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Restore/Fix/Unbrick T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 (SGH-T889) using Odin

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Have you been trying to flash a custom ROM on your T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 and somehow bricked it, making it unusable and unable to boot up? Or are you trying to get back to a stock firmware from a custom ROM? If the answer is yes to either of those questions, then the good news is that you can restore/fix/unbrick your T-Mobile Note 2 by flashing a stock firmware via Odin, which is something this guide will help you through, with step-by-step instructions.

Flashing a stock firmware via Odin completely resets the device and fixes any problems that may have sprung up, including the phone not going past the Samsung logo screen. However, keep in mind that flashing a firmware can erase all the data – installed apps, contacts, SMS, etc, though the personal files on your SD cards (both internal and external) will remain untouched.

Let’s see how the T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 can be restored/fixed/unbricked by flashing a stock firmware via Odin.

Compatibility

This hack and the guide below are compatible only and only with T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2, model number SGH-T889. It will not work with other carrier variants. Check your device’s model number in: Settings » About phone.

Warning

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 Restore/Fix/Unbrick T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2

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  1. [Important] You might need to wipe the data on the phone to make the firmware boot up properly, specially if you flash it over a custom ROM. 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.
  2. Download and install the software Kies on your computer, which will install the necessary drivers for the phone.
    Download Kies
    You can also download the drivers directly — download from here: 32 bit (x86) Windows |   64-bit (x64) Windows
  3. Download the firmware.
    Download Link | Filename: T889UVALJ1_T889TMBALJ1_TMB.zip
  4. Extract the T889UVALJ1_T889TMBALJ1_TMB.zip file to obtain a file named KIES_HOME_T889UVALJ1_T889TMBALJ1_260018_REV04_user_low_ship.tar.md5 (the file name may end at .tar, which is normal as the .md5 part will be hidden by Windows).
  5. Download Odin. 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
  6. Extract the contents of the Odin3_v3.04.zip file to a folder on your computer. You should obtain a total of 4 files after extracting it.
  7. Turn off your phone and wait for it to shut down completely.
  8. 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.
  9. Open Odin by double-clicking on the Odin3 v3.04.exe file obtained in step 6 after extracting Odin3_v3.04.zip.
  10. 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.
  11. Click on the PDA button in Odin, then browse to and select the KIES_HOME_T889UVALJ1_T889TMBALJ1_260018_REV04_user_low_ship.tar.md5 file obtained in step 4 above.
  12. 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.
  13. Now, hit the START button to start flashing the firmware on the phone. When the flashing is complete, your phone will automatically reboot — and when you see the Samsung logo, you can safely unplug the cable. Plus, you’ll get a PASS (with green background) message in the left-most box at the very top of Odin.
    • What to do if Odin gets stuck: If ODIN gets stuck and doesn’t seem to be doing anything, or you get a FAIL message (with red background) in ODIN, do the following – disconnect the phone from the PC, close ODIN, remove battery, re-insert it, and do the procedure again from Step 8.
  14. [Important] 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 restored/fixed successfully:
    1. 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.
    2. Go to Wipe data/Factory Reset and select it. Select Yes on next screen.
    3. Then, select reboot system now to reboot the phone, which will now boot properly.
  15. If you run into any roadblocks while flashing the firmware, let us know and we’ll help you out.

Your T-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 should be up and running properly now. Do let us know how it works!

Published: 
  • TESTER

    I am unable to download T889UVALJ1_T889TMBALJ1_TMB.zip file as hotfile is permanently disabled by US govt. CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME FROM WHERE I CAN DOWNLOAD THIS FILE?

  • http://www.facebook.com/smith.michael.5036 Smith Michael

    im trying now i paid in full for tmobile phone when i couldve got the contract price and termination fee wouldve been cheaper,,but i had mymiui rom for sgh t889 it plain out sux to me so im tryin to restore stock firmware but wont work so im trying this

    • trg1408

      Did it work?, I have the same exact problem, I got sick and tired of trying over and over i just said to my self i’m not trying anymore, i downloaded and installed the mymiui rom and felt like i screwed myself when i tried going back, if this worked email me at trg1408@att.net, If you found out how to fix it please reply :)

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