Thursday, April 4, 2013

Downgrade Firmware on Samsung Galaxy Devices

7:42 AM


Note: If this tutorial worked for you (and it should work), please leave a comment below and do not forget to mention your phone model and the OS version from and to which you downgraded. It will help others. Thanks!

How many of you ever wished to downgrade the firmware of your Android phone? Only a few. The present article is for those fews who are looking a way to go back to Gingerbread from Ice Cream Sandwich,  to Ice Cream Sandwich from Jelly Bean, or from Android 4.1.2 to Android 4.1.1. The tips described below will also be helpful to even those who want to downgrade their Samsung Galaxy device to Gingerbread from Ice Cream Sandwich.

Disclaimer & Warning:

Please note that the method described here has been tested (by me, more than once) on Galaxy S3 (Android 4.1.2 to ICS), Note 2 (Android 4.1.2 to 4.1.1) and Galaxy S2 (ICS to GB). I have not been able to test for downgrading to GB from JB. All the same, I would like to warn you that the procedure is considered risky. Proceed only if you understand the gravity of such things and make sure you are not drunk while following up the steps. We’ll not be responsible for any data loss or damage done to your device.

Getting Prepared:

The firmware downgrade drill for the Samsung Galaxy devices is not much complicated as compared to the phones manufactured by other brands. It requires you to boot the device first into Download/Odin Mode, and then into Android Recovery Mode. I hope many of you would be acquainted with both the methods. Even if you are not, it doesn’t matter.

  • Download the downgrade firmware for your Samsung Galaxy device and extract it on your computer. A good source to download Samsung firmwares is Samsung-Updates. Type your device name in the search box at the sidebar, you would find it hopefully. If you do not get it, let me know (your device and country).
  • Download and install Samsung USB Drivers on your computer. Skip this step if you already have it.
  • Download Odin Firmware Flasher and unzip it. I recommend using Odin 1.85 version for installing older firmware and using Odin 3.04 for newer one: Odin3_v1.85.Zip or  Odin3_v3.04.Zip
  • Since the downgrading procedure will delete all data stored on the internal SD Card of your Galaxy device it will be better to backup your messages, contacts and installed apps. These Nice Free Apps will help you backup your data easily
  • Charge your device’s battery to the full
  • Make sure that you have turned on USB Debugging from Settings> Developer Options>.

Installing the Downgrade Firmware:

Installing a firmware version that is lower than the current one is just the same as installing a higher one, but you have to one more thing that you do not usually do. I assume that you have already done as described above, so let’s go ahead.
  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy device whether it a phone or tablet and boot into Download/Odin Mode. If it is a phone, you can enter the Download Mode doing this: Press and hold the Volume Down+Home buttons together and then long press the Power Button till the screen turns up. Now press the Volume Up key to enter the Download Mode. In case you have a Galaxy Tab device, do this: Press and hold the Volume Up+Power buttons together, and then press the Volume Up key when prompted.
  2. Now go to the Odin folder and run the .exe file there.
  3. This is the time, you have to connect you device to the computer using a compatible USB cable.
  4. When the connection between the device and computer is established, the ID:COM port at Odin will turn to light Green and you see “Added!!” message below.
  5. Make sure that only “F. Reset Time” option is checked on Odin. The “Auto Reboot” option is checked by default, so please uncheck it.
  6. Okay, now click on the PDA button on Odin and select the firmware file in tar.md5 format.
  7. Now click the “Start” button on Odin. This will initiate the firmware installation. Wait till it finishes. 
  8. Finally when you get a “PASS!” message on Odin, remove the USB Cable from your device.
  9. Now open the back panel of your device and pull out the battery. Wait for about 60 seconds and reinsert the battery back to its place.
  10. Now reboot your phone into Android Recovery mode. If you have a smartphone, you can do it this way: press and hold the Volume Up+Home buttons together and then hold the Power button till the screen turns up and the Samsung logo blinks for two times. Release the Power button but keep the other two keys pressed till you see a black screen with green Android bot and Blue text. In case you got  a  Galaxy Tab or Note 10.1, press and hold the Volume Down+Power keys together for a few seconds till you see the yellow triangle with Android bot followed by a black screen with blue text. 
  11. In the Recovery mode you will have to use the Volume Up/Down keys to scroll up or down, and the Power button to select an option.
  12. So, scroll down to “wipe data/factory reset” option and select “yes” to confirm your choice.
  13. Now go to “wipe cache partition” and con firm the choice.
  14. Finally, go to the “reboot system now” option and select it.

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