Networking

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.

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