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[Virgin Mobile] Hardbricked with knox

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by deviation56, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. deviation56

    deviation56 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I updated my S3 to 4.3 via Kies not too long ago so I had KNOX installed on the phone. Somehow today I managed to hardbrick it in TWRP flashing a zip but I'm not sure which one did it as I had flashed a couple zips. I've tried this method in every form possible to at least get it in to download mode with no success:

    Unbrick a hard bricked Samsung Galaxy S3 Sprint/ Virgin Mobile - Android Forums at AndroidCentral.com

    Could it be knox thats preventing that method outlined above from working anymore? What else can I try?

    ***UPDATE 12/18/2013*** For anyone who might stumble upon this thread with the same problem: It is possible to un-hardbrick a Samsung Galaxy SIII VM (w/4.3 OTA + KNOX) if all other methods have failed, via the JTAG RIFF Box method of unbricking. If you don't know anyone who has one- take a look around for people selling unbricking services on ebay. Best of luck!
    [​IMG]
     



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  2. upconvert

    upconvert Well-Known Member

    Are you using an MD5 image? I would think that might be necessary with KNOX.

    Also, where exactly is it failing?
     
    deviation56 likes this.
  3. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    So you can't even get into download mode manually?
     
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  4. deviation56

    deviation56 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Nope no recovery, no download mode, nothing, screen stays completely black no matter what. If I plug it into my PC the red LED will blink and windows will make that USB recognized device sound occasionally and I thought at one point I even saw it say installing drivers for Qualcomm something but Odin won't recognize it. And I can't even get it into download mode using that sdcard trick in the link I posted in original post. I was updated to the latest OTA 4.3 (rooted, with KNOX) before this happened and had TWRP installed for recovery. And by no means am I a novice to any of this stuff, I've been rooting phones since my original Motorola Droid w/Verizon and NEVER hardbricked a phone until now. Any ideas?
     
  5. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    So first off I will acknowledge your status as a non-noob, but I am going to ask questions as if you were, fair enough? So when I say manual method for download I mean volume down, home key, and power all at same time until it vibrates, keep holding those buttons beyond that until script appears in the top left corner of screen. Also, can you tell us all the zips you flashed if you remember so we can try to pinpoint which one may or may not have given you problems?
     
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  6. jdsingle76

    jdsingle76 Android Enthusiast

    It can be very tricky to get into download or recovery mode, so much so that I sometimes have to take my case off and deliberately think about it :) But if you're certain that you're doing it right, and you can't get into dl or recovery mode, at all, then I'm afraid you may be bricked. Have you tried booting into download mode, even if the screen is black, and plugging into your PC and see if Odin reads it? Also, do you have access to a dongle jig? I'm not sure if Knox would play nice with it, but it's worth a try...(google it!). If you didn't flash anything that would change your bootloader, I'm surprised that you bricked like that. I am not sure if any of this helped, but good luck :)
     
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  7. upconvert

    upconvert Well-Known Member

    If the red light comes on and windows makes a device connected sound, could you possibly get adb access? If so, you might be able to flash a recovery that way.
     
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  8. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    There is now a return to stock .tar file for the MK3 Sprint update available on XDA, which is what some users have been waiting for in order to bail them out of a Knox-induced situation. From what I have read, Knox might allow a push of a .tar file if it restores its preferred status after a blocked/bricked attempt at pushing a non-Knox bootloader. I truly don't know if pushing the Sprint version of the update is possible or advisable on a VM or Boost phone, but it seems like nobody has really had a problem in the past using anything Sprint oriented, and I *think* it might work. Someone like JD would probably know a better answer, and the user CNexus is who posted on XDA, he is to Sprint what JD is to VM and Boost, so maybe shoot him a PM over on that forum. Good luck.
     
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  9. deviation56

    deviation56 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    First of all, thank you so much for all the help everyone. As someone pointed out above I did notice with the phone plugged into my PC, windows was making the USB connection sound every time i would pop the microSD card in and out of the phone. I was trying to get Odin 3.09 to recognize it with no success then I remembered reading somewhere to use Odin 1.85. Upon loading odin 1.85 the phone is now showing up in COM slot 3. I guess Im going to grab that sprint TAR off xda and give it a go- Ill let you know what happens.

    In the mean time If I was to find/hire someone with a RIFF JTAG box to try and unbrick it via that method, what firmware would or can I provide them with to return the phone to stock? Is there even one available for the virgin mobile variant that would work for this method? For example I messaged the seller on this ebay auction:

    Unbrick Samsung Galaxy s JTAG Riff Boot Repair Hard Brick Jig USA Only | eBay

    And he asked me for a link to the virgin mobile 4.3 update... is there any rom/tar/anything i can provide him with that would work for the RIFF box JTAG method of unbricking? thanks in advance
     
  10. deviation56

    deviation56 Newbie
    Thread Starter

  11. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Two things. Odin 3.07 should also work but is probably the same difference as 1.85, I have used both no problems, just different interfaces. Second, hold off on the JTAG. If Knox has done what it appears to have done, a JTAG is going to be worthless from what I have read elsewhere. This is intentional on the part of Samsung. The only thing I have seen that offers hope is restoring the boot loader setup that Knox wants, i.e. a stock .tar from the Knox-based MK5 update. I still *think* MK3 should do the same thing, but no guarantees.
     
  12. jdsingle76

    jdsingle76 Android Enthusiast

    I have seen the stock Boost/VM tar on here. I actually have it on my computer. I'm on my phone so I don't have access to all my old posts. If you look back at my posts, I asked mrg666 if he cared if I used it for future builds. If you are on MK5 Knox boot loader, I'm not sure, but it may react funky to MK3, thus giving you issue. Download all the files as mrg says, and in the first one extract the 1.4gb(or whatever size, but it's definitely over 1gb) using 7zip, to your pc, and try to flash that using Odin.
     
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  13. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Yeah, I remember seeing it too, it was in a bunch of smaller parts due to system upload restrictions of 100 MB at a time if I recall. Would be nice to have it all in one piece the way CNexus has his for the MK3 on XDA. I didn't really understand the download instructions myself for our version.
     
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  14. jdsingle76

    jdsingle76 Android Enthusiast

    I'll upload it tomorrow and put it on my rom thread for you guys
     
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  15. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Great idea! This may finally be an alternate suggestion for those who have bricked due to Knox. Not that I necessarily need to suggest it, but put A LOT of disclaimers around it so nobody uses it inadvertently and gets Knox-ed up.
     
  16. jdsingle76

    jdsingle76 Android Enthusiast

    That link is the OTA version, so will be definitely Knoxed up. It would have to be put into zip and have Knox removed in order to make it safe..oh wait, that's already been done :)
     
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  17. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Very nice you sly devil dog you!!
     
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  18. deviation56

    deviation56 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Awesome, thanks for that find! I uploaded a mirror of the full unzipped ALL_L710VPUBMK5_L710SPTBMK5_2045665_REV03_user_low_noship.tar.md5 in case anyone else is interested:

    https://mega.co.nz/#!4J1CgRjS!GA8ZYCr1hwO1tioMkUKFJgw8wClEKj6muh6hTdioAZE

    *Edit* Some people have issues downloading from Mega, here's another mirror on my own server:

    http://www.deviation56.com/SPH-L710...SPTBMK5_2045665_REV03_user_low_noship.tar.md5

    Much thanks to mrg666 for uploading the original file(s)!

    I'm about to try flashing it now, I'll let yall now how it goes, thanks!
     
  19. deviation56

    deviation56 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Ok so upon trying to flash the above file, I'm still getting the same error from Odin "md5 hash value invalid"- same error it gave me when trying to flash the sprint ROM. Furthermore any version of Odin v3.04 and above will not recognize the phone, but Odin 1.85 will recognize it, so thats where I am trying to flash it from. Any more ideas or should I just try my luck and have the guy with the JTAG RIFF box try and unbrick it? Thanks guys
     
  20. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Try modifying the name of the file by removing ".md5" from the end so it now ends with ".tar"
     
  21. deviation56

    deviation56 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Yeah I feel stupid, I realized that seconds after I made that post. Removing the .md5 gets pasted the md5 hash failure but now Odin 1.85 just hangs on Setting Up Connection state... Looks like I'm SOL as far as possible fixes within my reach- going to send it off to JTAG RIFF Box repair service and hope for the best. I'll update and let you know if it's sucessful or not which will hopefully give a little more insight into how knox & hardbricking works... Thanks again for everyone's help!
     
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  22. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    Try Odin 3.07; my understanding is no JTAG fix for Knox.
     
  23. deviation56

    deviation56 Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Tried all versions of Odin. :( As far as windows recognizing the phone being plugged in this is what happens:

    With battery and SD card removed, if I plug in phone via USB to PC I will get solid red LED on the phone and Windows will make the USB connection sound thus allowing the phone only to be seen in Odin 1.85

    With battery removed and SD card inserted, if I plug in phone via USB to PC I will get solid red LED on the phone but Windows will not make the USB connection sound until I pop out the SD card (and then it can be seen in Odin 1.85- but any attempts to flash anything freeze at Setting Up Connection)

    I don't know if it makes any difference but the SD Card has on it that bootloader that I linked to earlier that's supposed to let the sprint variant boot into download mode via booting from the SD card

    ...I think having someone attempt a JTAG is pretty much my last and only option here unless there's anything else you guys can think of- the way I see it even if JTAG fails at least I can say I exhausted all my options to avoid owning a $300 paperweight. Thanks again everyone for your help thus far
     
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  24. struckn

    struckn Android Expert
    VIP Member

    I am so sorry buddy, but this has exhausted my knowledge on the subject. I wish I could help you more, but good luck with the JTAG. Hopefully you will prove wrong the things I have read about Knox and a JTAG fix, I have only read educated guesses about it not working really, no direct experiences. We all look forward to hearing your results. Good luck!
     

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The Samsung Galaxy S3 release date was May 2012. Features and Specs include a 4.8" inch screen, 8MP camera, 1GB RAM, Exynos 4412 Quad processor, and 2100mAh battery.

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