Beginners Guide 1: Flashing Official Samsung Firmware

Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
78,906
With every new release of Android, and the subsequent slow release of the Samsung firmware to the individual countries, and then distributed via the various operators, we here at Mybroadband, and really across the Android user base, have become very impatient to wait for the inevitable upgrade of a newer version of our beloved OS. I thought it a good idea to put together a little guide on how to get the latest official firmware installed on your phone as this question have been popping up quite a lot recently.[HR][/HR]
Step 1: Downloading the correct firmware
- Always make sure you have or are about to download the correct firmware for your device.
- An S5 is an S5 is an S5 is an S5, is not true. There are different versions, ie. G900F, G900H, etc.
- DO NOT flash firmware that is not meant for your phone. You can, and probably will, brick your phone. (They call it brick, because after it's done, your phone is basically a brick)
- Check Settings -> About Device -> Model number to make sure that you are downloading the correct one.
- I normally try and get the UK (BTU) version, but any countries unbranded version will do.
- Why unbranded? As we know, people like Vodacom and MTN across the world put their operator bloat on the phone. You don't want this. Find a unbranded version.
- Once downloaded, unzip. Most of the time, the firmware will include the following files:
AP = system <- the actual firmware
BL = Bootloader
CSC = Region
CP = Radio

Step 2: Download the official ODIN
- ODIN is a third-party, Windows-based program created specifically to flash files such as ROMs on Samsung smartphones.
- When downloading ODIN for the first time, only get it from sammobile. I have tried before from other sites, and these buggers have been known to put out a "fake" odin which is filled with spyware/adware/virus etc.
- The latest version of ODIN can be found on your handsets firmware page (or there is a link at the bottom of this post).
- Just extract the zip to anywhere you want, and click on the .exe to start it up.

Step 3: Loading the firmware into ODIN
- There are two options you now have.

OPTION 1:
- Load only the AP file
- Advantages. You won't lose any data. Disadvantage: You won't get any OTA updates
OPTION 2:
- Load all 4 the files
- Advantages: You'll get OTA updates. Disadvantage: You phone will be factory reset.

OPTION 1:
- Once ODIN has been started, locate the AP button on the right, and click on it.
- Browse to the location you have stored/extracted the .tar.md5 firmware file, select it.
- Look at the Log box. Odin will do a checksum on the file (start with a message "Enter CS for MD5), to make sure it is complete and undamaged.
- Wait for it to confirm with a message "Checking MD5 finished successfully" and then "Leave CS".

OPTION 2:
- Do the same as OPTION 1, but add the other 3 files as well by clicking the appropriate buttons.

Step 4: Backup
- Backup to PC with Samsung Smart Switch. You may need to do separate backups for apps like Whatsapp and non stock keyboard settings.

Step 5: Put your phone into Download Mode
- To put your Samsung device into Download mode, first switch off the device, and wait about 10-15sec after it is completely shut down.
- Press the Volume Down, Power and Home button at the same time, and hold for about 3 seconds.
- A warning message will appear about going into Download Mode, release buttons.
- Press Volume Up to confirm, and to intitiate Download Mode.
- Only after this step, plug it into your PC via its USB cable.
- Wait for the "Added" message in the Log Window, and there should be something below in the ID:COM block. Normally blue, filled with the com port on which your device is connected on.

Step 6: Flash it!
- Hit Start
- Keep your eye on the Log window.
- ODIN will start to flash all the necessary components.
- Do NOT unplug your device during this process.
- When the flash is done, ODIN will automatically restart your device and disconnect it from your PC.
- It is only then safe to disconnect it from the USB cable.

Step 7: Be patient
- The device startup will be a little slower than normal during the first boot/upgrade. Just be patient.
- Eventually you will see it starting to upgrade the apps. This takes a while, quite a while, just be patient.
- After that, it's done, and enjoy your freshly up to date device! :)

Step 8: Restore
- If you did Step 4, you can restore via the same app, just be aware that the app might tell you there is a new version available, DON'T DO IT! It will revert your phone back to the previous version.[HR][/HR]Video:
[video=youtube;5c_sTlJ_7Sc]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c_sTlJ_7Sc[/video][HR][/HR]

Useful Links:
- sammobile.com
- live.samsung-updates.com
- updato.com
- forum.youmobile.org

- Latest version of Odin <= needed to flash the firmware
[HR][/HR]Disclaimer:
By attempting this the only person that can be held responsible for any loss of data or damage of any kind, is you. Saying that, I've done this 100s of times and have never had an issue before.
Good luck. Live long and prosper.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
78,906
Please let me know if I've left out anything, I did this from memory this morning, so I might have left out something.

Also, if you have any questions or steps that need clarifying.
 

Musicmp3

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2012
Messages
807
For 99% of users, dont try this at home - rather take to repair centre. You going to stuff up your phone.........
 

Thor

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
36,853
For 99% of users, dont try this at home - rather take to repair centre. You going to stuff up your phone.........
I'm doing it on the Sam S6 now and I'm about as noob as it can be, if I get it right I'll report back. ( currently downloading the firmware )
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
78,906
does this mean it is finished ?
Step 3.d
View attachment 227472
Nope. It looks like you added your phone, then removed it, then added it, then removed it. Then you added the firmware, and it just checked the MD5 hash, and then you never clicked start, and your phone is no longer connected :wtf:

You didn't follow the guide step for step in order, did you. be honest ;)
 

Thor

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
36,853
Nope. It looks like you added your phone, then removed it, then added it, then removed it. Then you added the firmware, and it just checked the MD5 hash, and then you never clicked start, and your phone is no longer connected :wtf:

You didn't follow the guide step for step in order, did you. be honest ;)
I did, that is step 3 i'm only suppose to add my phone in step 4
 

Thor

Honorary Master
Joined
Jun 5, 2014
Messages
36,853
lolz but I can see you added it earlier, and then removed it. twice. but that's ok

you can now go to the next step. :)
Nope, never connected anything at that point first time opening Odin, I saw it said added removed etc, but it's not the phone cause it was in my pocket and was still in the process of fetching a cable from people in the office i swear to god.

I only wanted to know you said in step 3 to wait for the checksum to complete, I wasn't sure if leaving CS... meant complete.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2010
Messages
78,906
Nope, never connected anything at that point first time opening Odin, I saw it said added removed etc, but it's not the phone cause it was in my pocket and was still in the process of fetching a cable from people in the office i swear to god.

I only wanted to know you said in step 3 to wait for the checksum to complete, I wasn't sure if leaving CS... meant complete.
:D ok ok

I'll update the guide to include the correct end message for step 3. thanks for the screenshot.
 

ryu

Expert Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
2,727
Thanks so much for this Fanie, been wanting to try this for years and everybody say check the internet there's plenty of guides but yours seems the best and easiest by far.

gonna try this tonight on my old S4, S5 mini and if all goes well then my Note 4.

thanks again, really appreciate it!
 
Top