ZTE Zmax Pro Forum

Root ZTE ZMAX Pro (Z981) root discussion

I'm starting this thread so that we can possibly work together to try to find a way to get root on this phone and compare notes on what we have tried. To be honest, I doubt that we are going to get root without a custom recovery and a way to flash it. I think that the key is either ftm mode which is accessed by holding power and volume up, or by holding power volume up and volume down which boots the phone into a mode where only the home key lights up. I believe that this is download mode and might possibly give us access to the bootloader. The big question is what program/drivers we are going to need on the PC end. All ideas are welcome here. If you think you might be able to help don't hesitate.



#1 Masterchief87, Jul 30, 2016 Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
I've officially requested help from OUDHS (Official Unloved Devices Hit Squad which includes ShabbyPenguin and hroark13 among others) so hopefully they can help us in some way.

Here is a copy of my request
#2 Masterchief87, Jul 31, 2016 Last edited: Aug 1, 2016
Everything I've seen that has to do with flashing firmware on a ZTE device though, used DFU or download mode which I explain above. All the info I've found about it is outdated though.
#3 Masterchief87, Aug 3, 2016
In addition to trying to find a way to use DFU mode to flash partition images, I've also been trying kingroot and I've just found that kingroot won't even let me try to root now. It just shows the button to request research. Has anyone else seen this?
#4 Masterchief87, Aug 4, 2016

with out root or temp root there is no way to flash the recovery

once you get root or temp root with Kingo or something else, I will try to make you a recovery, I would need a copy of the stock recovery image though
#5 hroark13, Aug 4, 2016
That's what I was afraid of. I was hoping that I'd be able to find some kind of tool that could be used to flash images via USB with the phone in DFU/download mode, because of how difficult it can be to root Marshmallow without a custom recovery. But since you need a copy of the stock recovery in order to try to build a custom recovery, I guess even if there was a tool that allowed flashing images via USB, it still wouldn't do any good without already having a copy of the stock recovery. Sorry for rambling here I'm half asleep right now.
#6 Masterchief87, Aug 4, 2016
So kingroot apk version doesn't work, and neither does Kingo root. According to the app (kingroot), they have received about 80 research requests so far which isn't nearly enough for them to begin trying to support the zmax pro. We are gonna need more people to install kingroot and request that they research other ways for us to get root. I guess the next thing to try will be the desktop versions of both of these apps. I'll report back with the results I get once I am able.
#7 Masterchief87, Aug 4, 2016
Same thing here. I'm not sure what's up with the name of the archive. It doesn't match the model number build number kernel version modem version or anything else I can find on this phone
#8 Masterchief87, Aug 4, 2016
Yeah that's the same thing I have, I just expected that the tar.gz archive would have the model# build# kernel version or something else having to do with the z981 in it's name. Since our build number ends with b08 and the source says b13 I'd say we probably have an update coming soon.
#9 Masterchief87, Aug 4, 2016
What bugs me is if the kernel source they give is from an update that isn't released yet, it is probably incomplete.
#10 Masterchief87, Aug 4, 2016
I heard some MetroPCS dealers being informed of a bug regarding the Text Messaging app not opening properly and an updating for it coming soon.
#11 HallOfPromise, Aug 5, 2016
The source that is up on ZTE's site right now is probably the only source we are going to get.
#12 Masterchief87, Aug 6, 2016
Hi gents, I'm just your average phone geek who loves to flash and (pun intended) am rooting for you guys to find success when this update comes. Just wanted to let you guys know they're are people out here *rooting*(hehe lol) for you guys .speaking for myself theyre will be donations accordingly to everyone who helped from my way. Good luck !
#13 OakRaiders14, Aug 6, 2016
The ZTE GRAND XMAX 2 is a VERY similar phone. It differs in the area of camera and fingerprint scanner... but it might help to look at its files and any community efforts to root that phone as well.
#14 ZMAX4EVER, Aug 7, 2016 Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
Sup guys, installed KingRoot and requested root method 200-something others also requested. Hopefully root will be available soon, didn't do the system update
#15 ExtraButterySyrup, Aug 8, 2016
You have an update available? I'm on 6.0.1 and when I check it says there's no update.
#16 5318008, Aug 8, 2016
What's the build number? It's probably not an Android version update.
#17 HallOfPromise, Aug 8, 2016
Not a Android version update considering 6.0.1 is the latest, it's probably something small
#18 ExtraButterySyrup, Aug 8, 2016
No, definitely not an Android version update. Probably a fix for some people having issues with text messages
Current build #: Z981V1.0.0B08
#19 ExtraButterySyrup, Aug 8, 2016
That is not an update. Tapping that button merely checks for updates and right now it will tell you your device is still up to date.
#20 Masterchief87, Aug 8, 2016
Ah you are right good sir. I hadn't clicked it in fear of it doing something that couldn't be reversed, my apologies.
#21 ExtraButterySyrup, Aug 8, 2016
odies stepping on n toes when it comes to rooting. & root genius

im just dropping my input whether it matters or not.its obvious somebodies stepping on toes with rooting making it difficult to root a cell. ive tried kingroot, kingoroot, iroot, super root,
towel root,and ows whats need for top root.they wouldnt make any mistakes just like they did with this phone.hopefully my response makes a difference and the word id spread immediately.have a great daylegally being aware of possible warranty disturbance depending on owners level of phone difficulties if occdured in the future. however, since its totally legal and i assume ZTE SHOULD UPDATEinstallinga self equipped ZTE ROOT giving owners the option to root root genius. DOES THIS MAKE SENSE>>>
#22 cesar moises ortega, Aug 9, 2016
Not entirely
#23 5318008, Aug 9, 2016
How can I go about doing that this the first time I ever help with doing such a thing ?
#24 Handsome Nipple, Aug 10, 2016
You all probably already saw this but looks like ZTE is unlocking bootloaders on the Axon 7 & Axon Pro now, maybe if we ask nice they'll unlock our Zmax Pro bootloaders too.

#25 5318008, Aug 10, 2016
I could do it. We could also keep the new thread updated with current information.

It's up now, any moderators feel free to add any information I missed. I think I summed it up pretty well.
#1709 anubis2048, Jan 14, 2017 Last edited: Jan 14, 2017