16 May, 2012

Galaxy Note ICS XXLPY phone bricks - issues

UPDATE: Galaxy Note official ICS ZSLPF and XXLPY confirmed unsafe

some N7000XXLPY users reported phone bricked issues with this official ICS rom released by Samsung in Germany recently when they were trying to do a wipe or reformat, with cwm or stock recovery

actually this is an old issue that happened to some other devices like Samsung Epic 4G Touch SPH-D710, as well as all leaked ICS based firmwares for Galaxy Note including the international version GT-N7000, US AT&T SGH-I717 and GT-I9220 in China

- this is just a message to inform ppl about possible threats and dangers
- this is only intended for raising your awareness
- this is not aims at scaring you or anyone in any way
- all i want is to express my own opinions
- this is not intended to say nor to find out who is liable or who is to be blamed
- any suggestion provided is for reference only
- phone bricking is not a must
- it does not mean you will brick your phone eventually or certainly
- it does not mean using XXLPY or cwm will brick your phone for sure
- you are not forced to do anything or not to do anything
- you should decide what you should do and should not do
- you are responsibile for what you are going to do
- no one can assure you anything, not excluding me
- i have flashed several leaked roms before a lot of times and currently with XXLPY on my phone at the time i am writing this

- it is up to you whether to ignore this post or not
- it is up to you whether to continue reading this post or not
- you are welcome to leave comments should you have any disagreement or question, but no flaming or bashing please


couple of days ago i found chainfire, an experienced developer, issued a warning message in his post:

WARNING: I have just been informed that LPY *does* suffer from the I/O bug. Do *not* use any CWM functions ! They are dangerous and may hardbrick your flash memory !

Deleting large files while fully booted may also cause problems with your flash memory.

at that time, there was one brick incident reported only with the XXLPY, but countless with leaked ICS roms including my SGN bricked weeks ago. and then, even upgrading via the OTA or FOTA (Firmware Over-the-Air) reported bricks. it is believed that there are bugs in the kernel, rom or the recovery, that can cause damages to the eMMC (Embedded MultiMedia Card) on the phones and make your phone unbootable

The eMMC is composed of the MMC (Multi Media card) interface, the flash memory, and the flash memory controller

eMMC is a standard for embedded memory devices that contain not only a data storage element (such as NAND flash memory), but also a controller for the storage element integrated on the same silicon die.


so far there is no evidence if this could be due to cwm or the stock rom, and the actual problem areas are yet to determine at the moment, but what we learnt is that problems can occur likely when the following actions is performed:
- doing a wipe in the *recovery mode
- formatting the partition(s) in the *recovery
- rom flashing in the *recovery mode that involve disk wiping or formatting
- resetting the phone by performing a factory data reset in the settings application

*including cwm recovery by chainfire, XXLPY stock recovery and leaked ICS roms recovery

some argued that wipe is safe and does no harm. but i found after reading the source codes, the wipe will in turn calls for a disk format (format_volume function). simply speaking, a disk wipe means disk formatting

however, the bricks and damages are not happening each time you do a wipe or disk format on your phone. no one knows when it will happen and no one knows if it will happen. personally, i flashed my phone for over a hundred of times with the leaked ICS roms without any problem, but finally i got my phone bricked (not relating to XXLPY). that is to say, may be you are lucky that you don have any problem so far, and may be i was lucky for flashing so many times without any problem, but you will never know what will happen next time and you wont realized you are one of the victums until your phone bricked

after reading the message from chainfire, i started to think this can be a diaster since the cwm is so popular that a lot of ppl are using it and now the developer had issued this warning. so, possibily this will affect a lot of users.

yes, i knew that the number of bricked phone was so tiny, and i understand rom flashing does involve risks, but i opted to post in a forum talking about this aimed at alerting users about this possible threat. i also suggested ppl to stay away from the affected roms until the problem is solved, or stick to their Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread rom for now. as a responsible forum member and developer, i believe this is not a bad thing especially for normal or non-experienced users by informing them about this. it was not for my own good but for the benefits of others and there is no gain for me at all

unexpectedly i saw some ppl flaming and said something not very nicely,

"even a 5-10% bricks is not an issue"
"you are scaring ppl with no evidence"
"i flashed more than 20 times with no problems and i am not scared"
"it is an official rom so it is totally safe"
"you are not a developer and you know nothing about development"

in less than an hour, i realized i was wrong. i was wrong for "no gain for me" but in fact i benefited from learning some english words and phrases which i will never have a chance to learn in my life from books, ever....

to be honest, i don mind these bashings since i believed i was doing the right thing. as i said,

what we know is the number of ppl suffered
what we will know is the number of ppl who suffered avoidable issues after reading this post
but what we dono is how many phones we saved

interestingly, someone then replied, "0 (zero saved)"

anyway, up to now there are more than 10 known soft bricks or hard bricks incidents, involving previous cm builds based on leaked ICS roms and the LPY rom. i can see some of the guys who disagreed with me before had reported phone bricks also

continue to Galaxy Note ICS XXLPY phone bricks - advice

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  1. my galaxy note has been updated . . .
    after that,the phone's display more uniform and not seen anything.
    after that,it restart rapidly.this problem occur repeatedly. . . . please.give me some advices

  2. which rom were you on before? which rom did you flash then?


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