A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

Contributor

A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

ATT,

 

I recently had need for a smartphone for work.  I shopped around for a while and finally decided on the Samsung Galaxy SII Skyrocket.  I have a rather large family, and they're all on Verizon, but I decided I would give AT&T a try.  I love the Samsung phone, and Android, of course I can only compare it to a vintage RAZR.

Today, I glanced over at my phone and there was a message that it needs to reboot to perform an update. I gladly accept, wondering if it could possibly be this much hyped ICS update.  My phone reboots to a white screen, displaying "SOFTWARE UPDATE", a progress bar, and "Loading...", and I stare waiting in anticipation, and waiting... but nothing happens.  10 minutes later the screen has not changed.  It's just stuck there, no progress, no update.  Thirty minutes later I finally give in and try rebooting, each reboot just brings it back to the same screen.

I prompty get ahold of AT&T support.  They run through a few steps and finally state they are going to set up an RMA.   The technician states they will send me a refurb.   REFURB?   This phone cost me $179 - 41 days ago.  So you kill my new phone.  I lose my data, I lose my $30 screen protector, and I get someones broken/repaired phone in return? 

The AT&T technician gives me the Samsung support number.  When I call Samsung, you know what they say?  We're sorry about your phone.  We will send you an email with shipping information to return the phone to us for free via UPS, will repair it, and will return the same phone to you.  So in the end, all I am out is my data. 

AT&T: The rest of my family will be warned to stay with Verzion, but I will highly recommend Samsung.

Sincerely,
Brad

Message 1 of 19 (3,302 Views)
Contributor

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

I had the exact same problem today - I have only had the phone for 50 days ... we need a local way to get our own phones working again..

Message 2 of 19 (3,272 Views)
Scholar

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

I know big cities seems to have an ATT repair center where the customers can take the phone to the repair center, and ATT will fix the phone on the spot or do an exchange.

 

 I recently had  a family member who called ATT on an issue, and the tech support told them there is a repair center located close by just go there. Family member went to the repair center the tech guy took the phone (galaxy SII) ran some test then over nighted a new battery.  Pretty simple process with only having to wait twenty minutes in line.

 

You may wish to see if there is a repair center close to where you live as they can probably re-image your phone on the spot.

 

Message 3 of 19 (3,236 Views)
Master

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)


b_g_b wrote:

AT&T: The rest of my family will be warned to stay with Verzion, but I will highly recommend Samsung.

Sincerely,
Brad


Verizon has the same warranty policy as AT&T, e.g. within 30-day, you get new phone exchanged at the place of purchase, over 30-day, you get refurb from warranty.

 

The problem with firmware upate brick phones is not new. Samsung updates are known  to brick phones ALL the time. They often have to halt and withdraw updates. The blame goes to Samsung. AT&T share the blame for not testing carefully before release the update.

 

Your choices are either dealing with warranty exchange or you can unbrick the phone yourself by following instructions already posted by others to flash a stock firmware back. It is virtually impossible for Samsung Galaxy phones to be totally bricked so that you can't flash back to stock.

Message 4 of 19 (3,204 Views)

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

Which phone was this?  Sounds like the SR...

 

OTA updates of Samsung devices have a high risk of bricking if they're major ones (such as Gingerbread updates, which require a new bootloader.)

 

Samsung learned from this and is avoiding bootloader changes unless absolutely required, at least on the Galaxy S II (I777) - the UCKK6 update had no bootloaders, so no one hardbricked.

 

It sounds like Samsung went and deployed a bootloader update to the SR...  Smiley Sad

 

Verizon isn't any better in this regard.  Devices like the Charge are just as likely to brick on a bootloader OTA.

Message 5 of 19 (3,188 Views)
Tutor

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

[ Edited ]

I was able to restore my phone functionality by following the directions precisely from the links below. Mine restored rather effortlessly and all of my data was intact (apps, pics, videos, contacts etc.). If your slightly  technically inclined (if not have your teenage kid do it for you or a neighbors kid) you can follow the directions below to recover your Samsung Galaxy S II SkyRocket.


[removed direct download links]

 

Then follow the directions precisely on this page below:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?s=ec8d98ee390cd432de924b9c4ec138c2&t=1342348

 

FYI - I simply had to remove my battery to shutoff completely, reinsert and then hold the Volume + AND Volume - simultaneously and then insert the usb cable into the phone to put it into download mode.

 

Pretty much a breeze after that.

Message 6 of 19 (3,131 Views)
Contributor

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

[ Edited ]

Motox,

That is no solution. 
1.  It probably voids the warranty.

2.  The links you provide all appear to be to shady.  There is no way to verify any of the downloads are GRAS.  The person attributed to creating the 'original' image doesnt even share his real name, and instead hides behind a nick name k0nane.
Sorry, no thanks!

Message 7 of 19 (3,121 Views)
Tutor

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)


b_g_b wrote:

Motox,

That is no solution. 
1.  It probably voids the warranty.

2.  The links you provide all appear to be to shady.  There is no way to verify any of the downloads are GRAS.  The person attributed to creating the 'original' image doesnt even share his real name, and instead hides behind a nick name k0nane.
Sorry, no thanks!



Then don't download it...

 

I've had good experience with most everything on the XDA forums and the guy you are referring to is a well known contributor on that site.

 

I'm just saying I had the exact same thing happen to my phone, and was tossed around between AT&T and Samsung with absolutely NO RESOLUTION other than sending my phone off, waiting nearly a week without having any phone (which I require for day to day business) and losing all of my family photos and videos and any other data on the phone.

 

It is pretty ridiculous for AT&T/Samsung to push out an update that bricks a perfectly good phone that has NEVER been rooted, changed or manipulated in any way and waste my entire day to resolve THEIR mistake..

 

I honestly can say to you, that their "solution" was not a solution at all. This should of been something the AT&T warranty center (which I was sent to after 2hrs on the phone with support and a trip to another store) should have been able to fix ON THE SPOT, by a certified in-house technician. What I feel is "shady" is the way they do business and the way they treat their customers. Heck, I got a stern warning from the warranty center that I went to in order to fix THEIR MISTAKE, that if they deemed any of the cause was due to anything else I would be charged in excess of $400 for the replacement.

 

I should not, as a customer, have to revert to repairing equipment they sell/support because they are incompetent.

 

 

Message 8 of 19 (3,101 Views)
Tutor

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)


Motox183 wrote:

I was able to restore my phone functionality by following the directions precisely from the links below. Mine restored rather effortlessly and all of my data was intact (apps, pics, videos, contacts etc.). If your slightly  technically inclined (if not have your teenage kid do it for you or a neighbors kid) you can follow the directions below to recover your Samsung Galaxy S II SkyRocket.


[removed direct download links]

 

Then follow the directions precisely on this page below:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?s=ec8d98ee390cd432de924b9c4ec138c2&t=1342348

 

FYI - I simply had to remove my battery to shutoff completely, reinsert and then hold the Volume + AND Volume - simultaneously and then insert the usb cable into the phone to put it into download mode.

 

Pretty much a breeze after that.


I am reposting this for others, as whoever moderated my previous post decided that removing "direct links" includes removing the text associated with it (all you had to do was kill the links). Also, since they take issue with direct links.. here is a link to a PAGE which has links to the downloads you will need below.

 

Step by Step Guide to Unbricking your Galaxy S II SkyRocket

 

I was able to restore my phone functionality by following the directions precisely from the links below. Mine restored rather effortlessly and all of my data was intact (apps, pics, videos, contacts etc.). If your slightly  technically inclined (if not have your teenage kid do it for you or a neighbors kid) you can follow the directions below to recover your Samsung Galaxy S II SkyRocket.

 

You will need to do the following:

 

1. Download the ODIN 1.85 application

2. Download and install the Samsung SGH-I727 USB drivers

3. Download the stock Samsung SGH-I727 TAR file (dont use the SGH-I727R; it is for Rogers in Canada)

4. Extract the Samsung SGH-I727 TAR file from the zipped folder

 

Then follow the directions precisely on this page below:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?s=ec8d98ee390cd432de924b9c4ec138c2&t=1342348

 

FYI - I simply had to remove my battery to shutoff completely, reinsert and then hold the Volume + AND Volume - simultaneously and then insert the usb cable into the phone to put it into download mode.

 

Pretty much a breeze after that.

Message 9 of 19 (3,097 Views)
Employee

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

ODIN will raise you binary count and WILL void your warranty
Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 10 of 19 (3,040 Views)

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

[ Edited ]

JFizDaWiz wrote:
ODIN will raise you binary count and WILL void your warranty

It will not raise your binary count if you are flashing a kernel that was signed by Samsung (e.g. a stock firmware).  Also, it happens to not raise your binary count if you flash a system image without flashing a kernel.  (That's how the SGH-I777 got rooted.)

 

As to k0nane - I would consider him to be one of the more trusted contributors to XDA.  USUALLY (but not always) anyone who has the Recognized Developer title on XDA is competent and trustworthy.  (There are a few exceptions that slipped through the cracks in the early days of XDA.).  Not that you shouldn't distrust those who don't have the RD tag - the RD process is currently VERY slow and can take 4-5 months for approval.  Some developers get a device, make significant contributions to it, then leave in that time period.  (For example, almost all of the initial batch of Infuse developers didn't get RD status until after they had moved on to other devices.)  Really, what you need to do is read through the thread to see if people are having overall positive experiences or negative with that developer's work.

 

If the existence of Carrier IQ ever bothered you, k0nane is one of the 3-4 developers you have to thank for blowing the lid off of that one.  Without the work of k0nane and 2-3 other guys on XDA, Sprint users would still be getting spyware forced down their throats, and AT&T would be doing it too.  (AT&T started deploying CarrierIQ spyware to customers in late 2011, but backpedaled when CIQ's spyware-like behavior was exposed to the public.)

Message 11 of 19 (2,860 Views)
Teacher

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)


Entropy512 wrote:

JFizDaWiz wrote:
ODIN will raise you binary count and WILL void your warranty

It will not raise your binary count if you are flashing a kernel that was signed by Samsung (e.g. a stock firmware).  


 So the recently leaked UCKL2, UCLB1, and UCLB3 (stock versions) will not raise the binary count, correct?


Entropy512 wrote:

Not that you shouldn't distrust those who don't have the RD tag - the RD process is currently VERY slow and can take 4-5 months for approval. 

 


 I think you meant "Note that you shouldn't distrust" or "Not that you should distrust" or "Not that you shouldn't trust". Smiley Happy

Message 12 of 19 (2,844 Views)
Tutor

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

I loved that "an AT&T employee" comes on and warns about increasing the binary count and gets knocked down by someone else who actually knows what they're talking about.

 

And yes, XDA is a very good source for information regarding Android, specifically un-bricking your soft brick situations as well as other, unauthorized uses of your phone, albeit, generally safe. Of course, even with the most trusted users providing sound advice and quality programming, you and you alone assume all liability since, well...you're the one doing it to your phone.

 

 

Message 13 of 19 (2,828 Views)
Tutor

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)

[ Edited ]

JFizDaWiz wrote:
ODIN will raise you binary count and WILL void your warranty

That is correct. I performed this on my phone and my Flash count was incremented from 0 to 1. I did learn in my searching, however, that you can pickup a USB JIG for a couple bucks (USB JIG) that can reset the counter if you really need/want to. I'll take my chances on my own from this point forward, as I can't trust AT&T to perform proper Quality Control before sending out OTA updates.

 

This is another reason why they should've taken care of this for me at the warranty center instead of telling me my only option was to lose all my data and inevitably forcing me to find a resolution on my own.

 

Live and learn... No more updates from AT&T. At least not without a proper backup beforehand of ALL data on the phone. Honestly, I'm not too worried about the warranty as the phone is working just fine now as it had been doing for several months before AT&T tried to mess with it. My guess is it will continue to work just fine until the warranty is up anyway.

 

Message 14 of 19 (2,819 Views)
Highlighted

Re: A Letter to ATT (Bricked Samsung)


GaryXYZ wrote:

Entropy512 wrote:

JFizDaWiz wrote:
ODIN will raise you binary count and WILL void your warranty

It will not raise your binary count if you are flashing a kernel that was signed by Samsung (e.g. a stock firmware).  


 So the recently leaked UCKL2, UCLB1, and UCLB3 (stock versions) will not raise the binary count, correct?


Entropy512 wrote:

Not that you shouldn't distrust those who don't have the RD tag - the RD process is currently VERY slow and can take 4-5 months for approval. 

 


 I think you meant "Note that you shouldn't distrust" or "Not that you should distrust" or "Not that you shouldn't trust". Smiley Happy


On the UCKL2 and UCLB3 (odd, those Skyrocket firmwares match known Infuse releases too) - Correct, none of them should affect the binary count.  Even Samsung "leaks" are "official" enough to be consider official binaries with the exception of the very earliest I9100 ICS leaks.

 

I racked up a ton of binary counts initially due to being a kernel developer, but it's been frozen at 36 for months now that I know how not to trigger it.  I even know how to reset it.  Smiley Happy

 

Also, you're right, "Not that you should distrust" is what I meant.

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