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[How To] Recover From a Hard Brick (SM-900A Only)

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By designgears, Recognized Developer on 9th October 2013, 09:50 AM
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I take no credit for this method, I felt it needed to be re-posted here. I snagged it from Shabbypenguins post over on Phandroid. It was originally for the Boost Mobile SGS3, but works for the Note 3 and several other devices.

What do I mean by hard brick?
Your phone doesn't power up, visibly charge, reach a boot-screen of any kind or go into download mode. Basically, it acts like it won't power on at all. Hard bricked. Even if you nuke the aboot, sbl1, boot, etc... like I did, this method will revive your phone!

This is a great safety net for those who want to test bootloader exploits!


What do you need?
Bricked Galaxy Note 3 (SM-900A)
microSD card (all data will be erased from this sdcard)
microSD card reader
Linux / OS X (can be running in vmware/virtual box on windows)
Unbrick Image (MI9)
Stock Odin Files

Unbricking Instructions
  1. Boot Linux / OS X / VMware / Virtual Box
  2. Download the unbrick image listed in the item's needed list
  3. Open terminal on your OS
  4. Insert your microSD card into the reader
  5. Plug your microSD card reader into your computer
  6. Run
    Code:
    dmesg | tail
    you should see something that mentions where it is mounted via /sdX
  7. Code:
    sudo dd if=/<path_to_debrick.img> of=/dev/sdX
    again where X is the microSD card ignoring the partition numbers as they should be overwritten
    I had to do this a couple times for the image to actually take
  8. Code:
    sudo fdisk -l /dev/sdX
    should show approximately 29 partitions (I just unplugged and replugged the usb, lots of windows popped up from the partitions)
  9. remove the microSD card from the reader
  10. remove the battery and sim from your device
  11. insert your unbrick microSD into your phone
  12. insert the battery and press the power button, it should boot
  13. reboot into Download mode either via adb or Volume Down + Home + Power
  14. use stock odin files to restore your phone

Thanks to the following:
Shabbypenguin for pointing me to this!
gTan64 for finding the fix while repairing their friend's phone.
KAsp3rd for showing Shabbypenguin this and assisting him throughout it
Last edited by designgears; 20th February 2014 at 07:05 PM.
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9th October 2013, 12:05 PM |#2  
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Thanks so much, you guys rock!
9th October 2013, 12:54 PM |#3  
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This is the good stuff!
9th October 2013, 02:33 PM |#4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by designgears

It was originally for the Boost Mobile SGS3, but works for the Note 3 and several other devices.

We have several people with unrecoverable boot looped devices over in the 900T forum because of failed nandroid restores. They can get to download mode but flashing via odin to stock does not fix it. They are stuck in boot loops even after flashing via odin. In your opinion, would the unbrick image adapted to the 900T help them?

http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...4#post46313784
9th October 2013, 03:33 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mircury

We have several people with unrecoverable boot looped devices over in the 900T forum because of failed nandroid restores. They can get to download mode but flashing via odin to stock does not fix it. They are stuck in boot loops even after flashing via odin. In your opinion, would the unbrick image adapted to the 900T help them?

http://forum.xda-developers.com/show...4#post46313784

I remember on the note 1 sometimes even after restoring stick via odin you would get a bootloop. In that case you had to do a factory reset after flashing stock and it got everything working again. Hopefully yur problems are something that easy to fix.

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9th October 2013, 04:34 PM |#6  
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this is for people who really brick, you overwrite your aboot/sbl's. on the SGS3 this was done by flashing an international rom as their kernel was on MMCBLK0p5 while us SGS3 that was our aboot (bootloader). whats particularly good about this is it means that designgears can nuke his bootloader trying to find exploits/unlock etc and still end up working device by the end of the night (like was done last night). to cut any questions on it, dont bother with trying to sdcard boot the tmobile bootloaders :P

this is more of a in case things go bad kind of scenario where you cant get to download mode, and if this guide is too confusing etc there is always a jtag (mobiletechvideos is one of the big ones on xda i believe).
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9th October 2013, 04:42 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shabbypenguin

this is for people who really brick, you overwrite your aboot/sbl's. on the SGS3 this was done by flashing an international rom as their kernel was on MMCBLK0p5 while us SGS3 that was our aboot (bootloader). whats particularly good about this is it means that designgears can nuke his bootloader trying to find exploits/unlock etc and still end up working device by the end of the night (like was done last night). to cut any questions on it, dont bother with trying to sdcard boot the tmobile bootloaders :P

this is more of a in case things go bad kind of scenario where you cant get to download mode, and if this guide is too confusing etc there is always a jtag (mobiletechvideos is one of the big ones on xda i believe).

Sir in note 3 case original bootloader is there even custom recovery is there but stock rom flashed by odin still you are not able to come out of bootloop even you make full wipe after. This is strange as odin or kies emaegeny recovery firmware not come to save you this time. My phone in service center and still not hear from them anything..

Sent from my GT-I9505 using xda premium
Last edited by mwazeer; 9th October 2013 at 04:45 PM.
9th October 2013, 05:00 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwazeer

Sir in note 3 case original bootloader is there even custom recovery is there but stock rom flashed by odin still you are not able to come out of bootloop even you make full wipe after. This is strange as odin or kies emaegeny recovery firmware not come to save you this time. My phone in service center and still not hear from them anything..

Sent from my GT-I9505 using xda premium

the "download mode" with red text? if thats what it is you need to pull battery, put it back in. power on as if you were going to download mode and the red text will be missing, flash stock rom and then wipe in stock recovery and youll be all set
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9th October 2013, 05:04 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shabbypenguin

the "download mode" with red text? if thats what it is you need to pull battery, put it back in. power on as if you were going to download mode and the red text will be missing, flash stock rom and then wipe in stock recovery and youll be all set

Sir there is no red text and its normal download mode with knox counter 0x1.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using xda premium
9th October 2013, 05:07 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwazeer

Sir there is no red text and its normal download mode with knox counter 0x1.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using xda premium

Are you using the stock odin files? It should boot into recovery after flashing and wipe the device and install a few more files.
9th October 2013, 05:19 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwazeer

Sir there is no red text and its normal download mode with knox counter 0x1.

Sent from my GT-I9505 using xda premium

odd, im truly sorry but ive no idea then. :/ i know the recovery guys are working hard but its very confusing etc.

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