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How to get Gingerbread on your Galaxy S!

Posted by: Twar



So you finally got your hands on a smart new Samsung Galaxy S, or you have had it for quite a while, and you want to harness all the power and goodness available in the Gingerbread update?

The problem is that Gingerbread is only just being released in some European countries and wont come to South Africa for quite a few more months. If you are anything like me, then the wait is simply too long. Luckily one big advantage of Android is that you can do it yourself!

The only problem now is where to start. Installing a new ROM is a big decision to make since it voids your warranty, and if something goes wrong, you might end up with a bricked phone (so called because you can only use it as a brick/oversized paper weight afterwards). Please not that if you decide to do this it is at your own risk. I take no responsibility for a bricked device!

Don’t be too worried though, the Galaxy S is reported to be one of the hardest phones to brick, and if you do it right, everything should go fine, leaving you with access to a lot more apps and features than before.

Step 1: Does 3-button combo work?

The first thing you need to know before attempting to do ANYTHING to your phone is if the 3-button combo works on your phone. To see if it works, first turn off your phone. Pressing and holding in the volume-down button and the Home button and then pressing and holding in the power button should put you in Download Mode. If the 3-button combo is working, the following image should be displayed on the screen:

Simply hold the power button to turn off your phone and exit download mode. Pressing and holding in Volume-Up + Home + Power should take you to the recovery screen shown below:


If the 3-button combo works on your phone then you’re ready to go and can skip the next step, otherwise you first have to enable the 3-button combo on your phone.

Step 2: Getting 3-button combo

Samsung released a fix for this in Froyo, so simply taking in your phone to update to Froyo at any Vodashop or whatever service provider you use should do the trick. This would be the safest method since it doesn’t void your warranty just yet, so if something goes wrong it would be replaced.

If you want to do it yourself however, there is a guide to get 3-button combo to work on the XDA Forums

3-button combo guide

Step 3: Setting up your computer.

In order to install custom software, you need to be sure that your computer recognises your phone properly. First install KIES software from SAMSUNG and make sure that your computer recognises your phone. The latest version of KIES has a Install drivers option under the Tools tab which should take care of most driver issues.

Next you need to set up ADB (Android Debug Bridge). Doing this can become quite complex depending on driver issues and operating system and so forth, so I added a link to two full guides and gave a short version over here that should work with windows 7. If anything goes wrong or doesn’t work, refer to the guides in the links. Other operating systems are also covered in the linked guides.

Guide 1

Guide 2

The short of it is as follows though: 

{note: backslashes are shown like this [backslash] because the blogging software keeps deleting them for some reason}

Download and install Android SDK: Download

Unzip the file and paste the "android-sdk-windows" folder in your C drive.

Run SDK Manager.exe located in the android-sdk-windows folder and select all options and download and install it.

After this, right click on My Computer, select properties

Go to Advanced System Settings (should be to the left of the window)

Click on Environment Variables.
Scroll down the System Variables until you find the “Path” Variable.
Click on it and click edit. Do not delete any information in here!
Scroll to the end and add  ;C:

It might also be ;C:[backslash]android-sdk-windows[backslash] tools if your sdk version is outdated for some reason.

This is all that’s needed to set up ADB. Now go to Settings on your phone.
Select Applications.
Select Development.
Make sure 'USB Debugging' is checked.

Now connect your phone to your computer via USB and DO NOT mount it!
Your computer should install drivers for your device. If it doesn’t automatically you can find some here:
Samsung Galaxy S USB Drivers
To test if ADB is working properly, open command prompt by typing ‘cmd’ in the start menu search bar and pressing enter. Then type the following in the command prompt window:

cd C:[backslash]android-sdk-windows[backslash]platform-tools              ** Press Enter** 

adb devices                                                         **You should see your device listed**

adb shell                                                              **you should see $ or # in the next line**


If you see your device listed ADB works perfectly. You can close cmd window now.

Step 4: Getting Odin

Download Odin here: Odin3 v1.7

Extract it anywhere.

Step 5: Download Gingerbread

Please note this ROM is for the international Galaxy I9000 S version (the one in SA also).
Gingerbread for Galaxy S JVH (with bootloaders)

Extract the files by double clicking the .exe file.

Step 6:

Make sure Kies is closed (in the system tray too).
Open Odin v1.7.
Select PDA, PHONE and CSC files as shown. Make sure that Auto Reboot is selected and that repartition isn’t.

Before you install a new ROM its best to have your battery fully charged.
Now boot into Download Mode.
Once in Download Mode (with Odin already open and ready) connect your phone via USB.
It’s very important that Odin is open before connecting your phone!
Some drivers will probably first install now, allow that to finish installing.
Odin should pick up your device and look something like this:

Now just press start and wait for Gingerbread to install.
After it installed the phone will reboot and it will stay at the Galaxy S boot up logo for about 10 minutes the first time as the new ROM is finished installing. Its safe to remove the USB cable now.
Welcome to GINGERBREAD! :D

I installed a custom ROM on my phone. I will write another guide on how to root(or jailbreak) your device and how to install a custom ROM.

Comments (13)Add Comment
written by metafuel, May 21, 2011
Great post thanks. I've been looking for a South African related Gingerbread post to allay my fears of Bricking my phone. I'd just like to know before attempting this... Are you on any specific contract or locked to a network? I've had massive problems flashing other vodacom branded non-android devices before and am a little concerned. I'm desperate to get Gingerbread though, knowing how long Vodacom's going to take while they add their rubbish to it.

Thanks. And thanks for a great post
written by Twar, May 21, 2011
I got my phone from Vodacom but in like the first week it was released almost. There wasn't any Vodacom apps or anything on my phone though, not sure if they started branding the phones afterwards?

Either way it shouldn't be a problem though, the new ROM should overwrite everything except your data (such as photos/music). Remember to back up contacts and such though, I actually forgot to and lost quite a few numbers.

Also, the custom Gingerbread ROM I'm using now is great, I will try to write a guide to get that soon smilies/smiley.gif
written by metafuel, May 22, 2011
Hey! Again! Thanks for your fast response. Which Custom Rom are you using as a matter of interest? Darky, Cyanogen?
I prefer hearing from local Sarf Efricans as there's more likelihood of it working for me. Thanks. Looking forward to your post on Custom Roms. haven't rooted yet. Waiting for your instructions...
written by Twar, May 22, 2011
Have you successfully installed Gingerbread?

I am using Juwe's ROM. Had Darky on Froyo however, was a nice ROM. Cyanogyn doesn't officially support Galaxy S yet.
Here is a link to how to root and install a custom ROM.

If you only want root access you can just stop after getting that and not install the rom too.
written by metafuel, May 22, 2011
Thanks again. Going to give the Official Gingerbread Rom a go as per your instructions above. Once I'm less nervous about the process I'll start messing with custom Roms. Have a grand rest of your weeeknd. Keep up the good work
written by Twar, May 22, 2011
Seems I either forgot to post the link or they are automatically removed from comments haha. Let me try again

Either way its in the blog list.
I hope it goes flawlessly smilies/smiley.gif
written by metafuel, May 22, 2011
Hi Man, sorry to hassle you and convert your blog to a Gingerbread support page - but...

I can't seem to get to the point where I can see my phone in ADB.

Your tutorial above mentions this
cd C:android-sdk-windowsplatform-tools

I'm not sure whether the backslash between windows and platform was removed by the Blog app or whether it's meant to be like that.

I'm in the process of going through the XDA full tutorial. Thought I should let you know in case the backslash is meant to be there.

Thanks again -and my apologies for flooding your blogs comment section with support questions

written by Twar, May 22, 2011
Oh crap, yea it should be there, thanks for letting me know!

If you plug in your phone with USB debugging enabled drivers should be installing. ADB won't pick up your phone until the drivers are done installing.

Also the cd step is just an extra precaution and not REALLY necessary if the environment variables are set up correctly. adb devices command should work from any directory. Might be a good test to see if it works if you skip the cd step too smilies/smiley.gif

Feel free to ask any other questions, I'm happy to help smilies/smiley.gif
written by Twar, May 22, 2011
Oh another mistake! What you should see in next line can be $ haha. Sorry for the confusion!
written by Twar, May 22, 2011
Hmmmm, it seems it is the blogging software that keeps deleting the backslashes. They are all deleted in the whole blog smilies/shocked.gif

Please redo the environment variables part, I'll add the backslashes in brackets to the blog like this [backslash]. Thanks for pointing out the error.
written by metafuel, May 22, 2011
SUCCESS!! smilies/smiley.gif Thank you very much for your help and patience. I would've researched and waited forever without a nudge from a fellow South Africans' blog. Thanks mate.
written by Twar, May 22, 2011
Youre welcome!

Feel free to ask for help when you decide to go for a custom ROM smilies/cool.gif
written by metafuel, May 23, 2011
I probably will. I'm quite impressed with the speed increase of the stock Gingerbread. A marked improvement on Froyo. I'll be Gingerbreading my wifes Galaxy during the course of the week. Hopefully that goes as easy - I'd hate to brick her phone after showing her how much better Gingerbread is.

Thanks again for the help. Have a great week ahead.

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