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Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

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Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Rooting & applying a GPS fix, for those who asked how:

First, this was the only time I'm done this so I'm not qualified to walk you through it in detail, but I'll give you a general overview, and more importantly--links to where I found the information and downloads.  Keep in mind that this is a self-help type of thing.. I can't take responsibility for your outcome--I can only tell you how great it turned out for me.

If you haven't done anything like this before then I suggest you read up to educate yourself.  The actual procedures weren't hard or time consuming but it's good to understand what's happening.  The GPS fix involves replacing the "GPS daemon".. this is the core software that handles the GPS hardware.  Apparently you can apply just this fix without replacing the phone's ROM image outright.  I opted to install a new ROM that had this fix and a few other cool things included.

My basic procedure includes the following:

  • Copy any updates you want to apply in the next steps to your flash chip now.  You can use your USB cable or any other method you like.  This may include a new kernel (see below), the GPS patch, the software to root your phone if you like, or even a whole new ROM image.  Just put them in the root or any convenient folder.
  • Install a new "recovery image".  This is a program you normally never see.. you can boot directly into it to fix things.  For instance, this is where you wipe the phone to factory after Sprint's update messed things up.  You replace the original simple image with one called ClockworkMod (aka "CWM".)  This image lets you install new ROMs or patches to your ROM, and also lets you backup and restore your ROM and all of your internal data.  You use a PC program called "ODIN" and boot your phone into "download mode" (for the Epic, power off, then hold "1" on the keyboard while holding the power button.)
  • Take an extra step to keep CWM from being overwritten.  The latest stock update includes a hook to overwrite the recovery image as soon as it boots back up.  If you only want to apply the GPS fix then you may not care if CWM goes away after the next boot.  If you intend to use it more, then the easiest fix it to use it to install an anternate "kernel" that won't include the recovery overwrite.  If you installed a whole new ROM then it probably already has an alternate kernel included.  Otherwise just install one now.  (I'll include a link to the one I used below.  You can install it using ODIN.)
  • Boot into the recovery image now.  (for the Epic, power off, then hold volume down, camera and power.  Keep holding them until you enter the recovery program.)  You can optionally now use CMW to make a complete backup of your original ROM.  This makes it easy to undo anything else you do to the phone later if you need.
  • Use CWM to apply all the updates you like.  It lets you browse to the zip files that hold these mods and then apply them.  You can choose to only apply the GPS fix, or you can install a whole new ROM that has the fix already--up to you.
  • Root the phone.  I don't know if this is required for these things but it did enable some nice things on the phone.  To do this, install a mod called "su" via CWM.
  • Enjoy

LInks:

Here is the discussion thread with the new ROM I used.  It is the stock EI22 image with just a handful of improvements; including the GPS fix.  Read the whole discussion thread--it is where I found all the information about the GPS fix and other enhancements:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1339579

Here is the GPS fix by itself if you don't want to replace your whole ROM:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1321049

If you use the new ROM that I used, it has only one flaw that I can find.. it includes a version of kernel that messes up use of the camcorder feature.  The easy fix is to apply a newer version of that same kernel (or some other kernel if you like.)  Here's a link a thread on the newer kernel.  I applied it and it works great.

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=19616349&postcount=243

The ODIN Windows-PC tools to download to the built-in "download mode".  Here's a thread that has it and a discussion on using it:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1274337

Rooting the phone:  Google for "su-3.0-efgh-signed.zip" (a CWM updatable-package), or read here:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1009997

Installing a custom kernel via ODIN to avoid CWM from being overwritten.  I think you have may need to do this BEFORE installing CWM.  Here are great instructions:

http://forums.androidcentral.com/epic-4g-rooting-roms-hacks/132495-rooting-ei22-gingerbread-instruct...

Any corrections anyone?  I'm not giving all the details but they are available through reading the discussions I linked.  In general, you can find anything by perusing the discussions at:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

I don't see a fix for a non-rooted device.  I would love to root my phone but I'm scared that I'll mess it up.

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Yeah, if Sprint woud get the GPS fixed I wouldn't have touched my phone either--though I like the result now that I have.

It's up to you if you want to muck with things.  For what its worth, I don't believe that you have to root to just apply the fixed GPS daemon.  You do end up changing something that you normally don't have access to though.  You install the custom recovery program and that lets you install the GPS package.  If you decide to try it, use that special recovery program to make a back up of your unchanged ROM first then you'll have an easy way to undo your change if you like.  If you're not comfortable with making these changes then just pester Sprint to fix it--who knows, right!?

Good luck.

Sprint Employee

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Hello all, I have not had anbody personally report problems to me concerning GPS, post update. I do not see any problems with GPS under investigation from store tech reports. Please give me some detail about problems that you have seen with GPS after updating to EI22.

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Re: Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

RC1024 wrote:

Hello all, I have not had anbody personally report problems to me concerning GPS, post update. I do not see any problems with GPS under investigation from store tech reports. Please give me some detail about problems that you have seen with GPS after updating to EI22.


After using the GPS for a while it will cease to function. Apps will complain about not being able to get location. When this happens, the GPS icon will be on at the top of the screen as if everything is good, but if you turn GPS off, the icon will remain. Only way to get it working again is to reboot the phone. And the process will repeat....

Sometimes it takes only a few minutes for it to happen others it may take 20-30 min. But it will happen.

Doing a factory reset on the phone will not help.

Journeyman

Re: Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

There is another Sprint forum thread on the GPS issue.  As @coasterphotos reports, the GPS will initially work after restarting the phone but stops working after a period of time until the phone is restarted again.  The reported fix from the GPS thread is loading the GPS daemon files from another Samsung phone.  I haven't attempted the reported fix but do have the problem.

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Hello RC1024, thanks for taking an interest.

I was about to quote some of the discussions here but to make it easy, I've looked and the vast majority of discussions in the Epic forum here bring up the GPS problem with EI22.  There are some discussions you'll see that are all about it, and if you read the others that talk about the update in general they'll also mention it.

You can find a lot of information on xda-developers and other android forums as well.  Here is a link to the very good solution that was found (as coasterphotos said, it replaces the GPS daemon with a version taken off another phone.)

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1321049

I can confirm the description given by others here... the GPS daemon itself will crash a short time into use and nothing but powering off the phone will start it again.  The things I tried before updating the software included:

  • wiping caches in recovery mode
  • resetting the GPS using special dialer codes I found
  • using a wide variety of gps apps (they all behaved the same.)
  • resetting agps information
  • doing a hard-reset (I started with one due to the update bug that causes the phone to not get past the boot sequence until you did a hard reset.)

For your information, my phone was not rooted and had no apps installed that I would consider unusual.

Also, while it never took very long to lock up the GPS daemon (5 minutes give or take?), I did find that I coud make it happen even faster by starting a GPS-enabled app. then moving it to the background to run some other app (maybe a minute or two after going background.)

Good luck!  If you have some engineers ready to look at this I'm sure you'll easily find volunteers here to beta test a fix.

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Apparently you don't get out enough to meet customers! Whi am I surprised... you apparently work for Sprint!

This issue is one of the most reported problems with EI22, although not the only one! This has to be the biggest joke of an update that took MOER THAN ONE YEAR to come out, after Google basically *gave* you just about everyhing you needed for Gingerbread. How much testing was actually done in that year, before you released EI22?!

I'm afraid to ask.

Sprint Employee

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Well I work in a call center with no external access, So I have only spoken to customers on the phone. I do work for sprint, but had not spoken to any customers who had experienced any problems with the update to EI22 until recently, I'm not sure how EI22 was tested in the 8 months it was being developed, I have no interaction with the software developers. (assume 8 months since last SW was released on the 21st of March this year)

No longer working Community Response.
Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

My Epic 4g has developed two problems in the last few weeks.  First, it restarts seemingly at random.  I haven't loaded anything new or made any changes.  Sometimes it will go a day or two (or it restarts and I don't notice) and other times it restarts two or more times a day.  In all cases it is in standby mode or sitting by itself then restarts.  Any ideas?

The other problem is battery life.  At first after the upgrade the battery life was slightly better than before.  But the week before last it started running down quickly.  No warning, same battery I had been using.  Now I have to carry a spare battery or I can't get through the day.  I don't use the phone much at all during the week but the battery doesn't last 8-10 hours.

I've done all the normal battery life things and only enable wifi, GPS, bluetooth, etc., when I need them.  I checked all my mail accounts and made sure they were not checking for updates often.  Same with applications.  What is odd is that this recently started.

Any suggestions?

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Just thought I'd let everyone know that I figured out a fix that will prevent data loss, (I know way too late lol). A buddy of mine had this happen so I used odin to flash clockworkmod recovery, then in recovery I did a nandroid backup. After the nandroid, I factory restored the device. Then went back into clockwork and restored just the data of the nandroid. Phone is in the exact state it was in before, except it is on gingerbread now. Just thought I'd post a successful method for anyone who hasn't upgraded yet or is late to the party.

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Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

I updated my Epic with Gingerbread around Thanksgiving.  The next day, I could not access Internet, no emails, etc.  All I was able to do was use the phone (surprising) and text.  But could not SEND or receive pics though.  I called Sprint who said that I had to bring it in for reset, which I did after about 2 weeks when I couldn't take it anymore.

I had the phone reset on December 8, removing gingerbread.  Since then, no issues. 

The people at the repair center said that the Epic does not work with gingerbread and they haven't figured it out yet.

Why they rolled it out to us, I have no idea.  I am still getting messages to download it.

Oh yeah, and they told me that next time I get a notification to download something, wait a few months to see if there are any issues first.

Can't WAIT till my contract is over.

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