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Android ROMs are wonderful things. You can check out custom ROMs to install on your device, or if you prefer you can keep flashing the stock ROMs instead.

ROM stands for “Read Only Memory.” When you change stock ROMs, you are essentially changing the operating system version. When you change custom ROMs, you are still using the same Android foundation, but the operating system will be significantly different.

A lot of the time people are searching for stock ROMs to flash because they’ve currently got custom software, aka a custom ROM, running on their devices and they want to go back to using the stock Android the way Android developers, manufacturers, and carriers collectively intended it to be used. If that includes you, then you should be careful if you have changed the system partition in some way. Installing a custom ROM from a custom recovery image straight up won’t affect the system partition, but if you were to get root access, install BusyBox, or remove the system applications by using a root app, etc., then you would be changing the system partition, which can lead to unexpected behavior when you go back to using a stock ROM again.

Installing an official version of Android usually removes root access and any custom recover images that were installed. If you have either of those two things, it might be a better idea to wait for a custom ROM that is based on the version of Android that you want to install. Usually, the ROM developers focussing on custom software will come up with a new ROM within a few days of the official version being released.

Apart from the folk out there making system partition changes, there’s not much you need to worry about when flashing. You can flash stock ROMs as often as you like and it won’t do any harm. The stock ROMs that you flash are always going to be the same versions of Android that you would have received as over-the-air updates, only you’re choosing to flash it manually, using a flashing tool that is made to work for your manufacturer, instead.

Note: You can only install the firmware that is for your phone carrier network if your device is still locked into one particular carrier. If your device is unlocked, however, then you are free to try installing firmware that is branded by other carrier networks. Likewise, you can only install unbranded firmware if your device is not locked into a carrier network.

Download Samsung SM-N950U Stock ROM

How to Flash Samsung Stock ROM Using Odin Flashing Tool on Windows PCs

How to Flash Samsung Stock ROM Using Odin

1. Firstly, you need to know that the Odin flashing tool is really easy to use, but it only works on the Windows operating system. You won’t get the flashing tool to load on a Mac or Linux computer. It doesn’t really matter what version of the Windows operating system that you’re using as long as it is something above Windows XP.

2. Download and install the Samsung USB drivers on the computer if you don’t have them already.

3. Download the stock ROM from the links above directly to the computer. Extract the file by right-clicking on it and choosing the option to extract. When you do, you’ll see the tar.md5 file inside. That’s the file you’ll be using to do the flashing.

4. Download the Odin flashing tool. It doesn’t really matter what version, but the latest is the most up to date so grab that one. Extract the Odin file and then double-click on the Odin executable file (.exe) that is found from within the Odin folder after extraction. You should now have the Odin interface open on the computer and waiting for you to connect to it.

5. Boot the Samsung mobile device into the Download Mode by first powering it down and then rebooting by holding the “Volume Down + Home + Power” keys at the same time.

6. A yellow warning triangle will come up on the device’s display. At this time you need to press the “Volume Up” button. You’ll then see the device getting into the Download Mode. It’s then ready for the flashing.

7. When in Download Mode, connect the Samsung mobile device to the computer with the USB cable.

8. If you have installed the USB drivers correctly, the Odin flashing tool should detect your device. You can tell this by observing the ID: COM port lighting up with a color, usually yellow or blue. (It doesn’t matter what color, it’s the lighting up that counts.)

9. After the device is picked up by Odin, click on the “PDA” or “AP” button, depending on what button your version of the Odin flashing tool has.

10. Navigate to the stock ROM folder and upload the tar.md5 file to this location in Odin.

11. Without changing any of the default settings, click on the “Start” button in Odin, and the flashing then begins.

12. Wait until Odin shows a “Pass” message before disconnecting your device.

The above guide works if your firmware file contains the tar.md5 file. If you ever need to flash Samsung firmware using the full stock ROM files individually instead, you can learn how to flash Samsung stock firmware using all four files.

The stock ROM flash file should now be installed on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 SM-N950U smartphone. If you are locked into a phone carrier network, and you flashed the wrong file, your device will be soft-bricked, meaning that it isn’t going to work right now, but you can flash the correct stock ROM file to get it working again.

Important Notes

[*] Back Up Your Data: You should always back up your data before you begin flashing new firmware files to your smartphone or tablet. All of your pictures, music, videos, documents, etc. should be still on your device after you have updated the firmware, but you may need to restore the contacts and applications from a backup. 

[*] Wipe Cache and Factory Reset: Some people claim that taking a factory reset isn’t necessary after updates, but at the very least you should wipe the system cache after installing new firmware. This way you can help eliminate any performance issues and battery draining bugs. Taking a factory reset is the best way of avoiding common problems many users face after applying software updates. 

Additional Firmware

You can download Android ROMs for other Android devices if you have another smartphone or tablet from a different manufacturer.

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