Reflashing Samsung Galaxy S8
For some reason my Samsung Galaxy S8 was stuck on Android 7 and needed to get to Android 9 for some additional features. Spent all day researching different methods and ended up finding this and being successful. I was able to do this straight from 7.0 to 9.0 without issue.
For model no. SM-G950U (official stable update):
- Version DSC1 – Stable Android 9 Pie update (G950USQU5DSC1)
- This is a firmware file, to be installed using Odin (use Guide #1 below)
- This is for T-Mobile handsets originally but can be installed safely on any S8 that comes as SM-G950U (you may lose some carrier specific features, though)
Step by step guide
Step 1. Download the Android Pie firmware from the downloads section above. Make sure you have downloaded the correct firmware file on your PC.
Step 2. Install Samsung USB driver (method 1 on the linked page) first of all. Double-click the .exe file of drivers to begin the installation. (Not required if you have already done this.)
Step 3. Also, download Odin PC software (latest version).
Step 4. Extract the firmware file now. You can use free software like 7-zip for this. Install 7-zip, then right click on firmware file and under 7-zip, select ‘Extract here’. You should get files in .tar.md5 format now. (You may a bunch of files, and you will find text like AP, BL, CP or CSC etc. written at the beginning of those files.) We will be loading this file into Odin, to be installed on the device.
Step 5. Extract the Odin file. You should get the Odin exe file (other files could be hidden, hence not visible).
Step 6. Disconnect your Galaxy S8 from PC if it is connected.
Step 7. Boot your Galaxy S8 into download mode:
- Power off your device. Wait for 6-7 seconds after the screen goes off.
- Press and hold the three buttons Volume down + Bixby + Power together until you see the Warning screen.
- Press Volume Up to continue to download mode.
Step 8. Double click on Odin .exe file (from step 5) to open the Odin window as shown below. Be careful with Odin, and do just as said to prevent problems.
Step 9. Connect your device now using the USB cable. Odin should recognize your device. It’s a must. When it recognizes, you will see Added!! message appearing in the Log box in the bottom left, and the first box under ID:COM will also show a no. and turn its background blue. Look at the pic below.
- You cannot proceed until you get the Added!! message, which confirms that Odin has recognized your device.
- If you don’t get Added!! message, you need to install/re-install drivers again and use the original cable that came with the device. Mostly, drivers are the problem (look at step 2 above).
- You can try different USB ports on your PC too.
Step 10. Load the firmware files into Odin. Click the AP button on Odin and the select the .tar.md5 file from above. See the screenshot below to find how the Odin window will look like after you have loaded the files.
- Click on BL tab, and select the file beginning with BL text.
- Click on AP tab, and select the file beginning with AP text.
- Click on CP tab, and select the file beginning with CP text.
- [Different!] Click on CSC tab, and select the file beginning with HOME_CSC text. If HOME_CSC file isn’t available, then select the file beginning with CSC text.
About CSC file: Using the HOME_CSC file won’t reset your device, and data on the phone shouldn’t be deleted. However, when we select a regular CSC file, and it results in CSC on the device being different than that in CSC file, your phone will be formatted automatically. You can even choose to ignore loading the CSC file, that may do alright too. But if it doesn’t work out, repeat the whole process and select CSC file this time around.
- Info: When you load files, Odin checks the md5 sum of firmware file, which takes time. So, simply wait until that’s done and the firmware file is loaded. Don’t worry if Odin gets unresponsive for a while, it’s normal. Binary size will also show up in Odin.
Step 11. Click on Options tab, and make sure Re-partition checkbox is NOT selected. Don’t use the PIT tab, ever.
Go back to the Log tab now, as it will show the progress of the firmware installation when you hit the start button in the next step.
Step 12. Verify that everything is okay as mentioned above. When satisfied, click the Start button on Odin now to start flashing the firmware on your device.
Wait till installation is finished, after which your device will reboot automatically. You’ll get PASS message as shown below upon successful installation from Odin.
Some errors you may run into, and with respective solution.
- If Odin gets stuck at setup connection, then you need to do this all again. Disconnect your device, close Odin, boot device into download mode again, open Odin, and then select the file and flash it again as said above.
- If you get FAIL in the top left box, then also you need to flash the file again as stated just above.