility of Android. The software automatically downloads the appropriate drivers for your phone from the Internet, thus saving you the hassle for looking for them all over the Internet.

While I did download and install the software, I uninstalled it soon after because I had three major issues with it:

  • The software installs unsigned drivers for the phone on your computer.
  • The software also installs applications on your phone without express permission.
  • The developers of the software are anonymous. The website does not feature a contact address or any proof that the company is trust-worthy.

To my surprise, the Karbonn A9+ came with a file called ‘pcdrivers.zip’ pre-loaded on the phone’s 2GB internal memory. This file yielded unsigned drivers for the phone and fortunately, it also contained drivers for Windows x64. I chose to install these drivers to the computer. Windows 7 accepts these drivers but complains about them being unsigned. The drivers may have come with the Karbonn A9+, but they also worked with the Karbonn A21.

Download the drivers titled ‘Qualcomm USB Network Driver Package 1.0.7.2 for Windows XP/Vista/Win 7’ here.

With the USB drivers installed, the ‘Tianyu Composite ADB Interface-MI01’ is activated in Device Manager along with ‘Tianu HS-USB Diagnostics 9025’ and ‘Tianyu HS-USB NMEA 9025’ devices.

Now Bin4ry’s tool is able to detect the Karbonn phones and it is able to root both the phones in under 5 minutes. The actual rooting process only takes a few seconds.

The first thing I did after rebooting the phone was to install ‘Titanium Backup’ from the Google Play Store and Grant it ‘Super User’ access. I also granted access ‘ClockSync’ app so that it can keep the time on the phone synchronized to an Atomic Clock on the Internet. For some reason, the Karbonn phones lose/gain time and are rarely accurate after a day.

Using Titanium Backup, I uninstalled the following (keeping only Kingsoft Office and WhatsApp):

  • WeChat
  • Yahoo Messenger
  • NexGtv
  • Times of India
  • PayTm
  • Popi

There was a distinct improvement in the amount of RAM that became available. Note that readings were taken by closing all apps and running ‘Fast Reboot’ app to maximize available RAM.

[table “” not found /]

The RAM saved alone is probably worth it and should result in performance improvement, though the usability impact of such performance gain may be hard to quantize.


105 responses to “Rooting the Karbonn A9+ and Karbonn A21”

    • Dear Narendra,

      I have not attempted to install custom-ROM on the A21 yet for two reasons:
      1. There is no pressing need to do it yet.
      2. The Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) ROMs are still in experimental stage and I would rather wait for them to mature a bit.

      Regards

      • Dear Rajib,

        hi this is Ravi. i make mistake for rooting my karbonn A21 mobile. i have use CWM recovery rooting tool, i was used fast boot recovery system pessing power on + volume up key and install cwm recovery tool. but after i cant find my red screen while long presing same button i got only green and after red is appear but if i leave both button so phone not showing cwm mode of recovery.

        plz tell me how to solve this problem.

        how to root karbonn A21+ plz show the video

      • Dear Akash,

        The drivers are required to get the phone connected to the computer so that you can root it or allow 3rd party Phone Management software to work with the phone.
        Note that Google does not provide a Phone Management software for Android OS and it is left to the manufacturers to create such software.
        While Samsung and HTC do provide such software (only works with their phones), users of other phone brands have to find 3rd party software.

        You can try out some of the software listed here: http://www.tipsotricks.com/2012/02/best-android-pc-suite-software.html
        Another software that you can try is called MoboRobo.

        HTH

    • Dear Rameez,

      I am sure that the software downloadable from the link you provided works equally well.
      When recommending software on my blog, I have to:
      – Ensure that it is well documented, has screenshots and video guides
      – Try it myself

      Unfortunately, the software in the link you provided fails in the first criterion. Hence I am not comfortable recommending it.

      Regards

      • Thanks Rajib for the response.
        I have tried your technique and i do a see performance improvement.
        Although still for some reason i haven’t felt the 1.2 Ghz Dual playing it’s role , expect there to be lesser lag for system apps.

        Waiting for a CUSTOM ROM:P

        Thanks,
        Rameez

  1. Rajib Sir,
    Thank you for the info about A9+.
    Iam facing the following problems from my Karbonn A9+
    a)Iam unable to view the sent SMS.
    b) There is no direct Dial up option from Favourites.
    c)Presently the phone battery is not charging beyond 16% iam unable to fix the error.
    kindly send your experiene.

    • Hi,
      The Karbonn A9+ presents SMS messages in a threaded view. i.e. all messages sent/received from a contact are organized one after another.
      Sent messages are generally pale-yellow in colour.

      Do directly dial a phone number, you can also use a Widget. Just place the Contact widget on the home-screen and configure which phone number should be dialed.

      Phone battery not charging beyond 16% can be due to:
      – Battery defect
      – Charger defect
      Can you try discharging the phone completely and putting it on charge for 6-8 hours keeping the phone switched off? You can try this at bed-time.

      HTH

  2. Rajib sir,
    Our Android A9+ is not supporting Marine Compass applications.I require Compass offline and not linked with GPS.
    On enquiring it is mentioned that Karbonn A9+ is not having a Geo Sensor application on it.
    Can we fix this.kindly comment

    • The phone lacks a Magnetometer. Hence, compass apps are not supported. This also has an effect on Maps since the phone cannot determine North and cannot rotate the map correctly.

  3. Sir,
    The drivers package “Qualcomm USB network driver” link which you have provided is working with windows 7 but not with Windows XP. Can you please confirm that is it for windows XP ALSO or i’m making any mistake. I have tried all my efforts to install the drivers on XP but i failed. Can you please help me?

    • Sir,
      after a tough procedure i finally installed all the drivers on XP provided by your link manually trough device manager but still I’m unable to tether my internet connection and in MTP connection i get error.
      Please help me to in installation procedure of these two problems. thanks in advance

  4. Hi Rajib

    Followed your instructions and got the Karbonn A21 rooted, removed all the useless apps. However, the reason I was doing is this is because I am unable to connect the Karbonn A21 using bluetooth to my car’s bluetooth for phone connectivity. I can connect with cars bluetooth and stream music but not the phone feature. When the phone connects, I get an error – Unfortunately, the process com.android.phone has stopped and the bluetooth connection disconnects. Lots of users are facing the same issue with Karbonn A21 – any idea why? Any inputs would help.

  5. HI Rajib,

    I tried downloading the Driver and installing in windows8 but it is giving error for A21 device.

    • Dear Vaibhav,

      The driver package I have made available on my website supports up-to Win7-x64. While it should work with Win8, please note that Win8 driver model is slightly different and it may not actually permit the installation of these device drivers.

      HTH

    • Dear Annay,

      Although your phone is running Google Android OS 4.0.4, note that Google does not provide updates for your phone directly and OS updates must come from Karbonn.
      Like all budget phone manufacturers Karbonn is least bothered about issuing OS updates for it’s phones.

      The applications on your phone can be updated using Google Play Store.

      HTH

  6. sir,my karbonn a9+ phone battery is 1420 mAh, can i insert new bettary wich has 1800 mAh or 2000mAh of any company?

  7. Hi Sir,

    I had mistakenly updated my Karbonn a9+ mobile with rs_ROM_v0.6. Now my mobile stopped functioning..! Even I had not taken backup of my rom 🙁

    Kindly help me or suggest me, so that i can download my old rom from any site & make it works as normal. If you can please share me the steps for resolving this problem.

    I am badly need help… please… 🙁

    Regards,
    SUNIL KUMAR

    • Dear Sunil Kumar,

      Ask for assistance in the XDA-Developers forum. Someone there maybe able to help you with the stock ROM for A9+ and the procedure to re-flash it.

      HTH

    • Dear Mahesh,

      Check if ‘RotaLock’ is enabled. To do so, swipe your finger from top of screen downwards. The device status-bar should open. You can enable/disable RotaLock here.

      HTH

  8. hi rajib. i bought karbonn a9+ few days ago. I am not able to tether via usb. phone software does not install on my computer. I am usin widows xp.At first new hardware wizard opens but further it doesn’t install the software. Help me in connecting my phone as a modem to computer.

  9. Rajib sir, i bought karbonn a9+ before 4 month through flipkart.com. Now my cell is totally dead. accourding technician operating system is crashed. but nobody upload OS in my mobile. Now i am in Nepal, Narayangarh. How to flash and upload os to my phone. Pls reply solution as soon. Now I am totally suffering.

    Yam subedi
    Narayangarh, Chitwan, Nepal

    • Hey Hi,

      This is SUNIL from ANDHRA PRADESH. Even i had the same problem, and i was completely lost my hops on that mobile..! But @ last I found the solution for this issue. I found original OS of the KARBONN A9+ from some sites. I had downloaded the same & installed. Now its working perfectly fine without any issues.. Even its been upgraded with latest FIRM VER-4.1.4

  10. Help me out to fix my Karbonn A21

    I m very new to andriod world, for testing I bought Karbonn A21. It worked fine, I rooted the phone enjoyed all the app 2 weeks, later on thought to restore factory setting and I did which was my first mistake, My phone stopped working, it booted and gave QSPT entry downloading error, later I connected the phone thinking of flashing and installing CWM_RECOVERY_FINAL_A21 rom which was an unoffical launch, but on connecting the device window prompted for format, My second mistale I formated it which poped with hardly a 20Kb space and later on my phone is dead but detected as unknow device on my PC(Window 7) and later it was not accepting the drives from PDAnet and USB drivers from Karbonn offical website, researched and installed driver, thou it shows as Qualcomm HS USB QDloader 9008 in device manager, I tried Fastboot, Flash tool to boot the device no sign of boot no lights nothing can somebody help to fix my phone it will be really appreciated.

    Waiting for a quick resolution..

    If any fix please provide with links and tools details so that can get my phone up in minimal time.

  11. I purchesed Karbonn A9+ phone yesterday. But I am not able to connect it with the pc.My pc running with win 7.The driver of android is not getting installed.Please help me to solve the problem

    • Solving driver installation issues on your PC is beyond the scope of this blog. Since lots of users can vouch that drivers do get installed on many version of Windows (including Win7 x64), you will have to assume that the error is at your end and work to fix it.

      I suggest that you ask a ‘technical’ person among your friends to help you.

    • Dear Vivek,

      Rooting the phone carries an inherent risk. Though Hackers work very hard to create helpful software and foolproof procedures, there is always a chance of mishap.

      If you are not confident, then please don’t apply the hack. You phone will work fine without it.

      If you are willing to take the risk, then check the article. It has links to a rooting software that I used on my phone.

      HTH

  12. thanks for STEP BY STEP rooting support… now i successfully rooted my karbonn a9+ . i need one more help can u guide me how to install custom rom for my mobile karbonn a9+ if possible please provide me downloading link for custom rom …

  13. Dear Mr. Rajib

    I am a user of Karbonn A21 for the last 5 months. I would like to thank you for the usb drivers provided by you… They are working fine. Very recently i rooted my device using Bin4Ry after installing the usb drivers. I then uninstalled the standard apps like WeChat, Times of India, Popi, NexGTv, Paytm, Yahoo. I was very happy for some time till i realised that my phone now does not vibrate at all. I checked all settings in sounds and also did a factory reset but the phone does not vibrate.

    I am planning to take it to a Karbonn service center. I have unrooted the device using the same Bin4Ry procedure. I have also reinstalled the standard WeChat, Times of India, Popi, etc apps. but even after unrooting the apps are not getting locked( I mean i can still uninstall them ). Is there any way to get these applications locked so that when I take the mobile to the service center they should not know i had rooted the device before…

    Also is there any way to fix the vibration issue so that i may not have to visit the Service center at all

  14. Dear Rajib, Can our Karbonn A9+ be connected to pendrive directly.
    I mean by using MicroSD to Female USB chord can i connect and view the files in Pendrive directly from Karbonn a9+ ????

  15. Sir,
    I have karbonn A21 cellphone, I wan’t test my android app on this via my windows 8 X64 bit system.
    But I could not find appropriate driver for this..
    Could you locate and help me for this “Karbonn A21 USB Driver x64 bit Windows 8”.

  16. sir my karbonn a21 have huge restart problem…when charging,when play hd game,when running some weighty apps,,,i have service my mobile from service centre 6 time in between 3month..but nothing solve this problem..what i am doing sir..

    • Dear Sajal,

      The problem is caused by the meager RAM (386 MB) on the Karbonn A21. Many apps which require more RAM simple crash.
      Since the RAM is not upgradeable, you can try the following:
      – Root the phone and use a combination of Titanium Backup and Individual App Settings to disable / delete apps that you do not need.
      – Configure apps to not be active/monitoring all the time.
      – Use an app like ‘Fast Reboot’ to kill apps and free memory before launching a big app.

      HTH

  17. My Karbonn A9+ has not good income call volume level,ringtone volume also low even its volume is full.like that ram aslo used more than 80%.i used so many apps for kill un used apps for free up ram memory but it will not free my ram memory.help me to unstill unwanted system apps with out root coz i’m not confident to root my device so plz help me.send my such tips for better used of my device.how can i resolve my problem related to karbonn A9+???????????

    • Dear Sharmaa,

      The Karbonn A9+ is a phone with some limitations. You will have to work within it’s limitations.
      Rooting the phone is easy. Just follow the instructions.

      HTH

  18. sir,

    how to install drivers from the pcdrivers.zip file i have windows7 home basic 64 bit pc please guide me and tell me is it safe to root and what if i damage my phone (KARBONN A9+)

    • Dear Manish,

      It’s very easy to root the phone. Just watch the video and follow the instructions. Make sure that your phone is fully charged and your computer / laptop has power backup.

      Rooting is generally issue-free and does not damage the phone hardware or software. A firmware update on the other hand is risky (particularly if you are trying an unsupported firmware)

      HTH

  19. Hello Mr.Rajib,

    My mobile got pattern locked and I am unable to access the gmail also so it is completely locked.
    Can you please suggest me the required process to unlock my mobile.

    Thanks in advance,
    Sandeep

  20. Sir when I was rooting my Karbonn A9+ after pressing restore it copy some files but in my mobile it show a error ‘MV write error no space on device. As I have rooted my phone earlier but no problem occurred please tell me why this happen pleaseeeeeeeee

  21. sir how to flash karbonn a21 stock rom without cwm recovery??????
    i have a problem..incidently all system apps deleted in my phone…when i on my phone then the mobile stuck on boot animation…

    what i am doing sir..plzzzzzzz reply imidiate

  22. Sir.plzzz reply me why i am flashing stock rom without cwm recovery mode….???????? all system apps deleted in my karbonn a21 mobile,,,,when i am switch on mobile then only show boot animatino,,and stuck….what i am doing sir????

  23. Sir
    I have rooted my karbonn a21….thank you for valuable guidance. But I am unable to download any supported ROM for my device… .. Pl help with direct dnld link.

  24. How to enable ear phone option while using cellphone while responding a call in Karbonn A21 model ?

  25. sir..i have karbon A9+ phone…it hangs out 4/5 times per day even when i open images,pdf files etc……i cant play games like racing moto,temple run because of hanging problem….i checked other’s karbon A9+ phone but they dont have a problem like this….what may be the solution sir?

  26. Hello,

    I have downloaded whatsapp on my android 4.0.4 mobile and installed it on my mobile. After entering my mobile number, it gives an error saying it is not able to connect, pl check that you are connected to internet and try again. Reboot if connection problem persists. I am trying this since past 3 weeks. I had downloaded it earlier and since it gave the same error, I tried uninstalling it and tried re-installing. But while trying to re-install, I saw that instead of Install button, I could see Install Update.

    I daily use my cell fone to check mails, browse internet and have also downloaded various other apps, so it is clear that my cellphone is connected to internet.

    Therefore I am unable to know why the app download does not complete and allow me to use whatsapp.

    Please help.

    Regards
    Bharat Dandavate

  27. Hi, can you post the stock ROM which you had taken using backup. I rooted the phone and accidentaly deleted some files. Now looking for backup.

  28. Hi,

    I am using karbonn a9+. Please provide me some more details to improvr\e my phone performance.

  29. I am facing the problem of extremely poor battery performance and so will root the phone and uninstall some pre-installed apps. But I am facing another big problem. The call voice volume is extremely low and I have great difficulty in using the phone outdoors. With headphone it is somewhat ok, though still the volulme is less. Could you please give a solution or comment on this problem.

  30. Hello sir

    This is Praveen . I have Karonn A9+ phone which is very good…but i have some problem after some time
    .when i install some App on my phone then my phone getting slow …
    and sir how can i use my internal phone memory which is near about 2.5 GB .it is possible to merge this internal memory with my system memory which is near about 500 MB which is very few……please sir help me.. thank you.

  31. I have purchased Karbonn A9+. It is not establishing bluetooth connectivity withother devices. Similar is the problem with wi-fi connectivity. After pairing the the device get disconnected immidiately. Kindly guide, what to do?

    Shashi

  32. Desperately looking for PC suite of Karbonn A9+
    unable to transfer messages and calender events from Nokia mobile
    some assistance is highly awaited and appreciated

  33. Hi Rajib,
    I have a query not regarding Karbonn but my Rooted Android 2.3.7 phone: Samsung Infuse 4G (SGH-I997) that has MIUI 2.1.13 build. I just came to know from xda-developers.com (thanks again to your above article) that there are custom ROMs available for this very old phone.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2091900
    For me, all those instructions with heavy jargon is Greek and Latin. I don’t think I will be able to upgrade my phone to 4.2.2 all by myself even after hundred more instructions…
    I request your help here. I guess you can pretty well understand the instructions. If you can help me upgrade that would be really great. I can bring the phone to your place, if need be (I live in Gachibowli) or if you can direct me to any reliable expert who can do this job.
    Pl. help me… I am stuck with this very very old version of OS.

    • Dear Sri Kishan,

      To replace the ROM with a new version of Android, the phone must also feature sufficient space in ROM for the update.

      It is unlikely that a phone featuring Android Gingerbread (2.3.7) can be upgraded to Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) or Android Jelly Beam (4.1.x, 4.2.x)

      Also, newer versions of the OS place much higher demands on the processor and RAM of the phone and the old samsung may find it too much to handle!

      HTH

  34. hello sir
    my phone(karbonn a9+)is seccusfuly rooted .but i can’t install cusom rom,i have download a custom rom (darkboid) for mu phone.plese help me for install custom rom in my phone

  35. hello sir
    i try to many time for install custom rom,1st i download to c. rom then i copy to sd card directly ,after copy i shutdown my phone and press volume+ and power button ,then the display showing 4 setting,i choose wipe &cache,then i choose factory resetting ,after i choose wipe &partation then i format it.after this work i try to install custom rom (darkboid).the display is showing failed to install

  36. admin,
    I got a serious problem here with my a21.
    It is not getting switched on fully.
    It keeps on showing the startup animation like a loop.
    I think it is dead or something like in coma

    Please help…

  37. hello sir,

    how to i can update android os 4.0.4 (ICS) to 4.1(Jelly Bean) in my karbonn A21 mobile.
    Pls sir help me……

    Vikash Sharma
    Ghaziabad

  38. remote object ‘/system/bin/ric’ does not exist
    .
    Going to copy files to it’s place
    mount: permission denied (are you root?)
    Rebooting again, please wait!
    Could Not Find F:\Root\ric
    Restoring previous Backup! Please select the RESTORE MY DATA option now on your
    device!
    Now unlock your device and confirm the restore operation.

    THIS IS THE RESPONSE LOG WHEN I TRY TO ROOT MY A9+

    • This is the typical error message of a failed rooting process.
      Bin4ry’s rooting solution only works well for Android ICS (4.0.x).

      If your phone is not getting rooted, try the other rooting tools available at xda-developers.

  39. Sir
    i read your blog and i find the drivers very help full.
    but after rooting may Karbonn A9+ stuck in boot loader mode & was not going beyond that point.
    So i have to install a custom rom for my mobile.
    I could not sock rom for A9+
    Sir Can you

  40. Sir
    i read your blog and i find the drivers very help full.
    but after rooting may Karbonn A9+ stuck in boot loader mode & was not going beyond that point.
    So i have to install a custom rom for my mobile.
    I could not sock rom for A9+
    Sir Can you Help me with the Stock rom

  41. My karbonn a21 shows 110-120 mb ram free out of total 380mb ram without installing any other apps from the market… and shows 260-270 mb ram used…. but after counting the total usage of ram of inbuilt apps,,, it shows counts total used ram is only 120-130…so where is my remaining ram gone??? and how can i increase my free ram??? please rply,,

  42. my phone A21 karbonn has been currupt. service center has advished to formate the phone. there r several importent masseges but i dont know how to save these while formatting. kindly suggest.

  43. hllo.. i m using karbon A9+ itz hs become worst phone i hv evr seen itz hanging problem are terrible al d tym it’s hanging…. what to do?? n i hv tried to download d root file but it fails….ny more link plzz…

  44. I am trying to install the drivers on windows 7 and it is giving one or the other error, i am using your link and downloaded the driver from rapidshare, even after continuing to install on windows 7, at the end it gives “Windows found driver software for your device but encountered an error while attempting to install it.

  45. my karbonn a9+ just switches on showing the karbonn sign then becomes blank I have to remove my battery to try switch it on

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