I wrote this article way back in March 2012 but have been hesitant to publish it for various reasons; chief being that there is no demand from many of my readers as far as the feedback I get here is concerned, on how to upgrade the Samsung Galaxy Mini to Gingerbread. Besides, there are so many ‘how to’ articles on the internet on the same subject. However, after a lot of prodding by a few individuals (mostly friends and avid readers of this blog like @Silent_Reader), just like its belated review, here is the belated guide on how to upgrade the Samsung Galaxy Mini to Gingerbread. It is purely based on how I do my upgrades and my not be consistent with many articles you may read elsewhere. For avoidance of doubt, this will chiefly be my reference point; I would be glad if it is of help to others too. Kindly read on.
Like I stated earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Mini comes with Android 2.2, Froyo. Today, Froyo is an Android version that is already “too old” since Android 4.1, Jelly Bean is already here with us. Unlike its young sibling, the Samsung Galaxy Mini 2, the first Mini won’t get official Jelly Bean update from Samsung so your only hope of ever getting Jelly Bean on this device is by first upgrading to Gingerbread which should be the stepping stone to the vast world of custom ROMs. Why do you need to upgrade to Android 2.3.x, Gingerbread? There are several reasons but these are what made me desire to upgrade:
1) To be updated. Back in 2011 when I laid my hands on the Galaxy Mini, Gingerbread was still the in-thing; it was the latest Android version. With time, Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich was unveiled and subsequently Jelly Bean, Android 4.1. As such, it is only wise to at least be updated. Besides, every Android OS update comes with it some sleekness, reduction in lag among many others. Compared to Froyo, Gingerbread is a worthy upgrade.
2) So as to be able to flash the many awesome custom ROMs available out there. Almost all the custom ROMs available for the Samsung Galaxy Mini are based on the Gingerbread kernel. This means that you will not be able to flash a custom ROM when still stuck on Froyo.
There! Those are my chief reasons for preferring a Gingerbread upgrade of the lovely Mini.
Follow through the procedure and upgrade your Samsung galaxy Mini. There are many tutorials on how to do this online (which are also largely incomprehensible) but what I am penning down in this article is what has worked on my device and many other Galaxy Minis that I have upgraded. These are my personal experiences.
By following this procedure, you are on your own. I am not and shall not be liable for any device bricks. However, this procedure is simple and you can follow through easily and upgrade without encountering any issues so fear not.
By updating to Gingerbread using official firmware you automatically void your root status so you will have to root your phone again after upgrading. The same is not true about custom ROMs which retain your root status.
On a bright note, you do not void your warranty by upgrading to Gingerbread since you are using official firmware.
- Odin multi-downloader – Download here [LINK 1]
- Tass file (Tass_v1.ops) – Download here [LINK 2]
- Samsung Galaxy Mini Firmware for your Galaxy Mini (This is official Samsung firmware that is widely available online for download). You can find several of such firmware for the Galaxy Mini on samfirmware.com. For clarity purposes, I have uploaded the firmware I used to upgrade my Galaxy Mini and you can download it here [LINK 3]. It is what I will use to demonstrate this procedure. Take note that the stock ROM I am using to demo here is Android 2.3.4. There are several updates like 2.3.5 and 2.3.6 out there but for a start I recommend this one. I tried upgrading directly to 2.3.6 using a firmware update from India and it did not work. I got an Eastern Europe firmware update and it worked well. Use whichever you desire but if it doesn’t work use the update I used as a fallback plan. I am not sure whether these updates are available via Kies in whatever region you are but for my case they are still not available in East Africa. I have tried but I get the notification that what I have is already the latest firmware build and that there are no updates for my device. You can give that a try too).
- Samsung mobile USB drivers installed on your PC. I recommend you install Kies. Kies can be found on the CD that accompanied your Galaxy Mini purchase or downloaded from the Samsung website. Without these drivers your phone won’t be recognized by Odin multi-downloader once you connect using the USB cable.
- Make sure your phone is charged to at least 70%. I hope by now you know the risk of having a low battery when flashing anything on your Android device.
- Make sure your device has USB Debugging enabled. You can enable this by going to Settings > Applications > Development and checking the Allow USB Debugging option.
1. Run the Odin Multi-downloader you have downloaded above as an administrator on your Windows PC (I have never tried this on Linux or any other OS).
2. I recommend that you read Step 4 first before proceeding to read this step 2 so that you can understand or get a rough idea why you are extracting the files below.
Extract the contents of the firmware update you have downloaded (If the update you downloaded cannot be extracted i.e has a “.tar.md5” filename extension or if upon extraction you only find one .tar.md5 file then fear not, don’t extract anything else; leave it as it is.
If you are using my update then you should get these four files after extracting:
3. On Odin multi-downloader, click the OPS button and select Tass_v1.ops file you downloaded earlier on.
4. If the firmware update you downloaded is just one package then in the options section you will select “One Package” and proceed. Note carefully that whether the firmware update you have downloaded will be flashed using the “One Package” option or the other is determined by the nature of the downloaded file. If it has a “.tar.md5” extension then that will automatically mean that it will be for the “One Package” option. If you are using the “One Package” option then skip steps 4(a, b, c, d) and go directly to step 5. Otherwise if the file you have downloaded is simply a zipped file (with a .rar or a .zip extension) then you will have to extract it and specify the extracted files individually.
If you have extracted the contents of the firmware you have downloaded or are using the update I also used (I recommend this method) then you will have to select the files individually. This is how you go about it. In the “Select Images to download” section:
a) Select APBOOT_S5570XXKPI_CL260130_REV02_user_low_true.tar.md5 for the BOOT section. Whatever firmware it is that you have downloaded just make sure the file that has the keyword APBOOT is the one you select here.
b) Select MODEM_S5570XXKPI_CL260130_REV02.tar.md5 for the PHONE section. Keyword is MODEM. Make sure the file you select has this word in its filename.
c) Select the file with keyword CODE or PDA in its file name for the PDA section. In my case this would be CODE_S5570XXKPI_CL260130_REV02_user_low_true.tar.md5
d) Select the file with keyword CSC or CSC-MULTI in its file name for the CSC tab. In my case this would be CSC_S5570SERKPI_CL260130_REV02_user_low_true.tar.md5
e) Leave the EFS slot empty. You don’t need that.
5. Check the buttons at the top i.e. Auto Reboot, Protect OPS and Reset Time (default is 300 seconds, leave it at that, don’t change). Don’t check the Debug only checkbox.
6. Put your device in the download mode. Do this by turning it off and then holding the volume down, the middle button and the power button simultaneously. Your device should display “Downloading” on its screen. Leave it in that state and proceed.
7. Connect your device to your PC using the USB cable. After successful installation of USB drivers, Odin should show the first box filled with yellow colour and reading either COM 1 or COM 2 or something similar.
8. Verify that everything up to this point is ok and hit the “Start” button.
9. Sit back and wait for flashing to take place. The device will reboot in the process (after all boxes have been filled indicating completion of the process). The whole process should not take more than 5 minutes.
In my first attempt at flashing I got several errors displayed in the “Messages” box and I ended up waiting for close to an hour. I grew impatient and disconnected the phone. When I restarted the phone it could not boot and instead showed a phone connecting to a PC and hanged there. If you go through a similar experience, fear not. Just redo the whole process. All will be fine.
Wait till the first box (the one that displayed COM x on a yellow background) turns blue and displays the message “PASS”.
10. Disconnect your device and shut it down(The device is already on since after successful flashing it automatically reboots, you checked the Auto reboot option at the top remember?).
11. Reboot into system recovery. You do this by pressing the middle (home) button and the power button simultaneously for about 5 seconds. Clear cache and wipe all user data (use volume up and down buttons to navigate the recovery menus). Then reboot.
12. If you have used the update I also used then you will realize that the language displayed is one you don’t understand. Fear not, I presume you know your way around your device so simply go to Settings and change your default language to English (US) or English (UK).
I know that the procedure outlined above might not be very friendly to average users though it will easily be understood by hardcore Android enthusiasts and users, but you can easily do this process. Just take your time and read through ensuring you understand each step.
Enjoy Gingerbread! (I know that sounds old but after that is when you can spell J.e.l.l.y.B.e.a.n).
PS: Coming soon…How to install ClockworkMod recovery on the Galaxy Mini.
**UPDATE** 25th November 2012
I have realised that Link 3 is not working. I will fix this soon. Meanwhile, check the firmware for the GT-S5570 Samsung Galaxy Mini on samfirmware.com. Thanks for the patience and sorry for the inconvenience.
**UPDATE** 9th January 2013
I have uploaded the right firmware files so Link 3 is working again.