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

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.

SHARE:

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:

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

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, Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

52 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

    Does this use Kies?

    Samsung needs to come up with some decent software, like iTunes.
    alsobannedfromzdnet
    • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

      @alsobannedfromzdnet
      iTunes...
      I hope you are joking.
      12312332123
    • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

      @alsobannedfromzdnet

      Itunes is as great as the AOL desktop software of the 90's. IF that is what you consider 'decent', then to each their own.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

        @Cylon Centurion 0005
        Agreed. I stopped using AOL's buggy, resource hogging software ten years ago and though I'm not a fan of Apple I did try iTunes for Windows recently, just to make a fair comparison to Zune; I found iTunes to be buggy and worst of all extremely slow. Obviously, I uninstalled it after a week or so of trying to find any small way in which it compared to the elegance and speed of Zune. Admittedly, my 9 year old niece got an iPad for Christmas and loves playing the free games on it so I have to credit Apple with making some really cool-looking toys but I don't need over-priced toys. Even my 28 year old son received an iPad from his girlfriend for Christmas and other than checking email, which he could already do on his phone, he rarely uses it. Except, of course, to make jokes about it on Facebook....
        xplorer1959
      • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

        @xplorer1959
        <i> I'm not a fan of Apple I did try iTunes for Windows recently, just to make a fair comparison to Zune; I found iTunes to be buggy and worst of all extremely slow. </i>

        I think there is code in windows to hamper iTunes. There are no problems on OS X, with iTunes, it is quick and responsive on anything newer than a 10 year old PPC Mac. Now there is no way to try out Zune software on OS X as it is not available (you would have to buy a copy of windows to use it). So Zune software (written by Microsoft) is probably able to access the undocumented APIs that iTunes doesn?t have access to. But I would not put it past Microsoft to hamstring iTunes. I remember the registry hack that was used to fix FireWire, in xp. Seems Microsoft hamstrung it, to make USB 2 look better. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/885222
        Seems they knocked it down from 800 Mbs to 100 Mbs, and to fix it you had to hack the registry
        Rick_K
      • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

        @Rick_K

        I think there is code in <s>windows</S> iTunes to hamper <s>iTunes</S> it on Windows.

        Duh, of course it runs better on a Mac! It's a selling point! All Apple has to do is write shitty software, tell possible consumers how "God-awful" PCs are and sell some sucker a Mac which they didn't need.

        No matter who you ask, iTunes is almost universally panned.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • These phones are already bricks. How can they be bricked again?

    Microsoft is once again failing in mobile.

    Updates for Windows Phone 7 are few and far between. When they get there, they offer little, apart from bricking the phone.
    Vbitrate
    • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

      @zndac you ever think this could be why Samsung doesn't update their products much? But it Isn't just windows devices so get that out of your head.
      slickjim
      • Windows Phones are being bricked faster than they can be dumped in Landfill

        @Peter Perry - Sorry Mr Perry, but Samsung mostly makes popular Android phones, and these aren't turning to bricks like the Windows Phone 7 ones are. Reports are that HTC Windows Phones are suffering the same problem.

        After your Windows Phone gets bricked, the next thing to do is to dump it in landfill.
        Vbitrate
      • Peter Perry, it's no use.

        People like zndac just post their hate drivel, allways sidestepping the issue that it happens on competitor's devices, too.

        It's known as "selective memory", very usefull if you're anti-MS.
        John Zern
    • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

      @zndac
      Actually this could be a brilliant idea. If these phones get bricked, the users have to get new phones, which is more activated licenses. Count the replacement licenses without discounting the failed units. This could be like the great xbox 360 plan. Microsoft would count repaired xbox 360 as a gain in market share, as they refused to deduct those units from the ?Units shipped? each month.
      Rick_K
      • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

        @Rick_K

        Too bad your Xbxo conspiracy theory falls apart when you realize that Xbox titles almost invariably sell more than their PS3 equivalents, so much so that it looks like it is Sony fudging numbers not Microsoft.
        Mythos7
      • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

        @Mythos7
        What are you babbling about? Are you denying that the Xbox 360 had an extremely high failure rate? The failure rate was so high that companies offering extended warranties doubled the price. Or do you believe it was another console that caused the problem?
        Rick_K
    • They're just copying Apple again

      @zndac
      As Apple bricked their own devices first via updates.
      John Zern
      • Wrong!

        @John Zern
        One of Apple's updates caused some early iPhones to brick, but only if they were jailbroken. So basically, you update a modified OS and the update isn't compatible with the modifications. Solution was very simple. Factory restore the iPhone, *then* update it, then re-jailbreak it.

        I suspect that something similar is going on here. Samsung's hardware is just far enough off from the reference spec that the update fails badly. It's partially Microsoft's problem. It's likely Samsung's fault, and it is very bad for their shared customer base. I hope that they can get the issue cleared up very soon. I'm about to replace my iPhone, and I'm taking a serious look at other smartphone alternatives, but this makes me more than just a little concerned.
        use_what_works_4_U
    • Few and far between?

      @zndac what is the time between Android updates, or iOS updates?

      Sorry, you failed again. You're batting 1000 in that respect. ;)
      John Zern
      • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

        @John Zern
        iOS: 9-12 months
        Android: At the mercy of your service provider (unless you want to root the device).

        From a frequency standpoint this was actually quite timely. Given that you never know all the issues with an OS until it is getting used in the field I think Microsoft did a good job in *not* making people wait. The unfortunate side effect with *some* hardware is why I don't update any OS (including OS X and iOS on Apple built hardware) until after the initial reports come in.
        use_what_works_4_U
    • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

      @zndac
      If you had read you would have seen its not windows 7 at fault but the samsung firmware version. Try reading before bashing windows at least its not like apple iphones that can't make calls.
      Fletchguy
    • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

      @zndac
      Yes, it is only few Samsung Ominia 7 neither HTCs nor Focuses reported this, also none of LG quantums, so it is an isolated case of hardware issue. So whats your point.
      Ram U
  • RE: Windows Phone 7 update 'bricking' some Samsung Omnia handsets

    I would like to see Wp7 do well, but this is a very poor start and may cause untold damage to the OS's reputation. ....Serious own goal.
    RonanSail