WARNING: Phone flashing is an advanced specialized task meant to be performed by skilled personnel at mobile service centers. It is not intended to be used by average phone users. For them flashing is a double-edged sword; it may be useful and risky at the same time. There is a small but definite risk of bricking the phone, more so if not done properly. So DO NOT flash your device casually or just for fun and follow all the instructions carefully. We are not responsible if anything goes wrong.
What is Phoenix and Nokia phone flashing?
As you may know Phoenix is a Nokia service software capable of performing many advanced phone related tasks. In a previous post I have described normal USB flashing of Nokia phones using Phoenix Service Software (when the phone is ON/in working condition). Flashing means re-installing phone software (OS – Operating System) via computer and a software (and/or a special hardware like a flashing box). Here I will describe the use of Phoenix to flash stock or custom firmware (also called ROM) in Nokia phones in “Dead Phone USB/No Connection/Offline” mode. There are many scenarios when this type of flashing is required like for example –
- When the phone is bricked (not starting up/stuck at white screen/stuck at Nokia logo/BSOD/only vibrates at power on) due to any software related issue. Reasons of a bricked (dead) phone include corrupt system files, virus/malware infection, previous failed/interrupted or incorrect attempt of flashing, software update gone wrong etc
- Previous attempt of flashing or software update was interrupted or failed (due to low battery/data cable disconnection/computer hanged etc) resulting in a dead phone
- Hard reset (three-key format method) is not working to revive the phone
- Phone is in “Restart loop” (restarting again and again) and hard reset is not working
- To reset/remove phone’s security code when the Phone is locked and you forgot/don’t know the security (lock) code. (Note – carrier lock may or may not be removed by flashing)
- Normal flashing is not working (when the phone is on)
As the name indicates, Dead-phone-USB flashing mode is generally used to solve bricked phone issues but you can also use it to flash a normally working phone. Actually it is preferable to use this mode because there is less chance of errors in it in comparison to normal USB mode.
- Phoenix Service Software (PSS) – download from here (for Nokia 808) or here (for other Nokia phones). Install Phoenix in a computer running Windows 10 (or any Windows version XP onwards). IMPORTANT – Disable the antivirus software in your computer before installing (and during use of) Phoenix. Otherwise it will not install correctly giving errors (like “dongle” error) during flashing. Don’t worry, Phoenix is not a virus or contains any malware!
- Navifirm (download from here) to download stock ROM or original firmware files of your phone (Update – Navifirm is not working now – read this post to know about it’s alternative)
- Phone’s stock firmware files (downloaded via Navifirm or from elsewhere). You can safely avoid downloading the emmc file (memory card content) which is optional and very large in size (around 1GB for N8) and thus will take too much time to download.
- Compatible USB data cable (preferably the original one which came bundled with the phone)
- Nokia Suite/PC Suite installed in PC – Nokia connectivity cable drivers are installed with it
- Optional – Custom firmware files in case you want to flash the phone with a custom ROM (usually uda, core and/or rofs files) – you should know where to get these (or search Google) – read this post to know more.
- Your Nokia phone in switched off condition
Some steps prior to flashing the phone
- After installing Phoenix, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Nokia\Phoenix\Products and create a new folder at this location (i.e. in the “Products” folder) with the name RM-XXX (where XXX is the product-type code specific to your phone, for example it will be RM-596 for Nokia N8). Usually this three digit code (product type) can be found at the sticker below battery in most Nokia mobiles.
- Now place (copy) the phone stock firmware files (or custom firmware files) in this RM-xxx folder. Creation of this folder and placing firmware files in it are necessary steps as Phoenix will look for these files at this location only.
- All data in the phone memory (and mass memory if present) will be lost during flashing. So (if possible and required) backup your important phone data (contacts, messages, media files etc) via computer (Mass storage, PC Suite or Nokia Suite) before flashing it.
- Preferably format the memory card before flashing the phone. If you don’t want to format the memory card then at least delete sys, private and resource (hidden) folders from it via computer. These folders have old app data and system files which may cause problems when used in the phone after flashing. Phone memory (and mass storage memory if present) will be formatted during flashing.
- Do not connect the phone with computer at this stage and until the last step of this process when Phoenix will prompt you to connect it (even then connect the phone in “Switched Off” condition)
Flashing Nokia phones via computer using Phoenix
All set-up! Now follow the instructions and screenshots given below
1. Before using Phoenix, disable antivirus software in your computer. Now launch Phoenix as Administrator in computer (right click on its icon and click “Run as Administrator”). Set the “Connections” option as “NO CONNECTION” from the drop down (if it is not set already)
2. Now go to File – Open Product. A window will pop up, enter your phone’s product type code (like RM-596 for Nokia N8) in the Type filter box. If supported, it will show up in the results box below. Select it by clicking at the result and then click OK button.
3. Now go to “Flashing – Firmware update”
Firmware Update window will open as shown below. Click the three dots button (…) at Product Code option – another window with title “Product Codes available in current Data-Package” will open. Select the desired data package (usually there is only one available) and click OK. However if your phone software is not detected by Phoenix (“Neither DP1 nor DP2 found for the product” error pops up) then check that the directory “C:\Program Files (x86)\Nokia\Phoenix\Products\RM-xxx” exists and the firmware files are in it – create if it does not and place the firmware files in it.
4. Now it’s time to connect the phone with computer
- Switch Off the phone completely (take out the battery and re-insert if the power button is not switching it off)
- When Phoenix prompts to connect the phone (as shown in the screenshot above), connect it with PC using USB cable – Phoenix should detect the phone and flashing will start
- If it does not then press and hold mobile’s Power On/Off button for a few seconds and it should start now
- Note that most new Nokia phones will boot (switch on) into charging mode when connected with computer and thus flashing may not start in “Dead USB/No connection mode” – to solve this issue take out phone’s battery and connect it with computer (without battery) – now insert battery in the phone (in the connected state) – Phoenix should now detect the phone and start the flashing process. In Nokia N8 (and some other phones) the battery can’t be removed – in such case press and hold (long press) the power button until phone vibrates twice (about 8-10 seconds) and Phoenix starts flashing.
- Proper phone connection with Phoenix at the right time is kind of a “hit or miss” process so do not worry if it does not work for you in the first attempt, retry a few times and you will hit the right spot.
- Once flashing starts it will go on completely auto-pilot so just chill and wait for the process to complete, it may take 10-20 minutes depending upon phone model (Phoenix will show flashing process log info during the process). DO NOT touch the phone or data cable during the process as it may interrupt the connection and brick the phone. When the process completes, Phoenix will notify you and phone will restart, now you can safely disconnect it from PC!
How to avoid and solve “Nokia dongle” error? – Make sure to disable antivirus(es) software running in your PC before installing and using Phoenix Service Software. If the error persists then disable your Antivirus and re-install Phoenix once again. Keep the antivirus off when using Phoenix. This should solve the issue.
Do not panic if something goes wrong due to flashing (phone is bricked – not starting up, stuck at Nokia logo or in boot-loop etc), try following
1. Format the phone with *#7370# code and see if this solves the issue
2. Hard reset the phone by key combinations and see if this solves the issue otherwise
3. Flash the phone again with stock firmware files using Phoenix
Phone flashing is just a fresh re-install of phone OS (Operating System) software, so it will solve any software related issue. However it does not have any role in repairing hardware related issues (due to damage to the circuit by electricity/falling/water or “Contact service” error). In such cases it is always recommended to contact an authorized service center or a good mobile repair shop.
You may also try following similar methods to flash a Nokia phone
Flashing Nokia phones using JAF software
Flashing Lumia/Windows phones using Windows Device Recovery Tool