There's nothing like a completely open device if you really want to tweak things and flash all sorts of ill-advised software. HTC isn't going to make it easy, though. Getting s-off is necessary to do all that fun stuff, and now the recently released Firewater tool has been updated with support for the M8.

All the necessary files and instructions can be obtained on the Firewater site. It's a fairly straightforward process, but you'll probably need to make sure the device is temp-rooted with jcase's WeakSauce M8 tool first. Once the exploit completes, you should have an unlocked bootloader and s-off. That means permanent root and ROMs are in your future.

Keep in mind that you could very well break things mucking around with the software in unapproved ways, and people will probably laugh when you ask for help fixing it.

[@FirewaterDevs, Firewater Tool – Thanks, Shane Starnes]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • EH101

    Well, that was like 1/100th the amount of time it will take for the S5 to get unlocked...if it ever does lol. (Before flames and anger, I ordered an S5, and on Verizon, you all know it's true!)

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      The custom ROM scene seems to be pretty bad with these latest Samsung devices... Tap Pro lineup doesn't even have any ROMs available, expect for unofficial CM11 for the WiFi version of 8.4

      • EH101

        Indeed. And it's getting about as bad for Samsung phones on Verizon (not familiar with devices on other carriers). Considering the amount of (mostly thankless) work it takes to break into the locked devices, I can't really blame devs. I just hope we get root, that's all I need nowadays.

        • Obama’s_tranny_wife_yuck

          I was going to buy S5, but since I had the S3 and S4 I decided to go over to HTC plus I like the on screen buttons instead of physical. The fingerprint reader probably would of been a cool feature, but with NSA and Obama BS lies and govt intrusion I prefer not to use such a feature

          • EH101

            Regarding on screen buttons, I'm firmly in the camp that thinks they are overrated. They were cool back when I had a galaxy nexus, but once the wow factor (from it being new) died down I found they were more hassle then they were worth. Personally, I would rather have a device with 3 mechanical hardware buttons, but those days are long gone I think.

            About the NSA comment, if they really wanted information about you or anyone, I doubt a couple fingerprints would make any difference really. But I don't think I'll be using that feature anyway, looks buggy to me.

  • shojus

    I really believe custom roms for Samsung devices are doomed! Ever since knox came out we have to jump through WAAAY too many hoops to have a device that we like and can freely modify. Bye Samsung... I won't miss ya though as much as I thought. Verizon M8 and S-Off'd. Nuff said

    • h4rr4r

      Stop buying locked devices.
      When you buy an M8 you tell HTC and Verizon you are ok with locked devices.

      Buy unlocked devices, else they will go away.

      • shojus

        There are no unlocked or Dev versions for Verizon... If I wasn't using 50gb+ of data a month on the unlimited plan then I would not care but that's a pretty good benefit to have, Also, my last non Samsung devices were all unlocked by exploits so I'm good where I'm at for the moment. I do not condone their bullshit but I make VERY good use of my unlimited plan to make up for their crap. ;) When they makes us "month to month" guys get off the unlimited plan then I will be heading straight to a GSM provider with the quickness.

        • Brian Moker

          well, that is apparently going to happen sooner rather than later. Current VZW subscribers with unlimited plans are slated to be forcibly pushed onto a plan that matches their data use for the previous 12 months. Supposed to be happening before the end of next year.

          • shojus


  • Jeffrey Fazal

    Even I like experimenting on the new Smartphone but most
    of the time it doesn’t work well. I have tried to unlock my friend’s Galaxy S4
    but end up to send the phone in service center to update the software again. But
    this time, I will definitely give a try to M8 after completely charge it on USB Charger , to explore more options from unlocked version.

  • Brian Hunt

    Can you restore S-On?

    • Brian Moker

      Not sure, but with S-OFF, you CAN remove the **TAMPERED** flag from the HBOOT screen, and relock the bootloader without that flag.