Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Samsung Galaxy S2 and CyanogenMod 12.1 (Anrdoid 5.1 Lollipop)!

2015-05-30 02:41
Keywords: ROM, flashing, adb, CWM, GT-I9100 (Samsung Galaxy S2 international)

Foreword: you are being warned. This is it. Going unofficial with your stock phone. For the first time. To the freshest possible Anrdoid version. At once. Never done anything like this before. And just now I got the best idea: I'll publish my notes I've been writing AS THEY ARE, without photos I've taken, unfinished - just like the whole process still is, as you will find out. Head -> pop.

ClockworkMod Recovery


[ADD HERE Snippet from linux terminal / adb commands:]

Starting point: phone in download mode, system and data already wiped, nothing else to do

zImage here is an old version of CWM, found by searching long enough. Ok to flash it and THEN UPDATE to newer CWM using the old CWM itself :)

>heimdall flash --KERNEL zImage

Rebooted nicely to CWM!

Step 2: ADB push the new CWM to the phone (as it was not already on the phone, for some reason) to be able to correctly flash the latest ROMs. The wanted file is in bold green font, command line in bold black

sami@annikka2-ubuntu:~/GT-I9100$ dir
sami@annikka2-ubuntu:~/GT-I9100$ adb push
3288 KB/s (1358054 bytes in 0.403s)
sami@annikka2-ubuntu:~/GT-I9100$ adb push sdcard/
3202 KB/s (1358054 bytes in 0.414s)

There it is, installed from sdcard (choose file), CWM was changed instantly (no slow reboot)!

Step 3: Flash the ROM

Partitioning? Need more space for the apps. Let’s get into it later. Just see first that the ROM can be flashed.

Finding update package…
Opening update package…
Installing update…
Warning: No file_contextsdetected filesystem ext4 for /dev/block/mmblk0p9
detected filesystem ext4 for /dev/block/mmblk0p9

  • nothing seems to happen at this point
  • took quite a long time with nothing happening, then Installation aborted (and some texts before that). Not stuck, back in CWM menu.
  • wrong CWM version for that ROM? Trying KitKat compatible next

ADB push sdcard/ was able to flash the ROM.
Some errors regarding to partitions.
Boot: ok, but not enough system memory for all apps. Phone app not running for one second. CWM still there :)

Partitioning 1GB PIT with CWM 6045 on Odin / Windows.
Wipe / factory reset.
Format system, cache, data.
Install CM12.1 again from CWM.
Install Gapps.
Reboot: works!
1) no SIM - no service (does not ask for PIN, no IMEI code visible, nothing GMS-related)
2) microSD card not detected (many apps need it, like the camera)

Fixing attempt 1: the modem (radio / baseband), trying to flash XXLPW
  • copy the file to sdcard in ubuntu via USB cable plugin / mass memory (no options/questions asked)
  • boot into recovery, install zip, reboot
  • result: no SIM card - because there really is no SIM card inserted :D  (CM face is laughing at the next reboot)
  • now asks for PIN but that is not accepted, operation failed twice, on third attempt there is “SIM card lock being removed…” rolling… rolling…  (this was a bug in CM12.1 2015-05-26)

Trying to root, installing SuperSU as I’ve got the pro version paid. Didn’t try CWM mode for updating binaries, and updating failed.  (SuperSU is not really needed, developer options have root settigns)

Note: in device information there was no IMEI code, baseband version info etc. While trying to transfer another modem version via ADB and failed because of “no device” (seen to ADB), even after kill-server / start-server, I found info that developer options should be enabled for ADB etc. Done that, but I didn’t do anything requiring developer options.
Meanwhile, found during search that EFS partition contains IMEI etc. information. And that missing /corrupt EFS can lead to “no SIM - no service”. Tried to search for info on how to extract EFS / nv_data.bin from EFS (from backup data), but while booting the phone without SIM-card (having now the aforementioned developer options enabled and SuperSU installed, knowing nor remembering nothing about those and their effect - still don’t know), and going into device info, there was IMEI and baseband info! The first question: is that real? Yes, matches the sticker below the battery! How? I did not restore any backed up data. Developer options? Or just a number of reboots / SIM card removals? Or rooting (possible rooting, I have no idea if the phone is rooted, haven’t checked SuperSU, which should still have outdated binaries)? Does CM12.1 support root by itself as mentioned before the release it might…  Or did I install the another modem I copied on phone memory?? Can’t remember everything! But this can be checked easily, by going to the device info again.

Installing SIM and booting… at 00:03, May 31. Meanwhile at documenting the above, I had forgotten what I was doing. I found out that there is a bug with the SIM operations. Need to unlock the SIM card for now. I had powered off the phone for taking the SIM card out, to put it to my Symbian S60 phone for PIN removal. Good thing with S2 is that you don’t need to take battery out for SIM card insertion/removal. It makes things 0.3% easier ;)

Again booting S2 with SIM-card, at 00:09. Really hoping to get signal. “No SIM-card…” scrolling, but it takes some time to get SIM things done. Except that it takes too long. Doesn’t seem to work.

Meanwhile, to the device info: baseband I9100XXLPX, meaning I indeed had flashed another modem. Back to the problem: no networking. Tried to search for operators, but that failed. Airplane mode -> back. No help. Wifi off, airplane mode on / off: no help.

Now time to try a new modem? If I remembered the baseband version I had in stock ROM… I must have a photo/screen capture of it somewhere. flickr auto backup searching…Nothing found.

If you have RIL/SIM Issues on newest buidl please open Terminal App (Go to Settings, developer options and activate Terminal App there, then open it and type in:
- su
and press yes on SuperUser question and then type in:
- restorecon /efs        


New ROM version!   2015-05-29 fixed the SIM/radio!


The days go by using the phone, installing apps etc. trying to figure out how to have stuff on external SD card working - not apps, just files, media etc. One of the biggest problems is that I cannot take photos. “Insert SD card before using camera”. Okay, so the card is not mounted properly?   (After days of searching and examining the system, I realise the card has been mounted all the time, it can be accessed from  /extSdCard, at least with ES File manager, at least when root is enabled. More or less fishy fixes and scenarios have been proposed since CM 7 and the sentence “There is a small bug…” - well then, it’s CM12.1 already! And S2 has the SD card slot. Can’t really ignore it. Actually, it wouldn’t be such a big problem to live without the external SD, but the thing is that camera does not work with or without it. Bundled file manager doesn’t see any files. Google Photos doesn’t see any photos. Sound recorder cannot save the recordings into internal or external memory (but it has the choise, kudos for that!).

Btw, the release is really stable! Maybe just one lockup that needed forced reset, when pressed the Opera browser menu. Don’t know what really caused it, hasn’t happened ever since.

Back to extSdCard: at this point I think it could be some sort of permission problem. When having root enabled, and examining the file system with ES explorer, the mounts and directories seem to have R/W permissions ok. But are all the symlinks and mounts and all mappings, constants whatever correct? What are the apps looking for? Where is all that mapped? Is the storage found by the apps? I changed something according to one less fishy looking tweak to some setting file, something EXTERNAL_STORAGE mapping… changed that to sdcard1 instead of sdcard0. After that Google Photos found my external SD card photos, but camera wasn’t happy. Reverted.

Right now when typing these chapters, I’m going to read the thread about the release. Maybe this is already addressed. Earlier today I thought that it’s not that long leap to examining the Android source code! I really think this is NOT necessary. It MAY NOT be. So let’s go to the forum and get that correct info or fixes :)

  • Went to the forum and it gets distracting to see words about kernels and CWM being not the recommended recovery, and TWRP saying something about incompatibility with Lollipop… TIME OUT!!! -> sofa + headphones + YouTube!