This guide has been created for those Galaxy S3 owners that have used numerous custom ROMs and kernels, which made their devices to stop working and now they are forced to restore the phone to a working state. This can be done only by restoring it to a stock Android 4.0.4 ICS firmware using Odin application.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 I9300 can be restored to a XXALF2 Stock firmware after you've bricked it, something is broken in your ROM and now you are forced to change its firmware. Make sure that you read all the instructions I've listed in this article and that in case you cannot complete the restore process, then you should ask for help in comments. Also, please note that this guides should be applied only if you're an advanced Android user and you know how to work with Odin and CWM Recovery.
Installing the Android 4.0.4 ICS XXALF2 firmware will restore your device to the same state it was when you first purchased it. Before we can begin the firmware restoring process, you will need to read the guidelines below and learn what actions are required to be applied first. This will help you successfully configure the smartphone and your computer so that you'll manage to restore the stock Galaxy S3 firmware at your first attempt. Here's what you need to do:
- apply the XXALF2 stock ICS firmware only on the Galaxy S3 model number I9300. Do not attempt to install it on other Android smartphone because it won't work. Also, it won't work with the United States variants of S3.
- Install Samsung Kies on your computer and use it to download and install the Samsung USB drivers or, use the following direct download links and install the USB Drivers yourself: Samsung USB drivers for Windows 32bit (x86) OS version | Samsung USB drivers for Windows 64bit (64bit) OS version.
- Make sure that you know what you're doing and in case you can boot your device, you should backup all your important files along with applications, SMS and APN Setttings.
- The Galaxy S3 battery charge levels should be over 70% so that it won't discharge while you're restoring the stock firmware.
- Note that we cannot be held responsible if something goes wrong and you cannot boot the phone after you apply these changes. That is why this guide should be applied only by advanced Android users.
This guide shouldn't pose too much trouble but if you wish for it to work you will need to read all the tutorial steps twice and only after that you should apply them. Use the comments section in case you cannot complete the installation and tell us where you got stuck and what steps you took before hitting this roadblock.
How to restore Galaxy S3 to Android 4.0.4 ICS XXLAF2 stock firmware:
- Download the ICS stock firmware file from here or here.
- After the ROM file is downloaded successfully, you should extract its contents and you will get a single file with the '.tar.md5' extension. Save it on your computer's desktop.
- Download Odin3 3.o4 for Galaxy S3 I9300 from here.
- Extract Odin.zip contents into a single folder and save it on your PC desktop.
- Now, power OFF your Galaxy S3 phone and after this you will need to boot into download mode.
- Boot into download mode by pressing 'volume down' + 'home' + 'Power' and release these buttons only after the display powers ON. Press Volume Up button to confirm that you want to load download mode.
- Now, go to your PC and launch the 'Odin' executable file. The one you've extracted at step 4.
- Next, connect your SGS3 I9300 to your computer and ODIN should display a message box saying 'added!!'. If you don't see this message then it means that the USB drivers aren't installed on your PC and you should use the download links in the preparation guide, the ones listed above this tutorial guide. If Odin did find the Samsung USB Driver you're free to move to the next step.
- In Odin click the button that is called 'PDA'.
- Find the file you've extracted at step 2. It should have the '.tar.md5' extension. Select it and it will be loaded into Odin. NOTE: Don't change any of the Odin's default settings and make sure that the 're-partition' option isn't selected.
- Press the START button in ODIN and the program will now begin to install the stock firmware files.
- When the installation is complete you will see a 'PASS' alert displayed by Odin and this means that everything went according to plan. Your phone will also restart and after the Samsung Logo appears you are free to unplug the device from your computer. NOTE: If Odin gets stuck you are required to disconnect the phone from your PC and remove its battery and then re-insert it and, now repeat all the entire tutorial once again as something went wrong and the firmware wasn't flashed.
- That should do it, now your phone has been restored to factory stock firmware. Make sure to use the comments section in case you other questions.
In case after you see the 'PASS' message displayed by ODIN, but the phone it seems like it got stuck at the Samsung logo screen for more than 15 mintues, then you should use the following instructions to manage to boot into your Android 4.0.4 ICS XXALF2 home screen:
- Power off the phone. Remove its battery and after that re-insert back into its Galasy S3 location.
- Boot into custom recovery mode by pressing and holding simultaneously these buttons: volume up + home + Power.
- When in Recovery mode you will need to first select 'wipe data/ factory reset' and after that confirm this action.
- Next, select 'Wipe cache' and confirm.
- Go back to the main recovery screen and select 'reboot system now'.
- Galaxy S3 I9300 should be able to boot normally into its home screen and it should pack the stock ICS XXALF2 stock firmware.
That's all the info that I had for you and now you should start testing your phone or you can choose to click the 'Galaxy S3' device link listed under this post's image and you will find numerous guides on how to root your phone fast and easy. If you have any questions or some tips and tricks regarding Galaxy S3, Android 4.0.4 ICS custom or stock ROMs then feel free to leave a comment at the end of this article.