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[Q] Unlock / valid sim OS upgrade Galaxy S3 (Verizon, Family Mobile)

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wirelessguyNY
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(Last edited by wirelessguyNY; 20th April 2014 at 11:11 PM.) Reason: Spelling errors
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Default [Q] Unlock / valid sim OS upgrade Galaxy S3 (Verizon, Family Mobile)

I was wondering if someone could help me or point me in the right direction to avoid bricking my phone somehow.

First off, a bit of confirmation for anyone else out there... I have successfully moved my Verizon Galaxy S3 to Walmart Family mobile. Currently trying to (safely) rid myself of annoyances.

Bought a new device via ebay with clean ESN for Verizon (I'm unsure if it's still locked to Verizon network, see below for details)
None of the suggestions like *#1973 ... worked as my phone was on a 4.0.1 release (or so I think) I don't see any websites that would offer and unlock code and I read somewhere that the manual unlock needed something like 4.1.x or higher.

I used Odin to upgrade my device to 4.1.1 (Still couldn't find any unlocking info but..

Inserting my Family Mobile SIM card actually works (for calls and SMS) but the device still complains that it has a non-valid sim for Verizon. Going in to the Apps menu and killing the Setup Wizard 1.0 removes that message until the next reboot.

Optimally, I'd like to upgrade from 4.1.1 to 4.3 but have a few concerns.
Will an update rid me of the Verizon sim check? or is the sim checking piece not in the ROM but actually inside the bootloader itself?
I'm not highly technical (but dangerous enough I suppose).

When all is said and done I'm looking to have a 4.3 device with a Family Mobile APN that works (so far I don't believe that's occurred. Device is nice under wifi and says that cellular data is 'active' but I don't think it's working since I can't hit websites in cellular only mode.

Any suggestions for getting my device to a happy place without rooting it would be appreciated.

Thanks.
 
wirelessguyNY
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Being that I posted this for others as much as myself I'll go ahead and answer my own question.

After using Odin to bring my S3 (i535) phone up to rev 4.1.1 of Android using the Verizon image (only updating the AP, not the bootloader or other elements) I found online, I was able to cable the device in to a PC running Kies. After performing a quick backup I looked for potential firmware updates and was able to have Kies do the upgrade from 4.1.1 to 4.3. This removed most of my fear of applying something wrong (BL, AP, CP, CSC).

Once the update completed I was in fact asked to update to the new Kies 3 before restoring my backup. I can verify that running that update was smooth and the new Kies restored the backup created with the earlier version without issue.

The non Verizon SIM issue still exists on 4.3 but I continue to kill the Setup Wizard app after booting the phone and all seems OK.

I should also note that in 4.1.1 Verizon removed the ability to add APNs but that is now back in 4.3, so I was able to successfully update to the T-Mobile APN settings Walmart Family suggested.

Next month I will be attempting to move an unlocked global S3 mini GT-i8190 to Walmart Family as well. At present, the 4.1.2 OS is the latest release there. I do not intend to move that device to 4.3 at this time. I have read that it may be possible to rest the device and list is as Romanian (or some other eastern European country where Samsung did decide to offer the newest version to the public).


Quote:
Originally Posted by wirelessguyNY View Post
I was wondering if someone could help me or point me in the right direction to avoid bricking my phone somehow.

First off, a bit of confirmation for anyone else out there... I have successfully moved my Verizon Galaxy S3 to Walmart Family mobile. Currently trying to (safely) rid myself of annoyances.

Bought a new device via ebay with clean ESN for Verizon (I'm unsure if it's still locked to Verizon network, see below for details)
None of the suggestions like *#1973 ... worked as my phone was on a 4.0.1 release (or so I think) I don't see any websites that would offer and unlock code and I read somewhere that the manual unlock needed something like 4.1.x or higher.

I used Odin to upgrade my device to 4.1.1 (Still couldn't find any unlocking info but..

Inserting my Family Mobile SIM card actually works (for calls and SMS) but the device still complains that it has a non-valid sim for Verizon. Going in to the Apps menu and killing the Setup Wizard 1.0 removes that message until the next reboot.

Optimally, I'd like to upgrade from 4.1.1 to 4.3 but have a few concerns.
Will an update rid me of the Verizon sim check? or is the sim checking piece not in the ROM but actually inside the bootloader itself?
I'm not highly technical (but dangerous enough I suppose).

When all is said and done I'm looking to have a 4.3 device with a Family Mobile APN that works (so far I don't believe that's occurred. Device is nice under wifi and says that cellular data is 'active' but I don't think it's working since I can't hit websites in cellular only mode.

Any suggestions for getting my device to a happy place without rooting it would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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