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How not to brick a Dopod 838 pro

(Or how to upgrade with Confidence)

 

I have an Optus provided Dopod 838 pro (Based on Hermes by HTC). (Dopod 838 Pro / i-mate JASJAM / O2 Xda Trion / HTC TyTN are all basically the same phone). I want to take this phone onto a Telstra Sim card and upgrade the Rom. I have spent many hours reading about updating phones and Rom's and have read all the warnings. I took considerable time pondering the reasons for and against doing this procedure. In the end I did it and it took less than 30 minutes all up. Make sure you are comfortable with this and do your own research.

Firstly, what is a brick? It is a shiny great looking phone that might as well be a house brick. A phone that the Rom upgrade failed on and now the phone is useless. Can you fix a brick ? In come cases yes. In others, you need to pay lots of money to a service agent. Rom upgrades must be done with caution and you must be confident that you know what you are doing. If you have bricked your phone, take a look at


dead hermes- corrupted radio- Post comments here - xda-developers 

 

Remembering this advice, my starting point was to get the original Rom from my phone so that I could return to it at any stage. As I was a member with www.dopod.com.au I thought that this was no issue. I went to he site and it is dead. I then went to www.dopodasia.com and found it sent me to http://www.htc.com/asia/. My Dopod credentials for their site, worked with HTC, so I logged on and downloaded

 "RUU_Hermes_DOPODASIA_WWE_3.53.707.2_6275_1.47.30.10_108_Ship.exe"

The file contains the RUU (Radio/Rom Unit Upgrade). I now have a safe platform to start with. I already have the Microsoft Smart Phone 6 and the Rom 3.53.707.2 on my phone so it matches and I am ready to go.  

If you would like to extract your current Rom (Because you can't find a Shipped version) , it is not easy but you can find help with XDADeveloperWiki - Hermes_Howto Reconstruct

Firstly, this can be a dangerous exercise. If you want to follow my footsteps, make sure you are clear about what you are about to do. Secondly ... Is there a good reason for doing this? Are you going to loose anything you currently like?

I lost the Solitaire game, the phone interface and battery onscreen display changed. The communications screen looks different however, the new changes are clearer and cleaner, the Radio signal much better and I now have Office 2007 Document support.

I now have Microsoft Smart Phone OS 6.1 and all the additional features I like to install (Zip support, Task Manager, better calculator, remote desktop, Windows live and much more) - were in the new Rom by default. For me the upgrade was a big plus. Even the 6.1 new shaded keyboard looks better to use.


After having the latest Rom for my phone as a backup my first task was to join the XDA forum and download then install 7Zip. I then had to learn the new jargon and read lots of the forum. I learnt about Cooked ROMs and SPL's. More jargon and the meanings can be found here.  

Before you proceed to nuke your phone, you might like to do a backup of the PIM. When logged into the HTC website I found that they have "SpriteBackupEnglishPersonalSetup.exe" for download. You might also consider "PPCPimBackupV2.8_wm2005.zip" from the  XDA - Developers Forums.

If you are Sim locked with a carrier, you might need to unlock your phone before you even start. Refer XDADeveloperWiki - Hermes_Sim Unlock. If you are worried about further dangers and your warranty, take a look at the XDADeveloperWiki - Hermes_Upgrade FAQ.

Now we need to work out how we are going to move forward. There are three things to look at. How do we overcome the CID (Carrier Rom protection) protection? Do we use an RUU to install the new ROM or boot from a flash card?
(See
XDADeveloperWiki - Hermes_SDCard Flashing).

Note: If you have a ROM other than the one I have tested or are unsure about the Nand memory on your phone, be sure to check the Rom for bad blocks. Refer OS Bad Block Checker - xda-developers

Assuming you are about to do exactly what I did, here was my process. Check the phones current SPL, install Hard SPL (Hard-SPL-V7.zip), Run the RUU update, change my splash screen, setup my preferences, started using it and making calls with a much nicer phone.

This Guide will take you through the process of upgrading the bootloader in your hermes device. The upgrade will load a custom SPL known as 'HardSPL' to your device. This will protect against most of the ways it is possible to brick your device and thus is highly recommended before carrying out ANY updates or upgrades I have mentioned here. Also HardSPL will make your device capable of flashing ANY ROM you choose to the device, providing it is a Hermes ROM.

The HardSPL update will NOT hard reset your device so you shouldn't need to backup any data, unless you wish to. 

DISCLAIMER: This guide is exactly what it means, a guide. By following the procedures in this guide the manufacturers warranty will be made void. By following any of the procedures in this guide YOU take responsibility for any loss of data or faults which occur after any of the procedures here are carried out. By following the guide exactly you should not encounter any problems however if the flashing process is interrupted at ANY time you can follow the troubleshooting information at the start of this document.

Firstly, lets check and see if you already have HardSPL on the device. To do this we need to enter the bootloader.

HardSPL is the best way to prevent doing damage to your phone! Please make sure you have it installed.

Take the phone (powered on), and press and hold the side ok button and the power button, then insert the stylus into the hole in the base of the device. The screen will show the tri-colour bootloader screen and your IPL and SPL versions will be shown. If your SPL version is '2.10.olipro' then you ALREADY HAVE HardSPL and do not need to continue. Soft reset to continue.



If you need to install Hard SPL then please refer Hard SPL to get the files needed.


Now make sure your device is on and Activesync (or for vista users the WMDC) is running on your PC, connect up your device and allow it to sync. When this is done run "RUUWrapper.exe" from the HardSPL download.



The screen will appear.




When the RUU (Rom Update Utility) runs there is only one option to choose (unlike other RUU's), select the option shown in RED (Force Using SSPL), this will make the RUU push a piece of software to the device known as SSPL (Software SPL). Your phone might warn you that you need to allow the software to run. Simply allow it on your phone.


Tick the box for I understand the caution ...., next screen,
Tick the box if you have completed the tasks and click next,
Click the update button;
The RUU will display your current ROM and the ROM it will flash, Click next,

The RUU will enter your device into bootloader mode and then begin to update your device, if this is your first ROM flash on the PC being used then some device driver information may show up, simply allow everything to run and the progress bar should begin to increment. Since we are only flashing an SPL the flash process should take very little time. (2 minutes for me). DO NOT INTERRUPT THE PROCESS !!!

When the flash process has finished the device will reboot and load back into Windows Mobile. Once everything has settled we can now check to see if the bootloader has been updated, to do this take the phone (powered on), and press and hold the side ok button and the power button, then insert the stylus into the hole in the base of the device.

You should see the SPL as "2.10.olipro". Your phone is now ready and able to take a new ROM safely.

I found the best Rom's to be at "Dopod 838 Pro replacement ROM at Steve’s Blog"

I used the Development Chain but if you are a newbie to this, go with the stable option. Use the Blog links to go up to RapidShare and download the Rom (About 40 Mb) using the free option. Once you have it, extract it using 7Zip.

The version I used, v12.5 with Windows Mobile 6.1, has the following:


  • 1-Calc Lite

  • 10 button HTC Touch comm manager

  • 3G video dialpad

  • ArcSoft MMS 5.0.31.7

  • Camera 4.0 Build 28276

  • ClearView PDF Viewer

  • Flashlight

  • HTC Network Wizard

  • HTC X Button

  • HTC Voice Recorder

  • Modaco NoData

  • PIM Backup v2.8

  • Remote Desktop

  • Internet Connection Sharing

  • SMS over GPRS

  • Wireless today screen plugin

  • 802.11g enabled

  • Cleartype enabled in both normal and landscape mode

  • SD Card power management fix

  • Camera delay fix.

  • HSDPA Icon enabled (Displays H when HSDPA is active instead of 3G)

  • Added Disconnect button to GPRS windows

  • Added fix for slow scrolling in Pocket IE

  • Telstra NextG support (Australia only)

  • Microsoft .Net framework 3.5

Changelog:
Release 12.5 (24 Jul 2008):
  • Ported Windows Mobile 6.1 build 20270
  • Ported XIP build 20270 from Kaiser
  • Removed SQM
  • Added IrDA stack
  • Added Diamond theme for those who like that kinda thing
  • Fixed the disappearing act with the taskbar and HTC X Button

Release 12.3 (18 Jul 2008):

  • Ported Windows Mobile v6.1 build 19960 from HTC Raphael
  • Ported XIP build 19960 from HTC Raphael
  • Converted OS from 192dpi to 96dpi
  • Removed SQM
  • Added IrDA stack
  • Added .Net 3.5 framework

 

    The following applications are installed from the Extended ROM after you have loaded this ROM on your device - meaning you can uninstall them.
     
  • Office mobile 2007 (v6.1)
  • Windows Live (10.6.0033.0600)
  • Cyberon Voice Commander (v2.0 Build 711091)

As Steve points out : "This is NOT an official Dopod/HTC ROM and will therefore not be supported by HTC or Dopod. You should keep a copy of the latest official Dopod ROM incase you need to revert for warranty or troubleshooting purposes. If you have never upgraded a firmware on your Dopod, read up on it first - if you break your phone using this ROM, you get to keep all the pieces...."


Before doing this, please make sure you have flashed HardSPL to the device. Make sure your phone is fully charged and the PC delivering the Rom image has a backup battery and your PC will not go to sleep on you.

The ROM update process will hard reset your device so make sure to backup any data or settings you need to keep. A good application for backing up the contacts and calendars in your device is PIMBackup..

Refer to your extracted files



Now make sure your device is on and Activesync (or for vista users the WMDC) is running on your PC, connect up your device and allow it to sync. When this is done run "RUUWrapper.exe":


You will see the following



When the RUU (Rom Update Utility) runs there are a few options to choose from, if you are positive of your SPL version then select it from the list (we have 2.10 from HardSPL) but you can generally click on AutoDetect, which is shown in the image above. The RUU will attempt to figure out which SPL you have then click next. Should it fail then select your SPL version (it can be found by manually entering bootloader mode as we did previously).


Tick the box and click next, Again tick the box and click next, Click the update button,
The RUU will display your current ROM and the ROM it will flash. Click next.

The RUU will enter your device into bootloader mode and then begin to update your device, if this is your first ROM flash on the PC being used then some device driver information may show up, simply allow everything to run and the progress bar should begin to increment. The ROM flash should take around 5 minutes depending on if there is a radio image or not (if a radio image is present it can take up to 20 minutes).

When the flash process has finished the device will reboot and load into Windows Mobile. The new ROM will load up and you will need to configure your device and install any software you have.

It is optional but you can continue to update your device with a new Radio ROM as well.

 

Now you can do some fun things like update the splash screen when the phone boots,

Resize an image of choice to 240x320 (if you don't it will be cut to 240x320 and you wont see the whole image)
Open your image in MS Paint (PC) and Save your image as 'welcomehead.96.png'. Don't rename it.
ActiveSync your device and go to your "\windows" folder
transfer your desired image to your PPC's "\windows" folder and allow it to overwrite the current one
Soft reset and what used to be the blue windows splash screen (2nd one) will be replaced by your image.

For further phone information take a look at

 

 

Now go and use your updated phone !

 

 

 

 

    

 

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