Time to change that Samsung Galaxy a bit? Time for the Galaxo how to. Just remember that unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty. The risks are very slim but they do exist and neither I or anyone else will take any responsibility for any problem that could occur. However you will always loose all your data on the phone! Any external SD card will be left untouched.
That was the disclaimer on to more fun stuff! This guide will flash (install) Galaxo by Drakaz on your phone. We will use Galaxo 1.6.2 which is built on the XEJC6 firmware. It's not as hard as it look, I just wrote a quite extensive guide divided in many steps. My goal is that you should be able to achieve this without any pre-knowledge at all. more straight forward instructions are always published with the ROM. Note that this guide focus on how to do this on a Windows computer, it’s possible on Mac and Linux but since I don’t have any experience on that I’ll let you look for that answer somewhere else.
Phase 0: Preparations
0.1 First of all you need to follow this guide to install the correct firmware and get all the files needed.
0.2 Back-up anything you want to save from your phone and make sure your battery is charged to minimum 60%. Enable USB Debugging in Settings->Applications->Development
0.3 Make sure you have the files needed, ie. Recovery 4.6.2, Galaxo 1.6.2 and the XEJC6 firmware as linked in the Odin guide. You should still have the SDK installed and ADB up and running. Just like last time I will assume you installed the SDK in C:\Android so if you didn't just change the paths accordingly.
Phase 1: Install the Recovery
1.1 Extract the Recovery 4.6.2 zip. You should now have 2 files, recovery.img and RECTOOLS.tar.gz
1.2 Copy the extracted "recovery.img" to "C:\android\tools\"
1.3 Change the name on "Galaxo_V1.6.2.zip" to "update.zip"
1.4 Extract the firmware zip and rename "I7500XEJC6-PDA-CL209906.tar" to "SAMSUNG.tar" (in caps!)
1.5 Connect your phone and mount your SD card, now copy "SAMSUNG.tar", "update.zip" and "RECTOOLS.tar.gz" to the root of the card. This can be done with the ADB Push command if you prefer it but in my opinion that doesn't exactly make it simpler
1.6 If you followed the above steps correctly you should now have "recovery.img" (from the Recovery 4.6.2 zip file) in C:\android\tools and in the root of your SD card "SAMSUNG.tar" (renamed from the firmware zip), "update.zip" (renamed Galaxo 1.6.2 zip) and "RECTOOLS.tar.gz" (from the Recovery zip)
1.7 Shut down your phone and connect it to your computer via USB
1.8 Press "windows-button + R" and type in cmd, Enter
1.9 In your cmd window type "cd c:\android\tools" and press enter
1.10 Type "fastboot flash recovery recovery.img" (without the "") and press enter. The response should be "Waiting for device" like shown in this picture
1.11 Start your phone in fastboot mode by pressing "Call + Power/End call"
1.12 Your phone should show you a terminal-like black screen with white text that say FASTBOOT in the top. The cmd window on your computer should find your device and after a short while say "OKAY" as will your phone. If it stays on waiting for device try typing in the "fastboot flash recovery recovery.img" again but this time don't hit enter until you've started your phone in fastboot. You will have something like 10-15 seconds before the phone restarts so be quick on that Enter key. If you get the same result again, go back to the Odin guide and make sure that you have ADB live and kicking.
1.13 Your phone reboots and the cmd window will go back to showing c:\android\tools and accept input. Just shut your phone down again.
Phase 2: Flash Galaxo ROM
2.1 Boot your phone in recovery mode by pressing "Volume down + Call + Power/End call". It should now look similar to this picture (older version, picture borrowed from Drakaz)
2.2 Just in case you Galaxo update doesn't work as planned or you decide to switch back, make a Nandroid back-up. Do this by selecting "Nandroid backup" with your navigation pad and pressing "OK". This will take a while and when done return to the previous screen. Make sure it says "backup complete!" in the bottom of the screen. Now you can always return to this "clean state".
2.3 Before we update it with Galaxo we perform a wipe, select the entry "Wipe data/factory reset" press "OK" and then confirm. get a cup of coffee while you wait and then we'll sprint through the last part.
2.4 Time for the actual Galaxo update! Select the entry "Apply sdcard:update.zip", confirm and start to get exited
2.5 When the update is done you only have one step left, and that is to restore Google applications. Drakaz are not allowed to put these in the ROM so instead we pull them from the firmware (this is why we have the SAMSUNG.tar file). Select "Restore G.Apps" and confirm. When it's done select "Reboot system now" and enjoy your new Samsung Galaxy, powered by Galaxo rom.
2.6 Phone doesn't start, stays on the blue Samsung logo? Most likely Restore G.Apps failed. This can happen, select "Mount SD(s) on PC" and on your computer look for the recovery.log. Open it in notepad, at the bottom you will find why it didn't work. Most of the times it's one of these 2:
File not found - Did you forget to copy SAMSUNG.tar? Did you name it properly (remember CAPS)? Did you copy it to the root and not some folder?
Checksum failed - Did you remember to perform the wipe before applying the update.zip? Do you have the correct file (I7500XEJC6-PDA-CL209906.tar renamed as SAMSUNG.tar)?
When you feel that you have checked the above, delete the SAMSUNG.tar and copy it again (don't overwrite! Shouldn't make a difference but I've seen it). Unmount the SD and start over from 2.3 performing the wipe.
Optional Phase 3: Personalize your Galaxy
Some small steps I have taken to get the most out of my phone:
The Galaxy stock keyboard is in my opinion junk. To get a mod of the Desire keyboard have a look here: http://einartysen.se/change-to-htc-keyboard-on-your-non-htc-android-device/
I got tired of the vanilla Android look and got myself a theme, there are many more out there. Just Google on Galaxo themes, note that there are a couple of different ways to install them. This is the one I use http://www.frandroid.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=8640 with instruction (Google Translate does the trick if you don't speak french).
If anything is unclear, let me know in the comments and I'll work trough that part again!
This guide could not have been written without Drakaz hard work for the community and everyone else dedicating time to trouble shoot and explain in forums like: www.frandroid.com www.phandroid.com www.hdblog.it and last but definitely not least www.swedroid.se and their Wiki.
Tired of your Galaxy? Getting tired of Samsungs unwillingness to update your phone? Then it might be time to consider rooting it. Before you look any closer you should remember that unlocking your bootloader will void your warranty. The risks are slim but they do exist and neither I or anyone else will take any responsibility for any problem that could occur. However you will always loose all your data on the phone! The external SD card will be left untouched.
That was the disclaimer on to more fun stuff! This guide will upgrade your phone firmware and baseband to I7500XEJC6 which is a leaked official (almost) firmware from Samsung. Tool for this is Odin Multi Downloader and this guide should work fine with later versions as well. It's not as hard as it look, I just wrote a quite extensive guide divided in many steps. My goal is that you should be able to achieve this without any pre-knowledge at all. After that you can choose to continue and install Galaxo 1.6.2 ROM and Recovery 4.6.2 by Drakaz. The recovery image contains a set of tools that can be accessed by booting the phone in recovery mode whilst the ROM is a modification of the actual phone OS that you will boot every day. Read my next post for that here. This is not very hard and you should be good to go in about an hour if the drivers doesn’t give you a very hard time. Note that this guide focus on how to do this on a Windows computer, it’s possible on Mac and Linux but since I don’t have any experience on that I’ll let you look for that answer somewhere else.
Phase 0: Preparations
0.1 Time to get your phone ready, and get the necessary files.
If you already have ADB (Android DeBugging) up and running just skip the driver steps, otherwise keep reading.
0.2 Get the Android SDK from here: http://developer.android.com/sdk/ then unzip it wherever you like. This guide will assume that you unzipped it to c:\android\ to keep it simple.
0.3 Download this very small zipfile and extract the file android_winusb.inf to c:\android\usb_driver\i386 (or if you use a 64-bit windows c:\android\usb_driver\amd64)
0.4 Install Samsung PC studio from the CD that came with your phone (or get it here from Samsung)
0.5 Activate USB debugging on your phone, Settings->Applications->Development->Enable USB debugging
0.6 Connect your phone to your computer, Windows will start to install your drivers but will fail on one device
0.7 Open the Device Manager. Right click on the unknown device and select “Update driver” then “Browse my computer for driver software”
0.8 Choose to search the location c:\android\usb_driver\i386 (or \amd64). Choose to install the driver even though it isn’t signed.
0.9 Time to see how it went, you should now have “ADB Interface->Samsung Galaxy Composite ADB Interface” in your Device Manager. To make it more exiting this isn’t always the case. I used to have it, but not any more. ADB still works though…to be sure Press “Win-button + R” and type in “cmd” then press “Enter”
0.10 In the terminal window that opens type (without the “”) “cd c:\android\tools” and press enter. Then use your very first ADB command by typing “adb devices”. Now you should get a reply that looks something like this:
0.11 If you did get I7500xxxxx, congratulations. ADB is up and running! If you didn’t we have something of a problem on our hands. Could be of several reasons but start with de-select debugging, connect to your computer and mount your SD card. Unplug and redo from step 0.XX. I also added some alternative drivers from Samsung here. Post in comments if you can’t get it to work! There are so many alternative drivers and ways to install them floating around that posting everything here would be impossible. With the first device I tried only the first driver was needed, with the second I installed the second zip as well to get it to work.
Just found a new driver...once again. Amazing how hard it can be but several people says that this is it :) Here's the link
Phase 1: Update your Firmware with Odin Multi Downloader
1.1 Unzip both the Odin and Firmware zip files at any location
1.2 Right-click Odin.exe and choose “Run as administrator”, it's absolutely necessary that you do it as an admin!
1.3 Start with pointing out the .ops file included in the Odin zip file. If you downloaded the I7500XEJC6 firmware above it should hold 4 different files ending with .tar. Other versions can hold only 1 and is then called a “one package” (note on that below). Point out your corresponding files to BOOT, PHONE and PDA (the CSC file included can be used, some people claimed different benefits from this I tried both without noticing any difference. However that is the localized file for the carrier. This leak is from Russia so before using it you should write down your APN settings and the menu positions to get to the change language options unless you speak Russian :) ) like showed in the picture below.
(If you only got one .tar file just tick the box next to “One Package” and point that file out on the right, ignore the rest.)
1.4 Time to back-up anything you want to save from your phone, search the market for backup and you’ll find many options.
1.5 Shut down you phone and connect it to your computer via USB
1.6 Start your phone in “Download mode” by pressing and holding “Volume down + OK + Power” buttons
1.7 You phone should now say “Downloading…” and show a SD card like icon
1.8 In Odin, look at the white frame on the left, it should say “<1> Added!!!”, “<1> Detected!!!” just like the picture above
1.9 Time to hit that switch! Press Start in Odin and go have a cup of coffee while Odin does it Magic. When finished it will reboot, this could take a couple of minutes
1.10 If it got stuck on the Samsung logo, have no fear. A wipe should get you going. Shut down your phone (pull the battery if you have to) and boot in recovery mode by pressing and holding “Volume down + Answer + Hang up/Power” buttons. When you see the triangle with a ! all you have to do is press the “Menu” button. The phone will perform a Wipe and then restart. Still not working? Start over from step 1.XX – Download mode.
1.11 Perform a wipe as instructed in 1.10 and you’re all done! In Settings->About phone you should now see that Firmware version says something like Galaxy 1.6 and Baseband version says I7500XEJC6. The picture below shows that screen after Galaxo installation.
Optional next step…Flash Recovery and Flash Galaxo Rom
This guide could not have been written without Drakaz hard work for the community and everyone else dedicating time to trouble shoot and explain in forums like: www.frandroid.com www.phandroid.com www.hdblog.it and last but definitely not least www.swedroid.se
So last week I gave in, and since “root” is a fact. So what is Root? Since Android is a Linux system the community started using the normal term for “user in full control”. Compare it with a Windows system, there are things you can’t do if your account lacks Administrator rights. Root is when you got those rights. I won’t go into details about how to root your Galaxy, there are a lot of places to read this already and they are more likely to be kept up to date than my blog. Posting some links at the bottom for you…
So what did I get for my Root experiment?
First of all, I installed another ROM (basically the OS of the phone, installation of this is also known as Flashing). What I installed is a custom ROM (user-made) by Drakaz called “GalaxoHero”. As the name implies it borrows some good stuff from the HTC Hero, it won’t give you the HTC Sense UI but a nice theme impersonating Sense.
What I like in bullets:
- Keyboard! My beloved HTC Keyboard is back, in Swedish.
- Exchange support, almost. HTC Hero ships with a application called “Work Mail” that will allow you sync with an Exchange server, only mail though. Very strange since my old HTC Magic had full native Exchange support. Need to look closer into this further down the road.
- Speed. It will never stop to amuse me when users at home manage to build a quicker system than companies with lots of paid engineers. It was exactly the same with my old Windows Mobile when I started flashing it.
- Additional settings. Being root allows you to change stuff that Samsung/Google didn’t think you needed. For example I disabled the camera button since a bug had it running 100% even when locked, quick way to drain the battery.
- Battery, might have something to do with the above. Neither the less my battery always last a day, sometimes two days.
- Market, if I wanted I could enable paid apps on the Android market even though it doesn’t support Sweden yet.
I hate that Samsung/Google “forced” me to do this. Talking to my iPhone packing friends I always said that I wouldn’t consider a product a success if I had to hack it to use it fully (iPhone Jailbreak). With my HTC Magic I never saw the need for root. Well, I can comfort myself with better hardware so maybe it was worth it, maybe :)
Links for rooting: