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Upgrading Nokia

Nokia likes to refer to their current crop of phones as multimedia computers.  They’re trying to convey to you, the customer, that these are more than simply phones.  While it’s true that these are smarter phones than what’s on the market, the comparison to a computer is a little too close to the mark.

Last night I upgraded a bunch of Nokia components for two of my N-series phones — the N70, and the N91.  Specifically, new releases of the Nokia PC-Suite software are available, as well as upgraded software for both phones.  Make sure, before installing the software update tool, that you have installed the PC Suite software first. 

If you care about the data currently on the phone, make sure to use PC Suite to back it up before running the update tool as well.  The update tool will blow away any existing data on most phones, with the exception of phones like the N91, which have built in hard disks. Check to make sure that the back up has actually worked.  My N70 backup did not work, which I did not find out until afterward. The update wiped out my copy of the  very good WayFinder Navigator.  I am now faced with finding the receipt, and begging the WayFinder folks for a new copy. 

The software update tool is good for a wide variety of phones, including many of the N-Series, E-Series and 66xx series phones, but unfortunately not the N90.   It’s very simple to use as well.  You simply download it, plug your phone into the PC using the data cable, run the tool, and wait.  It then fetches the software from Nokia and installs it on the phone. 

Prominent warnings are displayed throughout this process that your phone may be permanently damaged if the power is lost, or if the phone is switched off or disconnected, during the update process.  In fact the software will not install unless the phone is connected to the charger, in case you’re trying to do this in a low battery situation.  You probably also want to be doing this from a PC connected to a UPS, or from a laptop.  Just in case…

In both cases, partway through the process the software update tool complained that it had lost contact with the phone, and demanded that I remove the battery from the phone and power-cycle it.  After the warnings, it gave me quite a fright!  It appears, however, that this was nothing more than the standard reboot-after-installing-new-software you might expect.  In both cases, the phones restarted with the new software.

I also installed the new PC Suite software.  A tip: make sure to install the PC Suite before installing the software update tool.  If the software update tool doesn’t find the drivers it needs already installed, it will fetch some standard Windows drivers from Windows update.  Those drivers do not work with PC Suite.  If you accidentally install those drivers, before you install PC Suite, PC Suite will not be able to communicate with the phone.  I repeat: make sure you have installed PC Suite before using the software upgrade tool.  It appears to be exceedingly difficult to reverse this problem.  I ended up repeating the whole process on another computer.

It took me a couple of hours, in the end, to upgrade both phones.  However, they’re both faster than before. The deadly long boot cycle on the N70 seems to be gone, hooray! The release notes I received from the Nokia Blogger Relations team also indicate that I can expect a more stable experience on the N91 too. In particular, the HDD Unavailable error on the N91 is apparently resolved. Both are welcome changes.

There you have it.  The N Series phones are definitely more like a computer than a phone.  That’s good, but sometimes it’s just a pain in the butt. Nokia makes beautiful phones.  It’s too bad their software doesn’t show the same attention to detail.

More tips on the N91 are available from the N91 Blogger Site.   

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Juan Carlos October 18, 2006, 3:40 pm

    I try to upgrade the firmware of my N91 ESeries and the Nokia Sotfware Update (http://www.nokiausa.com/support/software/softwareupdate/1,8838,,00.html) display the following error:

    "Connection to phone lost"
    1. Please remove and reinstall the battery from your phone
    2. Ensure that your phone is switched on and connecter to your PC. Some…..

    Retry Cancel

    I made this steps and when the phone restarts, the display still blank, no keypress accepted and the Windows XP shows this error: "USB Device Not Recognized"

    What can i do for repair my phone?

    Thanks for any help, i very worried for this, it's a very expensive phone!

  • Alec October 18, 2006, 3:49 pm

    Juan Carlos, I recommend you visit the Nokia N91 Bloggers site: http://n91.bloggercomm.com/index.php

    I haven't the encountered the problem you saw, and I don't know what to do. But someone there may!

  • jinxed January 23, 2007, 8:59 am

    the other day i was trying to update the software on my N80 phone when PC suite showed my phone as disconnected, also my phone screen went blanked…..i thought the connection had dropped and removed the USB cord to check on the phone and my phone just would not switch on. Help!!

  • mcanti March 1, 2007, 12:38 pm

    I'm having the same problem!!!!! Please help!

    Updating software went fine till about 80%, then an error saying Connection to phone lost. Restarting phone shows a blank screen, nothing works further. Clicking retry doesn't help either.

  • austin March 25, 2008, 7:56 am

    pls i'm seriously in need of phone engineering softwares. Thank you.AUSTIN

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