Samsung KIES: The Official Way to Brick Your Smartphone

Yesterday, I tried to update the Samsung Galaxy Mini (GT-S5570) of my girl-friend. It still was on Android 2.2 which behaves a little bit buggy in some situations.

Of course I had the smart phone already rooted and I intended to install some custom Android version from xda-developers and I found an appropriate thread. It suggests to update the device using Samsung KIES before installing any custom ROM. So I did…or at least I tried to.

I downloaded and installed it. Of course, there is only a Windows version available and nothing for Linux ­čÖü Ignorant vendors!

For such cases I have a VM running Windows. It became quite obvious that KIES is a typicall case of bloatware. The download package has about 85 MB, which means that it will install several 100 MBytes to your disk and the installation process took about half an hour. The is able to synchronize data between PC and phone and it can be used to flash software updates. Wow, what amazing features!

I followed the instructions and started the flashing process. After a while KIES stuck at 8%. At first I thought this is just because my computer is slow but unfortunately nothing happened even after 3 hours. The smart phone showed a yellow digging droid saying “downloading”. I tried to find some logs which could give me any idea about what happend but as usual with Windows and commercial software there is no such thing like logs. I quick Google search revealed that this is a common problem which many people had before me ­čÖü

I interrupted the process and KIES said “Interrupted…blahblah…Please try emergency recovery.” and then “If you try this on another PC enter the follow code: 7xg36jx…”. It showed an obscure code of letters and digits. Samsung, what is this?

I removed the battery of the phone and set it into download mode. This is done by pressing and holding volume-down+home+power. It really worked and I started the emergency recovery with KIES. It again stuck at 8%. I thought maybe my computer is too slow or maybe it does not work with WinXP. Thus, I borrowed another computer from a friend. And I again installed KIES to this computer.

Unfortunately, the smart phone now does not enter into download mode any more. I tried several times, I removed the battery for one hour, and so on. On the Internet, people suggest many different key combinations to enter either download or recovery mode but nothing works for mine. I was even never ever (also before the “emergency recovery”) able to enter recovery mode. I guess this model or at least the version of this model has no recovery mode. Now it doesn’t do anything.


Dear Samsung!

Thank you for writing such a bad bloated software that has been bothering me for about six hours with the result that my phone is now bricked. Please go on and try to make the GUI of KIES even more fancy because this is what users expect. Software functionality is a secondary issue.

Yours sincerly,