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[Galaxy S III][IMPORTANT] GT-I9300 Hard Brick Fix

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By Net.silb, Senior Member on 2nd October 2012, 05:48 PM
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I have not done this before and have not tested this method, do this at your own risk!!!

We've made it to the XDA Portal! (link below)

http://www.xda-developers.com/androi...-samsungs-way/


Hi,

A few months ago I hard bricked my Galaxy S II into an unfixable situation the only fix being replacing the motherboard. More info: HERE

While looking for a fix I encountered this thread: HERE
This thread contained a leaked confidential file from Samsung on how to fix a Bricked Galaxy S III. It wasn't relevant to me then because I didn't have a S3, but now as an owner of a S3 I find this may be very useful and may save lots of money if & when needed.

Brief Description of the fix:
  1. Copying the Bootloader file to an external SD Card, using a normal GT-I9300.
  2. Inserting the external SD card into the bricked phone, and copying the bootloader file to the defective PBA.
  3. After downloading the bootloader file to the defective phone, entering download mode with the phone, and downloading a Full S/W.(PIT, PDA, CSC, PHONE files)

Description of the files attached to this post:
  • (12-38)_GT-I9300_BRICKED.pdf.zip - This ZIP file Contains a PDF file that is the manual for the fix.
  • GT-I9300_Boot_Recovery.tar - This TAR file is the Bootloader that is copied to the external SD card.
  • Odin3v3.07.rar - The program specified in the manual that copies the bootloader onto the external SD card.
  • GT_I9300_unbrick_sdcard_head.zip - The BIN file used in Rebellos's method below.

Requirements:
  1. Odin3 v3.07.exe and Odin3.ini
  2. GT-I9300_Boot_Recovery.tar
  3. (12-38)_GT-I9300_BRICKED.pdf.zip
  4. External SD Card (Memory size should be 2GB or bigger.)
  5. One normal I9300 phone(normally booted on)

*Resistor has to be shorted very carefully, avoiding touching any other parts at all cost. If you short too many things together - possibility of frying some component of your I9300 rises drastically.

No one has yet to report trying this fix and it being successful, but I am confident that if preformed according to the instructions this fix has the potential of fixing almost any bricked GS3.

One Little Problem:
  • Scenario: I bricked my phone and I want to fix it as mentioned in this thread. So I go ahead and look at the requirements:
    1. I download it from the attachments.
    2. I download it from the attachments.
    3. I download it from the attachments.
    4. I don't have one so I go buy one from a store for a little amount of money.
    5. Ummmm... I have one but it can't boot... Damn! I don't have any friends that own one.... Damn! What should I do?!
      • Buy a new one so I can use it to fix the old one
      • Take my bricked phone to a store and pay at least 60$ for a fix.
      • Follow the instructions below.

Highly Recommended: (Not Tested Yet, People who do this - please report in the thread)
  • Because of the 'One Little Problem' there are a few things you can do ahead of time so if you brick your phone you will be prepared:
    1. If you don't own an extra one, buy a 2GB external SD card.
    2. Follow steps 1-12 in the manual using your own phone.
    3. Take the external SD card out of your phone and put it away in a safe place to be used if needed.
  • Or follow Rebellos's (Elite Recognized Developer) way:
    Quote:

    Here's an experimental image: (Or attached to this post)
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/32145655/GT...dcard_head.zip
    1) Insert SD card (Everything from it will be wiped!)
    2) Bootup some linux machine (it can be rooted android phone aswell as its also linux machine )
    3) Unpack archive
    4) Perform dd if=GT_I9300_unbrick_sdcard_head.bin of=/dev/<path to SD card device>

    On most of phones its /dev/block/mmcblk1 (MAKE SURE YOU DONT OVERWRITE YOUR INTERNAL PHONE MEMORY, ITS USUALLY "/dev/block/mmcblk0")

    On PCs it depends, its sometimes /dev/sdb
    More info about dding sd card:
    http://mikelev.in/2010/09/cloning-an-sd-card-on-linux/

    You're all ready and set, try to boot it up on dead I9300 and tell me how did it go! (Follow step 14 of Samsung's guide)

    Also, I don't think Anyway JIG is necessary. Probably you only need to connect it to PC so it gets powered and you can use download mode.


Notice:
  • This method of fixing your bricked device is only meant to be used if all else fails: Full S/W package with Odin (PIT, BOOTLOADER, PDA, PHONE, CSC) Or USB Jig.

I have not done this before and have not tested this method, do this at your own risk!!!
-
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Attached Files
File Type: zip (12-38)_GT-I9300_BRICKED.pdf.zip - [Click for QR Code] (1,016.4 KB, 48069 views)
File Type: tar GT-I9300_Boot_Recovery.tar - [Click for QR Code] (870.0 KB, 46529 views)
File Type: rar Odin3v3.07.rar - [Click for QR Code] (394.2 KB, 22633 views)
File Type: zip GT_I9300_unbrick_sdcard_head.zip - [Click for QR Code] (372.5 KB, 39380 views)
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2nd October 2012, 05:50 PM |#2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikep99

Just been through actions 1-12 with no problems.
However, I can't see anything on internal/external sdcard that looks like a copy of the bootloader.
I'm assuming it's written to a part of the sdcard just like the 'goldcard' on the HTC Desire, which can't be seen without a hex editor.
This would then get picked up when using a jig?
Can anyone confirm this?

Sent from my GT-I9300 using xda app-developers app

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebellos

Here's an experimental image:
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/32145655/GT...dcard_head.zip
1) Insert SD card (Everything from it will be wiped!)
2) Bootup some linux machine (it can be rooted android phone aswell as its also linux machine )
3) Unpack archive
4) Perform dd if=GT_I9300_unbrick_sdcard_head.bin of=/dev/<path to SD card device>

On most of phones its /dev/block/mmcblk1 (MAKE SURE YOU DONT OVERWRITE YOUR INTERNAL PHONE MEMORY, ITS USUALLY "/dev/block/mmcblk0")

On PCs it depends, its sometimes /dev/sdb
More info about dding sd card:
http://mikelev.in/2010/09/cloning-an-sd-card-on-linux/

You're all ready and set, try to boot it up on dead I9300 and tell me how did it go! (Follow step 14 of Samsung's guide)

Also, I don't think Anyway JIG is necessary. Probably you only need to connect it to PC so it gets powered and you can use download mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Odia

You did not need to flash the bootloader to your phone first, its only in the instructions in case the bootloader in the good GS3 does not support SDCARD write protocol.

I can confirm that using an SDCARD image to create the tweezer-tag SDCARD does work.

NOTE: Its also possible to write the entire OS to SDCARD, not just the bootloaders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebellos

Flashing new bootloader is relatively safe (as far as reflashing bootloader can be safe)
It's just same set of bootloaders but with enhanced ODIN protocol - support of writing into T-Flash. As Odia said - recently produced I9300 models might have this feature in bootloader already.

No repartition should be used for these, new bootloader should overwrite old bootloader in working I9300, and during second flash present PIT will be used.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebellos

It can be said I added few steps after step 11 and before step 12 of Samsung guide.
Note: System must be rooted.
11.1) Bootup phone and connect it to PC
11.2) Invoke "adb root"
11.3) Invoke "adb shell dd if=/dev/block/mmcblk1 of=/storage/sdcard0/recovery_sd_head.bin bs=1024 count=4096"
11.4) Invoke "adb pull /storage/sdcard0/recovery_sd_head.bin"

You will endup with dump of first 4 megabytes of sd card. Should be enough to contain all necessary data to re-create bootable sd card from it.
Actually boot partition is ~880KB big so I guess dump of ~900KB should be enough. But better to have abit more and be more sure it'll work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebellos

I've disassembled my I9300 yesterday and did some live tests on it.
Unfortunately I was unable to trigger EXT-SD boot, it's pretty hard to short only single resistor without shorting anything else and hanging the board or blowing something up. I'll retry it someday later when I get better tools. Maybe I triggered ext-sd boot but it didn't end up in any special screen because my device was fully alive.

Some tech background I worked out on that solution


Some good news:
If this is possible for SGS3, it's highly plausible that this such method of unbricking can be used for Exynos SGS2 models. This of course needs preparing another magic-SD card.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Net.silb

We've made it to the XDA Portal! (link below)

http://www.xda-developers.com/androi...-samsungs-way/

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2nd October 2012, 05:51 PM |#3  
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2nd October 2012, 05:54 PM |#4  
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Thanks for this

Sent from my GT-I9300 using xda premium
2nd October 2012, 06:02 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-eock

Thanks for this

Sent from my GT-I9300 using xda premium

My pleasure!
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2nd October 2012, 06:27 PM |#6  
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Thanks man
2nd October 2012, 06:36 PM |#7  
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Seems... complicated :P
I wonder if sharing the "Bootloader SD Image" is an option, would be great to have someone brave enough to upload it for the community to avoid messing with the bootloader of a healthy BORROWED i9300.
2nd October 2012, 06:43 PM |#8  
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Thanks for sharing !
2nd October 2012, 07:41 PM |#9  
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Just been through actions 1-12 with no problems.
However, I can't see anything on internal/external sdcard that looks like a copy of the bootloader.
I'm assuming it's written to a part of the sdcard just like the 'goldcard' on the HTC Desire, which can't be seen without a hex editor.
This would then get picked up when using a jig?
Can anyone confirm this?

Sent from my GT-I9300 using xda app-developers app
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2nd October 2012, 07:56 PM |#10  
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Thanks for the share man! Will do some digging and look into this as well when I get time!
2nd October 2012, 08:17 PM |#11  
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Excellent... I've always been worried about bricking my device. I've had my S3 for 2 months and it's the first phone I've rooted, so bricking was always a serious concern for me.

If this is proven to work... thank god!
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