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Here's how to reset your flash counter to zero

Authored by: Alejandro Alonso Nieto — 6 months ago

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.

© 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.

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.

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".

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:

© 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:

© 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.

© 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.

Alejandro Alonso Nieto is editor of the blog and forum moderator. He studied Audiovisual Communication in Madrid and Germany. From the first time he was given a Nintendo, has been passionate about video games and technology, hobby he shares with movies or music. He has worked as content editor for newspapers and television before incorporating to AndroidPIT.


Write new comment:
  • My S5 will not charge so I downloaded the app and It says 9n screen I did not have permission to download.I will continue to charge battery on other S5.

  • Well, how to reset knox on i9305?

  • Ai can't get my phone into recovery mod anymore..... Tried installing twrp through ROM manager..then ai rebooted into recovery buh ma phone just simply came on... Since then it has refused to boot into recovery... Any solutions please???

    • Ron 4 months ago Link to comment

      Try Quick Boot at the Google Play store.
      It allows you to be able to reboot, recovery, Bootloader, , power off with out shutting down.
      You have to be rooted to use it.
      If you are not rooted do not use it.

  • Why does Android Pit recycle so many ancient history articles?

  • Loving the scratched up GS2 in the pics ... looks just like mine :-)

    PS good article - I know it's a year old but I'll be availing myself of this very soon.

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

    • 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...

  • 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!

    • Kris Carlon
      • Admin
      • Staff
      Nov 29, 2013 Link to comment

      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.

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

  • "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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