Gingerbread Bootloader Discussion
Unless you've been living under a rock for a few weeks, you probably know that the international Galaxy S is in the process of getting Gingerbread, and that there are a few ROMS popping up based on this new build. You also might know that this involves flashing new bootloaders, and that this can possibly brick your phone. While the devs and other members of the community have made information available on this, it's scattered throughout numerous ROM and kernel threads in no organized manner, and there's a good chance you won't find this until after it's too late. Here's a breakdown of what's going on, the risks involved, and if it's really for you.
Inside some ROM .tar files, there are two bootloader files: the boot.bin and the sbl.bin (some only include the sbl.bin, which makes things more complicated). These are the primary and secondary bootloaders, respectively. The primary bootloader is what turns the phone on, while the secondary loads the linux kernel boots it into the correct mode. If either of these are corrupted, you have a bricked phone, as in unrecoverable.
Why do I need to replace them?
Apparently there are changes in Samsung's Gingerbread that require a new bootloader. Flashing without them leaves you without recovery, and a glitchy ROM.
How do they fail?
Odin is not perfect. Just like any other computer program, it can crash. Unfortunately, there are other factors that can have the same effect, such as a power outage to the computer, battery dying on a laptop, USB coming unplugged, or just a failed flash.
Yes, the chances of any of these happening are slim, not to mention the bootloader files are very small and flash in a few seconds. But if any of these happen to occur during those few seconds, you're stuck with a nice shiny paperweight, and no jig will save you.[/INFO]
Scared? Maybe you shouldn't be. The chances of this happening is about 1%, as long as you do everything right.
The main thing you need to do is READ THE DIRECTIONS. Then read them again. Ask for clarification if you need to, even if you get screamed at for not understanding the OP. This is not something you should guess at; if you don't understand, just don't do it.
[WARN]The big issue is when you need to flash back to stock. As far as I know, Odin one-click is the only way to get back to stock, because it flashes both the boot.bin and the sbl.bin. DO NOT USE 3-BUTTON FIX. It only flashes a sbl.bin, and mixing an i9000 boot.bin with an i897 sbl.bin leaves you with an unbootable phone.
[NOTE]Before any one says "why is one-click safe when it flashes bootloaders?", it's because one-click flashes Cappy bootloaders, is a reliable program, and reduces the possibility of user error or a corrupted download. I have yet to find someone who has hard bricked with one-click, while I've seen several (smart) people brick with these).[/NOTE]
Okay, I'm done scaring you. Personally, I'm not going to bother with flashing these bootloaders. I've been burned trying to flash i9000 bootloaders before, and I don't plan on repeating that. When the Cappy 2.3 update comes (yes, I'm sure it's going to come), I'll install those, and not have worry about it anymore. Until then, CM7 is enough for me.
Maybe I'm overblowing this, but it's all stuff you need to know. If you have any comments, questions, or just feel like telling me to shove it, go ahead.
- 04-29-2011, 04:43 PM #2
- 04-29-2011, 05:28 PM #4
So, not that I'm "scared" of your post, per se, but it does make me ponder a bit about my current situation...being that my Cappy is doing/behaving "ok" right now on the GB BLs, would it best to Odin everything back while I still can?
Or, is it possible that since the BLs are already "safely" in place I "should" be fine as long as I don't keep flashing BLs back and forth constantly or do I run a risk of something borking with the BLs down the road when flashing different ROMs (but not flashing BLs)?
Both long sentences and after rereading them it appears they're both basically the same question. lol
I wouldn't freak out if you've done it. I'm pretty sure you know what you're doing . I just see all the time where people call the SGS the "unbrickable" phone, when it is no safer then any other phone, and Samsung's implementation makes major changes like this a requirement for modding. People need to know what they're getting in to.
- 04-29-2011, 06:03 PM #6
- 04-30-2011, 12:20 AM #8
If I'm not mistaken CM7 runs their version of 2.3 on 2.2 bootloaders so that kinda makes sense.
Way more convenient for recovery (and general flash safety).
The new recovery button combo has gotten me out a few boot loops in the last so many days of Beta GB ROMs/kernels.
- 04-30-2011, 09:00 AM #9
- 951 Posts
You can keep the new boot loaders when going back to 2.1, but you can't do it with the one-click version since that does replace boot loaders. You can go back, you will just have the original boot loaders again.
Granted, there is no way one man can keep up with all the posts in all the ROMs... but from what I saw about the brick issues, they were isolated to people flashing BACK from 2.3 using full Odin 3-button fix PDA and PIT. Incidentally the version I WOULD have used if I wanted to go back to stock. Has there been any other causes of bricks? If not, seems easy to avoid... don't go back to stock with the 3 button version .
I try to avoid nudging people one way or the other when it comes to voiding their warranty... that is an individual decision. But now that I have an alternative ROM that I can flash with ODIN, for those times when I MUST use ODIN (JVB base ROM from Samsung website), I do not see why I would ever flash back to stock again. For the last months, the only time I would do so, was if I could get nothing to flash from Recovery, in which case stock was the only ODIN option. Now that it is not, why would you ever flash the old bootloaders, unless you were returning your phone for warranty work?
Maybe I am minimizing the risk that is there, but if the only risk is flashing the partial bootloader 2.1 stock ROM, just don't do it .
Who would have thought that CM7 would be the "safe"way to get gingerbread
Sent from my SGH-I897 using Tapatalk
- 05-26-2011, 11:35 PM #11
- 73 Posts
- AOKP ICS 4.0.4
- 06-19-2011, 11:05 AM #12
- 6 Posts
I upgraded from eclair to froyo, using keys, slowed things down and I get software crashes, But it does allow me to do some things like facebook, once I got a new email address and flash, also I quite like RAM manager. Sammy gs i9000 awaiting gingerbread in Australia, always late like the US, why do we get such lousy upgrade service from our carriers, when they already have it in Europe and Asia.
- 07-09-2011, 10:05 AM #13
- 10 Posts
Re: Gingerbread Bootloader Discussion
I thought I bricked my phone. I was using one-click to revert, and it hung. No worries this has happened before. Pulled out my jig and boot into download. Download didn't come up. I almost soiled myself. Instead I got a colorful "Your phone is FUBAR. Try flashing" screen that I've never seen before.
I thought I was done. But it turns out this screen still allows download mode. I flashed and old stock rom with ODIN and was back in the game.
Hope this helps anyone else having "Am I f**ked" moments.
Hope is not a plan.