Is your android phone giving you problems or malfunctioning? If it is and you have run out of options to fix it, flashing your android phone might be what you need to do.
Flashing it will fix your phone and improve its performance.
I will mention a few things you need to know when you flash android phone. I have listed them below along with the sub-topics I’m going to cover on this post.
- What’s flashing an android phone?
- The causes of a soft brick and a hard brick.
- Preparing to flash an android phone.
- What you will need to flash android phone.
- Flashing software and the device(s) supported.
- Flashing your android phone using a PC or computer with USB – Step by step.
- Changing or activating your android phone’s IMEI number. Fixing the “No service” and “Data connection only” errors.
- Pros and Cons of flashing your android phone.
- Possible outcomes and risks involved when you flash android phone.
- How to keep your android phone in a good working condition – Tips from eBay.
What’s flashing an Android Phone’s Software?
When you flash an android phone you basically load or install a different version of your phone’s android OS version.
This procedure can also be referred to as flashing a ROM, software or firmware. This procedure is normally considered when an android phone’s built-in files has problems or bugs and can also be performed to customize an android phone.
Anyway, by ‘customize’ I’m referring to writing your own (custom) ROM file and installing it on your android phone.
The Common Reasons for Flashing an Android Phone
The common reason people flash their android phones is to update or upgrade their phone’s software or when they want to fix it.
You can flash your android phone’s software (ROM) if you tried to wipe it and somehow it crashes or it hangs on the android screen.
However, there are phones that hang on the android screen without you trying to wipe it or whatever.
I don’t really know why this happens but it happens (eventually) and especially with these China phones (with MTK chipset).
These China phones have pretty great features by the way! And they are cheap.
It can hang on the Android logo screen or even worse! It may show a blank (white or black) screen. Once it crashes, it will fail to power up and you may receive an error when you try to wipe it using the power and volume buttons method.
Keep in mind that some android phones allow you to upgrade or update their firmware without using a PC or computer.
You can do so by using a portable (firmware) file that can be stored in one’s media card during the process.
What Causes a Boot Loop (Soft Brick)?
A boot loop (also called a soft brick) can be perceived as a problem caused by missing android’s built in files or bugs.
There’s no need to stress though, because a boot loop can be fixed easily.
A phone hanging on the logo screen or having a black or white screen are examples of a soft brick. You will notice this when an android phone fails to fully boot, hence ‘boot loop’.
Causes of a Boot Loop (Soft Brick)
A lot of things can cause a boot loop and you can check them out below.
- Things like upgrading or updating your phone’s software. If your android phone has an android version of 4.4 or earlier – you will get a notification (frequently) that advises you to update your phone’s software. You don’t have to worry about this notification if your phone has the latest android versions (android 5.0 and above).
- Downloading and installing apps from third-party services. Any marketplace or website where you download or get your apps (other than Google Playstore) is a third-party service.
- Dropping your phone. This is pretty obvious and I mean, why would you let your phone fall?
Sorry to mention this, but sharing (or getting) apps and games using the Share It app does count as a ‘third party service’.
Okay, maybe I exaggerated a bit there, but if you get your apps from other sites and people – your phone might get in the boot loop state.
By the way, to know if an app or game is safe to use on your phone, consider enabling your android phone’s ‘safe mode‘.
You don’t know how to do that? Good thing, I have these two tutorials (articles) from WikiHow on how to do that.
How to Enable Android phone’s Safe Mode and How to Turn it Off – WikiHow.
- How to Boot your Android Smartphone Into Safe Boot (Enabling Safe Mode).
- How to Turn Off Safe Mode on Android Smartphone.
Allowing or Blocking Third Party Apps from Getting Installed On Your Android Phone
“Your phone and personal files are more vulnerable to attack by apps from unknown sources. You agree that you are solely responsible for any damage to you phone or loss of data that may result from using these apps!”
This message will pop up on your android screen when you try installing apps and games from third-party (for the first time).
You will get it frequently if you are a Samsung smart phone user and well, that pretty much depends on your settings.
If you want to install third-party apps and games (not recommended!) Go to your android phone’s settings > Security > Scroll down and under “Device administration” you will see the option (unknown sources).
Click on the toggle button that is next to “unknown sources” to allow third-party apps to be installed on your android phone.
Allowing third-party apps to be installed on your android phone isn’t recommended by the manufacturers.
This is due to the fact that some of these third-party sites can modify the apps published. They may add viruses or add a certain command (codes) that will retrieve and steal your personal data.
What’s a Hard Brick?
Sigh! You don’t want to know what a hard brick is; I mean, your phone getting ‘hard bricked’ is the worst and (at the same time) a rare thing to happen.
A hard brick is when your phone doesn’t power on after you have flashed it.
A phone not powering on (or not responding to the power button) is an example of a hard brick. Don’t freak out or panic though. I mean, I got you and you won’t hard brick your phone if you follow my instructions carefully.
To simplify the two terms ‘soft brick’ and ‘hard brick’. I would say, a soft brick is a software problem and a hard brick is a hardware problem.
Check the Following before You Flash Android Phone
Firmware version and details – The firmware or software you will use should correspond with the one of the phone’s model. If you flash a wrong file you will brick the phone and damage its hardware (eMMC).
For instance (example), there’s a difference between a Huawei Y520-U22 phone and a Huawei Y520-U21 phone. So you can’t! Actually, you are not allowed to flash your Huawei Y520-U22’s phone using a Huawei Y520-U21’s firmware or ROM.
You can get your phone’s firmware from third-party websites. However, not all third-party sites offer secure and safe files.
It is advisable to download firmware files from your phone’s manufacturer site. You can also use sites like SATechHelp.com and RomKingz.com
Phone condition – Check your phone’s condition or look for possible causes.
Flashing a device can get complicated (serious complications). So I advise you to only go with a flashing procedure if it is required.
There are common problems that don’t require a flashing process. Issues that don’t require a flashing procedure include: A phone failing to read a sim card and/or having an invalid IMEI number.
USB Cable – Always check the condition of your USB cable for malfunctions. A malfunctioning USB cable can negatively affect the flashing process.
It might interrupt the flashing process and cause your phone to go on a ‘brick’ state.
Pros and Cons you need to know when you flash android phone.
When you flash an android you:
- Void the warranty of your phone.
- Don’t have to pay more than $5 when you flash it yourself.
- Might damage the phone firmware (rare)
- Will lose all your files, apps and games.
The Software You Must Use To Flash Android Phone
The common and recommended software to use is called SP flash Tool.
However, SP Flash Tool is only used to flash Media Tek or China phones. What I mean is that, it can only be used to flash brands that are similar to these: Huawei, Mobicel, Vodafone and so on.
Samsung android smartphones have their own flashing tool.
Anyway, if you are having a similar problem and you are not sure if it needs flashing or not then don’t hesitate to contact me. Before you flash a phone you have to download a few tools. Check below to see the tools.
Things You Need To Flash Android Phone:
- IMEI Number.
- USB Cable.
- Laptop or Computer with Windows 10/8/7 and some earlier versions.
- Some Vcom Drivers.
- SP Flash Tool Software.
- 500MB of Data or Wi-Fi access.
- Kingo Root app.
- Chamelephon app.
When you have all the above mentioned things you are ready to continue.
N.B The Kingo Root and Chamelephon apps are optional and should be installed on your phone after a successful process and if required.
Also, number 6 will vary! You may need more data! I mean, this depends on the firmware file you have to download and some ROM files are larger than others.
Follow These Steps To Flash Android Phone
- You have to download and install the SP flash tool. After downloading, go to the SP Tool folder (extract it if it’s a .zip file). Open the folder and look for Flash Tool and run the application. You will use this software to do the flashing.
- Download the MediaTek Vcom Drivers and open its folder then run the application.
- Download your phone’s ROM or Firmware. This will vary depending on the phone you want to flash. Contact us if you need help in getting the ROM or Firmware. Alternatively, you can get the firmware from a site like SATechHelp.co.za
- Open your SP Flash Tool (if you haven’t). Next you have to locate the .txt file and add it to ‘Scatter-loading file’. You will get the .txt file in the ROM or Firmware folder you downloaded on step 3.
- Remove your phone’s battery, sim card, and media card from the device. Connect the phone to the computer using a compatible USB Cable. Don’t use a faulty USB cable.
- There’s a drop down menu below ‘Scatter-loading file’. Try the ‘Download only’ option, as it is the safest option and no files or data will be lost. Once done hit the Start or Download button then insert your phone’s battery.
- The flashing process should then start. A small window (showing a green cycle with a correct sign) will pop up when the process is done.
- Disconnect the USB Cable and switch on your phone. Remove the battery and re-insert it.
** Your phone should be up and running again. Now check if you can receive or make calls. If it shows a ‘Data Connection Only’ message, then you should continue reading.
Fixing the “data connection only” and “No service” errors – Restoring IMEI on android phone.
To fix this small problem you will need your phone’s IMEI code (you can find the IMEI code below the battery or its box), Kingo Root and Chamelephon apps plus an internet connection (20MB of data should do).
Follow the steps to change and activate your IMEI number – Flash android phone
- Download and install the King Root app and root your phone.
2. After rooting your phone, download and install the Chamelephon app.
3. Open the Chamelephon app and enter your phone’s IMEI code on both fields. If your phone is dual sim, enter your phone’s IMEI in their respective fields. If your phone uses one sim – then enter your IMEI code in both fields.
4. Click ‘apply new IMEI codes’.
5. Restart your phone.
How to keep your android phone in a good working condition
- Download and install apps (or games) from Google Play Store.
- Don’t drop or let your android phone fall.
- If a new android system update is available for download – wait at least a month before you update it. This is applicable to all those who use android 4.4 and earlier versions.
That’s all you need to know and do share the post. If you require further assistance do contact me or comment below.