UPDATE + FIX: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung

UPDATE + FIX: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung

Summary: Microsoft has halted distribution of the first Windows Phone 7 update to Samsung devices following complaints that the update left some handsets in a 'bricked' state.

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TOPICS: Samsung, Microsoft
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Microsoft has halted distribution of the first Windows Phone 7 update to Samsung devices following complaints that the update left some handsets in a 'bricked' state.

A Microsoft spokesperson had the following comment:

"In response to this emerging issue, we have temporarily taken down the latest software update for Samsung phones in order to correct the issue."

No timescale for a revised update has been given other than it will be available "as soon as possible."

The problem as reported seemed to occur at stage 6 of 10 of the update process, and seems to be restricted to Samsung handsets with certain firmware configurations. Affected handsets caused Zune software to display the following error:

RESTORATION ERROR

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.

ERROR CODE C101002E

To prevent further problems Microsoft has temporarily halted distribution of the update to all Samsung WP7 handsets.

Peter Bright of Ars Technica sums up the situation perfectly:

It's amazing. Given the importance that Microsoft's smartphone platform should have-not to mention the uphill struggle it faces against the iPhone and Android juggernauts-one would have thought that the company would make sure that delivery of the first patch was rock solid and reliable.

If you're one of those affected, here's a possible fix for those with bricked handsets:

  • 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.

It also emerges that despite repeated assurances from Microsoft to the contrary, carriers can block updates from being sent to WP7 handsets.

These bricked WP7 Samsung handsets stand as a good example of why a one-size-fits-all update across multiple devices and OEMs is far from an ideal situation. Something here obviously slipped passed Microsoft during the testing phase, and as more handsets hit the market the situation will only get worse. Hopefully this lesson will be taken on board by makers and OEMs and we'll see devices that are a lot harder to brick and a lot easier to recover from a bricked state (think how far motherboards have come along in recent years).

[UPDATE: What should you do if you are now the proud owner of a bricked handset? Here's what Microsoft says:

"If your device is in an unrecoverable state, you should contact your mobile operator or device manufacturer regarding your options for repairing your device."

However, at least one Samsung Omnia owner has managed to unbrick their handset by using the Samsung version JK1 firmware.]

[UPDATE 2: 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 3: Microsoft issues comment on the matter here.]

Topics: Samsung, Microsoft

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28 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

    One wonders how this makes Nokia feel.
    MvdL
    • They're happy they don't make Samsung phones!

      @MvdL
      My guess - they are laughing as it's only happening with Samsung phones. My guess is that Nokia is happy they build better hardware.
      Will Farrell
      • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

        @Will Farrell
        this time
        what about the next ...
        buy Apple, live long and proper ...
        desilvav
      • Or don't buy Apple

        @desilvav
        and make calls and prosper.
        Will Farrell
      • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

        @Will Farrell
        and ignore the iPhones that get bricked after updates
        http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/iphone/iphone-3g-crippled-by-software-update-20100720-10ijp.html
        DigitalAtheist
    • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

      @MvdL ... that comment made me both LOL and sad at the same time ...
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

      @MvdL <br>good<br>buy Apple<br>all the rest is crap, on crap ...
      desilvav
      • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

        @desilvav

        and ignore the iPhones that get bricked after updates
        http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/iphone/iphone-3g-crippled-by-software-update-20100720-10ijp.html
        DigitalAtheist
  • Note to MS - A phone is not a PC

    Kudos to MS for building WP7 as a phone platform from the ground up. They didn't try to modify a pre-existing PC OS and convert it for phones (think WinMobile). However they seem to have lost that clarity of vision regarding updates. You cannot expect to use PC-update methodology to update phones. It requires the same kind of ground-up thinking for it to be successful. Here's hoping that part of the WP7-SP2(?) will include a completely re-designed upgrade architecture suited specifically for the phone platform, not just a "mobilized" version of Automatic Updates.
    dcj2subs@...
    • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

      @dcj2subs@...
      buy Apple ...
      live long and be happy
      desilvav
      • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

        @desilvav
        and turn a blind eye to the iPhones that get bricked after updates
        http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/iphone/iphone-3g-crippled-by-software-update-20100720-10ijp.html
        DigitalAtheist
  • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

    Its sad that Microsoft has to clean up after Samsung's mess and because of the shoddy Samsung programming Microsoft cannot distribute its updates.
    Loverock Davidson
    • I agree

      @Loverock Davidson
      But the question that keeps nagging me is - is this bad programming by Samsung, or a hardware component that is just out of spec?

      I am ready to replace my (busted - my fault) iPhone, and although I'd be happy with another iPhone, I am looking at all platforms. What I am worried about is the possibility that buying a phone manufactured by one company with an OS written by another may lead to a serious conflict. I don't have a landline. For me, this would have been a HUGE problem. I guess that's the gamble I may have to take, though.
      use_what_works_4_U
      • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

        @macadam
        "I guess that's the gamble I may have to take, though."
        Lout Tice says that we never make one decision; rather, we make two. We make the decision that we make and we make the decision to accept the consequences. Powerful words, in my view ;-)
        Wakemewhentrollsgone
    • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

      The Samsung programmers are used to slip shod commie FOSS software and are just not up to the task of using class code. The WP7 OS is just amazing, the first time I used it my dandruff was gone instantly - praise be MS
      Rubberduck Rabidson
      • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

        @Rubberduck Rabidson
        buy Apple ...
        live long and talk
        desilvav
      • Talk?

        @desilvav
        that's the one thing the iPhone has alot of trouble doing.

        I like your sarcasm!
        Will Farrell
      • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

        @Rubberduck Rabidson

        don't forget to ignore the iPhone brickings either

        http://www.theage.com.au/digital-life/iphone/iphone-3g-crippled-by-software-update-20100720-10ijp.html
        DigitalAtheist
  • They've always said that carriers could hold back one update

    but that since updates would always be cumulative users would get it by the next update at the latest if they did. That's one of the reasons why MS retains control of the update service. There's nothing weird going on there to lamely try to make some big deal out of, it's still far superior to androids buy a new phone to get updates model...
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Microsoft halts distribution of WP7 update to Samsung devices

      @Johnny Vegas
      buy Apple ...
      live long and be sure of you (i) phone
      desilvav