Follow this guide to the letter. If you don't know what something in ODIN is used for...DON'T CLICK IT.
Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to apologize to psycopanther for three days worth of trial and error (mostly error), but now I've got a surefire fix for softbricked devices. Kinda ironic how I discovered it though lol.
The Problem: Sometimes when you flash a ROM (TouchWiz or AOSP), there is a risk of the /system and /data partitions not wiping correctly thus leading them to be formatted with R/O permissions rather than R/W. This makes it impossible for the phone to boot up because no data can be written. Not even a typical ODIN flash back to stock or rooted stock will fix this. Using CWM to flash another ROM will yield the same no boot results. Furthermore, the stock recovery will not work and it becomes impossible to perform a factory reset. Sound frustrating? It is.
The Fix: You know how people all over the android forums are told never to tick any of the boxes in ODIN except for Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time? Well this time you will be ticking another box. If you ever run into the problem where your partitions are read-only, but the phone will still boot into Download Mode and recovery, you need to do the following steps:
- ODIN: http://samsung-updates.com/Odin307.zip
- Root66.tar: http://www.megashare.com/4384479 -------OR------- (Torrent)
- VRALEC bootchain: http://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=9390034591667978517
- VRALF bootchain: http://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=9390034591667978518
Using both bootchains is probably not necessary, but it's what I did and will do in the future if I ever get another soft brick.Number of devices tested on and confirmed working: 40
- Open up ODIN
- Select only the following box: F. Reset Time
- Flash the VRALEC bootchain in the PDA section and wait for a PASS message
- Reset ODIN
- Flash the VRALF bootchain in the PDA section and wait for a PASS message
- Reset ODIN
If you have trouble flashing the bootchains with the method above, try this instead:
- 1: Flash the first bootchain.
- 2: Unplug the device while leaving it in "Download Mode".
- 3: Exit ODIN and then restart it.
- 4: Plug the device back in while still in "Download Mode".
- 5: Flash the second bootchain.
- 6: Repeat steps 2, 3, and 4.
- Put the stock.vzw_root66.tar in the PDA section
- Select the following boxes: Auto Reboot, F. Reset Time, Nand Erase All
- Start the flash process
Your phone will reboot, but it WILL NOT boot to the homescreen. After you receive a PASS message in ODIN, pull the battery and do the following:
- Reboot into Stock Recovery (hold volume-up, home button, power button simultaneously)
NOTE: You WILL see the following error in recovery so don't freak out:
E:failed to mount /data (Invalid argument) E:Can't mount /data/fota/ipth-muc.prop E:failed to mount /data (Invalid argument) E:Can't mount /data/fota/ipth-muc.prop E:failed to mount /data (Invalid argument) E:Can't mount /data/fota/ipth-muc.prop
- Wipe data/factory reset
- Wipe cache partition
Now your phone will boot up completely with no problems! Congratulations, you just saved yourself $600 and a call to Verizon.
The Question: Will this work on other carriers/devices? Possibly. To those of you on other carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint), I am 99.99% positive this will work for you. Just be sure to download a rooted stock ROM in addition to your boot chains that can be flashed in ODIN.
DO NOT USE ROOT66 OR THE LINKED BOOT CHAINS IF YOU ARE ON ANOTHER CARRIER! YOU MUST USE YOUR OWN DEVICE-SPECIFIC FILES!
psycopanther - for putting up with me and for figuring out the R/O issue
Invisiblek - for the bootchain files
open1your1eyes0 - for root66
h3llsdr0id - for his method of flashing the bootchains
Thank you all! - If I forgot you send me a PM
If this worked for you please consider a donation. After all, you did just save $600 Donations keep me motivated to putting out new goodies and fixes for the community.