Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" Firmware Upgrade Failure Is Rampant


I own a Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone serviced through AT&T and I recently decided to use the Kies program to run my firmware update for Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich". I ran into major problems, and I would warn anyone to wait it out before updating and possibly bricking their phone.

After downloading the firmware update, Kies connected with my Galaxy S2 and started the process. As soon as it started, I received the error screen depicted above and was redirected to Kies to run the "recovery process".

I made several attemps at running the recovery to no avail. Each time, the recovery process halted and the phone could not connect with the computer. I also tried holding down the power button + volume down button to reboot the phone, but this also did not work.

I called my local AT&T store in Jefferson City Missouri for help, and described the problem. As always, I was greeted with a knowledgeable rep who was very sensitive to my "painful" situation, and he was as polite and helpful as could be.

He stated that there were reports coming in from others having similar results, but they did not have a solution at the store. He advised me that it would be best to call the toll-free technical support line through the corporate office.

I got in touch with the tech support staff through AT&T's toll-free number, and was given equal treatment on the phone. The rep was very apologetic and sensitive to my problem experience, and was as polite and helpful as he could be. After researching and identifying the problem, he referred me to the Samsung technical support center.

I called Samsung directly, and was again surprised to be greeted with a caring, sensitive customer service rep who was apologizing profusely for my trouble. I asked her if this issue was anything I could fix on my own, because I am a gadget nerd.

She stated that the phone would have to be completely re-programmed, and there was nothing that I could do to accomplish that. Furthermore, she stated that a failed attempt on my part could cause irreversable damage and permanently brick the phone.

I was strongly advised to send in the phone to Samsung to allow their technical staff to and re-program and factory reset the phone. They took down my email address and send a printable UPS 2nd-Day Air label, and told me to ship it to them as soon as possible, and that they would ship it back to me at no cost.

I had researched this problem on the internet until the wee hours of the morning, and nothing I tried worked. I was not able to get the Kies program to recognize the phone to resolve the issue and continue the update. It would stay stuck on "connecting", and never end.

Something else that I noticed was that the Kies program would not start the troubleshooting mode where you unconnect the phone and start the process over. When you'd click the "start" button, nothing would happen.

Without the computer being able to recognize the phone, I could do nothing. But the first 2 attempts at using the recovery mode seemed to work, but the process would fail and the firmware update would be unexpectedly halted. Then it wouldn't work at all.

I'm not sure if it was anything that I did. One thing I noticed was that the Kies program asked that I use the fastest USB connection possible. At first, I was using a regular USB connection. That might have caused the issue. During the first 2 recovery attempts, I was using a USB 2.0 connection. I don't think this was the culprit, however.

If you have not installed the update on your phone because you haven't gotten the "go-ahead" to run and install over the air, I would recommend against using the USB connection through Kies for updating at this point, until this issue has been solved.

It is frustrating and deflating to lose data on your smartphone that hasn't been backed up for a couple of months, but it is a learning experience. However, the outstanding customer support that I received from both AT&T and Samsung has eased the pain of this unfortunate smartphone catastophe.

Carlton Flowers
Appreciative AT&T & Samsung Fan