OTA and Non-OTA Firmware for N986U and N986U1

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butchieboy

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2012
8,915
4,995
springfield.il
WOW - so much great information here - THANK YOU to all who have collaborated and improved our community knowledge!
I do not want to be one who asks a question that has been answered previously. So, after about an hour of reading XDA posts, forgive me if I have overlooked this...but here is my situation (closely linked to this topic):
I have just purchased a SM-N986U from T-Mobile. After booting and initial setup, I received a message that Android 11 would be automatically installed within minutes. Due to ongoing issues with Scoped Storage, which Google has indicated will not be resolved until January, I want to avoid Android 11 until these issues have been resolved. So, for now I have a new Note20 Ultra 5G that sits powered off, unused.

I had considered flashing a non-TMO CSC in order to avoid OTA updates (re-flashing the TMO CSC once these Android 11 issues have been resolved). However, I am concerned that I will not have the proper 5G bands for TMO if I flash a non-TMO CSC. I supposed I could flash a U1 AP with a U (TMO) CSC. But, if I do that, once I finally want OTA, I would need to flash the U version of AP...at which time I would not want to lose my settings or data. While I understand I could flash HOME-CSC and avoid flashing USERDATA when I would re-fIash to the U version AP, i am concerned with doing a dirty flash at that time.

Hopefully I've not been too confusing in my explanation of the dilemma. Hopefully one of you generous XDA members will explain that disabling OTA for TMO (and restoring it later) is not a dilemma at all... and point me in the right direction.

Also, unsure if this is an issue: Currently I do not have the "OEM Unlock" option in the Developer Options of my N986U. According to Odin, I did successfully flash the USC variant of the stock ROM to my N986U. However, after doing so, this phone now indicates an attempt was made to flash an unauthorized ROM, so I must identify myself to T-Mobile. I assume (hope) this will be a non-issue as well.
In order to get OTA csc and product code need to match...I think I said that right..lol have said it so many times I'm confused. You will not see oem unlock on US Snapdragon because the bootloader is locked.
 

I-Siamak-I

Member
Oct 31, 2015
7
0
Hey guys, I have a Note 20 Ultra 5G Unlocked which I purchased directly from Samsung US, if I wanna do a fresh install using Odin and still get OTA updates, which firmware do I use? I'm using T-Mobile sim btw

thumbnail_Screenshot_20201227-224628_Settings.jpg
 
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butchieboy

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2012
8,915
4,995
springfield.il
Hey guys, I have a Note 20 Ultra 5G Unlocked which I purchased directly from Samsung US, if I wanna do a fresh install using Odin and still get OTA updates, which firmware do I use? I'm using T-Mobile sim btw

View attachment 5170273
If you are just looking for clean install just flash the unlocked firmware you are currently on. If your not concerned about saving data just factory wipe. But to me a clean install means just that, so when I clean install I flash AP..BL..CP..CSC and not HOME_CSC that keeps data
 

I-Siamak-I

Member
Oct 31, 2015
7
0
If you are just looking for clean install just flash the unlocked firmware you are currently on. If your not concerned about saving data just factory wipe. But to me a clean install means just that, so when I clean install I flash AP..BL..CP..CSC and not HOME_CSC that keeps data
so just to be clear I will use N986U1UEU1CTL4 in the first Page and load AP, BL, CP and CSC, correct?
 

TabletGeek

Senior Member
Jan 4, 2012
64
23
In order to get OTA csc and product code need to match...I think I said that right..lol have said it so many times I'm confused. You will not see oem unlock on US Snapdragon because the bootloader is locked.
Thank you @butchieboy. In order to cause the OTA and CSC product codes to not match, would you recommend flashing the U1 version of AP, BL, CSC, and the U version of CP and USERDATA (versus the opposite combination of U and U1 files) in order to ensure the correct radio bands are retained for TMO 5G? I have no issue with losing the obnoxious TMO startup tone and magenta screen. However, I would like to keep the correct TMO radio bands, Visual Voicemail, VoLTE calling, etc.
 
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ok ok ok...I did it! I flashed my N986U that I got from AT&T to N986U1 and got rid of all reference to AT&T. Now I'm T-Mobile Unlocked, on Android 11 UI 3.0! Pulling down 76.9/47.1 here in Charlotte...WooHoo!

Now I'm going to do the same thing to the T-Mo locked variant I bought from them!

Thanks man!
 

butchieboy

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2012
8,915
4,995
springfield.il
Thank you @butchieboy. In order to cause the OTA and CSC product codes to not match, would you recommend flashing the U1 version of AP, BL, CSC, and the U version of CP and USERDATA (versus the opposite combination of U and U1 files) in order to ensure the correct radio bands are retained for TMO 5G? I have no issue with losing the obnoxious TMO startup tone and magenta screen. However, I would like to keep the correct TMO radio bands, Visual Voicemail, VoLTE calling, etc.
I'm 986U. So I'm not sure about U1. But if I flash U1 on my At&t locked device, I lose advanced settings such as wifi calling and the software update toggle is gone. Hopefully someone with U1 can better answer this. This thread is a wealth of knowledge.
 

I-Siamak-I

Member
Oct 31, 2015
7
0
Yes....flashing csc will wipe device. If you flash home_csc it keeps data

This might be a noob question but can I flash my US unlocked Note 20 Ultra that has the firmware "N986U1UEU1CTL4" with T-Mobile Rom "N986USQU1CTL2"??? what is the side effect of doing so since I'm already using T-Mobile Sim? the reason im asking is I don't have Native RCS in the Samsung Messages App and I read that those of us with unlocked Note 20 Ultra can get around this by flashing T-Mobile rom.
Can I get back to unlocked Samsung ROM if things don't work out?
and the whole process is the same going back and forth between roms? just use Odin right?
 

butchieboy

Senior Member
Feb 15, 2012
8,915
4,995
springfield.il
This might be a noob question but can I flash my US unlocked Note 20 Ultra that has the firmware "N986U1UEU1CTL4" with T-Mobile Rom "N986USQU1CTL2"??? what is the side effect of doing so since I'm already using T-Mobile Sim? the reason im asking is I don't have Native RCS in the Samsung Messages App and I read that those of us with unlocked Note 20 Ultra can get around this by flashing T-Mobile rom.
Can I get back to unlocked Samsung ROM if things don't work out?
and the whole process is the same going back and forth between roms? just use Odin right?
Yes you can flash. As long as bootloader is the same you can. Going back is the same way. All of this has been answered numerous times🤪
 

elruco

Member
Jun 24, 2017
16
0
Merry Christmas Guys and thank you for the reply's...so today i stop at best buy and pick up a USB-C to USB-C cable , and i was able to flash the CTL4 file , remember i had the phone bricked...so thanks to you guys advise to not use the original charger cable cause that was my problem...Thank you very much....so i have the phone on and i put in my sim card from T mobile but im getting this Error[ Sorry, your device cant be activated on another carriers network right now and to call the 1800 numbers.
so my ? its this CTL4 its a stock firmware, its not to unlock the phone to another carrier..
please let me know and thank you so much i was worry that i fup???? the phone loll
and forgot to let you guys know that my phone its from Verizon carrier en model...SM-N986USQS1BTJ8
 

unitz0mbie

Senior Member
Apr 6, 2015
598
118
Miami
I'm 986U. So I'm not sure about U1. But if I flash U1 on my At&t locked device, I lose advanced settings such as wifi calling and the software update toggle is gone. Hopefully someone with U1 can better answer this. This thread is a wealth of knowledge.

Yes this is true. My att device is currently U1. But I'm on one ui 3.0 beta 4. And I have wifi calling. One u.i 3.0 adds wifi calling. Everything is working as intended.

The only thing I can't get to work is RCS with the work around. Sometimes my messages won't send
 
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kangi26

Retired Forum Moderator
Nov 8, 2006
5,621
2,434
Seattle
Yes this is true. My att device is currently U1. But I'm on one ui 3.0 beta 4. And I have wifi calling. One u.i 3.0 adds wifi calling. Everything is working as intended.

The only thing I can't get to work is RCS with the work around. Sometimes my messages won't send

You could always use Google Messenger
 

elruco

Member
Jun 24, 2017
16
0
Hey, fellas, I install the N986U1UEU1CTL4, turns it on and it unlocks, I insert the Tmobile, and I could make phone calls and it says Tmobile but after 10mnts comes back to the error Change carrier device cant be activated on another carrier....any ideas, please...I install BL, AP, CP, CSC not user data...its that could b the issue..
 

imanony

Member
Nov 25, 2014
16
1
Gurus a quick question. I want to start off fresh on my TMO version by flashing the same version(CTL2). I did same on my Note 10 plus as well. The question I have is what is the USER_DATA file for? Should I use that as well along with AP, BL, CP and CSC?
 
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dottat

Retired Forum Moderator
Jan 10, 2011
7,130
4,479
york, pa
Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
Hey, fellas, I install the N986U1UEU1CTL4, turns it on and it unlocks, I insert the Tmobile, and I could make phone calls and it says Tmobile but after 10mnts comes back to the error Change carrier device cant be activated on another carrier....any ideas, please...I install BL, AP, CP, CSC not user data...its that could b the issue..
What model is the phone?
 

Top Liked Posts

  • 1
    Uploading N986U1UEU2DUCB now, hope to have a link in post #3 soon
    1
    I've got a Verizon n20ultra on
    Baseband
    N986USQU2DUC5...wat firmware should I flash from u1...thanks guys been a awhile just came home from doing 5...so trying to catch up things have changed...
    Sounds like you are trying to flash to a u1 firmware. If that is the case you are currently on a bootloader v2 firmware, which means you will need to stay with a u1 firmware with that as well.

    In the 3rd post can see where the bootloader v2 started, so can flash anything from that point and newer.
  • 5
    I just flashed the latest U1 build to my ATT U, and it flashed correctly, I got the unlocked version features like the integrated spam call blocker. Now in settings it still shows ATT/ATT/ATT, did I make something wrong? I wanted to get the full unlocked experience and just use the att network. Also I'm seeing that my 5G icon is the ATT branded one.. So I'm kinda confused. Flashed the csc partition and not the home csc.
    Not sure if someone already answered this and sorry to all my amazing friends here that i am not able to be online as often. Hope you all are doing well.

    So your ATT/ATT/ATT lets represent it as 1/2/3 - Now /3 is something you can not change - so if you bought from ATT it will be 1/2/ATT if from T-mob it will be 1/2/TMB - So that always remains same.
    for 1/2 it depends on the sim card you insert, it seems you are using ATT sim. I have unlocked version so my /3=/XAA , as stated above it remains same regardless of sim i insert, and i am using TMB so my 1/2 = TMB/TMB if i was using ATT it would look like ATT/ATT/XAA. Hope this answers your question.
    3
    Please take a look at the OP, it'll answer that for you :)
    embarrassing! Not at the top easily available to everyone. Sorry for not reading. The best place to hide things from me is right in front of my face.
    3
    Ok, so I did get really bored and flashed U1. To be 100% honest if you put the device in front of me with Carrier/Unlocked firmware, I couldn't tell the difference. Aside from the bootscreen animations and actually looking in the actual firmware revision I genuinely can't tell ANY difference.
    2
    DUBB, March Security patch 254mb. It's also bootloader 2, so if you update to it there is no going back to any of the previous firmware (Incl the U1 bl1 firmware)
  • 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

    N986USQU2DUCA CCT/USC/CHA
    N986USQU2DUC5 VZW Bootloader 2
    N986USQS2DUC1 CCT Bootloader 2
    N986USQS2DUBB AT&T/USC MIRROR thanks @Venom0642 Bootloader 2
    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
    8
    N986U1 - Unlocked Versions

    N986U1UEU2DUCB
    N986U1UES2DUC8
    N986U1UES2DUC1 This is the 1st firmware on BL 2, if you update to this, there is no flashing to ANY BL1 firmware, INCLUDING carrier versions not on BL2
    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
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