How to Unroot/Unbrick T-Mobile Galaxy S2 SGH-T989! [Android 2.3.6]

For those of you who want to unroot or unbrick your T-Mobile Galaxy S2 SGH-T989 back to Android 2.3.6 for whatever reason (maybe bricked or want to take it back for warranty), here’s how to do it.

UPDATE: There’s an unroot method to ICS, please see How to Unroot/Unbrick to ICS on T-Mobile Galaxy S2 SGH-T989!
*Note – You will need a Windows-based computer, does not work with Heimdall on Mac or Linux.

Step 1. Plug-in a micro-USB cable from your phone to Windows computer.  Then hold down the Volume Up, Volume Down, and the Power button for about 10 seconds.

Step 2. When your phone resets, only let go of the Power button.

Step 3. Once you see the warning screen, hit the Volume Up button to enter Downloading Mode.


Step 4. Download ODIN and stock ROM below.   Unzip both and you should get the ODIN program and ROM in tar file format.

Download ODIN


Download Samsung Kies (if you don’t have it installed)

Run the Odin program and you will get the following screen.  You should see a yellow-highlighted COM with a random number.   If you don’t, make sure you have Samsung Kies installed and plugged your micro-USB cable straight to your computer’s USB ports, not a USB hub.

Step 5. Choose “PDA” and select the file “T989UVKL1_HOME_SGH-T989user_CL799405_REV00.tar” that you unzipped earlier and hit “Start”.  Unrooting process will start and it should be done in about 10 minutes.

Step 6. When your phone reboots, you should find yourself on Android 2.3.6.

Step 7. You can go a step further and do a factory reset, go ahead and take the micro-USB cable out first then hold down Volume Up, Volume Down, and Power button together for about 10 seconds.

Step 8. Only let go of the Power button when your phone resets.

Step 9. Once in stock Android system recovery, choose “wipe data/factory reset” and hit the Home button.

Step 9. Reboot and your T-Mobile Galaxy S2 should be unrooted/unbricked back to Android 2.3.6 completely stock.

If official ICS Android 4.0.3 is out by the time you read this, you can still follow the same procedures then do a Software Update in Settings to unroot back to ICS.

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60 Responses

  1. Tracie Kelly says:

    i got error when i clicked on the start. Please how do i select the zip file.

    • Eric F says:

      Hi I have a Sll T989 T MOBILE. try to upgrade to jellybean and unespected error brick the smartphone.
      now I get the mesage “firmware upgrade encountered an issue. please select recovery mode in kies and try again”. any help please.

  2. Robert says:

    Hi, I did what you said exactly but when the phone restarted it did not auto factory reset like yours did in the video. Also, I still had the superuser app installed. When I did the factory reset after the process all was fine but I am curious why my phone did not auto factory reset like yours did in the video. I am on the 2.3.6. Please LMK why my phone did not auto factory reset itself on the first boot.

  3. Adam says:

    you can also do it through kies as well thats how i did itt

  4. thomas guxman says:

    COME on dude everytime u post something it never works i installed mine fine odin worked fine everything pass green light when the phone reboots it keeps saying force close and doesnt let me move from there this is bulls*** i telll u man u should delete this site it causes more problems than fixes u dumb f***

    • Max says:

      do a factory reset that will fix it, and please refrain from f***in sh**y words.

      • Siccbboy416 says:

        Lmfao @ Max!!! ok i fucked up big i partitioned my sdcard or what ever i did. Now my phone (T-989) wont do anything but get stuck at either the end of loading the android rocket or just stuck on the SAMSUNG Logo. I can get into download mode but now (Recovery Mode)AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH~ Im bout to throw this bitch away. i Just had a Note 2 stolen from me then crushed my S4 Active and now this. Please help meeeeeeeeeee!!!!

  5. thomas guxman says:

    the application google services framework( has stopped unexpectedly. please try again . this comes up every single time doesnt let me enter the phone ive added the stock rom 3 times same thing i wiped the cache same thing i have not wiped my data i have it backedup on my microsd if i delete it on the phone will it delete whats on my sd card ?

    • Jayson says:

      Seriously? You call the man a dumb fuck, then come back later asking for help? You’re the dumb fuck.

      • Me says:

        Wow he really is an idiot and clearly needs some anger management classes lol

        Thank you so much! It worked for me. I had the same problem he was having, but after the factory reset there were no errors / stop process messages, and I was able to tap the android and get into the phone 🙂

        You rock.

  6. leo says:

    thanks it worked perfectly!!!

  7. Jonathan says:

    What if I did a rom change to juggernaut/tuesday/megamix roms. Can I use this guide to go back to stock and return my phone to t-mobile?

  8. Funkshun says:

    For some reason my SGH-T989 on T Mobile constantly reboots. So annoying!!! I can get it into stock recovery but as soon as I attempt to open ODIN the phone reboots over and over again. I cannot keep it on long enough to load the file. PLEASE help I have been F$#cking with this for three days now. Yes, I followed all of the instructions. I cannot get my phone to boot, either. All of this happened after flashing Darkside Evolution and following the instructions from this website. Something has gone seriously wrong with my phone. I have scoured google and the XDA forums and have only found one thread with 6 posts about this issue and no resolution. I’d really love to be able to use my phone, again!

    • Funkshun says:

      OK, after hours of trying to get ODIN and my phone to talk they were finally able to have a conversation and now my phone is back to normal. Just like the day I first got it back in December. TYSM Max. Your instructions were fine and I never insinuated that they were not. My phone had a corrupt partition or something of the like and caused it to go into a boot loop for several days off and on. All is well now. I believe the corruption persisted due to it being backed up by Titanium Backup and restored after the Darkside Evolution upgrade. Phew, now I don’t have to deal with fkn T Mobile..let’s face it,.their service sucks and so does their customer service, but, this is one bad ass
      Thanks again.

    • DAn says:

      same thing happen to me too on both of my gs2 i thought oh shit i foud a way to get back to rooted version only not stock tmo what i did was power up unit let it do what it do and just micro usb to pc and hold down vol up/down and power until unit power down and boot in to download than you open odin once din recognize the com port than your safe and continued the process im sure u no by now …if odin does not show com port than try again and again until odin recogniz com port i tried like 9-10 times before it worked once i got it to work i was able to get both of Gs2 to rooted rom version only ive been rying to get bak to stock but its not working i read all instruction and it worked before but once i used the darkside superwped i cant no longer get back to stock before that i was installing roms and back to stock no problem whatsoever…..i hope this help and i know its not brick it can be saved have a littkle patience and try again

  9. Tyson says:

    my phone went back to stock but my keyboard is still the same as in Juggernaut ROM, anyway to get back the original keyboard??? Would really appreciate the help

  10. Damian says:

    Max I really have to thank you for posting this. I flashed a new rom and my phone didnt respond to anything I couldent even get it into recovery mode. Had to use ur unroot option at the begging I had the same issue with not being able to log into my google account touching the android didnt do anything. Then i tried to wipe all data/factory reset but the my power button didnt work. I could use to volume up and down buttons but the power button didnt do anything. What i found out I had to press the home button as an enter. Anyway thanks for this video

  11. cellguy239 says:

    I am looking to buy a Galaxy s2 from a coworker and he installed the synergy kernel. Will this remove it and put the original kernel on it?

  12. Enrique says:

    Is there a way to do this procedure without using the USB cable? The issue that I am having is that I installed Beastmod and it was working fine but since this morning I can’t connect it to my computer (it charges but it doens’t mount) so I want to install the stock rom to send my phone for warranty. Also my home button shows me the clock dock screen instead of the home screen. Is there a way to flash it without odin?

  13. Gabe says:

    I’m also having google services stop unexpectedly. Then I went into system recovery and the vol up/down arrows work, but to select an option it requires you to select the ”OK key”. I’m guessing the link is for the international version and NOT for the T-Mobile version.

  14. sp1ke says:

    I just receive the new 4.0 system update today from tmobile but when it rebooted it went to recovery. I restart my phone from recovery and the update didn’t installed …..what can i do???

  15. Sergey says:

    Everything run perfectly good! thanks! Do you have original ROM T989UVLDE? Nice to have latest firmware before official ICS…..

  16. Alex says:

    Will doing this delete all my data? And if so, how can I recover everything?

  17. Harvey says:

    When I finished step 6, my phone constantly reboot.

  18. Harvey says:

    and also, my power buttom didn’t work. I could’t choose wipe data.

  19. Ritzt3ch says:

    Soooo has anyone had the rolling reboot of death and the only way to come out of it is actually doing a factory reset (If i have never done anything like installed any root or messed with ODIN of some sort IS it possible to get a databackup somehow via USB) ????? i am able to get into recovery mode and download mode thats it


  20. Pablo says:

    hello I have the rom miron ics megamix in my galaxy s2 T989, to change the kernel does not dayo t989uvkl1 my android

  21. Pablo says:

    hello I will see I have installed a megamix ics rom on my phone I wonder if it’s okay if I do this procedure…

  22. Cobaltix says:

    Sorry if this sounds dumb, but when you uncompress the zip it doesn’t get a tar file. Buy you need a tar file for Odin. So do I compress everything again in tar format?

  23. guido says:

    HELP!! i get this:
    ” Added!!
    Odin v.3 engine (ID:5)..
    File analysis..
    Get PIT for mapping..
    Firmware update start..
    NAND Write Start!!

    Complete(Write) operation failed.
    All threads completed. (succeed 0 / failed 1)

    i dont know why

  24. vitinj says:

    I can’t get my pc to recognize my gs2. i have already installed Samsung Kies many times. In device manager i uninstalled the drivers manually then reinstalled by Kies. No success. Any suggestions?
    I am running Juggernaut v5.0.
    Baseband T989UVLC8. Kernel Version
    Build number GINGERBREAD.UVKL1

  25. Victor says:

    Hey I was using Tmobile stock 2.3.6 unrooted and started doing this mentioned here. Last one hour or more it is stuck at system.img.ext4. Should I wait or what should i do?

  26. beth says:

    I am currently on ics with samsung sght989. I hate ics and want to root and go back to 2.3.6. is this the way to do it. or is this just the way to unroot your phone if u are currently on 2.3.6. If so can someone please explain to me how to uninsall ics and reinstall 2.3.6. my email is tks

  27. Victor says:

    I was able to get it updated after restart of computer and changing shorter original usb cable

  28. Tyler says:

    how do you unzip the files

  29. Vzan says:

    Hello all,
    I accidentally flashed Siyah Kernel version 3.3.2 to SGH-T989, phone won’t power up, Power-up + Power-Down + Power won’t get into the recovery, please help.
    Thank you

  30. SK says:

    Is this the exact stock that came as the OTA update from 2.3.5? The lock screen in the stock 2.3.6 OTA had the circle lock animation, whereas this one has the slide the screen off animation like the 2.3.5. Are there any other differences between this and the legit stock?

  31. Carlos says:

    HELP please!
    I intalled this room DARKSIDE.UCLE2_BETA07.1_TDJ. everything worked fine still I find out that after the installation of the ROM my phone couldnt reboot or turn off so i decided to install another rom. Then I’ve tried to install a ROM called JediMindTrick-v4 but when i was doing the steps it just freeze when i was trying to wipe cache and all that thing, after that my phone just load still the Name DARKSIDE and reboot one and another and another another another time…. I jusnt dont know what to do…


    Thanks for your answer!

  32. danial says:

    hay I made a mistake by taking to much stuff and not backing it up with my Galaxy s2 t989 apps using titanium backup what should I do so I can get play store back. I want my phone to still be rooted though

  33. Marco says:

    Hey Max. Are you going to have the new Jelly Bean Upgrade Rom soon. I just got off the phone with Samsung technical support i had some problems with my s3 and my note 2 and the guy was telling me about the new jelly Bean update for the s2. I spoke with several Technicians and they all confirm it. What do you know about that. I will be nice to have my s2 with jelly bean.

  34. Thank you says:

    thank you SOOOO much. You guys helped me unbrick my phone! I was rooted but got stuck in a reboot loop and this set me back straight. I’m wondering if I should bother ‘re’rooting it?
    I am so glad for this link that i’d like to make a financial contribution to your site. Do you take donations? If so, please let me know how I can send in a gift. Thank you so much!

  35. Brad G says:

    Everything worked great!!! Thank you so much!

  36. Aaron says:

    How come i cant use this download link? cuz it would keep loading for ever plz help

  37. Nathan says:

    Followed the directions and everything worked like a champ! Thanks!

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