[HOW-TO] Unbrick your soft bricked Galaxy S III (+ bootloader brick)

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Hero

Inactive Recognized Developer
Oct 15, 2010
1,397
5,128
Hidden Hills
STOP

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:

BUT FIRST
Prerequisites:
AND
Number of devices tested on and confirmed working: 40
  1. Open up ODIN
  2. Select only the following box: F. Reset Time
  3. Flash the VRALEC bootchain in the PDA section and wait for a PASS message
  4. Reset ODIN
  5. Flash the VRALF bootchain in the PDA section and wait for a PASS message
  6. 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.
  7. Put the stock.vzw_root66.tar in the PDA section
  8. Select the following boxes: Auto Reboot, F. Reset Time, Nand Erase All

    capturerjk.png
  9. 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:​
  1. 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:
    Code:
    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
  2. Wipe data/factory reset
  3. Wipe cache partition
  4. Reboot

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!

Thanks

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

Donations
Thank you all! - If I forgot you send me a PM

mark-in-dallas
madunix
soopervoo
tserrano35
Ryan Sherman
Kenneth Holt
mike216
kp_martin

If this worked for you please consider a donation. After all, you did just save $600 :p Donations keep me motivated to putting out new goodies and fixes for the community.
 
Last edited:

Hero

Inactive Recognized Developer
Oct 15, 2010
1,397
5,128
Hidden Hills
Bootloader(?) brick

I recently discovered another type of brick by accident and it appeared to be associated with the bootloader. To retrace my steps, I updated to the VRALHD baseband using CWM and immediately after that I restored a backup which caused me to lose the ability to flash ROMs. When loading up another ROM, I always got to the bootanimation, but the bootsound would cut off almost immediately and I would be stuck at a black screen. I was not able to flash ROMs and even unlocking the bootloader again after Odin-ing back to stock didn't work. I was stuck with the stock ROM. The method in the OP doesn't work for this, but the following steps do:

Prerequisites
  • Root66
  • PIT file (depending on your model (16gb/32gb)) - (PIT)
  • Odin

The steps are simple:
  1. Flash Root66 in the PDA slot and the PIT file in the PIT slot
  2. Only tick Auto-reboot, Re-Partition, F. Reset Time
  3. Boot into recovery
  4. Factory reset + wipe dalvik
  5. Reboot
Number of devices tested on and confirmed working: 2

Your device should boot up normally and you should be able to flash custom ROMs now. If you are still encountering issues, try the method in the OP then re-unlock your bootloader using either AdamOutler's CASUAL or EZ Unlock. Note, if you use EZ Unlock you may continue to get a message saying that the bootloader status is UNKNOWN even after unlocking the bootloader. This was the case for me, but I then did the PIT method as described in this post, factory reset the device, and used TWRP to flash my ROM.

Just an FYI, I now use TWRP so I'm not entirely sure whether there was something specifically wrong with CWM. The partition sizes just got severely messed up.
 
Last edited:

Hero

Inactive Recognized Developer
Oct 15, 2010
1,397
5,128
Hidden Hills
So what's the ironic story on how you found the fix? Great write up BTW. Hope I never have to use it but keeping this in a safe place. :)

Sent from my SCH-I535 using xda premium

Had two S3s, tried to hard brick one to use as a brick test device (it was soft bricked with the error in the OP), but ended up fixing it instead :p
 
Last edited:

con247

Retired Recognized Developer
Sep 1, 2010
3,154
3,108
Ann Arbor
Excellent write up. For some soft-bricks, this might be overkill, but it will alteast get everyone back up and running no matter how severe their issue is. Thank you for the post! I am downloading the files now incase we have some hosting issues in the future. After Goo.im wiped everything a couple times I think it is important to be careful and prepared.
 
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Hero

Inactive Recognized Developer
Oct 15, 2010
1,397
5,128
Hidden Hills
Excellent write up. For some soft-bricks, this might be overkill, but it will alteast get everyone back up and running no matter how severe their issue is. Thank you for the post! I am downloading the files now incase we have some hosting issues in the future. After Goo.im wiped everything a couple times I think it is important to be careful and prepared.

Added mirrors for the bootchains just in case.
 
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Reactions: nh97103

psycopanther

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2010
113
7
lol. PROFIT!

---------- Post added at 06:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:31 PM ----------

also, if you have CWM or twrp recovery, and you boot into recovery (before trying any steps above), you can connect your phone with adb and while in recovery (cwm, or twrp) and go into adb shell, and type "mount" .this should show something like this :

mount
rootfs on / type rootfs (rw)
tmpfs on /dev type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,relatime,mode=755)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,relatime,mode=600)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,relatime)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,relatime)
/dev/block/mmcblk0p15 on /data type ext4 (ro,nodev,noatime,nodiratime,user_xattr,barrier=1, data=ordered)
/dev/block/mmcblk0p17 on /cache type ext4 (rw,nodev,noatime,nodiratime,user_xattr,barrier=1, data=ordered)
/dev/block/mmcblk0p14 on /system type ext4 (rw,relatime,user_xattr,barrier=1,data=ordered)

the /dev/block/mmcblk0p15 is set to RO if you notice. and this will cause constant boot hanging as the /system will try to constantly write to /data in which it will fail. These were our symptoms before trying steps in OP.

MAD PROPS to PureMotive for helping solve this issue. pure genius!
 

con247

Retired Recognized Developer
Sep 1, 2010
3,154
3,108
Ann Arbor
lol. PROFIT!

---------- Post added at 06:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:31 PM ----------

also, if you have CWM or twrp recovery, and you boot into recovery (before trying any steps above), you can connect your phone with adb and while in recovery (cwm, or twrp) and go into adb shell, and type "mount" .this should show something like this :

mount
rootfs on / type rootfs (rw)
tmpfs on /dev type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,relatime,mode=755)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,relatime,mode=600)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,relatime)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,relatime)
/dev/block/mmcblk0p15 on /data type ext4 (ro,nodev,noatime,nodiratime,user_xattr,barrier=1, data=ordered)
/dev/block/mmcblk0p17 on /cache type ext4 (rw,nodev,noatime,nodiratime,user_xattr,barrier=1, data=ordered)
/dev/block/mmcblk0p14 on /system type ext4 (rw,relatime,user_xattr,barrier=1,data=ordered)

the /dev/block/mmcblk0p15 is set to RO if you notice. and this will cause constant boot hanging as the /system will try to constantly write to /data in which it will fail. These were our symptoms before trying steps in OP.

MAD PROPS to PureMotive for helping solve this issue. pure genius!

Sorry that I didn't think of this before. The logcat you sent me did show the symptoms of a ro filesystem but it didn't click with me!
 

psycopanther

Senior Member
Dec 5, 2010
113
7
not a problem. if it were not for realizing this RO thing, i do not think we would have gotten it all figured out. thank google for allowing adb access so early in the booting process of the phone lol.

however, the next step would be WHY the system is changed to a read only. I did try to just change the RO of /data back to RW in adb unsuccessfully. If a way was figured out to do it through adb with a simple command, then it would be quicker to fix the partition ( possibly just making a recovery flashable script to do it automatically to fix softbricks, but the methods in the OP is the best route for right now. definitely a step in the right direction in making the whole custom flashing alot safer.
 
Last edited:

droidstyle

Recognized Contributor
May 7, 2011
6,470
3,602
Fort Wayne
Going to link this in my guide! Could you add PDA next to flashing bootchains? reason being I believe that folks might try to flash this in bootloader section unless you spell it out for them. Thx
 
Last edited:

bakerboy81

Member
Mar 26, 2012
33
0
SHAFTER
complete (write) operation failed

i was on the second step and i got the fail msg ...what did i do wrong.... i just wanna get my phone back to stock.. i have downloaded the strock firmware rom but everytime i hit the start button nothing happens... please help
 

voodoomanx

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2012
348
92
i was on the second step and i got the fail msg ...what did i do wrong.... i just wanna get my phone back to stock.. i have downloaded the strock firmware rom but everytime i hit the start button nothing happens... please help

Where you unable to boot? This thread is for fixing write permissions.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
 

Hero

Inactive Recognized Developer
Oct 15, 2010
1,397
5,128
Hidden Hills
i was on the second step and i got the fail msg ...what did i do wrong.... i just wanna get my phone back to stock.. i have downloaded the strock firmware rom but everytime i hit the start button nothing happens... please help

By second step I'm assuming you are trying to flash the bootchain? Make sure you are flashing the files within the PDA secion of ODIN. If the ODIN still doesn't flash the files, try rebooting Download Mode and/or ODIN and then retry.
 

lowg

Senior Member
Aug 10, 2010
127
37
nyc
however, the next step would be WHY the system is changed to a read only. I did try to just change the RO of /data back to RW in adb unsuccessfully. If a way was figured out to do it through adb with a simple command, then it would be quicker to fix the partition ( possibly just making a recovery flashable script to do it automatically to fix softbricks, but the methods in the OP is the best route for right now. definitely a step in the right direction in making the whole custom flashing alot safer.

Agree, would be good to know the root cause -- eg. is it a bug having to do with some edge case in CWM recovery or a particular ROM that could fixed?
 

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  • 154
    STOP

    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:

    BUT FIRST
    Prerequisites:
    AND
    Number of devices tested on and confirmed working: 40
    1. Open up ODIN
    2. Select only the following box: F. Reset Time
    3. Flash the VRALEC bootchain in the PDA section and wait for a PASS message
    4. Reset ODIN
    5. Flash the VRALF bootchain in the PDA section and wait for a PASS message
    6. 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.
    7. Put the stock.vzw_root66.tar in the PDA section
    8. Select the following boxes: Auto Reboot, F. Reset Time, Nand Erase All

      capturerjk.png
    9. 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:​
    1. 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:
      Code:
      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
    2. Wipe data/factory reset
    3. Wipe cache partition
    4. Reboot

    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!

    Thanks

    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

    Donations
    Thank you all! - If I forgot you send me a PM

    mark-in-dallas
    madunix
    soopervoo
    tserrano35
    Ryan Sherman
    Kenneth Holt
    mike216
    kp_martin

    If this worked for you please consider a donation. After all, you did just save $600 :p Donations keep me motivated to putting out new goodies and fixes for the community.
    20
    Bootloader(?) brick

    I recently discovered another type of brick by accident and it appeared to be associated with the bootloader. To retrace my steps, I updated to the VRALHD baseband using CWM and immediately after that I restored a backup which caused me to lose the ability to flash ROMs. When loading up another ROM, I always got to the bootanimation, but the bootsound would cut off almost immediately and I would be stuck at a black screen. I was not able to flash ROMs and even unlocking the bootloader again after Odin-ing back to stock didn't work. I was stuck with the stock ROM. The method in the OP doesn't work for this, but the following steps do:

    Prerequisites
    • Root66
    • PIT file (depending on your model (16gb/32gb)) - (PIT)
    • Odin

    The steps are simple:
    1. Flash Root66 in the PDA slot and the PIT file in the PIT slot
    2. Only tick Auto-reboot, Re-Partition, F. Reset Time
    3. Boot into recovery
    4. Factory reset + wipe dalvik
    5. Reboot
    Number of devices tested on and confirmed working: 2

    Your device should boot up normally and you should be able to flash custom ROMs now. If you are still encountering issues, try the method in the OP then re-unlock your bootloader using either AdamOutler's CASUAL or EZ Unlock. Note, if you use EZ Unlock you may continue to get a message saying that the bootloader status is UNKNOWN even after unlocking the bootloader. This was the case for me, but I then did the PIT method as described in this post, factory reset the device, and used TWRP to flash my ROM.

    Just an FYI, I now use TWRP so I'm not entirely sure whether there was something specifically wrong with CWM. The partition sizes just got severely messed up.
    15
    08/24/[email protected]:02MST--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    <EDIT BEGIN>


    TESTED FLASHING ONLY THE SECOND BOOTCHAIN AND ROOT66:
    • I have been doing some more research on this procedure for the OP and have discovered a way to shorten the process. I know that before you were supposed to flash both bootchains before flashing root66. I wanted to see if it was possible to just flash "BOOTLOADER_I535VRALF2_618049_REV09_user_low_ship.tar.md5" without having to flash "VRALEC.bootchain.tar.md5" beforehand.
    • I tested it four (4) times on my device and it worked every single time. I had to use my method of plugging/unplugging and starting/restarting (if you read below on how I had to go through PureMotive's process a little differently). All I did was flash the second bootchain and then root66, and I was fine (using the plugging/unplugging and starting/restarting as I explain below).
    -
    -
    -
    NOTE: PLEASE DOWNLOAD FILES FROM PUREMOTIVE'S OP.
    -
    NOTE: I AM JUST USING THE KNOWLEDGE FROM THE OP AND A COUPLE OF TIPS I HAD ADDED TO MAKE THIS TUTORIAL. ALL CREDIT GOES TO PUREMOTIVE. HE IS THE ONE THAT FIGURED THIS ALL OUT. PLEASE THANK HIM.

    -
    -
    1. Make sure your device is off. Turn on your device so that it is in "Download Mode" (volume-down+home+power). When the first "Warning Screen" appears, press the volume-up button.
    ---
    1a. First off, it is always good to make sure your drivers are installed properly. If you have already installed themin the past, it's okay to install them again. If your not sure, install them anyways. If they have already been installed, you will get this popup asking you if you still want to install them again.
    -
    usb.PNG

    ---
    2. If you received the popup in image "1" above, then you will now be at this screen. Or if this is the first time you have installed the drivers, you will start here as well. Go ahead and press "Next" to continue.
    -
    usb2.PNG

    ---
    3. Pick your language and country. Press "Next" to continue.
    -
    usb3.PNG

    ---
    4. The default location is usually the best. Press "Install".
    -
    usb4.PNG

    ---
    5. Wait for the Drivers to install.
    -
    usb6.PNG

    ---
    6. Drivers are installed. Press "Exit"
    -
    usb7.PNG

    ---
    7. Don't plug anything in yet. Start ODIN, and this screen will appear.
    -
    odin-blank.PNG

    ---
    8. Now, "Plugin" your Device.
    -
    odin-a.PNG

    ---
    9. Make sure that ONLY the "F. Reset Time" checkbox is checked.
    -
    odin-b.PNG

    ---
    10. Click the checkbox next to "PDA" and click on the "PDA" buton to find your "BOOTLOADER_I535VRALF2_618049_REV09_user_low_ship.tar.md5" that you downloaded earlier. ODIN will check the MD5, so wait a second to make sure it is done checking. Click "Start".
    -
    odin-c.PNG

    ---
    11. It will finish very fast and show the BLUE box saying "RESET". Wait.
    -
    odin-d.PNG

    ---
    12. Wait a few more minutes. The box will then turn GREEN and say "PASS". Now Unplug your device and Exit out of ODIN. DO NOT REBOOT YOUR PHONE OR PULL THE BATTERY.
    -
    odin-e.PNG

    ---
    13. Now Restart ODIN.
    -
    odin-blank.PNG

    ---
    14. Plugin your device.
    -
    odin-a.PNG

    ---
    15. Leave the two boxes thatar e already checked and check the "Nand Erase All" so that there will be three boxes checked now.
    -
    odin-f.PNG

    ---
    16. Click the checkbox next to PDA and click the PDA button to locate your "root66" file. Make sure it is in .tar format.
    -
    odin-g.PNG

    ---
    17. Press Start.
    -
    odin-h.PNG

    ---
    18. The BLUE Reset box will now appear. Wait
    -
    odin-i.PNG

    ---
    19. The GREEN Pass box will now appear.
    -
    odin-j.PNG

    ---
    20. Unplug your device, Pull your battery, Re-insert your battery, hold down "volume-up+home+power", boot into the stock recovery, (notice that you will have a few lines of "errors" in red lettering and all starting with E:......) these errors are normal, Wipe Data/Factory Reset, Wipe Cache, Reboot.

    -
    -
    -
    -
    -
    I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO ADD:

    When I was trying to figure out a fast way to get back to root66 or stock from Beans ROM easily, I ran into a few problems booting:
    • I would get stuck in Odin after flashing the bootchain(s) during the root66 installation (when I would try to install the root66 with Odin after performing the bootchain flash/flashes, it would not show it was installing and the texbox showing you your progress would just stop at some point. Also the Exit/Reset/Start buttons were not available to press either during this time and the only option was to exit out of Odin by clicking the "x" in the upper right-hand corner pulling the battery [because it was still in "Download Mode"].
    • I figured out that if you ever get stuck in any of these two situations and HAVE TO pull the battery, just make sure when you restart the device, you boot into the stock recovery (volume up+home+power). Then you need to do a "factory wipe/install and cache wipe", reboot, and your good-to-go.
    <EDIT END>

    08/24/[email protected]------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    08/23/2012
    ORIGINAL POST:

    Background:

    Device:
    • Samsung Galaxy SIII (S3)
    • Verizon Wireless
    • Was running CM10 (cm-10-20120818-NIGHTLY-d2vzw) and gapps (gapps-jb-20120726-signed).
    • ClockWorkMod Recovery 6
    • Unlocked bootloader using the "Casual App" from Adam Outler.
    • Ubuntu Machine
    I had been running CM10 on one of my Samsung Galaxy S3's. I have one that I keep on me all the time and I usually only load stable ROMS onto it. The other one I play with and use for reviews. I had tried to get back to "root66" by just flashing it over the CM10. I should have read into it more...

    I luckily found this post, followed the directions, but it would not work for me... I was having trouble in ODIN and the program would not flash the second bootchain unless I:
    • 1: Flashed the first bootchain as described.
    • 2: Unplugged my device while leaving it in "Downloading Mode".
    • 3: Exited ODIN and then restarted it.
    • 4: Plugged my device back in while still in "Downloading Mode".
    • 5: Flashed the second bootchain.
    • 6: Repeated steps 2, 3, and 4.
    • 7: Then flashed root66.


    Issues Prior:
    • My Samsung Galaxy S3 was stuck in a boot loop and I tried everything.
    • 1 in every 5 times, it would actually boot, but once the lockscreen came up, it froze and I had to pull the battery.
    Other Issues:
    • Had to use a workaround (that might only be specific to my problem, but I thought I might share it just in case anyone else is having the same issue).
    Questions
    • None anymore.

    I could not have fixed my device without this. It is working fine now.

    Thanks to PureMotive for all of his help.
    3
    So what's the ironic story on how you found the fix? Great write up BTW. Hope I never have to use it but keeping this in a safe place. :)

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using xda premium

    Had two S3s, tried to hard brick one to use as a brick test device (it was soft bricked with the error in the OP), but ended up fixing it instead :p
    2
    lol. PROFIT!

    ---------- Post added at 06:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:31 PM ----------

    also, if you have CWM or twrp recovery, and you boot into recovery (before trying any steps above), you can connect your phone with adb and while in recovery (cwm, or twrp) and go into adb shell, and type "mount" .this should show something like this :

    mount
    rootfs on / type rootfs (rw)
    tmpfs on /dev type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,relatime,mode=755)
    devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,relatime,mode=600)
    proc on /proc type proc (rw,relatime)
    sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,relatime)
    /dev/block/mmcblk0p15 on /data type ext4 (ro,nodev,noatime,nodiratime,user_xattr,barrier=1, data=ordered)
    /dev/block/mmcblk0p17 on /cache type ext4 (rw,nodev,noatime,nodiratime,user_xattr,barrier=1, data=ordered)
    /dev/block/mmcblk0p14 on /system type ext4 (rw,relatime,user_xattr,barrier=1,data=ordered)

    the /dev/block/mmcblk0p15 is set to RO if you notice. and this will cause constant boot hanging as the /system will try to constantly write to /data in which it will fail. These were our symptoms before trying steps in OP.

    MAD PROPS to PureMotive for helping solve this issue. pure genius!

    Sorry that I didn't think of this before. The logcat you sent me did show the symptoms of a ro filesystem but it didn't click with me!
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