I’m new in the /e/-community and just finished successfully the /e/-installation on my Gigaset GS290 - after 2 weeks of struggle with problems, trial and error.
Many thanks to GS290-contributors on the community-pages for their helpful hints! Without their discussions, I’d still be sitting here trying to flash my device.
However, the clues are quite spread. Here comes a brief summary of problems and solutions in form of a how-to-listing (without any warranty):
1: The official /e/-installation-guide should be updated since it doesn’t work anymore with 2021-software.
Problem: the latest Android-SDK-tool-version r31.0.3 (adb, fastboot) cannot reliably communicate with the latest version of Android 10 on this phone type. Some simple functions work, sometimes, but flashing images doesn’t.
Thus, if your phone had already been updated to the latest Android, then the installation course has to be started with a backdate:
2: Preparation: Android in developer mode (7x click on build), Android debugging enabled, Default USB configuration: USB file transfer enabled
(Windows) PC with internet connection. A magnifying-glass will be helpful. GS290 booted into the fastboot-mode (phone off, then vol+ plus power to start into a tiny boot-menu on the phone screen, choose fastboot-mode using vol+ and then start it using vol-). The GS290 (now in fastboot-mode) will be connected via USB to the PC. Windows update now will offer the phone driver necessary for the use of adb and fastboot: download and installation.
3: An /e/-guideline explains how to revert an /e/-phone back to stock-ROM Android; on that page is a download link to a stock-ROM with the name GS290_10.zip; that file contains a complete Android 10 for GS290 from 2020: download and extraction into any folder of your choice.
4: (Windows) The phone driver, that has been installed before, works with adb and fastboot, but not with SPFlashtool.
The MTK driver can be downloaded from the link in the /e/-guideline, and extracted into a folder of your choice.
Unfortunately, the install-batch is from the time before Windows 10 and has to be modified, which is easy.
(this batch contains an unnecessary Windows-version-check that leads to an installation-error, solution:
insertion of a line:
below the 7 for…do…-lines to make the batch running through even if no Windows-version has been identified)
Now the batch can run to install the driver.
5: SPFlashtool can be downloaded from the link in the /e/-description and extracted into any folder of your choice.
6: SPFlashtool starts with a click on flash-tool.exe and should be used according to the /e/-description to flash the content of GS290_10.zip onto the phone.
After the flash processes are finished, the phone will boot into the usual Android setup; the next steps will need: Android in developer mode, Android debugging enabled, Default USB configuration: USB file transfer enabled, OEM unlock enabled
7: The /e/ for GS290 can be downloaded and extracted into any folder of your choice (3 partition images: boot.img, recovery-…-GS290.img, system.img).
8: The old version of the Android SDK-tools r30.0.5 is available here:
https://dl.google.com/android/repository/platform-tools_r30.0.5-windows.zip (alternative: …-linux.zip)
(the usual Android-site offers only the latest version)
After download, it can be extracted into any folder of your choice (installation with PATH, etc, is not necessary, it’s enough to use the complete path when entering fastboot commands, and to use the complete path of the .img that shall be flashed. That’s going to be a long command line, but clear and straight forward in structure, and it avoids trouble, when you have different tool-versions on the same computer)
Under Windows you may simply try in a normal terminal:
C:<complete path to fastboot.exe>\fastboot devices -l
to see if the program starts and recognizes a connected phone that runs in fastboot mode.
However, a good result of “fastboot devices -l” doesn’t guarantee that fastboot flash commands work.
The following command ensures that the bootloader is unlocked and the phone ready to receive /e/:
C:<complete path to fastboot.exe>\fastboot flashing unlock
9: Installation of /e/ requires 5 fastboot command lines as described in the /e/-installation-guideline.
(example for Windows)
C:<complete path to fastboot.exe>\fastboot flash --disable-verity --disable-verification boot C:<complete path to boot-image>\boot.img
C:<complete path to fastboot.exe>\fastboot flash recovery C:<complete path to the recovery-image>\recovery-…-GS290.img
C:<complete path to fastboot.exe>\fastboot flash system C:<complete path to the system-image>\system.img
C:<complete path to fastboot.exe>\fastboot -w (this wipes user data)
C:<complete path to fastboot.exe>\fastboot reboot
10: After booting the phone into /e/ you will be able to receive the latest /e/-updates.
Any comments, corrections or better ideas?
I never tried /e/'s Easy Installer, because I read that it doesn’t work anymore on GS290.
(Is the Easy installer a GUI that calls a sequence of fastboot commands? Then the fastboot-version might have to be changed back to r30.0.5)
It probably makes sense to keep a copy of both, the GS290_10.zip containing Android 10 for GS290 from 2020, and the r30.0.5-SDK-tools, at a safe place. Nobody knows how long those files will be available on the internet, and once they have been replaced with newer versions, the chance to flash a GS290 might be gone for good.
I first tried the /e/-installation under openSUSE 15.3, but–due to error messages–I got the feeling that phone and computer cannot understand each other (phone running in Fastboot mode, and Fastboot running on the computer, cable plugged, but only basic adb/fastboot-functions worked sometimes, sometimes not, and flash-attempts resulted in error messages).
Then I tried it under the debian-fork pureOS 9.0 that has quite different software under the hood, but with similar problems, at least I could unlock the bootloader, but I wasn’t able to flash any img-files.
Then I tried it with openSUSE 15.2 without better success.
Depending on the Linux-distro, adb and fastboot may need sudo commands to avoid permission errors.
During those trials with r31-tools and the latest Android 10 on the phone, I encountered error messages like those:
“terminating with uncaught exception of type std:out_of_range: basic_string”
“fastboot: error: boot partition is smaller than boot image”
(!!!) In fastboot flash command lines it is a difference to write the partition name large or small:
e.g. “boot” is correct, but “BOOT” surprises with a new error message
“FAILED (remote: This partition doesn’t exist)
fastboot: error: Command failed”
If something goes wrong with fastboot commands, then inserting of “-v” (verbose) after the word “fastboot” shows more details on the screen
(!!!) Downloading the r30-SDK-tools can be dangerous: r30-tools are being offered for download on several websites, and all files I saw had precisely the same name, but one had a slightly different size and completely different hash value (hidden malware?). I believe the google-link above is reliable.
All 3 flash processes run well using the old r30-tools even in combination with the latest 2021-Android 10 on the phone, but after booting the phone into /e/, Wifi couldn’t be turned on, and BlueTooth errors popped up, which indicates a broken system. Therefore, I first backdated the phone to the 2020-Android-image using SPFlashtool, then flashed again the /e/-images (using the r30-tools), and now my GS290 runs stable under /e/ including Wifi!