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GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed)

Added by Joshua Bowren about 4 years ago

I just picked up the latest replicant images and proceeded with the flashing instructions. After flashing BOOT and RECOVERY with replicant's recovery image, the device does not boot. It does not boot into recovery either. This was the same behavior I had with a SGH-I747 when I thought it was compatible with replicant. I still have access to download mode so I can get the phone back to a working state, however with cyanogenmod's recovery (the same way I fixed the SGH-I747). Any ideas as to why it may not be working? I can try installing replicant using cyanogenmod's recovery, but I don't think this was intended.

Any help is appreciated.


Replies (10)

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot - Added by Joshua Bowren about 4 years ago

I didn't notice this before, but when booting up into download mode, the phone say "Product Name: T999N," as if it is a MetroPCS variant. However the sticker behind the battery of the phone with the IMEI says GT-I9300. Maybe they gave me T-Mobile firmware with a GT-I9300. Is it possible this would stop replicant's recovery image from working? I am hesitant to flash more than just BOOT and RECOVERY since the rest of the partitions on the phone are still original, making it relatively easy to get back to it's original state for return value. I tried flashing samsung GT-I9300 android 4.3 firmware (it came with 4.3) on BOOT and RECOVERY, but it still seems not to boot neither recovery or the OS. Maybe it needs T999N firmware?

I flashed on Debian using Heimdall 1.4.0, so I decided to give the latest Heimdall a try (1.4.1), but there is no difference.

Based on this I have several possible conclusions:
1. Somehow this is a T999N (unlikely since the sticker on the back says GT-I9300. The box says GT-I9300 as well).
2. My GT-I9300 has T999N firmware, inhibiting Repliant's recovery from working.
3. Replicant or at least it's recovery is not compatible with all GT-I9300 devices.

Out of curiosity, why do we flash both BOOT and RECOVERY to install Replicant. Why not just RECOVERY?

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by Joshua Bowren about 4 years ago

It seems MetroPCS firmware plays nice with whatever is installed. I downloaded T999N firmware, flashed boot.img and recovery.img, and now the phone works again. Now when booting up the samsung logo shows T999N instead of GT-I9300 as it did the first time. I have what is supposedly GT-I9300 firmware, but it did not work when I flashed BOOT and RECOVERY. This is very strange.

Even stranger the About Device section shows:
Model number: GT-I9300 (this is expected)
Baseband version: I9300UCUEMJB
Build number: JSS15J.I9300UCUEMJB
SE for Android status: SEPF_SGH-T999N_4.3_0016

My hypothesis: The GT-I9300 was used with MetroPCS at some point in time (despite being sold to me as "new," and having the original plastic protection covering the screen and back) and it was updated to android 4.3 which got rid of some of the original GT-I9300 firmware. I suppose it may still be possible to install Replicant by flashing all or most of the GT-I9300 firmware, hoping it works, then proceeding with the normal Replicant install procedure.

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by Joshua Bowren about 4 years ago

I just made a bad discovery. It appears that the bootloader version is T999NUVUBNC1 (MetroPCS). This is probably why I was unable to boot with Replicant's recovery image. My only option to get Replicant working would be to flash the bootloader (what I believe to be the partition ABOOT). I remember from my experience with the SGH-I747 that heimdall has some problems flashing ABOOT, I never got it to work, it would always fail after uploading ABOOT. If heimdall were to work with the GT-I9300, I would be risking everything by flashing ABOOT because if the new bootloader does not work on the GT-I9300 then I would have a hard brick.

This is a really bad situation, how in the world does a T999N bootloader end up on a GT-I9300 with the rest of the firmware belonging to the GT-I9300! I know all Samsung Galaxy S3s use a signed bootloader, I guess they allow other variants of the S3 as well.

I know Replicant project members do not want to suggest nonfree sofware, but I can't install Replicant without a GT-I9300 bootloader! Any suggestions? A version I should use? Should I just try to return the phone due to the risk of hard bricking?

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by Paul Kocialkowski about 4 years ago

Well, that's a very atypical situation and I'm not in a position to confirm whether your conclusions are right or not. Perhaps flashing an i9300 bootloader will solve the problem, maybe not. Either way, the risk of failure is hard, so I'd rather let it fully up to you.

Also, I doubt that the fact that the bootloader is not the right one has any impact on the device's ability to boot i9300 image: if it was i9300, it would probably have worked right away (I may be wrong though, but it looks suspicious enough).

Out of curiosity, why do we flash both BOOT and RECOVERY to install Replicant. Why not just RECOVERY?

Because the device reboots to BOOT and we want recovery to start next, not to reboot to the previous OS and reboot to recovery with it, or hold keys on the device real quick when it reboots (which fails half the time)!

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by Joshua Bowren about 4 years ago

Also, I doubt that the fact that the bootloader is not the right one has any impact on the device's ability to boot i9300 image: if it was i9300, it would probably have worked right away (I may be wrong though, but it looks suspicious enough).

Do you suppose that something else may be causing it to fail to boot Replicant? I do not think there is any doubt that the device is a GT-I9300. The sticker on the back with the IMEI and model number looks professional placed, probably by a machine. It is highly unlikely I was given a tampered phone made to look like a GT-I9300, but actually being a T999N.

The only thing a bit fishy is that I looked through getprop in a terminal and there are some qualcomm options like ro.qualcomm.bluetooth.dun.

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by inge gnue about 4 years ago

The novice that I am, I installed the recovery image on a Sprint GS3 which turned out to not be a GT-I9300, but rather a SPH-L710. Funny how it's so specific. Anyway, like you, I bricked it because it was the wrong model number, but I was able to flash the Cyanogenmod recovery.

I was hoping to use that to install Replicant anyway, but I had to use the more updated mainline adb and the installation failed in the end. I wonder if there isn't some way of tricking the device.

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by Joshua Bowren about 4 years ago

Clockwork recovery contains an option to install images/firmware contained within a zip file. If you use this to attempt to install Replicant you should get an error message saying that the zip is only for m0/i9300/GT-i9300 or something similar. You can get around this by modifying the package's updater-script. It is located in $PACKAGE_ROOT/META-INF/com/google/android/updater-script where $PACKAGE_ROOT is the location of the Replicant zip package. The first line that calls assert checks the model number. Remove it completely or add your model number. Unfortunately on my device the package still fails to install even when the check is removed. There must be something else causing the installation to fail.

For some reason the only package I could get the recovery to install was the Cyanogenmod package for the T-Mobile T999 d2tmo even though the T999N d2mtr boot loader is installed. Right now I am stuck with Cyanogenmod. I have a feeling that if I flash a GT-I9300 bootloader, Replicant might install, but honestly it should really just work install without the GT-I9300 bootloader. I would not suggest flashing a GT-I9300 bootloader onto a device that is not a GT-I9300.

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by Paul Kocialkowski about 4 years ago

This is most definitely a bad idea. Each device requires special care, and trying to install a zip for another device will mostly likely fail.

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by Joshua Bowren almost 4 years ago

I've gotten some more time to play with this issue again. I noticed that the bootloader says "Qualcomm secure boot enabled," is it possible that this is inhibiting replicant and non-T999N/T999 firmware from working? Is there any way I can disable this?

RE: GT-I9300 Recovery Does Not Boot (Installation Failed) - Added by Joshua Bowren over 3 years ago

It seems that the bootloader (probably due to Qualcomm secure boot) does not allow repartitioning nor flashing other bootloaders. The only bootloader I can flash is a MetroPCS T999N bootloader. This is really bad for anyone who for whatever reason ends up with a T999N bootloader and probably any Qualcomm secure boot bootloader. I've tried Heimdall and ODIN (I don't support the use of ODIN, but I used it thinking a bug Heimdall might be the problem) with all sorts of configurations (repartitioning for I9300, flashing a T999 bootloader), but everything fails. With ODIN the error "Unsupport dev_type" is printed to the screen of the bootloader. This error has been reported several times on other forums, but no one (at least that I have found) has been able to get around this issue. However, at worst we should still be able to flash any I9300 via the eMMC, but at the moment I don't have the necessary hardware.

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