Restore Galaxy S3 i9300 With XXBLG8 Firmware, Get The Search Function Back, Too!
Update: The XXBLG8 firmware for Galaxy S3 was alreadya very good firmware to apply on the phone, or for restoring it to normal Samsung state, but it has grown even more in importance because in order to try the latest pretty-cool unofficial Samsung Jelly Bean firmwares (also available as OTA updates), you need XXBLG8 as base. Meaning, you have to have XXBLG8 installed on your Galaxy S3 before installing the cool Android 4.1 Jelly Bean firmwares, like, XXDLI1 and XXDLI2. So, you better download and keep the XXBLG8 firmware on your PC, for you might need it again for new Jelly Bean firmwares for your favorite device.
Just a day ago Samsung released the XXBLG6 Android 4.0.4 update for the Galaxy S3 in the UK, which it turns out removed the universal search feature – i.e searching through the web as well as local data such as contacts, messages, apps, etc. – from the phone, which Samsung claims was a mistake (the feature is to be removed from the US variants as Apple has a patent on it and won a case against Samsung for its usage but isn’t needed to be removed from the international variant). Now, a new update – XXBLG8 – is rolling out that restores the search feature back to the devices that updated to XXBLG8.
If you are running the XXBLG6 firmware right now (check in Settings » About), you can update to the XXBLG8 firmware by following the guide below. Even if you aren’t, XXBLG8 is the latest firmware to come out so you can update to it no matter which country you may be in or what firmware you may be running.
NOTE: Even though the firmware is for UK/Europe, you can flash it on your Galaxy S3 as long as it is the international variant with model number i9300, though you might have to wipe your data (except SD card files) in order to get it to work and then restore them later.
Let’s take a look at how you can update to the XXBLG6 firmware on your Galaxy S3.
This hack and the guide below are compatible only and only with the international Galaxy S3, model number i9300. It’s not compatible with the US variants or other devices. Check your device’s model number in: Settings » About phone.
The methods and procedures discussed here are considered risky and you should not attempt anything if you don’t know completely what it is. If any damage occurs to your device, we won’t be held liable.
How to Update Galaxy S3 to XXBLG8 Android 4.0.4 Firmware
- To be sure you do not lose any data, backup your Apps and important data — bookmarks, contacts, SMS, APNs (internet settings), etc. This Android backup guide would help you. The SD card contents are always safe, so there is no need to back up those. Only backup apps and personal data.
NOTE: Don’t forget to at least make a backup of your APN settings, which you can restore later if your data connection does not work after installing the ROM. Use the backup guide to find out how.
- Download and install the software Kies on your computer, which will install the necessary drivers for the phone.
You can also download the drivers directly — download from here: 32 bit (x86) Windows | 64-bit (x64) Windows
- Download the firmware.
Download XXBLG8 | Filename: I9300XXBLG8_I9300OXABLG8_BTU.zip
- Extract the I9300XXBLG8_I9300OXABLG8_BTU.zip file on the computer to obtain a file named I9300XXBLG8_I9300OXABLG8_I9300XXLG8_HOME.tar.md5.
- Download the Odin PC software. If you are new to this, Odin is what is used to flash stuff – firmware, kernels, etc. – on Samsung phones. We’ll use Odin to flash the firmware file obtained in step 4.
Download Odin3 v3.04 | Filename: Odin3_v3.04.zip
- Extract the contents of the Odin3_v3.04.zip file to a folder on your computer.
- Now, turn off your Galaxy S3 and wait for it to shut down completely.
- Then, put the phone into download mode. To do so, press and hold these keys together: Volume Down + Home + Power till the screen turns on. Then press Volume Up to enter download mode.
- Open Odin by double-clicking on the Odin3 v3.04.exe file obtained in step 6 after extracting Odin3_v3.04.zip.
- Important! Connect your phone to PC now. You should get the message “Added !!” under Odin’s message box in the bottom left.
If you don’t get this message, make sure you installed drivers correctly (using Kies or directly) as given in step 1. If it still doesn’t work, try changing to another USB port on the computer and also use the USB ports on the back if you have a desktop PC.
- Click on the PDA button in Odin, then browse to and select the I9300XXBLG8_I9300OXABLG8_I9300XXLG8_HOME.tar.md5 file obtained in step 4 above.
- Important! Do not make any other changes in Odin except selecting the required files as given in step 11. Leave all other options as they are. Make sure Re-Partition check box is not selected.
- Now, click the Start button to start flashing the firmware on your phone. When the flashing is complete and is successful, you’ll get a PASS message (with green background) in the left-most box at the very top of the Odin, and the phone will automatically reboot. When you see the Samsung logo, you can safely unplug the cable.
What do if Odin gets stuck or doesn’t do anything: If ODIN gets stuck on setup connection or at any stage of this process after you’ve hit the Start button, and doesn’t seem to be doing anything, or if upon completion of the process you get a FAIL message (with red background) in ODIN, do this: disconnect the phone from the PC, close ODIN, remove battery for 4-5 seconds, re-insert it, turn phone on in Download mode again, and do the procedure again from Step 9.
- After you get the PASS message and the phone reboots, the phone might get stuck at the booting animation. If that happens, perform the following steps to make it boot. Remember that these steps will wipe your personal data like contacts, apps, messages, etc. If your phone has already booted, skip these steps, your phone has been updated successfully:
- Boot to recovery mode — for which, first power off phone (by removing battery and reinserting it), wait for 5-6 seconds, and then press and hold Home + Volume Up + Power keys together till the screen turns on, then let them go to boot into recovery. Once you are in recovery mode, use volume keys to move the selection up and down and home/power key to select the option.
- Go to Wipe data/Factory Reset and select it. Select Yes on next screen.
- Now, go to Wipe Cache and select it. Confirm Yes on next screen.
- Then, select reboot system now to reboot the phone, which will now boot properly.
- If you run into any roadblocks while flashing the firmware, let us know and we’ll help you out.
Your Galaxy S3 is now running the XXBLG6 Android 4.0.4 firmware. Let us know how it works!