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How to reset your flash counter to zero

Kris Carlon (translation)
18

If you're constantly playing around with your device and installing custom ROMs, you might occasionally encounter a technical problem that requires a visit to a service center. However, when your flash counter reflects a number greater than zero, this may cause you problems with the repair warranty that came with your factory phone. By utilizing an app called Triangle Away (valid for many Samsung devices) you can solve this problem, even if you're up to your neck in custom ROMs. I'll explain how to use this application to reset your flash counter to zero.

ModoDownload
© AndroidPIT

What is the flash counter?

By accessing the download mode on your device, you'll see that in the section called custom binary download there is a number. This is the famous flash counter that indicates the number of times you have installed an unofficial ROM on your device. Flashing official firmware does not affect this number. If this counter is not reset, you might experience problems with your guarantee when you take your device in for repair.

In any case, you also should keep in mind that rooting your phone does not have to mean losing your warranty. The truth is that if the seller can't demonstrate that the device has been rooted and that flashing a custom ROM or playing around with root access has been the cause of the defect, you will still have your warranty. In any case, resetting the flash counter to zero is a good way to remove all traces of the changes to which we subject our OS with our tinkering.

LV1A4515
In the image we can see this device has been flashed 10 times. / © AndroidPIT

Triangle Away does not work with Android 4.3

First of all, I also want to warn all users whose devices come with Android 4.3 or who have already installed the official update, because this app will not work with devices running 4.3 Jelly Bean. The reason: the inclusion of Knox security software by Samsung.

What exactly is Knox? It is a security system that allows multiple user profiles on the same phone, allowing you to, for example, use the phone separately as a personal and professional device, this is what is called a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment. However, at the same time Knox has a reader which recognizes changes to the system and does not allow you to secretly restore your device back to its initial state.

At the moment there is no tool to reset the flash counter to zero on Samsung devices running Android 4.3, so if you have one hand have been playing around with root access, you have already run the risk that the warranty no longer applies to your device. For now, all you can do is wait for hackers invent a way to circumvent Knox.

SamsungKnox
Samsung Knox, sounds good, but it's not necessarily a modders friend. / © Samsung

How to use Triangle Away

Chainfire's Triangle Away app can be downloaded both from the AndroidPIT App Center and from Google Play for a couple of bucks. If you really don't want to support the developer, you can also download the APK file directly from XDA Developers for free, but considering the solid the dev is doing you it would be nice to show your support. Always pay attention to the list of devices supported by the application both on the XDA page and in the information accompanying the app in the download pages.

Using Triangle Away on your device carries risks, as always. We will not be held responsible for any damage that may arise if you choose to follow these instructions. Also, carefully read the information provided alongside the app.

Once you install Triangle Away, you will get the ability to reset the flash counter, which will reset the device, leaving your flash counter at zero and eliminating the famous yellow triangle when flashing a modified kernel (hence the name Triangle Away).

How to install Triangle Away

Download the APK and open the Triangle Away app.

AndroidPIT Triangle Away
Launch Triangle Away, either the installed app or APK. / © AndroidPIT/Chainfire

When you open the application it will ask you to give it root permission. Accept by pressing "Grant".

TriangleAwaySuperUser
You need to give Triangle Away Superuser permission. / © AndroidPIT

If Triangle Away asks you to download some additional files, accept the download.

TrinagleAway Archivos
Download any additional files traingle Away needs. / © AndroidPIT

Confirm that the phone version displayed is the same version you have. This step is very important because if the version are different you may brick your phone.

TriangleAway Confirmacion
PAY ATTENTION: Make sure you list your exact device model. / © AndroidPIT

When you finish installing the files, you will be presented with the menu below. Select the option Reset Flash Counter. A warning sign appears, then click on "Continue".

Triangle Reset
Select Reset Flash Counter and click Continue at the warning. / © AndroidPIT

The phone will reboot and you will see the following screen:

TriangleAwayFinalREset
© AndroidPIT

To reset the flash counter, press the Volume Up key (if you want to restart without making the reset, press the Volume Down key instead). Just make sure you don't use the Power button to make your selection. After this, the following window will appear indicating that the operation has been successfully completed:

TriangleAwayFinal
© AndroidPIT

This screen offers two options: press Volume Up to reboot the terminal in normal mode or Volume Down to reboot into Download Mode. I chose the second option to verify that the flash counter had indeed reset to zero, but I get stuck in a loop that didn't end up showing anything. So I would recommend you reboot in normal mode and then start your device again in Download Mode manually (Volume Down + Home key + Power button). When restarted in this way, the yellow triangle should have disappeared and the flash counter will display 0. As you can see in the following image, the custom binary download entry on my device (that previously indicated 10) now indicates NO. This is what you want Samsung to see.

NoFlash
© AndroidPIT

Important warning: as mentioned above, in the XDA Developers page as well as the download pages for Triangle Away, you can find a list of devices supported by the application. If your device is not in the list do not try to use the app for obvious reasons. Two words: brick.

Have you used Triangle Away to cover your modding tracks? If you have had any problems in the process, or have any questions, share them with us in the comments.

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Comments

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  • dinsyamsuddin Nov 20, 2013 Link

    first.. its not two words just one word..
    second.. I have it in my note2.. so far so good..working flawlessly at least for v.4.1.2

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  • User picture
    Admin
    Kris Carlon Nov 20, 2013 Link

    Hahaha, I was wondering how long it would take for this comment! You win @dinsyamsuddin!

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  • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Nov 21, 2013 Link

    "If your device is not in the list do not try to use the app for obvious reasons. Two words: brick."
    lol, brick is only one...

    Edit: oh, I see, it was said already...

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    • User picture
      Admin
      Kris Carlon Nov 21, 2013 Link

      Hahaha, I guess no one gets my weird Australian humor. At least I know you're all paying attention!

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      • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Nov 21, 2013 Link

        that is australian humor? never heard of that, but well, I am not native english speaker...

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      • User picture
        Admin
        Kris Carlon Nov 21, 2013 Link

        At least I've managed to make everyone focus on the fact that if you don't have a supported device you can brick your phone!

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      • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Nov 21, 2013 Link

        of course. and the best thing is that knox will be a problem not much longer. on xda they seem to be quite far...

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      • User picture
        Admin
        Kris Carlon Nov 21, 2013 Link

        Yup, we have an article coming out shortly about how to get rid of Knox, so keep an eye out.

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      • Philipp Junghannß (My1) Nov 21, 2013 Link

        Knox->App or Knox Flag???
        because when we can get rid of Knox 0x1 I could finally install TWRP and Simplistic Framework on my Note 3 and since I had it on Note 2 I know that it'll be great...

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      • User picture
        Admin
        Kris Carlon 11 months ago Link

        Yep, the Knox app. So far there is no hack to get rid of the warranty flag that i'm aware of, but never fear, half of XDA are working on it...

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      • Philipp Junghannß (My1) 11 months ago Link

        well I am subscribed to the revelant threads so I know that...

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      • User picture
        Admin
        Kris Carlon 11 months ago Link

        Excellent, let me know if you see anything there. I don't own a Samsung, but I'm just as keen as anyone with a Samsung to see Knox fall.

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      • Philipp Junghannß (My1) 11 months ago Link

        of course I even reported German APit some intresting news from ENglish APit...

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  • dinsyamsuddin Nov 21, 2013 Link

    so.. it's just an Australian jokes.. Iver seen it alot in movies.. lol. BTW wheres my trophy? as iam the winner right? :P

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  • Chris Holmes 11 months ago Link

    I just got the samsung galaxy s4 on the 14th of last month and loved the phone. About 2 weeks ago i got the new 4.3 update and now I am starting to see alot of the things I like about the phone is gone as in the guest wifi, kies sync with ms outlook, wont connect to my email servers if i leave my wifi area (says i need to enter password and even after i do it still says incorrect) and a few other things. I have contacted samsung twice now yesterday and today and both times I was told this is the first they are hearing of these issues but I see on your page they are well aware of them. I want to rollback my phone to the 4.2 or whatever it was prior to the recent update. Im not to good doing these things on my own and need a step by step guide if at all possible. I am a sprint customer and hope this can be done without messing up my phone since I just got it. Anyway you can help me out with getting my phone back to what i want it to be? Much appreciated!

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    • User picture
      Admin
      Kris Carlon 11 months ago Link

      Hey @Chris, as I mentioned on your other comment, thanks to Knox and no downgrading on the S4 you don't have much in the way of options especially if you're not comfortable getting into the thick of it with modding your phone or installing a custom ROM. Samsung will be working on these issues, and the S4 will be at the top of the pile of devices to get the fix, so I wouldn't expect you'll have to wait much longer for a patch. That's probably not much comfort, but it's better than nothing. There are a few ''fixes'' I've heard of though that have solved some problems, like updating via Kies, not OTA, or factory resetting after the update to get a fresh start. Just make sure everything is backed up before you try these.

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  • Vlastimil Pavlištík 7 months ago Link

    Triangle Away does not work with Android 4.3
    -----------------------------
    Ho ho ho ... It works on CM 10.2 ... Galaxy S2

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    • Philipp Junghannß (My1) 7 months ago Link

      it is meant that it does not work with phones that had 4.3 Stock even just once (Best regards from Knox Flag), and since S2 never got 4.3 it is unharmed...

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