<rant>Alright, I'll be honest. This whole Android flashing business is way more complicated than it should be.
WTF is with all these stupid build "numbers"!? They're not very comprehensible for the average person.</rant>
Anyways, I've tried to simplify this process down as much as possible.
First off, some checking. You need to have the 3-button download/recovery mode fix working in case shit hits fan. It did for me and it'll definitely save your ass if it happens to you. If you decide to proceed without fixing this first, you're either very brave or very stupid.
To test it, turn your phone off. Hold Volume Down + Home + Power to turn it on. If you enter download mode, then you're good to go.
Make sure you've backed up what you need!
Installing the firmware
What you'll need is:
This is probably the easiest part of the process.
- Extract the firmware
- Run Odin (without the phone plugged in yet)
- Select the PDA/Phone/CSC files accordingly
- Put the phone into download mode
- Connect via USB
- When Odin's label turns yellow and assigns the phone a COM port, click Start.
- Wait a few minutes while it performs the update.
- It should restart by itself.
If Odin3 gets stuck on "SetupConnection", just make sure you plug the phone in quicker after starting up Odin. It's a bit fussy.
Rooting your phone
Initially I was going to write about it here, but it was getting too lengthy already and not everybody will need it.
I tried a few different root techniques but not all were stable or easy. I eventually found one that's super easy and stable, so if you're keen on rooting your phone, see this post.
Fix your APN's
Remember, the downside to flashing your phone is that you will lose some settings. This also includes stuff like settings for internet and MMS.
If you're an Aussie, you can get the settings from Ausdroid APN.