A guide to Debranding your Nokia Lumia 800
DISCLAIMER: This is performed at your own risk.
Most mobile devices obtained from a network operator have a branded version of the ROM firmware that includes such things as a customised splash screen on bootup,, customised themes with colourised menus and applications specific to that network. Devices bought as SIM free are usually unbranded.
The main benefits of DEBRANDING your device are:
- (that is, removing the branded ROM and installing the manufacturers default ROM) is that OS updates are usually released first to unbranded devices, before branded ones are upgraded.
- Getting rid of the (usually awful) operator logo splash screen(s).
- *UNCONFIRMED* Enabling ADC on boot up so that the network settings are read from the SIM card (see this thread and this thread) as the branded versions of the firmware do not have this enabled.
I have reflashed my firmware from Orange 11451 to Unbranded 11501, using the steps detailed below. I have tried to be as non-technical as possible, but please be careful, ESPECIALLY during the flashing process - I don't want you to brick your phone.
* THIS WILL NOT REMOVE THE SIM LOCK / NETWORK LOCK FROM YOUR DEVICE * A sim-locked phone will still be locked to the operator after debranding *
a) Download NaviFirm (this tool allows you to obtain nokia firmwares for all nokia devices, and including all variants).
b) Download Nokia Care Suite v5 (this version includes support for Lumia 710 and 800).
During the Care Suite installation, you may be asked to download and install some Microsoft VC re-distributables. Once you have done this, re-start the installation.
c) On your nokia lumia 800, in your app list, open the settings, scroll down and choose "about".
- click "more information" and note the firmware revision number that is currently on your device.
- it will look something like "1600.2479.7740.11451"
Download the firmware from Nokia
d) Using NaviFirm, download the "country variant" version of the latest firmware (At the time of writing, version 11501):
- In the products list, enter the filter "RM-801" (filters are entered at the bottom of the application window)
- Under releases, choose the one that you noted in step 2.
- Under the variants list, filter for "GB" (or your country code if outside the UK)
- You will see a list of variants for GB, for example, Vodafone, Orange etc.
- Select the "country variant" firmware version, this is the unbranded original Nokia release.
- Finally, click the download button.
NB: I did attempt to flash the same firmware version (IE unbranded 11451 over the top of branded 11451, but it fails saying that it already exists. If you have the latest firmware on your device, please rollback to an older version using Zune and the backup created during your previous upgrade process OR use this guide to flash an older version onto your device).
e) We need to copy the downloaded firmware into the Nokia suite
- Open Nokia Care Suite by right clicking and choosing RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR
- Double click on the Product Support Tool from the list.
- In the File->Settings menu, copy the products path (eg C:\ProgramData\Nokia\Packages\Products)
- Using Windows Explorer, make sure the above directory exists. You may need to unhide system files if you cannot see this directory.
- Create a new directory called RM-801 in this folder.
- Copy your firmware files that you downloaded from NaviFirm into this RM-801 folder.
Leave this explorer window open, as you will need to rename three of these files later.
Directory of C:\ProgramData\Nokia\Packages\Products\rm-801
29/01/2012 01:23 6,877 105031v3.pcx
29/01/2012 01:23 8,704 NB66_vanilla_20111117.qcn
29/01/2012 01:23 1,654 RM-801_label_2d_V1.xml
29/01/2012 01:23 672 RM801_059L7C2_1600.2479.7740.11451_010.dcp
29/01/2012 01:23 2,961 RM801_059L7C2_1600.2479.7740.11451_010.vpl
29/01/2012 01:23 835 RM801_059L7C2_1600.2479.7740.11451_010_signature.bin
29/01/2012 01:23 244,318,208 RM801_11451_prod_222_02_boot.esco
29/01/2012 01:23 5,620,106 RM801_11w45_1_prod_generic_adsp.esco
29/01/2012 01:24 16,689,483 RM801_11w45_1_prod_generic_amss.esco
29/01/2012 01:23 562 RM801_11w45_1_prod_generic_user_area_erase.esco
10 File(s) 266,650,062 bytes
Connecting your device
f) Now, ensure your Lumia 800 can connect to the Nokia Support Tool.
- Close the support tool and navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Nokia\Nokia Care Suite\Drivers
- Run the "WinUSB Drivers x64.msi" or if you have a 32bit version of windows, "WinUSB Drivers x86.msi"
- Launch the support tool and connect your lumia 800 to your computer.
- Click "Open Connection Management" and refresh the connections.
- You should see "USB1, USB, RM-801" with a phone icon next to it. Close this window.
- Click the drop down list in the corner of the support tool, it currently reads "no connection" and select "USB1: RM-801".
Rename firmware signature files
g) In order for the process to be successful, you need to rename three files with the branded product code.
- In the support tool, on the right hand tab panel, open the "BASIC INFO"
- Make a note of the PRODUCT CODE, you will need this for the next step.
h) In the Windows Explorer that you should still have open,
- If you closed it, open it again! If you used the default directory > C:\ProgramData\Nokia\Packages\Products\rm-801
- Rename the following three files with your own product code:
GB Windows Variant Product code: "059L7C2"
Orange GB Branded product code: "059L7C6"
RM801_059L7C2_1600.2479.7740.11451_010.dcp RENAME TO
RM801_059L7C2_1600.2479.7740.11451_010.vpl RENAME TO
RM801_059L7C2_1600.2479.7740.11451_010_signature.bin RENAME TO
Preparing to flash the device
i) Now, in support tool, click on the cube at the bottom of the window on the right hand side and select "rescan data packages"
If all was successful, the cube should become green and we are now ready to flash.
* WARNING, BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER, MAKE SURE YOUR COMPUTER IS RUNNING FROM THE MAINS,
THAT YOU HAVE DISABLED ANY SLEEP OR SCHEDULED REBOOTS ETC. MAKE SURE NOTHING WILL
INTERRUPT THE FLASHING PROCESS. *
Flashing the device
j) During a flash, your phone will re-boot several times. This process may take 10 minutes or , be patient. Do not unplug the phone until its completed.
- In the Support Tool, on the left, choose the Programming tab.
- Choose Refurbish and then select Start.
The phone will reboot several times, vibrate a lot and eventually flash. During the preparing to flash stage, the progress bar does not move, and if it fails during this stage your device will be fine (this failed for me on three occasions at this stage, for reasons such as trying to flash the same firmare version, device driver not installing in windows, etc). The progress bar will move when it is actually flashing the device.
The process should last around 10 minutes.
I was able to flash my device successfully to the lastest version of Lumia 800 WP7 OS, 11501 *unbranded* using the steps I have detailed above. I cannot confirm at this time whether the update process will still work - my product code still reads as the branded version although I now have the unbranded ROM on my device. This post on XDA forum indicates that Zune update will work as normal even with the product code being different.
XDA forum flashing nokia attempts thread
29/01/2012 9:29 - Added "run as administrator" for nokia suite and information about unhiding system directories.
29/01/2012 9:38 - Added info and link to Zune update still working after this process.