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My Galaxy Note is stuck in recovery mode and I'm not sure what to do next. Here's what happened:

  1. After connecting to wifi, a software update was downloaded and a message asked me to install it. I accepted, because otherwise it said it would remind me in 3 hours...
  2. I left it plugged in and went out. When I came back, there was a screen warning me of the dangers of installing a "custom OS" (?) The options were to press the volume-up to install it, or volume-down to reboot. Neither option did anything. Hard rebooting went to the same screen.
  3. Later, I tried to charge it, but got this repeating sequence: the symbol showing a charging (but empty batter) for a couple of seconds, then a picture of the android robot with blue polyhedron thing (like here), then blank screen. A few seconds later it repeats.
  4. Finally I try rebooting into recovery mode:

    Android system recovery (3e) ... reboot system now apply update from external storage wipe data/factory reset ... MANUAL MODE -- Appling Multi-CSC... (sic) Applied the CSC-code : INU Successfully applied the multi-CSC.

Now, I don't really care whether I get the update or not, or whether I lose some data - I just really want a working phone again. I'm travelling atm, so it's a bit inconvenient. But mostly I'm asking for help to avoid making the problem worse.

So: what should I do?

It's a (unlocked) Samsung Galaxy Note with ICS. I haven't (intentionally?) rooted it, but the recovery screen shows the android with a red exclamation triangle.

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2 Answers 2

I would first try updating the phone with official Kies software. Download it from here, install it on your computer, and run it. The program should walk you through the upgrade process.

If the above fails, you may have to go the hard way and follow instructions from here. This post from xda-developers forum has links to various region-specific ROMs, as well as instructions for flashing it via 3rd-party tools:

Installation:
- Download appropriate ICS ROM, and extract the .tar file from the Zip.
- Download Odin, open it.
- Select PDA tab and point to ROM file. Leave Re-partition, pit, CSC, Phone tab unchecked.
- Switch off device, put it in download mode (hold down Vol Down + Home + Power buttons) . - Completely close Kies and any Anti-Virus applications if running
- Connect device to PC
- "ID:COM" port should turn yellow
- Now click Start
- After reboot, you will see screen showng android updating, then will install some application.

*Important Note:
All the links and instructions I provided are for the Samsung Galaxy Note international model - N7000. If you have a different, carrier-specific variant (e.g. US AT&T's SGH-I717 or South Korean SHV-E160x models), you will need to search for Kies and/or stock ROM version applicable to your specific model number.

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If you're adventurous and know your way around Odin (Samsung's firmware flashing tool), you can go here to get the correct regional firmware for your Samsung Galaxy Note. IMPORTANT: Make sure you download the correct firmware for your device and region. For example, XSA is the regional code for Australia.

Next, download Odin from the same site and use it to manually flash your device with a new firmware.

You may also need the Samsung USB drivers for Windows (if you are using this OS). Go here, or here to get the USB drivers.

After you have downloaded all the required software, do this in order (Note: These instructions are only for Microsoft Windows):

  1. Install the Samsung USB drivers onto Windows.
  2. Extract the Samsung Galaxy Note's firmware.
  3. Start Odin.
  4. Shut down or power off your Samsung Galaxy Note.
  5. Go into Download mode by holding Volume Down + Home + Power simultaneously. (Note: Don't press the "Power" button first or the device will boot up). Then, when prompted, press Volume Up button on the device to start the Download mode.
  6. Connect your Note's USB cable - one end into your Note; the other end into a USB port in your computer, or a USB Hub connect to your computer.
  7. Back in Odin, you should see a COM port highlighted in yellow - this is your Note's COM port that Odin will use to flash the firmware onto the device. Next, click the PDA button and locate the firmware extracted in Step 2 above.
  8. In Odin, ensure that ONLY the Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options are selected. Then, click Start button and wait (for a couple of minutes).
  9. Once Odin signalled Pass, unplug the USB connector from your Note and let the device reboot normally.

You should be able to regain access to your device after it has rebooted.

You don't need to use Samsung's crappy Kies application. If you have it installed already on your computer, uninstall this useless bloatware. Just use Odin for flashing any new firmware for your Samsung Galaxy Note.

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