Samsung Galaxy S3 Forum

Root [Boost Mobile] How to truly unbrick your SGS3 - Boost SGS3

The following guide will get you back to where you should be able to odin everything back to where you need to be. that means if you flashed an international rom and no longer have download mode, this trick will make it so you do. if you have recovery/download mode already then just odin flash. this is for people who really mess up their devices.

What you need:

How to get it done:

Linux Instructions
  • Boot your Linux OS
  • Download the debrick image listed in the Item's needed list
  • Open terminal on your Linux OS
  • Insert your microSD card into the reader
  • Plug your microSD card reader into your computer
  • Run
    Code (Text):
    1. dmesg | tail
    you should see something that mentions where it is mounted via /sdX
  • *
    Code (Text):
    1. dd if=/path_to_debrick.img of=/dev/sdX
    again where X is the microSD card ignoring the partition numbers as they should be overwritten
    I had to do this a couple times for the image to actually take
  • *
    Code (Text):
    1. parted /dev/sdX print
    If you will see Error about the GPT table being corrupt you can type "OK" and then you will be given an option to Fix/Ignore; type "Ignore"
    should show approximately 23 partitions (IIRC)
Windows Instructions
  • Download win32diskimager
  • Download your debrick image
  • Unzip both items and run win32diskimager
  • Run win32diskimager
  • browse for your extracted debrick image
  • Select your microSD in the dropdown box
  • Click write
Instructions required for both
  • remove the microSD card from the reader
  • remove the battery, sim and external microSD card from your device
  • insert your debrick microSD into your phone
  • insert the battery and down your power button (at this point your phone might actually boot completely and you can recovery any software/data you want)
  • reboot into Download mode either via adb or Volume Down + Home + Power
  • Once the device is booted into bootloader remove the microSD card.
  • follow the directions in the ODIN thread and make sure you UNCHECK partition!
* requires su privileges

Once you have your device booting with the SDcard, youll need to flash the stock odin firmware, make sure you flash the version or a newer one than what you had, you cannot downgrade.

Thanks to the following:
gTan64 for finding the fix while repairing their friend's phone.
KAsp3rd for showing me this and assisting me throughout it :)
smith058 for getting the unbrick image :)


#1 Shabbypenguin, Sep 21, 2013
Thanks Shabby. This should be a sticky

Stuff like this helps me sleep better at night. Lol.
#2 wyelkins, Sep 21, 2013
well the odin thread should be what the majority of people use, this is only if you really mess up and break download mode etc. smith's odin tar will get you right in case you mess up recovery, and custom recovery handles kernel/rom boo-boos :)
#3 Shabbypenguin, Sep 21, 2013
So this is Linux only right?
What's the best option for Windows users?

#4 smith058, Sep 21, 2013
Whewee!! NIce bro. It would have to be a serious screw up to disable Download mode but man it's nice to know we have a workaround.

NIce work Shabby and thanks!


I have the same questions as Smith. Is a Windows fix even possible or is it only gonna be Linux?
#5 wetbiker7, Sep 21, 2013
not possible, you can use a linux live cd though.
#6 Shabbypenguin, Sep 21, 2013
Shabby, or anyone else with experience,
I don't know hardly anything about Linux. So I searched for "Linux live cd" and find

Is this what you are talking about?
Would you make a better suggestion?

#7 smith058, Sep 24, 2013
i would suggest using linux mint live dvd, mint is based off u buntu but with a new coat of paint. it relaly shines as a nice distro, and has really risen in popularity due to the gnome 3/unity debacle.
#8 Shabbypenguin, Sep 24, 2013
Smith and I were discussing Linux and he suggested that I share this part of our PM in the hopes that it may help out some of you who have never tried any of the Linux Distros.

" As for the live Linux CDs, there all kinds of Linux distros that offer the live CD. OpenSuse is one of many. I like it's U/I. It's similar to Windows. It just depends on what you like. Just choose to run the live CD. It will ask you during install what you want to do and if you want to install or run from the CD. Just choose the live CD. That way the actual OS isn't installed. There is plenty info out there on Google. There are even tutorials on YouTube showing you exactly what to do. When I've ran Linux in the past looking for the version I like the best, I've always used the live CD first. That way you get a chance to test drive it before you install if you decide you want to keep it. They also offer to do a dual install (dual boot). I don't recommend that unless you are absolutely sure you are going to keep it because it can be a bitch to get the partition assigned to Linux freed up and formatted for Windows again. Well, it can be for someone unfamiliar with Linux anyways. I'm sure it's a piece of cake for the Linux gurus.:D

There is even an option to run it from a flash drive. It's a little bit more complicated because you have to use software that will convert it so the OS can be ran from the flash drive. I usually just use a CD-RW or DVD-RW for the ISO. You usually have less problems with the install. "

As for the Linux distros out there, you'll probably be shocked at how many there actually are. I know I was. :)

Shabby suggested trying Mint. If I were you I would definitely go with his recommendation. :thumb:


Here is an article from LifeHacker on the 5 best Linux Distros. (in their readers opinions)

Do yourself a favor and DON'T try Arch your 1st time out. Just because it's at the top of the list doesn't mean it's the easiest to use. Especially for someone coming from a Widows OS. lol :p

LifeHacker Article. 5 Best Linux Distributions - Five Best Linux Distributions
#9 wetbiker7, Sep 24, 2013
yea linux mint boots up and you are in the live cd, its not til you click on teh installer that it tries to do anything. so you boot up and are ready to work :)

also unetbootin is an extremely easy software to make a usb bootable jumpdrive, it will download the iso for you if you dont already have it, you pick what drive is your usb drive and it will install it all for you. AND! it works on windows/mac/linux, so you can use it anywhere :)
#10 Shabbypenguin, Sep 24, 2013

Thanks Shabby. I didn't mention it by name when I posted earlier and I should have.:eek: Unetbootin is definitely the best choice for converting to USB.

Just a heads up guys. As Shabby mentioned, you will have to chose which drive for Unetbootin to write to. MAKE SURE that you choose your flash drive. It will not select it for you by default. If you forget to chose the flash drive you could end up wiping your main HD or recovery partition if you have one. Just wanted to let you guys know because I came very close to making that mistake during the excitement of my 1st Linux experience. Thankfully The~Skater~187 made sure I double checked it and kept me from making a huge mistake. :D
#11 wetbiker7, Sep 24, 2013
I've done it. Hardbricked my gf's pebble blue s3 sprint by being an idiot and flashed an international ROM. Oops. Got all back up and running after a short visit to xda and found this exact guide. Thanks all. And hey wet! Can't believe we got the same phone again. Guess we really know what's good.
#12 DaisFlaque, Oct 7, 2013
that's great news, spectacular actually, just to know it does work!
#13 smith058, Oct 7, 2013

ABSOLUTELY!! Good to see you over here bro. :D
#14 wetbiker7, Oct 7, 2013

like i would post something that didnt work ;P
#15 Shabbypenguin, Oct 7, 2013
:eek: D'oh! :eek:
#16 smith058, Oct 7, 2013
sure would be nice to get reply from the pm I sent you! hahaha
#17 cornelljdavis, Oct 7, 2013

#18 smith058, Oct 7, 2013
Thanks Shabby. Glad to have you here bro.

Linux discussion: doesn't really matter what distro you prefer. Any live cd will work. If you are a linux noob or youre just getting into android then I would suggest any debian based distro(eg. Ubuntu, kubuntu, xbuntu, mint, red hat). Some commands and methods are slightly different for different distros and if your searching for how-tos, you'll find debian based commands are the most widely used in instructions/guides. But that doesn't apply to shabby's instructions. Those commands are very basic and will work on just about any linux/unix OS.

I've been using mint for my android build box for quite a while now. Like 2 years. Love cinnimon. But for my main os I use Kubuntu 13.04. I'm liking the direction kde is going in. Its really growing on me and the kernels are way more stable than ubuntu. Especially when using the flgrx driver for my 2 ati graphics cards in crossfire. Fresh ubuntu install kernel paniced as soon as I instlled 4 yr old flgrx driver... :/
#19 mavrikmeercat, Oct 11, 2013
okay so i just attempted to flash a rom to my phone and accidentally hard bricked it. Im having trouble with the code given in the instructions. I am working on Linux Mint running out of my usb. when i type the first instruction, this is what i get:
dmesg | tail
[ 1226.836519] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] Write Protect is off
[ 1226.836525] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
[ 1226.837397] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] No Caching mode page present
[ 1226.837403] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 1226.841393] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] No Caching mode page present
[ 1226.841400] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 1226.843169] sdc: sdc1
[ 1226.845969] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] No Caching mode page present
[ 1226.845976] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 1226.845982] sd 5:0:0:0: [sdc] Attached SCSI removable disk

Then, I type the second instruction, and this is what i get:
mint@mint ~ $ sudo dd if=/media/EE2E10DB2E109F21/phone/ of=/media/3933-6161/
dd: opening `/media/3933-6161/': Is a directory

In the above instruction, /media/EE2E10DB2E109F21/phone/ is the location of the .img file and /media/3933-6161/ is the location of my sd card.

I don't see anything hapening, and when i type the last set of instructions, this is what it reads:
mint@mint ~ $ sudo fdisk -1 /media/3933-6161
fdisk: invalid option -- '1'
fdisk [options] <disk> change partition table
fdisk [options] -l <disk> list partition table(s)
fdisk -s <partition> give partition size(s) in blocks

-b <size> sector size (512, 1024, 2048 or 4096)
-c[=<mode>] compatible mode: 'dos' or 'nondos' (default)
-h print this help text
-u[=<unit>] display units: 'cylinders' or 'sectors' (default)
-v print program version
-C <number> specify the number of cylinders
-H <number> specify the number of heads
-S <number> specify the number of sectors per track

HELP PLEASEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My phone is my life :thinking:
#20 michael_the_noob, Oct 20, 2013
you need to label the actual image file not the directory where it is, that is not the location of your sdcard either, it is a user friendly spot where it is mounted, but it is a disk so its in /dev/ it varies per computer, so i would suggest doing
ls /dev/
find all the hard drives etc, then connect the sdcard and run the command again, you should be able to figure out which SD# it is. also fdisk is using an L in lowercase, not a 1
#21 Shabbypenguin, Oct 20, 2013
sir shabby i downloaded mint 10 and i followed the steps but when ever i type in dmesg | tail this will show up dmesg | tail
[ 176.530686] scsi 10:0:0:0: Direct-Access Mass Storage Device PQ: 0 ANSI: 0 CCS
[ 176.531103] sd 10:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
[ 176.533312] sd 10:0:0:0: [sdb] 31078400 512-byte logical blocks: (15.9 GB/14.8 GiB)
[ 176.533794] sd 10:0:0:0: [sdb] Write Protect is off
[ 176.533798] sd 10:0:0:0: [sdb] Mode Sense: 03 00 00 00
[ 176.533801] sd 10:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 176.535929] sd 10:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 176.535939] sdb: sdb1
[ 176.538554] sd 10:0:0:0: [sdb] Assuming drive cache: write through
[ 176.538557] sd 10:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI removable disk

then i type in the next code this will show up
sudo dd if=/<path_to_debrick.img> of=/dev/sdx
bash: path_to_debrick.img: No such file or directory

im not very familiar with coding's i just want my s3 to fixed can u please help me??
#22 chie12, Oct 31, 2013
looks like sdb is your sdcard.

sudo dd if=/swap/this/out/with/your/path of=/dev/sdb

is what it would be for you, keep in mind, i dont know where you put the file. so you are gunna have to figure out teh path to teh file you saved.
#23 Shabbypenguin, Oct 31, 2013
already done it dude but the next problem is it just get stuck on the downloading screen and my device cant be detected on odin what shall i do?
#24 chie12, Nov 1, 2013
youve got the proper drivers? perhaps try heimdall? its good to hear that you are at least booting to download mode etc though :)
#25 Shabbypenguin, Nov 1, 2013