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So my day started as usual…
The very first thing I do before getting out of bed in the morning is to check my email on my mobile phone and then determine which phones are coming in for repair.
Once I have a good understanding of what is going on for the day I go to my lab bench and do a bit of clean up….
Today I was expecting six phones…
So I receive 6 packages …no surprise, a couple T999’s and I747’s ….. a I717 and a I727.
I process my orders by the service purchase date, so I Jtag the T999’s and the I747’s …then the I717 and last but not least the skyrocket I727 ( wait for it….)
All Jtags were a success thus far… until I reached for the last phone …the I727 ….or was it?
As soon as I had that phone in my hands it felt different…don’t know what it was …but it made me reach for the back cover and pop the battery out so I can read the Model … the label read :
“SGH-I727” but still…something about that phone didn’t feel right!
So I did the preliminary tests…try to power the phone on, try Download mode with a jig…. throw in some button combos…..hold power for more than 30s …battery pull etc.
Nothing…this baby is hard bricked!
I start to disassemble the phone and immediately noticed that it didn’t seem familiar…the only case opening was in the front by the LCD (tablet style opening) so I ran my pry tool all around the front of the device between the LCD and the case very gently and slowly started to work the LCD and center housing out.
Once I was able to see the motherboard it did look like that of a I727…so I thought that somebody at some point modded the phone with a new housing/case.
My next step was to remove the ribbon cables, antenna connector etc so I can remove the motherboard… this is what the motherboard looks like :
So far so good…I was on my last phone and everything was going smooth !
I fire up my Jtag software and proceed to get the pinout /Jpad information for the board… I pickup the board and to my amazement…. the Jpads were not there!!
Usually the I727 uses a 20 pin molex for JTAG… and is was not where it was supposed to be on the board… I quickly looked at the board to see if I could find another model number, I was thinking that there were many variants of the S2 floating around all over the world and maybe this was one of them. I spot a gold color model ” SGH-I727_REV05 ” … I was in Tilt mode for about 10 seconds…I didn’t know what to think of it.
For amazement purposes I posted the same photos to my Jtag support forum to see if anybody ever saw this board…. everybody was stumped!
So it’s back to the drawing board doing good old detective work and trying to visually identify the new JTAG/JPAD location. After a bit of exclusions I narrowed it down to the same 20 pin molex connector on the reverse side of where it was suppose to be. The first thing I did was I found the ground pin and connected it with the same pinout as the original I727…it didn’t work, would not connect to JTAG…so the molex was a double row pin…I desoldered and resoldered my wires on the other side…this time we were connected and the dead body was found!!!!
We were in Business!
I noticed that the ID check on the JTAG software passed …so it meant that it recognized it as a SGH-I727…. the next decision was if I wanted to quickly try to resurrect it…or make a small back up?
I decided to make a 128Mb back up of the original software on the phone just in case the bootbin or address spaces didnt match up I had something to fall back to.
After that …I resurrected the phone and it went through no problem.
The moment of truth was trying to get the phone in Download mode after the resurrection, I grabbed a jig… and BOOM! Download Mode baby!
I flashed a stock I727 Rom and all went well but when I checked IMEI it was 0 … so I just grabbed my Samsung tool box and wrote the original IMEI on the phone… charged it…made a call from it and routine stuff I do after a repair to make sure the phone is running correctly…it passed!
So what the heck was the phone version?
Well, to the best of our knowledge it seems that this phone was a prototype in production for a very small time… it came out just before the I727 Skyrocket that we all know.
There are very small changes on the board that at first glance are missed, but the case disassembly was a big red flag.
All in all …it was a great day, I had a little challenge …I was entertained, and I was able to stump some friends.
If you have a hard bricked I727 Contact me ! I will get it Jtagged and you will be up and running in no time.
Thanks for reading!