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[International / GSM] Request for Samsung Noob

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by jdaud, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. jdaud

    jdaud Well-Known Member
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    Hey all, as this is my first Samsung device (coming from a Droid X) I am wondering if anyone would be willing to put together a basic list of terminology/descriptions relevant to Samsung (GNex) i.e., Odin, fastboot, softboot, boot.img, different recoveries, etc

    The Droid X was my first Android phone and I have developed a pretty solid knowledge of how to flash and un-brick the phone. I would like to have a comfort level with my new toy, er... phone!

    Thanks in advance
     

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  2. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
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    jdaud,

    Greetings fellow DX'er and soon-to-be GNex'er ;) :).

    The only thing Samsung-ish in your list is Odin... I can't tell you too much about that since I've never personally used it, but what I know (or think I know ;)) is below:

    My first impression is that Odin is to Samsung as RSDLite is to the Moto Droid and that the RUU (ROM Update Utility) is to HTC.

    Also, I've read that there is an open-source version of Odin called Heimdall (and who doesn't like Norse god names?) and this thread http://www.glassechidna.com.au/products/heimdall/ contains a very nice description about what it does (and therefore, Odin, too). I've also included an excerpt from that thread here for you:
    What is Heimdall?

    Heimdall is a cross-platform open-source tool suite used to flash firmware (aka ROMs) onto Samsung Galaxy S devices.

    How does it work?

    Heimdall uses the same protocol as Odin to interact with a device in download mode. USB communication in Heimdall is handled by the popular open-source USB library, libusb-1.0.

    Why “Heimdall”?

    The flashing software Odin is named after the king of gods in Norse mythology. Loke, the software component on the Galaxy S that provides functionality to flash, may also to be named after an important character in Norse mythology, often translated as Loki. As such I have named my flashing software Heimdall, after the Norse god, and guardian of the Bifrost Bridge.

    What platforms does Heimdall run on?
    Linux, OS X and Windows (XP, Vista, 7 etc.)

    Why use Heimdall when we can use Odin?
    Odin is generally unreliable and only runs on Windows systems. Furthermore, Odin is leaked Samsung software that is not freely available or well understood by the community.

    Is Heimdall safe?

    No matter what method you chose, flashing firmware onto your device has a lot of potential for disaster. We have tested Heimdall with a variety of devices, flashing several different firmware versions with a 100% success rate. As such we believe that Heimdall is generally reliable. However keep in mind, just like any firmware flashing software, Heimdall has the potential to brick your device if not used correctly.

    How do Galaxy S devices get bricked when flashing?

    Besides the inherent risks like power outs, accidental removal of the USB cable etc. Galaxy S devices appear to be running somewhat unreliable USB control software.

    A failure to flash does not automatically equate to a fully bricked device. However if you’re extremely unlucky and the flash fails whilst transferring the primary boot-loader, secondary boot-loader or params.lfs (all quite small) than you’ve got yourself a paper weight until you can get it repaired via Samsung.

    Please be extremely careful mixing files from different firmware releases. Don’t do so unless you’re certain it will work!
    For your other questions:

    - fastboot (http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Fastboot): Fastboot is a command line tool used to directly flash the filesystem in Android devices from a host via USB. It allows flashing of unsigned partition images. It is disabled in production devices since USB support has been disabled in the bootloader. You must have an Engineering SPL, or an SPL that is S-OFF.

    - soft-boot: is using fastboot to load a bootable image (Android or a custom recovery) from a file on your PC and into/onto your Android device's internal memory and starting the boot process from there; this is opposed to loading the bootable image directly from the Android device

    - boot-image: is a bootable Android image file, consisting (principally) of a kernel and a ramdisk used for initializing the system; both Android proper and a custom recovery bootable image both work like this, they just differ in the contents of the ramdisk (and probably kernel) and how far they go in initializing the system (i.e., a custom recovery will not launch a full-blown Android O/S--it will limit what partitions are mounted and will direct control of your UI to the custom recovery menus).

    - different recoveries: well, there's the stock recovery that comes standard on the device and is very restricted in what options and functions are available; currently, for the Galaxy Nexus, I've only heard that there's Koush's ClockworkMod custom recovery; there are, of course other custom recoveries like Amon_RA's which is in wide-use on the original Nexus One; then there's RZRrecovery (read about it here: http://androidforums.com/galaxy-nexus-all-things-root/453761-anyone-see-rzrecovery.html), but its not yet been adapted for the Gnex (as far as I know at this point).

    Hope that helps :).

    Cheers!
     
    jdaud and trophynuts like this.
  3. jdaud

    jdaud Well-Known Member
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    Awesome! Thanks Mr Alien
     
  4. dubie7006

    dubie7006 Well-Known Member
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    Mr. Alien,

    I'm going to piggyback off this thread. In my rooting research, I'm seeing some words that are used in contexts I've never seen before:

    Flash - What does this mean? How is it used?

    Recovery/restore - Is this just too obvious and I'm not getting it?

    Backup - Is this something you do on the phone itself? Or something you do on a computer attached to the phone?

    I want to have my SGN rooted by the end of the weekend, so I'm going to be feverishly researching and stuff. Want to make sure I don't brick the thing. Any help is appreciated.
     
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