Author Topic: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service  (Read 470 times)

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Offline soldar

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« on: October 13, 2019, 09:10:27 am »
In another thread I found out my old iPhone 4S will no longer work so I need to use a new phone. I would have rather stayed with iPhone but beggars can't be choosers and all I have is a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge with some AT&T version of Android.

For the last few days I have used it with WIFI but have not put the SIM card in it yet. Before I do that I would like to "sanitize" the Android OS as much as possible. Ideally I would like to install something totally independent from Google. Something like Linux. I realize this may be impossible so I am looking to be as far from Google's eyes as I possibly can.  And AT&T too.

Should I sanitize the OS I have? Or should I install something else from scratch? What say you?
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2019, 11:03:24 am »
XDA-Developers is your best bet.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/att-s7-edge

https://forum.xda-developers.com/s7-edge

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge at least by the website it says that supports up to Android 8.

On that forum you will find lots of Roms from users, specially the LineageOS:

https://forum.xda-developers.com/s7-edge/development/rom-lineageos-16-microg-t3921092

The Android OS without GApps, as you wanted far away from Google...

https://lineageos.org/
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2019, 05:26:14 pm »
Thanks Black Phoenix but I find all that scary. :)

Lineageos does not seem to have a version for my model so I don't even have to look into it.

OTOH, XDA has dozens of threads with hundreds of pages discussing all sorts of problems people have run into, many saying they bricked their phones.

I really do not want to become embroiled in a risky and complicated project that would take me countless hours. I just don't have the energy.

This is where I wish there was a commercial product because I would be willing to pay to save myself the hassle.

One think I am not sure about is that since the phone has a OS version customized for AT&T and it is no longer used with AT&T I wonder if it would update at all or if it is frozen in time.

I am completely new to Android and it may not be the best idea to tinker too deeply yet. I dunno because I would like to insert the SIM and be able to use it as a phone but I would rather wait until I can sanitize the OS.

I doubt I will get any results but I might ask at local phone repair places and see if they might do it for me at a reasonable price. Unlikely but worth a try.

E.T.A.: Just in case it makes a difference it is model SM-G935A UD, Android version 8.0.0. , security patch level 2018/08/01.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2019, 07:28:05 pm by soldar »
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Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2019, 08:56:48 pm »
Well, I couldn't wait so I inserted a SIM card ... and it doesn't work. Even though the error messages point at the SIM card I believe it is the phone that is locked.

Firstly it says
Quote
Invalid SIM card
Network locked SIM card


The, after some more steps I get the message
Quote
Enter network unlock code
_________________________
( ) Unlock ( ) Dismiss

Since the SIM card is fine I tend to think the problem is the phone is locked to AT&T, even though they told me it was unlocked.

I am guessing the "Network unlock code" would be from AT&T to unlock the phone. Right?

I think I should be able to get it without problem but, if not, I assume I can get it unlocked by other means.

Any comments about this?

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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2019, 02:26:00 am »
Well there are some unlock websites online that claim they can unlock the phones. Don't know their success rate, but one of the ones I mostly see being advertised from some Youtubers:



This one have a lot of videos about this, and by the comments it looks like it works.

About the Edge problem, is not that scary believe me. It looks like but if you do things exactly as explained it will not brick.

This are the models numbers available of the S7 Edge: G935F (Global); G935FD (Southeast Asia, India); G9350 (Hong Kong); G935W8 (Canada)

If not (I think it will be the G935A) first you need to convert it to the Global Version:

https://forum.xda-developers.com/att-s7-edge/how-to/samsung-sm-935u-firmware-install-guide-t3411451

The hardware from what I saw is the same, it's just a custom print version for AT&T.

After converting you have a full SM-935U, being U from unlocked, which means it's not carrier specific. Anything AT&T had done to the phone firmware will not exit anymore.

Heck I count countless ROM changes from broadware carriers ROMS to the Default Global ones on the Samsung, from the Samsung Galaxy IIs to Note 7, the last one were I removed the MEO Portuguese ROM to install the Global one, while keeping the Knox Function working.

Other thing you should take care is if the Knox is On or Off. With the update to custom roms, some methods will activate the Knox function, were a fuse in the security processor will be activated and secure payments via Samsung Pay or Google Pay will not be possible anymore, since the phone by Samsung Standards is not secure (Official tested software) even if you roll back the software again to official. That was a pain in the start to keep the Knox closed, and worked only with Official ROMS and by using only the Samsung Kies. Nowadays for what I know there are other ways of doing it without deactivating the secure payment, it's just a case of choosing the right one.

I can't help you more, the only help is doing it myself since I really know the procedures and how the phone update process goes.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 03:06:33 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2019, 07:09:32 am »
Thanks Black Phoenix.

First, and before I do anything else, I am going to get the unlock code from AT&T. I would rather wait a bit and get it for free from AT&T than go to some website where I have to pay and it may not work.

Once I have it unlocked I will look into debloating it but that thread you linked to is 170 pages long and full of reports of problems...

When you say change "ROM" you don't mean I have to physically change a chip, right? Because there's no way I'm doing that. I assume it just means flashing the new firmware.

I am downloading to my computer the two files mentioned in the first post. I understand Odin312 is the program which will do the flashing and  the file 935U.zip (2 GB! Yikes!) contains the firmware that will be installed. OK, if it works it does not sound too complicated. I am downloading to the computer first so I will have to transfer from the computer to the phone.
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 07:22:24 am »
Sorry, bad habits... When I say ROM I'm referring to the 2GB file you are downloading.

The correct way of saying from my part should be the Android OS, not ROM. Change ROM I mean change the Android OS.

Yes is preferable to first unlock the phone with the code, check if it accepts other cards outside of the ones from AT&T and then proceed to change the OS.

Normal points of advice:
 - Battery Fully Charged (bootloader mode doesn't charge the battery when connected to the PC);
 - Download the correct drivers that ODIN recommends (normally on Forums under the link of ODIN there is always a link with the most up to date Android USB Bootloader drivers). Deactivate the Windows Automatic Download and Installation of drivers and force the ones you download.
 - Connect and disconnect the phone various times from the USB and see if ODIN recognises that the phone was connected and disconnected plus if Windows is also using the drivers that you previously downloaded.

If everything is OK on the points above, 99% it will run OK.

If I was able to change the OS in a Coffee Shop (Starbucks) with a shitty Wifi connection and with a laptop that wasn't mine, you can also with your own equipment that you know well.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 07:33:33 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2019, 08:03:11 am »
I am unclear on how the process is done. At first I thought it was all done within the phone but now it seems Odin is run from a computer while the phone is tethered. I will need step by step, very detailed instructions. I still have plenty of time before I do it though. I have run Odin on my WinXP machine and it runs but I do not understand any of the options, etc. So I need to run Odin on the computer and it will download the OS to the phone?

Normal points of advice:
 - Battery Fully Charged (bootloader mode doesn't charge the battery when connected to the PC);
How long does this take? Because the battery is not that good. Maybe I should test the battery first and make sure it will last long enough. I do have a cordless pad charger but it may be that the phone will not take charge from it while it is being flashed. For now the battery still has some life in it and I just keep the phone on the wireless charging pad anyway. Maybe I could use some advice on replacing the battery.

  - Download the correct drivers that ODIN recommends (normally on Forums under the link of ODIN there is always a link with the most up to date Android USB Bootloader drivers). Deactivate the Windows Automatic Download and Installation of drivers and force the ones you download.
I have absolutely no idea what any of this means. What drivers for what now?

  - Connect and disconnect the phone various times from the USB and see if ODIN recognises that the phone was connected and disconnected plus if Windows is also using the drivers that you previously downloaded.
I will need a more detailed explanation on how to do this.

If everything is OK on the points above, 99% it will run OK.
Let's hope I am not in the remaining 1%. :)
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2019, 08:52:15 am »
Ok, by parts:

The drivers I talked was this ones:

https://www.progeeksblog.com/SAMSUNG_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones.exe

That's the ones you should install before you connect the phone in bootloader mode to ODIN. To enter in Bootloader/download mode: To do it, hold down the Volume down+Home+Power simultaneously for about 6 sec until Android warning sign appears on the screen.  Release all buttons and Hit Volume up to continue.

Then after connecting to the PC a new device should appear in the Device Manager, check if the drivers are the ones from the Samsung that you download and install before.If not just with 7zip, right click on the exec with the drivers, and unzip the folder that says 20_NXP_Driver. or unzip everything and force the install of the drivers by that folder for the new device that pop up.

For instructions, this one is basically the best one if you use original Samsung Stock Firmware:

https://www.progeeksblog.com/how-to-use-odin/

When you connect the phone via USB in download mode and disconnect you should see messages popping up in the status window of ODIN saying ID something ADDED and ID something REMOVED.

On the file part where they say to put the firmware file in AP, in your case since you will have 4 files after unzip the firmware you download, you should do as in the XDA Forum, the link with the conversion from GT935A to GT935U.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/att-s7-edge/how-to/samsung-sm-935u-firmware-install-guide-t3411451

Here when you decompress the ZIP file it will give you 4 files each starting with letters: Put the AP_ on the AP_ field, the BL_ on the BL_, CP_ on CP_ and CSC_ on CSC_. The process should not take more than 10 min. After it says PASS in green, the phone will reboot, and you can disconnect after the configuring screen from android pops up (you can before, when you reboot, but as good measure I always disconnect when it starts the configuration screen).

Note from the XDA Forum:

Quote
When using the second version of Odin, I encountered an issue where the phone would crash during setup just after the wifi screen. If you have any problems with either, please report back and let me know. Either way, this seems safe to try on the AT&T version of the S7 Edge. I am able to go back to the stock AT&T firmware I’ve uploaded in my other thread just fine. So if this doesn’t work for you, it’s possible to go back. I have went back and forth 4 times now, and met with success going to and from the stock AT&T firmware to this one each time. However as always, try at your own risk.

Have the original firmware from the phone too, the Stock AT&T for rollback in case of failure.

https://forum.xda-developers.com/att-s7-edge/how-to/sm-g935a-stock-oreo-odin-g935aatt4cre4-t3803860

Same way four files, each on their respective fields on the ODIN application for PC.

Anything more just ask.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 09:01:11 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2019, 09:16:38 am »
I do appreciate your help! For now I am going to wait until I have unlocked the phone and then I will try to flash the new OS. I will let you know how it goes and if I run into any problems.
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2019, 09:28:11 am »
While you are waiting for the code, just charge the phone, open the browser and put a video playing, being Youtube or in China Bilibili or Youku. The battery will deplete, charge again to 100%, discharge again and charge again. It should give a good shake up to the battery and make it able to last without problems of the phone powering off mid update. And is also a good way to see if the battery needs replacement.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2019, 09:52:23 am »
Well, the battery has been depleted many times lately because I just leave the phone off the charger and when I go to use it a few days later it is dead.  Lately the only thing I was using the phone for was for WIFI Analyzer. In any case it should have problem lasting half or one hour.

I am thinking of installing those phone drivers on the computer even if I do not do anything else yet.
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Online BravoV

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2019, 10:11:26 am »
I am thinking of installing those phone drivers on the computer even if I do not do anything else yet.

And don't forget -> Samsung SideSync for fun ...  :P

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2019, 10:53:46 am »
Well, it's a bad start. 

I plugged in the phone to the WinXp computer and, in the Device Manager, I checked the driver and it was by MS and dated 2001 so I thought I would update it with the recommended SAMSUNG_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones.exe. After I did that when I plug in the phone I get an error.

Now not only does it not work but it does not appear in the Device Manager so I could roll back to the previous driver. I expected the traditional yellow mark but, no, nothing.

I installed from MS an "MTP pack" but it makes no difference. I'm stuck.

E.T.A.: In the meanwhile the phone works fine when connected to my Linux Mint computer. But I suppose I cannot install the OS from the Linux computer. :(

E.T.A.#2: I notice something. While I cannot access the contents of the phone because the driver messed it up, I see a new device in the device manager, "SAMSUNG Mobile USB Modem" which I assume is for tethering for using the mobile data with a computer. Maybe this is enough to install the new OS? What a mess! And I haven't really started yet!
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 11:23:36 am by soldar »
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2019, 11:44:53 am »
That Samsung Mobile USB is only for using the Phone as as 3G Hotspot.

And I forgot you use Windows XP, not Windows 7...

To install the OS you need to have the Phone in download mode:

Volume down+Home+Power simultaneously for about 6 sec until Android warning sign appears on the screen. Then UP and connect the phone, see what appears. To return to normal mode, keep pressing the power to shutdown the phone and start as normally.

Plus the S7 Edge is more recent than the Windows XP, I don't think that are drivers that support it. Can't you install a VM with Windows 7 at least?
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 11:50:07 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2019, 12:54:44 pm »
Well, definitely not a good start. I fucked up the phone to computer connection by installing the new drivers and now I cannot roll it back to where it was. Really fucked up that one. Even tried System Restore but that didn't work either. Oh well.

Well, after several hours today this is all I have done. just made things worse.

I think I am putting this on hold before I screw up worse.
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Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2019, 09:20:09 pm »
OK, I got the phone unlocked, fired up the Win7 system, installed the Samsung driver, started Odin, put the four files' names in their places, hit "start", it says "setup connection" but gets stuck there and after a while says "fail".

Complete (write) operation failed.
All threads completed (succeed 0 / failed 1)

Now I do not know what to do because I am afraid that if I disconnect the phone I might brick it.

 :(
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2019, 11:18:56 pm »
You can turn off the phone, nothing happened, it just tested the files it didn't start the upload to the phone.

The phone is in download mode?
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2019, 12:03:31 am »
Yes, the phone says it is in download mode.

I have spent hours and I am getting nowhere.

Some site says I need a patched version of Odin so I downloaded that.

Some sites say I should have turned off "OEM unlock" while I still had the old OS running. It seems this is something that Android has to prevent a stolen phone from being flashed.  https://www.quora.com/Whats-an-OEM-unlock-in-Android
 

Others say I should have turned on "USB debugging" while I had a functional OS
https://www.imyfone.com/android-tips/complete-write-operation-failed-odin/

Anyway, I am at a loss. I have lost the OS I had and I cannot load the new one.

Now what?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 07:50:39 am by soldar »
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2019, 12:21:12 am »
First, I'm no one to say this but calm down. You hadn't made any changes to the phone yet. You can turn off the phone and on again. It will work if you didn't have done anything to the phone.

If possible please install the following app, Anydesk, and send me the code via PM, I can help you diagnose via remote access to you.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 12:23:15 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2019, 12:31:57 am »
The phone does not start into the old OS. It just flashes the splash screen over and over.  So I believe the old OS is gone but the installation of the new one failed.

I have been dealing with this for over six hours now and I am exhausted. It is 2:30 am here and I am going to get some sleep.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have better luck.

Thanks anyway.
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2019, 12:35:03 am »
Ok have a nice sleep then, when possible install the Anydesk, send me the code and I will see the what I can do remotely.
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2019, 07:47:00 am »
I would rather not install or use Anydesk.

It may be I needed to unlock the boot-loader before removing the old software. Several threads talk about "OEM unlock". If that's the case I may have bricked the phone.
https://www.quora.com/Whats-an-OEM-unlock-in-Android
https://www.imyfone.com/android-tips/complete-write-operation-failed-odin/

It also seems there are different boot loaders which need to be dealt with differently.

I can only think of trying to install some other version of Android and see if that works.

I downloaded G935AUCS4BRC1_7.0_4File_USA (AT&T).7z, which took quite a few hours, but then the 7Z program says it cannot uncompress it because [whatever] so no dice.

I cannot find where to download either:
- The original AT&T Android software (from AT&T?)
- A plain vanilla Android (From Android?)
- An older version of Android.
- Any other software that would allow me to get into the phone

If before I started I had known there was a risk of this I would have left well enough alone. Now I just wish I could go back to where I was.

We have a very popular story/joke in Spanish. It has to be acted and I can't believe I cannot find it in Youtube. Anyhow. Here goes:

A man has a cripple arm which is twisted inwards. He goes to Fatima to ask the Virgin Mary for a miracle. When he is in front of the Virgin Mary he implores "Virgin Mary, may I have both arms the same" and instantly a miracle happens and now both arms are crippled and pointing inwards. He cries "No, no, just the opposite!" and instantly a miracle happens and both arms turn outwards but remain crippled. Several more misunderstandings later, each of which makes the situation worse, the man cries in exasperation "Virgin Mary, Virgin Mary, just put me the way I was!".

That phrase is common and well-known in Spain. When attempting to fix something makes things worse and you just wish you could go back to how it was before you would say "Virgencita, que me quede como estaba!".

That exactly how I feel now.

Anyhow, I will try whatever I can and if I have no success after some hours I think it is worth it to take the phone to a repair shop and ask if they can do it and what they would charge me.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 07:51:00 am by soldar »
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Offline Black Phoenix

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2019, 08:48:18 am »
Original AT&T Rom:

https://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=674106145207493788

Any remote assistance application you use other then the Anydesk?

Before you try to flash again do the following:

The phone detects when it's connected to the charger and the charging indicator appears right?

If yes then try this:

    Turn off the phone.
    Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key.
    When the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
    When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds.
    Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
    Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
    Now highlight the option ‘Yes’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.
    Wait until your phone is finished wiping the cache partition. Once completed, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and press the Power key.
    The phone will now reboot longer than usual.

If it doesn't work, try this:

    Turn off your Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
    Press and then hold the Home and Volume UP keys, then press and hold the Power key. NOTE: It doesn’t matter how long you press and hold the Home and Volume Up keys, it won’t affect the phone but by the time you press and hold the Power key, that’s when the phone starts to respond.
    When the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge shows on the screen, release the Power key but continue holding the Home and Volume Up keys.
    When the Android logo shows, you may release both keys and leave the phone be for about 30 to 60 seconds. NOTE: The “Installing system update” message may show on the screen for several seconds before displaying the Android system recovery menu. This is just the first phase of the entire process.
    Using the Volume Down key, navigate through the options and highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset.’
    Once highlighted, you may press the Power key to select it.
    Now highlight the option ‘Yes — delete all user data’ using the Volume Down key and press the Power button to select it.
    Wait until your phone is finished doing the Master Reset. Once completed, highlight ‘Reboot system now’ and press the Power key.
    The phone will now reboot longer than usual.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2019, 08:57:37 am by Black Phoenix »
 

Offline soldar

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Re: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge + Android, putting into service
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2019, 09:49:55 am »
Thanks, let me try that AT&T ROM. I have a very slow connection so it will take some hours to download. I will try it and go from there.

That 7Z file that 7Z could not unpack, it seems it uses some different algorithm, maybe LZ4, and I believe I might have some success with Linux. If I can crack it I will try flashing that too. It has a fifth file called HERO2QLTE_USA_ATT.pit. What is it? Should I put that one in the fifth box of Odin?

The entire thing is a PITA because I have Linux and Win7 on the same machine and have to keep rebooting. In the meanwhile Win7 is wasting a lot of time with updates etc.

In the meanwhile I have the phone plugged into the USB and it repeatedly flashes the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge splash screen. I can't turn it off and I am afraid of letting the battery run down so I keep it plugged in. By holding the three keys I can get it to download mode again.

Anyway, while I download the link you gave me I am going to try to unpack and install the 7Z version. I will let you know how it goes.
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