“Brick” is a very familiar term among all who live in a civilized society but when it is used with reference to an electronic device it becomes one of the most misunderstood things. The term derives from the vaguely cuboid shape of many electronic devices and suggests a state when a device turns into a non-functioning and unusable thing like.
Thus, in the true sense of the word a bricked device is one that is not recoverable through normal means. A smartphone is bricked when its flash memory is completely corrupted and as a result it is unable to boot altogether. The major reason behind “bricking” is a bad flash that damages the existing data preset present on a phone’s system that handle bootloader, radio etc. parameters.
Now, when we talk of the term “brick” for an Android device, it is classified into two types: Hard Brick and Soft Brick. A “hard-brick” is quite unlikely with “normal operations” like rooting or flashing custom ROMs. So, it’s mostly soft brick that is referred to when someone says “Alas, my phone is bricked!” While your device cannot be recoverable if it is hard-bricked, you can bring it back to life if it is soft-bricked. If you are able to boot your Android device into bootloader, fastboot, download or recovery mode in its non-functioning state, it is rather soft-bricked.
Since the present tutorial is about “unbricking” a soft-bricked Galaxy S4, I would limit the topic this device only. There are three ways to recover your Samsung Galaxy S4 if it is soft-bricked.
Bootloop is a state when your phone is not able to boot properly and it is stuck on the Bootanimation It is the commonest thing that Android users face with their phone or tablet device and this can be fixed easily by performing certain steps by booting the device into stock or custom recovery mode. Here is our detailed guide that will help you fix bootloop on your Galaxy S4.
If wiping the data/factory reset, and cache partition does not help you, or you are not able to boot into the Android System or ClockworkMod recovery on your Galaxy S4, you can try installing the official firmware on your phone. Read the following guide that will help you find the correct firmware for your Galaxy S4 and install it safely.
In case the two methods described above do not bring your Galaxy S4 to normal state, the problem is a little serious but still not out of control. The following method is same as installing the official firmware described above, but it also involves flashing a PIT file along-with the firmware. This file is used to re-partition the corrupt partition on Galaxy devices.
To unbrick your Galaxy S4 follow the steps given below but before installing the firmware, you need to make a little preparation.
If you own a Verizon Galaxy S4 SCH-I545, and your phone is not booting up normally, just download the following firmware file, extract the zip, boot phone into Download mode and install the file with .tar.md5 extension by clicking the PDA button on Odin. You need not use the PIT file from above.
Download Firmware (Android 4.3): SCH-I545_VZW_1_v4vth34m5z_fac.zip
[Thanks to open1your1eyes0 for the firmware!]
Having done the prerequisites, you can now proceed to unbricking your Galaxy S4. Just follow the following steps:
Your Galaxy S4 will boot now. Usually, it takes a longer time than usual to boot the device, so wait patiently till you see the Welcome Set Up screen. You know well what to do here.
Here ends our easy and detailed tutorial on unbricking the Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9500 and GT-I9505. If you have any questions or your are stuck at a certain step during the procedure, feel free to ask us via comments.