Skip to main content

Recovering from a hard bricked LG Optimus G E975.

Something a tad different this time. I am writing this so I would remember not to fix bricked android phones anymore. Soft brick is easy, boot into download mode, flash the stock firmware and bingo. Hard brick is trickier; the phone is basically a paperweight. The bootloader is messed up so the phone is completely unresponsive – no download mode, no fast boot, no nothing.

So the adventure starts at the beginning.

I managed to get my hands on a bricked LG Optimus G E975. During a wipe in recovery mode, the user rendered the phone useless. Now was my time to work my magic.




 

THE UNBRICK GUIDE

  1. Download BoardDiag3.99c.zip

  2. Download E975 firmware.bin

  3. Install drivers

  4. Open the program


 9Hbvjqt

  1. Select the downloaded firmare.bin file.

  2. Find a good location where to extract the files(for example C:\lg)

  3. Click Extract and wait.

  4. Make sure AP chipset is G.

  5. Choose the right COM port (whatever port Windows assigned)

  6. Find the location specified in step 2. (C:\lg)

  7. Check

  8. Check

  9. Check

  10. START


If it works the first try you are in luck. If it does not work on the first try just smash buttons and pray!




 

THE STORY

Forums contain a lot of information but the problem is that typically those post were made couple of years ago, so the majority of those links in the posts are now dead. Meaning, if we are lucky we find those thingies via Google.

I was reading about the cases where that exact same phone was dead and I noticed the similarities. Then I found even more threads with the same problem. People said JTAG was the only option. In a nutshell, you send the phone to some workshop to replace the motherboard or they rewrite the bootloader using a JTAG. Not a financially good option because the phone is not completely worthless but worthless enough not to drown it with money.

The only sign of life – connect the phone using a USB cable and we have a device called QHSUSB_BULK. This is some kind of QUALCOMM’s fallback recovery system or something. All phones that have QUALCOMM chips in them, use this feature. Because of that there were a lot of posts about people with their not-so-useful phones.

But I did not find anything useful or something that would give me some hope to revive this phone. Couple of days later while traveling with the public transport I had an idea to google my problem in an another language, specifically - Russian. From personal experiences you can find a lot of obscure and not-easy-to-find information in those Russian forums. Maybe because they are tinkerers, they like to fix stuff. Anyways, I came across this Ultimate Optimus G thread, all in RUSSIAN, woo.

To access downloadable content, you need to register, problem is the language barrier. But it is easy enough to overcome if you have learned a tiny bit of Russian. (What do you know, it was not completely useless.) And my favorite part - captchas that were in Russian.

So I found a guide.

I followed it and nothing. Tried all kinds of button combinations - nothing. Error popped up, nothing, again back to Google, nothing. Some people said that in that case the EMMC was dead = the game was ending. But I don’t know why I did not give up at that point, maybe because I had already invested so much time into it. So tried again, nothing. Again, nothing. Then started listening music, tried again, nothing. Started smashing the power button in the rhythm of the music, the windows did not like that so it just started making those noises, when you disconnect/connect a device. Tried again, the error went away. So it rewrote the bootloader and then I saw life, the LG logo popped on the screen. Next thing I know I was in download mode.  And Bob is your uncle! So, how did I fix it? It’s a mystery to me. (smash the power button)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My take on a nixie clock

As a present I decided to build a nixie tube clock. It was essential to ditch my close-enough attitude and make it look as good as possible. For me the simplest way to complete this idea was to use a microcontroller. I am not cool enough to build a clock out of discrete logic, maybe in the future.

I had couple of nixie tubes lying around, I ordered some more to have a total of six. So the clock consist of an Arduino Nano, RTC DS3231, nixie tubes - IN-14 and a power supply. From the start I knew the biggest challenge is building the enclosure. I learned that the easiest way to drive these nixie tubes is with a driver called - К155ИД1.

It’s a binary to decimal decoder and it works quite elegantly. Depending on the binary input it enables the right output.

It does all the heavy lifting. And then I used three shift registers to drive all the drivers.

In addition I bought a nixie tube power supply that supplies the 170v I need. I could have used 220v wall power but I do not trust myself enou…

My take on the PA0RDT Mini Whip antenna.

I like shortwave radio because you can receive signals from all over the world, also there are all kinds of mysterious signals to explore.

In the grand scheme - the lower the frequency, the bigger antenna you would need. Well, there are all kinds of antenna designs but I like to think like that way. For example, I have a 27 MHz dipole on my roof that is around 5.3 meters long. If I wanted to listen to lower frequencies ~ around 3 MHz, for optimal performance I would need around 50 meter antenna, so using dipole for lower frequencies is not very space efficient, especially if you do not have any room.

So I decided to build the Mini Whip antenna. It is popular, simple to build and on paper receives frequencies from 10 kHz to 30 MHz, and also it is super tiny.

There are some variations between different designs, but the basic idea is the same.

The schematic I followed.







During my tests it performed well, I was able to receive DCF77 signal for the first time. All other bands seemed to work as w…

RFID experiments

Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is a way to use electromagnetic fields to send and receive data wirelessly. The system consists of two parts: reader and a tag.  Tags can be passive or active. I think the most popular are passive tags. Meaning, there are no batteries needed, the power comes from the reader. The reader constantly sends out an interrogation signal and when a tag absorbs the energy and powers up, it radiates back information from the embedded chip.

Then it divides further - different frequencies, generations, encryptions etc.

Also one popular part is NFC (Near Field Communication) which has better security and other improvements. Latest phones usually come with NFC read/write capabilities built in.  So you can pay with your phone or touch phones together to share information. A lot of possibilities.





RFID/NFC is quite popular in our commercial world.

Anti-theft – stores use it to stop people stealing stuff.
Tracking people - putting tags inside shoes to track people, some…