There are a few ways to get S-OFF, and Sunshine S-OFF is one of them that you can do at home with little to no risk – and doesn’t cost terribly much considering what it allows you to do. I don’t think there are any free methods for the HTC One M9, although feel free to correct me.
While I don’t need S-OFF at the moment, I thought I’d best get it while the getting is good on the HTC One M9 as I’m sure I’ll need it eventually, and I’m sure HTC will somehow patch their S-OFF hole at some point leaving us without that ability for months.
You’ll need a stock rooted ROM with a kernel set in a specific debuggable mode. For my ROM, after discovering the one I was running was not stock enough, I chose the ROM listed as Bad_Boyz_Sprint_ONE_M9_1.32.651.30_Stock_Rooted.zip from here. To make that work for Sunshine you’ll need to flash a file to turn off the debuggable flag. I didn’t see another other stock rooted ROMs while I was looking around so you may have a better option in mind than what I chose.
I had a few false starts before achieving S-OFF. One was that my ROM wasn’t stock enough for Sunshine to feel comfortable with, another was that the kernel was set in the wrong mode for which I was given that debuggable setting download, the next was I’d downloaded it on a Monday, had everything in place on a Wednesday, and the application had an update so it refused to let me run an outdated version.
I installed the update, ran it, the phone powered off… I’m omitting the video of a phone that was powered off for five minutes before I contacted support… something had gone wrong and it powered off as opposed to rebooting and completing the Sunshine script.
I was told to uninstall Sunshine, reboot twice, reinstall. This was to clear up any Sunshine garbage that might be left in the init scripts I guess. My guess is that something with the outdated Sunshine conflicted with Wednesday’s Sunshine, but that’s just a hunch.
That done, reinstalled, and ran through it with no issues. It took about eight minutes from start to finish. At eight minutes I verified S-OFF. Booting the phone up Sunshine had quietly uninstalled itself, and all was good.
About five minutes later I had restored the ROM I was running before installing the stock rooted and debuggable mod.
S-OFF achieved. ROM I was happy and back with my restored ROM. Best case scenario for taking a phone from highly custom to stock for Sunshine to S-OFF and back to where you were looks like about 25 minutes.
During Sunshine time I had at least one freakout moment when the phone was powered off “do I touch it? is it doing deep root stuff? Hath I a brick?” I was on Sunshine’s IRC support and responded to in about a minute with the answer (power it back on, it wasn’t supposed to be screen dark for any amount of time, uninstall, reboot twice, reinstall).
So yeah, decent customer service, quick responses when you think you have a brick (you most likely don’t,) and S-OFF achieved.
On the drawback side, it isn’t free. You’re more than welcome to use or develop a free S-OFF tool of your own or link one here. Licenses are granted to one phone. Lose that phone, license renewal time. Having S-OFF won’t make you more popular.
Sunshine costs about $25, and you can get it here.