So I hate Rogers, and all the crippleware they insist on putting on the phones they sell, and let's not forget to mention all the built-in vulnerabilities Samsung insists on installing as well. It took me a while to eventually get done, but I managed to flash my Samsung Galaxy S3 with Cyanogenmod 10.2, and it has never been better. I will go over all the headaches I encountered, as well as how I went about getting it flashed. While I did this all from a Linux desktop, the instructions are there for Windows as well.

To start things off, I had a stock Samsung Galaxy S3 as provided by Rogers, complete with the stock Samsung apps. For me, this was a MAJOR problem... Here are a few site going over why:

Security bug found for Samsung Galaxy S3

Six fresh vulnerabilities found in Samsung Android devices

Major security vulnerability in some Samsung phones could trigger factory reset via web page

Widespread Android Vulnerability 'A Privacy Disaster', Claim Researchers

Exploit beamed via NFC to hack Samsung Galaxy S3 (Android 4.0.4)

 

While I am unsure that the exact article I had read to spark my interest is here, these just quickly point out some reasons I wanted to flash my phone. The short of it: Samsung apps are themselves very weak, security-wise, and are full of vulnerabilities. So when you get a Samsung phone, it has built-in vulnerabilities which can effectvely grant full-access to an attacker, and you would be none-the-wiser.

So on to the research. While Paranoid Android was (and still is) an alternative, I'm not quite at the Paranoid stage quite yet, and found that, based on descriptions, Cyanogenmod was what I was looking for. Going to the website, it was rather simple to find the basics on how to flash the phone. In fact, it seemed almost a little too easy... Here are the instructions I had wound up following:

How to Install CyanogenMod on the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE ("d2lte")

How to Install CyanogenMod on the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE ("d2lte")

 

I downloaded Heimdall and the recovery software, and got to work. After what appeared to be a successful flash, I booted into the recovery firmware. I saw the little loading screen breifly, then the screen went black. Fearing I had just messed something up, I tried rebooting, which did not work. In a panic, I pulled the battery. When I put it back in, I just turned on the phone, and let it boot normally. At this point, the stock Android booted just fine. So fine, it was almost like I had done nothing... So I turned the phone off, and booted into the recovery firmware. Once again, same deal... I saw the little loading screen breifly, then the screen went black. I went back, flashed again, and again the same results. Then I tried flashing it several more times, each trying a slightly different command, all with the same end results. While I had seemingly pooched the recovery firmware, I was able to use the phone as I normally did, so I left it alone for a few weeks while I planned my next move.

 

Weeks later, I was up for trying again. Using the same software and firmware, I falshed the recovery with yet again the same results. I was frustrated at this point, and started looking at other recovery firmware to work with. AAt that point, I had stumbled across a seemingly unrelated forum post, in which the asker is asking about his Rogers phone and which carrier to use. I thought to myself "What a stupid question... Look at the options. We aren't Verizon, AT&T, Virgin, or any of the others... We are clearly using the International firmware!" Wondering what the community trolling would be like, I read on. It was only 2 or 3 responses in, when someone said that Rogers phones are the same as AT&T phones.

WTF!?

I downloaded the AT&T recovery firmware (rather than the International firmware I had been using this whole time), and flashed that. Rebboted in the recovery firmware, and SUCCESS!!

I could not believe it. I had literally wasted hours and hours flashing the wrong firmware, and spent weekes researching the wrong firmware. While I was supremely frustrated with the wasted time, I was far more excited and happy to now have the proper details sorted out. Giddy with excitement, I then went to download the proper Cyanogenmod firmware. Here's a link:

Browse Files for Samsung Galaxy S III (AT&T) - d2att / stable

Flashed this firmware as per the instructions, rebooted, SUCCESS! It was SO easy at this point, I almost laughed. Booting into the new OS was as exciting as turning on a new phone for the very first time. In fact, it was just like a whole new phone, without forking out a ton of cash to Rogers! Once I got things started, I noticed there were no Google apps.. No Gmail, no Play Store... Then I found yet another link:

Google Apps

It turns out that Cyanogenmod does not include them by default. I followed the instructions, got the package to my phone, installed it, and rebooted. Once the phone booted back up, I saw all the Google Apps icons. I opened the play store, put in my credentials, and right away I got a popup stating that all my apps were missing (indeed they were), and it aslked me if I wanted to install them all. I said yes, and a little under 30 minutes later, I hadd all my apps installed again, with the exception of the Samsung Apps. It was awesome! The app re-installs were so simple and easily done, once I said 'yes', there was no further input required from me.

 

In case it is wanted, here are the links I used to get everything I needed:

Information: Samsung Galaxy S III LTE ("d2lte")
http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/D2lte_Info

How to Install CyanogenMod on the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE ("d2lte")
http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Install_CM_for_d2lte\

Google Apps
http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Google_Apps

Browse Files for Samsung Galaxy S III (AT&T) - d2att / stable
http://download.cyanogenmod.org/?device=d2att&type=stable

Files:
Clockwork Mod recovery 6.0.4.7
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Clockwork Mod recovery - touch 6.0.4.7
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Heimdall - 32bit 1.4.0
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Heimdall - 64bit 1.4.0
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Google Apps pkg 2013-08-13
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Date 2015-09-11 File Size 87.49 MB Download 0
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