CyanogenMod and a Telstra Samsung Galaxy S (GT-I9000T)

My brother has been complaining about his slow phone since.. well the day he bought it, so I’ve been recommending CyanogenMod since, well, the day he bought it.

Finally yesterday I had a chance to go over for lunch and a Linux hacking afternoon, but in the end I spent the whole time trying to get CyanogenMod (CM) on his phone. Finally, some 8 hour later, I got it working.

It was meant to be straight forward:

  • turn on USB debugging
  • root his phone
  • install ClockworkMod
  • backup
  • flash CM via recovery

Rooting the phone

CM has some great instructions on their wiki, but they don’t cover how to root the phone. I did some research and found z4root which is supposed to root his Froyo 2.2 based phone, but it just didn’t work no matter which version we tried. His slow phone was running anti-virus which caused all sorts of “problems” and was quite frustrating, but we were still full of hope when we moved on.

Then I came across SuperOneClick, a .NET application that is supposed to run under Mono, but ends with a windows.forms crash when you click a button. So, we found a dualbooting laptop and went to Windows.

That was a whole other level of pain.

Windows frustrations aside, SuperOneClick turned out to be SuperOneMillionClick, but it did root the phone, yay!

3 hours had passed and we had a rooted phone – that was meant to take 3 minutes.

Installing recovery
So now we had a rooted phone, time to install ClockworkModRecovery (CWM). This installed just fine, but we could never get it to flash the recovery to do a backup. Gosh darn it. This also meant I couldn’t flash CM either.

My plan of doing everything nicely, as safely as possible, with backups, goes out the window at this point. Time to flash a kernel (with CWM) directly onto the device, another method to get recovery on there (so that we can flash CM).

Needed to get Heimdall, but there’s no RPM for it. Could compile it, but I’ll just grab the deb. Where’s alien? No package for alien and it’s a deb package, too. OK. Just extract the deb, good, now do I have the dynamic libraries installed for it? Yes.

So, I flashed the kernel which completed successfully and rebooted the phone… into an infinite loop. Great, broke the phone. Fortunately, I could still get to the “Download” mode, which AFAIK is like a dumb serial mode that lets you flash stuff (no adb here).

So I hit #cyanogenmod telling them what I was doing and was told:

so then you *didn’t* follow the instructions
they clearly state to start from from stock 2.3

Which isn’t actually true, but fair enough. So I had a rooted (as in root access) rooted (as in broken) phone.. what to do next? I knew the Download mode still worked, because I could re-flash the kernel. Advice was to find a stock ROM and flash that.. but for the life of me I couldn’t find the right stock kernel. Apparently it doesn’t really matter, but 6 hours had now passed and I didn’t want to make things worse (like break the radio or something).

Then I had an epiphany. If I flashed a Gingerbread kernel (with CWM) and it broke, maybe I can find an earlier kernel that was for Froyo and flash that to unbreak it. I did some more digging and found one! I flashed this onto the device and…. and… infinite loop again. This time however I somehow managed to get into recovery, which was progress!

Flashing CM
Right, now that I had recovery I could try and flash CM7 to see if I could boot. First problem was, getting into recovery only worked 3/4 of the time. Second problem was, getting CM zip onto the phone. Fortunately I now had adb access (phew) so I pushed the zip onto the phone.

There were more issues with permissions and writing to the right card, browsing to the card under recovery, su that didn’t work, but I won’t bore you further with all that. In the end, flashing CM was successful and I was able to boot into it. Almost happy. The flash was a bit weird (it rebooted the phone halfway through, then continued flashing) and some things weren’t quite working like the SIM card (probably important in a phone) and the screen wouldn’t wake up from sleep, blah blah.

Fortunately, flashing CM7 put on a new kernel and new version of recovery. So I booted to recovery and re-flashed CM. This time it worked as expected and I booted up to a working CM7 – it prompted for the SIM pin and everything seemed to be running well.

So, after some 8 hours it was almost midnight, but I finally had CM7 on the phone. I went to bed.

More problems
I woke up pretty happy and couldn’t wait to tell my brother, so I SMS’d his wife but never got a reply. Called later and he checked the phone. No SMS! D’oh :-(

SMS wasn’t working, but 3G and voice were. Time to re-hit Google.

Turns out some other people have the same problem and I need to enter the SMS Messaging Centre number into the phone. You do that by dialing:
*#*#4636#*#*

Which brings up the Testing program, where you can browse to Phone Info, scroll down and enter the SMCS number.

For Telstra it’s supposedly +61418706700 but that didn’t work. Fortunately, I was able to get the number from my sister-in-law’s phone via the same method, which worked.

So, how to do it next time

Enjoy.

13 Responses to “CyanogenMod and a Telstra Samsung Galaxy S (GT-I9000T)”


  • And you suggest that I should put Cyanogenmod on my Magic. Riiiight.

    :)


    MC

  • Where’s your sense of adventure!

    -c

  • Hey There I am really keen on Running CyanogenMod on my Telstra Samsung Galaxt S (GT-I9000T). It’s not so much a concern than a question. Am I allowed to class it as a GT-I9000 or a i9000? I know they are all SGS’ but I just don’t know whether it’s right or not. So could someone who is 100% sure tell me whether I can class it as i9000 or GT-I9000 or not? Thanks :)

  • Hi Jack,

    No, you should classify it as a GT-I9000-T because of the radio it has. It will not work on non-Telstra networks.

    -c

  • Are there CyanogenMod’s for GT-I9000T? If not how did you do it?

    Thanks :)

  • Hi Jack,

    Their default rom supports the i9000-t out of the box.

    http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_S

    “Official CyanogenMod support is for ONLY for the International Version (GT-I9000), Bell Vibrant (GT-I9000M), and Telcel Galaxy S (GT-I9000T), NOT any other Samsung Galaxy S variant.”

    -c

  • So we class Our Telstra GT-I9000T as a Telcel?

    Ta,
    Jack

  • I would just call it the model, which it is, GT-I9000T. If you wanted to you can say Telstra NextG compatible or something. Telcel is a Mexican telco which uses the same frequency as Telstra’s NextG (850MHz), which is why they (being American focused) are calling it that.

    -c

  • So I should flash the ROM normally (CyanogenMod for GT-I9000T)? And I’ve used ROM Manager’s ClockworkModRecovery on my phone as I9000… is that alright?

    Thanks

  • May I just ask, which state in Australia do you live?

  • Im from VIC and it would be nice to get some help from you?:/

  • Fire away with your question, I’ll do my best.

  • I’ve been a big advocate for the flexibility of android phones but your post pretty much sums up my experience with the i9000t. Quite a headache …maybe it would be easier on any other network… I’m looking forward to finishing my current contract so I can get something which will work out of the box.
    nice post.
    Thanks

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