Note: The technique to flash custom firmware in this article is not exclusively limited for Nokia 5800XM only. In fact, most Nokia phone can be flashed up with custom firmware using the method that I will discuss below. However, due to my limited experience with other Nokia model, it is safe to set the title as above.
I bought my Nokia 5800XM in January 2010 for RM1100. This price includes all genuine accessories, 18 month warranty, additional leather cover and genuine Garmin GPS software. Several months later, I bought Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision to be paired with 5800XM. Suffice to say, this combination complete my mobile audio experience.
Original firmware that came with my unit was version 20 something. Then, I immediately flashed it to version 30 something using Nokia PC Suite. I also upgraded Nokia Map (the one that charge per GPS route navigation) to Ovi Map (more comprehensive map and totally free of charge). Later on, I upgrade the firmware to version 40 something. In this version, Nokia introduce ‘Kinetic Scrolling’. Something like what iPhone has where we just slide our finger on the screen to move the list up or down. It was still not as smooth as iPhone but it did make me smile. A month or two later, firmware version 50 was out and I flashed this phone again. This firmware provides some performance enhancement and full ‘Kinetic Scrolling’ experience. The kinetic scrolling is much smoother and accessible at the main menu (something that was not included in firmware version 40). Finally, last two weeks, I upgrade my firmware to version 51 over the air (Celcom, my operator notified me about this upgrade and offers FOTA upgrade). However, this version doesn’t offer any additional function but some minor performance enhancement upgrade.
Direct comparison to my friend’s 5800XM who still use firmware version 20 (she never bother to upgrade her phone firmware), shows a very significant performance enhancement. Despite the kinetic scrolling, Ovi maps and several other Ovi’s services (which she doesn’t has in her unit), my phone seem to be much more responsive, better transition animation and has slightly better camera output quality. Kudos for Nokia for actively and progressively releases better firmware for the phone. (Phew, what a long words just to say, firmware does matter LOL)
The CFW’s Journey Begin
Okay, let move on to the main topic, the CFW. CFW stand for custom firmware or cooked firmware. It is a modified firmware that is based on the Nokia original firmware. CFW is loaded with many features that make the original firmware look bland. For example, CFW is significantly faster, contains many more homescreens, extremely cool transition animation, flash based homescreen, widgets and best of all it doesn’t check application’s certificate or sign application (in other word, it allows you to install any unsigned application into your phone). Some CFWs for 5800XM even are ported from N97 or Nokia X6.
However, not many have the courage to flash his/her mobile phone with custom firmware. Many believe that the trouble or risk of flashing custom firmware is not worth the effort due to the fact that you may brick your phone if you do it wrong. I was in this group prior to yesterday. The image of seeing my Nokia 5800XM as a fancy paper weight is enough to make me stay clear from install custom firmware.
However, upon further read from several tutorials and board discussions, it is not as hard as it seem initially. In fact, honestly speaking, flashing CFW into our beloved phone is easy as installing a new theme or application. But the risk is real. One or two critical mistakes during the process may brick the phone. So, do yourself a favor. Read thoroughly this article before flash your phone with CFW. Don’t rush okay J .
You need these tools. So download them:
- Nokia Ovi Suite
- JAF tool and Pkey (Nokia Flash Tools.rar)
- Dot Net framework (at least version 2 for WinXP user)
Install Nokia Ovi Suite & Backup Your Phone
Install Nokia Ovi Suite and back up your phone especially your contacts, message etc. In fact, just backup everything because prior to flashing your phone, we need to hard reset it and format your phone memory card to avoid any potential error later on. Hard reset will erase all your contacts, message, phone setting etc. So back them up using Nokia Ovi Suite.
Even if you don’t want to back up your phone, it is essential to install Nokia Ovi Suite for the driver purpose. Otherwise, JAF tool can’t see your mobile phone at later stage.
Return Your Phone Software to Its Original State
Format your phone memory card. You can do this using your phone or using a memory card reader. I personally prefer to format my memory card using my own phone. Go to : File Manager / E: Memory Card / Click on Options button / Memory card option / Format.
Next, hard reset your phone. You may achieve this using 2 methods: The first one is type *#7370# (the default security code is 12345) but I prefer the below method (bypass security code):
- Turn the phone off
- Press and hold 3 keys (green + red + camera) together.
- Without releasing these keys, turn the phone on.
- Keep holding these 3 keys until the screen show Nokia’s standard hand shake animation.
- Release these 3 keys. Your phone will execute hard reset process.
Okay, now your phone software is good as new.
Download Your Phone Original Firmware
Now we need to download your phone’s original firmware using NAVIFIRM. Originally, we flash our phone using Ovi Suite or PC Suite right. This suite automatically detects our phone hardware and software then downloads and installs the relevant firmware for our phone automagically. However, for this one we need to manually select and download the right firmware for our phone.
Extract and run NAVIFIRM. Mine is as shown below.
Choose your phone model correctly. As we can see here, there are 3 variant of Nokia 5800XM. The RM-356, RM-427 and RM-428. Different model number use different kind of hardware. So, do not download firmware for RM-427 or RM-428 if your phone model is RM-356. You can check your phone model by typing *#0000#. Look for Type.
‘Release’s is firmware version. Ensure that the firmware you are going to flash into your phone (the one you are about to download using NAVIFIRM now) is newer (or at least has same version number) than the one that already in your phone. Downgrading firmware will definitely brick your phone. You may check with your phone firmware by typing *#0000# too. As for my case, my current phone firmware is 51.0.6. So, I have to download ‘releases’ version 51.0.6 or later (in this case, 51.0.6 is the latest one).
Next, choose your phone variant. My Nokia 5800XM is for Malaysian market and has ‘red lining’. Therefore I chose “APAC1 RED MALAYSIA (0570196)”. If you are not from Malaysia, for example Indonesia and your phone has blue lining, you may want to choose “APAC1 Indonesia BLUE (0559960)” variant.
Finally for the files section. Just tick them all. And press “Download from FiRe” button. Save the files into “Your phone model number” folder. As for my case, I save them into a folder name RM-356 on my Desktop.
Download the Custom Firmware
There are so many CFWs for Nokia 5800XM out there. To say CFW A is better than CFW B and vice versa is not entirely correct. Different CFW has different goal. Some CFW is more features and function oriented thus this firmware is kinda bloated for some perspective. Some CFW is more speed and performance oriented. So this firmware may be seem too bare for somebody else. In fact, some firmware might be tweaked to the extreme where battery life is no longer a primary concern. Therefore, it is up to you to choose the right firmware for your mobile phone. http://forum.dailymobile.se/index.php?board=84.0 is a good place to start to find the right firmware for your taste.
As for this tutorial, I use Xtension^10 CFW variant 2. You may get it at http://forum.dailymobile.se/index.php/topic,22786.0.html . I personally prefer this extension due to its performance oriented but not too minimalistic. Having 82 MB free RAMs is a very good thing too. Furthermore, Xtension^10 is based on firmware version 51.0.006. Other Xtension CFWs are based on previous version of Nokia firmware. As we can’t downgrade the phone firmware, it is really important for you to pay special attention here. Do not download CFW that is based on firmware that is older than your current phone firmware and most importantly, the CFW must be based on the firmware version that you previously download using NAVIFIRM. In other word, if you download original firmware version 51 (NAVIFIRM), do not download and use CFW that is based on version 50, 40 or older.
You may download Xtension^10 Variant-2 at http://forum.dailymobile.se/index.php?topic=22786.msg232730#msg232730 .
Mix Up Custom Firmware with Original Firmware
Custom Firmware doesn’t provide every single file that is needed for your phone. That is why we need to download original firmware using NAVIFIRM before. Same goes to Xtension^10 variant-2. It just provides Rofs2 and Rofs3 files only. So, extract the “ENGLISH ONLY Xtension (rofs2+uda).rar” and “Xtension_10v2.rofs3.rar” into a folder as below.
Then, open up the original firmware folder (the RM-356). Most likely, the files will look like the screenshot below but this is not a must. Different firmware version for different phone model may have different file names.
What we need to do now is change the CFW files name (from Extracted folder) according to your original firmware files name (from RM-356 folder). So as for my case, I need to change “General.uda.fpsx” to be “RM-356_51.0.006_026_000_U01.uda.fpsx”. Err..how do I know? Well, in RM-356 folder, there is only 1 file that end with .uda.fpsx right. In short, the files that I change is as listed below:
- General.uda.fpsx ===> RM-356_51.0.006_026_000_U01.uda.fpsx
- ENGLISHONLY.rofs2.V01 ===> RM-356_51.0.006_prd.rofs2.V22
- Wave1.Xtension^10v2.rofs3.fpsx ===> RM-356_51.0.006_C01_prd.rofs3.fpsx
The next step is, copy these three files that we already change its name into RM-356 folder (folder that contains original firmware files) and overwrite the original files. The idea is, we want to mix up original firmware’s files with custom firmware’s files. The reason is, custom firmware doesn’t provide every single file that is needed for your phone operating system. The author only supplies 2 or 3 files that he/she modifies. So it is up to us to prepare the additional files that are needed by our phone. That explain why we need to download the original firmware using NAVIFIRM previously.
So, once the 3 original files are overwrote by the custom firmware’s files (that we already change their name), our complete CFW is ready to be transferred into your Nokia 5800XM. Copy the whole folder (RM-356) into “C:\Program Files\Nokia\Pheonix\Products” directory. Or if you are using 64 bit operating system, copy the whole (RM-356) folder into “C:\Program Files (x86)\Nokia\phoenix\products”. Refer screenshot below (omit the RM356-0570196… folder, it was automatically created by JAF when I did flash my phone previously).
Please note that the folder (that store our complete CFW) in “phoenix\products\”needs to be named exactly as your phone’s model number. As for my case, my 5800XM’s model number is RM-356. That explains why I use folder name RM-356.
And for those who are already panic because they can’t find any phoenix folder in Nokia directory…don’t be. By default, there is none. I manually create the “phoenix” folder and “product” folder.
Preparing JAF Tools
JAF Tools is the software that we will use to transfer your complete CFW into your mobile phone. So, follow the steps below to prepare it. It consist of JAF installation and copy paste 2 files (ini file and PKEY emulator) into JAF installed directory.
Extract “Nokia Flash Tools.rar” (the one you download for JAF and PKey). You will find “JAFSetup_198.62.rar” file, “OGM_JAF_PKEY_Emulator_v 5.rar” and “(.INI FILE)(jaf_nok4models).rar” file. Extract all the 3 files.
Install “JAFSetup_1.98.62.exe” at its default location.
Copy “Jaf_nok4models.ini” and “OGM_JAF_PKEY_Emulator_v 5.exe” into “C:\Program Files\ODEON\JAF” or “C:\Program Files (x86)\ODEON\JAF” if you are using 64 bit operating system.
Then, make a shortcut for “OGM_JAF_PKEY_Emulator_v 5.exe” emulator to your desktop for easy access later on.
Transferring Complete CFW into your 5800XM phone.
If you happen to use Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32 bit or 64bit), you have to change JAF PKey Emulator’s compatibility first. Right click on the JAF Pkey Emulator and choose properties. Click on Compatibility tab and set compatibility mode to Windows XP (Service Pack 3) and set privilege level as Run this program as an administrator as shown in the screenshot below:
Run the JAF Pkey Tool from your desktop.
Ensure the setting as in the screenshot above. Then click GO.
An error box will appear. Don’t worry, just click OK button.
Then, JAF will start. Click on BB5 tab.
Ensure that Manual Flash, Dead USB, Normal Mode and Use INI are checked. Uncheck CRT 308.
Then select your phone model. As for my case, I have to choose RM-356 as expected. Next, click OK.
If you do everything correctly, your JAF will look like as the screenshot below.
All four green circles will light up (MCU, PPM, CNT, APE Variant).
And ensure the path for the firmware (as in the marked red square) is right.
Next, TURN OFF your phone and connect it to the computer USB. (It is recommended to shutdown OVI Suite completely. Right click OVI Suite icon in the tray (if you happen to run it before) and choose exit).
Click on FLASH button.
A warning dialog box will appear, click YES.
Then, press your phone’s “Power Button” for 1 second and release. Just 1 second. Not more. Else your phone will start up. WE DON’T WANT your phone to start up. We just want to allow JAF detect our phone.
Once the JAF could detect our phone, the flash job will start.
Note: Whenever JAF need to detect the phone, press your phone’s power button for 1 second.
Wait for a minute or two until the flashing process is totally completed (indicated by a series of ‘ting’ sound).
Post flashing step
At current stage, your CFW is completely flashed into your mobile phone. However, for Xtension CFW, there is a post flashing procedure. Other CFW may not have this step. This is entirely depending on the CFW’s author. The step below is the post flashing procedure for Xtension CFW (directly copy from the author’s post):
First Boot Optimization – Do not ignore this!:
(Ignoring this will result in a buggy phone)
- After flash operation, when the country selection appears , quickly input your settings (country, date, time)
- Do not press any key until the homescreen appears
- Now wait until you get this message “Phone will restart”. Press OK
- Let the phone RESTART
- After restart, open themes>homescreen themes
- Switch from one homescreen to another starting from the first to last
- After doing the above steps, apply “Widgetizer” HS now
- Set your homescreen shortcuts for “Widgetizer” HS in Settings/personal/homescreen/shortcuts
Note: I do not do the 2nd last and last step (that I mark with red color) as I found these step are not relevant with Xtension^10 CFW. Perhaps it is needed for Xtension^1 – 9.
OK…it’s done. Enjoy your “new” phone and happy installing new themes, software (unsigned hehehe) etc.
A good source for wonderful theme could be found at http://gallery.mobile9.com/c/nokia-5800-xpressmusic-themes_1954/1/
Find more news and latest application update at http://dailymobile.se/category/applications-s60v5/
And to satisfy your “ehem ehem” version of software need, heads up to http://www.dreamstrikes.com/applications-series-60-5th-edition-mobiles/ (free forum registration is needed)
And many more….just spend some time with Google or Bings J
I realize that there are many tutorials around the web that are already cover this topic. I have no intention to repeat the very same things but I found most of the tutorial is not very (total) newbie friendly. Those tutorials are excellent. In fact, I learn how to do this from those tutorials as well. Only at certain part, the authors forgot to explain some basic things which make me sometime wonder…why on earth I have to this and that.
Due to the nature of those tutorial only cover flashing CFW, it doesn’t cover other parts such as the need to backup your phone (some reader might just jump flashing their mobile phone and then realize all their phonebook’s contacts, messages etc gone for good), find a good CFW and mention about post flashing steps.
For what it’s worth, I do hope this tutorial would complement other tutorial (if not cover entirely) and prepare the ‘complete-newbie’ user in this CFW scene to start their journey in flashing their phone with CFW. Happy Flashing (not the nude thingy okay …LOL )