Alfred's New Ramblings

EFS folder or IMEI on Android is corrupted

If you are reading this, it means that your IMEI and/or EFS folder is corrupted.  This can happen when the ROM you are flashing contains an EFS folder and it overrides yours.  Or you have ticked Odin’s “Clear EFS Folder” box.  Both of which converts your phone to a tablet.

There are multiple guides that involves copying the nv_data.bin file and changing ownership.  This post does not cover that procedure, you can read about it here. link

In my situation, a friend has managed to delete the EFS folder on a Samsung Note II LTE, GT N7105.  I have found the above method did not work for me. The version of stock that I have restored using Odin is behaving weirdly.  It seems that I don’t have write access and yet I could change filenames or delete files.  When I attach the phone as a USB, I could not copy files onto it.  This reinforce my belief that changing permission of one file is not going to recover my IMEI number.

In the excellent thread by Hopper8 in XDA (link) on recovering from a failed Odin flash, he mentioned a 3 part stock flash recovery method.  Instead of the usual one file, there are three separate files to flash.  PDA, Phone and CSC.  Image below shows Odin flashing a PDA file.  Phone is BL.

EFS folder Odin v 3.09 flashing PDA file

After a few frustrating attempts to download the required files, I still got nowhere.  Either the hosting service has been discontinued (hotfile), no file found or throttling was so severe, I downloaded only 50MB of 1.2 GB.

Back to the drawing board. This time round I tried to use Kies to connect to the phone.  Both Kies 2 and Kies 3 refuse to recognize the phone. Googled some more and someone suggested using the emergency recovery in Kies. (link)  Kies 2 needs to download some components before upgrading, whereas Kies 3 starts immediately.  It helps if your device can be upgraded to Android 4.3  I decided to use Kies 3.

EFS  Folder Kies 2 Firmware upgrade

Kies 2 Firmware upgrade

So here it is the simplest and easiest way to recover your EFS Folder.


  1. Fast and stable (~ 2 hours) Internet connection
  2. Kies 3 (link)
  3. Back up of all content, SMS, playlist, music, S Notes etc.
  4. Device minimum charge 70%


  1. Launch Kies 3
  2. Click on “Firmware upgrade and initialization”
  3. Enter exact model number exactly as in the label in Battery compartment
  4. Enter serial number exactly as in the label in Battery compartment
  5.  A menu will pop up asking to switch phone to “download” or “recovery mode”
  6.  Check “I have done this”, select “No backup”
  7.  Click “Start Upgrade”
  8. In the window “Unsupported device alert”, do not click “Confirm” device.  Just ignore but do not close the window.

    EFS Folder Kies 3 Unsupported Device

    Kies 3 Unsupported device alert.

  9. Kies will start downloading a recovery image for your device.  It is about 1.2 GB.  This will take about 30 mins to 1 hour. Do not touch the computer, go do something else.
  10. Once downloaded, Kies will decrypt and expand the files.

    EFS Folder Kies 3 Decrypting the download.

    Kies 3 Decrypting the download.

  11. Followed by automated flashing.

    EFS folder Kies 3 downloading  firmware to device

    Kies 3 downloading firmware to device

  12. The device will reboot to complete the process.  Do not click any of the Kies window.

    EFS folder  Kies 3  after device restart

    Kies 3 After device restart

  13. Open Windows Explorer, go to %temp%, look for the most recent folder.  The Samsung Stock firmware files will be in there.  Copy the whole folder and archive.

    EFS folder Kies 3 files downloaded

    Kies 3 files downloaded and expanded in Temp directory

  14. Exit from Kies.

Using the phone app, type in *#06# to verify your IMEI number.

There you have it the easiest method to recover the EFS folder and IMEI.  Now all that is done, time for to back it up.  Here are some apps to backup and restore EFS folder.  (link)

Update 2 Apr 14

It may be possible to do this even faster.  Note you need to have Android installed.  I think it is independent of  version and type. (link)  Sorry, I don’t own this video and it was taken private by the owner.

Update 3 Jun 15

Try this 3 minute method.  This works even you have flashed other ROMs. This method is only useful if you have a working OS, but no IMEI.  If you have none, you may be better off using the Kies method.

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38 thoughts on “EFS folder or IMEI on Android is corrupted

  1. Mark Anthony

    Hi sir I find your tutorial very useful and following it I was able to restore my baseband version but when I checked my my IMEI it reads “0000000….” still I’m able to make and receive calls though but I cannot make changes to my mobile network settings because its just showing mobile data connection. Do you have any idea on what seems to be the problem? Should I flash a modem compatible on my country? By the way my Note 2 is a Korean variant SHV-E250L.. Hope you coul help me resolve this problem..Thanks in advance..

    1. AL Post author

      1. I was repairing the Note II for a friend, so I don’t have it any more.
      2. Please check via GSMarena that your phone is supported by your country’s telco. I am assuming you are not in S Korea. Make sure your SIM is voice enabled with voice hours.
      3. The field Baseband, it is referring to modem version. It doesn’t change your IMEI number
      4. If IMEI reports all 0s, it means the EFS is still not working.
      5. Sorry I can’t help you more. You might have better luck in XDA forum for your phone model.

    1. AL Post author

      The steps I posted works only for Samsung phones. The video uses Samsung manufacturing and service codes. Therefore it does not work for Nexus.

      Try looking for efs_backup folder. Some ROM creates a backup for you. I am not familiar or have access to a Nexus so I can’t help you on this.

  2. Dan

    I tried this method for my Note 3. My Kies 3 though was a later version (14). It did not give me the option to enter my model and serial #. Should I locate and attempt to use this earlier version 13? Thanks.

    1. AL Post author

      I did not take note of the release version and have since deleted everything. Kies must prompt for model and serial number as the firmware needs to be downloaded from Samsung servers. These are huge files, ~200MB ++

  3. Alastor v3.14

    Hello friend, first of awesome guide no doubt i’ll try it…but a question first:
    the other day i flashed n original firmware to my galaxy trendplus…all good but i get this message of “not connected to network” what should i do?

    1. AL Post author

      Can you make, receive calls? If no, what is flashed is bad. Undo

      If yes, check your APN settings if they are correct for the telco.

  4. RydeL

    I came across this site and very useful tips im flashing a lots of GT-N7105 roms still skies undetected except this I made it today and make backup on skies 3 well done KUDOS for you a million star’s.

    My problem still not solve since I already recovered using your method my IMEI still NULL and Unknown Bandbase, need more paper works and research. Lastly I seen a EFS file …… thanks…

    1. AL Post author

      That can’t be right. Kies restore will give you back your IMEI. If it can restore your firmware, it can restore your IMEI. For some reason, the IMEI does not come back, you can extract your IMEI from and try to flash it in.

      Beware most IMEI flash apps contain malware.

  5. Edmond Obeng

    I have a galaxy note 2 GT-N7100. i recently lost my imei and baseband, it reports Imei :null/null when i check with*#06# . i tried using your method but after it downloads the firmware upgrade components. it reports that “failed to run firmware upgrade, an unknown error occurred”.
    Can you please help me. Thank you.

    1. AL Post author

      Hi, Did you entered the model and serial number as exactly as labelled in your battery compartment? Note your IMEI is captured in Flashing the IMEI to your phone I have no info on this.

  6. Eddie

    Hi, nice tutorial. However this solution did not work for me. Seems to be stuck on Samsung logo after restoring with kies. Seems still an EFS issue. Could you shed any light on what might be happening?

    Many Thanks

    1. AL Post author

      Hi, Thank you.
      1. Did you enter the exact model number and serial number as in the battery compartment?
      2. Clear the caches in Samsung recovery?


    1. AL Post author

      Hi, Use Kies 3 and you need to type it exactly as shown in your battery compartment. It will most definitely work for S4. Iffy for S3 and older. Note nothing is kept locally. Kies will phone home to download the ROM.

    2. AL Post author

      Hi Dave, Please take a look at the steps again. Kies will pop a window saying it is unsupported. But do not click or close that window. Just leave it open in a corner of your screen and proceed to download the firmware.

  7. Fahri Risalat

    Hi all, Sorry if I speak Indonesian, I’m having a constraint, Namely EFS mounting error in my phone Gt-s7270 Ace 3, And my phone botloop state now, I have taken to counter and samsung service center but they still can not handle, Are you guys can help me in this regard, I have tried with 18 frimware but still can not, Is the professional EFS can overcome all of this.? Hope you guys can help me

    Please say me in or

  8. Burak

    Thanks for this post.
    I tried to use this application to bring my efs file back.
    Whan i tried procedure 5 ” A menu will pop up asking to switch phone to “download” or “recovery mode”

    not appeared on my kies 3.
    Also i could’n watch your youtube video. All forbidden to access.
    Now my imei 0000..0.

    Plase help me.


    1. AL Post author

      Hi, the model and serial number must be exactly the same as in label in the battery compartment. It helps to take a picture with another phone.

      KIES will then download the appropriate firmware for your phone.

  9. Rabby

    Hello, I have a Note 3 and if I insert a sim, it shows no network. But if I type *#06# or go to about device, it shows my IMEI that matches with the box. However, I entered into the efs folder of my phone, there were some files and folders, but I didn’t find any nv_data file (I don’t have any backup either, since I bought it secondhand and I knew that it has network issue. That’s why I bought it cheap!). Can I fix my phone in the above method?
    Waiting for your reply. Thank you.

  10. Rabby

    I forgot something, it’s a japanese note 3 and the model number is SCL22. I don’t see any Serial Number or SN in it’s battery compartment. It just contains a product code (SCL22MKA) and the IMEI and some wifi/bluetooth/fcc details. But no Serial number. What should I do? Again, what should I use as the model number? SCL22 (Device model in about device) or SCL22MKA (Product code in battery compartment)? Please help.

    1. AL Post author

      Sorry for the delay. For the missing serial number, you can try one those Samsung magic codes. The model you should use is SCL22MKA.

      The other issue you have is poor reception. This is a au KDDI phone. I can’t find any specs for it but the Japanese market is notorious for non standard channels. If you are using this outside Japan, you may be using only 1 or 2 channel vs 5 or more to connect to the cell network.

      Have you check XDA?


  11. Ewong

    Thank you! The Kies3 method worked fine although some kinks here and there when connecting and disconnecting the cable. My N7105 had bricked (lost IMEI, network type, baseband etc) after installing TWRP….after recovery on Kies it had upgraded my Android 4.3 to 4.4.2 even (beautiful) what I originally intended. Afterwards I’d realized I odin flashed the wrong TWRP “t0ltecan” instead of just plain t0lte! Lesson learnt. But 1000 thanks!

  12. Arnold Sujan Katru

    SIR i have a samsung star pro s7262 i rooted it and flashed a custom rom from xda everything gone fine but i tried to install custom Beast Kernel v2.1+module it was all installed fine but when i see an weird message on screen was with a yellow out line .And there know that i forgot to Backup my Efs it all gone shit .i have 00000000000 in my imei number and i still able to see wifi mac address and bluetooth address were there. Please help me how to recovery the Efs or How to Create New Efs folder i stil have the lost imei numbers. So
    Please Help Me AsAp.
    Thanks A Lot In Advance.

    1. AL Post author

      At the bottom of the post, there is a video showing how to recover lost IMEI number. Try that first. If it does not work, you might want to try the KIES method. Best of luck.

    1. AL Post author

      Sure you can, but after the restore, you get Touchwiz!

      Alternatively, you can use try the method in the Youtube video.

  13. Arman

    Hi AL,

    Thanks for your article, very helpful indeed. I just have a question about a procedure. Do you remember if the download had started and was shown when the unsupported message popped up or is the recovery image download window shown only after the files have been downloaded?

    As of now, I have the unsupported device alert shown but I don’t know if a download is happening on the background or not. It would definitely be very helpful if you could let me know if you remember whether the download was shown after the files were downloaded or before.

    Thank you in advance!

    1. AL Post author

      Hi, My experience at that time is the unsupported device alert first. Do not click or close this window. Just move the window away.

      Firmware and upgrade window progressed as shown (step 10).

      Good luck!

    2. Arman

      Thanks AL,

      I got the firmware to update following your steps but I think something may have been corrupted in the phone. My issue is that Baseband shows ‘unknown’ and IMEI is ‘null’. I can install any AOSP rom but installing any stock rom (not official firmware), KitKat or Lollipop results in bootloops on the samsung screen.

      With the Kies upgrade and initialization I get the same results as I do with flashing the stock (official) Lollipop firmware (COD6 or COG2) with ODIN. It gets to the Android is upgrading screen but gets stuck and essentially bootloops. (I’ve factory reseted and wiped cache to no avail.

      The only stock rom I can install without a bootloop issue is the KitKat firmware (NK2), but the baseband and imei issue still remain the same. I can’t seem to figure out what the issue is. I have a backup of my EFS with TWRP but when I restore it nothing changes. My Baseband stays ‘unknown’ and my IMEI stays ‘null’.

      Anyway, thank you for your reply and the article. It was at least a little glimmer of hope.

    3. AL Post author

      I would like to enquire did you enter the model number and serial number exactly as shown in the battery compartment?

      The reason is that information will pull the correct baseband and modem for your phone. Failing just flash anything, KIES, nightly or custom. Just get it stable and baseband reporting something.

      Use the Youtube video to recover your IMEI.

      If restoring EFS from backup, double check your phone’s EFS folder/file permissions and ownership. Got played out before for factory mode.

    4. Arman

      Hi AL,

      Thanks for replying. Yes, I’ve entered the serial and model number correctly, even double checked to make sure.

      The problem is with trying to install any software that isn’t stock KitKat (firmware NK4, note 4) or AOSP, the phone just won’t boot. I’ve done the kies process and it tries to install stock Lollipop software but I just go into a bootloop, even clearing cache, before or after it boots, doesn’t help much.

      And the youtube video is great and very helpful thank you but in my case the service mode is blank. There are no entries that show up like it’s shown in the video. Could this be because my sim card is not connected to a network?

      Restoring the efs from a TWRP backup doesn’t seem to change anything. I know that I backed up when my phone was in perfect condition so I assume it’s due to some fault in the phones partition or something. I’m not sure.

      Thank you for your help, I greatly appreciate it!

  14. Ernest

    I tried heaps of stuff including the above, however no result. Try this, remove memory card then flash.

    I noticed that every time I flashed a different firmware and the N7105T reboots the first time the little android fellow would be on his back and something was loaded, then the phone would come on with no imei or baseband. After the removal of the memory card and another flash all was good.

    Not sure why however worked for me and I see on the internet about 6 different solutions and I am sure one will work, keep trying.

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