WP7 "hack" breaks official updates, fix coming soon

Uh oh, This doesn't sound too good. Microsoft has come out and said that anyone that forced on the "NoDo" update last month by utilizing a method nicknamed "Walshing" your phone, are now unsupported, and may not receive any future updates.

The background here is when Microsoft "made available" NoDo in late March, many carriers held back the update and users began to become frustrated with how long the updates were taking to reach them. This prompted Microsoft to release a website showing the status of the update based on carriers worldwide, but then, Chris Walshie came into the picture. Chris found a way -- using the "Update Support Tools" -- to load any update onto any Windows Phone 7 device. At the time, it seemed harmless but now it seems like these users may be stuck with the version they're on, unless Chris can figure out a fix.

In a post on the Windows Phone developers blog today, Brandon Watson has announced that "phones updated via the unsupported method do not contain an official image and cannot be updated further at this time" and goes on to say that "due to scheduling of engineering resources, we did not anticipate having to undue the changes made to phones by these unsupported methods." Brandon does point out that they aren't ruling out a future fix, but it is definitely not a focus for the team right now (who are obviously hard at work on Windows Phone OS 7.5).

The blog post goes on to deeply detail the issues with the method, stating that forcing the upgrade only allowed Windows Phone devices to partially update, and this missed important parts in the process. This explains why some users who forced the update using Walshies' method were asked by Zune to update a second time. Brandon says that Zune is the only way that phones will update, and other than that OEM's themselves are the only ones with the power to flash a phone, and thanks to the error code related to this issue (80180048), manufacturers will know exactly what has happened and may refuse to service the phone.

Brandon goes on to say that he "personally feel[s] really bad for customers who find themselves with phones which are now stuck" and actually praises the team for their work in creating the tool;

However, the creators of the unsupported tool are a clever bunch, and wanted to get a timely fix created for customers who have put their phones into this state. They believe they have created a way to get these phones back on the officially supported path. We will work with them to validate their solution and applaud the team for taking responsibility to do this.

Interestingly enough, over on Chris Walshie's blog is a short post about the issues updating, asking for users' phone make & model, Carrier ID, and exact version number. He even claims his three "Walshied" phones were updated via Zune and that "you don't need to re-flash it, the fix is quite simple really" - though he doesn't detail how just yet. 

Update: Windows Phone Secrets says that a fix is coming sometime soon, and Brandon Watson has said that:

The creators of the unsupported tool wanted to get a timely fix created for customers who have put their phones into this state. They believe they have created a way to get these phones back on the officially supported path. We will work with them to validate their solution and applaud the team for taking responsibility to do this.

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