Introduction: How Not to Root Your Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo GT-S5310I (Kitkat) Smartphone.

Avoid the mistakes I made as a noob trying to root my device

Step 1: Installing a Recovery

My problems started when I decided to install CWM recovery and root my Samsung Galaxy Pocket Neo GT-S5310I. I wanted to do a Nandroid backup before I did things to the phone that, because I am new to this, I may just damage the Android operating system and end up with a bricked phone that I would not be able to repair. I started by reading up what to do and saving instructions to my computer and then downloading the two zip files needed to flash the root and recovery packages. I also downloaded Odin 3.07 to my computer, installed it and put a shortcut on the desktop. I already had the Samsung USB device drivers installed so the phone was recognised when I attached it to the USB cable.
My first mistake was in assuming that my phone was running on Jelly Bean, not looking in the Settings> About Device > Android version 4.4.2, which is Kitkat. If I had learned more about Kitkat and about the secure locked bootloader incorporated into Kitkat the following would not have happened. The two files I had downloaded were for Jelly Bean.

I put the phone into download mode with the three button press, opened Odin and attached the USB cable. After a few seconds Odin showed that the phone had been added and assigned a COM port. I clicked on the PDA button and selected the CWM file from the folder I had placed it in. Leaving all the other settings at their default I pressed the start button and waited for the file to flash. After a while the progress box turned green and showed PASS. I unplugged the phone and tried to boot into recovery so that I could flash the zip file to root the phone only to discover that the three button press into recovery was no longer working and the phone would only boot as far as the Samsung boot logo and no further. Fortunately, the three button press into download mode was still working.

I had soft bricked the phone.

After realizing my mistake of flashing a Jelly Bean CWM to the Kitkat version of the Neo, and that it had a locked bootloader so it could not be flashed with a CWM or TWRP recovery, I downloaded a stock ROM for South Africa from Sammobile so I could flash the phone back to it's stock firmware and forget about trying to install a recovery or root the phone. All I wanted to do now was get the phone working again. Whilst the phone was not attached to the computer with the USB cable I kept the phone charger plugged in as I wanted to keep the battery charged as many websites mentioned that the battery must be at least 60- 80% full before commencing to flash the phone. There was now no indication that the battery was charging other than the fact that the phone and battery felt warm to the touch. There were no other options because inserting the battery immediately started booting the device and there was no way to switch the phone off with the battery installed.so I just kept the charger plugged in assuming that it was charging the battery.


Step 2: Mistakes and Wrong Assumptions

I opened Odin on my computer to flash the stock ROM I had downloaded. It was a single tar.MD5 file over 1Gb.in size. I attached the phone to the USB cable and waited for it to be added and a COM port assigned. I clicked on the PDA box and selected the stock ROM to be flashed and it was inserted into the PDA line in Odin. Making sure all the right boxes were ticked I clicked on the start button and held my thumbs. The install ran for about a minute and then stopped with a fail message. Now I was really panicing. After unplugging the phone I saw that I now had a yellow triangle with an exclamation mark and the message "Firmware upgrade encountered an issue.Please select recovery mode in Kies and try again". Things were going from bad to worse. Even in good times I have never managed to get Kies to recognise my phones and now was no exception. I struggled for a while with Kies but then gave up.
My next move was to try to run Odin again and hope that it would work after another attempt. Attaching the USB cable for the second attempt now brought up another problem. The phone would be added, and then disconnected and this would be repeated constantly. I now went back to the internet and Googled the problem. There were several links concerning this issue and they all faulted the USB cable, so I went to town, leaving the phone on charge, and bought a new cable making sure I got a thick one as some websites said the thinner cables are for charging the battery only and would not be suitable as a data cable. I was confident I would now solve all my problems which were caused by a faulty USB cable.

Getting back home I fired up Odin and connected the new USB cable to the computer and attached my phone only to realize, with a heavy heart, that nothing had changed. The phone was still connecting, then disconnecting repeatedly, as before. It was at this point that I thought that perhaps there was a problem with the battery I had a Samsung Pocket GT-S5300 I had retired so I put the Neo''s battery into it to check how much charge it had. The Neo's battery is shorter so I wedged it at the bottom with a USB plug which was just the right thickness to keep the battery in contact and plugged the battery charger in. The Neo's battery was completely flat. All the time I had left the charger connected to the Neo had done nothing to keep the battery charged.and that my attempt to flash the stock ROM had failed because the battery went flat during the flashing, and that the connecting and disconnecting to Odin was also caused by the flat battery, and not a faulty USB cable.

I realised that the phone, if locked in a boot loop or with a yellow triangle firmware upgrade issue, will no longer charge the battery if one plugs the charger in and that an alternative method to charge the battery is needed. Luckily I had the Pocket S5300 lying around to charge the flat battery but this could be a problem for someone who did not have another similar phone to use to charge the battery, and thus no way they could repair their phone. Having a fully charged spare battery would do the trick but not too many people would be prepared for this, I think.

I am happy to say that when I connected the phone again, with the fully charged battery installed, Odin worked perfectly and installed the stock Kitkat ROM and after about 20 minutes rebooted the phone and reported a pass. I disconnected the phone and when it had finished updating I was very pleased to see that everything was back to normal, including all my apps and data. The phone was fully restored to it's original condition and not just a factory reset, so there was no need to even restore the backup I had saved to my computer before I started.

I decided to write this Instructable so that other noobs out there might avoid the mistakes and wrong assumptions I made in trying to install a recovery and root my device. Attempting to install a recovery and root your device can be difficult unless one is familiar with the procedure and errors can occur, apart from assuming that the battery was being charged, as I did in the above story. I hope this helps someone new to this to avoid the mistakes I made.

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