1. RealKromey's Avatar
    My Galaxy S5 has been stuck on Android 4.4.2 since the day I bought it over 2 years ago. My carrier -- GCI; unless you're from Alaska you've most likely never even heard of them -- never releases updates for their phones. You'd think I'd have learned by now...

    Anyway, I've never done this before, but now I'm stuck with the choice of either trying to update my phone to (at least) 5.0, or leaving my shiny new Bluetooth device in a box indefinitely because it's useless without the app that requires 5.0 or later.

    I've looked up my model (SM-G900T) on SamMobile, and found the firmware images there. What concerns me is that the CSC listed there for my current version does not match the CSC on my phone. I'm worried that if I use one of these to flash my phone, it will no longer work, even though the model number matches. I kind of need it to keep working, since it is, y'know, my phone.

    My information:
    • Model: SM-G900T
    • Carrier: GCI (Alaska, USA)
    • AP: G900MUBU1AUMS
    • CP: G900TUVU1ANCH
    • CSC: G900MUUB1ANCE


    I tried using Smart Switch, but it seemed to be unable to find any available update (not surprising, since as already mentioned my carrier refuses to release any). So I'm guessing that I'll need to use Odin.

    Using Odin and one of the SM-G900T images available from SamMobile (or Samsung-Updates, which seems to have the same list), will an upgrade keep my data, or will it wipe my phone? The stuff I care about is already backed up, I'd just hope to not have to re-install every app again, especially as this device is my second factor to a lot of my online accounts.

    Alternatively, since this model seems to be T-Mobile's (I'm guessing GCI gets their handsets through them), if I could find somebody with T-Mobile service and borrow their SIM, would I be able to update OTA that way? I'm guessing not since it's not actually a T-Mobile phone...

    Also, being on 4.4.2, is there any progression I need to stick to? Like, do I have to go to 5.0 before I go to 6.0, or could I just jump straight to the latest available?

    And finally, does my phone need to be unlocked to do this? If so, how can I tell if it is or not? (Local rumor mill says that GCI doesn't lock their phones, but I've never tried to verify this.) What about rooting it -- will I have to do that?

    I am quite computer- and tech-savvy, except that I've never done anything more than install and use apps on mobile devices, mainly because I can't afford to replace it if I accidentally brick it or something.
    Lostboy5151 likes this.
    04-04-2017 03:55 PM
  2. ironass's Avatar
    My Galaxy S5 has been stuck on Android 4.4.2 since the day I bought it over 2 years ago. My carrier -- GCI; unless you're from Alaska you've most likely never even heard of them -- never releases updates for their phones. You'd think I'd have learned by now...

    Anyway, I've never done this before, but now I'm stuck with the choice of either trying to update my phone to (at least) 5.0, or leaving my shiny new Bluetooth device in a box indefinitely because it's useless without the app that requires 5.0 or later.

    I've looked up my model (SM-G900T) on SamMobile, and found the firmware images there. What concerns me is that the CSC listed there for my current version does not match the CSC on my phone. I'm worried that if I use one of these to flash my phone, it will no longer work, even though the model number matches. I kind of need it to keep working, since it is, y'know, my phone.

    My information:
    • Model: SM-G900T
    • Carrier: GCI (Alaska, USA)
    • AP: G900MUBU1AUMS
    • CP: G900TUVU1ANCH
    • CSC: G900MUUB1ANCE


    I tried using Smart Switch, but it seemed to be unable to find any available update (not surprising, since as already mentioned my carrier refuses to release any). So I'm guessing that I'll need to use Odin.

    Using Odin and one of the SM-G900T images available from SamMobile (or Samsung-Updates, which seems to have the same list), will an upgrade keep my data, or will it wipe my phone? The stuff I care about is already backed up, I'd just hope to not have to re-install every app again, especially as this device is my second factor to a lot of my online accounts.

    Alternatively, since this model seems to be T-Mobile's (I'm guessing GCI gets their handsets through them), if I could find somebody with T-Mobile service and borrow their SIM, would I be able to update OTA that way? I'm guessing not since it's not actually a T-Mobile phone...

    Also, being on 4.4.2, is there any progression I need to stick to? Like, do I have to go to 5.0 before I go to 6.0, or could I just jump straight to the latest available?

    And finally, does my phone need to be unlocked to do this? If so, how can I tell if it is or not? (Local rumor mill says that GCI doesn't lock their phones, but I've never tried to verify this.) What about rooting it -- will I have to do that?

    I am quite computer- and tech-savvy, except that I've never done anything more than install and use apps on mobile devices, mainly because I can't afford to replace it if I accidentally brick it or something.
    Hello and welcome to Android Central RealKromey!

    You are right, I had never heard of GCI Alaska until now. I have done some research and they appear to be a local outfit that uses the GSM network as opposed to the CDMA of Verizon and Sprint.

    Your model details are intriguing...

    • Model: SM-G900T
    • Carrier: GCI (Alaska, USA)
    • AP: G900MUBU1AUMS
    • CP: G900TUVU1ANCH
    • CSC: G900MUUB1ANCE


    The phone model appears to be the T-Mobile carrier minority variant, G900T that has had a one-off customised firmware flashed to it that has an AP: and CSC: codes for the Latin America model, G900M. See 42 Galaxy S5 models - Dummies Guide.

    I consider it sharp practice on the part of your carrier to not offer updates or even security patches for your phone and I know that there are U.S. government bodies that are cracking down on this sort of thing at this very time.

    The problem that you have is that you cannot afford to experiment with your phone otherwise I would strongly suggest flashing the latest T-Mobile (USA) firmware to it using Odin and the instructions in #1.11 of the aforementioned link. As with any flashing process, I would advise backing everything up... just in case.

    The problem is, that if it does not work for any reason, (I cannot think of any), there is no way that you could flash the original GCI firmware back as I cannot find it on any of the usual Samsung firmware sites. Therefore, unless you can locate the original GCI firmware, it would be a one-way trip. I wouldn't worry about the AP: and CSC: codes not matching on T-Mobile firmware as they are used for the purposes of updating which is not going to happen on your present firmware.

    I am sorry that I cannot be of anymore help to you. You could try canvassing other, local, S5, GCI users and see if the T-Mobile firmware will work or if there is any copy of your existing firmware as a safety net if you try the flash.
    RealKromey likes this.
    04-04-2017 08:34 PM
  3. smvim's Avatar

    Using Odin and one of the SM-G900T images available from SamMobile (or Samsung-Updates, which seems to have the same list), will an upgrade keep my data, or will it wipe my phone? The stuff I care about is already backed up, I'd just hope to not have to re-install every app again, especially as this device is my second factor to a lot of my online accounts.

    Alternatively, since this model seems to be T-Mobile's (I'm guessing GCI gets their handsets through them), if I could find somebody with T-Mobile service and borrow their SIM, would I be able to update OTA that way? I'm guessing not since it's not actually a T-Mobile phone...

    Also, being on 4.4.2, is there any progression I need to stick to? Like, do I have to go to 5.0 before I go to 6.0, or could I just jump straight to the latest available?

    And finally, does my phone need to be unlocked to do this? If so, how can I tell if it is or not? (Local rumor mill says that GCI doesn't lock their phones, but I've never tried to verify this.) What about rooting it -- will I have to do that?
    Using Odin to flash a ROM to your phone is more similar to doing a clean OS install on a Windows PC for instance. It's not like an OTA update where a big updater gets downloaded to your phone and then systematically replaces/alters/adds individual parts of the running Android OS on your device. When you're using Odin it's instead just transferring the ROM itself from your PC to your phone. And this process should not wipe the /data partition (where your personal data is stored. When you're using Odin always confirm the 'Re-Partition' check box is NOT enabled. Hopefully everything will work out a problem but keep your backups handy just in case.
    As for your phone it does appear to be a T-Mobile variant. The 'T' at the end of your model I.D. SM-G900T is for T-Mobile (an AT&T model is SM-G900A, Verizon model SM-G900V, etc.)
    You don't need to upgrade each version one at a time, that would be the process if your carrier actually did give those OTA version upgrades. Using Odin is a different process where you're manually replacing the old ROM with a new one. Also, this does not require rooting. You're flashing a stock ROM so it's not necessary. If you were instead opting for a third-party ROM than you would need to go through the process of rooting, adding a third-party Recovery, and the non-stock ROM. As for if your phone is unlocked or not, I don't think that's an issue, again since this is just involves flashing a stock ROM.
    RealKromey likes this.
    04-04-2017 11:23 PM
  4. RealKromey's Avatar
    Thank you both for the information!

    Ironass, you are exactly right that I can't really afford to experiment (or rather, can't afford to mess up an experiment), but I also can't afford to just have a $200 paperweight sitting on my dresser. (Emotionally speaking, that is; the money's already spent, of course.) Worst-case scenario... well, we've been seriously considering switching providers anyway, so if it comes to that we can probably get whatever free/cheap phone they offer with a new contract.

    smvim, thanks for the partition details, that really helps me to better understand what this whole thing really is, and that puts me more at ease -- because I've done OS installs, both clean ones and upgrades, and dealing with partitions is basically my day job (our storage guy is stingy with space, so I'm basically not allowed to have partitions larger than I really need; as the email administrator, though, I routinely have to extend those partitions as our email volume grows and grows!).

    I'll give this a shot this weekend, if not later this week, and report back with the results -- hopefully as a happy Android 6.0 user!
    04-05-2017 11:33 AM
  5. smvim's Avatar
    ...I'll give this a shot this weekend, if not later this week, and report back with the results -- hopefully as a happy Android 6.0 user!
    Just some random points to add.
    -- If you have Kies already installed on your PC you might want to uninstall it (leaving the Samsung drivers that got installed as is), or at least making sure the Kies process is not running. Some have reported Odin and Kies conflicting with each other.
    -- Both sammobile and updato are good sources for Samsung stock ROMs, they also both verify that the ROMs are legit. But note that the sammobile site does (intentionally) restrict the download speeds so even if you're using a high-bandwidth connection on your end downloading a ROM (typically 1GB+) will be something to leave overnight. If time is a factor you might want to use updato instead.
    https://www.sammobile.com/firmwares/database/SM-G900T/
    Download Firmware – Samsung Update
    -- Using Odin and a stock ROM, that should leave /data unaltered but keep your backups handy in case something goes wrong. Also when you've finished the whole process and your S5 is up and running you might want to reboot it into its Recovery Mode and wipe the system cache partition just of posterity. (The system cache is completely separate from app caches, and this won't affect your personal data.) Also keep in mind that as far as the currently installed apps you've added that reside in /data, there's going to be a lot of app updating going on, that jump from 4.4.x to 6.x is a big one. (Better done via WiFi, unless your mobile data is through an unlimited plan for mobile data.) Finally, note that your S5 is probably utilizing Dalvik and v6.x defaults on ART instead, so your currently installed apps will be doing some internal re-compiling at start up, expect to just let your S5 'settle in' while it's doing this (especially if you have a lot of apps).
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_Runtime

    --
    RealKromey likes this.
    04-05-2017 01:02 PM
  6. RealKromey's Avatar
    ...there's going to be a lot of app updating going on, that jump from 4.4.x to 6.x is a big one.
    Hm, incidentally, I wonder if this means that the Google Fit app that I finally binned out of pure frustration will actually work reliably once I'm updated...

    Thanks for the tips! I'll start downloading the ROM tonight so it's ready once I am -- I definitely won't have the time to do this today anyway.
    04-05-2017 02:18 PM
  7. RealKromey's Avatar
    Thanks again to the both of you! I managed to update to the latest version of 6.0.1, and everything seems to be working great -- including Google Fit, which seems to finally be accurately tracking footsteps and active time! (Not that that was the goal of this at all, just a nice added bonus; the ultimate goal was actually to be able to use my new Vi fitness tracker, and while I've not yet set that up (the device needed to charge last night after I got everything updated and set up) the app's installed, which was the previous sticking point!)

    Unfortunately, now that this Pandora's Box is open, my wife now wants me to update her phones! :P
    04-07-2017 12:56 PM
  8. james magueflor's Avatar
    RealKromey, I also have a gci SM-G900T and have rooted it (odin)in an attempt to update from 4.4.2. with no luck. I, being generally lazy(yet somehow,I currently am employed doing physical labor as a concrete finisher} but also computer savvy(I built my first computer in '85 for 3500 dollars and the 80 mb hard drive cost 200.00) Would you mind outlining the process and steps firmware you used? thanks in advance, props to the site "forums.androidcentral.com" for enabling this interaction.
    07-04-2017 07:44 PM
  9. Lostboy5151's Avatar
    meant to delete!!!
    12-19-2017 09:18 PM
  10. Lostboy5151's Avatar
    GCI Told me that when roaming they use the AT&T networks. I've been with them for quite a while ( having left AT&T after 11 years) and I've never heard any reference made to T-mobile
    When I got a Samsung s7+ it had Marshmello installed. In no time, they released Nougat .
    Everything I've experienced with GCI confirms that I won't be returning to At&T and I never had any problems with AT&T.Now. with my Galaxy S8+ I've been told that it appears that Oreo will come installed with the S9 but, the S8 depends on the model and the area you live in.

    Anyway, just another view to consider!
    12-19-2017 09:39 PM
  11. akgourmet's Avatar
    I have this same issue with a phone from GCI except that my s5 model is sm-g900m. I've looked for a stock rom for this model and they are all Latin American. Can I use one of those if I live in the United States? Will it change the language on my phone? thanks.
    04-22-2018 03:33 PM

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