[SM-T505,T500,T507] Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 LTE GSI flashing guide [UPDATED] [Android 13 GSIs]

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* Currently work in progress *


Just before we get started, I would like to say that you will not brick your device if you follow the steps as is without any, and I mean any deviations.
Read what works and what doesn't first!
Okay, enough preface, let's jump right in!
Firstly, pre-requisites(hardware):-
1.A micro SD card
2. A windows PC, windows 7 or later (32 or 64 bit)
3. A USB Type-C cable
4. A galaxy tab A7 running the latest one ui 4.x build

Pre-requisites (software on PC), you'll need:
1.Stock firmware:
Download the latest firmware from here

1.1 After downloading it, extract it on the PC and copy the AP file to your micro SD card, as we need it on the tab later

2. Samsung USB drivers
download them from here and install them on your pc, it'll take a while but it's essential for this process
https://developer.samsung.com/android-usb-driver

2.1 Reboot your PC after installing the drivers

3 Download the twrp.img from below
https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...axy-tab-a7-10-4-sm-t500.4358595/post-87038713
(Yes, correct, download the .img as we won't be using Odin to flash custom recovery)
Copy this to your SD card as well

4. Download Canary apk of magisk delta from link below
https://huskydg.github.io/magisk-files/
Copy the apk to your microSD which has the previously extracted AP file

5. Download dynapatch from the file attached below credits to @redymedan for developing this!
Then move it to your micro SD card

6. Download the GSI image of your choice, and (make sure that it doesn't exceed 3.3GB after extraction) extract it from .img.xz format to .img format and then copy it to the micro SD card
(also, if it exceeds 3.3 GB, don't worry,follow the steps in important notes on how to expand your system partition to accommodate larger GSIs...)

7. If your gsi doesn't have gapps or you want to flash a system mod then download a vndklite variant of your gsi, as system is mounted as RW in vndklite gsi, where's system is mounted as read only in normal gsi images

8. Download Odin and extract it
https://samsungodin.com/

9. Download SmartPack kernel manager apk and copy it to the sdcard too
https://github.com/SmartPack/SmartPack-Kernel-Manager/releases
(We will be using this to flash twrp in a later step)

10. Download termux apk
Copy it to SD card

(Optional) 11. If you don't want your install storage encrypted, download the following two zips and move them to SD card,

https://zackptg5.com/downloads/archive/Disable_Dm-Verity_ForceEncrypt_11.02.2020.zip

Process to flash GSI:
1) Unlock the bootloader
To unlock the bootloader, follow the steps from here...
https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...4-unlock-bootloader-root-with-magisk.4185993/

2) After that patch the AP image we copied to the micro SD card earlier and then copy the patched ap to the micro sd card and then to the pc. Steps of patching can be found here
https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...4-unlock-bootloader-root-with-magisk.4185993/

3) After patching the AP image, copy the patched image from downloads folder to your micro sd card

4. After that turn your device off

5. After the device is fully powered off, hold both volume up and volume down buttons simultaneously and connect it to your pc, then click volume up button once during the prompt to enter download mode

6) After entering download mode, select the BL, CP, and CSC (do not choose HOME_CSC!) files from the extracted firmware, after doing that, for AP, select the patched AP file we copied earlier and then click start on Odin.

7. After the flash is successfully finished, reboot your device and set it up, after setup install the magisk Canary apk from the micro SD card

8. After installing the apk, open it, and click 'OK' on additional setup prompt and the device will reboot after a few seconds

9. After the reboot completes, install the smart pack kernel manager apk we put in the SD card earlier, then open it, then, navigate to
Tools>Backup>(swipe to the right where it says "boot partition")> it changes to recovery partition> click on the plus symbol> two options show up, select the flash recovery option> select the twrp image from SD card (file manager opens automatically)> click on "select" and then flash it...

10. Then open magisk delta app, and reboot to recovery

11. After rebooting to recovery, flash dynapatch

12. Then reboot to recovery (very important)

(Optional)12.1 Flash multidisabler we downloaded earlier, along with disable dm Verity to disable FBE on integral storage

13. Then select install>Micro SD Card>install image> select GSI image you downloaded> select System Image > swipe to flash

14. Here, hectic nature of you must be used...

15. Boot to your GSI, and set it up as fast as possible as a watchdog crash is triggered every 30-50 seconds which causes a reboot

16. Install magisk apk and reboot for additional setup

17. After reboot, install termux apk

18. Type "su"
Then execute this command
"echo -n V > /dev/watchdog1 && echo -n V > /dev/watchdog0 && echo -n V > /dev/watchdog"
(Credits to @ponces for the second command)

19. At this point you won't get random reboots

20. Here, it's a small bit of info, you need to run the above two commands every time you reboot, otherwise you GSI will reboot randomly

21. Here, for brightness to work, you can follow two methods,
1. Flash permissiver V5
2. Or flash the magisk module fix ( credits to @mrspeccy )

22. Now you can enjoy your GSI...

Community Request: if someone knows how to make a magisk module for running commands on boot, please do make one for the command "echo -n V > /dev/watchdog1 && echo -n V > /dev/watchdog0 && echo -n V > /dev/watchdog", as I've not worked with boot stage modules before and don't want to give people bootloops...

Now, onto what works and what doesn't...

Working:
Boot
Touchscreen
Sound
WiFi
Bluetooth
Mobile data
Camera
Microphone
Doze
OTG
Power buttons
Volume buttons
Charging
Rotation
Gyroscope
Calling(works with VoIP)

Not working:
VoLTE
In call audio (in case of Sims)
Auto brightness
Offline charging

Untested:
Cast
USB tethering
MTP

Tested roms:
1. Trebledroid GSIs (don't use, as magisk doesn't work and gapps can't be properly installed for some reason)
2. Pixel experience ( magisk works and it's stable after running the watchdog command)

Now credits!
To team XDA for keeping this forum alive and well,
@phhusson for developing GSI images that actually made this possible
@topjohnwu for creating magisk
@agreenbhm for the TWRP image and for helping me,
@duyfken for correcting the firmware links, and also, for informing me to add the type of GSI for this device!
And finally all other members of XDA for taking interest in the modding scene,
Thank you!
I'm quite new to the GSIs as a whole, so, I still can't find any workarounds for issues, I can only list them for everyone to know..
Nice work! The only thing I would say is after you flash the gsi is to do a factory reset before booting,, I've been looking for away to just flash the recovery.img instead of using Odin for sense I feel Odin doesn't actually know we're to put it on its own!! But if no one else has made a module for the command I'll look into how to make one sense I'm running lineageOS 20 on my smt500 and it doesn't start randomly restart after I set zigiest and flash gapps!!
 

Hausemaster

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2020
602
173
Nice work! The only thing I would say is after you flash the gsi is to do a factory reset before booting,, I've been looking for away to just flash the recovery.img instead of using Odin for sense I feel Odin doesn't actually know we're to put it on its own!! But if no one else has made a module for the command I'll look into how to make one sense I'm running lineageOS 20 on my smt500 and it doesn't start randomly restart after I set zigiest and flash gapps!!
The problem i have with odin is that if the power goes out while doing something, I'm scared that it'll hardbrick..., I'll add the factory reset part now, thanks for the mention! And the random reboots are due to watchdog service used by samsung... (That's what the command disables...)
 
Yea I feel that!! I've hard bricked plenty of phones on accident but it's the matter of the right software To bring them back, I had a straight talk s3 back in the day I killed and the qualcomm chip was still able to talk to the computer so you could send the stock firmware through a program or command it's been awhile so don't quite remember if it was Odin or cmd. And noice sounds good!! And if I teach my self something new or fine a way to shut down the watchdog with out breaking something else I'll post it here!!?
The problem i have with odin is that if the power goes out while doing something, I'm scared that it'll hardbrick..., I'll add the factory reset part now, thanks for the mention! And the random reboots are due to watchdog service used by samsung... (That's what the command disables...)
 

Hausemaster

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2020
602
173
Yea I feel that!! I've hard bricked plenty of phones on accident but it's the matter of the right software To bring them back, I had a straight talk s3 back in the day I killed and the qualcomm chip was still able to talk to the computer so you could send the stock firmware through a program or command it's been awhile so don't quite remember if it was Odin or cmd. And noice sounds good!! And if I teach my self something new or fine a way to shut down the watchdog with out breaking something else I'll post it here!!?
Actually there's no need to rediscover how to disable watchdog, all we need is a way to disable it on boot as of now, but if you find a permanent solution, do post it!
 

Hausemaster

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2020
602
173
Another small piece of info, I was able to modify @mrspeccy brightness fix module to include the watchdog fix command, so, now you can just install that module in post #1 which fixes brightness and watchdog together...
 

Hausemaster

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2020
602
173
If possible, and only if you want to, do try as many GSIs of A13 as you can and report whether they work or don't, and which is the most stable, etc... (As I'm on a limited data plan, i can't download more than one GSI per day)
Edit: What I've deduced so far is that
1. Trebledroid GSIs are a no go on this device as magisk won't work
2. Pixel experience GSI is nice and stable and magisk also works on it
3. Google GSIs are way too barebones and lack basic fixes
 
Last edited:
Oh most definitely!!!
How to run a script at every boot using Magisk

Note:


I tested the instructions below with Magisk 24.3 . They may or may not work with other versions of Magisk


Another very useful feature from Magisk that can also be used without creating a Magisk Module is the ability to start scripts after booting the phone:

To execute scripts after rebooting the phone just copy them to one of the directories

/data/adb/post-fs-data.d
/data/adb/service.d

on the phone, make the script executable (chmod +x scriptname) and reboot the phone.

(See also https://github.com/topjohnwu/Magisk/blob/master/docs/guides.md#boot-scripts)


Because the mapping will be done while booting the phone it will also survive updating the OS on the phone to a new version as long as the user data is not deleted and Magisk is installed.

To remove the script just delete the script and reboot the phone.

In case the phone does not boot anymore after adding the script just boot the phone from a recovery with adb support, for example from the TWRP:

Code:
# boot the phone into the bootloader and then do

sudo fastboot boot  /data/backup/ASUS_ZENFONE8/twrp/twrp-3.6.1_12-1-I006D.img

Then connect via "adb shell" to the phone and delete the script .

I used this method to correct the SELinux context for the NFC device in the first version of AospExtended 9.0 for the ASUS Zenfone 8 (the device tree is recreated from scratch each time the phone boots so the change must be done after every reboot):

Code:
cat /data/adb/service.d/correct_dev_pn553.sh
#!/system/bin/sh

NFC_DEVICE="/dev/pn553"

echo ""
echo "The SELinux context for  \"${NFC_DEVICE}\" is now:"
ls -lZ  ${NFC_DEVICE}
echo ""
echo "Correcting the SELinux context for the NFC device \"${NFC_DEVICE}\" ..."
chcon -v  u:object_r:nfc_device:s0  /dev/pn553
echo ""
echo "The SELinux context for  \"${NFC_DEVICE}\" is now:"
ls -lZ  ${NFC_DEVICE}



Again, if the script is tested and working you should create a Magisk module for it.

Update 06.06.2022 20:27

Corrected a minor typo

Update 18.06.2022

Corrected a typo : chmod -x must be chmod +x.
(Thanks to oldman20 for the hint)

Update 26.06.2022​

Fixed minor typos in the title of the post
I did find this but I'm at work and my z fold 4 arrived so I haven't got the chance to do much about it yet
 

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  • 1
    for my friend, he updated to the latest android 13 one ui 4 and whenever i try to flash anything modded (even magisk) i get the same error, "only official binaries are supported" and i cant flash any of the files but i can on my android 11 tab a7 (pixel experience).
    Did you unlock the bootloader and did you install it with the internet when the device was turned on?
    1
    idk I did something similar to that when I got that error
    1
    updated 2 times

    hello finally one ui 5 gsi is out I tested it today it really worked

    no boot loops all features are working now i'm using one ui 5 it's pretty fast

    problems

    When Magisk installs a module, the phone stays on a locked screen and does not recover. update magisk delta canary

    samsung camera not working use other camera apps

    sometimes developer options not working issue

    If you touch the screen before it is fully opened on the lock screen it will turn off again just wait

    Rare freeze due to root

    big icon and big keyboard (only tablet like this)

    note: if a screen says the device is locked, turn off the screen a few times and turn it on again if it doesn't work, restart it

    some google translation errors

    Link : https://sourceforge.net/projects/ni...-5.0-AB-13-20230102-NipponGSI.img.gz/download
    Could you share some screenshots?
  • 4
    Just before we get started, I would like to say that you will not brick your device if you follow the steps as is without any, and I mean any deviations.
    Read what works and what doesn't first!
    Okay, enough preface, let's jump right in!
    Firstly, pre-requisites(hardware):-
    1.A micro SD card
    2. A windows PC, windows 7 or later (32 or 64 bit)
    3. A USB Type-C cable
    4. A galaxy tab A7 running the latest one ui 4.x build

    Pre-requisites (software on PC), you'll need:
    1.Stock firmware:
    Download the latest firmware from here

    1.1 After downloading it, extract it on the PC and copy the AP file to your micro SD card, as we need it on the tab later

    2. Samsung USB drivers
    download them from here and install them on your pc, it'll take a while but it's essential for this process
    https://developer.samsung.com/android-usb-driver

    2.1 Reboot your PC after installing the drivers

    3 Download the twrp.img from below
    https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...axy-tab-a7-10-4-sm-t500.4358595/post-87038713
    (Yes, correct, download the .img as we won't be using Odin to flash custom recovery)
    Copy this to your SD card as well

    4. Download Canary apk of magisk delta from link below
    https://huskydg.github.io/magisk-files/
    Copy the apk to your microSD which has the previously extracted AP file

    5. Download dynapatch from the file attached below credits to @redymedan for developing this!
    Then move it to your micro SD card

    6. Download the GSI image of your choice, and (make sure that it doesn't exceed 3.3GB after extraction) extract it from .img.xz format to .img format and then copy it to the micro SD card
    (also, if it exceeds 3.3 GB, don't worry,follow the steps in important notes on how to expand your system partition to accommodate larger GSIs...)

    7. If your gsi doesn't have gapps or you want to flash a system mod then download a vndklite variant of your gsi, as system is mounted as RW in vndklite gsi, where's system is mounted as read only in normal gsi images

    8. Download Odin and extract it
    https://samsungodin.com/

    9. Download SmartPack kernel manager apk and copy it to the sdcard too
    https://github.com/SmartPack/SmartPack-Kernel-Manager/releases
    (We will be using this to flash twrp in a later step)

    10. Download the brightness and watchdog fix module from below
    Copy it to SD card

    (Optional) 11. If you don't want your install storage encrypted, download the following two zips and move them to SD card,

    https://zackptg5.com/downloads/archive/Disable_Dm-Verity_ForceEncrypt_11.02.2020.zip

    Process to flash GSI:
    1) Unlock the bootloader
    To unlock the bootloader, follow the steps from here...
    https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...4-unlock-bootloader-root-with-magisk.4185993/

    2) After that patch the AP image we copied to the micro SD card earlier and then copy the patched ap to the micro sd card and then to the pc. Steps of patching can be found here
    https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...4-unlock-bootloader-root-with-magisk.4185993/

    3) After patching the AP image, copy the patched image from downloads folder to your micro sd card

    4. After that turn your device off

    5. After the device is fully powered off, hold both volume up and volume down buttons simultaneously and connect it to your pc, then click volume up button once during the prompt to enter download mode

    6) After entering download mode, select the BL, CP, and CSC (do not choose HOME_CSC!) files from the extracted firmware, after doing that, for AP, select the patched AP file we copied earlier and then click start on Odin.

    7. After the flash is successfully finished, reboot your device and set it up, after setup install the magisk Canary apk from the micro SD card

    8. After installing the apk, open it, and click 'OK' on additional setup prompt and the device will reboot after a few seconds

    9. After the reboot completes, install the smart pack kernel manager apk we put in the SD card earlier, then open it, then, navigate to
    Tools>Backup>(swipe to the right where it says "boot partition")> it changes to recovery partition> click on the plus symbol> two options show up, select the flash recovery option> select the twrp image from SD card (file manager opens automatically)> click on "select" and then flash it...

    10. Then open magisk delta app, and reboot to recovery

    11. After rebooting to recovery, flash dynapatch

    12. Then reboot to recovery (very important)

    (Optional)12.1 Flash multidisabler we downloaded earlier, along with disable dm Verity to disable FBE on integral storage. Also, if you intend to disable encryption, do flash both the zips not one.

    13. Then select install>Micro SD Card>install image> select GSI image you downloaded> select System Image > swipe to flash, then factory reset and wipe data from within twrp (thank you @shorty9210 for the factory reset part!)

    14. Here, hectic nature of you must be used...

    15. Boot to your GSI, and set it up as fast as possible as a watchdog crash is triggered every 30-50 seconds which causes a reboot

    16. Install magisk apk and reboot for additional setup

    17. After reboot, open magisk and install the brightness and watchdog fix module

    18. Reboot the device after installing module

    19. At this point you won't get random reboots

    20. Now you can enjoy your GSI...

    Now, onto what works and what doesn't...

    Working:
    Boot
    Touchscreen
    Sound
    WiFi
    Bluetooth
    Mobile data
    Camera
    Microphone
    Doze
    OTG
    Power buttons
    Volume buttons
    Charging
    Rotation
    Gyroscope
    Calling(works with VoIP)

    Not working:
    VoLTE
    In call audio (in case of Sims)
    Auto brightness
    Offline charging

    Untested:
    Cast
    USB tethering
    MTP

    Tested roms:
    1. Trebledroid GSIs (don't use, as magisk doesn't work and gapps can't be properly installed for some reason)
    2. Pixel experience ( magisk works and it's stable after running the watchdog command)
    3. Google GSI (vanilla and Gapps, not recommended, due to it being extremely barebones and not having fixes for DT2W, and headsets)

    Now credits!
    To team XDA for keeping this forum alive and well,
    @phhusson for developing GSI images that actually made this possible
    @topjohnwu for creating magisk
    @agreenbhm for the TWRP image and for helping me,
    @duyfken for correcting the firmware links, and also, for informing me to add the type of GSI for this device!
    @shorty9210 for a correction
    @huskydg for magisk delta development
    And finally all other members of XDA for taking interest in the modding scene,
    Thank you!
    I'm quite new to the GSIs as a whole, so, I still can't find any workarounds for issues, I can only list them for everyone to know...

    Important notes:
    1. If your GSI has phh settings, do the following...
    1.1 Enable double tap to wake

    Settings>Phh Treble settings>Samsung features >Tick "Enable difficult tap to wake"
    1.2 For making headphones work,
    Settings>Phh Treble settings>Misc features>Tick "Use alternate way to detect headsets"
    Also, Enable developer options>Enable "Disable Bluetooth A2DP hardware offload" and restart when prompted


    2. If the gsi ROM you're trying to flash doesn't fit on current system partition, then,
    *This process will wipe your system partition and will reset your recovery, so, keep the dynapatch zip and gsi image on hand, you will need it!*
    Download latest platform tools from AOSP site, link below
    https://developer.android.com/studio/releases/platform-tools

    https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...xy-tab-a7-10-4-sm-t500.4371123/#post-86050459
    a) download the product.img from above link
    b)Reboot to recovery from magisk app, then, in twrp, click on 'Reboot' button
    c) click 'fastboot'
    d) the device will now reboot and then after a few seconds, a twrp ui will appear with the text 'fastboot'
    e) connect your device to a pc with the latest version of platform tools and drivers installed
    f) run these commands in order
    fastboot flash product product.img
    fastboot erase system
    fastboot resize-logical-partition system 3940000000
    fastboot reboot recovery
    g) after doing so, again reboot to recovery, flash dynapatch zip first
    h) again reboot to recovery and flash your gsi image
    i) this time images up to 3.9GB will be flashable
    j) no need to format data if you're flashing same rom
    And that's it you'll be able to enjoy bigger ROMs on your Galaxy Tab A7!

    3. follow steps from here to get 4-speaker audio!
    Post in thread '[ROM][SM-T500] Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 10.4 (2020) - LineageOS 19.1 (and TWRP 3.6.1)'

    4. Previously, we had to use either some magisk modules or SmartPack kernel manager to enable swap so that the device won't crash under load, but, now, 2GB of swap is allocated by default, which is plenty sufficient for daily usage, so, i recommend you not to use any modules or services that enable swap....

    5. If zygisk is enabled after module is installed, some users reported that it breaks brightness fix, to remedy that, try flashing permissiver_v5 from below in twrp

    6. Also, please do not rely on extra dim if brightness fix module won't work, try above step , i did this previously and the edges of my screen got ruined(ghost imaging) due to the heat...

    7. Please refrain from using any modules that spoof the device identity as it causes the phh Treble app to not display "Samsung features" at which point you can't use DT2W, so beware...

    8. Recommended settings in magisk delta
    a)magisk delta>settings>hide magisk app, you will be prompted to allow magisk delta to install apps, allow it and start the hiding> now, the magisk app will be under an alias you chose
    b)magisk delta>settings>Zygisk(enable)
    c)magisk delta>settings>Bootloop Protection (enable)
    d)magisk delta>settings>Magisk Hide

    9. Passing safetynet on Gapps GSIs
    a)magisk delta>settings>Configure MagiskHide> now, tap on three dots, elect show system apps>then tick the boxes next to the following apps
    Google Play Store, Google Play Services, Google Services Framework
    b) Install the magisk module "shamiko" version 0.5.2, as later version causes Google services to crash... Download link below
    https://github.com/LSPosed/LSPosed.github.io/releases/tag/shamiko-120
    (Optional) You can also install this module below after installing shamiko for a higher chance to not fair safetynet randomly...
    c) After installing the module, reboot
    d) clear data and cache for Google Play Store, Google Play Services, Google Services Framework
    e) at this point you should pass safetynet successfully
    10. Just a heads up, be sure to only download GSIs from the list in @phhusson GitHub, i.e, link below,
    https://github.com/phhusson/treble_experimentations/wiki/Generic-System-Image-(GSI)-list
    And, do not spend money on people that claim to give the "best GSIs" or whatever gibberish they use, only spend money as a donation to a developer, if you really enjoy their work, and would like to support them to keep up thier interest!
    I had to mention this to put you on the cautious side of things!

    11. Taskbar height is incorrect on some roms, and the magisk module from below link fixes it, credits to @wEER1234 for mentioning this, and to @Coxxs for delaying developing it!
    2
    Screenshot_20221128-145743_Settings.png

    Hey all, it's been a long while, but here's a small peek into what I was ble to run on latest one ui 4.x vendor this weekend, I will update the future soon on how to run A13 GSIs...
    2
    Thank you for the guide. I am running AndyYan's LineageOS 19.1 on my SM-T505. The fixes for the non-working brightness slider proposed in several threads here on XDA did not work for me (maybe it is Android 12, maybe the securize option; it seems that phh-on-boot.sh is not really used, although my partition is RW and the file is patched successfully).

    I therefore made a Magisk module that issues the "echo 100 > ..." command mentioned in the OP after every boot. See attached. Just flash as a Magisk module.
    2
    Hey everyone, I'm going to stop updating this post from now on, as I'm going back to stock soon...
    Add once this device gets its last update, I'll come back to the modding scene again!
    It was a wild ride, and I learnt a lot on the way, but, it's time I bid my farewell, goodbye for now!
    1
    Wow. Thank u very very much..will prepared guide ...every thing is clear

    One thing i might clarify which is found on pazinuss. Guide. Where he put kernell

    Q: Which GSI variant should I choose?
    A: arm64 ab. Use the vndklite variant if you want to flash gapps or fix the brightness

    The brightness fix is there with kernel also .

    Thank you .....🖐️🖐️
    I didn't mention it, as I found out that extra dim intensity control does the job just fine, but I'll add it in either way, thanks!