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What specifically are you trying to configure on the phone, if the phone has been customised at the manufacture rather than by the user there is very little you can do as it requires being re-flashed with a new OS, and that would need to be done using special software, but could find a local phone store who can do this for you.
Once I know what your trying to setup I can better advise if this can be done without re-flashing the software.
I hadnt realised I was connected to a UK mobile, if you do need to speak further and have a local mobile or landline let me know the number and I will call.
I am afraid I dont have access to whatsapp but happy to give your landline a call.
Try and do a factory request holding down the power, home and volume down and let me know the exact wording.
You were asking about flashing the device yourself, there is a good video here you can try as a last resort before taking it to a shop in the UK, but my guess is you wont be able to get into download mode if you cant factory reset.
Ok, safe mode occurs when it fails to boot 2 or 3 times in a row.
After a successful boot it shouldnt reoccur, before downloading the flash for the phone do a reset again but this time press the volume up button (follow the instructions from 2.25 minutes into the video first), as if you cant get it into download mode you cant flash it and the first part of the video is redundant.
If you have that problem try switching the phone off, then hold down power, volume up and volume down with the USB cable attached to a PC and let me know what error you get.
What the store will do is access the root of the phone, the store will have access to more expensive apps to do this, but one option you could try is use the software here, but that requires you enabling debugging within the phone (which I would guess is disabled).
Ok, is there an option to upgrade?
You want ADB (Android Debug Bridge) which will be the software you download in the video, so this sounds very promising, and that the video may be worth trying end to end.
Ah sorry didnt ask if it was a mac :)
Great go to the link here to download the software.
Let me know how you get on, this is really last chance saloon other than going to a store which has access to more professional software.
You will need to register on the site to download the firmware, once you have the downloaded firmware download Odin which is linked on the instructions on the page below the download button, then its just a case of connecting the phone via USB to the PC running Odin, and then select the ADB option on the phone and the phone should appear on the Odin devices window.