Credits goes to @Hopper8 for the original thread on the S2 forums. Thank him there!
This guide is provided for information only. I will not be held responsible if you cause any damage, software or hardware, to your phone by following the guide. You are choosing to follow this guide, and as such, you choose to accept any responsibility for any mishap that may occur.
WARNING: Do not follow this guide if you think (or even suspect) that your USB port may be faulty in any way (ie, slow charging, loose connection among other faults). If your USB port is faulty, it must be fixed before flashing, or you are in danger of hard-bricking your phone. If the connection to the computer fails even for a moment, at best the flash will fail, and at worst the phone will need a new motherboard.
WARNING #2: If at all possible, make sure you have a backup of your efs. Efs is the folder which contains your imei. No imei =no signal. Flashing a ROM may corrupt the efs folder, in which case the backup will be invaluable. If you do not have a working backup of your efs folder, I am not responsible if you choose to follow this guide and your efs becomes corrupt.
This guide is for people who find themselves in the situation where:
- The phone currently will not boot.
- The phone can only enter download mode (If it canít do that, see the section below.)
- If, for whatever reason, an Odin flash fails.
- It assumes you know the basics of Odin flashing. If not, see here.
No download mode?
If your phone wonít enter download mode, you can try three things:
- A USB jig. Donít pin your hopes on this, they rarely succeed in this scenario.
- ĎJump startingí Ė You might need someone else to give you a hand for this. Take the battery out of your phone and wait 30 seconds. Now, press the button combination to enter download mode, and with this combination still depressed, get someone to put the battery back in. Hopefully this will jolt your phone into download mode.
- Take out the phone battery, and re-insert it, but donít turn the phone on. Now, plug in the charger while holding the volume down button. Keep holding volume down till you enter download mode.
Iíve seen a lot of people, when their Odin flash fails, either:
- Give up. Not a good option.
- Flash a .pit file. That should be used as an absolute last resort. Thereís a lot to try before getting to that stage! If a flash of a .pit file fails in Odin, your phone is well and truly unrecoverable, and you will need a motherboard (MB) replacement.
- Send their phone to a service centre. That costs money (& youíre without a phone for a week or so).
- Read on and hopefully you will be able to recover your phone without spending anything.
What to do
Keep flashing via Odin. You don't really have a choice. As for the files to flash: Itís worth trying to flash a range of stock ROMís and custom kernels. I recommend downloading a stock firmware from SamMobile for your device. I recommend 4.1.2 Jellybean since it doesn't contain Knox. But if u prefer 4.3 or 4.4 Kitkat, go ahead. See here for the stock ROMís.
As for custom kernels: If you manage to flash a custom kernel onto your phone, that means you probably have a custom recovery, from which you can either restore a nandroid backup, or flash a custom ROM. Even still:
Your best bet is to continue to attempt to flash Stock ROMs for your model variant and region.
Now that you have chosen a file to flash, continue on.
If Odin won't recognise the phone ...if it does, continue to 'Preliminary Steps'
Firstly, keep trying. Many users will find that Odin will recognise the phone in download mode eventually, but this will take perseverance. Note that if you do get Odin to recognise your phone in download mode, attempt to flash a stock ROM then. Don't unplug it thinking 'you'll try again later'.
Things to try if the phone isn't recognised by Odin:
- Open Odin without the phone plugged in. Enter Download mode without the phone plugged in. Now, plug the phone in and wait a few seconds.
- Uninstall the USB drivers using Revo Uninstaller. This program can remove the registry edits from the drivers, giving you a completely clean install of the drivers. Reinstall the USB drivers: Latest version here. If you are using Windows 8, I strongly recommend you try Windows 7/XP. These drivers donít usually work with Windows 8. (See here if youíre on Windows 8.) Otherwise, use the linked file to the Samsung USB drivers.
1. Turn off both the computer and phone. Fully shut down.
2. Disconnect phone from computer: the USB cable from both the computer and phone.
3. Boot up the computer. Log in and let it settle.
4. Start up Odin and let it settle.
5. Put phone in download mode.
6. Connect phone to a USB port.
If that doesn't work, keep repeating those steps, with different USB ports on your PC/laptop. Change the USB cable you're using, multiple times (preferably use the cable that came with the phone) (I've found that the cable that came with the phone isn't very durable. If possible, use a new cable.) If all that doesn't work, start again at 'If Odin won't recognise the phone' on a different computer. Keep persevering
Now assuming you can get your phone into download mode, and is recognised by Odin:
Odin failing a flash usually isnít a failure of the software itself. Itís usually to do with the way the flash is set up. Before we get on to the troubleshooting steps: you must always- i.e. every flash:
- Run Odin as an administrator in Windows (only for Windows 7. This doesnít apply for Windows XP). Yes, Odin is Windows only. If you use Linux/a Mac, youíll need to use someone elseís Windows computer.
- Ensure Kies is installed on your computer but you must kill all Kies running services in the Windows task manager. Most people have 4 running continuously. I personally only have 2, so donít stress if you canít find 4 to kill.
- Make sure you're not using a USB hub of any description.
If you havenít done those steps on your previous Odin flash, itís worth flashing again making sure you do those three things. Still didnít work?
Things to do:
- Change the USB cable youíre using. Preferably, use the original cable that came with the phone. If youíre already using the original cable, change to another, genuine, Note 2 cable. Try at least 3 different cables.
- Try different USB ports on your computer. You have to be using a mainboard (powered) port. Try as many of those as you have on your computer.
- Use different versions of Odin. Try them all, but particularly 1.3, 1.85, 3.04 and 3.07. Make sure to extract the Odin files before using them. (Go to the original thread to download, I can't upload files from the XDA app)
- Reinstall the Samsung USB drivers. If you are using Windows 8, I strongly recommend you try Windows 7/XP. These drivers donít usually work with Windows 8. (See here if youíre on Windows 8.) Otherwise, use the linked file.
- Turn off all antivirus/antimalware/antispyware/firewalls. I advise downloading all files you need before doing this step so youíre not without antivirus whilst downloading files. Iím not responsible if you do manage to get a computer virus during this time.
- Check the rom/kernel you download, making sure itís not a corrupted file. The best way to do this is to check the MD5 sum using md5summer. If you donít have the MD5 sum, then you can use WinRar, 7Zip, or IZarc to test the file. If any tests (MD5 or the 7Zip test) fail, then you need to re-download the file. Test the new file before using it.
- Run Windows update on the computer youíre using.
Ok, so if youíve got to the bottom of the list, but youíre still having failed flashes:
- Use a different computer. Now, run through the list again. Yes, the whole list. Try everything all over again on the new computer. Didnít work? Try again on one more computer. Keep persevering, the feeling youíll get when your Note 2 is back to life will be worth it
What ifÖ Ok, so you genuinely canít get anything to work. This really is a last resort. Itíll be either up to you to choose whether:
- You research the flashing of .pit files. Note that your phone will be stuffed if it fails. Full stop. Motherboard replacement. Ask yourself ďif Odin wonít flash a ROM without failing, why will it flash a .pit successfully?"
- You take your phone to a service centre.
Many thanks to keithross39 for proofreading & editing this guide (On the original S2 thread.)
MistahBungle, on whose posts these troubleshooting steps are based.
keithross39, for his guide on replacing the USB port.
Intratech, for his guides on the basics of Odin flashing & stock ROM collection.
4-2ndtwin, for his troubleshooting steps if Odin won't recognise the phone.
SamHaLeKe, for the updated Samsung USB drivers.
daerragh, for the Windows 8 drivers.
N7105 stock pit file here.
N7105 flashable zip for repartitioning here.
N7100 flashable zip for repartitioning here.
HOPE THIS HELPS
P.S. this is why I never use ODIN. Data runs through a cable, which might disconnect any moment. My tip, get a custom recovery using ROM Toolbox or something, and flash your ROM/Kernel from there. Only use ODIN for stock ROMs.
P.S. Again, thank the original thread author, don't thank me!