The last time many sought to root a Nexus without unlocking the bootloader, HTC was the sole maker of the Pure Google Experience devices, dual-core Android devices were only a dream, and XDA Developers was a little more than half its current size. Of course, we’re referring to the Nexus One. Many users chose to root the phone without unlocking the bootloader. This was because back then, bootloaders could not be relocked after unlocking via the officially endorsed fastboot oem unlock method. The Nexus S had a similar method, although it was only truly necessary if you didn’t want to wipe your phone. Now, the most recent Nexus phone, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus can be rooted without unlocking the bootloader as well.
The Galaxy Nexus can be locked and unlocked at will, but there are a few advantages to rooting without unlocking the bootloader. The biggest one is this method can be used in conjunction with this bootloader unlock app can get the phone rooted and unlocked without requiring a data wipe. Of course, there are other reasons as well.
Released by XDA Forum Moderator efrant, the method is a lot longer than usual Samsung root methods. In short, you’re going to push some files on to your device. From there, you’re going to restore a fake backup, run an exploit that’ll reboot you into emulator mode where you’ll perform the rest of the steps.