Thursday, January 10, 2013

Rooting & Flash-Upgrading to Ice-Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 for Samsung Galaxy Phones

In this post I would discuss how to flash and upgrade your Samsung Galaxy S / Note phones to the latest firmware and the Rooting your android phone to get SuperUser privileges. Though I really tried by flashing my Samsung Note GT-N7000 to ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) 4.0.4 from Gingerbread 2.3.3 but this method should be pretty much common to other phones too.

Just in case if you are not familiar with flashing the firmware, you can consider it as a way to upgrade your phone manually by connecting it to your PC and overwriting the existing firmware of the phone. You might have seen this process or somewhat similar in mobile repair centers/shops.

Also Rooting in Android phones pertains to the concept that normally the user doesn't have system level privileges by default. You have to kinda hack into the phone to get yourself the Super User privileges. The advantage having a Rooted phone is that you will have complete control over it and there are several applications which will tap the potential of rooted phones. You can use firewall in your phone, block ads, play with system level files, tweak hardware settings like GPS,etc. and even overclock/underclock the CPU.

Normally Samsung should provide you Over-the-Air (OTA) updates for your firmware but at times you would like to take in charge if you want to try different ROMs (3rd party firmwares), try test versions of firmware, use firmwares released in other countries or if facing any problem with OTA updates even though they are available.

NOTE: Flashing done improperly might render your phone unusable. But if followed properly, mostly there is no problem. Or even in case something goes bad, there are ways to bring it back to life.

Lets get started with the process !


1) Backup
Before trying to change the world, its essential you take a backup of your essential stuff just in case of a mishap. Though ideally apps like Titanium backup can backup almost the exact state of your phone but it can be and for a clean flash and install, neglected.

Just save your important data manually or use various Cloud services which will let you save your data online (preferred way).

  • You can sync Contacts to your Google account or just export all the contacts to your micro SD card in vcf file.
  • You can save the SMS messages by using a nice app on Google Play 'SMS Backup & Restore'.
  • Its better to move all your notes/text files to Evernote which is again a Cloud Notes taking app.
  • Move all graphic/media files to your PC using the USB cable or move them to SD card.
  • Backup all Watsapp if using by using the Backup functionality in Chat Settings of Watsapp.
  • Your apps installed history will anyways be there in your Google Play account, so you can always re-install the apps anytime after flashing.
2) Requirements
  1. Phone should be charged above 75% or a full charge is preferred as if your phone runs out of battery while flashing, that could be a disaster. However flashing normally takes 4-5 minutes, so don't get paranoid about it. I flashed mine with 45% charge.
  2. Odin3 v1.85 - the flashing software which works on Windows. Click link to download.
  3. Android 4.0.4 N7000DDLRB for Galaxy Note GT-N7000 - The ICS 4.0.4 firmware specific to India. You can go to which maintains the list of all the latest official firmwares for the phones. You can look at the list for firmware for your phone other than Samsung Note or different version/country. The site might ask you to register but you can easily Google the downloadable firmware package by using the PDA name ie 'N7000DDLRB' in my case.This file is a big file being around 700-900 MB.
  4. NOTE: Finding model number of your device is easy (eg GT-N7000 for me). Go to settings>About Phone>model Number. This would be useful for finding the firmware for you easily.
  5. NoteCore Kernel to root N7000DDLRB firmware [Filename: GL_NOTECORE_v13_OC.tar] - needed to Root your phone after flash-upgrading it.

3) Process
  1. Extract Firmware zip file that you downloaded already from above link in Requirements-Step 3, you will get a .tar file and might get some other files.
  2. Now extract Odin zip file and you will get Odin3 v1.85.exe and Odin3.ini under extracted folder.
  3. Power off your phone. Wait 5-6 seconds for vibration to confirm complete switch off.
  4. Now, put the Galaxy Note GT-N7000 phone in Download Mode by pressing pressing and holding down the Volume Down and Home buttons while pressing the Power button until you are welcomed by a green robot indicating you are in Download Mode. Use the 'Power Button' as an Enter key in Download mode recovery console and Volume up/down buttons to scroll up and down.
  5. Now run Odin3 v1.85.exe
  6. Now connect your Galaxy Note GT-N7000 with your PC using USB cable. A message will arrive under Odin’s message box in the bottom left saying “Added!!”. If you don’t get the same then you should try another USB port (try USB port located in back in your desktop PC). If that too don’t work then you should then reinstall the driver. If you successfully see the “Added!!” message in Odin then you are ready to go in next step. You should also see COM port with a number in Yellow if you successfully added your device.
  7. Select these files in Odin at respective tabs from extracted N7000DDLRB firmware folder :
  8. Click the PDA Button, and select the .tar file here with *code* appearing in its name
  9. Click the Phone Button, and select file with *modem* in its name (leave if there is no such file)
  10. Click the CSC Button, and select file with *csc* in its name (leave if there is no such file)
  11. Click the PIT Button, and select the .pit file. Use only if you got it while extracting in step 1 above, otherwise ignore it.
  12. In Odin window, make sure ONLY Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time checkboxes are selected. Also, make sure that Re-Partition checkbox is selected, only if you are using a .pit file.
  13. NOTE: For me, only tar file was there so I selected it in PDA step 8 and checked the Auto Reboot & F. Reset Time boxes and then I flashed.
  14. Double check everything that mentioned in Step 7, 8 & 12 above. Now, once satisfied hit the START button to begin the flashing process.
  15. Once flashing completed, you will see a PASS message with green background in the left-most box at the very top of the Odin. The phone will then automatically rebooted and soon you will see the Samsung logo. You can then unplug the USB cable to disconnect your device from computer.
  16. Congrats! Your Galaxy Note, model number N7000 should now run on Android 4.0.4 ICS build DDLRB. Goto Settings > About phone to verify this firmware update.
NOTE: The phone reboot just fine after flashing but For me the phone got stuck on Reboot on the Glowing Samsung Logo. But there is a simple way out of it too. It might happen due to some system files from the earlier firmware.

You can try wiping the old system data
  1. turning off your phone
  2. press volume UP + menu( home key) + power simultaneously to reboot in recovery mode..
  3. once in recovery mode, select Wipe Data Factory Reset 
  4. Then select Wipe Cache Partition
  5. after the phone finish clearing everything, select go back 
  6. select reboot system now and wait....
The phone in my case rebooted just fine and so should in yours !


  1. This requires Odin and GL_NOTECORE_v13_OC.tar file downloaded in step 4 of Requirements above.
  2. Process is similar to Step 7 described in Flashing Section. Reboot, go to Download mode, connect Odin and look for the Added message in Odin after connecting your phone through USB. 
  3. Select this file in Odin, Click the PDA Tab, and select the GL_NOTECORE_v13_OC.tar file.
  4. In Odin window, make sure ONLY Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time checkboxes are selected.
  5. Double check everything. Now, once satisfied hit the START button to begin the flashing process.
  6. Once flashing completed, you will see a PASS message with green background in the left-most box at the very top of the Odin. The phone will then automatically rebooted and soon you will see the Samsung logo. You can then unplug the USB cable to disconnect your device from computer.
  7. Once restarted you will see a SuperUser App installed in your phone. Also you can download Root Checker app from Google Play and double-check for the Root User thing. Here's the link Root Checker.
  8. Just google for all the apps useful for Rooted phones. You will be surprised, amazed and delighted at the options available and new capabilities of your device.
You will feel actually like Owning that Device and being the Master of It !!! :)))

Final Words

Though Flashing and Rooting is a little Risky process but do not hold back, seldom something goes wrong. 
If your device is other than Samsung Note GT-N7000 make sure you get the appropriate firmware for your phone.
Jelly Bean update for Samsung Galaxy S2 / Note is almost about to be released with some test firmwares already out there !

Feel free to ask any doubts or share any comments.



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