Friday, June 12, 2015

Flashing Samsung S4 Active (I9295) with Lolipop (5.0.1) ROM via Heimdall on OSX

My Samsung S4 Active GT-I9295 came with Android 4.2.2 pre-installed. I wanted to upgrade it to the latest stock ROM (Lolipop v5.0.1) - but since I'm using Mac, I needed to use Heimdall instead of ODIN. I couldn't find any tutorial about that, so I decided to write one myself.

Make sure your phone is fully charged, and that your laptop is connected to the AC - you don't want either your phone to run out of battery or your computer to sleep during the process: you might end up with an expensive brick instead of a phone.

  1. First, backup everything that your care for - you might have to wipe your phone during the process. If you upgrade your own Android phone, I trust you know what you want to backup, but in particular, pay attention to your Whatsapp messages, Camera Photos and SMS & Call logs.
  2. Download a compatible ROM. You can fetch one from http://www.sammobile.com/firmwares/.
  3. Unzip the file, and untar the .tar.md5 file (tar -xf YOUR_ROM.tar.md5)
  4. Download and install the latest Heimdall version
  5. Uninstall Kies and its drivers - otherwise you Heimdall won't connect to your device.
  6. Turn on your device in ODIN download mode (by turning it on while pressing Volume Down + Home + Power and get then Volume Up)
  7. Connect the device to your compute through a USB cable
  8. Open the terminal/command line
  9. Go to the directory which contains the files you extracted from the .tar.md5 file
  10. Check that Heimdall is able to see your device - # heimdall detect
  11. Start the flush process -
    # sudo heimdall flash \
      --APNHLOS NON-HLOS.bin \
      --ABOOT aboot.mbn \
      --BOOT boot.img \
      --HIDDEN hidden.img.ext4 \
      --MDM modem.bin \
      --RECOVERY recovery.img \
      --RPM rpm.mbn \
      --SBL1 sbl1.mbn \
      --SBL2 sbl2.mbn \
      --SBL3 sbl3.mbn \
      --SYSTEM system.img.ext4 \
      --TZ tz.mbn \
      --CACHE cache.img.ext4

    • That might take several minutes to end.
    • Make sure your laptop doesn't go into sleep mode during the execution!
    • Notice that the cache.img.ext4 should be the last parameter.
    • The SS_DL.dll file that is included in the archive is not needed.
    • At the end of the flashing process, the phone will reboot, and start to reconfigure itself.

In case your phone hangs in a boot-loop (that is, the boot animation keeps going for more than 10 minutes and your phone doesn't start yet), you need to do a factory reset through the recovery console. Hard reset your phone (hold the power button for 10 seconds), and push Volume Up+Home while you turn it on. Choose to clear cache and a factory wipe. After doing the factory wipe, the boot still might take quite a while (around 5 minutes), so keep calm and be patient.

Disclaimer - Although I've successfully tried this guide on my own device, I cannot take any responsibility on anything that might or might not happen to yours. The information and documents provided here are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including limitation warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and noninfringement. Put it in another way, if you follow the instructions above, you are doing it ON YOUR OWN RISK. You phone might end up totally worthless. Be warned.

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