Sep 03 2010

Samsung Galaxy S – Check For System Recovery Mode Before Flashing!

For some high level information on why the three button modes are missing, click here.

To find a solution for the lag problem, click here.

For a solution to the missing system recovery mode, click here.

Earlier this week I picked up a Samsung Galaxy S as my first foray into Android mobile phones and so far it has been pretty good. I’m still planning to do a preview (university work has kept be otherwise occupied) but I thought I would highlight an issue that is plaguing a recent batch of these phones.

Basically, some units are incapable (or unreliable) in their ability to enter “system recovery mode” or bootloader mode (AKA  “three button mode” or “three button recovery mode”). System recovery mode is great when you want to wipe a partition on the phone or perhaps reset it back to factory defaults. Bootloader mode gives you a second bite of the cherry should a firmware flash go wrong.

I’ve been a bit keen to start experimenting with customised firmware available from sites such as XDA Developers but unfortunately for me, I have ended up with a phone that cannot boot into either of these modes. The prospect of potentially bricking my phone with no way to recover apart from a visit to  a service centre kinda puts a dampener on things.

To check if you are able to get into either of these modes, do the following:

  1. Power off the phone completely,
  2. Hold down the home button and either:
    1. the volume up button (for bootloader mode), or
    2. the volume down button (for system recovery mode),
  3. Then hold down the power button whilst holding down the other two buttons,
  4. Let go of the power button once you see activity on the screen then let go of the two other buttons.

If you manage to get into a text based screen then you are okay otherwise you have a unit that may be experiencing issues like many others at the moment.

Anyway, I decided to visit the shop from where I got the phone to see if I could get a replacement that does boot into these two modes. Luckily for me the shop had a functional display model of the Samsung Galaxy S on which I could show them what I was expecting to do with my phone and then show them my phone’s inability to do so. To their credit, they have agreed to swap my phone when new stock arrives (hopefully on Monday).

Whilst the inability to get into system recovery or bootloader modes may not be a show-stopper for basic users, I believe the whole point of an Android phone is being able to muck around with it and occasionally hosing the operating system is part of the fun associated with tweaking and modding.

Hopefully Samsung will have a solution for those patient and dedicated enough to wait but I will be exercising my right to a replacement.

3 pings

  1. Rooten lukt ECHT niet

    […] Hier staat het net weer anders: Power off the phone completely, […]

  2. How to Flash Unofficial Firmware on a Samsung Galaxy S » Boydo's Tech Talk

    […] of all, you should check if your device has download mode (a guide can be found here) and that you have a full battery to ensure a successful […]

  3. Samsung Galaxy S – Unleash the Potential with Darky’s ROM | Boydo's Tech Talk

    […] you want to give it a try, it is very important that you check that your three button recovery mode is operational as, if it isn’t, you could find yourself with a bricked device that you cannot recover […]

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