PHONE FLASHING 101: INTRODUCTION

Phone FlashingEverything I have learned about phone flashing is self-taught. I have not attended a single class in the world of mobile software repair. Everything I know I learned from online resources such as what you are reading now. Problem is, there is no one-stop-shop for all phone software problems. You’ll find a developer focusing on the Mediatek platform, another one on Qualcomm, another on Spreadtrum… And I understand why that is so; people have stuff to do and distributing information freely doesn’t pay the rent. It is also why I am doing this on my free time. I have stuff to do. And by stuff, I mean I have a backlog of unwatched series that I have to get to.

Now I am well aware that I am about to embark on a rather broad topic here as phone flashing is variety of software fixes under one rather vague term. Flashing, in my understanding, is giving your phone a clean start, a reset of sorts, a dash to the past when your browser history wasn’t the devil’s workshop. But not every software problem needs a reset, you don’t have to wipe your data every time something goes wrong, like forgetting your password/pattern/pin. There are instances when all you need is a skilled individual who knows what to do to recover your password or exterminate your forgotten password leaving your cat videos intact in your internal storage. And that’s part of what we will be learning in these tutorials.

I’ll try to post the articles in small bite chunks so you don’t get lost on the way. That being said, let’s get started.

Before you get excited, there a few things we need to get out of the way. The first thing you need to find out is what kind of juice your phone is packing and I am not referring to the device’s RAM. That’s neither here nor there. We need to find out what technology is powering your device before we can start tinkering with it.

READ: Using a single DA file for multiple devices.

A cellphone is basically a mini computer in that it features a Processor, GPU, Display and such like stuff. I won’t get into what those are, they are not entirely relevant. There is no point in driving a point home in a trailer when a sedan will do just fine. What I am getting at is a small component in every phone out there called an SoC or a System on Chip for those of you who are leaning on the layman side of things.

MTK SoC

An SoC is soldered on to your phone’s motherboard and houses all the precious parts you would find on a computer’s CPU. Stuff like the aforementioned processor, GPU (Graphics, duh) and the precious RAM. They are all included in a small chip which your favorite repair shop attendant may or may not fondly refer to as an IC for integrated circuit. Hey, whatever, as long they fix the problem, who cares what they are called! Long story short, that SoC is what determines how you are going to approach a particular software problem and what tools to use.

System on Chip (SoCs)
The most common of these SoCs in developing nations such as my beloved country Kenya, are Mediatek aka MTK, Spreadtrum aka SPD and Qualcomm (no alias for this one). The most prominent of the three is MTK. Most of my work comes from devices running an MTK SoC and luckily, thanks to its widespread use, the proverbial methods of skinning this particular cat are plenty.

In the next article we will get into what kind of cutting tools you will need to start skinning these felines.

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