Hey all, this is my first post so be patient with me. A while back I decided to root my Galaxy s3 with Virgin Mobile so that I could play around with different ROMs and such. I followed struckn's guide using Philz and it was working fine. However I did not make a full backup using recovery while still on the stock ROM (first mistake). I used online nandroid to make a backup and once I flashed cyanogenmod 10.2 I made another online nandroid backup. Everything was going relatively fine, enjoyed new root access and all, but then when the KitKat update started rolling out, CGM rolled out the CM11 update which never worked right on my phone. 3G and 4G never seemed to work. I then went back to my 10.2 flash and tried again to no avail. I wasn't too upset as I was fine with the 10.2 ROM, but now I've grown tired of random bugs and CM recently deleted all of my texts for no apparent reason and the camera is having issues being recognized by other apps (instagram/snapchat/etc). Thus, I decided to flash back to my nandroid backup of the stock rooted ROM, to now get the MD5 mismatch error message everyone hates. After looking it up, none of the guides seemed to work for me as there was no backup file in the location they suggested. Using ROM manager I could see that the backups I had made were in /mnt/shell/emulated/clockworkmod/backup, but when I tried using root file browsers to locate this in order to fix the MD5 error, the location did not exist anywhere. Obviously this sucked as I could not reflash my backups, and I could not update to KitKat either. I have been thinking about it for a while anyway and am considering just wiping my phone (losing data but I'll survive, I backup everything important, just have to re-download apps from Play) and using Odin to flash the new 4.4.2 stock ROM that jdsingle76 posted here http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2774333
and I'm pretty sure that it means I'll start with a fresh slate with no root.
tl;dr Is going back to stock at this point and starting over my only option to fix the MD5 mismatch error at this point? I cannot browse to fix the backup files and have no full cwm backup to go to (though I did just make one today in case whatever I do now goes wrong). Also, will this .tar file be a true "stock" ROM in that Knox and everything Kies is back on my phone with the Samsung apps that we all know and (don't) love?