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Flash Rooted VRBLJ1 Jelly Bean Firmware Update for Verizon Galaxy S3

The guys at XDA aren’t resting and they’ve leaked a brand new Jelly Bean 4.1 update, which is also rooted and it comes with a tool that avoids the ‘flash counter’ service. It works with the Verizon variant of Galaxy S3 mode number I535. Use all the instructions that I’ve listed in this post and you’ll manage to successfully flash this new update without too much problems.

Binary Counter is a service that has been installed by Samsung on all devices as a security measure. It counts all the custom ROMs you’re installing on your device but, mrRobinson from XDA managed to create a firmware package that can be flashed using ODIN without raising the flash counter. Installing the update in this post will install a rooted firmware that is also running stock Samsung firmware. Also, by using this update you will still receive notifications about official OTA updates.

In order to successfully flash this update, you will need to read the preparation guide below. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Install the VRBLJ1 build of Jelly Bean only on the Verizon variant of Samsung Galaxy S3 model number I535. Do not attempt to install it on any other devices as you’ll brick them.
  • The bootloader of your device should also be unloocked.
  • The tutorial contains two ROMs, one that requires a FULL WIPE of your phone and internal SDcard , and another NON-WIPE version that can be flashed without wiping data. You should use the FULL WIPE ROM as that will work better and it is smoother than the other one.
  • If your phone is rooted, then you should use CWM Recovery or any other backing up tool and create a full NANDROID backup of your currently installed ROM.
  • Create backups of SMS, Call Logs and APN Internet Settings and, save a list of installed apps using these tools for Android: SMS backup & restore | Call Logs backup & restore | APN Settings Backup & Restore | AppBack for Android. Note that some of these tools are working only with rooted devices.
  • Sync your Contacts with your Gmail app.
  • Enable USB debugging option on your device.
  • Make sure that your computer has the USB drivers for Samsung devices installed. If not, then you should download them from these links: Windows 32bit X86 USB drivers | Windows 64bit x64 USB drivers.
  • Make sure that you apply all the steps that I’ve listed in the tutorial. If you’re skipping any of the tutorial steps then you’ll not manage to flash this new update.
  • Note that this is a guide that should be applied by advanced Android users. In case you’re having problems installing it, then you should ask for more instructions in the tutorial.

Now that you know all of the above, move to the ‘how-to’ guide and update your device with this rooted firmware ROM. Remember that this firmware will remove the binary flash counter tool.

How to update Verizon Samsung Galaxy S3 with VRBLJ1 Android 4.1 Rooted Firmware ( *Binary flash counter tool is removed from this release ):

  1. Download the I535VRBLJ1 ROM zip file. You can choose from two versions: the Full Wipe one and the Non-Wipe version. It is recommended that you install the FULL WIPE one, but note that this will remove all contents from your phone and its SD card. The Non-Wipe file will not remove any data nor the contents from the internal SD card. Download the FULL WIPE version from HERE | Download the Non-Wipe version from HERE.
  2. Extract the contents from the ROM zip file downloaded at the step above and place the unzipped file in a single folder on your desktop. The file should be named ‘root66_VZW_I535VRBLJ1.tar.md5’. Move to the next step now.
  3. Download ODIN 3 v3.04 from HERE. Extract the files within the zip and save them to the same folder as the ROM one. You will now have 5 files in that directory.
  4. Power off your Verizon SGS3 and after that boot it into Download Mode. It can be done easily by pressing at the same time ‘volume down’, ‘home’ and ‘power’ buttons. The display will switch on and you will be asked to press ‘volume up’ in order to boot into Download Mode; do it!
  5. Go to ODIN folder and double-click the ODIN exe file. This will launch the application and after that you should connect your smartphone to your PC via USB cable. If you see the ‘ADDED!!’ alert, you can move to the next step. If not, then you should reinstall the USB Drivers or you can try to change the USB ports until ODIN recognizes your phone.
  6. Now click on ‘PDA’ in ODIN and then you should load the VRBLj1 tar.md5 file. Don’t change any default settings of ODIN, just make sure that the ‘Re-Partition’ box is checked.
  7. Press the ‘START’ button and the VRBLJ1 ROM will now be flashed. The smartphone will restart now and after the Samsung boot animation logo appears, disconnect the phone from PC. ODIN will say ‘PASS!’ and this means that all files have been installed and the Verizon SGS3 will boot into normal mode.
  8. That is all. However, if ODIN freezes then you should read the Notes below.

NOTE: In case ODIN doesn’t finish the install or it displays the ‘FAIL’ message, then you should unplug the phone from computer and then close ODIN. Remove the phone battery and then re-insert it after 5 seconds. Now repeat the entire tutorial once again and this time you should be able to flash all files successfully.

NOTE2: In case ODIN says “PASS” and the device restarts, but it doesn’t go past the boot animation screen, then you will have to perform several additional steps to force your device to boot into normal mode. This will require you to wipe all data such as contacts, apps, messages and other files stored on the /system partition. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Power off your smartphone completely. Do it by removing its battery and re-inserting it after 5 seconds.
  • Boot into ‘Recovery Mode’ by pressing the following buttons: volume up, home and power buttons. When in Recovery Mode, use volume keys to select options and the ‘home’ or ‘power’ key to apply the actions I’m telling you to.
  • When the recovery mode menu appears, you should select ‘wipe data/ factory reset’ option. Confirm.
  • Next, select ‘reboot system now’ and then wait until the first boot process will complete. This will take up to 5 minutes to complete.
  • When the phone boots into normal mode, it will feature the I535VRBLJ1 firmware and you will also have root access.

That’s it, these were all the steps you had to take in order to successfully flash this new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean rooted ROM without increasing the binary flash counter. In case you have extra questions, please post them in our comments field and we will give you new solutions.