1. alamarco's Avatar

    I just did a factory reset on a stock non-rooted phone. I turned on updates as per the warning you get in the notification area after a factory reset. After doing so I got a message saying my device is modified and I can't receive updates.

    What happened? How can doing a factory reset modify the device? What are my options to get back to normal?

    I assume to fix this I am going to have to root the device, but that's absolutely messed up. I appreciate any help. I'm going to try another factory reset, but I assume that won't work. Again, I did this on a stock non-rooted phone.

    edit 1: God this is gut wrenching. Got that feeling in the pit of my stomache. Really did not want to spend my weekend trying to fix this. I just did another factory reset and still modified. I appreciate any tips. All I want is to get back to normal and be able to update. I was able to update before the factory reset and now my phone is useless right now.

    edit 2: So, it looks like my external SD card is causing this. Took out my external SD card, reboot and device status is now normal.

    Is there a solution to this? If I pop in my external SD card after a reboot everything is fine. Can use the data and update. If I reboot with my external SD card I can't update. I guess it's not a huge issue, as updates are few and far between, but it scares me to leave the status modified so long it might stick where as currently I can take out the SD card and be normal.

    I absolutely love my Note 2, but this is unacceptable to me. I'm losing all faith in Samsung. I plan on keeping this Note 2 for years, but if this keeps up it might be shorter and I might be forced into a Nexus device.

    All this fear and loathing when it's just Samsung doing something with the SD card which is just music and images. Going to take about an hour to pull off all the data before I reformat the card to see if that helps. Good grief.

    I apologize for all the edits by the way, just trying to wrap my head around this. Was expecting a quick factory reset instead have this modified issue.
    05-10-2013 03:27 PM
  2. jdub1981's Avatar
    So why the factory reset? What were you trying to accomplish originally? Also, try copying all the contents of the sd card over to a pc then format the sd card on the phone not on a pc. If the card does not show a modified status then copy your media over to the card again. When done reboot and check for the modified status. This could be a improperly formatted sd card or sd card content that is being misinterpreted by the phone. Hope this helps the troubleshooting process

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 8.0 using Tapatalk
    05-11-2013 06:38 PM
  3. alamarco's Avatar
    With regards to the factory reset, I was experiencing slow downs so needed a fresh start. Phone is back to optimal so I'm happy with that. I also apologize for the mess that is the original post. I expected to factory reset and go out to a movie, but instead I had to skip the movie while trying to figure out what happened with my phone. All this because of Samsung which leaves still leaves me disappointed with them.

    After hours of fooling around I found the cause was the data that Helium (AKA Carbon) had backed up. Samsung is reading the Helium backup which I placed on my external SD card and thinks I'm no longer stock. I emailed the dev to see if they can look into it, though so far no response. Regardless of what the dev finds, and if they are able to fix it, Samsung is still at fault. Nothing on the external SD should cause the status to go to Modified. Even if I were to have ROMs and custom recovery APK's, if they are on the external SD card then it should not matter. They aren't installed and thus Samsung should not be flagging Modified.

    What if I didn't figure this all out and had to bring my device in for service? If it's flagged Modified I could get refused and if I didn't know better I'd be one confused user who would be arguing that I never touched root or anything close to it. All this because Samsung is scanning the external SD card.

    The only reason I emailed the dev of Helium is so other users don't get lost and stuck with Modified. I can now work around it by booting as Normal, copying the Helium backup back to the external SD, restore from the backup with Helium and then deleting the backup files from the external SD card.
    05-11-2013 08:45 PM
  4. jdub1981's Avatar
    Only 2 ways to check for a modified status. 1. Is to check in status in settings other way is to boot into stock recovery, here it will show number of times device has been flashed.

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 8.0 using Tapatalk
    05-11-2013 10:15 PM
  5. alamarco's Avatar
    Correct, and the status in the settings was showing Modified. I didn't boot into recovery at all since I didn't need it.

    The status in the settings was being tripped by data on my external SD card. That shouldn't happen as I explained above. Samsung has to change that, although I doubt they will.
    05-11-2013 10:21 PM
  6. Skunkape60's Avatar
    Only 2 ways to check for a modified status. 1. Is to check in status in settings other way is to boot into stock recovery, here it will show number of times device has been flashed.

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 8.0 using Tapatalk
    Actually it's not stock recovery but download mode that shows the flash count.
    05-14-2013 11:33 AM
  7. jdub1981's Avatar
    Thanks ill try and remember that for the next time I unroot, which at this point will probably be never. Root is just to valuable to me.

    Sent from my Galaxy Note 8.0 using Tapatalk
    05-14-2013 08:16 PM

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