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Backup and Restore Lost IMEI on Samsung Galaxy Devices without Root

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Backup and Restore Lost IMEI

What is a smartphone without network connectivity? A phone without signal bars on the statusbar is reduced to a multimedia gadget capable of playing audio and video files and similar things. Connectivity is the very soul of mobile phones and it is for this purpose that they came into existence. Now, there might be several reasons if you are not able to get your phone registered to a network— it might be a network issue from operator’s side, a SIM card related problem, some hardware defect on the device itself, and so on.

However, there is another thing that might make your phone devoid of any kind network or data connectivity. And this is loss of the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number. IMEI and network connectivity are interwoven to each other on all smartphones from major OEMs. I have seen some cheap Chinese phones with dual SIM that have no IMEI number at all and yet they somehow connect to a network, but your have a device from a recognized manufacturer, it won’t register to a network till it has a valid IMEI.

In short, losing IMEI of a device you own is one of the worst nightmares you can have with your phone. I am saying so because I experienced the horrible truth myself long ago on my very first Android phone, the Galaxy S. I can still recall how it made me shiver to my veins. It’s true that all phones have IMEI numbers but if you have an Android device from Samsung, the chances of losing it are far greater than on devices from other manufacturers. Actually, the IMEI data of a Galaxy device is stored on a separate partition called EFS on the root of the flash memory. Sometimes, for various reasons, this partition gets corrupted or wiped. As a result, your phone is left without IMEI and thus it is not registered to a network.

samsung-galaxy-s3-imei-lost

Reasons for IMEI Loss:

As I said above, the EFS/IMEI data is stored on a specific block on the system partition of your device. It is lost when this block is corrupted or wiped. It takes place while-

  1. Updating your phone’s firmware
  2. Installing an official or wrong firmware
  3. Installing custom ROMs

The third one is the most notorious reason for the loss of IMEI or EFS data corruption on Samsung Galaxy devices. Many custom ROMs come with scripts that automatically backup phone’s EFS  to the external storage of the device while installing the ROM. In case of lost IMEI, you can restore it using some tools. To know more about backing up and restoring IMEI on rooted  Galaxy devices, read the following tutorial:

Backing Up IMEI on Galaxy Devices:

In case you have lost your phone’s IMEI during or after performing firmware update or installing a new firmware using Odin, it means your device does not have root access any more. If this is your case, you can still restore your phone’s IMEI using the NV Items Reader Writer Tool. It has been tested on an unrooted Galaxy S3 and found working. It can work on other Samsung devices too if you have the code to open the PhoneUtil menu on that device. Try the code given below first and it does not work, find the working code.

  1. Download  NV-Items_Reader_Writer_Tool.zip and extract the zip on your computer.
  2. Make sure you have installed Samsung USB Drivers on your computer.
  3. Enable USB Debugging on your phone.
  4. Dial *#7284# on your phone’s dialer.
  5. Select Qualcomm USB Settings and then check RMNET + DM + MODEM and press OK button.
  6. Now connect your phone to computer using USB cable and then launch NV-items_reader_writer.exe as administrator.
  7. Save item 00550 with NV reader/writer. You can write the backup directly back to the phone. This backs up your IMEI only.
  8. If you want to backup complete NV data, read the phone with the default values [Range (Dec): 00000-65535].
  9. Dial *#7284# and select Qualcomm USB Settings then check MTP + ADB.

Watch this demonstration video:

 

Restoring Lost/Corrupt IMEI:

If you have already lost your phone’s IMEI, do this-

  1. Note down your phone’s IMEI. You can find it below the phone’s battery or on the box that it came in when you bought it.
  2. Create a backup of the corrupt IMEI file and open it with NotePad++ or any other text editor.
  3. Separate your IMEI number into blocks of two digits, leaving the first digit alone. Suppose your phone’s IMEI is 35516705558781901, separate it like this: 3  55  16  70  55  58  78  19  01
  4. Now add “A” after the first digit, and reverse the sequence of the two numbers in each block of 2 digits. Add 08 in the beginning of the IMEI. Here is an example: 08  3A  55  61  07  55  85  87  91  10
  5. Having done this, replace the first nine values in the NV block with the converted IMEI.
  6. Click on Write button on the NV-items_reader_writer tool.
  7. When it’s done, disconnect device and reboot it.

Your phone’s IMEI should be back. Do not forget to share your thoughts via comments and this tutorial via social media buttons. Cheers!

Update:

The trick described above might not work on certain Galaxy phones and newer firmwares.

 

  • John Smith

    One problem though; on step 5 I do not have Qualcomm USB settings, so what should I do?

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Follow the steps under “Backing Up IMEI on Galaxy Devices” to create a backup on the corrupt EFS directory.

  • John Smith

    Great, but I still need a clarification on the second step. What exactly is the corrupted IMEI file that I am suppose to edit?

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    The method has been tested on Android 4.1.2. I am not sure if it will work for you. However, you can give it a try.

  • John Smith

    Hey, I have a Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 International version, and I’ve only recently fixed a boot-loop problem on the phone and am attempting to get the phone fully working as soon as possible. The only problem is I do not have a backup of my /efs folder, and from what I’ve read mostly on the internet is that I should send my phone in for repair due to a missing IMEI and serial number. The current version of my phone (after flashing to get it booting again) is 4.3. In following your instructions, I am currently stuck at step two, where I must create a backup of my corrupt IMEI file. When I use Root Explorer to find the files, I come across an /efs folder, with an IMEI folder inside. But the file inside the folder only contains a .dat file that only states the three letters of the region I bought the phone in. So to ask, what files/folders do I backup specifically?

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Since you do not have an EFS backup, contact Samsung.

  • mamaxdeth

    Hi. I have s4 and prob is i have lost my imei and when i dial *#7284# he sayd network is not register. This happened in one nice day. I think i did phone update.

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Hey, sorry for the late reply. Your comment somehow got into the spam folder so I could not see it at all. As I remember she was Angel S. who had this issue.

    You can read my solution to here problem in the comments section on these posts:

    http://www.droidviews.com/backup-and-restore-lost-imei-on-samsung-galaxy-devices-without-root/

    http://www.droidviews.com/how-to-unbrick-your-bricked-samsung-galaxy-s4-gt-i9500-gt-i9505/

    http://www.droidviews.com/how-to-backup-and-restore-efs-data-imei-on-samsung-galaxy-devices-did-you-do-it/

    Just click Load More comments to view them.

  • Darius

    Thank you :) bro :)

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    In rare cases, yes.

  • Darius

    So if I update to a new version of android I can lose my IMEI ?

  • Seghier Mohamed Abdelaziz

    hello is this method work for galaxy s2 ? *#7284# don’t work for me

  • Aziz Jamali

    I AM PURCHESE SAMSUNG S4 , FROM CHINA
    I HAVE FACING PROBLUM INVALID IMEI NO

    PLEASE HELP ME
    THANKS

    AZIZ JAMALI

    aziz.jamali@yhoo.com

    KARACHI PAK

  • http://www.droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    It would still work.

  • vivek

    what if the phone is not CDMA? and its a GSM

  • Jawad Ali

    Dial *#0808#

  • Jawad Ali

    dial *#0808# ;)

  • Pingback: Emergency calls only | Mobile network not available - Android Forums

  • Rachael

    Sorry to be dumb, but how do I Create a backup of the corrupt IMEI file?

  • Rushabh Patel

    help please : restore but working only edge network my 4g network also hspa / hsdpa (wcdma) network has gone

  • Pingback: [Q] trying to re-flash IMEI, no succes | Developed

  • alanosagi

    When I tried to use nv-item reader and click “read” after connected, it shows “Log message: > Phone does not accept SPC. SPC is not correct.”. I did everything but still doesn’t work. Any solutions?

  • Henry Mouawad

    HI all,
    I have the same problem since months
    I have a Note 2 International version not qualcomm
    i have 4.1.2 installed and working normally
    i have made a efs backup
    if i update the official way or with odin to 4.3 i will have the not registered on the network problem and the imei is 0049.
    i tried to restore my efs backup and still the same
    any help here and what can be done

  • Henry Mouawad

    HI all,
    I have the same problem since months
    I have a Note 2 International version not qualcomm
    i have 4.1.2 installed and working normally
    i have made a efs backup
    if i update the official way or with odin to 4.3 i will have the not registered on the network problem and the imei is 0049.
    i tried to restore my efs backup and still the same
    any help here?

  • ejoseph

    have tried your advise dude but still no Qualcomm came up :( Still I dont have IMEI in my S3

  • Manoj Prabhakar

    I opened up the qualcomm settings and selected the dm mode u’ve given but when I connect to the computer it shows the usb is not recognised can u pls help me

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    Just restore the EFS partition. I believe that both the IMEI’s should be present in the same partition or NV data.

  • pipinsama

    hi, I have dual sim card, qualcomm android. how to restore IMEI 2?? as I know 00550 in NV list is for IMEI 1

  • Manoj Prabhakar

    no dude u have to first select the modem in usb and again select pda that”ll open up the qualcomm settings

  • Pingback: How to Restore IMEI ?? - Android Forums

  • Georgi Damyanov

    Hi, for some reason I am getting only the following options when I dial *#7284# . Nothing about Qualcomm USB Settings. Maybe you know what is the issue here? The phone is Galaxy S3 unrooted ,previously I had a CyanogenMod.
    Thanks in advance!

  • rollz

    thanks for the reply Rakesh.
    Unfortunately I cannot find the proper Driver to install, the “normal one” does not recognize the phone when i choose one of those two params.

    It is be recognized only if I use MTP (+ ADB) or PTP (+ADB).

    BTW seems something strange with my phone… I’ll try to put stock rom and retry

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    try reinstalling the drivers and rebooting phone and PC.

  • rollz

    on s3
    i have only RNDIS + DM + MODEM or DM + MODEM + ADB on qualcom USB settings.
    Anyone i choose windows is not able to find drivers and keep saying “device not recognized”…

    Any known solution for that?

  • http://droidviews.com/ Rakesh

    I have tested it on S3 only. Being a Samsung device it should work. Try yourself.

  • ramakrishna turaga

    hi I have Samsung Galaxy nexus can it solve the same problem. Please help me at the earliest. Thanks in advance

  • sam

    s3 mini baseband version unknown and Imei null/null how to solve ?

  • Angel S.

    Dear Rakesh,

    I am very busy with my little girl since last month…so must confess that I gave up already and did choose the shortcut by using the tool called SPT box and Octopus Box to fix my network problem. The imei those boxes re-generate for my phone can make it do normal call again… but it’s not my original imei…

    I’ve flashed the MG9 modem after I fixed my phone with flashbox then my imei change back to original one but still have problem of not registered on network so I have to flash another modem and restore my efs backup of another imei that I got from the flashbox…have to change modem from MG9 first because when I try to restore the efs backup of the imei from flashbox…it won’t change…I restore efs many times but everytime the phone boot up with original imei and not registered on network!!!

    I’ve ever tried to fix my imei problem with the NV read-write tools before..but when I change the usb setting to RMNET+DM+MODEM the laptop keep asking for drivers… I am sure that my com has all the drivers it needs to connect with my S4 but it still keep asking… so I can’t use the NV item…

    The second method I never tried it before. Would love to try…but I’m a bit confuse…with the backup of corrupt imei…what exactly is it? The backup of whole efs or just the nv_data.bin? And where to put those numbers into? I’ve ever tried to open the files in efs with notepad++ before…it’s quite a mess…I don’t know where to start…

    Anyway I’m still not sure my phone can connect with NV tools… it’s always asking for drivers like I said…

    One more thing…I think the major problem of mine is the “CAL” thing…as I recall I told you before about this… when I check the HW version it will show as REV__ and for the RF CAL DATE will be unknown… it’s just like the phone can’t remember exactly who it is, what is its duty and when it was born… so my phone can’t make any call coz it forgot how to…

    No matter what…I think when I have time I will try like you advise here… thank you so much again for your kindness and support… God bless…

    Angel S.