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I have a completely broken screen/lcd/digitizer on my Samsung Galaxy S3. Debug mode was not on. The phone works as it will still vibrate when turned on and the LED / Menu / Back buttons light up during a boot. USB connector works as well. The phone was not previously rooted.

I had most important data on the sd card and I've already wrote off any other data on the phone as I've since moved on to a GN2. I would like to make use of the S3 (not necessarily as a phone but a server, security camera, etc.). I've read several posts here about my options and looked at numerous google articles, all seem to require debug mode being on; however, all also seem to assume the data/OS must remain as this is what the user is trying to recover.

Am I out of luck if debug mode was not enabled or can I flash through adb or fastboot via some obscure mechanism?

Thanks in advance for any help and/or suggestions.

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  • Possibly useful hints here: Broken screen while debug mode was disabled. How can I re-enable adb?
    – Izzy
    Jan 28, 2014 at 8:18
  • @Izzy, thanks for the link. I did find this info prior to posting. fastboot would be great but as the link suggests (and I verified), samsung devices (or at least the s3 in my case) does not support fastboot. There may be a way with Download Mode; however, without a screen, I cannot see what is happening to get into it. The remainder of the suggestions require debug mode to be turned on.
    – DRAD
    Jan 28, 2014 at 10:41
  • Being not familiar with Samsung devices, I have to pass on this one. Just wanted to leave the pointer, to have something to start with.
    – Izzy
    Jan 28, 2014 at 10:59

1 Answer 1

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The answer came thanks to @hnkotnis at xda-developers.com and his info (and experience) on how to get into "Download Mode" without seeing the screen.

My review of what I did to get Heimdall connected without root, debug mode, and a screen/lcd to see:

First, I am on linux (debian) so no Odin, I used Heimdall and Heimdall Frontend: * disconnect USB * pull battery * let set for a minute * Press HOME+Power+VolDown for 2 seconds beyond the vibrate (total of about 5 seconds) * wait 3-4 seconds * press the VolUp button * plug usb in * press "Detect" in Heimdall Frontend

You should get a "Device detected" in heimdall frontend. I also noticed a difference when connecting the usb cable with in "Download Mode" versus not in Download Mode.

Normal USB Connection

Jan 28 10:29:13 xia kernel: [1119572.140189] usb 5-8.3: new high-speed USB device number 31 using ehci-pci
Jan 28 10:29:13 xia kernel: [1119572.233321] usb 5-8.3: New USB device found, idVendor=04e8, idProduct=6865
Jan 28 10:29:13 xia kernel: [1119572.233332] usb 5-8.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=2, Product=3, SerialNumber=4
Jan 28 10:29:13 xia kernel: [1119572.233338] usb 5-8.3: Product: SAMSUNG_Android_SGH-T999
Jan 28 10:29:13 xia kernel: [1119572.233343] usb 5-8.3: Manufacturer: SAMSUNG
Jan 28 10:29:13 xia kernel: [1119572.233349] usb 5-8.3: SerialNumber: e70a909e

USB Connection when in "Download Mode"

Jan 28 10:30:18 xia kernel: [1119637.932207] usb 5-8.3: new high-speed USB device number 32 using ehci-pci
Jan 28 10:30:18 xia kernel: [1119638.024825] usb 5-8.3: New USB device found, idVendor=04e8, idProduct=685d
Jan 28 10:30:18 xia kernel: [1119638.024834] usb 5-8.3: New USB device strings: Mfr=1, Product=2, SerialNumber=0
Jan 28 10:30:18 xia kernel: [1119638.024840] usb 5-8.3: Product: MSM8960
Jan 28 10:30:18 xia kernel: [1119638.024845] usb 5-8.3: Manufacturer: Sasmsung
Jan 28 10:30:19 xia kernel: [1119638.113455] cdc_acm 5-8.3:1.0: This device cannot do calls on its own. It is not a modem.
Jan 28 10:30:19 xia kernel: [1119638.113598] cdc_acm 5-8.3:1.0: ttyACM0: USB ACM device
Jan 28 10:30:19 xia kernel: [1119638.114388] usbcore: registered new interface driver cdc_acm
Jan 28 10:30:19 xia kernel: [1119638.114391] cdc_acm: USB Abstract Control Model driver for USB modems and ISDN adapters

You can see the thread on the xda forum here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=49840347

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