Rebranding Rogers Xperia X10a for Android 2.1 Update

For those oblivious to the obvious, the Android 2.1 update for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 smartphone has finally hit Canada. If you bought the X10 from Rogers and haven’t debranded it, just connect your phone to the computer via USB and use Sony Ericsson Update Service (SEUS) or Pc Companion for some 2.1 goodness.

This post is for those who are having trouble getting the update, especially those who de-branded the phone to get global updates in the past. Most of this was done with a bug in the SEUS software which allowed a firmware from a different region to be flashed to the phone.

The problem now is that SE have fixed this since then, and re-branding your phone back to Rogers firmware has become somewhat tricky. Re-branding is necessary as presently the generic flash tool for North America isn’t available yet, and the only way you can get the Android 2.1 update, while still keeping your model as X10a is to get the update from Rogers. I spent half a day trying to figure this out, and I thought I might post my findings here, hoping someone else might find it useful.

As a word of caution, before you update your phone, please backup all your personal information such as contacts and messages. You can use one of several available apps in the market to achieve this.

Disclaimer: Do this at your own risk! While the process is straightforward, there is a risk that you may brick your phone. I hereby absolve myself from any responsibility should you end up bricking your phone by following these steps.

  1. You will need the following software installed on your computer:
    1. Sony Ericsson Update Service – Download from here
    2. 32-bit version of the Java Runtime. It is important to install the 32 bit version even on 64 bit computers, as the flasher has some compatibility issues with the 64 bit version. Next it is necessary to set the “path” environment variable to point to the folder where you installed Java. You can find a video of how to do this and the links to the 32 bit JRE downloads here.
  2. Next, you need to download these two files. One is the flasher tool for overwriting the de-branded firmware on the phone with the default one from Rogers, and the other one is the firmware itself.
    1. Click to download the Flash tool (credits to original uploader)
    2. Click to download the firmware (credits to original uploader)
  3. Extract the file “XIOFUB” using a tool such as WinRAR. All files will be extracted to a folder named X10Flash_Unbrick
  4. Extract the file “a_WWE_R1FA014_DEK” into a different folder and subsequently extract the two files it contains, namely “android_1233-6929_R11A_R1FA014” and “phone”.
  5. In the folder “android_1233-6929_R11A_R1FA014″
    1. Rename: “system_S1-SW-LIVE-AC12-0001-S1-PARTITION-WITH-SPARE.sin” to “system.sin”
    2. Rename: “userdata_S1-SW-LIVE-AC12-0001-S1-PARTITION-WITH-SPARE.sin” to “userdata.sin”
  6. Copy all files in “phone” and “android_1233-6929_R11A_R1FA014″ into the directory of the other file that was downloaded: “XIOFUBX10Flash_Unbrick”. Overwrite all files located in this directory when prompted.
  7. Now you need to find your device ID. You can only do this if you have connected your phone to the computer and used SEUS atleast once. To find the device id, press start and type “regedit”. Click edit>find, and type in “Vid_0fce&Pid_adde”.
  8. The search may take a couple of minutes until the first result. Keep hitting edit->find next or the F3 key until you find a registry entry key called “DeviceInstance”. Double click the name field and copy the last section of that, it should look something like “5&2888d0ff&0&1″. This is your device ID. Paste this in the file named DeviceID.txt in the X10Flash_Unbrick folder, deleting the existing value, if any.
    If the search fails to find anything, make sure “Match whole string” is un-ticked, and click “find next”, if that fails, try “USBVID_0FCE&PID_ADDE”
    **Note: It changes with every diffrent USB port you use.
  9. Run X10flash.bat (DONT right click and “Run as Administrator”), Connect phone in flash-mode(with phone powered off, hold back key then plug cable in), once the notification light turns on you have 5 seconds to start the flash (press any key) or the phone will continue to boot. The process takes a minute or two to complete(similar to flashing it to 2.1 in the first place if you had used the generic X10i flash tool).
  10. If you get an error such as “ Unable to open channel, GetLastError=0 at com.sonyericsson.cs.usbflashnative.impl.USBFlashNativeImpl.openChannel” then repeat step 9 until you come to the “DeviceInstance” key again. Only this time, don’t copy its value. Instead hit edit->find next until you find a different key named “DeviceInstance” with a different value and paste that into the DeviceID.txt file. You may need to repeat this step until you find a Device ID that works.
  11. Unplug cable and boot phone, it will take a while to boot the first time.
  12. At this point, it is possible that your phone fails to boot and you get a Phone icon with a yellow triangle containing an exclamation mark. Don’t panic! Just power off the phone and start up SEUS (installed from step one).
  13. Accept the license and click start. Choose the phone as X10 and click next. When it prompts to connect the phone, connect one end of the USB cable to your phone. Press the back button on the phone, and while keeping the button pressed, connect the other end of the cable to the computer. Continue holding the back button until the program prompts you to “release the back button”
  14. At this point, a window should pop up, saying a new update is available for the phone, mentioning a list of all the new features, including HD video recording. Start the update process and let it do its thing. Depending on your Internet connection speed, the whole process may take over an hour. If you are using a laptop, make sure its plugged into a power source! Don’t attempt to disconnect the phone at any point or you may end up bricking it.
  15. Once the update is done, reboot the phone, and your phone should now be running Android 2.1!

This method should work for phones flashed with the X10i 2.1 firmware and are having issues with 3G, and should change the baseband back to X10a. Did this method work for you? Did you run into problems? Please leave a comment and let us know.

Have fun with Android 2.1! All credits for the process / tool go to XDA forum members.

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