Install Android 4.4.4 KitKat on Galaxy S3 Mini I8190/N/L with Carbon ROM

Samsung’s very first Mini device, the S3 Mini is a widely used and one of the best budget Android devices available around the world, but Samsung hasn’t been much serious on the software end and has stopped the device’s updates on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Samsung might have forgotten the device, but the great developers haven’t yet. There’s a number of custom ROMs available that can help you to update your Galaxy S3 Mini to the latest Android OS, but sometimes the best is yet to come.

Google has recently rolled out Android 4.4.4 KitKat and is currently updating its Nexus devices, on the other hand Sony has started updating its Xperia devices to the latest KitKat firmware as well, this may disappoint the Galaxy S3 Mini users who cannot expect any further updates from Samsung, but XDA Developer NovaFusion seems to wipe these clouds of disappointment as he has brought up the famous Carbon ROM based on Android 4.4.4 KitKat for the Galaxy S3 Mini. Although its a custom ROM, but its stable and maybe kept for everyday use on your Mini S3. Before you start wondering how you can get this custom ROM running on your Android device, you may scroll down and find out the complete guide to install Android 4.4.4 KitKat on Galaxy S3 Mini GT-I8190/N/L using Carbon custom ROM. To get it done successfully, you need to follow the instructions carefully.GALAXY_SIII_mini_Product_Image4.jpg_610x406

Here are the early preparations:

      1. This ROM is only for Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini GT-I8190/N/L. Do not try this on any other device, please check your device’s model in Settings > About Device > Model.
      2. Your device must have a custom recovery installed, in case you’re missing it you may Follow our full guide here to install TWRP.
      3. Your device’s battery should be charged at least over 60%. This is highly recommended in order to prevent any power issues during the flashing process.
      4. Make sure that you backup your important media content, ContactsCall Logs & Messages. This is highly recommended just in case something goes wrong and you need to reset your phone.
      5. If you already have rooted your device, use Titanium Backup to back up all your important apps + system data. Also if you are using a custom recovery, it is recommended that you backup your current system using that first. [Just for the sake of safety]. Here’s our full Nandroid Backup guide.
      6. You will have to go through Data Wipes during installation of this ROM, so make sure that you have backed up all the mentioned data.
      7. Make an EFS backup of your phone before you flash this ROM.
      8. You need enough confidence to flash this ROM.
      9. Alright! Go ahead and flash the custom firmware, follow this guide to the letter.

Disclaimer: The methods involved in flashing custom roms and rooting your phone are highly custom and may result in bricking your device, and has nothing to do with Google or the device manufacturer that is SAMSUNG in our case. Also rooting your device will void its warranty and you will be no longer eligible for any kind of free device services by the manufacturers/warranty providers. In case of any mishap we may not be held responsible. Follow these instructions to the letter to avoid any mishap or bricking. Make sure that whatever you do, you are doing it at your own responsibility.

How To Install Android 4.4.4 KitKat On Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini Using Carbon ROM:

      1. Download carbon4.4_golden.nova.20140628.zip file.
      2. Download Gapps.zip file for CM 11.
      3. Connect your phone to your PC now.
      4. Copy the both the .zip files to the storage of your phone.
      5. Now disconnect your phone and turn it off complete.
      6. Boot into TWRP recovery now, in order to do so, turn it on by pressing and holding Volume Up + Home Button + Power Key. You should see the recovery mode in a while.
      7. Now in TWRP  recovery, wipe cache, factory data reset and advanced options > dalvik cache.
      8. After wiping all these three, select “Install” option.
      9. Now select “Install > Choose Zip from SD card > Select  carbon4.4_golden.nova.20140628.zip file > Yes”.
      10. This will flash the ROM in your phone, once done get back to the main menu in recovery.
      11. Now once again select “Install > Choose Zip from SD card > Select Gapps.zip file > Yes”
      12. This will flash the Gapps in your phone.
      13. Reboot your device.
      14. You should see the Android 4.4.4 KitKat Carbon ROM running on your device in a while.
      15. That’s all!

First boot may take up to 10 minutes, you may not worry if it’s taking that much long. In case it’s taking too long, you may boot into TWRP recovery and wipe cache and dalvik cache and reboot your device as it may fix the issue. In case your device is having issues, you may return to your old system using the Nandroid backup or follow our guide here to install stock firmware.

In case you got any issues or you face any difficulties regarding this post, please feel free to stop by the comment box below and let us know. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you all.


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Usama M

+Usama M: Ex Farmviller | Android Fanatic | Software Engineer,Founder - TechBeasts.com
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  • Brett Roughton

    i get a black screen when making a call, have to restart phone to get to work again please help

    • kevin

      please help. same here

  • Harish Rider

    Can i use this update files for an Normal S3 Mini GT-18190

  • xHDx

    My carrier switched on my Phone. Is this normal, or should it be the same as previously and will it make a difference?

    • @xhdx:disqus are you having any particular issue with that? Can you please elaborate it a bit more so that I can understand this..

      • xHDx

        When I added my ROM and flashed my phone, it now says I am on T-Mobile instead of my other carrier. Is this normal? Originally I was on Virgin for the carrier.

        Here is a picture of it now http://imgur.com/LJwZO8n

        • @xhdx:disqus If your SIM is working properly, there is nothing to worry about then 🙂

          • xHDx

            So am I still on my normal carrier or did it switch? Surely that’s just a placeholder for the ROM?

          • @xhdx:disqus you probably still are on your normal carrier. I guess so, it’s something wrong with this ROM specifically.

  • sameel

    Thanx a lot man it really worked 🙂 there is no effect on performance infect it seems that performance has enhanced 🙂

  • kevin

    the gapps here is for android 5.x
    will it work for 4.4.4?

    • @disqus_hAW9Z9BWZI:disqus there are GApps for Android 4.4.4 KitKat as well, please scroll down and look carefully.

      • kevin

        i was looking through my s3 mini. When i switched to pc, i got to find that. thanks anyways.

  • kevin

    i flashed the rom. and its taking a long time to boot.
    wat i want to ask is
    just after flashing the romin twrp, they there wer options to wipe cache and things. so am i supposed to do that before boot?

    • @disqus_hAW9Z9BWZI:disqus try wiping cache and dalvik cache. Let me know what happens next.

      • kevin

        well i did all that. nothing worked!
        i nandroid backuped then flashed cm11 instead of carbon. it works fine now.

  • kevin

    carbon boot loop…. 30 minutes passed…. cleared cache and dalvik cache and still… help

  • Bob Bannister

    You have two Articles on KitKat ROM’s for I8190, one for CM11 & this one for Carbon. Can you give me any guidance on which one I should go for and why? I ask because both claim to be stable, fully functional and have continued to be updated since you posted this document.

    • @bobbannister:disqus it depends on you. Most of the users go with CyanogenMod since it is the most popular ROM, Carbon ROM is based on CM 11 as well, so it depends on you, you may read and flash accordingly.

  • Carlos González

    It works but a lot of apps stop. I’ll try with CM 12.1

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