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Verizon Galaxy S3 I535VRBLJ1 Update with Root, doesn’t increase flash counter

A new Jelly Bean update for the Verizon Galaxy S3, VRBLJ1, had just leaked out a couple of days ago. Verizon’s slowness with updates is pretty well known, and users were more than happy to try out the leaked update on their device.

While the leaked ROM was pre-rooted and released for public consumption, flashing it would cause the inbuilt binary flash counter on Samsung devices to get tripped. The binary counter is an inbuilt security mechanism in Samsung devices, which tells Samsung that the original firmware the device came with has been tampered, and hence voids the warranty. The more ROMs you flash, the higher the counter goes.

XDA member mrRobinson, who has also given us a rooted Stock ROM for the Sprint Galaxy Note 2 a few days ago, has now released a pre-rooted ROM based on the leaked I535VRBLJ1  factory firmware, to be flashed via Odin. The benefit with this method, is that you gain root access, while still maintaining stock Samsung firmware, without setting off the binary flash counter. Another awesome benefit, is that you can still get official OTA updates. Knowing Verizon, you won’t be seeing too many of those though.

As always, we have put together a handy guide below, on how you can flash the rooted VRBLJ1 update on your Verizon Galaxy S3 without tripping the flash counter.

Compatibility

This guide below is compatible only and only with the Verizon Galaxy S3, model number SCH-I535. It’s not compatible with any other variants of the Galaxy S3. Check your device’s model 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 Install Rooted Stock VRLBJ1 Firmware on Verizon Galaxy S3

  1. This method will wipe all data on your device completely, and restore it back to factory state. 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 should help you. The SD card contents will also be wiped, so make sure that you have backed up what is required.
    NOTE: Don’t forget to note down your network’s APN settings, which are required to make mobile data work. Go into Settings » More » Mobile Networks, click on the APN that is in use, then note down the setting for each field. While APN settings should be automatically restored from network, in the event that does not happen, you can always enter them manually to make mobile data work. You can also find your APN details → here.
  2. Download and install the necessary USB drivers from Samsung — download from here32 bit (x86) Windows |   64-bit (x64) Windows
  3. Download the ROM file to your PC.  Full Wipe Version   |    Non-Wipe version . The full wipe version will perform a clean installation and wipe your device completely. The non-wipe version will not wipe your data or internal SD card. For best results, we recommend flashing the Full Wipe version
  4. Extract the downloaded file from Step 3 using WinRAR or 7Zip to a folder on your desktop. Check the folder for a file named root66_VZW_I535VRBLJ1.tar.md5. We would be needing this soon
  5. Download the Odin PC software. If you are new to this, Odin is one of the tools 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. Then boot into download mode. To do so, hold down the Volume Down, Home and then the Power buttons together until a Warning!! message is displayed on the screen. Here, press Volume Up to enter download mode. A green Android and the text Downloading will be displayed on the screen.
  8. Launch Odin by double-clicking on the Odin3 v3.04.exe file obtained in step 6 after extracting Odin3_v3.04.zip.
  9. 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 2. 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.
  10. Click on the PDA button in Odin, then browse to and select the root66_VZW_I535VRBLJ1.tar.md5. file obtained in step 4 above.
  11. 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, and Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time boxes are checked.
  12. Now, hit the START button to start flashing the ROM 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) status in the box at the far left in 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 – Disconnect the phone from the PC, close ODIN, remove battery from phone, reinsert it, and repeat Steps 7 – 12
  13. [Important] After you get the PASS message and the phone reboots, the phone might get stuck at the booting animation/Samsung logo. 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, the flash has been successful:
    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.

Your Verizon Galaxy S3 is now running stock firmware, software version I535VRBLJ1, but with root access. And hey, even your binary counter has not been tripped. Go ahead and try it out, and if you need any help, feel free to give us a shout in comments below. For more updates and information on this ROM, click the Via link below to visit mrRobinson’s XDA thread.