He came to me with his S3 and showed me that it won't successfully complete its bootup. It passes all the logos, even the sound/animated Samsung splash screen. And then it stops there, hangs indefinitely. The LED still pulsates between dark and light blue.
I did some research about the problem and found that this should have easily been fixed by reapplying a stock rom. I should mention that the phone's built in recovery methods did not succeed, I tried those first. So I downloaded Odin3_v3.07_SGSIII as well as two versions of the stock rom for his Telus device; 4.1.2 and 4.3. I had read that you must flash the 4.1.2 before trying to flash the 4.3, so to play it safe (my friend doesn't know what version it was) I started with the 4.1.2.
I have used odin before. with my brand new Galaxy Note 3 in fact, and it worked amazingly fine. This time it wasn't working so well though. I started by making sure the drivers were installed. I booted the S3 into download mode, and connected it with the original USB cable, to a motherboard USB port on the back of my computer. All this time Odin was running and waiting, and everything was going as planned. Put the rom in the PDA loading area, and clicked start. Then things went fine, until it failed to 'write', whatever that meant. The progress bar on Odin and the device was stuck at half now. I let it sit for a while and observed no change. I idly clicked on the odin window and got the sad Windows fade-to-white effect, it had froze. Nothing I could do to unfreeze it, I let windows collect its crash data and relaunched Odin. I reconnected the phone but this time, almost instantly, the 'failed firmware' message popped up.
Did a little more googling at that point and found that it still should be able to proceed normally. So I tried again, with the same process. Booted into download mode, with Odin reset and running, with the PDA file ready to start loading.. But this time, Odin stops at "Initializing" and won't go any further.
Back to google some more. I tried various tricks some people suggested, like leaving the battery out, or putting the battery back in when Odin sees the device, and reinstalling the USB drivers, rebooting the PC, trying every different port I have.. And every single time it just gets stuck at "Initializing"
At this point I'm at a loss. My friend was already ready to write the phone off, but everything I've read tells me its still recoverable. Its not a hard brick, its only soft-bricked from what I can tell. I can still go into Download mode. Just something is being stubborn or difficult now.
So after about 4 straight hours of trying to figure it out on my own, searching the forums here there and everywhere, I decided to give in and ask for help. I hope you guys can lead me in the right direction and get this thing back up and running. I'm open to any helpful tips, suggestions, links or downloads, tools, whatever it takes to make it work again.