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MT6589 Galaxy S4 clone issues and some solutions, and an easy way to change IMEI

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By fault-tolerant, Junior Member on 12th September 2013, 10:02 AM
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I've got two identical Galaxy S4 "1:1 copy" clone devices for children. At a price of around 180 USD, ordered at AliExpress. I want to share some of my experience.

Physically the devices are quite good, the plastic feels good. The screen is just a bit smaller compared with the original. Guess they are very much the same size as the real thing, however some rubber covers we've got at a local store don't fit as a glove - feels like the phone is just a wee bit thicker after all.

Problem 1 - Factory Reset

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The first stupid thing I've done was a factory reset from the phone menu. This had the following consequences:

1. The boot logo (was showing the original Samsung Galaxy S4 image) changed to a funny green android picture.
2. Boot animation (also identical to the original Samsung boot animation) changed to some blue curling android animation.
3. The IMEI disappeared!

A solution for this was naturally MTK Android Tools from here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2160490. I've rooted the phone with one click, this has also installed CWM, simply genius! Then I've changed (or actually added) the IMEI found on a sticker on the phone box. This is a single sim version, by the way.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Problem 2 - Soft brick

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
After a while I've noticed that some applications complain about memory. Without getting in to all this stuff I read and all, I've decided to give a go to a very strange post from here: http://androidphones13.blogspot.co.i...al-memory.html. The effect of this "MTK65XX Repartition App" on the device was disastrous - something wrong with partitioning, and the only working thing remained was the CWM recovery. Bricked the phone. Soft-bricked, anyway.

In order to restore it I've used the MTK Android Tools again and the SmartPhone Flash Tool. You can easily find them by simple googling, there are great instructions on xda. Another helpful guide is "MDRT Factory ROM BackUp.pdf" here: http://devhost.xda-developers.com/d8a. The issues I had on the way are:

1. Software versions. I was searching for MT65xx and downloading, however looks like SP Flash tool earlier than v3.1248 doesn't support the MT6589. Started with (the latest?) v3.1316, but it kept giving me errors related to com port, so went to v3.1248 - however later the other worked as well.
2. Drivers. This is a weird story. In order to use the SP Flash Tool the phone has to be completely off and with battery inside. When you connect it to your computer (Win7), the led on USB hub goes on for a few seconds and then off again. During these short seconds new device is discovered (as com port), called MTK Preloader. You can google for drivers just as I did, and install them. I tried three download links. It is really not that easy to catch driver installation during such a short time. In many cases the SP Flash Tool was popping up a window complaining about the com port. As I've seen on one nice post, just kept trying - with different drivers, quick hand on device manager, and different SP Flash Tool versions as stated above. After about 40 minutes it succeeded, without me doing anything new - so can't give you more details here.

The idea was to use the good phone (second one) to create the scatter file with MTK Android Tools, then to back it up - you have to root it first, by the way - using the same software, then to get it ready for burning with SP Flash Tool (there is a button for that as well), and then burn it as planned. The thing worked.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Download factory ROM - rooted and with CWM

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've uploaded my ROM here: GT-I9500_130708_ForFlashtoolFromReadBack_130911-231423.rar

This is an archive ready to be programmed with SP Flash Tool. It has the scatter file inside, and you can flash various images out of the entire list as per recommendations on some threads here on XDA. I flashed everything to restore the phone. This will require to put the IMEI in again.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good luck, and share your efforts!

P.S. I've contacted the supplier when the IMEI went blank (the phone writes "Invalid IMEI" on the lock screen and doesn't connect to the operator). After few days he got back to me with the following interesting instructions: Open the dial pad and type *#*#20080808#*#*. A menu appears. Inside chose GPRS and there you can put the new IMEI in. There are dozens of other options in this secret menu as well. Very interesting, guess this is the easy way to change IMEI on MT65xx, or MT6589 at least. Reboot is required, I think.
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20th November 2013, 01:04 AM |#2  
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i have a MT6589_S00 S4 clone device and has startup bootloop problem, i downloaded your firmware and flash it to my device, now it can turn on but the display is totally blackout, i can still hear the startup logo sounds

could you advice maybe i had to flash it with another firmware instead of using yours?

thanks anyway for posting this firmware for us
20th November 2013, 02:23 AM |#3  
zelendel's Avatar
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Be aware that changing the IMEI of a device is a federal crime in many countries

Wayne Tech Nexus
20th November 2013, 03:31 AM |#4  
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HSDROID S4 - clone samsung
Hye,

I REALLY NEED HELP !!!

First of all, I'm really dumb idiot because I have root my phone without further thinking. After that, I have stupidly delete some of the system maybe. Because now, I can't open my messaging and phone apps. I have try many ways to gain it back. but failed. Then, I think maybe I need to install new ROMs. But again, I'm facing problem because every time I try to install by sd card with zip file in android recovery, there is "E: Signature Verification Failed". Then, I try to install CWM to enable the signature verification but my phone do not support this apps. Now, I don't know what to do. Please help me because this is my first time.

Please guide me with complete and simple solution because I really don't know much about programming and etc2.

My phone :
Hardware :MTK6517
Model : S4
Build Number :S4_20130426.181826
Android Ver : 4.0.4
Baseband Ver : DM_BASE_W12.43/sc6820_modem|11-02-2013
Kernel : 2.6.35.7


PLEASE HELP ME !!!! I REALLY NEED MY PHONE. PLEASEEEE !!!
20th November 2013, 07:31 AM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by touji

i have a MT6589_S00 S4 clone device and has startup bootloop problem, i downloaded your firmware and flash it to my device, now it can turn on but the display is totally blackout, i can still hear the startup logo sounds

could you advice maybe i had to flash it with another firmware instead of using yours?

thanks anyway for posting this firmware for us

finally i got it working by using BlueBo ROM
ROM Mobile Bluebo B9500 – ROM Android 4.2.2
Update BlueBo ROM Version: I9868.H31.02.05.A.B_V08.0-0925 ( Rooted )

but the boot up logo is not samsung S4, air gesture is working

imei change is as what you have described

i try to reload your backup file, i flash only Logo and Android it is working (if i full flash download the screen become blank) but the display is upside down
25th November 2013, 08:22 PM |#6  
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Hi guys:

I have a s4 clone dual sim i9500 android version 4.2.3; baseband version MOLY.WR8.W1248.MD.WG.MP.V6.P4,2013/05/04
Kernel version: 3.4.5 [email protected]#1 mon may 6 17:50:20 CST 2013

In antutu on system info: MT6589,Quad-Core ARMv7 Processor (VFPv3,NEON) 1920*1080,power VR SGX 544MP 2GB RAM

Where can i find a software for it? i don't find any ROM ,or i don't know where i must search.

Thank you very much.
4th December 2013, 07:08 AM |#7  
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I HAVE SAMSUNG S4 CLONE AND DETAILS ARE HARE PLEASE SUGGEST ME CORRECT ROM TO FLASH MY PHONE WELL MY PHONE IS OK NOW ONLY NETWORK PROBLEM PHONE SWITCH ON VERY WELL BUT NO SERVICE APPEARED SO TRY TO BACK UP WITH MTKdroidTools 2.4.8 BUT NO SUCCESS BECAUSE IN BACKUP FILES THERE IS NO AND MD5 FILE WHICH IS NECESSARY FOR CREATING FLASH FILE FROM FLASHING WITH SP FLASH TOOL
8th January 2014, 02:12 PM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fault-tolerant

I've got two identical Galaxy S4 "1:1 copy" clone devices for children. At a price of around 180 USD, ordered at AliExpress. I want to share some of my experience.

Physically the devices are quite good, the plastic feels good. The screen is just a bit smaller compared with the original. Guess they are very much the same size as the real thing, however some rubber covers we've got at a local store don't fit as a glove - feels like the phone is just a wee bit thicker after all.

Problem 1 - Factory Reset

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The first stupid thing I've done was a factory reset from the phone menu. This had the following consequences:

1. The boot logo (was showing the original Samsung Galaxy S4 image) changed to a funny green android picture.
2. Boot animation (also identical to the original Samsung boot animation) changed to some blue curling android animation.
3. The IMEI disappeared!

A solution for this was naturally MTK Android Tools from here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2160490. I've rooted the phone with one click, this has also installed CWM, simply genius! Then I've changed (or actually added) the IMEI found on a sticker on the phone box. This is a single sim version, by the way.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Problem 2 - Soft brick

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
After a while I've noticed that some applications complain about memory. Without getting in to all this stuff I read and all, I've decided to give a go to a very strange post from here: http://androidphones13.blogspot.co.i...al-memory.html. The effect of this "MTK65XX Repartition App" on the device was disastrous - something wrong with partitioning, and the only working thing remained was the CWM recovery. Bricked the phone. Soft-bricked, anyway.

In order to restore it I've used the MTK Android Tools again and the SmartPhone Flash Tool. You can easily find them by simple googling, there are great instructions on xda. Another helpful guide is "MDRT Factory ROM BackUp.pdf" here: http://devhost.xda-developers.com/d8a. The issues I had on the way are:

1. Software versions. I was searching for MT65xx and downloading, however looks like SP Flash tool earlier than v3.1248 doesn't support the MT6589. Started with (the latest?) v3.1316, but it kept giving me errors related to com port, so went to v3.1248 - however later the other worked as well.
2. Drivers. This is a weird story. In order to use the SP Flash Tool the phone has to be completely off and with battery inside. When you connect it to your computer (Win7), the led on USB hub goes on for a few seconds and then off again. During these short seconds new device is discovered (as com port), called MTK Preloader. You can google for drivers just as I did, and install them. I tried three download links. It is really not that easy to catch driver installation during such a short time. In many cases the SP Flash Tool was popping up a window complaining about the com port. As I've seen on one nice post, just kept trying - with different drivers, quick hand on device manager, and different SP Flash Tool versions as stated above. After about 40 minutes it succeeded, without me doing anything new - so can't give you more details here.

The idea was to use the good phone (second one) to create the scatter file with MTK Android Tools, then to back it up - you have to root it first, by the way - using the same software, then to get it ready for burning with SP Flash Tool (there is a button for that as well), and then burn it as planned. The thing worked.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Download factory ROM - rooted and with CWM

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've uploaded my ROM here: GT-I9500_130708_ForFlashtoolFromReadBack_130911-231423.rar

This is an archive ready to be programmed with SP Flash Tool. It has the scatter file inside, and you can flash various images out of the entire list as per recommendations on some threads here on XDA. I flashed everything to restore the phone. This will require to put the IMEI in again.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Good luck, and share your efforts!

P.S. I've contacted the supplier when the IMEI went blank (the phone writes "Invalid IMEI" on the lock screen and doesn't connect to the operator). After few days he got back to me with the following interesting instructions: Open the dial pad and type *#*#20080808#*#*. A menu appears. Inside chose GPRS and there you can put the new IMEI in. There are dozens of other options in this secret menu as well. Very interesting, guess this is the easy way to change IMEI on MT65xx, or MT6589 at least. Reboot is required, I think.

is ur phone has this version?

Hardware : MT6572 (MT6589 is Fake!)
Model : GT-I9500
Build number : ALPS.JB3.MP.V1.8
Build date UTC : 20131011-104628
Android v : 4.2.2
Baseband v: MOLY.WR8.W1315.MD.WG.MP.V4, 2013/08/07 10:44
Kernel v : 3.4.5 ([email protected]) (gcc version 4.6.x-google 20120106 (prerelease) (GCC) ) #1 SMP Fri Oct 11 18:44:10 CST 2013
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8th January 2014, 07:58 PM |#9  
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Somewhat similar, but this one is actually MT6589, so guess it won't help you much...
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22nd January 2014, 06:03 PM |#10  
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i have the same problem as of the bootanimation, tried flashing some bootanimation but still doesn't change..
5th February 2014, 09:54 AM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelendel

Be aware that changing the IMEI of a device is a federal crime in many countries

Wayne Tech Nexus

Guess you're right, but the actual phone's IMEI is after all printed on a label under the battery, so you just return it to the original stare rather than altering it (why should you, anyway?). In case of this phone, after every factory reset you end up without IMEI at all, so you don't have much choice
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