Bricked Android

Bricked Android
Android phones are lot of fun, they let us install custom ROMs, kernels and do all sorts of cool stuff to them. But there are times when the phone just can’t take it and it breaks. When an Android smartphone becomes bricked, it means that it encountered an error and it cannot boot any more, but do not fear, you can resurrect a bricked Android smartphone! We’ll show you how.


Many do not fully understand what is a bricked phone. Let me explain, there are two types of bricked phones: soft brick and hard brick. These are totally different and at least for one of them, solutions are relatively simple.

Soft brick: the soft brick is when a software error has occurred and your phone is either in a boot loop (it cannot boot the ROM, instead it reboots) or it boots only in BootLoader. Also, in some rare cases, the phone does not power up. I myself experienced a soft brick when my phone entered only in BootLoader and it froze in recovery, but I was able to save it.

Hard brick: your phone is completely unresponsive and the problem is caused by a hardware malfunction. If this is the case for you, then your phone has become a very expensive brick (hence the name) or a very cool paperweight. There is very little you can do about it. People have tried with mixed success. Hope that dealer will change your phone still remains. But better play dumb in this case and do not say you have rooted your Android smartphone, because the root process voids your warranty.

Although the true bricking (hard brick) makes your phone useless, keep in mind that this rarely happens. So, before you hit the road to your local dealer or cry to your friends about how you`ve hardbricked your phone, read to the bottom of this topic.


If you were flashing ROMs and Kernels and your phone happened to get soft bricked, then there are a few ways to save it. It depends on how your phone reacts and of course, on what Android smartphone you have. I’ll start with some general fixes that should work on most smartphones. Depending on what problem you encounter, check the methods below:


If your phone is in a boot loop (keeps rebooting when trying to boot the ROM)

Usually, this type of error occurs after installing a new ROM on top of an existing one, without first deleting the old files. If you have this problem, you can try formating the Cache Partition, Dalvik Cache and User Data. All of these can be done within the Recovery Mode (this only works on a rooted Android phone with ClockworkMod Recovery or other custom recovery). After wiping all of the data from your previous ROM, reboot your phone and it should boot the new ROM. If the problem still persists, delete all the cache files and the user data and do a new flash of your desired ROM.

If your phone boots straight into Recovery Mode or BootLoader

If this is the case, then a clean install of a new ROM will get rid of this problem. Mount your SD card either from the Recovery Mode (Mounts and Storage-> Mount SD Card) or remove your SD card from your smartphone and plug into a card reader, and you can copy the new ROM on your card and flash it from the phone’s recovery (Install ZIP from SD card -> Choose ZIP from SD card -> Install -> Yes ).

If the problems persist, then unroot your smartphone and install the stock ROM (the one that phone came with). To find the stock ROM, do a Google search of your model or go to Samfirmware. After downloading the stock ROM, flash it using the known method. Each phone manufacturer has different ways to reverting back to the original ROM, but for most of the devices running Android, Odin will work pretty good.

The guide bellow will show you how to do it with Odin
1. Put your phone in download mode by pressing and holding volume down + home/ok + power on/off
2. Connect your phone and computer with USB, open Odin and add the downloaded firmware into PDA

3. MAKE SURE Auto Reboot and F.Reset Time are checked, LEAVE EVERYTHING ELSE UNCHECKED
4. press start and wait while your new firmware gets loaded, if all goes well, you will see this at the end of the process:

If you still encounter errors or cannot complete the processes above, try formatting your SD card to a FAT32 partition using a card reader (only if you have a removable SD card) then repeat the process.

If your phone does not start at all

If your phone is soft bricked to the degree that it won’t even start, so you cannot go into Downloading Mode and run Odin, there is a way to do this. It`s called USB Jig and the article about it is on Wiki. However, to my knowledge, it works only on Samsung devices, so do a little digging before you try it.



A new software has appeared that can unbrick your soft bricked phone with only one click. It might work for your phone, but if you have tried to unbrick it with the methods above and still no success, I don’t think it would do you any good. But nevertheless, do not stop trying. The program is called OneClick UnBrick, brought to us by XDA Developers member AdamOutler. The app is cross platform and it should get rid of a soft brick with only 1 click. Give it a try and tell us how it works!

credits: Ionut Nedelcu
special thanks to: Legendhidde
edited by arawn
Nov 13, 2012
Legendhidde likes this.