Hardware ID Missing

With the Jelly Bean update soon to be released for the international version of the Samsung Galaxy SIII (GT-I9300), I thought I would connect my phone to my notebook, launch the Samsung Kies, and see if the update was available yet. When launching Kies, I was prompted to update to a newer version which I thought would be a good idea especially since the update stated that it was supposed to resolve firmware update issues. After updating Kies, I re-connected my phone to my notebook and was immediately greeted with the following “Hardware ID Missing” warning message:

Hardware ID Missing

The Kies utility could see the phone as it correctly identified the model phone by its model number but was stuck at the “Connecting…” prompt. I tried running the connection troubleshooter a couple of times, each time reinstalling the Kies device driver, but the issue persisted. Removing and reinstalling the latest Kies release along with the associated USB drivers also failed to resolve the issue.

After much research, it turns out that this issue due to a bug in the newer Samsung USB drivers. Downgrading the driver to version can resolve the issue but can be rather tricky to install properly. The problem is that even after the downgrading the device driver, Windows will automatically check for and install the latest version the next time you connect your phone to a USB port on your computer or move the phone to a different USB port. You can force Windows to use the downgraded driver by taking one of the following steps:

  1. Disconnect your computer from the Internet. This will prevent your computer from contacting the Windows Update service and keep it from using the updated driver.
  2. Click the “Stop obtaining driver software from Windows Update” link in the driver software installation prompt. This option is not as easy as it sounds as you have to quickly click on the “Installing device driver software” prompt as soon as it appears in the System Tray and then click the “Skip obtaining driver…” link before while the “Searching Windows Update…” message appears to the right of the “SAMSUNG_Android” device in the driver software installation window. You also have to remember to do this each time you move your phone to a different USB port on your computer. (Note that you only need to prevent your computer from searching Windows Update for a newer USB driver. There are no issues with using the latest drivers from Windows Update for the “MTP” and “CDC Abstract Control Model (ACM)” drivers.)
  3. Disable the Windows Update Device Driver search on your computer. (See the links at the end of this blog post on how to do this.) This will ensure that the device driver is never updated even if you move the phone to a different USB port, but will also prevent the automated installation of the latest drivers for other devices.

None of the above options are foolproof and some have some rather significant downsides. The best option might be to keep a copy of the older USB driver on your local hard drive and manually downgrade it the next time you run into the issue. Just re-install the older Samsung USB driver then follow one of the steps above to prevent your computer from automatically downloading and installing an updated version.

To prevent your computer from searching Windows Update for newer drivers, please refer to the following article:

Disable Windows Update for device driver installation

For further discussion of this issue, please refer to the following links:

“Hardware ID doesn’t match” error when plugging phone in
Hardware ID is Missing error

Samsung Galaxy S III Software Update Issue

If you’re like me and always checking to make sure that you’re running the latest updates on your phone, you may encounter a curious message when checking for updates under Settings –> About device –> Software update –> Update.

Software update

Most likely this message indicates that Samsung has released a new update for your phone but that their servers are currently too busy to service your request. If you can’t wait to receive the update over the air, you could try downloading and installing the update using Samsung’s Kies utility.

Samsung Kies for Mac and Windows

Taking a Screenshot on a Samsung Galaxy S III

Not sure if this will work on other Android phones from Samsung, but here’s a rather simple way to take a screenshot of whatever is on the screen of your Galaxy SIII:

First, make sure that the use “Palm swipe to capture” option is enabled in the “Hands motion” section under Settings –> Motion. Once enabled, you can take a screenshot simply by swiping the side of your hand across the screen from right to left or left to right. Although the gesture is called a palm swipe, you want to use just the edge of your hand – not unlike the motion you would use to brush crumbs off a table.

How to take a screenshot on the Samsung Galaxy S3 (free – no app required!)