Saturday, March 26, 2011

Easy Voodoo lagfix for Galaxy S I9000 Froyo (without 2e recovery, 3 button recovery, Odin)

I really like my Samsung Galaxy S I9000, and after 6 months I still think its the best phone for me. Unfortunately it still has its faults just like any other phone. Without going into crazy detail here is the gist of the infamous lag issue and what I think is the easiest way to fix it on any I9000 running Froyo (Android 2.2).

Samsung's proprietary file system (RFS) simply lacks what it needs to perform properly on the I9000 and other related models (I9000T for the Aussie Telstra users). Access and write times start to increase over time when accessing the different system, cache and application storage drives/partitions, lagging dramatically after a few months of use and a decent collection of apps installed. (here is a much better description than I can put together).

Despite the mass user complaints over the last 8 months is doesn't look like Samsung will be moving away from RFS any time soon. Around a week ago an Official European I9000 Android 2.3.3 update (supposedly final version) was leaked, and after a little probing a senior Android kernel developer named supercurio (Fran├žois Simond) found the new firmware still uses and formats to RFS. Android 2.3 supposedly corrects the issues which required the use of RFS so this decision has left few people puzzled as to why samsung has kept persisting with it.

Fortunately there are some great projects and tools that will help anyone willing to convert or replace their phones RFS partitions over to a more friendly and proven file system. One of the most notable ones being the open source Project Voodoo, who's main author is previously mentioned supercurio. The Voodoo mod replaces the stock Android kernel and converts the concerned drives to Ext4, which is a major improvement over RFS (it also tweaks and adds some other features relating to sound and colour but I'm not going to go into that in this post). This is a proven mod and arguably the most popular/highly regarded. It's certainly the best out of the three I've tried.

Here's what I think is the simplest way to get the Voodoo mod onto any Galaxy S I9000 (the 'international version' of the Galaxy S).

Before you begin... This method is for Android 2.2 only. This method doesn't require "3 button recovery". Any kind of root exploit, kernel changing/tweaking and flashing is bound to void warranty and involves a large amount of risk. If an instruction doesn't make sense don't keep pushing through, ask questions.
  1. Gain root your Galaxy S I9000. Most users who would be interested in fixing the lag issue would probably have root access to their i9000 already, but if you haven't you will need to do so. I've had a lot of success with z4root, get it here (you will need to create a free account with xda-developers, but its worth it).
  2. Copy the downloaded z4root app to your phones SD card.
  3. Turn on the ability to install from non-Market applications, goto Settings -> Applications then tick Unknown sources.
  4. Browse to your SD card and touch the z4root.1.3.0.apk file to install and follow the prompts.
  5. Once installed head to your applications menu and run the z4root. Touce the Permanent root button. After a couple of seconds your phone will reboot and you will see the Superuser app has been installed.
  1. Install SGS Kernel Flasher. This step is pretty easy, simply head to the market and search for SGS Kernel Flasher or head to http://t.co/MTlXb8H.

  2. Run the app once its installed, and touch the backup kernerl button.
  1. Prepping and flashing Voodoo mod. Head to http://dl.project-voodoo.org/ and download the latest stable Froyo (Android 2.2) Voodoo mod. It should be in the form of Voodoo-stable-5.5.3-Froyo-GT-I9000-unsigned-update.zip. Only download the undate-unsigned.zip version (the .tar version is designed for a completely different flashing method).
  2. Place it the download in a folder called Voodoo on the phones main SD 16GB storage.
  3. Run SGS Kernel Flasher, touch choose kernel, locate the Voodoo file in the newly created Voodoo folder, and finally touch flash kernel. It should take around 20 seconds and then your phone will reboot.
After the phone has rebooted it will sit on the first Galaxy S screen for around 3 minutes while it converts the file system. While this is happening you should get a female voice telling you what is being performed and how much time is remaining. If you don't get this I think its pretty safe to say it hasn't worked, and you should start asking questions before trying again.

When your phone finally boots the entire process is complete! To confirm the mod is up and running install the Voodoo Control app from the Market, heres the direct link http://t.co/vAf7JqJ (or the donate app if you found it useful http://t.co/UHr01YT). It should look like this when scrolling to the bottom (Note the Status: Ext4 lagfix active).

You should notice a speed difference straight away, especially when installing and running apps. Hopefully this helps anyone who stumbles across my blog and wants a simply way to stop the lag issues, or even provides a method for users who don't know/don't want to use the flash tool Odin, and any user who doesn't have access to 3 button recovery (like me).