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Galaxy S2 ICS Unlocking, Rooting and Firmware changing made easy

Started by: greenman
On: 10/08/2011 | 13:49
Replies: 19

by: greenman
on: 10/08/2011 | 13:49 edited: 29/12/2012 | 12:41




1. First of all check whether your S2 is unocked by selecting 'phone' and dial in the following code:

*#7465625# (View Phone Lock Status)

If Network lock says 'OFF' then you're free to use giffgaff (or any other network sim)


2. Download drivers so your computer recognises your phone.

CAUTION: Avoid Samsung Kies for this as it can cause problems.

Instead go here: (NOTE: click on 'Download' at bottom of screen for drivers)

After installing, in Device Manager on your computer you should have:

+ Samsung Android Phone
+ Universal Serial Bus (USB)
On USB click the + and in that list should be Samsung Mobile Composite Device
B. READY TO ROOT (this is required to use the unlock app from the Market)

1. There are a number of ways to root and I have used both of these.

(a) The simplest being this one:

If this method is used you're rooted so



(b) Alternatively, root your existing firmware by flashing an unsecure kernel to match your current firmware.

Check your firmware by dialing *#1234# in your phone dialer

Now an introduction to 'chainfire' - he's the man who creates the root files to flash via Odin.

It's a big thread, but scan through the chainfire messages. Basically you are looking for your root file and how to install it.

Have a look here:


Scroll down the page until you find a series of orange? 'attached fles' boxes

You are looking for the file closest (or exactly) with your file name on it.

Once found, download and unzip it onto your computer.


3. Install Odin to flash your phone:  Download Odin - xdadevelopers - XDA Developers


4. Flashing the Chainfire kernel

Make your way to cnet for this ICS install video.

This shows you how to flash ICS using Odin.

The process to flash your Chainfire kernel is the same, in that you put your chainfire download into the PDA box.

Now this can leave a yellow triangle on your phone on start up.

If this annoys you, there is a method to remove it on the site, but it didn't work for me so I went to Google P{lay (Market) and bought Triangle Away that does the job very well.

BTW If you use method (a) to root then you do not get the yellow triangle.



Once rooted you are now ready to unlock your phone so that you can use any SIM card.

Time to go to the Android Market and search for:

'Galaxy S2 SIM Unlock' by Chainfire

This can give you the unlock code, but in my case the number didn't work.

Put in your giffgaff SIM card to get the password box. 

CAUTION: Do not try more than a couple of times as you may freeze your phone although unfreeze code also available.

If it doesn't work for you either try:

'Galaxy S Unlock' by Helroz

There are 3 steps but be patient with step 2, seems that nothing is happening but will reboot.



To complete, put the latest firmware on your Galaxy S2.

If you haven't watched the cnet video above, then have a look then pay a visit to and search for your phone and region, then download and unzip your chosen firmware.


If you choose an 'Open' firmware then your phone will be debranded as a bonus.

This will be flashed via Odin as in the video.


Any questions please ask.

Enjoy your S2




Message 1 of 20
by: u_ghafoor
on: 10/08/2011 | 13:58
Great guide mate. I'm planning on getting an S2 Soon. Smiley Happy
Get a free giffgaff Sim
Message 2 of 20
by: subasht
on: 10/08/2011 | 14:01
wow really helpful tips, kudos
Get a free giffgaff Sim
Message 3 of 20
by: arifguzel
on: 10/08/2011 | 14:03
Most phones can now be unlock through ebay for only 99p. They give you a code which unlocks your phone. If like me you cant be bothered to spend hours on the internet to fin an unlock solution try ebay. I used it a few time on blackberrys and samsungs.

Kudo me if i helped thanks
Message 4 of 20
by: u_ghafoor
on: 10/08/2011 | 14:04
Should include this guide on how to get Tegra 2 games working.
Get a free giffgaff Sim
Message 5 of 20
by: adsb
on: 10/08/2011 | 14:13

arifguzel wrote:
Most phones can now be unlock through ebay for only 99p. They give you a code which unlocks your phone. If like me you cant be bothered to spend hours on the internet to fin an unlock solution try ebay. I used it a few time on blackberrys and samsungs.

And some phones can't be unlocked for 99p.


Nokia BB5 SL3 phones in particular.


But there are people out there who'll take your money knowing that their codes don't work.  Beware.




Message 6 of 20
by: chriszzzzzz
on: 11/08/2011 | 23:10

had mine unlocked at the local market for a tenner (nothing on a £500 phone)......It then updated through Kies, which was great as O2 haven't OK'd the updates yet.

The only branding on it is when it boots up and I'm not looking at it while it shows the O2 symbol for 2 seconds. There is no other branding on it............anywhere.


Not finding a need for any rooting. Everything is pretty customisable to the way I want it....


Good luck to those who do though....Smiley Wink

In a mad world only the mad are sane
Message 7 of 20
by: greenman
on: 12/08/2011 | 15:33
Hi chriszzzzzz, You're right, carrying out these operations is not for everyone. Updating to latest firmware is generally felt to be the best way of keeping your S2 at optimum operational level as the previous bugs and poor wifi connections can be ironed out. Through Kies you will be on firmware XWKE7 and Android Version 2.3.3. I'm currently on XXKG6 and Gingerbread 2.3.4 (read the Firmware link if you want to see the improvements this has brought)
Message 8 of 20
by: curiouscat
on: 18/11/2011 | 15:12
Hi, sounds good but what are the chances I will brick my phone if I do this? I am a totally newbie but the guides seem clear enough.
Message 9 of 20
by: greenman
on: 19/11/2011 | 10:21
Hi CC,
Glad you found my link Smiley Happy
When I wrote the message I too was a newbie and had the same concerns. The first time you carry out a procedure your heart races - but you know that by now Smiley Wink
The only problem I had was very minor and around the app fro he Market to carry out the unlock.
As I mentioned the first one didn't work and the second one, I thought wasn't going to either, but gave it a little more time and Bingo, my phone was unlocked to any network.
Follow the links and you will be fine.
Any probs and you know where I am Smiley Wink
Message 10 of 20