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Samsung Galaxy S/SGH-T959V/Installing a ROM

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See also: List of ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy S 4G

There are a variety of custom ROMs from Froyo, Gingerbread and ICS that commonly provide speed enhancements, remove bloatware applications, and provide features that the stock ROM lacks.

Most ROMs for our device are installed via ClockworkMod Recovery. A few ROMs use Heimdall or Odin instead.

Read this before flashing!


BML and MTD are different partition layouts for Samsung phones. Stock and stock-based ROMs use the BML partition layout, and AOSP-based ROMs use the MTD partition layout. Because of these differences, not all ROMs can be flashed on the phone at any given time. Once you have flashed an MTD ROM, you must go back to stock first before installing another BML ROM. (Check the following table to see how to upgrade and downgrade between the various ROM types.)

This also means that BML Nandroid backups will not work with MTD based ROMs, and vice versa. MTD ROMs also require the Google (Nexus S) USB drivers as opposed to the Samsung USB drivers.

Upgrade/Downgrade Path
Froyo Use Samsung Kies to upgrade Gingerbread (BML) Use CM7 or CM9 to "upgrade" Gingerbread (MTD) or Ice Cream Sandwich
Froyo Use Froyo One-Click Gingerbread (BML) Use Gingerbread One-Click Gingerbread (MTD) or Ice Cream Sandwich

Installing a ROM via ClockworkMod Recovery

  1. Ensure that you have met the following requirements.
    • Root your phone
    • Download and install a kernel to obtain CWM Recovery. All custom kernels for this device have CWM Recovery preinstalled. Be sure to pick a kernel that corresponds with the Android version (Froyo or Gingerbread) that you currently have.
    • Have a current backup of your apps and data.
    • Make sure that you have had the stock Gingerbread ROM flashed at least once prior to flashing any other Gingerbread or ICS ROMs. This ensures that you have the correct bootloaders.
  2. Download the .zip file for your ROM and place it onto the root of your SD card.
  3. Power off the phone.
  4. Get into recovery by holding Volume Up + Volume Down + Power until you see the SGS4G splash screen.
    • To navigate in recovery, use the volume up and down buttons to move around, and the power button to select.
    • Alternatively, use the menu and home buttons to move around, and the search button to select.
  5. See if the instructions have special conditions such as wiping data/cache and remounting.
    • Generally, when switching to a different ROM you will need to select the "wipe data" and "wipe cache" options to ensure a clean flash.
    • To remount to, for example, UMMU, navigate to "mounts and storage" and set the values to "unmount /cache", "mount /data", "mount /sdcard", and "unmount /system"
  6. Select "install zip from sdcard" --> "choose zip from sdcard"
  7. Select the file you downloaded from the thread.
  8. Go back and navigate to "reboot system now"
    • Your phone will boot into the new ROM. It's generally advised to let the phone sit for at least 10-15 minutes (while it rebuilds its caches) before using it.

Installing a ROM via advanced methods


There are 2 ways to use Heimdall:

  1. Heimdall Stand-alone is an excellent cross-platform tool for installing ROMS. Heimdall is considered superbly reliable. Using the stand-alone version is advanced. The Heimdall One-Click method is detailed on this page. If you have questions about this procedure, use this forum thread.
  2. The KJ6 Heimdall One-Click Collection by bhundven is a tool which allows the user to easily return the the stock Gingerbread ROM.


Odin is exclusively for users with a Windows OS box. It is an OEM tool.

Note: To flash from a Froyo (2.2.x) ROM to a Gingerbread (2.3.x) ROM using Odin (Windows only), please use the Gingerbread ext4 Starter Pack guide.

General Odin install procedures are listed below:

  1. Ensure you have the proper drivers installed for this phone.
  2. Download Odin3 v1.85.
  3. Download the files from the author's post.
  4. Unzip the files using an unzip tool.
  5. Put your phone into download mode.
  6. Connect phone to computer via USB cable. You will see Odin confirm you have plugged in a device.
  7. Follow the instructions of the author of the ROM to place files in their correct location on Odin.
  8. Click Start.
  9. If the author of the thread says to do anything after, follow those instructions. If not, you can unplug the phone and reboot.

Step-by-Step Instructions

XDA Recognized Contributor lumin30 has written an excellent step-by-step guide on how to get custom ROMs on your Galaxy S 4G quickly and easily.

You can view the guide here

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