OMG, so that was normal for the phone to do that??? how funny! wow, that's crazy, i saw it hanging there and this wave of disappointment ran thru me and I thought, man, this phone must be fried. But going from the wave of disappointment to overcome with excitement in a matter of minutes, you can probably imagine how dramatic that change of emotions was for me!
The thing is, I DID take it to AT&T remember??? they're the ones that bricked it. They couldn't even fix their own phone or recover from the state they put it in, yet someone was able to provide instructions over the internet to a lay person with no technical experience as far as cell phones go, and it was successfully recovered! Ain't that something??
I walked into the AT&T store with a semi-working phone (it turned on and booted up to the 2nd splash screen (Samsung & ATT) but I walked out of there with a bricked phone that wouldn't turn on or boot up, just gave me the "Firmware upgrade encountered and issue" error. If all else failed, as a last resort, I was going to send it in to Samsung, they already emailed me the shipping label but I so didn't want to have to do that, and because of your help, I didn't have to! Thanks again!
I specifically remember setting the loaner phone down on one of the copy machines at kinkos, while I loaded money onto my kinkos card at the kiosk next to it. As I sat it down, i said to myself, remember you sat it here, don't forget it! But I had an issue with the kiosk not taking my dollar bills and had to go up to the counter, and whattaya know... i forgot to pick it up!! After I left, while driving home, I remembered not picking it up and turned back around and went right back for it but it was gone. I went to AT&T the next day and got a new SIM card and had them cancel out the other one. Are my contacts stored on that SIM? thanks god my sdcard wasn't in that phone, I just hadn't gotten around to putting it in there yet or it would have been!
Thanks again for all your help