May 23, 2012 By: FallenWriter
The Samsung Galaxy Note we reviewed previously is an amazing device. A hybrid of tablet and phone, it fits into a niche that defies normal conventions. Recently though, we mentioned that the current leaked builds of ICS for the Note have been plagued with a superbrick bug.
Much to our surprise, Samsung has just released the ICS kernel source code for the Note! It is in no small part thanks to the work of community members like SamsungJohn and XDA Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512 that Samsung has responded to our pleas and has given us what we need to work around the problems.
Of course, we here at XDA would like to thank the folks over at Samsung for the quick turnaround time. Here’s hoping that we can work together to fix the problem. If you’re eager to take a crack at the code, head on over to the official release page.
In today’s Quick Take of This Week in Development, Jordan covers all the noteworthy articles from the XDA Portal. As Jordan discusses, the most important articles were about the Samsung Galaxy S III. This weekend the Galaxy S III was rooted, official stock firmware was leaked, Samsung S Voice was ripped, and the first custom ROM was released. In related news, the older Samsung Galaxy S II and Note have a serious bug that could brick your device.
It’s almost assumed that when the stock firmware is released for a highly anticipated device, developers will jump through hoops to make it work for their devices. As is the case with the Samsung Galaxy S III firmware, which was leaked yesterday. Developers have been getting their hands on it to give the users of their phone some SGS III love. Of course, it is assumed that the first thing to start making its rounds around the forum would be Samsung’s S Voice.
Originally posted for the International Galaxy Note by XDA Senior Member Zanr Zij, which showed that S Voice worked on the Note and probably many other Samsung Galaxy S devices, the S Voice has begun slowly making its way from device to device as users figure out whether or not it works for them.
Fortunately, XDA Senior Member dolcedavinci was brave enough to give it a shot and found out that the proprietary Samsung app actually does work on the HTC One S. And of course, this means that it doesn’t require any Samusng-specific framework and will likely work on many, many other devices as well. Installation is simple, just install the apk and give it a whirl.
For additional information, check out the Galaxy Note thread where you’ll find the download link to the apk for S Voice. You can also check out the One S thread to see it working for the HTC phone. Since you can just install the app like any other apk, and thus uninstall it easily, there’s no risk in trying this for yourself on your own device!
May 18, 2012 By: egzthunder1
Since the latest leaks for the Samsung Galaxy S2 line up have been hitting us left and right, people have been jumping between ROMs—mainly between buggy, pre-release ICS builds and very stable GB. This is, after all, what we do on XDA as a habit: We see a leak, we flash it, we use it, and we tweak it. If it doesn’t fly, we simply roll back. Of course, there is always an inherent risk in flashing stuff that should not be on your device in the first place, but the risk of fully bricking a device in this day and age is rather small. Especially, since there are tools available to bring your devices back from the dead, such as UnBrickable Mod by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler.
Having said this, not everything seems to be fine in the world of leaks. Thanks to XDA Elite Recognized Developer Entropy512, we have learned that most devices that are receiving leaks are at a very high risk of never waking up after a flash. It turns out that there is a major bug in the leaked ICS kernel that affects the /data partition in the eMMC chip, which apparently gets corrupted during certain operations such as wiping and flashing. This was originally believed to be affecting only operations performed in custom recoveries such as CWM. However, there have been reports of hard bricks being produced from the flashing from stock recoveries as well. The affected devices are:
Entropy and other devs have posted several warnings scattered throughout the site, in which they explain in detail what is happening. Our suggestion is that users should stay away from flashing ICS from leaks until the bug in the kernel has been completely fixed—unless of course, you are looking to hard brick your device. Remember, this is not something that can be resurrected via Unbrickable Mod or even via JTAG, as this is a firmware error in the eMMC. This is directly from Entropy himself for those of you interested in a bit more detail:
DANGER: Many Samsung ICS leak kernels may damage your device!
Those who pay attention to goings-on with various Samsung devices may have noticed that some devices are experiencing a large quantity of hardbricks when ICS leaked kernels are used. These hardbricks are particularly nasty, in that vendors of JTAG services have been unable to resurrect these devices, unlike simple bootloader-corruption hardbricks. This is due to the fact that these kernels are actually managing to cause what appears to be permanent damage to the eMMC storage device.
Kernels that are confirmed affected are:
[*]All Epic 4G Touch (SPH-D710) ICS leaks[*]All Galaxy Note (GT-N7000) ICS leaks[*]The AT&T Galaxy S II (SGH-I777) UCLD3 leak – and probably all others[*]Korean SHW-M250S/K/L official releases and any kernel built from their source
Kernels that SHOULD be safe are:
[*]GT-I9100 ICS leaks[*]GT-I9100 official releases[*]Kernels built off of the GT-I9100 Update4 source base
Operations that are likely to cause damage when running an affected kernel:
Wiping in CWM (and likely any other custom recovery) (confirmed)
Restoring a Nandroid backup in CWM (wipes first)
Flashing another firmware in CWM (most flashes wipe first)
Wiping in stock 3e recovery (suspected, also wipes a partition)
Deleting large files when running an affected kernel (suspected but not confirmed)
If you have an affected kernel:
Flash a known good kernel using Odin/Heimdall immediately. Do NOT use Mobile Odin, CWM, or any on-device method to flash. Known good kernels include:
[*]Nearly any Gingerbread kernel[*]ICS kernels built from the GT-I9100 Update4 source code
The root cause of this issue has yet to be determined, however, numerous Recognized Developers in XDA suspect it is due to Samsung enabling a feature in the affected kernels, MMC_CAP_ERASE – This is a performance feature that can greatly increase flash write performance, but appears to bring out a flaw in the flash chipset. GT-I9100 ICS kernels do not have this feature enabled and appear safe. However, not enough is known to declare all kernels without this feature safe – the only entity that can confirm the root cause of this problem and declare it fixed without taking great risk (destroying multiple devices with no way to repair them) is Samsung themselves.
In general, until further notice, if you are running a Samsung ICS leak for any Exynos-based device other than the GT-I9100, it is strongly advised to flash something else.
And this just showed up this morning in our forums as well, courtesy of XDA member garwynn. Apparently, Google has been contacted and they are aware of the issue, and one engineer is hoping to work towards a fix.
Well, it’s been some time but thankfully Mr. Sumrall from Android did get back to us on our questions. I think the community will find that this was worth the wait.Issue: fwrev not set properly.
As we suspected the bugfix is not in our build. (The patch applies this unconditionally.)Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken SumrallThe patch includes a line in mmc.c setting fwrev to the rights bits from the cid register. Before this patch, the file /sys/class/block/mmcblk0/device/fwrev was not initialized from the CID for emmc devices rev 4 and greater, and thus showed zero.(On second inquiry)
fwrev is zero until the patch is applied.
Question: Revision didn’t match the fix
(Emphasis mine in red as it discusses the superbrick issue.)Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken SumrallYou probably have the bug, but rev 0x19 was a previous version of the firmware we had in our prototype devices, but we found it had another bug that if you issued an mmc erase command, it could screw up the data structures in the chip and lead to the device locking up until it was powered cycled. We discovered this when many of our developers were doing a fastboot erase userdata while we were developing ICS. So Samsung fixed the problem and moved to firmware revision 0x25.Yes, it is very annoying that 0x19 is decimal 25, and that led to lots of confusion when trying to diagnose emmc firmware issues. I finally learned to _ALWAYS_ refer to emmc version in hexadecimal, and precede the number with 0x just to be unambiguous.However, even though 0x19 probably has the bug that can insert 32 Kbytes of zeros into the flash, you can’t use this patch on devices with firmware revision 0x19. This patch does a very specific hack to two bytes of code in the revision 0x25 firmware, and the patch most likely will not work on 0x19, and will probably cause the chip to malfunction at best, and lose data at worst. There is a reason the selection criteria are so strict for applying this patch to the emmc firmware.I passed on our results a few days later mentioning that the file system didn’t corrupt until the wipe. This is a response to that follow-up.As I mentioned in the previous post, firmware rev 0x19 has a bug where the emmc chip can lockup after an erase command is given. Not every time, but often enough. Usually, the device can reboot after this, but then lockup during the boot process. Very rarely, it can lockup even before fastboot is loaded. Your tester was unlucky. Since you can’t even start fastboot, the device is probably bricked. If he could run fastboot, then the device could probably be recovered with the firmware update code I have, assuming I can share it. I’ll ask.
Question: Why the /data partition?Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Sumrall (Android SE)Because /data is the place the chip that experiences the most write activity. /system is never written to (except during an system update) and /cache is rarely used (mostly to receiving OTAs).
Question: Why JTAG won’t work?Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken SumrallAs I mention above, the revision 0x19 firmware had a bug that after an emmc erase command, it could leave the internal data structures of the emmc chip in a bad state that cause the chip to lock up when a particular sector was accessed. The only fix was to wipe the chip, and update the firmware. I have code to do that, but I don’t know if I can share it. I’ll ask.
Question: Can a corrupted file system be repaired (on the eMMC)?Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Sumralle2fsck can repair the filesystem, but often the 32 Kbytes were inserted at the start of a block group, which erased many inodes, and thus running e2fsck would often result in many files getting lost.
So, while the fix doesn’t apply to us at the moment, we’ve been given a great insight into the superbrick issue as well as information that a fix is already developed (hopefully we’ll see it released!). The bug likely applies to us and assuming the fix for the 0x19 firmware is given then it would apply to our devices.
On a lighter note, I wanted to include his close:Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken SumrallYou are getting a glimpse into the exciting life of an Android kernel developer. Turns out the job is mostly fighting with buggy hardware. At least, it seems that way sometimes.
Please stay clear from flashing anything ICS onto your devices until this has been solved.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
[Thanks Entropy512 for all your hard work!!!!]
While mounting NTFS may not be the first feature users line up for when buying an Android phone, it can certainly be useful at times. For those out there who may be thinking of mounting an NTFS USB key or hard drive to their Android devices, you actually now have an app for that.
XDA Forum Member Kwull has release NTFS Mounter that does what it says and automatically mounts NTFS drives when plugged in. Currently, the app is known to support the Samsung Galaxy S II I9100, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, and the International Galaxy Note. However, to work on these devices, the user must be running a rooted ICS ROM with a kernel that has the fuse driver. For people who don’t feel like looking, you can use the CF-Root Kernel by XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire on the Galaxy S II. Says Kwull:
2. The app installs ntfs-3g if it does not exist in the system
3. App receives MEDIA_NOFS event and tries to mount all unmounted /dev/sdXXX devices as NTFS volumes
4. Does not mount NTFS formated SD card, yet
One of the most interesting planned features is to one day allow users to format their external SD cards using NTFS. This will eliminate the low file size limit in FAT32, and may even help performance in certain cases.
To get started, visit the original thread.
May 17, 2012 By: Former Writer
In most cases, getting an upgrade to a new version of Android is exciting. It usually ushers in numerous bug fixes, performance enhancements, new UI elements, and a whole new experience with the device than what people are used to. That said, sometimes it can be a real pain when a new version of Android comes out because a number of bad things can happen. For starters, you may loose root, along with the exploit used to acquire root. Secondly, the new version of Android may be a little buggier than you would like. This is why there are downgrade guides—so users can get back to an older version for whatever reason.
This is the case for the International Galaxy Note, as users who installed the LPY ICS update or received their phone with the update preinstalled cannot simply flash back to Gingerbread if they so choose. This would be a serious problem if there were nothing they could do, but luckily there is. XDA Senior Member thehackersz has released a tutorial to downgrade users from LPY Ice Cream Sandwich back down to Gingerbread safely. The guide is easy to follow, as it simply involves flashing a number of things over ODIN and a custom recovery. Do pay attention to the order though, as flashing in the wrong order can be detrimental to the health of your Note.
There is, however, one thing to take into consideration. Some users have reported that using PC ODIN to flash has bricked their phones and that XDA Elite Recognized Developer Chainfire‘s Mobile ODIN is the way to go. Of course, there are also users who’ve bricked their phones using Mobile ODIN, and recommend the PC version. So be warned that there could be serious risk when attempting this method as, you may brick your device if you’re not careful.
For additional information, make sure to visit the original thread.
Update: Due to issues some flashers are having with this method, we recommend that users wait for a more foolproof method in the future.
May 15, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
The road to Ice Cream Sandwich has been paved with many victories for the international Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000. The device received its official dose of ICS goods not too long ago, and root methods were promptly developed that wouldn’t affect the device’s flash count. We also covered the official alpha release of CyanogenMod 9 for the phone-tablet, which came courtesy of XDA Recognzied Developer XpLoDWilD, Team Hacksung, and of course the CyanogenMod team.
Now, progress has come once again, as XpLoDWilD brings us our next chapter in the ICS saga on the N7000 in the form of official CM9 nightlies for the device. Installation is simple enough, but differs depending on which ROM is currently loaded on your device. In the words of the developer:
First time installing CyanogenMod 9 to your Galaxy Note, or coming from another ROM:
– READ FAQs: http://teamhacksung.org/wiki/index.p…sked_Questions
– Make sure you’re running a proper working ClockworkMod-Recovery
- DON’T flash FROM i9220 LEAKED REPACK!
– Copy GApps and CM9 ZIPs to your internal SDCard
– Boot into Recovery
– Flash CM9 zip
– Flash GApps zip
– DO A DATA WIPE / FACTORY RESET (otherwise your calendar sync will not work)
– Don’t restore Apps using Titanium Backup!
Upgrading from earlier version of CyanogenMod 9:
– Copy CM9 ZIP to your internal SDCard
– Boot into Recovery
– Flash CM9 zip
– Wipe cache partition and dalvik-cache
While there are still a few bugs and quirks to wring out, the ROM is very highly functional and is definitely worth a shot for practically all international Note users. Those looking to get in on the action should proceed to the development thread.
[Thanks to Androidindian for the tip.]
It has been just a couple of days since we brought you news of the International Galaxy Note getting ICS, along with news that the update had been repacked and released for everyone. However, with every new iteration of Android comes a new challenge, and that’s rooting the new firmware. For some devices this can take months, leaving early adopters of new firmware releases without root. Thankfully, for the International Galaxy Note, this isn’t an issue.
XDA Senior Member deathst has released a root method for the ICS update for the International Note that doesn’t increase the phone’s binary count. While we already covered a method of rooting the newly updated device, this would have increased your flash count. Now users can root without worry.
The root method requires users to download ClockworkMod recovery and the root files. Then users boot into the stock recovery, flash the ClockworkMod update.zip, boot into the new ClockworkMod recovery, and flash the rest. Even if we knock Samsung for their plastic build quality, you’ll have a hard time beating how easy it is to obtain root on their devices. After flashing root access, users will boot back into their phones, and the whole process takes a total of about 5 minutes.
For the full method is available in the original thread.
May 10, 2012 By: Will Verduzco
While many mobile enthusiasts seem to be more concerned with the Samsung Galaxy S III that we recently gave a hands-on treatment, it is reassuring to know that Samsung still has a place in its heart for slightly older devices such as the International Galaxy Note GT-N7000. How does a large multi-national corporation show their love for a still young-at-heart device? The best way possible, of course—with an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The update to ICS comes in the form of the N7000XXLPY update to Android 4.0.3. Naturally, it also brings the love-it-or-hate-it TouchWiz user interface. Currently, the update seems to only be rolling out to those Notes in Germany. However, XDA Forum Member xaoc747 kindly posted the update in a recovery-flashable update.zip package for all to enjoy here on XDA. Forum Member xaoc747 was then kind enough to repackage the update to ODIN format and give instructions on how to root! In his own words:
Originally Posted by lee yun khong
Big thanks to Dr.ketan and Chainfire.
First ICS for Note
N7000XXLPY 4.0.3 2012 May N7000OXALPY Open Germany posted to OP
This is Non Wipe version
Installation note : How to update from GB ROM to ICS
Install using Mobile Odin safely
– Download N extract ROM
– Copy Extracted file to a folder e.g ICS ROM On Ext/Int SD card
– Download CF Root for LPY
– Extract CF root till get zImage file
– Copy zImage file to same above said folder in SD car
– Open Mobile Odin
– Select ‘Open file’ N point to ROM file
– select Kernel tab N point to zImage file
– select Ever Root option
– You will get ICS ROM + Root + CWM
In this day and age of modern computing, one of the most popular devices out there, particularly due to the novelty of its size, is the Samsung Galaxy Note N7000. Many devs are focusing their attention on this “giant” as it is a powerful platform to develop on. Because of this and features such as the S-Pen, devs have been doing lots of work on this and it seems that thanks to the efforts XDA Recognized Developer XpLoDWilD, team hacksung, and the good folks over at cyanogenmod, N7000 users can now flash the infamous AOSP CM9 rom on the quasi-tab.
As is the case with most ports, particularly those in alpha or beta stages, there are a few quirks to be worked out by the devs. However, even for an alpha state release, the device has a lot of features working right off the bat such as wifi, data, and more. The things that are not working are not exactly critical for a daily driver, but can affect some of the “cool” factor functionality such as FM radio not working, no MHL, or DSP manager, just to mention a few.
In any case, the dev has created two separate threads so as to not mix up discussions about the rom and actual development and feedback. The links for both threads can be located at the bottom of this article. Moreover, the dev states that if you are going to submit a bug, please either report it (instructions on how to do this are in the development thread’s OP), or provide logs accompanying your claim. That being said, please provide feedback if you have any (but in the correct thread).
You can either help us by giving FULL bug reports WITH LOGS, WITH REPRO CASE, ETC, or by submitting patches.
Want something published in the Portal? Contact any News Writer.
[Thanks androidindian for the tip!]
April 24, 2012 By: Former Writer
As we’ve mentioned before, some Samsung devices are having some problems with Ice Cream Sandwich. Nothing serious, mind you, but enough that installations and backups that used to take all of five minutes are now taking much longer. Thus, doing something that used to be as simple as installing a ROM is now requiring more than just a routine trip to a custom recovery.
XDA Senior Member chasmodo brings us a new, albeit temporary, method for installing AOSP ROMs on their Samsung Galaxy Note. The process is much longer than flashaholics are used to, and requires several specific software components be installed first. This includes a specific kernel that has been proven to flash and restore ICS safely.
The guide runs users through obtaining and installing the kernel, then the full installation process for AOSP ROMs. It is then capped off with the user checking to make sure they even still have root access. Installing a custom ROM and losing root access, what is this world coming to? However, once completed and root is accounted for, the ICS AOSP ROMs should continue to run just as they were intended. While much longer than typical flashing instructions, it actually isn’t much harder than flashing a regular ROM, it just takes a bit longer.
If you’re looking to install an ICS AOSP ROM on your Note, check out the tutorial thread for more information, download links to the proper kernel, the list of other users who contributed, and much more.
April 23, 2012 By: Former Writer
It would appear that for many newer Samsung devices that aren’t the Galaxy Nexus, getting Android Ice Cream Sandwich to work correctly is a real pain in the rear. With devices like the Samsung Epic 4G Touch having complicated installation methods for otherwise simple mods and ROMs, users looking to put ICS on their newer Samsung devices have more than a few steps waiting for them. It has gotten to the point where some users are stepping up and writing full blown tutorials on how to do things on ICS that most flashers could otherwise do in their sleep.
This is the case with a tutorial written by XDA Senior Member matius44 for the Samsung Galaxy Note, which helps users effectively and safely restore ICS backups. The process is relatively complicated for restoring a simple backup. Users are used to simply booting into the respective custom recovery and hitting the restore nandroid button. However, the process for restoring ICS backups is more complicated than that, as users have to have a specific kernel installed in order to get ICS backups to work correctly. Says matius44:
First and foremost, Abyss Kernel version 4.2 is an essential asset in this process, as it has the Touch version of Redpill recovery
From there, it’s booting into recovery, installing the kernel, rebooting recovery—not the phone, just the recovery—then performing the Nandroid restore we should all be so very used to by now. This will ensure restore success and avoid any number of issues.
Update: Due to various reports of hard bricks, the thread has been removed. Please refer to our piece on the Exynos Hardbrick bug.
This Week in Development, new comer Jordan covers all the exciting stories you need to know from the XDA-Developers forum. In addition to Android’s possibly inadvertent fail, he covers ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy Note and HTC One X, and HTC One V ROMs being ported to the Desire S and Desire HD. Jordan mentions the addition of a forum for the HTC One V. Additionally, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler‘s CASUAL and Shelr articles are discussed. The strangely addictive Crazy Birds game and an Android VNC are covered, along with the accelerometer fix for the T-Mobile Galaxy SII
Check out the video below.