EDIT - THE FILES I ORIGINALLY LINKED TO IN THIS TUTORIAL WERE HOSTED ON MULTIUPLOAD.COM - THE FBI HAVE NOW SHUT THAT SITE DOWN SO THE LINKS WON'T WORK ANYMORE. SORRY.
THIS TUTORIAL IS FOR i9000 HANDSETS ONLY. (That means 1st generation Galaxy S, NOT GALAXY S2, NOT GALAXY VIBRANT, NOT GALAXY ACE etc...)
Hey guys, a highly respected guy called Richthofen has written a how-to over at the XDA-Developers forum about getting the 3 button recovery mode working on handsets that have it disabled. We have been constantly directing people over there to read the guide, so I thought I'd write a similar one for this forum, using his guide as a base, but I want to make it clear that this whole thing is Richthofen's work.
As usual with firmware flashing, there is always a very slight risk of something going wrong, therefor I, nor anyone else on this forum can be held accountable if this routine screws your phone up. You do this entirely at your own risk. Having said that, I haven't heard of a single phone being bricked by doing this.
NOTE : This is currently untested on XXJPU firmware.
There are a couple of pre-requisites for this routine.
1) Your PC must be able to communicate with your phone (the drivers must already be installed). If you can browse your phone using your PC, or if Kies works with your phone then that's all you need.
2) Your battery should really be 75% or higher before flashing anything.
So, onto the tutorial. You will need to download a couple of files before we begin. These files have been compressed and will need to be uncompressed before you can use them, so first we're going to grab some software that can do that.
GRAB THE LATEST WINRAR FROM HERE.
Even if you already have winRAR installed, it's worth getting the latest one, because the chances are your version will not be able to extract these files properly. OK once you have downloaded winRAR, install it on your PC. Next, you need a program called ADB (Android Debug Bridge) which is a command-line based program which can communicate directly with your phone through the USB connection, without using Kies.
GRAB ADB FROM HERE.
Now when you have downloaded that file, double click it to unRAR it. This should invoke the winRAR that you have just installed. Click on the "Extract To" button, then select C: (your root drive) and click OK. This will unpack 3 small files directly onto your C: drive; adb.exe and a couple of support libraries. Next you need to download a program called Odin. We use this to actually flash the modified firmware (or any firmware) onto your phone.
GRAB ODIN FROM HERE.
Again, double click the downloaded file to unRAR it. You can unpack it anywhere you like, but for ease of use, you might as well put it the same place that you put the adb.exe earlier, so click on C: and then OK. Finally, you need to download the actual modified firmware which we are going to flash to the phone in order to get your 3 button recovery mode working.
GRAB THE MODDED BOOTLOADER HERE.
Once you have downloaded that file, again unRAR it somewhere. Note that after you have unpacked it, it should be called "Aries_P-SBL.tar", but depending on your windows settings, it might appear as "Aries_P-SBL.tar.md5". Either one is good
OK that's all the downloading done. Now unplug your phone from the USB if you haven't already, then from the home screen go to Menu > Settings > Applications > Development and make sure there is a tick where it says "USB debugging". Now on your PC, completely close down anything related to Kies. This means the Kies program itself and the tray agent daemon. This usually lives down by your clock, but you might need to expand the tray icon view to see it. If it's there, right-click on it and select "Exit".
Now you need to start up Odin. I always recommend using Odin in administrator mode, so use windows explorer to navigate to where ever you unRAR'ed Odin to, right-click on it and choose "Run as Administrator".
Now plug your phone into the USB cable.
Now we need to force your phone to boot into download mode, and this is where adb comes in. Use windows explorer to navigate to your C: drive, then hold down the shift key and right-click on it and select "Open command window here". This will open a scary-looking window with text on it (omg no icons )...
Now type dir a* and hit enter. You should see something like this...
...what we are looking for is that adb.exe at the top there. If that isn't there, then you need to go back and make sure you extracted the adb files directly to C: and not a subdirectory.
OK, assuming that file is there, type adb reboot download and hit enter. You should see something like this...
...and your phone should now reboot itself into download mode. You can tell you are in download mode because you will see a picture of the Android digging and the message "Downloading... Do not turn off Target!!!" on the screen of the phone.
Now, without closing the command window you have open, move over to the Odin program which is still running. You should see that Odin has found your phone and assigned it a communications port. This is highlighted in Yellow. It doesn't matter which port is is, as long as it's there.
Now we need to tell Odin exactly what we intend to do, so click on the PDA button, and navigate to the "Aries_P-SBL.tar" file that you unRAR'ed earlier. We don't want to put anything in PIT, PHONE, CSC or ETC boxes.
Now this bit is very important. Make sure there are ticks in the "PDA", "Phone Bootloader Update", "F. Reset Time" and "Auto ReBoot" boxes but nowhere else.
Your Odin screen should look something like this...
...don't worry if the com port is different, and don't worry if you have a slightly different message in the Message Box, but the important thing is that the ticks are in the same places, and you have the right file selected in the PDA box.
Now press "Start" button to launch the update process. It should only take a few seconds to complete. Then the phone should reboot.
Once it has rebooted completely, turn it off. Now you should be able to use the 3 button method to get into recovery mode.
Just to recap that method...
With the phone completely shut down, press and hold the VOLUME UP, HOME and POWER buttons until you see the White "I9000" logo appear. At this point, release the power button but keep the other two held in. As soon as you see some coloured text appear, release everything and the phone will be in recovery mode.
From here you can use the volume up/down button to move the highlight, and the home button to make the selection.