[TIP] Kies firmware update without using (all of) Kies!

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miki4242

Senior Member
Jun 5, 2009
166
22
While poking around in the internals of Kies I discovered a way to update your firmware without having to start Kies.

This may be valuable for those who have problems with Kies recognizing their phone, and for those who simply cannot stand the bloat.
You do need to

You do need to have Kies installed, you simply don't need to load it all just to check or update your firmware.

Follow these simple steps (note: DO NOT connect your phone yet!):

Make sure Kies isn't running and doesn't start automatically:
- If you have a Kies icon on your taskbar tray, right-click it and uncheck "Auto start Kies TrayAgent" and "Auto start Kies".
- Make sure Kies isn't running: use Task Manager or your favorite task killer. If you want to be sure Kies isn't running, simply reboot your PC.

Now, to access the firmware update module:
- Open the file manager and navigate to "C:\Program Files\Samsung\Kies" (note: on 64bit systems like mine, replace "Program Files" with "Program Files (x86)")
- Find the file "MSC.Thunder.FirmwareUpdate.exe"
- Run it by double-clicking. It will show a window with graphic indicating no device is connected.
- Finally, connect your phone.
- Voila!

You can create a shortcut to it by right-clicking the file, selecting "Copy", navigating to where you want the shortcut to be (your desktop for example), then right-clicking on an empty spot and selecting "Paste Shortcut".

---[HERE BE DRAGONS]---

For those daring enough to venture beyond this point and risk persecution and death, here is a secret key sequence I discovered in the firmware update module.

DON'T connect your phone just yet!

Test Mode:
- Run "MSC.Thunder.FirmwareUpdate.exe"
- When the window indicates no device is connected, press and hold <Left Ctrl><Left Alt>'U'-'P' (that's Control, Alt AND the letters 'U' and 'P', all at once!)
- You will see an alert box saying "Test Mode On"
- Repeat to turn Test Mode off (note: you will have to close the alert box first)
- You're on your own here, I've not tested anything beyond this point.

I have confirmation from people on different forums that Test Mode helped them upgrade phones that Kies didn't want to upgrade otherwise.
If you have problems upgrading, try it! But please remember that Test Mode is what it says, no-one is making any promises that it will do the same thing (or anything at all for that matter) in newer versions of Kies.
 
Last edited:

mickeko

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2010
561
57
Stockholm
Interesting! I put the updating software in test mode, and rather than saying my device can't be upgraded it tells me that the latest version is already installed...

I guess it REALLY doesn't mean anything, but for some reason it still gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. ;)
 

Tim182

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2010
90
4
Very interesting! Maybe those of us who get "this version cannot be updated" can update the firmware with one of those modes!!!
 

Tim182

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2010
90
4
I managed to finally update the firmware from a non-stock JF3 rooted firmware, on a German phone with UK firmware, in South Africa!!!

I tried all kinds of things and could not get KIES to update to the new firmware, no matter what firmware etc I used. Here is what finally worked for me :

- Flash with JF3 from Samsung-firmwares if you are not running this already, does not matter if rooted.
- Start KIES without connecting the phone, open firmware upgrade and hold keys ctrl+alt+u+p to get it to go into test mode
- Connect the phone and viola, you can upgrade!

Note, this does not seem to work on the newest KIES version. I tried this on both my netbook (old KIES) and my pc (newest KIES) and only the old version worked. I am ugrading as I type.

Note this may not work on branded phones. I own an unlocked SGS
 

miki4242

Senior Member
Jun 5, 2009
166
22
Glad it helped you to upgrade :)

This shows why it is sometimes better to hold on to older versions of software (Kies). Newer isn't always better in every respect :)
 
Last edited:

Tim182

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2010
90
4
Glad it helped you to upgrade :)

This shows why it is sometimes better to hold on to older versions of software (Kies). Newer isn't always better in every respect :)

Absolutely. Although it might also have something to do with 64 vs 32 bit but I highly doubt it. Curious to see if this also works for others
 

miki4242

Senior Member
Jun 5, 2009
166
22
What Kies version worked for you? Do you still have the installer?
By newer version not working, do you mean that test mode is or isn't available? Or did it simply not help with upgrading?

If you or someone else still has a working version, it would be nice to upload it somewhere so others can use it, too.
 

satyrus

Member
Aug 18, 2010
18
2
I was on the stock JF3 firmware.. and KIES was telling me a couple days ago that this fw was the latest (which ofc isn't), since yesterday it says that the version on my device is not upgradable..
Anyway since switching to "test mode", it gives me the option to the JM1 version.

Dunno where my phone is from.. probably Germany or Uk i suppose..
 
Last edited:

Tim182

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2010
90
4
What Kies version worked for you? Do you still have the installer?
By newer version not working, do you mean that test mode is or isn't available? Or did it simply not help with upgrading?

If you or someone else still has a working version, it would be nice to upload it somewhere so others can use it, too.

Kies_1.5.0.10052_28, I don't have the installer but you should have no problem finding it online. It's the second newest one
 

satyrus

Member
Aug 18, 2010
18
2
What Kies version worked for you? Do you still have the installer?
By newer version not working, do you mean that test mode is or isn't available? Or did it simply not help with upgrading?

If you or someone else still has a working version, it would be nice to upload it somewhere so others can use it, too.

1.5.1_10083 worked for me btw.. atleast it shows the update.. still backing up my stuff for the upgrade.. so don't know if it works after all..
 

madmackem

Senior Member
Dec 19, 2005
83
4
Ive got the latest Kies 1.5.1.10072_2 installed Win 7 64bit and this works on my lappy

havent tried updating with it yet mind, im playing the waiting game!
 

Muaddib69

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2010
178
14
La tierra de las flores
Testing on Vista x64 + Kies 10074_2. (SGS= ROOTED PDA JM5, PHONE JM3)

By clicking on MCS.thunder...exe opens firmware update screen less than a second, closes itself, shows loading screen of kies, and finally kies its open.

Cant use MCS.Thunder...exe alone.

Anyway, tried method ctrl-alt-u-p after opening firmware updating function on kies, and always the same result: Your device cant be upgraded (more or less, my kies is in spanish)... dont know thats because there is no newer firmware available or because my phone is rooted... or whatever reason.
 
Last edited:

VikingDK

Member
Nov 25, 2008
32
6
Dublin, Ireland
Testing on Vista x64 + Kies 10074_2. (SGS= ROOTED PDA JM5, PHONE JM3)

By clicking on MCS.thunder...exe opens firmware update screen less than a second, closes itself, shows loading screen of kies, and finally kies its open.

Cant use MCS.Thunder...exe alone.

Anyway, tried method ctrl-alt-u-p after opening firmware updating function on kies, and always the same result: Your device cant be upgraded (more or less, my kies is in spanish)... dont know thats because there is no newer firmware available or because my phone is rooted... or whatever reason.

You have to do what Miki says, make sure Kies is NOT running the background.
Check if you have the Kies icon in the lower right corner of your taskbar.

If it's running, right click it, uncheck "Auto start Kies TrayAgent" and "Auto start Kies" and then exit Kies completely.

Now you should be able to run it just fine.
 

borchgrevink

Senior Member
Jul 5, 2010
817
13
When trying to run the "test mode" I always get this message (running W7 64bit):

Kies.PNG
 

Bynar010

Senior Member
Dec 13, 2006
375
22
Testing on Vista x64 + Kies 10074_2. (SGS= ROOTED PDA JM5, PHONE JM3)

By clicking on MCS.thunder...exe opens firmware update screen less than a second, closes itself, shows loading screen of kies, and finally kies its open.

Cant use MCS.Thunder...exe alone.

Anyway, tried method ctrl-alt-u-p after opening firmware updating function on kies, and always the same result: Your device cant be upgraded (more or less, my kies is in spanish)... dont know thats because there is no newer firmware available or because my phone is rooted... or whatever reason.

Sounds like you are making the same mistake I did....check the name of the exe files very carefully, I think you are clicking the wrong one....

Sent from my GT-I9000 using XDA App
 

Muaddib69

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2010
178
14
La tierra de las flores
Nothing in task manager regarding Kies.
No taskbar icon kies related (showing all)... BUT
I've tried again (same steps than before...) and firmware window stays.
(dunno)
By connecting phone shows the same msg: "PDA: JM5, Phone:JM3"... and something like "the version of this device cant be updated"...
ctrl-alt-u-p just toggle test mode from on to off with no more info.
 
Jul 13, 2010
24
2
Hi,

I followed your guide, and this is what happened:

I shot this video to show you guys whats happening.

Please help:

please go to youtube/watch?v=7L1gBhr7_dk

the second i connect it saying "Samsung Kies", this happens. What do i do?
 

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    While poking around in the internals of Kies I discovered a way to update your firmware without having to start Kies.

    This may be valuable for those who have problems with Kies recognizing their phone, and for those who simply cannot stand the bloat.
    You do need to

    You do need to have Kies installed, you simply don't need to load it all just to check or update your firmware.

    Follow these simple steps (note: DO NOT connect your phone yet!):

    Make sure Kies isn't running and doesn't start automatically:
    - If you have a Kies icon on your taskbar tray, right-click it and uncheck "Auto start Kies TrayAgent" and "Auto start Kies".
    - Make sure Kies isn't running: use Task Manager or your favorite task killer. If you want to be sure Kies isn't running, simply reboot your PC.

    Now, to access the firmware update module:
    - Open the file manager and navigate to "C:\Program Files\Samsung\Kies" (note: on 64bit systems like mine, replace "Program Files" with "Program Files (x86)")
    - Find the file "MSC.Thunder.FirmwareUpdate.exe"
    - Run it by double-clicking. It will show a window with graphic indicating no device is connected.
    - Finally, connect your phone.
    - Voila!

    You can create a shortcut to it by right-clicking the file, selecting "Copy", navigating to where you want the shortcut to be (your desktop for example), then right-clicking on an empty spot and selecting "Paste Shortcut".

    ---[HERE BE DRAGONS]---

    For those daring enough to venture beyond this point and risk persecution and death, here is a secret key sequence I discovered in the firmware update module.

    DON'T connect your phone just yet!

    Test Mode:
    - Run "MSC.Thunder.FirmwareUpdate.exe"
    - When the window indicates no device is connected, press and hold <Left Ctrl><Left Alt>'U'-'P' (that's Control, Alt AND the letters 'U' and 'P', all at once!)
    - You will see an alert box saying "Test Mode On"
    - Repeat to turn Test Mode off (note: you will have to close the alert box first)
    - You're on your own here, I've not tested anything beyond this point.

    I have confirmation from people on different forums that Test Mode helped them upgrade phones that Kies didn't want to upgrade otherwise.
    If you have problems upgrading, try it! But please remember that Test Mode is what it says, no-one is making any promises that it will do the same thing (or anything at all for that matter) in newer versions of Kies.
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