The Verizon Galaxy Tab 10.1 SCH-i905 like pretty much all embedded devices has a special maintenance mode which is like a mini OS which enables various maintenance functions to be performed, such as flashing updates to the device.
This maintenance mode is referred to as the “recovery”. The stock recovery is the recovery system that is installed on the device by default. However there is an improved one called ClockworkMod Recovery which is really cool and has more features than the stock recovery.
The process outlined here will therefore require the latest ClockworkMod recovery image (sometimes also called a ROM, it is the file which contains the data which gets flashed to the Galaxy Tab to install the mini OS recovery environment). I obtained the most recent one here. The file in question is the recovery.tar.md5 for LTE (Odin; SCH-I905). You will see other versions listed there for other models.
In order to flash the file it is necessary to run a utility on the PC called Odin which is an acronym for “Open Disk Imager in a Nutshell”. It is available through here.
The flashing process is as follows:
- Shut the Galaxy Tab down by holding the power button until a menu appears and then selecting the shut down option.
- To start the Galaxy Tab long-press the power key (a couple seconds). When the text “Samsung Galaxy Tab” appears on the screen in large white letters, press the power button and the volume-up (the one closest to the power button) simultaneously until you see two big icons appear.
- The icon on the right, a big green robot, should be highlighted by default. If it is not, press the volume-up button repeatedly until it is selected. Then press the volume-down (one furthest from power button) button to select.
- It will give a warning and you can press the down button again to confirm. The tablet will now be in a special download mode whereby it can be flashed.
- With Odin running, connect the tablet’s USB cable to the PC. You should see it register in Odin.
- Now in Odin click on the PDA button and select the recovery.tar.md5 that was downloaded. Now click the start button. The flash process should be fast. A green progress bar should appear and finish and the tablet will reboot.
However there is a problem with this. Every time the tablet boots a script gets run which automatically overwrites the recovery environment with the default one.
The way I solved this was to edit the file /system/etc/install-recovery.sh on the tablet. This script is what runs the command to overwrite the recovery at every boot. To bypass the script, after the first line which reads:
add this line:
which just makes the script exit immediately with no errors before it has a chance to overwrite the recovery.
Ok I’m tired of typing right now otherwise I’d explain all the steps to complete this last process. The way I did it was by having BusyBox Free installed on the tablet which is a complete set of shell utilities including the vi editor.
I also run SSHDroidPro on the tablet which enables me to ssh in via console from a PC.