Either you got a Samsung Galaxy smartphone or tablet or both, there is a good possibility that you have used Odin. Odin is really an essential tool if you have to install a stock firmware or flash a custom recovery or Chainfire’s Auto-root package. If you need to install any file with .tar or .tar.md5 extension, you must use Odin. While in most cases, flashing a firmware, custom recovery or root package goes successful, sometimes the easy procedure does not end up as expected.
The very glimpse of the big green PASS! message on Odin puts a victorious smile on our faces but have you ever had the opportunity to encounter the red signal with FAIL! message? In some cases, the failed installation does not affect the functioning of the device, but sometimes, a bad flash either bricks the device or puts it in a state where it fails to boot normally. It all depends on what type of installation failure you have encountered in Odin.
Today, we’ll see how we can fix the “invalid ext4 image” error that you might encounter while flashing the stock firmware on your Samsung Galaxy device. “Invalid Ext4 Image” error is an error that can be found while attempting to flash a firmware using Odin with a downgraded (or sometimes upgraded) bootloader to the one currently installed on a Samsung device. So, before you proceed to the actual workaround for the issue, let’s dig a little about what exactly EXT4 is!
What is EXT4?
Actually, EXT4 (fourth extended file system) is a file format for Linux that aims at extending storage limits and add other performance improvements to devices that use Linux kernel. Since Android is based on Linux, it also uses EXT4 storage infrastructure. When the Android OS was launched in 2008, it used EXT2 but Google decided to upgrade its storage system to EXT4 in 2010.
Thus, when people talk about EXT4 with reference to Android, they actually refer to create an EXT4 partition on your SD-Card. For example, if you got an SD card or device with 16GB storage capacity, you have 14GB FAT32 space and 1GB EXT4 space. (the 1GB space remains non-existent for the user). Having an EXT4 partition on the device allows you to move apps to the else non-existent EXT4 partition and thus you get more free space on the internal storage.
How to Fix Invalid Ext4 Image Error in Odin
Having been acquainted with EXT4 file system, let’s now head to our real topic. Since the “invalid ext4 image” error is closely associated with storage partitions on your device, it can be fixed by repartitioning the internal storage. The issue often pops up while flashing stock firmware on Samsung Galaxy devices that are available in various internal storage (like 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, etc.).
The system partitions on Android devices are assigned depending on the internal storage and when you attempt to flash a firmware on your device, you sometimes need to provide the PIT file that tells the firmware to allocate the storage partitions according to the partition map provided by the PIT.
On non-Samsung devices, wrong partitioning sometimes results in reducing the internal storage to half. For example, if you got a phone with 32GB internal storage, it might show only 16GB space after flashing firmware. I have encountered this issue a couple of times on my Nexus 5 and LG G2.
So, in order to solve “invalid ext4 image” issue on your Galaxy phone or tablet, you’ll need to get the PIT file (the file that determines the partition on Samsung devices) for your device. You can find the correct PIT file for your device on various forums. In case you don’t find it, you can manually pull it from your device using Heimdall tool. Make sure that the PIT file you use is exactly for the same model number and storage capacity as yours. If you have a Galaxy Note 3 SM-N9005 (32GB), for example, the PIT must be from the same model.
Download PIT Files for Samsung Devices
I got a collection of PIT files for some Galaxy devices. If you have the same model, you can download from below. You can find out your device model in Settings> About.
Did not Get the PIT for your Device?
Flashing Stock Firmware and PIT File
As I mentioned above, repartitioning the device by telling the firmware that your device is a 16/32/64 GB variant can fix the “invalid ext4 error”. Having grabbed or extracted the correct PIT file for your device model, all you need to do is to install it along with the firmware file. The procedure is just the same as doing a normal flash with Odin, but you need to add the PIT file too.
- Download the firmware file you want to install.
- Download latest Odin and unzip the file.
- Make sure you have installed Kies or Samsung USB drivers on your PC.
- Enable USB Debugging on your device by going to Settings> Developer options. In case the device is unable to boot, skip this step.
- Backup your data and apps and charge your phone to have at least 60% battery level.
- Turn off the device and boot it into the Download Mode. If your device is stuck in a boot loop, long press the Power button until it turns off, or just pull out the battery and reinsert it after 20 seconds. You can get into the Download Mode by holding the Volume Down+Home+Power keys simultaneously for 2-3 seconds. When the warning screen with a yellow triangle appears, just press the Volume Up key.
- Open Odin folder and launch the tool by double-clicking the executable file.
- Now connect your device to computer using the original USB cable that came with your device.
- The message box on Odin must show “Added!!” text for successful flash. If you do not see it, try to re-install the drivers, enable USB Debugging, try a different USB port and reboot the PC.
- Now click the PIT button and select the .pit file you downloaded.
- Then click the PDA/AP button on Odin and add the firmware file to this field.
- Since you are going to flash the PIT too, you must not forget to check/tick the Re-Partition option on Odin. Check the screenshot provided below and make sure that you have taken care of the things highlighted in red.
- Okay, now click the Start button in Odin. The installation procedure should go uninterrupted now.
- Just wait until the ID:COM port turns green with PASS! message.
Finally, your Galaxy device will automatically reboot. Just wait patiently as the first boot might take up to 3-6 minutes. In case, your device does not get past the Samsung logo even after 10 minutes, perform a data/factory reset from the stock recovery. If you don’t know how to do that, head over to the following tutorial:
So here ends our tutorial on fixing the invalid ext4 image in Odin while flashing stock firmware on Galaxy devices. If you got some question or you just want to share your experience, please let us know via comments below. Cheers!