OTA and Non-OTA Firmware for N986U and N986U1

Search This thread

naim1234

Senior Member
Oct 3, 2013
58
3
To clarify, these instructions apply to flashing an unlocked model with the U1 firmware to a carrier version of the firmware (U) and get the boot animations/network icons and other customizations built into the carrier's software. If you want to do this, the first thing you have to do out of the box is put in your active SIM, turn on the phone, and go through setup until it prompts you to reboot because carrier settings have been downloaded and need to be applied. Once this happens and the phone reboots, you can then flash the carrier firmware (U) over. If you decide to just flash it immediately without booting up with an active SIM first, you will not get all the customizations that come with your carrier's firmware version. These instructions were written because some people (myself included) were having an issue when we opened the box and just immediately flashed the firmware instead of going through initial setup and allowing the carrier settings process to occur in the U1 firmware that came with the phone.

I understand.. so if we later want to update the phone (new android OS, etc) would we have to do a wipe and reflash? or can we do OTA/flash without wiping?

---------- Post added at 10:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:58 PM ----------

To clarify, these instructions apply to flashing an unlocked model with the U1 firmware to a carrier version of the firmware (U) and get the boot animations/network icons and other customizations built into the carrier's software. If you want to do this, the first thing you have to do out of the box is put in your active SIM, turn on the phone, and go through setup until it prompts you to reboot because carrier settings have been downloaded and need to be applied. Once this happens and the phone reboots, you can then flash the carrier firmware (U) over. If you decide to just flash it immediately without booting up with an active SIM first, you will not get all the customizations that come with your carrier's firmware version. These instructions were written because some people (myself included) were having an issue when we opened the box and just immediately flashed the firmware instead of going through initial setup and allowing the carrier settings process to occur in the U1 firmware that came with the phone.

Also, by doing this would we still get unmetered Hotspot that unlocked phones provide? or would we be stuck with AT&T limitations ?
 

hpnerd524

Member
Jul 26, 2010
5
1
I understand.. so if we later want to update the phone (new android OS, etc) would we have to do a wipe and reflash? or can we do OTA/flash without wiping?

---------- Post added at 10:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:58 PM ----------



Also, by doing this would we still get unmetered Hotspot that unlocked phones provide? or would we be stuck with AT&T limitations ?


Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but by flashing the carrier firmware, you should have no problem getting OTAs from your carrier and have them install like normal. Phones I've flashed in the past received OTA updates, and my Note 20 Ultra displays as a U model now despite it starting off as a U1 model. In regards to the hostpot, I've never really played around with that, but since flashing the AT&T firmware will effectively turn your phone into an AT&T branded model...it would come with any limitations you'd have if you purchased it from them...as it is their customized firmware. If you just simply apply the carrier settings and leave the U1 firmware I think you'd be fine in regards to hotspot, but I honestly am not 100% sure.
 
Last edited:

dottat

Retired Forum Moderator
Jan 10, 2011
7,130
4,479
york, pa
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but by flashing the carrier firmware, you should have no problem getting OTAs from your carrier and have them install like normal. Phones I've flashed in the past received OTA updates, and my Note 20 Ultra displays as a U model now despite it starting off as a U1 model. In regards to the hostpot, I've never really played around with that, but since flashing the AT&T firmware will effectively turn your phone into an AT&T branded model...it would come with any limitations you'd have if you purchased it from them...as it is their customized firmware. If you just simply apply the carrier settings and leave the U1 firmware I think you'd be fine, but I honestly am not 100% sure.
If flashed properly it will ota fine. If you leave u1 and flash u CSC etc you will break ota updates. You can however still flash updates via Odin as long as full Odin images exist.
 

Lostwarriorram

Senior Member
May 27, 2007
308
13
NOVA
If flashed properly it will ota fine. If you leave u1 and flash u CSC etc you will break ota updates. You can however still flash updates via Odin as long as full Odin images exist.

Could you elaborate a little bit.

Here is what I have understood after reading this thread and the U1 Device on ATT thread:

1. Boot the U1
2. Do not sign in to Google or Samsung
3. Insert ATT Sim Card
4. Download TMB Firmware from Frija or ATT Firmware from this thread post #2
5. User patched Odin v3.14.4 to patch just the ATT home CSC from the firmware that was downloaded in above step
6. Wifi Calling and VoLTE should start working.

Is this correct?
 

dottat

Retired Forum Moderator
Jan 10, 2011
7,130
4,479
york, pa
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Could you elaborate a little bit.

Here is what I have understood after reading this thread and the U1 Device on ATT thread:

1. Boot the U1
2. Do not sign in to Google or Samsung
3. Insert ATT Sim Card
4. Download TMB Firmware from Frija or ATT Firmware from this thread post #2
5. User patched Odin v3.14.4 to patch just the ATT home CSC from the firmware that was downloaded in above step
6. Wifi Calling and VoLTE should start working.

Is this correct?
That's different. You are staying on u1 firmware with the U customization file flashed in that case. You aren't "patching" CSC, you are replacing it. Which leaves you on u1 firmware that cannot OTA because the CSC partition won't match what the U1 ota files will expect.
 

Lostwarriorram

Senior Member
May 27, 2007
308
13
NOVA
That's different. You are staying on u1 firmware with the U customization file flashed in that case. You aren't "patching" CSC, you are replacing it. Which leaves you on u1 firmware that cannot OTA because the CSC partition won't match what the U1 ota files will expect.

Thank you. I am good for now. I meant replace when I mentioned patching. My bad for wrong choice of words. Looks like I will have to manually patch monthly.. sucks.. but I am glad all fancy ATT features like wifi calling, etc are working for now.
 

unitz0mbie

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2015
598
118
Miami
Thank you. I am good for now. I meant replace when I mentioned patching. My bad for wrong choice of words. Looks like I will have to manually patch monthly.. sucks.. but I am glad all fancy ATT features like wifi calling, etc are working for now.

I'll probably update manually when android 11 drops. We have all the features, just on july security patch
 

kangi26

Retired Forum Moderator
Nov 8, 2006
5,636
2,444
Seattle
Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but by flashing the carrier firmware, you should have no problem getting OTAs from your carrier and have them install like normal. Phones I've flashed in the past received OTA updates, and my Note 20 Ultra displays as a U model now despite it starting off as a U1 model. In regards to the hostpot, I've never really played around with that, but since flashing the AT&T firmware will effectively turn your phone into an AT&T branded model...it would come with any limitations you'd have if you purchased it from them...as it is their customized firmware. If you just simply apply the carrier settings and leave the U1 firmware I think you'd be fine in regards to hotspot, but I honestly am not 100% sure.

And to expand a little bit on what @dottat said. You have to keep in mind when flashing some of these firmwares that you can really flash almost any of these that we'll post here, but if you don't flash what is currently a firmware revision that is released by your carrier you will not get OTA.
So for example, my AT&T device is currently on ATGP if for some silly reason I flashed ATGM I would not get OTA to ATH4 (ATGM isnt a stock ATT firmware). This can be tough for ATT and VZW since they dont release their Firmware and we have to "match them" with one of the other carrier releases. It just so happens that the latest OTA for AT&T is ATH4, which is also the same for TMB/SPR/USC.

Make sense?
 

naim1234

Senior Member
Oct 3, 2013
58
3
That's different. You are staying on u1 firmware with the U customization file flashed in that case. You aren't "patching" CSC, you are replacing it. Which leaves you on u1 firmware that cannot OTA because the CSC partition won't match what the U1 ota files will expect.
If we flash updates..do we have to wipe the device completely? Or can we just update from Odin ?
How much bloat does the at&t version have anyway? With my note 10+ I remember I could delete a lot of the bloat and just a few apps remained
 
Last edited:

zimgir124

Senior Member
Sep 20, 2014
445
249
Chubbuck, Idaho
Been a long time since i've done any flashing, last time was back with the S8 so i'm a bit behind.

As far as flashing to U1 firmware i see you said "Flashed the U firmware again with the USERDATA file and set it up again" but where is this USERDATA file coming from?
I have a Verizon device so I'm assuming it comes from the carrier firmware download listed above? It is also said "The USERDATA file is Carrier agnostic" so i'm assuming i can maybe just use the USERDATA from one of those firmwares?
 

dottat

Retired Forum Moderator
Jan 10, 2011
7,130
4,479
york, pa
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
So I guess my best bet is to just flash the whole at&t firmware on the device if I want OTA and all features?
In this case the answer is yes. I am a tmb user that buys unlocked for various reasons each year however I always flash full firmware. And get ota and full carrier features. TMobile is not bad with their customization and bloat. Not like att. In fact aside from the splash screen it really isn't "tmobile'd". No real customized settings etc that are cumbersome.
 

naim1234

Senior Member
Oct 3, 2013
58
3
In this case the answer is yes. I am a tmb user that buys unlocked for various reasons each year however I always flash full firmware. And get ota and full carrier features. TMobile is not bad with their customization and bloat. Not like att. In fact aside from the splash screen it really isn't "tmobile'd". No real customized settings etc that are cumbersome.

Can anyone link me to the steps to fully flash the carrier software? Now I am deciding between whether or not to flash just the wifi calling/volte and keep unlocked or full carrier FW.. hmmm... decisions... Can anyone confirm if the note 20 ultra unlocked allows for unlimited tethering?
 
  • Like
Reactions: punkerEVO

dottat

Retired Forum Moderator
Jan 10, 2011
7,130
4,479
york, pa
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Can anyone link me to the steps to fully flash the carrier software? Now I am deciding between whether or not to flash just the wifi calling/volte and keep unlocked or full carrier FW.. hmmm... decisions... Can anyone confirm if the note 20 ultra unlocked allows for unlimited tethering?
Assign from the tethering ask I posted just a few posts above the simple steps I ran through after getting home with mine today.
 

Top Liked Posts

  • 3
    New update.. Sadly no esim support
    Screenshot_20210506-110836_Software update.png
    1
    Looks like eSIM support is per carrier basis. Probably will have to flash TMO U firmware for my U1 device to get that functionality. Since my device is on DUCB and TMO firmware is on DUC8 so I will have to wait.
  • 3
    Download in the works for AT&T locked note 20 ultra. Updated firmware as well.
    Screenshot_20210414-115931_Software Update.jpg
    3
    yup Firmware N986USQU2DUCF
    3
    New update.. Sadly no esim support
    Screenshot_20210506-110836_Software update.png
    2
    Has anyone tried to go from DUC8 of U1 back to any bootloader 2 version of U? Mine wont boot. Goes to Android recovery to try again.

    I just did, I needed to do a Factory Reset from the recovery menu
    2
    Any time I have ever went U to U1 or U1 back to U I have always had to factory reset. Usually the 1st install would always fail...not immediately recovery and boot would flash then at about 90% it would fail. So for me, and this is just me a clean install has always been best..but to each their own. I'm kinda OCD..lol after a install I use the hell out of the device until about 20% left on battery..boot to stock recovery do a cache wipe then start my first charging cycle..lol I have issues I know.
  • 18
    See Post #2 and #3 for the Links to the Firmware
    ALL of the firmware posted here can be flashed on any N986U/N986U1 Device. The firmware is NOT carrier dependent and is only listed next to some of them in order to have an idea if you might get OTA when you flash it

    Understanding Firmware naming:

    N986USQU1ATGM
    N=Note
    986U or F etc, the model of device
    SQ, FX etc = CPU and model specific
    U,S,E = Update, Security, Engineering, respectively
    1,2,3,4,5 etc = bootloader revision (This is important! You cannot go to a previous revision)
    A,B,C,D = Android version
    T, U = Year (T=2020, U=2021 etc)
    A,B,C etc = month (January A - December L)
    1 - 9 and then A - Z =build compilation. This basically means how many builds there are in a month. They start at 1 and go to Z
    So N986USQU1ATGM would be
    N968-U-SQ-U-1-A-T-G-M
    N968U (Note 20 Ultra Carrier version), SQ (Snapdragon), U (Update), 1 (Bootloader version), A (Build 10), T (2020), G (July), M (22nd build)

    How to enter Download Mode:
    Turn off the device.
    Connect USB cable to your PC (Leave it disconnected from the phone)
    Press and hold down the Volume Up and Volume Down buttons. While they are still pressed, plug in the USB cable into your phone.
    The phone will go into download mode press volume up. In Odin you will see that phone is added.

    Dirty Flash:
    I would only do this if you are having to manually update to the newer firmware and would not do it if you are coming/going to U/U1 or from beta firmware or if you are on an old firmware. I'd also highly recommend doing a back up prior to the doing this
    Load these into Odin
    BL
    AP
    CP
    HOME_CSC
    Do NOT flash CSC or USERDATA, either of these WILL wipe your device
    This is a "dirty flash" and these can sometimes cause issues. Keep in mind if things start going sideways and stuff starts not working right, your first step to a solution will be to wipe the device.


    Tips on flashing U1 Firmware:
    Thanks to @mm60 for being the guinea pig and doing the base write up

    Flash the U1 firmware, which you can get on Frija. Make sure you use the patched ODIN linked in post #2, Odin3_v3.13.3b.
    Boot up the phone with an active US Carrier SIM installed.
    Go through the initial setup and connect to Wi-Fi.
    When the pop-up saying that the phone "needed to apply carrier settings and reboot", agreed and let it reboot.
    Once the phone reboots, go through the setup and verify the Service Provider is your carrier (VZW/SPR/TMB/ATT, etc) is in the Settings.
    Flashed the U firmware again with the USERDATA file and set it up again (The USERDATA file is Carrier agnostic. The carrier features/apps will be installed based on the active carrier SIM that's installed when it's flashed)

    If you get your CSC Stuck on XAA/XAA/(Insert your carrier here), and can not get Carrier options back.
    Go to the tutorial that @borijess put together HERE
    17
    N986U - Carrier Versions

    BOOTLOADER 2

    N986USQU2DUC8 TMB
    N986USQU2DUCA CCT/USC/CHA
    N986USQU2DUC5 VZW
    N986USQS2DUC1 CCT
    N986USQS2DUBB AT&T/USC MIRROR thanks @Venom0642

    BOOTLOADER 1
    N986USQU1DUB7 VZW Thanks to @drewiskee for grabbing this N986USQSU2DUBB
    N986USQU1DUB5 ATT/SPR/TMB/CCT/CHA Thanks for the link @Venom0642
    N986USQS1CTLC VZW/CHA/USC January Patch
    N986USQS1CTLB TMB/ATT/SPR. MIRROR Thanks @Venom0642
    N986USQU1CTLA VZW Second December Patch Thanks @Venom0642
    N986USQU1CTL4 VZW Android 11 MIRROR Thanks for the link @denson9874
    N986USQU1CTL2 ATT/TMB/SPR/CCT Android 11. Thanks @dottat. MIRROR thanks @Venom0642
    N986USQS1BTK3 SPR/TMB/USC
    N986USQS1BTJ8 VZW
    N986USQU1BTJ4 SPR/TMB
    N986USQU1BTJ3 VZW/USC
    N986USQU1BTJ2 VZW
    N986USQU1BTIF ATT - To Flash this put the ALL_OYN file in the AP slot. The AT&T USERDATA, that goes in it's "regular" slot. Thanks to @Venom0642 for this file and to @butchieboy for sending one my way
    N986USQU1BTIB VZW/CHA Thanks @Venom0642
    N986USQU1ATI6 USC
    N986USQU1ATI5 SPR/TMB - Thanks @Venom0642
    N986USQU1ATH4 USC/TMB/SPR Aug Security - Thanks @Venom0642
    N986USQU1ATH3 ATT/SPR/TMB/VZW/CCT Aug Security
    N986USQU1ATGM SPR/USC/CCT/TMB


    Odin3_v3.13.3b: HERE
    10
    N986U1 - Unlocked Versions

    BOOTLOADER 2
    N986U1UES2DUD5
    N986U1UEU2DUCB For those with old eyes like mine, that is DUCB (Letter B, not an Eight)

    N986U1UES2DUC8
    N986U1UES2DUC1

    BOOTLOADER 1

    N986U1UEU1DUB5
    N986U1UES1CUA1
    N986U1UEU1CTLB
    N986U1UES1CTL7
    N986U1UEU1CTL4
    N986U1UES1ATK1
    N986U1UES1ATJ5
    N986U1UES1ATJ3
    N986U1UES1ATID
    N986U1UEU1ATI5
    N986U1UES1ATI1
    N986U1UEU1ATH3


    Odin3_v3.13.3b: HERE
    5
    Big Update AT&T Note20 Ultra live .
    5
    Uploading U1 CTL4 now. I'll have a OP link shortly

    Edit***
    Took all the time to upload it, and it failed at the last min.......:mad:
    Uploading....... AGAIN
Our Apps
Get our official app!
The best way to access XDA on your phone
Nav Gestures
Add swipe gestures to any Android
One Handed Mode
Eases uses one hand with your phone