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August 29, 2012

How-to: SIM unlock a Galaxy Note GT-N7000

If you got yourself a SIM-locked Galaxy Note (just like I did) and decide to use a different SIM from another telco other than what it came with, here’s a guide on how to SIM unlock your Samsung Galaxy Note (GT-N7000).

Before we begin, let be reminded that we don’t suggest hacking your phone because it will void your phone’s warranty and there’s a big risk of getting it “Bricked” (especially with the Galaxy Phone) if the steps provided are not done correctly. Use this guide at your own expense. We will not be responsible for any damage that this guide will cause to you or your phone.

The guide is pretty straightforward and we’ve done it several times without any issues. All you need to do is read each step carefully before attempting it. Good Luck!

Here are the things you need to do/have before doing the hack.
1. Back-up your important files. You can use any backup options you want.
2. Fully charge your phone.
3. Turn off any antivirus or firewall on your PC.
4. Close Samsung Kies.

Once everything is all set, you can proceed with the hack.

1. Insert the SIM card from another telco that you wanted to use on your device and reboot your device. You’ll be greeted with this message when your phone reboots. Just select “Dismiss”.

2. Download this official ICS ROM from Germany. We chose this ROM because it’s not tied with any telco.
3. Download ODIN here. This is going to be your tool to apply the files you’ve downloaded.
4. Open ODIN, click on PDA and navigate to the folder where you saved the ICS ROM that you downloaded.
5. Make sure that the Re-partition, pit, CSC and Phone is unchecked before you proceed.

6. Put your Note to download mode by simultaneously long-pressing on Volume Down, Home and Power Buttons. The device will automatically reboot and release these buttons only when you saw this screen.

7. Connect your device to your PC and click on start on ODIN. Let it take its course. Once everything is done, your device will reboot and you’ll see the box the upper left most box in ODIN turn green with a word PASS!

8. Next, download NoteCore Kernel V13.4 here. That’s the Kernel we used when we did our hack, but there’s a newer version of the Kernel (V14.1) which can be found here. You can use either of the two Kernels. It’s also worth mentioning that these kernels will automatically overclock your device to 1.6GHz and would bring a handful of performance improvements to your device including better battery life.

Note: These next steps will root your phone which will void your device’s warranty.

9. Repeat Steps #3 to 6, only this time select the NoteCore Kernel in ODIN. When your device reboots, you’ll see an exclamation point on the splash screen, but pay no attention to it. Now that you have a new ROM and you’re device is rooted, you’re through with the hard part. The next steps only require you to download and install apps from Google Play Store.

10. Search for BusyBox Free on Play Store and install it. Once installed on your device, open the app and let it run its course. Afterwards select “Install” and Choose “Smart Install” within the app and let it do its thing.

11. After that, do a search for Galaxy_S Unlock on Play Store and install it. Once installed on your device, navigate to the second tab at the top and follow the in-app instructions on how to SIM unlock your device. Your device’s screen will turn blank for a few seconds (or a full minute) when you’re doing the second step. Just let it run its course and your screen will return to normal eventually.

If everything went well, you should now have a SIM-unlocked and pumped-up Samsung Galaxy Note. We’ve had our GT-N7000 SIM unlocked for the past two weeks and we haven’t notice any issues with the phone’s performance and usability.

We did however notice that the SIM-lock reoccurs when the phone is rebooted or in some random situations. Fortunately though, you don’t have to go through all these steps again to SIM-unlock your phone, just open the Galaxy_S Unlock app and redo the second step and you’re all set again.


17 Responses to “How-to: SIM unlock a Galaxy Note GT-N7000”

  1. doesnotexist says:

    This has too many steps.

    Depending on your stock ROM, you can download Chainfire’s pre-rooted kernels here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1331784. Or install a compatible pre-rooted kernel of your choice via Odin. There is no actual need to install another ROM unless yours does not have support for pre-rooted kernels.

    Once root has been achieved, (if you want to get rid of the yellow triangle, look for Triangle Away – works only on ICS), then you can follow steps 10 and 11.

    Oh, and you don’t actually need to have the sim card in yet. And make sure to backup the efs folder if and when you want to return network lock.

    • doesnotexist says:

      Also! An urgent reminder: Unless the kernel is declared “safe”, do not, under any circumstances, perform a factory reset when using an SGNote on ICS.

  2. Mel Galima
    Twitter: k0olmel
    says:

    Nice!

  3. Dobermaxx says:

    Or you can do what I did and get a code from an unlocking service. It cost me $15 and worked on the first try :P You can search for one on GooglePlay

    • doesnotexist says:

      Well, you know, there’s $15 and then there’s free.

      I’d settle for free :P

    • Dobermaxx says:

      Free is great but $15 was a small price to pay for piece of mind. After what I spent to buy the device I’d hate to screw up and brick it :P

  4. reycarillo says:

    by the way, what happen if i will upgrade to a new rom.. like LRQ, does my Note go back to the previous locked state?

  5. Redh says:

    Do the steps above will work also for 4.0.4?

  6. Dingdong says:

    its works for existing 4.0.4, just follow the steps, however, read at the last part, it is not guaranteed whenever you do reboot or change sims again, it will still show the network unlock and no worries, you can do this as stated. anyway 3 /5 stars – my rating

    “We did however notice that the SIM-lock reoccurs when the phone is rebooted or in some random situations. Fortunately though, you don’t have to go through all these steps again to SIM-unlock your phone, just open the Galaxy_S Unlock app and redo the second step and you’re all set again.”

  7. erol says:

    Good afternoon. After Following the procedure above, everything works as expected. And yes you have to unlock every time you reboot. But my main problem now is that last night while the phone is starting up the battery fell off. Now it keeps on hanging on the loading window and never proceed. I dont know what to do now.. Does anybody encountered the same problem I’m encountering now? perhaps somebody has a solution on this.

  8. Harry says:

    i followed the instructions from step1 to step11 and its completely working. i used it for almost a week now. but now i experienced a big problem. i accidentally pulled out the battery while its on. i put the battery back and turned it on. the samsung gt n7000 appeard and a triangle icon under. then next is the start up tone with the word ‘android’. its stuck up on the word android and not continuing.. pls help me on this problem.. thanks.. :(

  9. Eddy says:

    Sincerely, THANK YOU!!!!
    But I was wondering if I could update my phone t jelly bean

  10. d says:

    my phone got stock when i tried this steps, all i see on the screen was SAMSUNG, how can i repair this?

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This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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