Unlock code not working

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  • Updated 3 months ago
Hello,

My wife has a Samsung A5 phone and wants to use it in Russia.  In fact - she is there now.

I used Koodo website to get an unlock code.  I had to enter the IMEI number to get this code.

Problem is - the code did NOT work.  She has a local SIM card on the Russian network, and the tech support person in the store tried to unlock it without any success.

So - I spoke to a Koodo tech support person and explained the situation.  He verified the IMEI and unlock code for me and they are correctly.  

He said next step is for him to contact Samsung and obtain a "Master Unlock Code" - which will take 3-4 business days.

I guess I have to wait ...

It seems like a straight forward procedure, but it failed to unlock.  

Then I search a bit online - and there's this other number called the "PUK" code.  What is the difference between the PUK number and unlock code number?  Is it the same?

Am I missing something here?   Is there something else I should be doing or checking?

I guess - I don't want to just wait for 4 days for the "Master Unlock code" and it still won't unlock.

The Koodo tech was somewhat helpful - but I'm not convinced.  He was not too re-assuring...

Any comments, suggest or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Michael
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Michael

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Posted 3 months ago

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Goran, Mobile Master

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Puk is related to sim card being locked. What exactly is the phone asking for, word for word quote? It is not the same thing.
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Mats

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The IMEI code should have worked if it was entered correctly. Since tech support was doing it it probably was but you never know. I guess you have to wait for this master unlock code.

Unlock code and PUK are not the same
https://www.unlockunit.com/blog/difference-between-the-unlock-code-and-pin-puk/
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Michael

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Thanks for your replies.

My wife wrote in 2 separate emails:

=========

"Got phone SIM etc but cannot activate it as it keeps asking for PIN to unlock. Guy in store said it is because we have a contract already with a carrier."

=========
Didn't work.
Message said incorrect PIN
2 attempts left
Guy didn't want to try as he didn't want to lock phone

==========
 
What's not clear to me is - what is the procedure to get a phone to work on another network? 

I now realize that there are 3 different sets of numbers:  PIN, PUK (or PUC) and Network Unlock Numbers.

But - does anyone know which set of numbers are required first, then second and finally third in the procedure?

Also - my wife did not take her Koodo's SIM card with her (thinking that she can't use it anyways).  Does she need the Koodo's SIM card to get her phone working in Russia?

Finally - she told me that she already has a Russian phone number and PIN or PUK associated with it.  I think she's using the term PIN and PUK interchangeably (as I was - before I knew there was a difference).

Any further insights?  Thanks.

Michael
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Dinh, Mobile Master

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Michael,
PUK has nothing to do with unlocking.

PIN is a broad term, can denote many things. You mentioned about PIN to open your phone? then the PIN is the passcode, set by users to open/lock the phone. Koodo didn't set it up and doesn't know about it. If you forgot it, you would need to reset the phone to its factory settings.

Unlock code is the code required when you put a foreign SIM (non-koodo) to a locked Koodo phone. That was properly the code that the agent gave to you.

Personally, I would suggest you wait for the unlock code from Koodo. If you tried many different things without full knowledge, you might end up locking your phone out or your Russian SIM.
(Edited)
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Mats

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I cant guess on what is happening on the other end since I dont know what they have done. Here is how it goes. Put in another carriers sim into a locked phone. The phone asks for an unlock code. Enter unlock code and you're good to go. If not see below.

Now im only assuming what happens as Ive never had to enter a PUK code. Enter unlock code incorrectly 3 times. Now phone wants sim unlock(PUK) code which only the carrier that the phone is locked to can provide. Even if you get PUK code I have no idea how this helps you if you still dont have the proper code to unlock the phone to be used with another carrier.
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Allan, Mobile Master

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You can set a PIN for your sim card. If you forget that PIN and enter it incorrectly 3 times then you need a PUK code to reset the PIN code.

Chances are you dont you need a PUK code as most people dont or dont know how to set a PIN on their sim card.
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srlawren

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Michael, questions:  did you confirm the A5 you have is going to be compatible with the Russian provider your wife selected?  If you're not 100% sure, could you give us the sub-model?  There are about 24 different sub-models across a couple of model years and single or dual SIM variants, and they vary in terms of network support.  Also, what network/provider did your wife select?

You can check yourself on willmyphonework.net, or one of us can help if you provide the info above.  The reason I'm asking is that if the phone isn't compatible with the Russian network, then unlocking it at this point is a bit moot.
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Mats

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And if the phone cant get unlocked, which is what hes trying to do at the moment, then the rest of it is moot as it has to get unlocked first before anything else matters. 
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Michael

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Thank you for all the comments.  It's really helpful.  I've never had to deal with activating a phone from one ntwk to another (temporarily for holidays).

From all these discussion threads and then calling Koodo tech support this morning, I am beginning to think that the Russian Tech guy WAS ABLE to unlock the phone from the Koodo's network with the Koodo unlock code I provided. 

--  I think --   the phone was asking for the PIN or PUK code of the "NEW" Russian SIM chip.  According to the Koodo's tech - these codes are associated with the new SIM card and can be found at the back of the bigger plastic SIM card.  This is just the next step to activating a new SIM chip for use on another network.

It's starting to make more sense now (I think?)! 

There was some initial confusion to me (how I interpretted my wife's comment that - "It didn't work").  Then she "vaguely" mentioned that the phone was asking for the PIN. 

So it's doing what is was supposed to be doing, that is - asking for the PIN or PUK numbers for the new SIM chip.

I gave her all this and let's see how things develop. 

Michael
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Goran, Mobile Master

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Hope it works out! Please do update us
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Mats

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Yes, good luck with it Michael.
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Michael

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OK - I got a bit more info from my wife in Russia.  I really appreciate all this help.

So just to back up and review a bit.

My wife has a Samsung A5 phone from Koodo (of course!) in Russia.  Since the first time visiting the local wireless company in Russia - she has not been back there yet.  In other words, she hasn't "tried" any new attempts of entering any passcodes.

The update is:

The Russian SIM card is currently in the phone.   When she powers OFF the phone and then turns it back ON, she gets the following message: 

==================

"Sim network unlock pin_______________
UNLOCK
DISMISS"

==================

The above is the exact message on the screen after powering back ON.  And she pointed out, it is unclear how many digits is expected for input as it is a solid line.

I should also point out that she is able to use her phone in the Hotel using the free wifi network.  She has access to the Internet and email, etc.

For the above prompt - the Russian tech support person in the store had entered the Koodo unlock code I got from the Koodo website (after entering the phone's IMEI number).

++++++++++++++++++++++++

So I guess my thought/questions are:

What "code" is the above message asking for?

Is it asking for:

a)  the Koodo network unlock code again (assuming it was entered incorrectly the first time)?

- or -

b)  the code of the new SIM card code from the Russian (BTW - it's mts.ru)?

Thanks.

Michael
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Dinh, Mobile Master

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Michael,
I believe it is asking for the unlock code (a), that was given to you by the Koodo agent (when you gave them the IMEI)
(Edited)
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Karl, Employee

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Hey there Michael!

An unlock code can also be referred to as a Network Unlock PIN. 

A PUK is a security code to unlock a SIM card if a SIM card password as been set up (as a second security measure besides a screen password, the later which can also be referred to as a PIN) and has been entered incorrectly multiple times.

From the situation you described in the thread, it seems like the wrong unlock code was provided to Koodo by Samsung. This a programming error on the manufacturer's end. That's why the Tech support agent had to request and updated code or workaround from the manufacturer, which can take 3-5 business days.

Samsung Network Unlock Codes are normally 8 digit long and will need to be entered every time a non Koodo SIM card is inserted in the phone. The code will always be the same and is unique to the phone's IMEI.
(Edited)
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Michael

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Thanks for your reply, Dinh and Karl. 

So - I guess the phone is still at the stage where it's locked/tethered to the Koodo network.

Wow!  It helps to know this.  I don't have much experience with re-configuring SMART phones, esp. re-jigging it for another network, etc.

I was "convinced" that the Network Unlock Pin (code) (from the Koodo website with IMEI number inputted) was correct! 

- Or - that when they entered the numbers - they "must have" made a typo error! 

I guess having been in tech support myself years ago - it is possible for manufactures to make mistakes in programming, etc. 

I will wait for the "Master Unlock Code" from Samsung and then go from there.

It's actually not so bad - because my wife can still use the device with free wifi in Russia.

We both thank you for all this advice.

Will update in a few days.

Michael