Save Your Galaxy Note 3 From A Failed KitKat Update In Odin [Tip]


Is your Galaxy Note 3 stuck at the startup logo after a manual Android 4.4.2 KitKat upgrade went wrong in Odin? Don’t worry; you almost certainly haven’t bricked it, and it can still be saved. I had the same problem myself this week, so I thought I’d put together a little guide on how to fix it.

I’m a pretty impatient person, so when I picked up a Galaxy Note 3 earlier this week, I was frustrated that KitKat wasn’t available for it yet — even though it’s been rolling out in other markets for weeks now. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and I downloaded the firmware to flash it manually.

I’ve been flashing ROMs for a long time, and I’ve owned a number of Samsung devices — so I felt pretty comfortable with what I was doing. That was until Odin told me my firmware wasn’t installed properly, and my £600 Galaxy Note 3 would no longer boot up.

The error occurred right at the end of the process, when flashing “hidden.img,” and it simply read “fail (size).” I tried the process again several times, but it always failed. I could still access download mode and recovery, but my handset just told me it needed to be plugged into KIES (Samsung’s desktop app) to have its firmware reinstalled.

The problem is, KIES didn’t recognize my device on a PC or a Mac.

After a little digging, I found that several things were likely to be the cause of this problem. Firstly, the Galaxy Note 3 doesn’t seem to play nicely with the latest version of Odin (3.09), and on top of that, certain variants — those produced in Hong Kong — had a different partition layout that could also cause flashing to fail.

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to fix — you just need to follow the steps below. But first, some prerequisites.

It’s likely you’ve already lost all the data on your handset — and if you haven’t, performing the steps below will wipe it. Unfortunately, it’s too late to perform a backup, so if you didn’t make one before trying to flash KitKat, it’s time to accept that your stuff is all gone.

In addition, Cult of Android accepts no responsibility for any further damage you do to your device. This guide is designed to fix things, but there’s always a chance something could go wrong, and so following it is at your own risk. Now, let’s get started.

  1. Download Odin 3.07. Again, the latest version doesn’t work properly with the Galaxy Note 3, so you’ll need the older version.
  2. Download your stock KitKat firmware from SamMobile. If your handset is unlocked, make sure you download unbranded firmware, otherwise your handset’s bootloader could be locked to a carrier. I chose the unbranded “N9005XXUENB7” update for Germany (the region doesn’t matter much), which should be fine for all unlocked handsets with the SM-N9005 model number.
  3. Download this .PIT file from XDA Developers. This is what solves the partition problem.
  4. Once you have all these files, Open Odin on your PC. Click the “PIT” button and choose the PIT file you just downloaded, then click “PDA” and select the KitKat firmware. Ensure “Auto Reboot,” “Re-Partition,” and “F. Reset Time” are all checked.
  5. Now click “Start.”

If everything goes to plan, the firmware should install without any hiccups. But you’re not out of the woods just yet. You’ll now find your Galaxy Note 3 is stuck in a boot loop, and doesn’t even get past the Samsung logo at startup. Don’t panic; this is how it always goes, and this is what you need to do to fix it.

  1. While your phone is stuck at the Samsung logo, pull the back cover off and take the battery out.
  2. Put the battery back in and reboot your phone in recovery mode by holding down the home and volume up buttons, then pressing the power button.
  3. In recovery mode, choose “factory reset.” Once this process is complete, choose “wipe cache.”
  4. Now restart your device and it should boot up just fine. It may seem like it’s stuck at the boot logo again, but give it a little time and it should get past it.

If everything went to plan, your handset will now be running Android 4.4.2 KitKat and you can set it up as normal.