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There is an element of risk any time new software is flashed onto the phone. So if something goes wrong with an update and your phone doesn't boot any more, this page is for you.

How dead is your phone?Edit

Depending on what went wrong, your phone may be sort-of dead, mostly dead, or all dead.

  • Your phone is sort-of dead if it turns on, responds to the Recovery Image sequence, and goes through the normal animations, but stops at a blank screen or throbbing "SAMSUNG" logo.
  • Your phone is mostly dead if it turns on, responds to the DFU sequence, but does not make it to any of the normal boot animations and does not respond to the Recovery Image sequence.
  • Your phone is all dead if it does not turn on or respond to the DFU mode sequence. There's nothing more to do except look through the pockets for change.

Recovery Image and DFU modesEdit

The Recovery Image boot will allow you to flash software via a signed UPDATE.ZIP file stored on the SD card. To perform a Recovery Image boot:

  1. Power off the phone.
  2. Press and hold the 'T' key on the QWERTY keyboard, and power on the phone.
  3. Keep the 'T' key held down until the Recovery Boot screen appears on the phone.

DFU mode is a last-ditch mode that lets you use tools like Odin Multi Downloader to re-flash the complete firmware. To enter DFU mode, do the following:

  1. Power off the phone.
  2. Press and hold both the Volume Up and Volume Down keys
  3. Press and hold the Power key while holding the Volume Up and Volume Down keys
  4. Release the keys when "Downloading" appears on the screen.

Recovering a sort-of dead phoneEdit

Phones generally become sort-of dead due to either an extreme software glitch, or by going overboard removing apps with Titanium Backup and accidently removing something critical. On a more technical level, the Android kernel is booting but mission-critical system software is missing or corrupt.

There are a couple of custom software packages floating around the Internet. One of the more popular is Arhtard's custom package available at AndroidForums.com. A similar package with fewer customizations has been released by gblues, also at AndroidForums.com. Note that both packages require some special preparation of the SD card. Another is bosna110's AMS package available at XDA-developers.com.

If neither of these custom packages is to your liking, then you can use DFU mode to restore back to stock settings.

Recovering a mostly dead phoneEdit

A mostly dead phone has more extensive software damage, but still responds to hardware and has enough firmware intact to re-flash the entire phone. Recovering the phone requires special tools and initial setup.

  1. Download and install the Samsung Kies software from this Samsung support page.
  2. Download Odin Multi Downloader 4.40_USA and Gt2_tmo_v1.0.ops from this post at gsmhosting.com (registration required to download).
  3. Download and unzip the Samsung Gravity SMART firmware package from samfirmware.com (registration required in order to search). As of this writing, the filename is T589UVKF1_T589TMBKF1_TMB.zip.

Once the necessary files are downloaded, use the steps below to restore your phone:

  1. Put your phone into DFU mode.
  2. Connect the phone to your PC. Windows will load the USB drivers, and report a modem has been installed.
  3. Open Odin Multi Downloader. It should detect the phone on the first COM port (the first box will be yellow).
  4. Under "Select OPS" click the OPS button, then browse to the gt2_tmo_v1.0.ops file.
  5. Put a checkmark on the "One Package" setting in the Option section.
  6. Under "Select Integrate Package" click the One Package button.
  7. Browse to the folder where you unzipped the T589UVKF1_T589TMBKF1_TMB.zip file and select the file T589UVKF1-T589UVKF1-T589UVKF1-HOME.tar.md5
  8. Click the Start button. The restore process will take a couple minutes.
  9. When the restore finishes, the phone will automatically reboot. You'll see the T-Mobile boot animation, then the Droid "unpacking" animation, then the flashing Samsung logo. The Samsung logo will flash for at least a full minute, maybe longer. This is normal.
  10. When the phone displays the "Slide to unlock" screen, the restore process is finished and back to stock configuration.

Credits: Arhtard for providing a really good customized system image and providing steps for booting the recovery partition, keith1764 for revealing how to access DFU mode and providing directions for locating the necessary tools, and The Princess Bride for being eminently quotable.

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