Nokia Software Updater 4.1.0
Flash Firmware to the Nokia Lumia Phone
Nokia Software Updater for Retail 4.1.0
If your Nokia Lumia 920 phone has been shutting down, playing possum, croaking, going into 'brick mode', you might want to check if your firmware is up to date. My phone has suffered from this ailment for over two months. Neither Nokia, nor my service provider could help. This short but agonizing story has a happy ending!
I bought my beautiful, white Nokia Lumia 920 phone in Cebu, Philippines. It was love at first sight. I mean real love, not some fleeting techno-infatuation. The phone is well-designed, as easy to look at as it is to touch. It has a bunch of great software, such as turn-by-turn voice navigation in many languages and it does not need to be connected. No WiFi, no cellular data. Don't try this with your Apple iPhone or Samsung Galaxy.
Alas, my love was unreciprocated — the 920 did not love me. After a couple of days of faithful service, it just up and died. No, I was not abusive, there was no kinky wireless charging involved. She was just laying idly on the nightstand, doing absolutely nothing. When I tried to get some life out of her, nothing. Relentless Google searching has finally lead me to the soft reset Nirvana: simultaneously holding down the power button and the volume down button for a period of 10 to 30 seconds, until she has a pulse and vibrates. This does not cause any loss of personal data.
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A few days later I travelled to Hungary and switched my service provider to Vodafone. My 920 continued the deviant behavior of shutting down intermittently, usually when I was expecting an important call or SMS. Vodafone couldn't help me as they did not have the 920 here yet. Nokia couldn't help me — they do not have global support (unlike Apple iPhones), they told me to take it back to the Philippines. It is a bit tragic when a mobile device's nearest service center is on the other side of the planet.
Today, on May 5, 2013 I stumbled upon a Nokia tool cleverly called the Nokia Software Updater for Retail. Catchy moniker, no? Well, I was at wit's end so I gave it a try. According anecdotal reports, flashing fresher firmware into the 920 stops the bouts of catatonia. I downloaded the software (it wanted to update itself right away, which was OK by me), then it issued forth a number of warnings about how everything on my phone will be wiped clean, including all manner of user data, applications, app data, contacts, etc. I am rigorously anal about backing up my stuff, so that did not scare me all that much.
If you continue with me on this journey, please be advised that you will have to download again your app data which does not get backed up, such as your country maps for Nokia Here (beta). So, the updated app is running on my PC and it asks that I connect my phone, which is reasonable request when a firmware update is needed. Upon connecting the 920 to my PC, the Updater app shows the current firmware version in the left pane and the newest firmware available in the center, as I indicated on the image below.
There are many sites advertising free download of Nokia Software Updater, only to install various garbage programs on your computer, or require you to register with your email address. Maybe you have visited some of them. This site will only download the Nokia Software Updater, guaranteed to run on Windows up to Windows 8. No registration is required. If this software saves you frustration, missed calls and text messages, please consider making a donation at the Donate link below to help with the maintenance of this site. Anything, even as little as $5 or €5 will help, which is not much, considering all that money you paid for the 920, which often becomes an expensive doorstop or paperweight. Please help. I thank you, in advance.
You may begin your download by clicking here. It is a self-extracting archive (.exe) file, completely safe and virus free. You can save it (usually in your downloads folder), or you can run it and it will automatically begin installation. Then please follow the instructions of the app. Feel free to send me comments about your experience on the Feedback page.
I have noticed on a site where I posted a link to this page, a comment saying that doing the above steps could void your warranty. If using a Nokia application (which verifies compatibility with your phone) to install a released piece of Nokia firmware would void your warranty, it would be like taking your Mercedes to a Mercedes dealer to install or upgrade factory parts on your car would void your warranty. It does not. The same poster stated that your phone could become dead for good. It will not, unless you fail to follow clear instructions of the program or you disrupt the flashing process by unplugging your phone.
Update — May 7, 2013 (Day 3)
Day 3 and not a single failure! The only change I have noticed (how to correct this is in the third paragraph of this update) was that under 'Downloads' I have a number of 'Downloading Application' messages with the annotation of 'Attention required. Tap here'. When I attempt to refresh the application (no clue as to which one!), nothing happens and I get the same error code 8000ffff. Well, I can live with that as long as the phone does not die!
When updating applications from the Windows Store, the updates work fine and the corresponding message mentioned above is cleared. Further investigation revealed that the failed download messages appear when the phone is restored from backup, but in the meantime the app's name has changed, as is the case with all preinstalled Nokia apps. They have been rebranded to 'Here'.
To clear the failed download messages from the list, tap and hold each message (or its phantom icon) and click on the 'Cancel download' option in the drop-down menu. Having done this, my Nokia 920 is back to its pre-flashed condition. I will add more updates as they become available and necessary. Have I asked you nicely enough to please donate to defray my costs? If all you give is what I have saved you by not having to go to your nearest Nokia Sevice Center, it will still be appreciated!
Update — May 9, 2013 (Day 5)
Nothing new to report. As of Day 5 on the new firmware (1308), I still have not had a single failure, even though the Lumia 920 has been through a full charging cycle. I am finally at peace with my beautiful new phone! Check back from time to time, I will update this page as time and circumstances allow. I hope the new firmware has cured your phone as well as mine.
Update — May 14, 2013 (Day 10)
After having been constantly on for the past ten days, and through several charging cycles, the Nokia Lumia 920 is still going strong, without a single failure of any kind. The firmware (version 1308) is rock solid. A big kudos to Nokia!
A very special and heartfelt thanks to all the fine people who have donated to defray the costs of this website and my work. You have restored my faith in the goodness of humanity. I apprecite it. Thank you.
I receive many emails form all around the world, asking various technical and not-so-technical questions. If I have not been able to reply, please bear with me. I will reply, but at the same time I have a life, too! Your patience is appreciated.
Update — July 26, 2013 (Day 82)
Uploaded the new Nokia Software Updater for Retail version 3.0.8. It is an .exe file, just save it somewhere and run it as per the instructions above. My Lumia 920 is still operating flawlessly... Please remember to contribute so I may keep up with all the changes. I go to a great deal of effort to keep this page and the software currrent.
Update — September 12, 2013 (Day 131)
The Amber update is awesome! Finally, the Market tile live updates show if any installed apps have updates available. Many irksome bugs have been fixed in the Windows 8 Phone update (GDR2). For a complete guide to the new features of GRD2, visit Paul Thurrott's Complete Guide to Windows Phone 8 GDR2. Glance is a terrific feature, showing the current time with the phone asleep and screen off. AMOLED technology makes it possible to selectively turn individual pixels on so your battery drain is minimal — barely noticable.
Not a single failure since May 4, 2013. To date, this site has served over 10,000 downloads! It really makes me glad that I've been able to help so many people. I know that you want to help, too. You can do that by supporting this site. Please donate whatever you can, every little bit helps.
Update — October 10, 2013 (Day 159)
I have uploaded the new Nokia Software Updater for Retail version 4.1.0. This is a major update, with many bug fixes since the 3.0.8 version, plus some new features. This version is able to deal with the "dead phone" symptom!