How to install Android 5.1.1 on the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A GT-I9506

Fri, 2015-12-18 10:30 by admin · Forum/category:


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This article explains how you can install Android 5.1.1 on the Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE-A GT-I9506.

The procedure is likely the same as for the GT-I9505 and the GT-I9500, but I have not tested these and cannot be sure. The GT-I9506 is the most interesting one and has the best performance/price ratio as a used phone.

Warning: This phone is not the same as the normal S4 or any other phone from the large Samsung Galaxy S4 family, particularly not the GT-I9500, GT-I9502, GT-I9505, GT-I9507 or any S4 mini, and the instructions in this article will not only not work on those phones or on any other, but are likely to damage or brick them.

To use the download mode on the Samsung Galaxy phones to flash a custom ROM like CyanogenMod, you need either the sleek and reliable Heimdall tool or the tool Odin that originally came from Samsung.

Unfortunately the current Heimdall version 1.4.0 does not work with this phone. There is a newer 1.4.1 available, but I could locate only the Linux binaries. I could not find any windows binaries of this new version, so I had to revert to Odin, which turned out to work well enough.

Files needed

As a conservative modder I preferred the official CyanogenMod version of Android over the various other mods. For the entire procedure you need the following files:

  1. Download the latest version of Odin, which on 2015-12-18 was Odin3 3.10.7. On a 32 bit computer you need Odin3 3.09.
  2. Download the latest version of the TWRP recovery that matches your phone, from Your phone is called, "Samsung Galaxy S4 LTE Advanced i9506 (ks01lte)" on that page. You can also go directly to the download page for your phone and download the .tar file that Odin uses. You may also want to download the .img file for later, just in case you want to flash this version through TWRP, once you have TWRP installed on your phone. On 2016-05-07 the latest TWRP version was 3.0.2-0.
  3. Download the latest stable or nightly version of CyanogenMod from this page. At the time of writing only nightlies were available. Let's hope for an official stable version, but for now the nightlies are good enough. Do not download the CyanogenMod recovery, as we use TWRP with its additional, useful functions like backup.

    Also I found that the CyanogenMod recovery does not work on this type of phone. You can test later whether the defect has meanwhile been repaired, but currently the CyanogenMod recovery offers no advantages over TWRP.

  4. Download the Google apps. I recommend OpenGapps. Choose the version for ARM processors and the appropriate Android version, here 6.0. I recommend the nano version, which is the smallest that still allows you to use all Google functions, partly by adding them later from the Play Store. The smallest, pico, version lacks a few functions. The bigger versions tend to contain stuff that not everybody needs or wants.

Download the files you need. 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 on the SD memory card, if you have one) to keep your phone tidy, but you don't have to.

Windows Samsung driver problems

In most cases the drivers are installed automatically. But if you have driver problems, download Samsung USB Drivers – ANDROID MTK – Select your phone model, download and install the drivers by running the EXE file on your Windows computer.

Start the Samsung USB Drivers EXE file and check whether the drivers are installed without any error or failure message.

Boot the phone into download mode

It is preferable not to have the phone connected to the computer at this time, because the computer may get confused about which driver to install during the following phone boot process.

Power down the phone if you can. If not, just proceed anyway. Press and hold the three buttons volume down, the home key at bottom center, and the power button on the right side, at the same time. Keep pressing all three until the name of the phone appears in big white letters on the black screen (about 10 s), wait one more second, then release all three buttons.

You should see a warning screen that prompts you to press volume-up to start download mode. Do that.

Flash the TWRP recovery

  1. On the Windows computer start Odin. Once Odin runs, now is the best time to connect the phone to your computer with the USB data cable. Regardless whether you already had it connected, check that Odin shows "Added …" in its log window.
  2. Click on the Options tab and deselect the Auto Reboot checkbox. Only F Reset Time should remain checked.
  3. Click on the AP button and select the TWRP img.tar file.
  4. Click on the Start button.
  5. Wait until the short process finishes. This takes a few seconds.
  6. Disconnect the USB cable.
  7. In spite of the warning on screen boot directly into the recovery. Press and hold the three buttons volume up for download mode, the home key at bottom center, and the power button on the right side, at the same time. Keep pressing all three until the name of the phone appears in big white letters on the black screen (about 10 s), wait one more second, then release all three buttons.

The TWRP recovery you just installed should now appear on the screen. If it doesn't, you probably have not pressed the proper keys and thus booted into Android, which means that your freshly installed recovery got overwritten. You have to start again and use Odin to install TWRP.

Install CyanogenMod

While you have TWRP on the screen and running, these steps will install CyanogenMod on your phone.

  1. Tap Wipe, then Advanced Wipe. Select Dalvik / ART Cache, System, Data, and Cache. Do not wipe the Internal Storage, because that is where the two files are that you want to install. If you have a MicroSD memory card installed, you can wipe that, if you like, but this is not necessary and would remove all files and folders on that MicroSD cards. Do not attempt to wipe USB Storage or Preload. Swipe to Wipe.
  2. After the process completes, press the back button (bottom left, triangle) multiple times to get back to the main menu.
  3. Tap Install. Navigate to the folder where you saved the two ZIP files to be installed. Tap the CyanogenMod file first. Its name should be similar to:
  4. Tap Add more Zips
  5. Tap the gapps file. Its name should be similar to:
  6. Swipe to confirm Flash.
  7. Wait until the process finishes.
  8. Now you can safely boot into the system.

If Android/CyanogenMod boots up and works, you have done it. Congratulations.

You can now use CyanogenMod's own update mechanism to update to future nightly or stable versions. The update process is started manually, but is then performed fully automatically, so you do not have to go through the above process again.