Unlocking the Digicel Samsung Galaxy S II GT-i9100 for Trinidad and Tobago with a Bonus

Hello all,

I was given a Samsung Galaxy S II (i9100) to unlock so that it would work on the bmobile network. As you may know, bmobile started of with a huge sale/promotion which had the i9100 for quite a reduced price. Turns out they were selling the i9100g as the i9100 to some people. Digicel also sold the i9100 at a cheaper price and it also came with a trial of 4G for a month and even cheaper if you bought it with Postpaid Smart Plans.
So this is how to unlock the said device (i9100 NOT the i9100g) which is from Digicel. (thanks fallingpixel.com for the image!)

Note, the information posted here is related to the said device and the time of posting of this guide. Links may be broken and information can become outdated. Also, this may void your warranty and you can (though rarely) brick your device. I will update as new information comes to me but you are warned!

So to unlock this device, you will need to root the device, backup the EFS (i’ll explain later), obtain the nv_data.bin file from the EFS, patch it then upload the modded nv_data.bin OR analyze it and insert a non compatible sim (like a bmobile sim) and enter the calculated code when prompted.

I had to upload a modded nv_data.bin file since my GPU was not compatible with the calculator.

Don’t worry I’ll take you through each step so don’t get scared by all these terms.

First Step: Rooting

Now, most people would say go straight to xda, yada yada yada, but there is A LOT, if not, too much information there and you will get overloaded in no time. I came across this site: GalaxyS2Root which has tons of helpful information. So head over there and go to the Galaxy S2 FAQ page. You’ll see How to Root Galaxy S2 ICS or Gingerbread! – Method 2. Go here and follow everything that is stated in the video.

What you will need?

His website contains all of the info necessary. I’d advise watching the video a few times to get a good idea of what to do. You basically need to install Samsung Kies first, connect your device to have the relevant drivers installed. Close Kies, disconnect your device and then put it in download mode (Hold Volume Down, Home and Power together). Load Odin and connect your device. Make sure it looks as it is described in the video. Then put the relevant file in the PDA Section in Odin (Speedmod for Gingerbread, Siyah for ICS) and get the ball rolling!

You now have a rooted device!

Second Step: Backup Your EFS

Your EFS is an important section on your device. It has key information about your device so you don’t want to mess this section up at all! Once you are rooted you will have access to this section so be careful.

Head over to XDA forums to this post and download EFS Pro. Back it up in whatever fashion you’d like. I did both an *.img and *.tar version and to the phone and my desktop.

NOTE: You will have to turn on USB Debugging and for the time being turn on Unsupported Sources. To do so on your stock Android Device go to Settings > Applications > Development. Unsupported Sources is located in Settings > Applications.

Do make sure this is successful.

Third Step: Obtain the nv_data.bin File From the EFS

I used an app on the device called ES File Explorer to go into the Filesystem and obtain the nv_data.bin file. It is located in the /efs folder so you will need root access. To do so in this app, load the app, Go into Settings and Tick the following:

  • Up to Root
  • Root Explorer
  • Mount File System

Once this is complete hit Up and find the efs folder. Inside this folder is the nv_data.bin file. Copy this file to the root section of the phone memory so that you can easily find it when you plug on your device to the PC. Plug in your device into your PC and copy it to an easy to find location.

NOTE: Make sure you turned off USB debugging so that MTP transfers can occur or else your phone internal storage and card won’t show up on your PC.

Fourth Step: Patching the nv_data.bin File

To unlock the device you now take this file you obtained and patch it OR use it to generate a network unlock key. You can get this program from XDA again. Point the program to your file you extracted and let the magic begin. If your GPU is not supported, it creates a patched file and you can copy this file back to your phone and use ES File Explorer to copy it to the /efs folder then reboot. You can now use any sim in the device and it will work!

Otherwise, if your GPU is supported, you will be given a code. Insert an unsupported sim (like one from bmobile) and enter the code when requested. Be careful, you only have 3 tries so be sure to get it right.

NOTE: Be careful with that nv_main.bin file. Although all of this is straight forward, using a broken file can cause a lot of issues. I am not responsible if you device dies.
If you are feeling inquisitive, you can check your HW Version by entering *#2222# in the phone dial pad. My version was 1.2.

That’s it! You are now unlocked!

Bonus!!! Custom ROMs.

You’ve probably heard about custom ROMS before. These are Software put together for your phone and reflashes the Android OS with one from AOKP (Android Open Kang Project). They can be quite beneficial in that you can have even better battery life and it opens the door to a host a additional features you can use on your device. Also, the CSC for this device I had to deal with does not seem to have an Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0.x update for Android OS) update for it so in order to get ICS on it, you have to use Custom ROMs.

Head over again to GalaxyS2Root. They recommend you check out Resurrection Remix. To see how to flash your custom ROM, head over to the Galaxy S2 FAQ page and click How to Install New ROM on Galaxy S2!

You’d notice that you already have ClockworkMod installed from the rooting process.

NOTE: To boot CWM, you have to hold Volume UP, home and Power.

Before booting into CWM recovery, make sure you download the file you want to flash and copy it to your phone’s root. You can go to XDA for the ROM. At the time of creation, v2.6.1 was the latest Ice Cream Sandwich Stable ROM which was available so I picked this version.
Take a look at the Video from “How to Install New ROM on Galaxy S2!” but follow these steps when you are doing it (As per the ROM Creator’s request):

  1. Reboot into recovery (Turn off your phone then press and hold the keys: Volume Up + Power + Home)
  2. Backup by going into Backup/Restore
  3. Go Back
  4. Wipe Data / Factory Reset
  5. Install the Main ROM file
  6. In AROMA installer select “Custom Installation”
  7. Choose depending of your taste
  8. When AROMA installer finish untick the “Reboot Now” option
  9. When you’re back on the recovery go to Advanced
  10. Wipe Dalvik Cache
  11. Fix Permissions
  12. Wipe Cache Partition
  13. Reboot
  14. When you get the step for add your Google Account, if you don’t have a WiFi enabled or you can’ add it, skip it
  15. When you boot into the system, it’s probably that you don’t have data enabled (3g, H+) just reboot the phone
  16. When you boot again into the system, the data will be enabled and you can do the configuration of Google Account (if you don’t do this step before)
  17. This is the moment for install all the extras like themes, mods, fixes, kernels, etc.
  18. ¡Enjoy!

I hope this Guide was helpful. Do let me know if you have any questions or comments below.

God Bless

Regards.

  1. You’ve made some decent points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

    • Thanks man. I forgot to do a follow up on this. I ended up flashing an unrooted ICS rom and went back stock. The patched EFS remained intact also.

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