I recently opened up Samsung’s Kies software, to synchronise some of the content that doesn’t get updated over the air, and was given a popup notification of a new firmware version. Having done similar upgrades through Kies before I didn’t think twice: new equals shiny equals better, right?
To cut a long story short, this time the update didn’t work. My phone was stuck in limbo and Kies couldn’t get the process to finish. My only hope seemed to be ’emergency firmware recovery’ via a recovery code that Kies presented to me. But even this option didn’t resurrect my slumbering Galaxy S2.
Rather than assume my half-upgraded phone was now a brick I considered my options. Even if Kies can’t do the upgrade it can at least download the correct firmware for you. I found that Kies downloads its firmware updates into the TEMP folder. The file’s name is in the format ‘tmp<4 hexadecimal characters>.tmp.
You have to be quick to find it though. Kies decompresses the file into a folder called ‘tmp <4 hexadecimal characters> .tmp.zipfolder’ and almost immediately afterwards begins the firmware upgrading process. Once it gets to 100% these files are removed sharpish – grab a copy while you can! Putting ‘%TEMP%’ into the ‘run’ dialogue box makes this easier to find.
Since Kies couldn’t do the job I finally resorted to the rooter’s favourite: Odin. This little program, armed with the firmware I’d grabbed from Kies’ temp folder, was thankfully able to bring my phone back to life.
As a further bonus, and unlike those who go down the rooting process proper, Kies will still happily talk to my phone for synchronisation and backups. One final point to note – the recovery didn’t work until I had tried using a different USB cable (I switched from my no-name eBay purchase to an official Samsung one) and also plugged straight into a USB port, rather than via a powered hub.
Hopefully this may help someone else who finds themselves stuck in a similar position.