Saturday, May 12, 2012

SGT7.7 Softbricked!

I never shy to reiterate my loss of confidence on Korean products. After N years of banning Korean products, I finally have no choice but to own my very first Korean product which is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 P6800. This Korean made tablet has come under my possession for a mere month plus and the low-quality syndrome has shown up...


What's wrong with above? It is just the ordinary boot screen, right? I even praised its deep black level of the Super AMOLED Plus display. That's correct, well, but what if the device suddenly reboots by itself to this screen while you're using it? What if the device stuck at this boot screen forever and soon you realize the device starting to heat up in your palm? And what if you can never turn it off and reboot?

That's the softbrick symptom of this very top end product by Samsung. 

Welcome, if you land on this post because you're experiencing the same and panickingly looking for solution. I am just like you and other Sammy product owners, but I guess I am a little fortunate that I have a solution to it. Check it out after the break.

Before I dive into the solution, I like to share that my Tab was still very virgin when this thing happened to me. It's unrooted running stock Honeycomb 3.2 P6800DXLA2 version ROM with stock recovery. I believe this doesn't really matter as google result reveals that the same softbrick problem happens in all range of Tabs, from Tab 7 Plus, Tab7.7 to Tab 10.1. In addition, it happened total 3 times before and after I rooted my unit. This solution is not applicable if you've loaded custom ROM.

First, give it a last try to shut it down by holding the power button until the screen is off. If it boots up by itself and stuck at the same screen again, hold the power and volume up button simultaneously. The screen will turn off and on again after few seconds. You can release the power button but hold on to the volume up button. It will enter into stock recovery mode a while later and you can release all button now...


This is the stock recover mode. Upper part in blue text is the option menu while bottom yellow part is the status section. Use volume up and down to toggle between the menu, and use the power button like the "Enter" key to select the option.

Now, give a try to just wipe the cache partition...


Use the volume down button to highlight the wipe cache partition option and use the power button to execute it. This option does not wipe your data and customization in the device. 


Once you see "cache wipe complete", select reboot system now. If this does not save your device from softbrick, use step above to enter the recovery mode again.  

This time select wipe data/factory reset. Unlike wipe cache partition option, a further confirmation is required. Scroll down few levels to select "Yes - delete all user data"...


Be warned - this option will wipe all your data and reset the device to factory default just like it's freshly out of box. If you're hesitate about it, what choice else do we have at this stage?? But rest assured that data in the micro SD card will not be wiped (the /sdcard/extStorages/SdCard folder in file explorer). You can safely remove the card from the device if you want to be very sure.


Select "reboot system now" once the "Data wipe complete" is shown like above. You might want to pray hard when the device is rebooting. 

My unit was saved (for 3 times) by recovery steps above. I did not root my device and no backup when it happened to me for the first time, just after 3 weeks of ownership with everything virginally stock. I had an error in red (instead of yellow text status) that reported something like "failed to mount sdcard" when I executed "wipe data/factory reset". However, the factory reset was still successful and the device returned to normal. I did not have such error for 2nd and 3rd time, I have my device rooted this round though. 

Now this is the very good justification to root your device. Root it, install the Titanium Backup (free version is good but buy it for better features) and perform full backup so that you don't have to resetup the device again and again, you never know when this fucking softbrick problem would strike again and when Sammy is gonna to provide a fix for it, or will it?

Lesson learned? I learned nothing but this further proves my stand against Korean products - NO KOREAN PRODUCTS!