After one week, I Unbricked & Restored my girlfriend’s Smartphone! (or How I learned how to hack into Android phones)
It had to happen sooner or later.
With the way my girlfriend is chronically “click-happy”, installs incompatible/shady sourced programs (of which, I eventually have to uninstall later), and downloads various “flavors” of videos, her smartphone $hit the bed.
It finally got bricked.
And it was ugly.
The thing wouldn’t even reach the phone’s logo upon bootup. It would just turn off.
It was after 10pm, so I told her to leave it alone and I would look at it in the morning.
Of course, she didn’t.
While I was asleep, she kept trying to make it work by powering it on and off for God knows how long.
It finally must’ve went into an endless boot-loop until the battery was drained.
The next morning, the phone’s battery was so low that the red charging light wasn’t being displayed when I plugged the charger into the wall socket.
After an hour of hoping the thing was charging, I unplugged the mini-USB cable, waited for a couple minutes, reconnected it, and pressed the power on key.
The dreaded “Kernel Panic Upload Mode” screen came on — and stayed on.
I had never attempted to unbrick an Android smartphone before, so I scoured the internet, viewed dozens of YouTube videos and read as much as I could about it.
Nevertheless, it took one week to successfully unbrick and restore her phone to its original factory settings.
Additionally, I even upgraded her Android version 8 (Oreo) to version 9 (Pie).
Here’s a short list of what I had to learn in the process:
- How to install and use Heimdall (a tool for flashing ROMs) in Linux that after 3 days, still could not flash to my girlfriend’s phone.
- How to download a Windows iso using Linux. Why? Because the only other flashing tool was called “Odin” and only ran on Windows and Mac Operating Systems.
- How to make a bootable Windows flash drive with a Linux package called WoeUSB.
- How to install a dual boot (Windows/Linux) OS configuration.
- All about mobile phone .tar. and .mdb files (Pit, BL, AP, CSC, HOME-CSC)
- Understanding .mdb coes: country, bulid no., android version no. for resetting the Android OS.
- How to unbrick a phone via OTG.
- How to install FRP (Factory Rest Protection) release files via Odin (tool for flashing ROMs in Windows).
- How to install and use ADB Tools for both Linux and Windows.
- How to install and use MTP protocols for Linux and Windows.
- How to unlock OEM, setup phone USB debugging, and Google account bypass with an FRP release file.
- How to install Android version 9 (Pie) firmware.
Surprisingly, most of the time was NOT spent on learning all the foreign protocols, complex ROM flashing setup/procedures, and the new software packages (Heimdall and Odin).
The overwhelming time eaters were searching the internet and downloading the specific files that were compatible with the particular smartphone device, vendor brand, country and Android version, testing them, and if no success, rinsing and repeating the whole process!
In the end, through sheer stubbornness (and lack of sleep), I finally unbricked my girlfriend’s phone. (Yeah!)
To be honest, after 3 days of listening to my girlfriends whining and knowing that I may never be able to fix her phone, I caved in (capitulated) and bought her a new one!
Oh well, on the bright side is that I know how to hack into almost any Android smartphone now — as a White Hat Hacker, of course.
Besides, the unbricked phone works perfectly and can serve as a great backup for whenever her or my own phone $hits the bed — again!
About the Author
Believing that school was too boring, he dropped out of High School early; only to earn an AA, BS and MBA in less than 4 years much later in life — while working full-time as a Navy/Marine Corps Medic.
In spite of a fear of heights and deep water, he performed high altitude, free-fall parachute jumps and hazardous diving ops in deep, open ocean water.
After 24 years of active duty, he retired in Asia.
Since then, he’s been a full-time, single papa and actively pursuing his varied passions (Writing, Disruptive Technology, Computer Science and Cryptocurrency — plus more hobbies too boring or bizarre for most folk).
He lives on an island paradise with his teenage daughter, longtime girlfriend and two dogs.
“My mind was a terrible thing to waste…” — JaiChai
Originally published at https://steemit.com on July 17, 2019.