UPDATE - Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets [inc possible fix]

Summary:Reports are beginning to circulate that Microsoft's first update for Windows Phone handsets, released yesterday, is causing problems for some owners of Samsung Omnia handsets.

Reports are beginning to circulate that Microsoft's first update for Windows Phone handsets, released yesterday, is causing problems for some owners of Samsung Omnia handsets. Some believe that this is down to a firmware issue on the Omnia, with firmware versions JI9 and JJ4 experiencing problems, while the JK1 firmware is unaffected.

The problem seems to occur at stage 6 of 10 of the update process, where the handset reboots after the update. But instead of rebooting properly, Zune throws up an error message:


An error prevented the restoration of your phone to its previous version.

Your phone can't be used in its present condition and there are no restore points for it on this computer. The phone might restart and return to normal if you disconnect it. For further assistance, contact your mobile operator.


Once in this state, the handset seems to be bricked.

WinRumors has been doing some digging:

Granville says every time he turns the device on he’s presented with a “Connect phone to PC” screen and the device fails to initialize. Hard resets and trying it on multiple machines have not helped, he’s stuck. Granville isn’t alone however. A quick scan of Twitter shows that the picture is mixed. A large number of the issues stem from the backup process and its failure but only a small number of users are reporting that devices no longer boot-up correctly. Will Cahill, Michel Angelo and Steve Frolleau all report Samsung backup issues whilst Alex Roebuck, Mikael Petersson and Evan Bronstein all report non-functioning devices as a result of the update.

Microosft's current response to the problem, which so far has only been via the Windows Phone Support twitter account (@WinPhoneSupport) is to tell affected owners to "sit tight" or take their handsets back to the store.

Microsoft has two KnowledgeBase articles covering Windows Phone issues that might be of help:

My advice is for Samsung Omnia owners (and anyone else relying on their WP7 handset) to steer clear of this update until the cause of the problem has been uncovered and fixed.

[UPDATE: Microsoft has now acknowledged that it is aware of this problem and is looking into the reports.]

[UPDATE 2: Here's a possible fix:

  • Unplug the handset from the computer and place on charge.
  • Turn handset off.
  • Turn handset back on holding Power + Camera + Volume Down buttons.
  • Hold buttons for 15 seconds. Continue to hold if asked if you want to format SD card. Keep holding the three buttons until handset enters 'Download mode' which will reinstall the OS.
  • If handset doesn't reboot within 15 minutes, switch it off and on.
  • Handset should be ready to set up again.

Hope this helps.]

[UPDATE 3: WinRumors has outlined a possible fix for the WP7 update handset bricking problem. It's long and convoluted, involved downloading firmware from untrusted sources and there are no guarantees ... but it could bring your bricked handset back to life.]

[UPDATE 4: Microsoft issues comment on the matter here.]

Topics: Samsung, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Windows


Adrian Kingsley-Hughes is an internationally published technology author who has devoted over a decade to helping users get the most from technology -- whether that be by learning to program, building a PC from a pile of parts, or helping them get the most from their new MP3 player or digital camera.Adrian has authored/co-authored technic... Full Bio

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