Nokia E71 cellphones - how to unbrick..

Maybe not quite what one might expect to find on this site but worth it non the less.

We have several Nokia E71 cellphones here and find them generally very good. As a matter of policy, we upgrade the firmware on a regular basis to benefit from new software, bug fixes etc. We follow Nokia's instructions - that is, back up the 'phone, flash upgrade it, restore the contents - really to avoid having to reinstall various special apps. and settings.

Well, we've now learnt to be more careful! We recently flashed an E71 from V3 to V4, all went well, then we restored the backup, power cycled the 'phone and... 'phone failed to start. Consult your reseller' appeared after the Nokia handshake.

Power cycle the 'phone again, same result.. Duh... As the device won't even start, there seems little we can do to 'un-brick' it.

Nokia (& Vodafone, the airtime provider) could not or would not help but as is often the case, the solution is out on the net...

It seems that like most sensible flash-able devices the E71 boot prom is a split device - the actual (very small) boot code is not flashable and the (much larger) working space which holds the S60 operating system etc is writeable. (We used exactly the same design when we built an In Flight handset for a major supplier many years ago...)

Even better, the base or factory install of the S60 o/s is not over written by the user apps.

This means that the device will always boot and can not be overwritten by the user. So we now needed to reset it to the factory configuration - which is easy if you are an Octopus or have a friend!

1.Switch the device off.
2.Hold down the 3 key & the 'star' (*) key, and the green 'answer' button and then power up the E71 and only let go after the Nokia Handshake has finished.
3.The 'phone will then be reset to the factory condition but still with the new firmware.
Experimentation suggests that one can even restore user contacts etc from an old backup but not the 'settings' which bricks the 'phone.