I was flashing a Samsung device with a single file (tar.md5 format) and i saw some people are working with 4 files(Repairing firmware) to fixing the most and actually, Any problems with those 4 files and i've heard that they says, it should fix any(Software) problems after flashing it on the device but i couldn't actually figured out ;

What is the exactly difference between these two which the 4 files containts four files such as ;

  • Bootloader file
  • CODE file,
  • Modem file
  • and CSC file

And the single one has the Modem file and the others which we'd introduce it in PDA section?

Or, which one should be the best option for updating a device?

Also, i've seen an application which it could convert the Single firmware to four files and that was more interesting about the question too!

  • You flashed and MD5 sum? Better fix that. Also, decompress your tar file, and I think you'll find those 4 files. Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 11:13
  • I did that also, and there were about 8 files but i can't figured out what is the difference between that single one and the four? Commented Apr 4, 2016 at 12:17

3 Answers 3

  • The single file which you can flash (I presume you are using Odin) contains all the files required for your firmware upgrade- which you place in PDA option of Odin

  • If you want to upgrade the firmware selectively, you would use one of the four files mentioned:

    • Bootloader file- not normally done for stock, mostly used for compatibility issues in version upgrade in flashing custom ROM. Example : MJ5 bootloader for flashing Note 4 ROM on Note 2

    • Code File is typically the ROM

    • Modem File is the radio component of ROM- you may want to replace a ROM meant for use in a different region and change the modem to get better performance by flashing modem file of your region. List of modems for your device can be searched on XDA forums. Example- Note 2 modems

    • CSC (variously referred to as Country/Carrier/Consumer Specific Code) File is the file you would want to use to change if you bought the phone in a different region and want to use it in your region (Samsung ROMs incorporate region specific features ) . Example

What is the exactly difference between these two?

I had overlooked this main question and realised I never probed this aspect. Googling leads me to the conclusion that the key difference is is it Odin ready (to be flashed as a single file or not?. While Odin and Kies are both Samsung proprietary, formats required for using them differ. using a Kies format and adapting to Odin requires extraction of files required.

  • Samsung firmware upgrade comes as a single file having the necessary files required for upgrade (Odin ready)

  • Samsung firmware is available on many sites, Sammobile is considered to be the most reliable out there. This site and other sites sometimes host upgrades/beta/test mode in Field Upgrade Serviceable (FUS) files which are not standard Odin flash ready files. But they can be flashed using Kies. Reason cited here for not being able to use directly on Odin is header file corruption. These need to be downloaded using apps like FUS downloader and then split into required files to be upgraded using Odin.You put these CSC, modem,bootloader files in the corresponding sections of Odin

Linked site(s) explain (Warning: Don't use PIT file which is available on splitting till you understand what it is for)

  • To summarise, key difference lies in packaging of firmware (Odin Vs Kies), others being type of firmware (beta/ test/ tested/ leaked) and possible end use (complete or selective upgrade)

which one should be the best option for updating a device?

It depends on what you want to do-there is no specific answer, as for instance of flashing a modem only explained above. Or if your source upgrade file is Odin ready or not a explained above

If you are using Linux the method varies (not tried by me) and you can pretty much use either methods as outlined here

Samsung has a pretty confusing (till you get hang of it) of breaking down these components and labelling them. You can read here and here for starters.

And if you want to get deep into sources, see my answer Samsung firmware modifying


The main difference is that the single file doesn't Factory Reset the phone after flashing, but the 4 file firmware does factory reset and remove absolutely everything and make it like an out of the box phone.

The 4 files are called Binary Firmware which contains all the files in certain order:

  • Bootloader contains all the boot files
  • AP contains all the system and recovery files.
  • Modem/CP contains phone network and wifi software.
  • CSC contains PIT file and cache removing IMG which puts all the files in order and repairs any damage firmware has before.

Thats why they are called repair files.

  • 1
    Why would flashing the files separately trigger a wipe of /data? Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 21:57
  • 1
    because the repair filen (4 files) has pit file and param.bin which wipes everything, and i mean everything! obviously knox count doesnt get changed because thats hardware.
    – Tarinder
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 8:32
  • 1
    Ah, yes repartitioning would make sense. Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 13:58
  • +1 Good point. Maybe you can elaborate your answer by adding "how to flash"
    – beeshyams
    Commented Apr 12, 2016 at 8:56
  • Use odin, Many tutorials are available online for that
    – Tarinder
    Commented Apr 13, 2016 at 23:05

Some things were not explained. A 4 File is not exactly binary firmware in a sense (even though it's all binary) given that they are used to repair the device. Currently the PDA section when using Odin3 is AP. In the 4 file you will notice a CSC file and a HOME CSC file. If you are flashing there is a difference between the two. The CSC file returns your application data to factory whereas the HOME CSC file saves your appication data. Either one goes only in the CSC section, do not use both at the same time.

The Combination files are binary repair files that fix the binary codes of the device. It is only placed in the AP section of Odin3 when flashing.

  • 1
    so with Odin it's possible to flash combination firmware on locked bootloader without losing data? can you elaborate?
    – alecxs
    Commented Dec 25, 2020 at 10:40

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