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Support Verizon downgrade to KitKat - Dummies Guide

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by ironass, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    WARNING! This downgrade will NOT be successful on the new Verizon OE1 & OG5 & OK3 firmwares thanks to Verizon's new bootloader. See, here.

    #1.0. Unfortunately, it appears that Verizon's own version of Android 5.0, Lollipop, is proving less than satisfactory and a growing number of its users have expressed a strong desire to return to the last version of KitKat, Android 4.4.4, until such time as Verizon can fix all the issues with their own version of the Lollipop firmware, whenever that may be.

    #1.1. This is a step-by-step guide, with videos and screenshots, for absolute beginners to Android and the Galaxy S5. Please read posts #1 and #2 carefully and thoroughly as they will take you through the Verizon KitKat installation procedure and answer most of your queries.


    #1.2. The following process is NOT rooting but merely re-installing the stock Verizon KitKat, Android 4.4.4 firmware to your phone. It does NOT affect your warranty and does NOT trip the Knox security warranty. This will NOT cancel the Verizon Lollipop auto update... there are procedures for that on this forum and elsewhere.

    #1.3. Whilst this is a no-wipe flash and your data should be safe, as with any firmware flashing process, I strongly urge you to backup everything. See #2.1 of S5 Lollipop Update Problems - Dummies Guide. Do not come crying to me if a Factory Data Reset is required and you have not taken this precaution.


    #1.4. This guide is for the Samsung Galaxy S5, SM-G900V, quad core phone for Verizon only and no other variant!
    (If you are unsure of the model of your phone, go to...
    Settings > More > About device > Model number)

    #1.5. What hardware do I need?

    Galaxy S5, SM-G900V quad core phone

    USB lead that came with the phone.

    A Windows PC running, XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1 (N.B. This will not work on Apple Macs)

    #1.6. What software do I need?

    7-Zip (or similar... WinRAR or WinZip) to extract the .zip files on your PC. Download, here.

    Odin3 v3.09. This is the PC programme that will install the Verizon KitKat, Android 4.4.4, firmware to your phone. Unzip the file and run Odin3 v3.09. Download, here.

    Samsung Kies3. This is a PC Suite for the Samsung. Download and install to your PC as you will require the drivers that come bundled with it, to connect your phone to the PC and Odin3. Download for Windows, here.

    When you have downloaded and installed Kies, connect your phone via the USB lead to ensure that it is working.



    #1.7. Verizon stock firmware for Android 4.4.4, KitKat. See below for link...

    Model: SM-G900V

    Model name: GALAXY S5

    Country: USA (Verizon)

    Version: Android 4.4.4

    Changelist: 3196895

    Build date: Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:33:49 +0000

    Product Code: VZW

    PDA: G900VVRU1ANK2

    CSC: G900VVZW1ANK2

    MODEM: G900VVRU1ANK2

    Alternative link...

    PDA: G900VVRU1ANK2 CSC: G900VVZW1ANK2 CHANGELIST: 3196895 BUILD DATE: 17.11.2014


    #1.8. Download the Verizon, Android 4.4.4 .zip file to your desktop and unzip it. To extract the file, just right click on it and select 7-Zip/WinRAR/Winzip and, "Extract here". This extracted .tar file is the one you will need. This is the .tar file that contains the Verizon Android 4.4.4 firmware for your phone. To avoid confusion you can now delete the original .zip file that it came with.

    #1.9. Just to recap. You should by now have installed Samsung Kies3 and Odin3 on your PC and be able to connect via your USB lead. Also, you have the correct Verizon, Android 4.4.4, .tar file on your home screen.

    You should now watch this short video which will take you through the actual firmware flashing process...

    How to Flash Stock Firmware for Galaxy S5 [All Variants] by Odin3

    #1.10. Put your phone into Download mode by turning it off completely and then press and hold the following buttons... Volume Down + Home (centre hard key) + (lastly) Power. Continue to hold these buttons until your phone boots into the Warning! screen asking you to press volume up if you want to continue or volume down to cancel. Press Volume Up.

    #1.11. Right click on Odin3 and select, "Run as Administrator", to open it. Ensure that the Samsung Kies3 programme is NOT running at the same time as this can cause problems

    With Odin3 displayed on your PC screen, click on the AP button and navigate to the .tar file, that you placed on your home screen, and select it.

    Make sure that Re-Partition is unchecked and that Auto Reboot, F.ResetTime and AP are checked and that the AP box now contains your .tar file.

    Connect your phone, still in Download mode, to the PC using the USB lead. If you have successfully connected to Odin3 you should see the ID:COM box in Odin turn light blue. See screenshot...


    [​IMG]

    In Odin click the Start button and you should see a green progress bar above ID:COM and shortly after that the box above it will turn green with the word PASS! in it and your phone will automatically reboot. You will now have the Verizon KitKat firmware on your phone.

    #1.12. Should you encounter any problems with re-booting, remove your battery and replace it and boot into Recovery mode and wipe the cache partition as per #1.3 of S5 Lollipop Update Problems - Dummies Guide.

    #1.13. If wiping the cache partition in Recovery mode fails to boot your phone, you will need to perform a Factory Data Reset as per #2.3 of S5 Lollipop Update Problems - Dummies Guide.



    See, also...
    37 Galaxy S5 models - Dummies Guide

    S5 Lollipop Update Problems - Dummies Guide
    Galaxy S5, Fake Clone or Genuine - Dummies Guide
    GPS fix S5 - Dummies Guide
     

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    #1 ironass, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    lunatic59, Mikestony, rawness and 2 others like this.
  2. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    Tips for using this Dummies Guide.

    I have tried to keep this, "Dummies Guide", as simple and easy to understand as possible for absolute beginners, with no prior knowledge of Android and the Samsung Galaxy S5, whilst trying to cover the most commonly asked questions about flashing firmware.

    #2.1. Please take the time to read post #1 carefully and thoroughly before posting a question as it should contain most of the answers you require.

    #2.2. If a reply to a question states, "See, #1.5". It means that the answer to your query is already contained in post #1, item #5. Re-read that item again, carefully, and it should answer your question and saves the time and trouble of having to repeat things all over again.


    #2.3. Please, please, please, help keep this thread on topic. It is designated for downgrading from Verizon Lollipop to KitKat and not for debating the merits of Verizon's firmware updates or questions about specific app compatibility, backing up your phone, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Network connections, rooting, etc; etc: There are other threads on the forum for that or you can start one of your own.

    #2.4. Please do not PM me with questions. I will not reply. Ask them on the forum so that others may benefit from the questions and answers and offer their suggestions.



    #2.5. Whilst I have taken every care in compiling this guide, I cannot be held responsible for any damage that may occur through its use, or mis-use, and the decision to use this guide lies with you, the owner.

    This guide is written solely for, and on behalf of, Android Forums and may not be reproduced, in part or whole, without permission.
     
  3. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    Reserved
     
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  4. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    I will make one comment, on SamMobile, it is well worthwhile to donate to help them defray their hosting costs. If you don't, the download speed is restricted severely and it will be most of a 24 hour day to get the file. Loose the connection, and you have to start all over.

    Thanks Ironass for doing a super great job on this. Knock on wood, I have prevented VZW's 5.0 from installing "yet".
    ____________________________________
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    MyPhoneExplorer lets you access a broken phone while locked
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  5. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    To be honest AZgl1500, it takes about an hour to download the 1.7GB of Verizon firmware on a 7Mbps connection. I had to do it earlier for the guide. Always good to donate though... or we could lose a valuable link for firmware. ;)
     
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  6. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    I was just commenting on personal experience on two different occasions.
    First time, I did it on the free link. Download rate was about 15 kBps , it never made it and I went to bed and left it alone.

    Later, I went back and donated the shortest of the Premium deals and it still took about 5 hours to download to me. I am on a 13 mBps ADSL line thru AT&T supposedly. I wanted the file on hand "just in case" I have to do exactly what you posted in #1 and #2.
     
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  7. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    Judging by the number of posts on here and the web, it would seem that Verizon's attempt at Lollipop, Android 5.0, has been, as was expected, an unmitigated disaster. It could take awhile for them to rectify this as they have to heavily modify Samsung's stock version of Lollipop, which has now been rolled out to around 130 different versions to-date, and then add all their bloatware.
     
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  8. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    Within 2 hours of the release of Lollipop on the VZW S5, I was on the phone to Verizon's Tech support folks, who then conferenced in Samsung Tech Support: I asked for a way to Block the release of any updates forever. The official answer is "You can't prevent an update from Verizon".


    Knocking on 4.4.4 wood planks, I have avoided 5.0 so far.
    I did this by turning off "config.updater" and "Samsung.update" and setting the System Update to WiFi only.... and then I refused to use WiFi.... my choice, I have not exceeded my Data Plan yet.
    .
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    #8 AZgl1500, Feb 20, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2015
  9. rawness

    rawness Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks so much for this. I was contemplating a factory reset because lollipop has been so terrible since I got it a couple days ago
     
  10. neil154

    neil154 Android Enthusiast
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    [QUOTE="
    #1.2. The following process is NOT rooting but merely re-installing the stock Verizon KitKat, Android 4.4.4 firmware to your phone. It does NOT affect your warranty and does NOT trip the Knox security warranty. This will NOT cancel the Verizon Lollipop auto update... there are procedures for that on this forum and elsewhere.
    [/QUOTE]

    I have not yet been prompted to upgrade to Lollipop and not really interested in the upgrade. Above it states that there are procedures that will stop the auto update to Lollipop but I could not find it. I would appreciate it if someone would provide link to prevent upgrade.
     
  11. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    Well, I am still on 4.4.4 and hope to stay that way.
    This is how I think I have stalled it off.

    In Settings/...../ALL
    I turned OFF both:
    config.updater
    Samsung.updater

    I set AutoUpdates to OFF
    I set Updates via WiFi only.

    Now, IF the update question appears on your phone, do NOT answer it, Power OFF the Phone immediately.

    then follow this script:
    * Lollipop Update delay by clearing cache 3 times

    I personally am not using WiFi anymore, so far this has not caused me to use more than about 0.6 gB of data in the last 26 days of my 30 day cycle. I do not view videos on the phone period, I do not play games period.

    I do read a lot of news stories, and do technical research, and a lot of Google searches.... a lot of pictures come along for the ride, but if you stay away from Videos, your data plan will not be hit hard.
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    MacroDroid senses Screen on, turns Data ON
     
  12. neil154

    neil154 Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the information. Please tell me the missing parts of "In Settings/...../ALL", what is the ...
    Also, from the other link that you provided it sounds like I have to do the clear cache every day, is that correct?
     
  13. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    Sorry, I assumed way too much.

    Settings/Applications/Applications Manager/ALL

    to get to ALL you must swipe Right to Left several times.


    No, you would only have to do Clear Cache Partion..... IF Lollipop upgrade tries to download on your phone again. That is a Last Ditch Stop It From Upgrading script. usually you will see a message to accept the upgrade, or to Delay the upgrade 'X' number of hours....
    Some folks have said that they were able to tell it "never", that I have never seen. All I got was "Now or Later"..... if I see that message, I power OFF and do the script.
     
  14. neil154

    neil154 Android Enthusiast
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    Thanks for the additional information. One final question is you said

    "I set AutoUpdates to OFF
    I set Updates via WiFi only"

    but in Google Play I only saw one setting for update and I could either set autoupdate to off OR set update via WiFi only.
     
  15. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    I am not speaking of Google Play settings, those you should set to Never IF you do not want the Play Store apps updating on you all the time. I choose to Never Update any app unless it breaks. If the phone is not broke, then don't be fixing it until it is broken.

    Automatic Updates you will find here, be sure the box is NOT checked:
    Settings/ Security/ Security policy updates /Automatic Updates

    The WiFi only setting you will find here, ;
    Settings/ Security/ Security policy updates / Preferred Networks /Wi-Fi networks only <= place the dot here
     
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  16. neil154

    neil154 Android Enthusiast
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    Okay, thanks.

    How often do you get prompted for the Lollipop update?
     
  17. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    Myself? I have not had one yet..... I am hoping that my method of avoiding it is the reason.

    We have two S5s here in this house, I have both of them configured identical.
    Neither one of them has had a message to upgrade to Lollipop on Verizon.

    for battery life, my S5 goes about 2 or 3 days. My wife's S5 goes 8-10 days between charges; but she only makes phone calls, no surfing. My MacroDroid scripts shut off the internet when our phones are idle.


    The script tips for Deleting the Lollipop upgrade was written by the guy who's post I linked to. He deserves that credit.
    ____________________________________
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    MacroDroid senses Screen on, turns Data ON
     
  18. deacsrider

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    When I back up everything, will I lose my text message history? I had someone very close to me pass away last summer and would like to be able to keep the text messages we had. I'm unclear on how that works or what steps to take to ensure I'm backing up correctly. Total tech newbie.
     
  19. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    It depends on how you backup and what with. I cannot comment on the Samsung PC suite, Kies, as I gave up on that years ago. However, there are apps on the Play Store, such as Helium - App Sync and Backup and SMS Backup & Restore that you can use. I would do this anyway, if those SMS are that important.
     
  20. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    If you will install Super Backup
    * Super Backup : SMS & Contacts - Android Apps on Google Play

    you can backup your SMS history and save it to anywhere your heart desires. The "save to" locations are so vast, there just isn't any limit, only your imagination.

    That is what I use, and I will stand by them thar words.
     
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  21. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    It would appear from this and other forums, that more and more Verizon customers are fed up with waiting for Verizon to sort out their firmware, having waited 6 weeks, and are opting to go back to the old Verizon KitKat, Android 4.4.4, firmware in post #1.
     
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  22. sean19661

    sean19661 Android Enthusiast
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    Hello everyone I'm new to the S5 scene
    Sorry for the stupid question I thought with Knox you cannot downgrade it would brick your phone
     
  23. ironass

    ironass Extreme Android User
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    No problems with Knox when using a stock Verizon firmware. See, #1.2. Besides, there is a new Lollipop, "bugfix", update out, OC4, from Verizon.
     
    #23 ironass, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
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  24. Arrrgh

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  25. Arrrgh

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    This description is for the S5. I have a Galaxy S4.

    Does this process apply to the S4 also?
    If not, is there a similar thread for the S4 someplace I could follow?
    Thanks
     
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Samsung Galaxy S5

The Samsung Galaxy S5 was announced in 2014 and was the company's first flagship of the year. The device featured a 5.1-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and a 16MP primary rear camera.

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