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Discerning smartphone users would have found out the hard way that a trivial mistake with rooting or installing custom recoveries and/or custom ROMs could result in an endless bootloop, soft-brick or hard-brick.
Galaxy S5 users can now fix an endless bootloop or a soft-brick by flashing the stock firmware and restoring the device to factory settings as explained in the step-by-step guide below.
How to Identify If a Device is Hard-Bricked or Soft-Bricked
If the device fails to respond to any key combinations and appears completely dead, it is likely that it is hard-bricked. The only viable solution for this issue is to use JTAG service locally or a USB jig.
Hard-brick is often caused due to power failure or an abrupt termination of firmware installation leading to a dead BootROM.
In contrast, soft-brick may lead to endless bootloops, but the device will not be completely dead and often responds to key combinations one way or another.
In other words, a soft-bricked device cannot boot up normally, but it can boot into Download mode. In some rare cases a soft-bricked device may not power on, but it still boots into download or recovery mode.
- The procedure and firmware download provided in this guide is exclusively meant for the international (Exynos) variant of Galaxy S5 (SM-G900H) and will not work on any other device or variant. Verify the device model number by navigating to Settings > About Phone.
- Back up important data and settings on the device before your proceed.
- Install the necessary USB drivers (download here) for Galaxy S5 on the computer.
- Make sure your Galaxy S5 has at least 80% battery charge before you begin the restoration steps.
- Enable USB Debugging Mode on the phone by navigating to Settings >> Developer Options.
Latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat stock firmware for Galaxy S5 (SM-G900H)
How to Unbrick or Restore Galaxy S5 (SM-G900H) Exynos Variant
Step 1: Extract Android 4.4.2 G900HXXU1ANE2 firmware zip file using WinRAR/7-Zip or WinZip to obtain a .tar.md5 file and some other optional files.
Step 2: Next, extract the Odin zip file to get Odin3 v3.09.exe along with a few other files.
Step 3: Move the firmware file (tar.md5) to the same folder where you extracted the Odin3 zip file.
Step 4: Power off and disconnect the Galaxy S5 from computer. Wait for about 6 to 7 seconds and then boot the device into Download Mode by pressing and holding Volume Down, Home and Power buttons together until a construction Android robot icon with a warning triangle appears on screen. Then keep tapping Volume Up button to progress into Download Mode.
Step 5: Launch Odin on computer as an Administrator.
Step 6: Now connect Galaxy S5 to computer with USB cable in Download Mode. When Odin detects the device and a pop-up message reading "Added!" appears on screen, the ID: COM box will turn yellow with the COM port number.
Note: If the Added message fails to appear, then try re-installing USB drivers or changing the port on computer.
Step 7: In Odin, click on AP button and select the firmware file with .tar.md5 extension.
Step 8: In Odin, select Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options. But, uncheck the Re-partition option. Leave all other options at their default settings.
Step 9: After ensuring that Step 7 and Step 8 are done correctly, hit the Start button in Odin to begin flashing the firmware.
Step 10: After the firmware is installed, a PASS message with a green background appears in the left-most box at the top of Odin. Galaxy S5 will then reboot to the Home screen. It is now safe to disconnect the USB cable and remove the phone from the computer.
Your Galaxy S5 is now running G900HXXU1ANE2 Android 4.4.2 KitKat stock firmware. Head over to Settings >> About Phone to verify that the firmware is installed on the device.
- If the Galaxy S5 is stuck at boot animation or you see a FAIL message after Step 10, then boot into recovery mode (press and hold the Volume Up, Home and Power buttons together), and perform Wipe data/Factory Reset and Wipe Cache Partition task before choosing the Reboot System Now option.
- If the issue persists, disconnect your S5 from computer, close Odin, then remove the phone's battery and reinsert it within 3 to 4 seconds. Re-launch Odin and repeat the tutorial from step 3.
Note: In recovery mode, use Volume keys to navigate between options and Power key to select the option. Performing data wipe task will erase your device's internal memory and not external SD card data.
[Source: The Android Soul]