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How to carrier/SIM unlock the Galaxy Tab [Updated Dec 5 2010]

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rotohammer
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(Last edited by rotohammer; 28th December 2010 at 08:54 PM.) Reason: only need to mod at most 2 bytes
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Cool How to carrier/SIM unlock the Galaxy Tab [Updated Dec 5 2010]

Background: I unlocked my Tab first by hex editing my nv_data.bin file. It was perfect, my IMEI and device serial number were unharmed. Then I got my official unlock code from Tmobile. So I reverted to my original nv_data.bin, placed an AT&T SIM into the Tab and it rebooted, I entered the code, unlocked the Tab, then compared the original file to the newly unlocked file. Very minor changes. I wrote a program to do the modification and the resulting nv_data.bin file worked fine.

To clarify, I have a T-Mobile Tab and you must have rooted in order to do this.
I also have an AT&T tab and the same procedure works.
It also works on any GSM model.

Heres the edit points for those of you comfy with a hex editor:

Code:
0x181469 change this one byte from 01 to 00
0x18150e change this one byte to 00 if its not already
If you're going to do this, please back up your /efs folder! Do it twice even Save your backups for at least 11.5 years.

I just edit a copy of the nv_data.bin, then delete nv_data.bin and nv_data.bin.md5 in the phones /efs folder using Root Explorer, then copy my modified file back to the folder, then reboot. The nv_data.bin.md5 will be automatically regenerated for you.

I've even edited a copy of the file right on my Tab using the Hexeditor in the Market.

FYI, you can not swap nv_data.bin files from one phone to another, you get the bogus IMEI number as the file doesn't match the hardware IMEI number.



UPDATE: New easier way that doesn't involve learning how to hex edit

This requires you to be rooted and have busybox installed, which you should have but you can grab busybox installer from the market if not.

Backup the contents of the /efs folder on the phone first!!! Save your backups for at least 11.5 years.

From your computer, open an adb shell to your phone with the command:

Code:
adb shell
Then paste all the following commands into the shell window at once, in other words, one big cut n paste:

Code:
su
cd /sdcard
echo "this takes about 45 seconds"
if [ ! -f /sdcard/nv_data.bin.orig ]; then
  echo "copying file to /sdcard"
  cp /efs/nv_data.bin /sdcard/nv_data.bin.orig
fi
echo -en \\x00 > out0
dd if=nv_data.bin.orig of=out1 bs=1 count=1578089
dd if=nv_data.bin.orig of=out2 bs=1 skip=1578090 count=163
dd if=nv_data.bin.orig of=out3 bs=1 skip=1578254 
cat out1 out0 out2 out0 out3 > nv_data.bin.unlocked
rm out0 out1 out2 out3
rm /efs/nv_data.bin
cp nv_data.bin.unlocked /efs/nv_data.bin
rm /efs/nv_data.bin.md5
reboot

.

Wait 45 seconds for the whole process to complete.
Thats It! your phone will reboot and its carrier unlocked!

If you can't get internet access with your new SIM its because you haven't set the APN for this carrier. For the settings you need, Google "APN setting your_carriers_name_here" and put those settings in
Settings->Wireless->Mobile Networks->Access Point Names and then select it. Done!
-Rotohammer
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leftbrain
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A little off topic here, in reference to your official unlock process....
did you have to put in AT&T's network settings before you entered your unlock code? I'm only asking because tech support had no solution for why my unlock codes doesn't work.
 
rotohammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leftbrain View Post
A little off topic here, in reference to your official unlock process....
did you have to put in AT&T's network settings before you entered your unlock code? I'm only asking because tech support had no solution for why my unlock codes doesn't work.
No, Its not related. Your code is compared to the data stored on the phone for a match. Nothing more. I really think they screwed up an IMEI digit when requesting your code.
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leftbrain
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You were right about the imei #, tmobile is resending the unlock code now... thanks so much!
 
Volker1
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Code:
0x18150e change this one byte from 01 to 00
On my pristine T-Mo US tab this one is already 00. Are you sure you haven't accidentally swapped the values?
 
rotohammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volker1 View Post
Code:
0x18150e change this one byte from 01 to 00
On my pristine T-Mo US tab this one is already 00. Are you sure you haven't accidentally swapped the values?
I just double checked, and its correct for my files. So theres a good chance this may not work for you (or anyone else) until we can compare more files.
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Volker1
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It works! I did make all changes except the one at 0x18150e, that is:
Code:
0x180069 to 0x1800ce: change all these bytes from the values they are to ff
0x181469: change this one byte from 01 to 00
0x18150e: left this byte at 00
This unlocked my tab, I just sent me a text message with a German SIM card.
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rotohammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volker1 View Post
It works! I did make all changes except the one at 0x18150e, that is:
Code:
0x180069 to 0x1800ce: change all these bytes from the values they are to ff
0x181469: change this one byte from 01 to 00
0x18150e: left this byte at 00
This unlocked my tab, I just sent me a text message with a German SIM card.
Sweet, I reverted BOTH those bytes to 01 and I got the unlock prompt on next boot. So you ended up with 00 in both those bytes too?
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calin75
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So if I follow these steps on my t-mobile tab, and then I insert my att sim, I'll be getting edge with it, right?

Sent from my SGH-T849 using XDA App
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calin75 View Post
So if I follow these steps on my t-mobile tab, and then I insert my att sim, I'll be getting edge with it, right?

Sent from my SGH-T849 using XDA App
Yes indeed.
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