Nokia e71 bugs and a software update

In September D and I were on the search for a suitable smartphone for her work stuff (She is always on the go but is communicating more than any other human being I know). We had searched for a smartphone, which is easy to handle and just does its job (text, email, calendar, calls and contacts) – without any fancy facebook, flickr or whatever feature. And after some research we decided to purchase Nokia’s e71.

Nokia e71

So I told D that from now on she is free and can communicate and work wherever she is ;-) . And of course I showed her how to use the phone as a UMTS modem…

…so the first really bad bug came up: I configured the phone to show up as a modem when it is connected to a PC via USB cable (the other modes are mass storage or pc suite). This configuration made her phone function not work and thus unreachable by any caller :( . D had started working in the morning and started to wonder that nobody had called by the time it was lunch time …
…when I came back home that day, I learned a lot of new words in her mother tongue ;-) . So I started to investigate the problem: If you are using the phone as an UMTS modem the phone will not allow you to use it as a phone function – so she never used it as a UMTS modem again.

A few days later the second problem showed up: The menu button didn’t work anymore – To make it work again you have to remove the battery and restart the phone. Today (several weeks later and after having removed and turned off/on the phone hunderds of times) we have learned, that you can work around this problem by changing the menu button. (Just take away the menu function from the left soft key and use the Home button to access the menu ;-) ). This problem drove her crazy and over the weeks I’ve learned some more vocabulary words to describe crappy phones ;-)

That wasn’t enough: D started to use her new smartphone for what it is made for – writing emails…
…after her best friends asked her what is wrong with her because she is constantly sending empty emails.  Suddenly as I was trying to fix this issue, and shortly before the phone was to die, I had to remember my goal keeper skills (yes, I played soccer for many years…) to catch the phone before it landed on the ground of our tiled kitchen ;-)

I luckily three days ago read that there is a new software update for the Nokia e71 available on the internet (http://nokiae71.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/new-firmware-400-21-013-available/) – Great! I just have to update the software and she will finally be happy with her new smartphone….so I thought! I blocked my entire Saturday afternoon for this digital open heart surgery ;-)

It started with the problem that the Nokia Software Updater (NSU) is only supported on Windows XP and Vista. So my laptop has Ubuntu and her laptop has a Windows 7 instance running :( . OK, I’m a computer engineer – I will find a solution *chaka*:

  • Windows XP in a VM (in Virtualbox on Ubuntu): The NSU is not working because the VM is loosing the USB connection to the phone while you are trying to update the firmware.
  • NSU installation on Windows 7 (64 bit): You have to use the Windows compatibility mode (Vista SP2) for installing the NSU on Windows 7 (64 bit).
  • Running NSU on Windows 7 (64 bit): You have to use the Windows compatibility mode (Vista SP2) and you have to disable the services “Internet Connection Sharing” and “Windows Firewall” before you start the NSU ;-)

Having managed to run the Nokia Software Updater (NSU) on her laptop with Windows 7 (64 bit), I was faced with the problem that the NSU didn’t realize that there is a newer firmware available on the internet. Google told me then, that the NSU is deciding because of the phone’s product code whether there is an update available or not. So I first had to change the product code of the phone. Therefore I needed to figure out which product code I should use – http://nokiae71.wordpress.com/2008/08/04/product-codes-for-e71/. After that I had to figure out how to do it – http://www.e71blog.com/2009/01/how-to-change-your-e71-nam-product-code/. So, changing the product code of an e71 with NSS works from within a VM in Virtualbox on Ubuntu ;-)

After changing the product code to one which is signaling that the phone is not branded by the service provider the NSU decided that there is a new update available and installed it to the phone without any problem *puuuuh*.

Luckily the only data that survived the firmware upgrade were the photos on the memory card :)
So I had to configure the phone again (adding the email accounts, taking away the menu function from the left soft key again, changing the tones etc.). So far we haven’t experienced any new problems… *puuuuh*

PS: Did I mentioned that we were at an E-plus shop one day to change the phone? They offered D that they would send it to Nokia for troubleshooting and wanted to give her an ordinary cell phone (without email, calendar and stuff) for the time it takes to repair. You can imagine that that day I once again learned some new words  ;-)

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