Update (2016) – As Microsoft has closed down Nokia Firmware repository (on December 31, 2015), no software including Nokia Care Suite can download Nokia phone’s stock ROMs now. However you can still use this method to get firmware files.
Nokia Care Suite (NCS) is an official Nokia mobile service software used in Nokia Care service centers to solve mobile software related issues. I have already described Nokia Care Suite features and installation instructions in a previous post here, so to download and install NCS please refer to that post first. Here I will describe the use of Nokia Care Suite to flash (re-install), reset or update the firmware (Operating System software) of a supported Nokia mobile phone.
WARNING – Before jumping into action
- Backup phone data (if it is important to you) as everything in phone memory (and mass memory present in some phones) will be lost during flashing
- Make sure to follow the instructions given in this post very carefully, I am not responsible if anything goes wrong!!!
- Charge up phone’s battery to at least 3/4th of the full
- Format memory card and remove it from phone before flashing
Now there are two scenarios
A) Normal Flashing/ Updating firmware when the phone is in working condition
With Nokia Care Suite you can update your mobile to the latest available firmware (if it is running an older one) just like you can do via Nokia Suite. NCS can also download the official stock ROM (phone OS software) from Nokia servers and update the phone. The only difference between Nokia Care Suite and Nokia Suite software update is that Nokia Suite can also backup phone data (and restore it after update process) while Nokia Care Suite will perform a clean install (all phone data will be deleted). Follow the steps given below
1. If you already have phone’s stock firmware files (downloaded via Navifirm or from elsewhere) then copy them to C:\ProgramData\Nokia\Packages\Products\RM-XXX – where XXX is your phone’s product Type code. For example it will be RM-807 for Nokia 808PureView – this three digit code (product type) can be found at the sticker below battery in most Nokia mobiles. Create the folders if they do not exist according to the path. (Update – Navifirm is not working now – read this post to know about it’s alternative)
2. However if you don’t have the firmware files then Nokia Care Suite can also download the latest firmware for your phone. To do it, launch NCS, at the main interface double click “Product Support Tool for Store”.
3. At the opened window click “Tools / Firmware Download”. Enter your phone’s product code in the dialogue box (this code is usually 7 digit long in the format 0XXXXXX, you can find yours by dialing *#0000# at standby screen/dial pad). Click Check online button – wait for a while as NCS connects to Nokia firmware servers and shows the current software variant, version and size info. Now click Download button (do not tick/select the Optional content files option). NCS will start downloading the files wait for the process to complete (a fast internet connection is recommended)
4. After downloading completes, connect the phone with computer using USB data cable (in unlocked and ON condition). At “Product Support Tool for Store” window click Connection drop down button and select the USB phone connection. Wait for a while as NCS loads phone’s info.
5. Now click the button Programming – Refurbish (at the bottom left)
Refurbish window will show phone’s software info. Now Click “Start” button
Wait for the process to complete and NCS will notify you of the success…..done!!!
You can also use “Software Reset” option (instead of Refurbish) under Programming menu but this will reset phone’s software rather than a clean re-install.
B) Flashing a dead/bricked phone in switched Off condition
Update – Please refer to this new updated post on dead phone USB flashing using Nokia Care Suite describing the “USB dead-phone flashing” process in detail.
The process given below is a little outdated and may or may not work depending upon phone model & NCS version –
1. First-up, follow the steps 1 to 3 described above in section A to download phone firmware using NCS (if you already have phone firmware files then skip this step and proceed to second step below) – however don’t forget to copy firmware files in the location given in step 1 section A above
2. Launch Nokia Care Suite. Double click “Product Support Tool for Store”
3. At the opened window set connection to “No connection” (from drop down list at top left just below “File, View, Tools…. bar”). Now go to “File / Open Product”, find and select your phone’s RM-xxx from the opened box and click Open
4. Now click “Programming – Recovery” (option button at the bottom left). At recovery window select the downloaded firmware and check/tick “Update automatically” and “USB Dead phone flashing” option boxes (may or may not be present according to NCS version) and click Next.
5. Now connect the bricked phone (in switched off condition) with computer using USB cable – check that the phone is not getting switched ON when connected with computer, if it is so then disconnect phone from data cable and take out the battery, now connect the phone again with data cable and then re-insert battery. NCS will start flashing the phone – if it does not then press and hold the power button for a few seconds until flashing starts. The whole process may take several minutes so wait until it completes. Finally phone will restart and NCS will notify about the successful completion of flashing. If everything goes right you will get your phone back to life again
1. If Nokia Care Suite asks you to sign in then select “Care Suite External” from the drop down list and click “Sign In”
2. If you are flashing/updating the phone in ON condition then make sure to connect it with the computer in unlocked condition (without any security code enabled). NCS can’t remove any lock/security code.
3. If you can’t find the folder “C:\ProgramData\Nokia\Packages\Products” then it is probably hidden. To make it visible go to “Folder options” menu via My Computer and enable “Show hidden files and folders” and disable “Hide protected operating system files”
4. If your phone is not detected by Nokia Care Suite (in switched ON condition) then either it is not supported by this version of NCS or its drivers are not installed in computer. To see the phone models supported by your installed NCS version go to “Help/Supported Products”. If your phone model is listed there and it is still not detected then try installing latest version of Nokia Suite in computer and see if this solves the issue.
6. You must flash the phone only with the current (installed in the phone) or newer firmware version. DO NOT use an older (than the currently installed one) version firmware to flash the phone as this may brick it.