Update guide

In this simple guide I have documented the process of installing MiniCM on a 2010 ARMv6 based Xperia device using a Windows PC.  While this was done on my X10 Mini Pro the process is identical for X8, W8 and the X10 Mini.

Backup

Always backup your data, changing your firmware will involve wiping all the data on the phone.  There are lots of tools available, personally I use SMS Backup +; with it I backup my SMS/MMS and call log and it saves everything in my gmail so is very easy to restore.  Also remember to check all of the apps you have installed as they may have a backup option.  With the most recent update to the Google Play Store it now lists all the apps you have installed in the past so makes it very easy to reinstall your favourites!

Install Flashtool

Download Flashtool from the flashtool site and install it.  Once installed open the program directory and inside it you will find a folder called drivers; run the installer in this folder.

Choose the drivers for your device.

Optional: Check the bootloader is safe to unlock with S1 Tool

This step is optional, flashtool checks the phone’s simlock before attempting to unlock the bootloader but it doesn’t harm to check it.

Download and unzip the S1tool http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=19624790&postcount=2

Open S1 Tool then click on Identify.

Make sure your phone is switched off.

Press and hold down the back key while connecting the USB cable.

Check the output in the S1 Tool for ‘SEMC SIMLOCK CERTIFICATE’.

Optional: Restore the default firmware

Again this step is optional although it does ensure that you have a ‘clean’ install to work with.  It requires an internet connection and will download a significant amount of data.

You can use either Sony Bridge for Mac, Sony Update Service or Sony PC Companion.  In this guide I use PC Companion.

Make sure the phone is switched off and the USB cable is not connected. Open PC Companion and click on the start button under Support Zone

Then click on the start button under Phone Software Update and when the ‘Could not find phone’ dialog appears click on ‘repair phone’.

 

The Phone Software Update process will start and warn you that the phone data will be lost (twice, and just to make sure you read it the first time you’ll have to check the box to continue).

 

PC Companion will now download the update software and then ask you to choose your device.

 

Once you have chosen your device connect the USB cable while holding the back key down.

When the process moves on to ‘3. Update’ you can let go of the back key.

PC Companion will now download the firmware for your device.

Once the firmware has been downloaded  PC Companion will flash the firmware onto the device.

When it has finished it will confirm that the phone has been updated and you can disconnect it.

When you click Next PC Companion will confirm the firmware version.

Root the phone with flashtool

Turn on debugging on the phone from Settings>Applications>Development>USB debugging.

Open flashtool.

Connect the  phone, the output in flashtool should show the phone is connected.

Click the padlock button in the toolbar to root the phone.

 

Once the rooting has finished the output in flashtool will state ‘Root Access Allowed’

Unlock the bootloader with flashtool

With the phone connected select Bootloader Unlock>Run from the Plugins menu.

When prompted disconnect the phone and switch it off.  Hold and hold the back key while you connect the USB cable.

The flashtool output will update as it checks the bootloader is safe to unlock.  If it is safe it will display ‘Found semcSL’ and the message ‘You can now unplug and turn on device, then plug it again’.  Do as it says and disconnect the phone and power it on.  Wait for it to start up and then plug in the USB cable.

The phone will restart during the process and the output in flashtool should display ‘Successfully applied unlock’.

Checking the bootloader is unlocked with S1 Tool

Download and unzip the S1tool http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=19624790&postcount=2

Open S1 Tool then click on Identify.

Make sure your phone is switched off.

Press and hold down the back key while connecting the USB cable.

Check the output in the S1 Tool for ‘LOADER VERSION:’ if this starts with a lower case r then the bootloader is unlocked, an uppercase R means that the bootloader is locked.

Flash a custom kernel from flashtool

Download the kernel you want to flash for your device and copy it to the flashtool firmwares folder.

Open flashtool and click on the lightning button on the toolbar.

Choose flashmode and click ok

Choose the kernel you want from the Firmware Selection window and highlight the contents then click on ok

The output in flashtool will show that the flashing has finished.

Flash a custom firmware from recovery

At the time of writing most kernels include recovery, specifically ClockWorkMod Recovery often just referred to as CWM.

To access recovery switch on the phone, when the kernel image appears repeatedly press the back key until recovery loads.

Using the volume up and down keys to navigate and the home button to select items go to ‘mounts and storage’ and you select ‘mount USB storage’ and connect the phone to a computer.  Copy the custom firmware and gapps zip files to the SD card from your computer and then unmount USB.

Choose ‘wipe data/factory reset’ and then ‘choose install zip’ from sdcard.  On the next screen select ‘choose zip from sdcard’ and then select the custom firmware, once it completes do this again for gapps.

That’s it just reboot and enjoy your custom firmware.

9 responses to “Update guide

  1. a fantastic run-through! pity i found this when i was preparing to write my own after having spent the /entire/ day yesterday working through the xda forums attempting to work out how to do what, and (especially important) in what order! youve got just what information is needed, without huge digressions or explaining important points /after/ it needs to be known. well done!

  2. Thanks for the guide. :-)
    I found it necessary to reboot my computer ( Win7 ) after installing flashtool drivers.

  3. Hi there! Just discovered your exellent tutorial. I got an error saying cannot apply fixpart abort while trying to unlock ma E10i Boatloader. Any idea?

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