Here’s another solution that might help someone on how to fix and recover their bricked T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III SGH-T999 phone. This guide is also the same method used with other U.S variants of Samsung Galaxy S3 like the AT&T SGH-I747Sprint  SPH-L710 and Verizon SCH-I535. But, we are using a different firmware files for each specific carrier providers for they do not posses the same firmware builds.

Bricked phone are usually fixable, for some reasons that you messed up from flashing a wrong ROM – bootloader images from the GSM variant Samsung Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 (International)  which is not compatible with your U.S Samsung Galaxy S3 SGH-T999 (T-Mobile).

It was also bricked from  rooting process because you installed with a wrong root kernel images. Those are just the most common issues why the heck you screwed up and bricked your Samsung Galaxy S3 phone in a wrong place and in and wrong no time.

Symptoms of bricked Samsung Galaxy S3 (T-Mobile SGH-T999)

Here’s a couple issues you might be facing by now and wonder how to resolve it.
1. The phone boot and shows the Samsung screen for a split second and then it automatically turns off.

Somewhere stuck on these following boot screen.

1st boot screen: ‘Samsung’
2nd boot screen: ‘Samsung Galaxy S III’
3rd boot screen: T-Mobile splash screen
4th boot screen: pulsating ‘Samsung’

2.  It won’t  Power ON but it just shows the odin download screen with yellow triangle and firmware update warning.
3. The phone keeps on restarting (with vibrations) after the Samsung logo appears.
4. The phone is totally dead, unresponsive or no visible signs of life.

Does a bricked Samsung Galaxy S3 (T-Mobile  SGH-T999) can be fix or recover back to normal?
Yes and NO, there are two types of bricks – the softbrick and hardbrick.
The Softbrick – can be recovered if you can still access your Galaxy S3 Download Mode screen -  (Pressing VOLUME Down + HOME + POWER button). Try to press that button combination. If you can access the download mode option, then your seemingly quite lucky for  there’s a chance that you can recover it by yourself.

Hardbricks – refers to the phone as totally jammed, it doesn’t show anything, can’t access the download mode screen. The only solution for this is by called JTAG flashing, which is forcing to install the firmware back to the phone. The process is not too easy, this includes disassembling the phone, some soldering required and flashing by means of using a flashing device tool. So this method means that you cannot save your device all by yourself anymore. If you badly need  to have your Galaxy S3 back to life if you can’t recover it anymore with yourself is to bring it back to your dealer. Explain something  that might encourage them to have your phone fix for free or have an exchange for warranty.

Hey man, I can still access the download mode!
Seems you’re still lucky! If you can still access the phone into download mode, then try this method below, this might help you to restore it back to normal.

Method 1: Fix bricked Samsung Galaxy S3 (T-Mobile SGH-T999) Flashing with original stock Boot Image

This solution may fix your phone if you have flash a wrong bootloader image from Samsung galaxy S3 GT-I9300 (International GSM)

Grab the boot image file odin flasher and USB driver
Odin flasher – Odin3_v3.07
USB Driver -  USB Driver
Stock Boot Image -SGH-T999_boot_img

Use a PC with Windows OS (Odin will not work on Mac and Linux OSX)
Recharge your battery using external battery charger since you can’t recharge the battery within the phone for it is already bricked.

1. Run Odin on your PC desktop
2. Boot the Galaxy S3 into download mode screen for Odin.
Turn it off, once completely shut down  hold down the ‘HOME’ + ‘VOLUME DOWN’ buttons and press the ‘POWER’ button for about 2 seconds until a WARNING! Screen appears. Press the ‘VOLUME UP’ button to continue or enter Download Mode.
3. Connect the phone to PC via USB. Then make sure you can see as phone “Added” in Odin log box or highlight the COM:ID once the device is detected,
4. In Odin window, DO Not tick ‘RE-Partition’  only Tick ‘Auto Reboot’ and ‘F. Reset Time’ and nothing else.
5. Now simply click and load the boot image boot-stock-tmobile-sgh-t999.tar on Odin’s PDA button.
6. Click on “Start” to flash the image.
7. Wait ’till it finishes flashing

If the phone will then reboot to its normal mode then its you’re lucky day. If the bricked problem still persists, refer to the below method.

Fix bricked Samsung Galaxy S3 (T-Mobile SGH-T999) Flashing with Original stock ROM or Firmware

Now, if the phone still doesn’t respond after restoring the original boot image, this time we are going to flash its full packaged firmware by using Odin flasher tool and the original factory stock firmware itself provided by Samsung.
Grab one of these original Stock Firmware
Find and grab the latest stock firmware version.
Stock firmware Nov-Dec 2012 released 4.1.1 Jelly Bean  TMB_T999UVALJ4_T999TMBALJ4
Stock firmware August 2012 released: ICS 4.0.4 TMB_T999UVALH2_T999TMBALH2
Factory firmware May 2012 released: ICS 4.0.4 TMB_T999UVALEM_T999TMBALEM

(Extract or “unzip”  the firmware file after downloaded so that you’ll get the .tar.md5 file. Use Wirar,winzip , 7zip or any extracting software you have in your computer)

Again make sure the battery is fully charge (recharge the battery using external battery charger)
1. Run Odin on your PC desktop
2. Boot the Galaxy S3 into download mode screen for Odin.
Turn it off, once completely shut down  hold down the ‘HOME’ + ‘VOLUME DOWN’ buttons and press the ‘POWER’ button for about 2 seconds until a WARNING! Screen appears. Press the ‘VOLUME UP’ button to continue or enter Download Mode.
3. Connect the phone to PC via USB. Then make sure you can see as phone “Added” in Odin log box or highlight the COM:ID once the device is detected,
4. In Odin window, DO Not tick ‘RE-Partition’  only Tick ‘Auto Reboot’ and ‘F. Reset Time’ and nothing else.
5. Now load the e.g T999UVALH2_T999TMBALH2_T999UVALH2.tar.md5 in Odin’s PDA button.
6. Click on “Start” to flash the stock firmware
7. Wait until the flashing successfully finishes, you’ll just see a word ‘PASS’ in odin.

If the phone reboot normally, its then a success story, and if not, there’s nothing I can do to add more but just recommend  you to contact or visit your nearest service center.

You may then perform factory reset if necessary, to get rid of  bootloop, stuck on welcome screen logo issues.
- Turn off the phone and set it into recovery mode
- Press volume “volume up, home and power buttons”
- Once in recovery mode, perform full wipe
- Select ‘wipe data/factory reset’
- Then also select “advanced” and clear the Dalvik cache too
- Lastly select ‘reboot system’ now and and wait ’til your phone completely reboot in normal mode.

How to Avoid bricking your Galaxy S3 T999

Don’t Flash or use other variants Stock ROM and kernels. (If you find any instruction on the web or forum read it carefully or ask something that you don’t understand)
Don’t not ever use root kernels and boot images, from custom ROM builds for GSM or GT-I9300 for it is very different from U.S and Canada Galaxy S3 variants.

Credits to Mark aka MSKIP (highly recognized XDA-developer) on his original thread here for the Boot Image.

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24 Responses to Fix Bricked T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S3 SGH-T999, Unbrick Guide

  1. galaxy s3 user says:

    how do i flash it if odin requires .md5 format and the downloads are in zip?

    • Neil Perez says:

      Sorry, I forgot to mention that you need to Extract or unzip the file.. Use Winzip or 7zip extracting tool.

  2. David says:

    I followed the instructions for the soft brick and I did everything I needed to, I just don’t think it worked.
    Odin says PASS! and everything worked on that end, but my phone is stuck with a blue LED light for the indicator. I tried restarting it again and I can hear the start up sound but the screen is black and the blue notification light stays there.
    Do you know what it is?

  3. firstclassmobileshine@gmail.com says:

    sometimes you need to repeat the last step multiple times for it to stay or you don’t have a charged up enough battery….

  4. Jonathan Saillant says:

    i’ve went into download mode and installed all the drivers and everything, but when i connect it to the compter odin doesnt recognize it or say, “added”. Any Advice?

  5. Sebastian Peña says:

    Thanks Man!! you saved my phone!!

  6. Nef says:

    Would “Firmware upgrade encountered an issue” (Display on screen) be considered Soft or Hard-bricked?

    Thanks.

  7. Lucas says:

    hi ,
    odin says that i need the PIT file, you have any idea?

  8. Pranavan says:

    Hi,
    I have update to 4.3 my Samsung S3 SGH-T999L via Samsung Kies, it’s become hardbrick ?
    can’t turn it on back, can’t able enter recover mode, fully dead. only light up red while connecting to PC.
    Please help me, Thanks

  9. joshua says:

    i have a t999 and bricked it after restoring it with original backup. i cant seems to get it to do anything. Ive made a jig but no joy. Hopefully the battery is dead as it sat for 24 hours. Ill try with a good battery, but i need a stock firmware as the link is dead above.

  10. Kendall says:

    If the usb driver is not detecting my soft bricked galaxy s3 sgh-t999 but will detect my other galaxy s3 what could this possibly mean?
    *BRICKED PHONE SYMPTOMS* 1. Won’t go into recovery mode, only download mode.
    2. When trying to start up it vibrates and stays at “Samsung Galaxy S3 screen and some times it vibrates and stays at “Samsung Galaxy S3 screen and and goes into this mode as if I just wiped the cache & data and was loading with the green android man and just shuts off or repeats the same cycle. Wth is going on I’m lost!!!!!

  11. Greg says:

    I have done everything as explained and I keep getting Fail on Odin within the first two minutes. My phone was solid Brick and I sent it to Samsung and had it repaired. It was Factory Unlocked from T-mobile, and when I got it back they installed 4.3 On my phone. I need to put 4.1.1 on my phone so I can Factory Unlock again to use my ATT Sim Card. What am I missing to keep getting Fail in Odin? I have Original clockworkmod and original Downloaded 4.1.1 and All 0dins from v0.85 to 3.07. I also have the .Pit file and it is currently SU Rooted and I also have Triangle Away to reset binary if required. I do have a problem that my computer and any computer I plug it to it shows as a Modem when I put it into Download and plug it into any computer although in Kies 3 is shows as a SGH-T999, not sure it that makes any difference about the driver when I plug it in vs using Kies 3. I am desperate to get 4.1.1 back on so I can Factory Unlock it again 4.3 does not allow that option NW LOCK NV DATA INITIALLIZ is missing in Network Lock section and was told if I bring it back to original 4.1.1 I can unlock it again. I want to save the $30.00 cost of buying an Unlock Code. Any suggestions on fixing the Fail in Ordin?

  12. jesus says:

    the links no working :[
    pleas heeelp¡¡¡
    SGH-T999_boot_img

    • Dave says:

      boot img is still broke as of 6/4/14

    • Kim Bubble says:

      Boot img can be found inside each firmware packages, by extracting the boot.img and rename it to .tar you can create your own boot image. Each firmware updates from 4.1.1 to 4.4.2 comes with different boot.img patches. So, even if we ware going to post the older version it may not work anymore if you already been gone updated to any latest software updates.

  13. allvertho mtz says:

    I have a galaxy s3 t mobile T999 turns but aveses reboots or freezes on the logo Samusung but entered the download mode + volume up in seconds and comes and goes out of there as I can do to help me

  14. Dave says:

    My phone keeps restarting before being able to do any of the steps you suggested, do you think my phone is experiencing a hard brick? oddly enough it randomly worked for 5 days in a row before randomly turning off and getting into the splash screen restart cycle a couple days ago so i feel like it can be fixed im just not sure.

    • Kim Bubble says:

      Try a full wipe factory data reset first.. you might have just installed a rouge 3rd-party apps and caused clogging your phone’s system memory.

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