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How to install Android 5.1.1 on the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE GT-I9305
This article explains how you can install Android 5.1.1 on the Samsung Galaxy S III LTE GT-I9305.
Warning: This phone is not the same as the normal S III GT-I9300, and the instructions in this article will not work on that phone or on any other. (Note that for the GT-I9300, but not for the GT-I9305, a CyanogenMod installer is available, making that installation easy.)
If the phone is not yet rooted, you have to use an entirely different procedure to install the TWRP recovery from a computer, which is also described below. If your phone is already rooted, you do not even need a computer to upgrade Android.
Shown here are the installations of two different versions of Android 5.1.1, namely the F-AOSP (Android Open-Source Project) version, which looks very much like the version on Google Nexus phones, and CyanogenMod 12.1, which is an enhanced and popular version of Android.
Flashing a new ROM (installing a new version of Android) on a smartphone is not always simple and entails a certain risk. I do not accept any responsibility if the instructions do not work.
Warning: One of the risks is that your battery gets emptied completely, such that the ongoing operation is aborted. This can cause unpleasant problems, therefore you should make sure that your battery has at least 50% charge before you begin any of the following operations.
Prepare the files for flashing
First you have to decide whether you want to try the AOSP (Android Open-Source Project) version, which is simpler, smaller, and looks like a Google Nexus phone, or whether you prefer the enhanced CyanogenMod version with additional functions. Of course you can always change your mind later and flash the other version, but this always involves a factory reset, so you lose your apps and their data and settings.
Files to flash for the AOSP version
Files to flash for the CyanogenMod version:
The download links including the lengths of the files are repeated at the end of this article.
CyanogenMod does not need SuperSU, because it has a similar function already built-in.
Download the files you need (either 3 or 2 files). You can either download them with a computer, then copy them to a suitable folder on your phone (like /U/flash), or you can download them directly with your phone, where they end up in the Downloads folder on your phone. If you like, you can move them from Downloads to another folder (like /U/flash) to keep your phone tidy, but you don't have to.
Install the TWRP recovery
Warning: You cannot use TWRP versions 18.104.22.168 or 22.214.171.124, as they have a defect in relation to this particular phone. Use only version 126.96.36.199, which has been tested and which works.
Procedure if your phone is not yet rooted
The general process is as follows. The first steps will temporarily install the new recovery. The phone is still not rooted. But as long as the recovery is running, you can flash ZIP files anyway. So you flash (1) the new version of Android (AOSP or CyanogenMod, also called the ROM), (2) the Google Apps, and if you are not flashing CyanogenMod, then additionally (3) SuperSU, which will root the phone. The new ROM will not overwrite the new recovery, so you keep it.
You need the TWRP .img file on your computer, which you can download directly from: https://dl.twrp.me/i9305/twrp-188.8.131.52-i9305.img (7.9 MB)
Follow the first steps 1 to 11 of the instructions on http://wiki.cyanogenmod.org/w/Install_CM_for_i9305 to install the TWRP recovery temporarily. After this do not reboot into Android, as that would overwrite the newly installed recovery.
A little trap here is that booting the phone into its download mode is not enough. You then have to press the power button on the phone to actually start the download mode.
Procedure if your phone is already rooted
Flash the new system
For this you need to boot into the recovery, "Install" the files on the phone, and do a factory reset ("Wipe" data, cache, and dalvik-cache).
If you are currently have an older version of CyanogenMod installed and are updating to CyanogenMod, then you first try to wipe only cache and dalvik-cache, so your apps and their settings remain intact and fully functional, except for your desktop arrangement.
You have to rearrange your desktop icons in any case, except perhaps if you already had a very similar version of Android and do only a minor update. But I think this is a small price to pay.
If the update fails, i.e. if Android does not boot or goes into a boot loop, then you have to go back into the recovery by pressing the three buttons (see above) and do a factory reset (wipe data, cache, and dalvik-cache). Then try again to reboot the system.
When things go wrong
Your most important way out if things went completely wrong is to boot into the recovery (with the three buttons, see above) and restore your backup. That returns your phone into the exact same state it had when you made the backup, with this exception: If you had not backed up or do not restore the recovery, you will keep the one you had, which is usually good.
Generally spoken, as long as you have the TWRP recovery on the phone and can start it, you are on the safe side. You can still flash various versions of Android, the Google Apps, and perhaps a root tool like SuperSU. And you can still restore the backup.
If you have difficulties to boot into download or recovery mode by holding the three buttons, follow this procedure. First power down the phone if you can. If not, just proceed anyway. Press the three buttons (volume up for recovery, volume down for download mode, the home key bottom center, and the power button on the right side) at the same time and keep pressing them. Wait until the name of the phone appears in big white letters on the black screen, wait one more second, then release all three buttons.
The attached file I9305XXUFNI3_KK_CWM__R2_Root_DEOdex_Ziplgn_StockKernel.zip is a flashable stock Samsung Android that can be flashed to repair the partition damage caused by flashing with TWRP 184.108.40.206 or 220.127.116.11 or to return the phone to Samsung stock status. After flashing this ZIP file do not boot into Samsung's Android, because that would overwrite the recovery. If you want to flash another ROM, do it directly after flashing the stock ZIP. No need to leave the recovery.
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