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As a Samsung user, you must have some time come across the words BL, AP, CP, CSC, and Home CSC. It is obvious that the abbreviation does not help, and they sound more like some cryptic technical functionalities of the Samsung firmware.
So, what exactly do these terms mean? Besides, if they are downloadable, why and how can you download them? We’ll cover these and additional relevant topics in this article.
What is Odin?
Odin is a Samsung firmware flashing tool that is used by Samsung internally. Also known as Odin flash tool or Odin Downloader, Odin serves as a one-click tool to install Stock ROM, kernels, TWRP-Recovery, CF-Auto-Root. In other terms, Odin is software that you can use to unroot, unbrick, and even restore the default factory settings on your Samsung device.
Apart from this, Odin is also used to manually upgrade or downgrade the device’s firmware.
So, how is Odin related to the BL, AP, CP, CSC, and/or Home CSC files? If you have used Odin before, you know that when you try to install Samsung firmware using Odin, you will see these file abbreviations shown as buttons/options in the Odin software.
In all simplicity, these files are specifically encrypted, which would prevent the installation of Samsung firmware. Official flash tools such as Odin are used to decrypt this file to further the installation process.
What are BL, AP, CP, CSC, and Home CSC Files?
BL, AP, CP, CSC, and/or Home CSC are Samsung Firmware Binary Files. When you are upgrading or downgrading your Samsung device, you will need to install an older firmware or the latest one, based on whether you are upgrading or downgrading.
The firmware is installed in the form of these binary files, namely BL, AP, CP, CSC, or Home CSC. Earlier, any Samsung firmware used to have only one individual file, but now, it is a set of binary files; as mentioned above – you can not download a single file individually.
Whenever you download the Samsung firmware, you will need to download all the binary files to successfully rewire your firmware.
Now, let us move to define what each binary file means in Odin.
Have you ever given thought to root your phone? If yes, then the first step to rooting it is unlocking the bootloader. The bootloader, in simple terms in the code that is executed before any OS starts to run/boot. Now, this bootloader in Samsung devices is contained in a file called the BL or Boot Loader File.
The Boot Loader or BL file in Odin has a binary with the .tar.md5 extension. This file flashes the bootloader on your Samsung device when you are using a flash tool such as Odin.
When you look at the AP file, it is the biggest of all the files you flash with a flash tool. The AP, known as Android Processor File, is responsible for flashing the system partition. When using Odin, the AP file flashes the system partition on your Samsung device.
It was previously known as PDA.
CP stands for Core Processor and contains the modem .img . This binary is responsible for flashing the modem on your Samsung device when you install the firmware using Odin.
All Samsung devices use the Exynos modem, and the CP or Core Processor file flashes the same when installing the firmware. It includes all security updates that the new firmware adds to the radio parts.
CSC stands for Country Specific Code or Consumer Software Customization. This binary file contains important information, including carrier branding, system languages, localization, APN settings, and Samsung FUS (Firmware Update Server).
CSC flashes the firmware clean, which means it wipes all app data, settings, and files on the device. The device, if it flashes using CSC file, will be reset to the factory status.
The CSC has an alternative known as Home CSC, which we’ll discuss below.
Home CSC is somewhat similar to CSC. The only difference is that when you flash using Home CSC, your device will not be wiped off of the data such as third-party apps, settings, etc. Unlike CSC, if you flash using Home CSC, you can not change the region of your firmware (which is possible using CSC).
Most importantly, since it is an alternative which means you can flash your device using only one file – either CSC or Home CSC).
How to download them?
There are multiple online firmware repositories that allow you to download the Samsung firmware for free. You can use myriad tools to download the firmware binary files. Here are a few tools/repositories from where you can download BL, AP, CP, CSC, or Home CSC files:
- SamFirm Firmware Downloader
Using SamFirm Firmware Download to download:
Samsung firmware or SamFirm is one of those tools with which you can download Samsung firmware for your Samsung Galaxy Device. Although the developer of SamFirm has stopped developing the SamFirm tool, it works absolutely fine, and you can easily download Samsung firmware using this tool.
Below we’ll give you an example of how you can download these binary files from a third-party repository/tool (SamFirm Firmware Downloader):
- Download and extract the downloaded SamFirm tool on your PC. It can also be downloaded from Google Drive.
- To launch the SamFirm tool, open the extracted folder and double click on SamFirm.exe.
- Enter the model number of your Samsung Galaxy device in the Model box. You can easily get the model number of your device by going to Settings > About phone.
- Now fill in the CSC of your device in the region field.
- Click on the Check Update button.
- SamFirm will find the latest firmware available for your device and will display its file name, AP, CSC, and CP versions of the software along with the size.
- Download the software by clicking on the download button and save the firmware zip file. Now when the firmware is successfully downloaded, unzip it to get the BL, AP, CP, CSC, and HOME CSC files for your Samsung Galaxy device.
Installing the firmware using Odin
Download and extract the zip file of the Odin flashing tool on your PC once you have downloaded the firmware file. A detailed tutorial on how to flash the firmware on a Samsung Device using the Odin flashing tool is given below to help you:
1. The Odin flashing tool is mostly used for flashing firmware on Samsung devices. Go to the extracted folder and click on the Odin3.exe file to launch it. (PS Open it as administrator. )
2. Check if you have downloaded the correct firmware file for your Samsung Galaxy device.
3. Connect your Samsung device to your PC, and then download and install the latest Samsung USB drivers.
4. Enable USB debugging on your Samsung Device. You will find the USB debugging option in Settings > Developer option. In case the developer option is unavailable, go to Settings >> About Phone >> Tap 7 times on the build number >> go back to Settings >> Developer option >> Enable USB debugging.
5. Now you need to go to the download mode of your Samsung Device. To do so, follow the steps given below:
- Turn off your device completely.
- If your device has a Home Button, then press Volume down + Home + Power button.
- If your device has a Bixby button, then press Volume down + Bixby + Power button.
- If your device has no Bixby button, then press Volume down + Bixby + Power Buttons.
- On the devices with One UI 3.0 and above, make sure that the device is connected to the PC properly using a USB cable, or it won’t enter into download mode.
- For devices running One UI 3.0 and above, make sure you perform these tasks while the phone is connected to your PC via USB cable; otherwise, it won’t enter into download mode.
- Alternatively, one can also use the ADB command to enter into download mode. Execute the command ADB reboot bootloader in the ADB command prompt.
6. Once you have successfully entered into the download mode of your device, connect it to your PC via USB cable in case you have not connected already.
7. The Odin tool will automatically detect your device the moment it’s connected to Odin.
8. Extract and open the firmware file which you download. It should contain all 5 binaries BL, AP, CP CSC, and Home CSC, with an extension of .tar.md5.
9. Click on the BL button in the Odin tool. And in the dialogue box, navigate to the BL file in the extracted firmware folder.
10. Follow the same steps as 9 for AP; click on the AP button in the dialogue box navigate to the AP in the firmware folder. The AP file takes a bit longer than BL, so you need not worry and wait until it’s done.
11. Next, do the same for the CP & CSC/Home CSC. Use CSC if you want a clean installation, or else use Home CSC if you want the apps and app data as it is.
12. Once you have added all the binaries in Odin, click on Start and wait until Odin flashes the firmware and shows a message saying Pass.
13. The moment the firmware is flashed on your Samsung Galaxy Device, it will automatically reboot, and you will see the welcome screen.