CTPAHHIK

Can latest Samsung phones be permanently bricked???

Is it possible to permanently brick Samsung S3, S2, Note, etc?

HTC phones can be bricked by flashing incorrect radio. Sony phones cannot be bricked.
Samsung owners?

Most Useful Answer CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 14:37

Just to brick them? ;)

You cannot brick Xperia T, unless you flashing with a hammer.
If SGS3 is easily bricked by flashing something wrong it's not a very good development device.

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JanSt / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 12:01

What an odd question? :)) got a bad christmas present? :))
Anyway: no idea...

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 12:21

Deciding between S3 and Xperia T.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 13:10

Just to brick them? ;)

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 13:11

The SGS3 just received the update to fix the security hole - which made rooting so easy. I wonder how that plug will affect root and, yes, brickability?!

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 14:37

Just to brick them? ;)

You cannot brick Xperia T, unless you flashing with a hammer.
If SGS3 is easily bricked by flashing something wrong it's not a very good development device.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 14:48

Just to brick them? ;)

You cannot brick Xperia T, unless you flashing with a hammer.
If SGS3 is easily bricked by flashing something wrong it's not a very good development device.
Update firmware via PC and pull the plug halfway through... see how unbrickable it is.

mrew42  Jan. 4, 2013 at 15:41

Firmware isn't updated via the PC in this way, but even if you were to pull tha battery mid 'flash' you can always get into recovery.
Actually I lied. You can't remove the battery :)

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 15:56

As far as I know, ODIN or recovery should always be able to revive a Samsung device. I flashed all sorts of stuff on my S2 and even when it went horribly wrong, I never managed to kill the phone. Put it this way, if you can brick a Samsung device, you're doing something to it which is incredibly out of the ordinary.

I think XDA may be a better place to search for an answer to this, though. We're not developers here.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:04

Just to brick them? ;)

You cannot brick Xperia T, unless you flashing with a hammer.
If SGS3 is easily bricked by flashing something wrong it's not a very good development device.
Update firmware via PC and pull the plug halfway through... see how unbrickable it is.


This would make Xperia phone un-bootable. Updates do fail, there is no need to pull a cable or battery.
You do phone restore at this point, which might erase all your data, but your phone will be working.

barrybarryk  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:06

Any phone you can flash a bootloader/recovery image to can be bricked. Flashing the OS shouldn't be a problem but making changes to the low level boot strapping loaders (Recovery image or bootloader) can always brick any device.

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:10

Can't you JTAG Samsung devices to bring them back to life (as a very last resort before sending it off and paying for Samsung to fix it)?

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:12

As far as I know, ODIN or recovery should always be able to revive a Samsung device. I flashed all sorts of stuff on my S2 and even when it went horribly wrong, I never managed to kill the phone. Put it this way, if you can brick a Samsung device, you're doing something to it which is incredibly out of the ordinary.

I think XDA may be a better place to search for an answer to this, though. We're not developers here.


Thank you, this is what I was looking for. Seems as if you have a working bootloader you can always load factory image. I would also think that there is some sort of checksum verification for bootloader when flashing in order to prevent a failure/corruption during official update.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:13

Just to brick them? ;)

You cannot brick Xperia T, unless you flashing with a hammer.
If SGS3 is easily bricked by flashing something wrong it's not a very good development device.
Update firmware via PC and pull the plug halfway through... see how unbrickable it is.


This would make Xperia phone un-bootable. Updates do fail, there is no need to pull a cable or battery.
You do phone restore at this point, which might erase all your data, but your phone will be working.
No. it depends when you pull the plug.

barrybarryk  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:15

Well if the phone (or any other device) has a JTAG port/headers and you have the hardware and a backup of the NAND image you should be able to JTAG it back to life. It's more or less just directly writing to the memory without any of the other phone hardware involved so it doesn't matter if the bootloader / recovery image is too corrupt to power on

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:16

True

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:17

Any phone you can flash a bootloader/recovery image to can be bricked. Flashing the OS shouldn't be a problem but making changes to the low level boot strapping loaders (Recovery image or bootloader) can always brick any device.

Bootloader is different from recovery. Recovery/Kernel reside on boot partition, but both are loaded after bootloader. Usually bootloader is locked and can only be flashed using software from manufacturer, it would also come with some soft of digital signature to prevent it from flashing non-signed version.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:18

Can't you JTAG Samsung devices to bring them back to life (as a very last resort before sending it off and paying for Samsung to fix it)?

Any phone can be JTAGed - this is how they are loaded at the factory. You need special hardware for that.

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:20

As far as I know, ODIN or recovery should always be able to revive a Samsung device. I flashed all sorts of stuff on my S2 and even when it went horribly wrong, I never managed to kill the phone. Put it this way, if you can brick a Samsung device, you're doing something to it which is incredibly out of the ordinary.

I think XDA may be a better place to search for an answer to this, though. We're not developers here.


Thank you, this is what I was looking for. Seems as if you have a working bootloader you can always load factory image. I would also think that there is some sort of checksum verification for bootloader when flashing in order to prevent a failure/corruption during official update.

Kies softbricked my S2 on the first (and only) update I did with it. After that I just flashed via Odin or via a custom recovery. Nothing I ever flashed via Odin went wrong, but some of the more obscure stuff I flashed via recovery did cause boot-loops or the phone would just freeze at the "Samsung" boot screen.

To fix it, I'd just flash the Odin compatible version of CyanogenMod via Odin, which gave me a usable device with root access and a custom recovery. I'd then flash my CM backup from recovery (or if I stupidly didn't have a back-up, I'd just flash the latest, stable version of CM).

That's a worst case scenario, though. The phone would usually just let you boot back into recovery and re-flash your back-up/stable ROM of choice.

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:21

Can't you JTAG Samsung devices to bring them back to life (as a very last resort before sending it off and paying for Samsung to fix it)?

Any phone can be JTAGed - this is how they are loaded at the factory. You need special hardware for that.

True, it is maybe cheaper than sending it off to Samsung, though.

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:22

Oh, btw, you can flash a new bootloader via ODIN. I never had to do it though, so I guess that'd fix an even bigger f*ck-up than I ever managed with my S2.

barrybarryk  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:22

I know the bootloader is different from the recovery image. That's why I used different words. Even a signed and encrypted bootloader can be reflashed with a JTAG, it just needs to be an original backup of your NAND

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:27

I know the bootloader is different from the recovery image. That's why I used different words. Even a signed and encrypted bootloader can be reflashed with a JTAG, it just needs to be an original backup of your NAND

What do you mean when you say "original backup"? Bootloader is part of image file supplied by provider. Or you mean part that contains IMEI and other info?

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:28

Oh, btw, you can flash a new bootloader via ODIN. I never had to do it though, so I guess that'd fix an even bigger f*ck-up than I ever managed with my S2.

This is interesting. If you mess up bootloader/loader.sin file on Sony, phone will not be recognized by PC and you will need JTAG.

barrybarryk  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:32

I mean a (Binary Image) backup of your NAND flash chip from a JTAG, obviously before it was busted. If it isn't using any sort of per device encryption/ signing a downloaded one will cut it but lots of stuff do use those sorts of protection and verification these days so it's always best to use your own backups

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 4, 2013 at 16:36

Oh, btw, you can flash a new bootloader via ODIN. I never had to do it though, so I guess that'd fix an even bigger f*ck-up than I ever managed with my S2.

This is interesting. If you mess up bootloader/loader.sin file on Sony, phone will not be recognized by PC and you will need JTAG.

Well, ODIN has an option to flash a bootloader, so I assume the phone will be recognised with a messed up bootloader or it would be a pretty pointless option. As I said though, I've never had to reflash a bootloader myself.

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