Update (Feb. 2015) – NSU is not working now as Microsoft has transformed it into Lumia Software Recovery Tool (LSRT). So please refer to this updated guide which explains the use of LSRT to flash/update/reset Nokia phones.
There are many scenarios when a phone needs to be reset/flashed – like a dead/bricked phone, frequent restarts, restart-loop issue, WP8-Lumia cog-wheel issue etc. Quite a few tools are available for general public which can be used to reset/update/flash firmware of a Nokia phone like Nokia Care Suite, Phoenix, JAF, NSS etc. However with the change of Nokia’s firmware download policies and shifting focus to Windows Phone Lumia devices, older methods are getting obsolete. Most Lumia phones (specially newer ones like Lumia 920, 925, 525, 625, 928, 1020, 1320, 1520) are not supported by Phoenix, JAF and NSS. Even latest version of Nokia Care Suite is useless for general public as Nokia has removed the Care Suite External login option from it (thus only authorized Nokia personnel can login and use NCS now).
Fortunately a new version of an old software recently came out to the rescue in this scenario, specially for Lumia owners. It is good old Nokia Software Updater (NSU) which came out in a new updated Avatar (version 4.1 Retail). Whether it has been leaked or deliberately made public by Nokia is not known (but who cares!). Originally NSU was intended to update Nokia phone’s software when the phone is in working condition. But Nokia has added a much needed “dead phone flashing/recovery” capability in this version of NSU which makes it extremely useful for average users. One of the change-log of this new release read – “Dead phone recovery for WP8 devices that do not boot up correctly”.
Unlike Phoenix and other such complicated flashing softwares, NSU is very simple to use. Here is how you can use NSU 4.1 to get your bricked phone back to life (or update it to the latest software version) –
WARNING – before jumping into action, beware of the fact that phone flashing is not a fun and casual process intended for novices thus -
you must know exactly what you are doing
follow the below given instructions very carefully
phone battery must be charged to at least 3/4th of the full, however if the phone is dead and you do not know the battery charging status then do not use the phone charger/Wireless charger to charge the phone as it may heat up the battery and damage it, instead use a low-power USB data cable charging via computer
Dead phone flashing/recovery process will delete everything in phone memory so take a backup of your data if possible
Be patient and DO NOT touch or disconnect USB data cable before the whole process finishes as interruption in flashing may render your phone irreparable.
As this process takes quite some time, make sure that your computer is not set to go into standby/sleep mode when left unattended for long period as it will interrupt the flashing process.
Ready to go? – follow the steps given below
1. Download NSU 4.1 for Retail free from here (about 104MB) and install in your Windows PC (Win7, 8 or higher) – it will take some time as many components will be installed
2. After installation, launch NSU – you must be online to use NSU (a fast internet connection is recommended) – you should see following launch screen
3. Now there are two scenarios
A. If you have a normally working phone – just connect it with a supported USB data cable and wait for a while (do not click “My device does not boot up”) – NSU will detect the device and check the latest available software for it online – after some time NSU will show you the latest phone software details as shown below
Now click “Update” button – wait as NSU will start downloading firmware files (download time depends upon phone model and your internet connection speed) – after download finishes NSU will start flashing the phone and will notify you when successfully done!
B. Dead/bricked phone flashing – if your phone is having problems booting up (completely dead, restart loop etc) due to whatever reason (except hardware issues), then at “Connect your device” screen do not connect your phone – click the “My device does not boot up” button – NSU will forward to another window as shown below –
Now connect your phone (preferably in switch off condition) with computer using USB cable – if phone is a Nokia Lumia device then press and hold Volume Down and Power button simultaneously for a few seconds – phone will vibrate and NSU will detect it and after a while will start downloading firmware files
now all you have to do is wait, wait and wait as downloading over 1GB data (varies depending upon phone model) will take time and then flashing will also take some time. NSU will notify you once the process finishes, done! Back to life your Nokia phone.
Note – Although specifically designed to solve bricked Lumia phone issues, this version of NSU works perfectly well for other Nokia phones too (Asha, S40 and Symbian).
Supported Nokia Lumia phones (WP 8/7.5/7) – Lumia 800, 900, 510, 610, 710, 520, 620, 720, 820, 525, 625, 920, 925, 928, 929, 1020, 1320, 1520 etc)