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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42 Comments

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I did some digging and figured out what's gone wrong. Some phones have more than one language installed, but the Chevron updater only installs the language update for the language you choose. When Zune goes to update your phone, it tries to install updates for the rest of the languages to, but fails since the versions on the phone are incorrect. All that needs to be done is install the missing language updates. I have a Samsung Focus that was updated with the US English update. Looking at the log files for the update, it also needed:

German
Italian
Spanish
French

Using the Chevron updater as a base, I reworked it to install the missing languages. If you're using a Samsung Focus, you can get the exe I wrote to update my phone from https://rapidshare.com/files/461012568/FixFocus.zip. I can't promise that nothing horrible will happen, but my phone did update properly to 7392 via Zune after running it.

If you have some other phone that uses a different combination of languages, it's just a matter of applying a different set of updates. Definitely no need to reflash the phone!

If someone has a different phone with the problem, shoot me a PM and I can whip something up that should fix it.

I am glad that I went with Apple instead of Microsoft as far as both my 2010 Apple Mac Mini and my Apple IPhone 3GS go. With my Apple Developer Program Membership, I have gotten to test a lot of Pre-Release stuff from them already, something that Microsoft doesn't seem to be offering to MSDN and Tech Net any more!

Don't care. I was one of the few who did force the update and I do not regret it. Someone else may pick up the pieces for microsoft's fiasco. A similar tool might be released for Mango too but not from the original authors.

If Microsoft do ditch early adopters who manually updated then a big FU FU FU FU FU to them. I will switch back to my Iphone or get a HTC Sensation

edit: ... ok so I just realised this might be BS or scaremongering... after NoDo HTC released an update of their own and my phone updated to it via Zune... No Problems

Today I have the certificate update... phone updated and is fine. 7392 I believe....

Noveed said,
Don't care. I was one of the few who did force the update and I do not regret it. Someone else may pick up the pieces for microsoft's fiasco. A similar tool might be released for Mango too but not from the original authors.

If Microsoft do ditch early adopters who manually updated then a big FU FU FU FU FU to them. I will switch back to my Iphone or get a HTC Sensation

edit: ... ok so I just realised this might be BS or scaremongering... after NoDo HTC released an update of their own and my phone updated to it via Zune... No Problems

Today I have the certificate update... phone updated and is fine. 7392 I believe....

It doesn't mean that you will get Mango update.

alexalex said,

It doesn't mean that you will get Mango update.

NoDo - Unofficial Method
Post NoDo HTC Update - Zune
Certificate Update - Zune

The last 2 updates will update in the same way as any other official update, including the Mango one... why would they change the update procedure?

Why cant you just obtain the original ROM for the phone and flash that? and then do the upgrade proccess for Nodo through Zune again?

Theres plenty of mirrors on XDA for the ROM's, especially for HTC's.

One of the side effects is this is that this will likely encourage and create a market for unofficial updates for people who choose not to wait for Microsoft or their carriers to release updates.

Sucks to be WP7 users in this case. I still have my old myTouch android phone. When I upgraded, I reverted the phone back to stock and I modded the hell out of the phone. I turned it on the other day to test something out and had an OTA update waiting for me.

techbeck said,
Sucks to be WP7 users in this case. I still have my old myTouch android phone. When I upgraded, I reverted the phone back to stock and I modded the hell out of the phone. I turned it on the other day to test something out and had an OTA update waiting for me.

Yet, over 80% of Android phones will NEVER see an update past 2.2. MFRs and Carriers are tired of carrying the load and are moving to a locked version model, which basically means you only get the version the phone shipped with.

(Google/Bing the stories of both carriers and MFRs giving up on future updates for phones.)

Why any person would comment on a WP7 update when Android isn't going to even be updated for most users just freaking amazes me.

(Yes I know, we can root, cyanogen or pick your favorite rom and use whatever we want, but the average person will not and are stuck with various fragemented versions from 1.6 to 2.3)

I think it's fantastic that Microsoft are helping out the guys who were originally trying to hack the platform. It's a good thing They are willing to verify the chevron update fix.

I have not heard of Apple cooperating with the jailbreak community.

AFAIK there is a button to revert update in Zune. Or does this unofficial update method work without involving Zune?

х.iso said,
AFAIK there is a button to revert update in Zune. Or does this unofficial update method work without involving Zune?

It doesn't involve Zune, though I'd be curious to see if that button works.

At the end of the post, it clearly indicates Microsoft is working with us to get a fix out there. I'm confused why you'd pick such a ridiculous title.

Paul Thurrott is reporting that Walsh is close to having a fix, and the MS is working to verify that it works, which goes in hand with the Article's quote by Brandon

Well, at least it's not like Microsoft's condemning the hackers or anything. After all, they seem to be saying that it's a tech issue...

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
People that used a hack to get the update have no one to blame but themselves. Period.
And its really damned stupid to have carriers sit on updates.

necrosis said,
And its really damned stupid to have carriers sit on updates.

I agree, and it is similar for Android as well. It is absolutely moronic for Microsoft and Google to allow the phone hardware makers and wireless carriers to restrict who can get updates, and when.

The best analogy would be if Microsoft allowed computer OEMs (the phone hardware makers) or ISPs (the wireless carriers) to restrict who could get Windows updates, and when they could apply them.

necrosis said,
And its really damned stupid to have carriers sit on updates.
Whatever the reason for the delay, using unofficial and unsupported software to satisfy a need for instant gratification and a lack of patience created this situation for these people and, again, they have no one to blame but themselves. Period.

SiLeNtDeAtH said,
People that used a hack to get the update have no one to blame but themselves. Period.

Yeah....okay...so the copy and paste update was promised for the WP7 platform when? Oh yeah a cpl of times but the most recent was the start of the year...they finally release it in March and many users are left to the mercy of carriers...some of whom STILL have not rolled out the update....oh how dare these users want extra FUNCTIONALITY that was promised to them....

There is only 1 source of blame here and that is with MS for creating a unique platform and matching it with the crappiest update process possible.

Props to Chris Walsh for doing MS job for them. Hope Brandons salary this week goes to Chris.

Osiris said,
Yeah....okay...so the copy and paste update was promised for the WP7 platform when? Oh yeah a cpl of times but the most recent was the start of the year...they finally release it in March and many users are left to the mercy of carriers...some of whom STILL have not rolled out the update....oh how dare these users want extra FUNCTIONALITY that was promised to them....

There is only 1 source of blame here and that is with MS for creating a unique platform and matching it with the crappiest update process possible.

Props to Chris Walsh for doing MS job for them. Hope Brandons salary this week goes to Chris.

Please shut up, just shut up.

It is the carriers that are blocking the update; not Microsoft, not the handset vendors but the carriers. If you want to whine to someone then ring up your carrier and complain to them.

What is it with people spewing crap without any clue as to the nature of what is happening in the real world. An account on Neowin doesn't give you an open cheque book to spew ignorance.

SHoTTa35 said,
I doubt that'll be happening. I don't see them abandoning their "early adopters" just yet.

I think it really is happening, the group of people that did the hack are far less than the userbase itself. It would be worse for them to focus on this instead of Mango.

SHoTTa35 said,
I doubt that'll be happening. I don't see them abandoning their "early adopters" just yet.

Microsoft is in such a big sleep. It will take a voyager trip to wake them up.

kabix said,
Microsoft is in such a big sleep. It will take a voyager trip to wake them up.

I don't think they're asleep, I think they're just naive if they think that the carriers will meet them half way when it comes to unblocking updates. If Microsoft really want to take control of the situation they should just flat out use Zune/Windows Phone 7 Connector to distribute updates and forget about the whole OTA update model. It is clear that the carriers are dead keen to kill any possible momentum of WP7 in favour of forcing Microsoft's hand and allow carriers to install crapware on phones being sold - Microsoft need to stand their ground and say, "no, this is how we're going to do it and if you don't like it we'll give you an Irish sixpack".

Mr Nom Nom's said,

I don't think they're asleep, I think they're just naive if they think that the carriers will meet them half way when it comes to unblocking updates. If Microsoft really want to take control of the situation they should just flat out use Zune/Windows Phone 7 Connector to distribute updates and forget about the whole OTA update model. It is clear that the carriers are dead keen to kill any possible momentum of WP7 in favour of forcing Microsoft's hand and allow carriers to install crapware on phones being sold - Microsoft need to stand their ground and say, "no, this is how we're going to do it and if you don't like it we'll give you an Irish sixpack".


AMEN, brother!

GS:mac