Guide to Switching Carrier, Flashing Carrier and Unlocked Firmware on Galaxy Note 8 (SM-N950U and SM-N950U1)

With this guide, you can switch between different network carriers and flash stock (locked) and unlocked firmware for different carriers on Samsung Galaxy Note 8. Because there are many network carriers available and consequently many flashing software and firmware, this guide is a bit long and detailed. Try to pay attention to details in order not to screw things up.

Guides

Requirements

  • Uninstall Samsung Kies and Samsung Switch if you have them on your PC.
  • Edit the “UMS/PATCH” of the config file for Odin and Prince Comsy’s Odin from “0” to “1” and save.
  • Install Samsung Drivers.
  • Odin and Odin (Prince Comsy).
  • Download Mode.
  • Recovery Mode.

Switching Carriers on Samsung Galaxy Note  8

Things to Note

  • This method will not unlock the carrier on your device. It will only switch the carrier network on your device to your desired one. To unlock your phone carrier, contact the carrier network or pay those who offer unlocking services.
  • You might need to make some modifications or add your phone IMEI to the whitelist of the carrier you’re switching to for some carrier features to work on your device, depending on the carrier you purchased it from.
  • This method will not change the CSC Product Code of the device; it only changes the carrier firmware.
  • Make sure to download the correct firmware for the carrier you intend to switch to.
  • Your files will be erased. Make sure your important files and data on your smartphone before carrying out this process.
  • Firmware based on SM-N950U1 are unlocked and have carrier code, but don’t contain carrier files. If you want different carrier versions, download SM-N950U firmware.
  • If you are just flashing carrier firmware on Galaxy Note 8 SM-N950U1, skip to the Flashing Carrier guide.
  • If you’re just flashing unlocked firmware on Galaxy Note 8 SM-N950U, skip to the  Flashing Unlocked firmware guide.

Downloads

Process

  1. Switch off your device.
  2. Boot into recovery mode. To do this, press and hold the volume down, Bixby and power buttons together until the Samsung Logo shows up.
  3. After the samsung logo, a screen with a warning sign will appear. Move on to Download Mode by pressing the Volume Up button. To exit Download Mode, press and hold the Volume up and Power buttons for around ten seconds and the phone will reboot.
  4. Now we’re in Download Mode. Navigate to the extracted regular Odin folder, right click on the .exe file and Run as administrator.
  5. Connect your Galaxy Note 8 to the PC via USB and the word “Added!!” should appear on the Odin output console.
  6. Add the extracted Factory Binary COMBINATION file that matches your firmware in the Odin section labelled AP by clicking AP in Odin and selecting COMBINATION file.
  7. Select Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options under the options tab.
  8. Click the log tab and then click the start button on the bottom right. The flashing process will begin and the log will start reading. Wait for some time.
  9. If the flashing was successful, the left top box will become green and will read PASS. Leave the phone connected to the PC via USB and let it reboot into the Factory Binary homescreen.
    1. If the Factory Binary homescreen doesn’t load or the device is stuck on the boot process, power it off by pressing the Volume down and Power buttons together, then boot into Recovery mode by pressing the Volume Up, Bixby and Power buttons together, and perform a factory reset. You should even carry out this step regardless of whether the Factory Binary homescreen loaded or not. After factory resetting, choose Reboot device.
  10. Navigate to the extracted adb folder (under platform-tools), press shift and right-click on any blank space in the folder and select Open command window here.
  11. Run the following command in the command line:
    adb reboot bootloader
  12. The above command will reboot your device into bootloader. Make sure to leave ADB open so that the phone will reboot into download mode and stay connected to adb.
  13. Navigate to the extracted Odin (Prince Comsy) folder, right click on the .exe file and select Run as administrator. The odin output should read “Added!!”.
  14. Add the extracted Canadian HOME_CSC file in the Odin section labelled AP by clicking AP in Odin and selecting XAC_HOME_CSC file.
  15. Select Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options under the options tab.
  16. Click the log tab and then click the start button on the bottom right. The flashing process will begin and the log will start reading. Wait for some time.
  17. If the flashing was successful, the left top box will become green and will read PASS. Leave the phone connected to the PC via USB and let it reboot into the Factory Binary homescreen. You should now see an IME  button on the bottom of the Factory Binary homescreen.
  18. Select the IME button and dial the following code:
    *#243203855#
  19. A menu will pop up. Scroll down until you see an XAC option. Select the option and then click Install.
  20. Your phone will reboot once again. Once it reaches the Factory Binary homescreen, go back to the command prompt on your PC and run the following code:
    adb shell
  21. Run the following code in the command line. Replace “XXX” in the code with the CSC code of the carrier you’re switching to. CSC codes for different manufacturers are provided below the code.
    echo "XXX" > /efs/imei/mps_code.dat
    Here are different CSC codes for different carriers:
    ACG – C Spire
    AIO – Cricket
    ATT – AT&T
    BST – Boost
    CCT – Xfinity
    SPR – Sprint
    TFN – Tracfone
    TMB – T-Mobile
    TMK – MetroPCS
    USC – US Cellular
    VMU – Virgin Mobile
    VZW – Verizon
    XAS – Sprint
    XAA – US Unlocked
  22. Run exit in the comomand line.
  23. Run adb reboot bootloader in the command line to reboot the smartphone. Once it reboots, you’ve successfully switched carrier on your Samsung Galaxy Note 8.
  24. You can proceed to flash your desired stock or unlocked carrier firmware as described below.

Flashing Carrier Firmware on Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Things to Note

  • This method will not switch the carrier on your device. It will only flash the firmware for the carrier network on your device. To switch your phone carrier, refer to the guide above.
  • You might need to make some modifications or add your phone IMEI to the whitelist of the carrier you’re switching to for some carrier features to work on your device, depending on the carrier you purchased it from.
  • Make sure to download the correct firmware for the carrier you intend to switch to. Refer to the carrier codes in the guide.
  • Your files will be erased. Make sure you important files and data on your smartphone before carrying out this process.
  • Firmware based on SM-N950U1 are unlocked and have carrier code, but don’t contain carrier files. If you want different carrier versions, download SM-N950U firmware.
  • If you’re just flashing unlocked firmware on Galaxy Note 8 SM-N950U, skip to the  Flashing Unlocked firmware guide.
  • If you’re flashing carrier firmware from unlocked firmware, you can use regular Odin.

Downloads

Process

  1. Switch off your device.
  2. Boot into recovery mode. To do this, press and hold the volume down, Bixby and power buttons together until the Samsung Logo shows up.
  3. After the samsung logo, a screen with a warning sign will appear. Move on to Download Mode by pressing the Volume Up button. To exit Download Mode, press and hold the Volume up and Power buttons for around ten seconds and the phone will reboot.
  4. Now we’re in Download Mode. Navigate to the extracted regular Odin folder, right click on the .exe file and Run as administrator.
  5. Connect your Galaxy Note 8 to the PC via USB and the word “Added!!” should appear on the Odin output console.
  6. Add the extracted firmware files for your carrier in the Odin sections appropriately:
    •  BL for BL
    • AP for AP
    • CP for CP
    • CSC for CSC (not HOME_CSC)
    • UMS for USERDATA.
  7. Select Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options under the options tab.
  8. Click the log tab and then click the start button on the bottom right. The flashing process will begin and the log will start reading. Wait for some time.
  9. If the flashing was successful, the left top box will become green and will read PASS. You can now disconnect your device.

Bugs and Fixes

If the flashing failed with an error of SHA256, edit the config file for UMS/patch from 0 to 1, change USERDATA to write and use Prince Comsy’s Odin.

If it still fails after that, re-download the firmware and try again. You can also boot to Recovery and perform a Factory Reset before trying again, and if any system app or function starts misbehaving, it can be fixed with a factory reset.

Flashing Unlocked Firmware on Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Things to Note

  • This method will not unlock the carrier on your device. It will only flash an unlocked firmware for the carrier network on your device.
  • You might need to make some modifications or add your phone IMEI to the whitelist of the carrier you’re switching to for some carrier features to work on your device, depending on the carrier you purchased it from.
  • All SM-N950U1 Firmwares are unlocked and you may have better connectivity by flashing your carrier’s version of Unlocked Firmware.
  • XAA is Factory Unlocked Firmware and will work on all US carriers.
  • Your files will be erased. Make sure you important files and data  on your smartphone before carrying out this process.
  • If you’re flashing unlocked firmware from carrier firmware, use Prince Comsy’s Odin, otherwise use regular Odin.

Downloads

Process

  1. Switch off your device.
  2. Boot into recovery mode. To do this, press and hold the volume down, Bixby and power buttons together until the Samsung Logo shows up.
  3. After the samsung logo, a screen with a warning sign will appear. Move on to Download Mode by pressing the Volume Up button. To exit Download Mode, press and hold the Volume up and Power buttons for around ten seconds and the phone will reboot.
  4. Now we’re in Download Mode. Navigate to the extracted regular Odin or Prince Comsy’s Odin folder, right click on the .exe file and Run as administrator.
  5. Connect your Galaxy Note 8 to the PC via USB and the word “Added!!” should appear on the Odin output console.
  6. Add the extracted firmware files for your carrier in the Odin sections appropriately:
    •  BL for BL
    • AP for AP
    • CP for CP
    • CSC for CSC (not HOME_CSC)
  7. Select Auto Reboot and F. Reset Time options under the options tab.
  8. Click the log tab and then click the start button on the bottom right. The flashing process will begin and the log will start reading. Wait for some time.
  9. If the flashing was successful, the left top box will become green and will read PASS. You can now disconnect your device.

Bugs and Fixes

If the flashing failed with an error of SHA256, edit the config file for UMS/patch from 0 to 1, change USERDATA to write and use Prince Comsy’s Odin.

If it still fails after that, re-download the firmware and try again. You can also boot to Recovery and perform a Factory Reset before trying again, and if any system app or function starts misbehaving, it can be fixed with a factory reset.

Lastly, if you’re going to proceed to flash carrier CSC and USERDATA files for carrier functions, please make sure that they are from the appropriate SM-N950U carrier before proceeding.

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