Sunday, August 14, 2011

Install Android 2.3.3 with root on Bell/SaskTel Galaxy S Vibrant GT-I9000M

I just spent a few hours trolling through a ton of information to upgrade to and root Android 2.3.3 on Bell/SaskTel Galaxy S Vibrant (GT-I9000M). Here's the rough order I did things. Hopefully this helps another user out there.

  1. If currently rooted and NOT running Android 2.3.3, un-root. 
  2. Connect phone to Samsung Kies and acquire latest update for phone. Wait, reboot, etc. You should now be running "stock" Android 2.3.3 with baseband version I9000UGKG3. You aren't rooted. If you don't have the 2.3.3 upgrade waiting for you, you need to spoof your phone's country ID - search for "Kies registry patcher" to fix this. 
  3. Go read this guy's post on xda-developers. Download the two files - the rooted KG3 kernel and Odin 1.82. 
  4. Turn off your phone. When it's off, press the up/down volume buttons at the same time (press in the middle of the button) and press the power button. If you see the little Android construction guy, you're in download/recovery mode. 
  5. Fire up Odin, follow the instructions in the xda-developers post. When you reboot, you should be running a rooted version of Android 2.3.3. 
Bonus instructions: Get latest version of Swype (if you like Swype. If not, you may want to try Swift Key). 
  1. Sign up for the Swype beta at
  2. Uninstall Swype completely using these instructions or use Titanium Backup to back up Swype then remove it in the "batch remove" section. 
  3. Re-download and install Swype using the instructions in the email Swype will send you. 
  4. (note: re-installing Swype will delete your custom words dictionary, it will have to re-learn all of your custom words).
As of today I'm rooted, running 2.3.3 KG3, with the latest version of Swype Beta installed. The one thing I still have to figure out is how to apply a lag fix, which might mean replacing the kernel.. but I am really not sure. 

This is not a complete set of instructions.. but hopefully it is a useful starting point for someone out there! 

Edit: Currently I can access download mode by holding down+menu+power at startup, and recovery mode by pressing up+down+power at startup.

Edit Oct 16/2011: If your phone doesn't appear to be rooted after running the above instructions, try searching in the market for the "Superuser" and "Busybox Installer" apps, run the Busybox Installer, and reboot.