Installing ICS on Samsung Galaxy S2

So, here’s the process as I go:

Pre-Launch

  1. Back up stuff I don’t want to lose on my phone (photos, call records etc.)
  2. Take screenshots of all data connection info and home screen layout.
  3. Charge phone completely.

Update Time

  1. Launch Kies. It crashes.
  2. Launch Kies.
  3. It tells me a new version is available and asks me if I want to update. Click ‘Yes’.
  4. New version downloads and updates. Get success message.
  5. Launch Kies. Crashes.
  6. Launch Kies.
  7. Connect phone.
  8. Informed of new firmware and asked if I want to update. Click ‘Yes’.
  9. Go through screens to accept t&cs and usage monitoring disclaimer.
  10. Select to update.
  11. Kies starts downloading new firmware. Crashes.
  12. Launch Kies.
  13. Informed of new firmware and asked if I want to update. Click ‘Yes’.
  14. Go through screens to accept t&cs and usage monitoring disclaimer.
  15. Select to update.
  16. Kies starts downloading new firmware. Crashes.
  17. Uninstall Kies.
  18. Re-install Kies from server.
  19. Launch Kies. Crashes.
  20. Restart machine.
  21. Launch Kies. Get a weird “server busy” popup that doesn’t go away until I kill the “Kies helper” process.
  22. Launch Kies. Big grey box with no UI in it. Kill that window.
  23. Launch Kies in Windows XP SP2 compatibility mode (why not?). Big grey box. Kill that again.
  24. Connect phone.
  25. Launch Kies. Big grey box. Kill it.
  26. Disconnect phone.
  27. Have a look at Event Viewer and see it’s an issue with the Kernal that’s causing the error.
  28. Send a Tweet to Samsung UK, helpfully informing them of a possible issue.
  29. Manually launch MTP connection from phone. Launch Kies. Crashes.
  30. Restart machine.
  31. Connect phone.
  32. Launch Kies.
  33. Informed of new firmware and asked if I want to update. Click ‘Yes’.
  34. Go through screens to accept t&cs and usage monitoring disclaimer.
  35. Select to update.
  36. Kies starts downloading new firmware. Finishes.
  37. Download box disappears. Kies crashes.
  38. Disconnect phone.
  39. Launch Kies. Get a screen informating me to connect my phone.
  40. Connect phone. Kies crashes.
  41. Select option to “Troubleshoot connection”. Asked to disconnect phone.
  42. Disconnect phone.
  43. Instruction to “click ‘Start’ to start Connection error troubleshooting”.
  44. Click start. Nothing happens.
  45. Click start a few more times. Nada.
  46. Cancel and exit Kies.
  47. Connect phone. Launch Kies. Crashes.
  48. Kill Kies.
  49. Uninstall Kies.
  50. Uninstall Samsung USB phone driver.
  51. Restart machine.
  52. Install Kies.
  53. It’s been installed for 15 minutes and been at the “installing device drivers” for 10. Sigh.
  54. Finished installing.
  55. Launch Kies.
  56. Asking me to connect phone.
  57. Connect phone. Kies crashes.
  58. Windows still installing device drivers for newly connected device (phone).
  59. MTP driver failed to install.
  60. Kill Kies.
  61. Disconnect phone.
  62. Reconnect phone. Windows attempting to install MTP driver again. Failed again.
  63. Launch Kies. Crashes.
  64. Go hunting on forums. Find this guide.
  65. Uninstall Kies.
  66. Uninstall Samsung USB drivers.
  67. Check Twitter while that’s going on; no reply from Samsung.
  68. Now 90 minutes into this update process. Drivers still uninstalling.
  69. Deleted the Samsung folder from Program Files.
  70. Reboot.
  71. Re-install Kies.
  72. Kies launches. Asks to connect phone.
  73. Connect phone. Kies crashes.
  74. Launch Kies.
  75. Informed of new firmware and asked if I want to update. Click ‘Yes’.
  76. Go through screens to accept t&cs and usage monitoring disclaimer.
  77. Select to update.
  78. Kies starts downloading the whole firmware again.
  79. Finishes downloading. Kies crashes.
  80. Launch Kies. Crashes.
  81. Give up.

Not happy. Wasted two hours.

Attempt 2:

Later…

  1. Got a Windows XP machine.
  2. Installed Kies.
  3. Installed drivers.
  4. Launched Kies. Asked to attach phone.
  5. Drivers failed to load.
  6. Killed Kies process and relaunched.
  7. Merry-go-round of driver installation attempts by Windows.
  8. Phone recognised.
  9. Informed of new firmware and asked if I want to update. Click ‘Yes’.
  10. Go through screens to accept t&cs and usage monitoring disclaimer.
  11. Select to update.
  12. Kies starts downloading the whole firmware again.
  13. Fails with “Failed to run firmware upgrade. Unknown error occurred.”
  14. Thinking that the failure coincided with the phone’s screen timing out. That would be horrible design but extended screen’s timeout to ten mins just in case.
  15. Disconnected and reconnected phone.
  16. Informed of new firmware and asked if I want to update. Click ‘Yes’.
  17. Go through screens to accept t&cs and usage monitoring disclaimer.
  18. Select to update.
  19. Kies starts downloading the whole firmware again.
  20. Finished downloading the firmware.
  21. “Preparing firmware upgrade components.”
  22. Downloading firmware progress bar back up; back starting from 0%.
  23. Finished downloading whatever that was. Now getting a firmware update screen showing on the phone.
  24. Several fancy wee Android animations and we have an update.
  25. Lock screen’s very different but we have a launching phone.
  26. Now installing bloatwear from Samsung and Orange. They’ll be getting binned shortly.
  27. And we have success. Only 3 1/2 hours in total.

Kevin Wilson

.NET developer, JavaScript enthusiast, Android user, Pebble wearer, sometime musician and occasional cook.

3 thoughts on “Installing ICS on Samsung Galaxy S2

  1. Hmmm, thi did not work. I tried all three combinations (removing sd card, sim card, both cards), but now in Kies the updarge firmware option is grayed out Unfortunately, also when I put both cards back. Kies does not offerto updarge by itself, as it did earlier today. Look like I’m now even more in trouble. (I checked, still got 2.2. instead of 2.2.1)

    1. The upgrade process is a nightmare. I didn’t see anything being greyed out on mine though. I’d suggest a factory reset but I’m really just guessing.

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