How to Un-Brick Your Samsung Vibrant / Galaxy S

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An easy to follow guide to unbricking your Samsung Vibrant, or any Galaxy S Variant. This includes the European Galaxy S, Samsung Captivate, Samsung Epic 4G, and Samsung Fascinate.

In the event of a total software brick, meaning that your phone is rendered completely unusable, there is usually only one way to restore it to usable condition: through a JTAG interface. JTAG interfaces are, however, very complicated to create, require very specific knowledge that the average user lacks, and often times can damage your device. Thankfully, Samsung has created an alternate hardware level interface that will force the device into recovery or download mode, allowing the user to flash a new image to his phone. This guide will walk you through the steps of un-bricking your Samsung Vibrant, as well as all other Samsung Galaxy S variants. 

Materials: 

  • 2 micro USB cables of any length.
    • I recommend these: http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10303&cs_id=1030307&p_id=4867&seq=1&format=2 .
    • You can get them from a local store if you want, but never pay more than two dollars for a micro USB cable, especially in this case seeing as you are going to rip one apart soon. 
  • A soldering iron.
    • Not for soldering your phone though, it is for soldering two of the wires in a micro USB cable together.
    • You can get one of these at a local Radio Shack or home improvement store.
  • Rosin core solder
    • Any solder works but rosin core is the easiest to find and its really easy to melt 
    • You can get this at a local Radio Shack or home improvement store.
  • A 301K ohm resistor
    • Notice the K. A 301K ohm resistor is different from a 301 ohm resistor!
    • You can get one of these at a local Radio Shack or from Amazon.com
    • If you cant find a 301k resistor at Radio Shack, and don't feel like ordering it, you can just buy 3 100k resistors, and one 1k resistor and solder them together to create a 301K resistor.
    • Some people will tell you that a 300k resistor will also force a Galaxy S into download mode, but it doesn't work for everyone, so stick with a 301K. 
  • Wire strippers 
  • Utility knife

Creating the Test Jig: 

  1. You will force your Vibrant / Galaxy S variant into download mode by emulating the usb test jig used by Samsung engineers. 
  2. Before doing anything. Turn your phone off and let it charge.
  3. If necessary solder the 3 100k resistors and 1k resistor together to make your 301k resistor.
    1. The order you place them in does not matter.
    2. If you bought the 301k resistor disregard this step
  4. Cut one of your Micro USB cables in half, and cut away a section of the sheathing using a utility knife, exposing the five wires within. 
  5. Using the wire strippers, remove the insulation of the ends of wires 4 and 5, exposing the copper. 
    1.  Refer to this image if you do not know which wires 4 and 5 are: 
  6. Solder the 301k resistor across wires 4 and 5, in other words connect them with the resistor. 
    1. DO NOT DO THIS WITH THE CHORD PLUGGED INTO YOUR PHONE! THE HEAT CAN DAMAGE IT!
  7. Once the solder is cooled and dry, unplug your Samsung Galaxy S from the charger, and DO NOT TURN IT ON! 
  8. Plug the micro USB end of the test jig you just made into the usb port of your Samsung Galaxy S. 
    1. Your phone will turn on by itself and boot into recovery mode
    2. Do not turn it on before plugging the jig in or it will not work. 
  9. Once it it booted into download mode, flash a rom via ODIN. 
    1. Consult this guide if you do not know how to use ODIN: https://knoji.com/how-to-use-odin-to-flash-your-samsung-galaxy-s/

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Harrison Taylor
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