Many Samsung devices store a flash counter that keeps track of how many times you have flashed custom firmwares to your device. On some devices, a yellow triangle or other sort of visual warning is also displayed during boot if you are running a custom firmware. TriangleAway was built to disable the triangle (if a visual warning is present) and reset the custom ROM flash counter to 0. This app requires root !
You can find out the current status of your flash counter and firmware state (custom or official) by booting into "download mode" on most devices. The usual way of getting into "download mode" is by first turning off your device, then turning it on by pressing and holding VolDown+(Home)+Power. Alternatively, the "adb reboot download" command also often works. Note that some newer device like the S4 do not show you the flash counter anymore - but it is still there.
When you run TriangleAway, if your device and firmware are supported, it will show you the detected state of the binary (custom or official) and flash counter value, and the option to Reset flash counter. Please confirm that the information shown is correct before resetting the values.
On a number of devices, TriangleAway can work, but your firmware may not be supported directly. In that case, the app will tell you it needs to reboot into a special boot mode, which will be happen if you select Reset flash counter. The device will reboot into a special mode which will allow you to review the current status and reset the binary and flash counter values (or abort and do nothing). On some devices this will actually trigger the counter to 1 if its 0 - so if you're "just checking", do that in download mode!
THIS IS A DANGEROUS OPERATION AND COULD POTENTIALLY BRICK YOUR DEVICE. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK. A USB JIG IS PREFERRED IF YOU HAVE A WORKING ONE.
( and by brick I mean brick - only a board replacement or a JTAG unit will be able to save you, don't mess with boot(loader) stuff unless you really mean it! )
Note#1: using Triangle Away may unmount your SD card. Reboot or manually remount it from Android settings.
Note#2: on new devices like the SGS4/SGS3/SGNote2/SGNote8/SGNote10.1 etc, the "system modified" status can only be reset on some firmwares - they must be stock firmwares!
- Triangle Away shows a negative counter ?
If you have a very large flash count (over 127) this is known to happen. Please confirm in download mode that you actually have that large a flash count before resetting the counter.
- After using Triangle Away I get no bootscreen at all or an error message on screen ?
Try flashing the attached "param.tar" as PDA in ODIN (no repartition!), that may clear up the issue. Samsung Galaxy S II GT-I9100 ONLY
- On my SGS4/SGS3/Note2/etc, Download Mode says my System is modified, and Triangle Away does not reset it
Triangle Away attempt to reset this status and block it from coming back, but it depends on the firmware. It does work on some (not all) stock firmwares. Resetting this value often doesn't work on custom firmwares! See the post below this one for more information.
- On the SGS4/SGS3/Note2/etc, System->Settings->About device->Status still shows "Modified"
This is outside the scope of Triangle Away. The "system" status is not even always resettable in the bootloader. If you are going for warranty, you need to also reflash a full stock firmware and wipe your device. If they boot up your device and find root apps, you're not going to get any warranty anyway. If you do such a full stock reflash and wipe, the "Modified" value will go away. The workaround option in TriangleAway may help you temporarily change this value. See the post below this one for more information.
- My counter always stays at 1
Some devices/bootloaders set the counter to 1 at every boot if you are running a custom kernel or recovery. On these devices, Triangle Away may always display 1 - make sure to check the counter in actual download mode, and make sure you are running a stock Samsung kernel and recovery.
The Google Play download is not free - it costs about a beer (thanks!). The download listed below is 100% the exact same program, but free. I provide it for free because I believe this app should be available even to people who cannot pay on Google Play. If you are able to purchase on Play, please consider that I have spent a great many hours on this, and the latest version also uses server resources I have to pay for.
The latest Samsung devices store "system modified ?" flags next to the "flash counter" and "current binary official ?" that Triangle Away traditionally resets.
It actually has this "system modified ?" flag twice. Once in the bootloader, once in Android itself. When resetting the flash counter, Triangle Away does attempt to reset the one stored in the bootloader (that you can see from Download mode), and disable it from being updated. However, whether or not this works is completely dependent on your device model and firmware version.
The flag in Android itself can be seen under Settings --> About Device --> Status --> Device Status. This one also affects whether or not the firmware will allow you to download and flash OTA updates, and may affect DRM apps and the allshare cast dongle.
Version 2.95 of Triangle Away introduced a "periodic system modified reset" option (enabled by default) that may help keep the bootloader system modified status as official. It has no effect on the system modified status under Settings and thus does not help with OTAs.
Version 2.50 of Triangle Away introduced a "allow tracker to run" option that can re-enable syscope if it was disabled by resetting the flash counter. After doing this and rebooting, in some cases this reverts to status under Settings to normal. However, in my personal experience this only works temporarily, and after a number of hours the status will revert to modified in bothSettings as well as the bootloader, after which you will have to use Triangle Away to reset the status. This behavior is dependent on firmware, for some users this option works reliably. Alternatively, you can use the next option, which is more reliable, but less convenient.
Version 2.45 of Triangle Away introduced a "system modified workaround" option that tries to counter the flag in Android under Settings. This option is dependent on a fair number of factors:
- You must be running a stock Samsung ROM
- The SysScope package must be intact (if you removed it, it will likely not work)
- You must be using SuperSU as your root rights management app (Superuser is not supported)
- You must be using either the Play version of Triangle Away or have SuperSU Pro installed
A side-effect of this workaround is that root will be disabled for about five minutes after boot (yeah...). During that time, Triangle Away will display a notification. All your apps that launch at boot and do something that requires root will not be able to gain root access during this time. A well-coded root app should not care about this much, but unfortunately not all apps are coded that defensively, and app crashes may occur. When root access is restored, Triangle Away will re-launch the apps that are set to launch at boot and have been granted access in SuperSU, so these root apps may still initialize themselves properly.
Personally, I find this too annoying to use constantly, but due to being a developer, I reboot a lot. One way to use it would be to use the standard reset flash counter method that resets the bootloader value (and if you're lucky will keep the system status in the bootloader as "official" as well), and once in a while use the workaround patch when you want to check for OTAs and such only.
There are also some caveats:
- This workaround is incompatible with the reset function used when you reset the flash counter. As such, the "system modified" status flag in the bootloader may start updating again (resetting the counter itself will still work, though) if you enable the workaround. It will reflect the status you can see in Android. If you disable the workaround again, you are advised to reset the flash counter again afterwards.
- If your system is modified by other root tools, the "modified" status may still be triggered, regardless of this workaround
- I wanted to implement all this in a much cleaner way, but due to a bug in Samsung's modifications of the package manager, that method would often result in corrupted data and the inability to modify/(un)install any apps after the corruption occurs. Note that this corruption may still occur "naturally", and Triangle Away will inform of you of this problem if it occurs during enabling of the workaround. Unfortunately, there is no known solution to this issue other than wiping all your data (factory reset).
- I fully expect Samsung to prevent this patch from working in the near future, so use it while it's hot.
Note to developers:
In case your app uses a BOOT_COMPLETED receiver and has been granted access in SuperSU, it will receive a second BOOT_COMPLETED intent from Triangle Away once root access has been restored. The second intent will have an extra present named "eu.chainfire.triangleaway.BOOT_COMPLETED"
The flash counter and triangle state had to be stored somewhere. Everybody knew that. Guesses have been made in the past where it could be, and I have personally compared the raw flash disk contents between different amount of custom flashes in the past, unable to find any differences. You can dump and compare the entire /dev/block/mmcblk0 and you won't find a difference (you'll find a few unallocated and unused gaps, though).
The solution comes with the new kernel uses by ICS builds. The flash disk actually has two hidden boot partitions, /dev/block/mmcblk0boot0 and /dev/block/mmcblk0boot1 . The MMC driver in the kernels used for Gingerbread did not present these partitions in the past, the MMC driver in the ICS kernel does.
Teamhacksung members said something about having found the location, so I retried locating the position on ICS. Until recently I had always ran the KH4 Gingerbread build because until the LPB ICS build USB host was not properly supported on ICS, and I need that for other apps I make. It's really easy to find now on ICS. Dump and compare the partitions and you'll have found them in no time. I've already done it, so here is the information.
The boot partitions are presented as readonly by default, but allowing modification is a simple matter of executing the following before writing the data:
echo 0 > /sys/block/mmcblk0boot0/force_ro
That should give you all the information you need to replicate this. A number of bytes trailing this structure also change between flashes and appear to be checksum related.
As stated above, this isn't easily doable on Gingerbread. That is also why this currently does not work on the SGNote. When ICS is released for the SGNote it'll probably be compatible out of the box, or trivial to make it compatible. I say on Gingerbread it is not easily doable, but it is not impossible. If you put a lot of effort into it, you can probably talk to the MMC device directly and modify these partitions, I personally don't feel it is worth the effort for Gingerbread, as (at the time of this writing) official ICS firmwares should be available for both the SGS2 as well as the SGNote very shortly.
Update 16.02.2012: Users have confirmed TriangleAway works on the I9220 SGNote ICS leak !
Update 13.05.2012: TriangleAway does *not* work on the latest official SGNote ICS firmwares. There will be a fixed version soon, but it has to wait for my Note to return from repairs, else I cannot test it
Update 04.06.2012: v1.50 should work with the I9220 and N7000 SGNote's again
06.06.2013 - v2.98
- Adjustments to reset and background su, may fix enable tracker issue
- Adjustments to S4 family of devices reset
- Support for:
--- Samsung Galaxy S4 AT&T SGH-I337
--- Samsung Galaxy S4 Verizon SCH-I545
05.06.2013 - v2.95
- Restructured detect and reset code
- Fixed possible crash-at-launch
- Improved "system modified" patch
- Added periodic system modified reset service
- Added option to choose normal or download mode reboot in special boot mode
- New reset method for Qualcomm-based S4 family of devices
- Support for:
--- Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 3G/Wi-Fi/LTE GT-N5100/10/20
--- Samsung Galaxy S4 International GT-I9505
--- Samsung Galaxy S4 T-Mobile SGH-M919
--- Samsung Galaxy S4 Sprint SPH-L720
--- Samsung Galaxy S4 US Cellular SCH-R970
--- Samsung Galaxy S4 Canadia SGH-I337M
21.03.2013 - v2.90
- Support for:
--- Samsung Galaxy Ace Plus GT-S7500
--- Samsung Galaxy Ace IIx GT-S7560
--- Samsung Galaxy S Duos GT-S7562
--- Samsung Galaxy S2 Korea SHW-M250K/L/S
--- Samsung Galaxy Premier GT-I9260
18.03.2013 - v2.85
- improved dump file
- Support for:
--- Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos GT-I9082
17.03.2013 - v2.80
- Added feature to create a helpful dump file
07.01.2013 - v2.50
- Added option to re-enable tracker after counter reset disabled it, works for some to restore system "normal" status temporarily(!)
- Fixed issue with the modified system status workaround, that root would never come back. If you're suffering from this problem, try keeping your phone fully on for 10 minutes or more, then root will return. Run Triangle Away again afterwards.
06.01.2013 - v2.45
- Implemented modified system status *workaround* (requires SuperSU)
- Support for:
--- Samsung Galaxy Camera EK-GC100
--- Samsung Galaxy Note 2 LTE GT-N7100T and GT-N7105T
01.01.2013 - v2.40
- Support for:
--- Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Verizon SCH-I605 (unlocked bootloader only !)
17.11.2012 - v2.37
- Disable E210* support due to touchscreen issues. Bad kernel source ?
08.11.2012 - v2.36
- Adjustment for AT&T Note 2
08.11.2012 - v2.35
- Support for:
--- Samsung Galaxy S3 Korea SHV-E210K/L/S
--- Samsung Galaxy S3 Korea SHW-M440S
--- Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Korea SHV-E250K/L/S
--- Samsung Galaxy Note 2 AT&T/Canada SGH-I317/M
05.11.2012 - v2.30
- Updated: Roboto font is now used in special boot mode
- Updated: Added (another) counter=1 warning in special boot mode
- Support for:
--- Samsung Galaxy Note 2 SGH-R950 US Cellular
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