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How to manually update a Samsung Captivate to Froyo

Jack Wallen shares the step-by-step process for using the Kies Mini for PC software to get Froyo on a Samsung Captivate. He says the upgrade to Froyo is well worth the hassle.

I was frustrated for days because my Samsung Captivate was "unable to connect to servers" when trying to check for updates. Samsung released a statement saying the OTA update was available, but lo and behold... the phone could not connect. There were plenty of rumors about this issue -- "you must have four bars of connectivity," "you have to turn wireless off," "Samsung is charging providers for updates" -- but, ultimately, the update never happened.

When you are in this situation, the best (and sometimes the only) way to update your Captivate is with the Kies Mini for PC software, which is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 32-bit. I'll walk through the somewhat nerve-wracking process so you can get Android 2.2 (Froyo) on your Captivate.

What you will need

  • Kies Mini
  • A fully charged battery
  • An available USB port and cable
  • Windows Media Runtime 1.1

Back up your data

Before you begin this process, you should make sure that all of your data is backed up. As with any firmware update, there is always a chance for data loss and even, in worst case scenarios, the bricking of your phone.

Follow this step-by-step process

Step 1: Download Kies Mini

The first step is to download the Kies Mini software onto your PC. Download the executable installer from the Samsung.com Download Center.

Step 2: Install the Kies Mini software

This step is no different than any other Windows installation process. Simply double-click on the software and walk through the installation steps.

Step 3: Configure the device and install drivers for the PC

This is where the process starts getting a little tricky. You have to enable USB debugging and then install the proper drivers for the phone on the PC.

To enable USB debugging, tap the Menu button on your handset and then tap Settings | Applications | Development | USB Debugging and then tap OK when prompted.

With USB debugging enabled, plug your device into your phone. Once the connection is made, the PC will automatically begin detecting multiple devices (this step may take several minutes). Once the detection is complete, unplug the phone. Now set your phone so it will go into downloading mode when you plug it back in; to do this, hold down both the up and down volume keys while you plug in the USB cable. When you connect the phone it will enter downloading mode and download the remaining drivers to your PC (this process will take a while). If all of the drivers are not on the phone or the PC, they will have to be downloaded. Let this process complete before you take any further action.

When the process finally completes, unplug the phone, take the back off the phone, remove the battery, replace the battery, place the cover back on the phone, and power on the phone. Then reboot your PC.

Step 4: Upgrade the device Now you get to fire up the Kies Mini application and upgrade your device. To do this, plug in your phone and open Kies Mini (click Start | All Programs | Samsung | Kies Mini | Samsung Kies Mini). When this application starts, plug in your phone; once the device is recognized, click the Upgrade button (Figure A). Figure A

If your phone is already using the latest firmware (as mine is), the Upgrade button will not be available.

Once you click the Upgrade button, the firmware upgrade will begin (this process will take a while). After the process has completed, you should have a working Froyo on your Samsung Captivate.

Tip: In my case, the phone required two reboots before the new firmware would work. I had installed the ADWLauncher, and the UI locked up when I tried to unlock the screen. After a couple of reboots, this behavior went away.

Conclusion

The upgrade to Froyo is well worth the hassle. My Captivate is running much smoother that it was before the upgrade, and apps (such as email and messaging) that were force-closing are no longer having problems. When you also factor in some of the features Froyo offers (such as voice search and dial), the pain and time you spend on this upgrade will fade away.

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

12 comments
poisonvectors
poisonvectors

Hello i have a new samsung captivate I897 but when i plug the usb only charge the phone but nothing else i been trying install uninstall drivers, install kies, mini kies, google drivers with sdk but nothing seems to work when i plug the cable in i don't see anything not install success or error if you could help me would be great!! thanks

Andrew_MN
Andrew_MN

There is now also this option: Heimdall, cross-platform open-source tool to flash Galaxy S Captivate. It worked on Linux for me for the AT&T Galaxy S Captivate SGH-I897, and I was actually able to update to Gingerbread 2.3.3., skipping Froyo. At your own risk. http://www.glassechidna.com.au/products/heimdall/ This tutorial is also helpful although for Heimdall 1.1 not 1.3. Make sure you read the Heimdall 1.3 README for what is different. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TgyaUbjcm4 Make sure you check these out too, but note differences between Heimdall 1.1 and 1.3: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=878686 http://wmarkito.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/flashing-android-froyo-in-a-galaxy-s-with-ubuntu-and-heimdall/

wannaDroid
wannaDroid

There has to be a better way. I tried 7 times and I can't get it to work. This sucks! Did the third string at Samsung create this?

Andrew_MN
Andrew_MN

Well, I have been frustrated for days too, since I can't upgrade my Captivate from Android 2.1update1 given that my home computers all run Linux, my work computer is a Macbook Pro, and the only other Windows computer I can access is my wife's Thinkpad running Windows 7, but on which she doesn't have administrator access so I can't install Kies! Hard as it may seem to believe, I actually have no other access to Windows computers. Frankly, the notion that an Android smartphone billed as an 'iphone killer' can only be updated on Windows computers is a joke. Supposedly some OS X version of Kies is coming out but who knows when it will include Galaxy S support (and forget about Linux of course). This is just a total fail on the part of Samsung, and given how much I am paying for this high-end phone it's not an option to say its ok for Samsung users not to get updates. I already recommended my mother-in-law buy an Iphone not a Samsung, and I'll certainly be moving to the iphone or to a platform-neutral android vendor in future. This is clueless behavior from Samsung in 2011, and I totally regret my purchase.

medarrah
medarrah

"To do this, plug in your phone and open Kies Mini (click Start | All Programs | Samsung | Kies Mini | Samsung Kies Mini). When this application starts, plug in your phone; once the device is recognized, click the Upgrade button (Figure A)." So.... when do I plug in the phone?

cagedart
cagedart

I have tried to use the Samsung Kies Mini to upgrade to froyo 2.2 with no success. I get through the whole ordeal until Kies mini reads unable to connect to server try again later. I have no idea what this is about Ive followed the instructions to a T. Could it have anything to do with the fact that my carrier is H20 and not AT&T...? Im at a loss here guys, and in case you couldnt tell Im not to tech-savy. Any feedback or advice would be grately appreciated.

info
info

I am in the process of updating my Captivate to Frodo. The phone says that it is "Downloading...." and has a nice picture of an Android at work. It also says "Do not turn off Target". The phone has been in this state for over 2hrs! What should I do?

MDExTexan
MDExTexan

I had tried this before and been unsuccessful, but last week AT&T put Kies Mini up on their website and made Froyo available (at last!). I downloaded Kies Mini to W7 32 bit PC and Kies wouldn't run. I had already tried it on a W7 64 bit laptop, so I drug out my XP Pro laptop and that ran Kies and connected to the phone. Once Kies was running, install went smoothly.

kwarnick
kwarnick

I followed your instructions and the upgrade went great. My partner has the same phone and It worked great on it also. I am looking for the voice to call option after the upgread an d am not able to find it. Can you direct me to where I can find information about voice to call.

nfcjrg
nfcjrg

How about info updating the samsung fascinate to 2.2

nhoeller
nhoeller

I ran into two problems with Kies and a Galaxy S Fascinate. If installed from a standard privilege user, the Kies software requests admin privilege. However, launching the software as a standard user displays everything in a foreign language. Launching the application with admin privilege 'solves' that problem. I had a LOT of problems getting Kies to connect to the phone. The MTP driver is loaded but Kies shows that the phone is in a 'connecting' state forever. The problem may be related to installing a MicroSD card in the phone. I found the most concise description with a number of bypasses at http://www.blog.gleff.com/2010/07/fix-for-kies-not-connecting-to-galaxy-s/

sloshyplatypus
sloshyplatypus

Hey I am having the exact same problem. Did you have any luck getting yours figured out?

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