Just upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S I9000 from an outdated 2.1 to the latest 2.3.3! Actually, 2.3.4 is out but apparently it’s not available for India/Asia through Samsung (shitty) Kies yet, although you can upgrade to 2.3.4 using Odin etc.
Moving from 2.1 to 2.3.3 without even experiencing 2.2 is a mega jump in the Android Evolution! In Mizo, the appropriate term to use for this would be “Bawh Kân”.
I am quite a technogeek, but I am not THAT geeky enough to find joy in flashing ROMs, modifying Kernels etc at regular intervals, so I’ll just keep it simple in this post. The reason why I am posting this is to help anybody else who may have a problem upgrading their Android.
This post is about how I did it. But my method may not work for you, and I will not be able to tell you why it didn’t work for you. This is not a tech advice post or gyaan and it’s not meant for the experts out there. This is just a post for people like me who know a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
So yeah, a big WARNING in advance, for you may end up BRICKING your phone. If you really want to upgrade but you’re not that android-savvy, I suggest you find a friend who is an expert when it comes to this. I found mine – Lalremruata Chhangte (Chhanga). He guided me during this entire process through chat, and thanks to him, my phone is what it is today.
First of all, let me just state the obvious, that Samsung Kies is one of the crappiest software around. People at xda-developer forum too declared that whoever developed Kies should never be allowed to make softwares again. Haha.
You can always use other unofficial alternatives, but then, if you are not that tech-savvy there is always the danger of bricking your phone then. So for people like us, we have no other option but to use Kies.
So here’s what Lalremruata Chhangte told me to do.
1. Back up my contacts and messages
2. Root your phone
3. Download Titanium backup from Android Market
4. Back up all apps using Titanium
5. Upgrade using Kies
I don’t need to tell you how to back up your contacts and messages. You can do that using Kies, Google account and even your phone book has the option of exporting your contact list in .vcf format.
Regarding point 2, yes it is necessary to root your phone if you want to use Titanium backup software (available for free on the Android Market) as it requires superuser access. Here is how you root –
1. Download SuperOneClick v.2.1.1
2. Go to your phone “Applications/Development” and select USB Debugging
3. Connect phone to PC in debugging mode
4. Open SuperOneClick exe
5. Click on Root
6. Done, your phone is rooted and you now have Super User access
Once your phone has rebooted, go to Android Market and download/install Titanium backup. You can now open it due to SuperUser access. Click on “Batch” and then click “Run” for “Backup all user apps”. A new window will open with all your installed apps, and simply select all the apps and games you want to backup. I had around 350 apps I wanted to backup, so that took me around THREE hours to backup! I suggest you don’t do the same foolish thing, and only backup certain apps and games where you REALLY want to save your progress.
Also do NOT click “Run” for “Backup all system data”. If you are upgrading, you will get new system data and they WILL conflict with your backed-up system data.
Once all that is done, open Samsung Kies. Make sure the software is the latest version. Also, it takes a very long time to upgrade to a newer version, almost the same time as downloading the latest Kies version from Samsung site and installing it in a new system.
After that, uncheck usb debugging mode and connect your phone to PC again.
Now Kies will detect your firmware and notify you that there is a newer version. After that it is just a matter of clicking next, next, next etc. Kies didn’t upgrade me from 2.1 to 2.3 directly. It needed two steps, so first it upgraded me to 2.2.
Once the upgrading was completed, I disconnected and rebooted my phone. It took a long time to load, but my friend assured me that it was because the dalvik cache was regenerating.
Finally, I was on 2.2! Yay.
Next step – 2.3.3
Now, 2.3.3 was a l’il mother@#$@#%.
I followed the same method as above and connected my phone to my PC and opened Kies. It prompted me to upgrade to a newer version again, and I clicked next next next, and it started upgrading.
But THIS TIME, while upgrading, I kept getting the error message “Connection to device lost”!!! But my phone was freaking connected! I tried again and again for around 10 times, but kept getting the same error message.
So my friend and I googled and found out that it was a very COMMON Kies error (stupid Kies). I even downloaded Kies to two of my neighbor’s computers, but got the same freaking error message again and again.
Finally, he saw this forum and forwarded me the link - Galaxy S - problem installing android 2.3 via Kies. Over there, one user “factory resetted” his phone and tried again using Kies, and it finally worked.
So, since I had everything backed up, we decided to do this. Lalremruata told me an easy way to do this from boot menu –
1. Turn off phone
2. Press UP volume key + home + power keys together
3. Boot Menu loads
4. Five options appear. Select third – “Wipe data/factory reset”
5. Confirm (warning: This cannot be undone. You’ll also get 10 options for NO and 1 option for YES, just so you don’t do this by mistake, lolz)
After that my phone rebooted and I lost all my apps, games, phone contacts, messages etc (which was not a problem as they were all backed up) and only my system apps like camera, video player were on my phone. It’s like a brand new phone.
I connected my phone to Kies again. It started upgrading. And then it showed me the same freaking error message “Connection to device lost” AGAIN in the background, BUT WAIT, my phone nevertheless went ahead and upgraded!! Woohoooo!
I even went to the forum link above, took the effort to register, JUST to say thank you in that thread. See, I’m not a leecher! Lolz.
So I was on 2.3.3 finally! W00t!
But if you think that's the end of my fiery tale, you’re mistaken.
Upgrading my phone to 2.3.3 automatically UNROOTED it. But I needed my phone to be in ROOT mode if I wanted to access Titanium Backup in order to retrieve all my apps data.
And here was the final problem – SuperOneClick software I mentioned earlier, isn’t compatible with 2.3.3 firmware! So I couldn’t root it using the method I had written above.
Again, Lalremruata did some research and finally told me to flash my ROM using Odin, as he advised me not to use GingerBreak because it could brick my phone due to various versions. One wrong Gingerbreak on a different firmware and its goodbye phone.
He sent me this extremely helpful link - [CF-Root 4.1]
The steps are given there clearly too –
Follow these instructions to the letter. Do not touch any buttons or checkboxes that are not listed below!
1. Unzip the attached CF-Root-xxx-vX.X.zip
2. (USB) Disconnect your phone from your computer
3. Start ODIN
4. Click the PDA button, and select CF-Root-xxx-vX.X.tar
5. Put your phone in download mode
6. (USB) Connect the phone to your computer
7. Make sure repartition is NOT checked
8. Click the START button
9. Wait for the phone to reboot
10. Done (if it took you more than 30 seconds, you need practice!)
He also sent me the .tar file (mentioned in point 1 and 4 above) that I should use for this operation.
To keep your phone in “Download mode” –
1. Switch your phone off
2. Now Press and HOLD the following Keys in the same order: First Volume Down, Second Home Key, and Lastly the Power Button
3. Keep the Buttons Held until you see the phone Light up, then Let go off the power button, but keep the Volume and Home Keys Pressed
4. Once you see a yellow Droid digging and the Text "DO NOT SWITCH OFF THE TARGET", Let go off all the buttons.
I followed all the steps above and successfully flashed my ROM using ODIN.
I ended up getting SOFT-BRICKED! Lolz.
A red fish (piranha?) kept blinking on my screen and my phone refused to start up. Haha. I wasn’t able to go to boot menu either.
Again, Lalremruata browsed different forums and finally found another person who had faced the same problem I was facing. And the fact that that victim was also from India made me feel much better, as firmwares are also region specific.
That person finally managed to solve his problem, and Lalremruata sent me the same .tar file that person had used to resolve this issue.
Using that new .tar file, again I followed the steps mentioned above, and FINALLY it was a grand success. My phone loaded and it was perfectly rooted.
I accessed Titanium backup immediately and retrieved my apps.
So now, I am a happy man! :)
This is how I upgraded my Android OS. If I was an iPhone user, all I had to do was connect my phone to iTunes, click a button, and it’s done. Lolz. Yeah yeah, I am a huge iPhone basher, but regarding this particular incident, I must praise iPhone, like it or not.
A big thanks to Lalremruata once again! Cheers! \m/