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I tried factory resetting a Samsung Galaxy S6. To my surprise, it left Android 7.0 on it, and didn't reset it to Android 5, which is what was originally installed from the factory.

Is this normal? Is there a way to make factory reset force the phone to return to the original factory ROM?

UPDATE

For those curious as to why I would want to return to the original factory ROM, it's because when I take photos (even after a Factory Reset), I sometimes get a "Server Error". I'm thinking that perhaps a bad ROM update is causing this issue, as I've already had the camera replaced by Samsung.

So I was interested in returning to the original factory ROM, and then upgrading it again to the latest version.

marked as duplicate by eldarerathis Jun 11 '18 at 15:58

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  • Concerning your update: No need to downgrade, simply flash a new ROM/firmware which may fix the issue. – esQmo_ Jun 11 '18 at 17:26
  • @esQmo_ Thanks for the tip. Does Samsung offer their official ROMs for download? – RockPaperLizard Jun 11 '18 at 23:23
  • Dedicated websites such samfirmware.com provide official firmware for flashing. You'll need a non-official tool to flash tough: Odin (Windows) or Heindall(Mas OS). – esQmo_ Jun 11 '18 at 23:54
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Is this normal

Yes. See answers here and the linked dupe question Upgraded my phone from 1.6 to 2.2 Android version, if I restore "Factory Settings", which version it will be?

Is there a way to make factory reset force the phone to return to the original factory ROM?

No. You would need to downgrade manually which may not always be possible as bootloaders are designed to prevent downgrading by OEMs (including Samsung). Cursory search shows it's possible for your device from Nougat to Marshmallow but you ate looking at Lollipop which makes it more unlikely

  • Thanks for the info. BTW, I updated the question with more details. – RockPaperLizard Jun 11 '18 at 15:58
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Factory reset only delete user data (userdata partition) and restore settings to the default values, meaning every settings will be restored to the factory state. This doesn't apply to the system, (firmware/ROM) which remains untouched.

By original factory ROM, do you mean the one the phone came with? This can be done by downgrading the phone firmware: flashing lower version firmware (with a lower android version).

Not all device support downgrading though, since earlier versions can have bugs, security holes, etc... Many device makers such as HTC, Huawei, Motorola (Lenovo)... don't allow downgrading.

  • Correct, by original factory ROM, I mean the one the phone came with. BTW, I updated the question with more details. – RockPaperLizard Jun 11 '18 at 15:58

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