02 June 2013

How to factory reset Samsung Galaxy Note 2

I spent a day scraping my head in attempts to reset my phone to factory settings. Common instructions didn't help. So I'd like to share a very simple way to reset a Samsung Galaxy Note 2. It should work for other similar headsets, too.

The problem

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 GT-N7100 headset has been locked. Neither SIM card, nor Internet are available. There is no way to access menu/options. The only available options are: emergency calls and an invitation to enter Google account.

So the only way to factory reset is to use combinations mentioned in all these instructions like "hold power and volume up buttons until you see menu with 'factory reset' option" etc. But the boot-up menu has just "self-test" options without a tip on factory reset.

The fix

If you have no 'factory reset' option on the boot-up menu, and fully aware that the reset will remove all user data(contacts, custom apps, settings etc.); if the only thing you want is a working phone, then do the following:

  • Download and install fastboot utility. The simplest way is to download Zip file from this forum thread.
  • Move to the directory with fastboot and run:
    $ ./fastboot -w reboot
    < waiting for device >
  • Hold down the MENU button
  • Hold down the POWER button for 10..20 seconds until you see the Samsung logo with a red text: "fastboot mode". After you entered fastboot mode, release the phone buttons.
  • Hold down the VOLUME UP key while connecting the phone with computer using USB cable. Fastboot utility should detect the phone now. It resets the phone and reboots it:
    $ ./fastboot -w reboot
    < waiting for device >
    erasing 'userdata'...
    OKAY [  1.610s]
    erasing 'cache'...
    OKAY [  0.605s]
    finished. total time: 2.219s

I did it on Gentoo x86_64. I'm not sure if my udev rules helped. To be on the safe side, I'd put the following to /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules file:

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="1782", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev" 
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="22b8", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="0bb4", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="04e8", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTR{idVendor}=="18d1", MODE="0666", GROUP="plugdev"
Don't forget to restart the udev daemon after creating/modifying the rules.

Done! :-) I hope this post saves someone's time.