I just had a harrowing experience: my phone went dead… for FIVE DAYS!
It all began one fine day when I had the sudden urge to change the ROM of my phone.
My relationship with my phone began in January 2012. It’s a Samsung GT S5360. For all those noobs out there, it’s a Samsung Galaxy Y (or Young), one of the early smartphones. But don’t be too quick to judge the phone. In its heyday, it was THE phone.
Anyways, I began to use the phone. Due to the limited internal space, I had to ‘root’ the phone so that I can have superuser status over it. The rooting part was easy, and there was no problem. I used it for three more years without having any issues. The ‘net speed was good, it is a reliable little phone.
Then, I decided to change the ROM. A friend who had a phone just like me had changed the ROM. I also wanted to have the sleek style and look-feel of the phone. And so, we flashed a recovery and the new ROM. Sorry to disappoint, it all went smoothly. I had a new ROM (Cyanogen mod or something like that), upgraded from Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) to 4.2 (Kitkat). For the next few months, I used it. Then, I wanted more…
I downloaded several recovery mods, kernels and beautiful ROMs and began experimenting them with my phone. I then experimented with Hyperion 9, then with Meego UI, CD Future 8.2 and others. They were nice ones. I experimented with Lillipop, Kitkat, Jellybread and so on. CD Future was the best. But then I realized that though the internet was working fine, I could not make phone calls. I flashed and re-flashed more ROMs the next few days.
Then, on that fateful day, I flashed the wrong recovery (meant for another phone). Now I had flashed one too many ROMs. The phone that I had been with was no longer under my control. I could not mount the system, could not format the system and could not start it anymore. It got stuck in the Samsung Logo for eons. The harrowing experience had begun.
Borrowing my wife’s phone, I scoured and scrounged the net to see what happened to my poor old phone. I began to realize that it had been ‘bricked,’ soft bricked to be precise. I followed all the tutorials that were prescribed for bricked phones, but to no avail. I flashed even more recovery mods. Over the next four days, I tried connecting my phone via USB to my PC. But the PC wouldn’t detect my phone (It’s dead, how can it be detected?). I tried connecting in Odin mode, but failed miserably. I waited for hours to see if my phone gets detected. Meanwhile, I had downloaded this and that file from websites here and there and used up ridiculous amount of money to download these things. Some of those that I downloaded were: S5360_DDMD1_ODDMD1_DDMD1_wipe_by_SplitFUS2, Samsung USB drivers, Samsung Kies, Odin (all versions) and many more CWMs.
Still, my PC couldn’t detect my phone. I tried using other laptops, even a Mac Book (where I installed Heimdall or something). I changed my USB wire, used different USB ports and continued to fail and I gave up… for a few hours. Thinking that there might be people who would want to know whatever had happened to me, I took out my SIM card and tried to insert it into my wife’s phone (which had two SIM card slots). But unfortunately, her phone required a micro SIM card. Then, I decided to cut the SIM card mesself with a scissor. I did just that. But alas! The teeny weenie copper points on the second SIM card slot were broken. What a bad day! Now I am left with a phone that refuses to start, and a SIM card that cannot be inserted. I tried repairing the SIM card slot with some wires, but still couldn’t make it to work.
A day passes by… and the night also passes by. During the night, I had a dream (No, not like Marthin Luther Jr’s). In my dream, I tried the odin mode of downloading the stock kernel and firmware and succeeded, thrice. I woke up to realize that it was just a dream, and may never come true.
January 11, 2016 toiled on. In the evening, I began to tinker with the phone. Realising that this is an old phone, I cleaned the phone, especially the part where you charge and insert the USB wire. My my, it was filled with pieces of the earth and tiny pieces of wood. While cleaning it, I told my wife, “Hieng dam hi ka ring vel ta mei mei a nih – Now I am pinning the whole thing on this.” But after cleaning it up, I entered into Odin Mode in my Samsung phone, connected the USB wire to my PC, opened Samsung Kies and Odin3 1.85 and Odin 3.07. Something happened. The PC told me that it is installing a Samsung CDC USB Driver. But then, the install failed. I tried reinstalling that failed driver by pointing it to the Samsung Kies folder, turned off the phone and boot it into Odin Mode again. Then the miracle happened. Odin detected my phone and so does Kies. I didn’t shout ‘Halleluiah” but I almost did.
Choosing Odin3 1.85, I installed the Samsung Stock ROM (the original software that came with the phone). It took less than five minutes to install it from my PC. Then, the phone restarted, just like it did when I bought it in 2012. Now I am back to 2012, no more new ROMS, just the original apps.
I’ve so far installed several apps that I use every day. The internal space is getting low. I need more apps. I’ve ‘rooted’ the phone once again.
One big hurdle over. Another one begins. How am I supposed to insert my SIM into my phone. I had it cut up, and had somehow spoilt it. I had cut a little too much. Using another SIM that no longer works, I cut a hole just enough to fit my main SIM card into it, glued it to it and then tried inserting it. But noooo, the phone cannot detect it. Now, the SIM card is gone, and for nothing. I didn’t know what to do, so I went to the shop to order a new SIM with a new number.
The next day, that is today, I played with the SIM card, made some adjustments on the edges and somehow managed to bring it back to life. Whew! But the order for a new SIM card has been placed and what am I going to do with a new SIM Card?
Now, I have named my phone as “Old Faithful 2.” What is Old Faithful 1? That’s another story.
PS: If anyone needs help resuscitating their old Android phone from being bricked, I think I can help now.