Nokia E71 Firmware Upgrade: A Scary Adventure.

Posted: 3 February, 2009 in Gadgets & Toys, Tech & The Net
Tags: , ,

That’s what it is … Scary. What started as a perfectly relaxing Sunday morning almost turned into a nightmare.

I’ve been putting this off for a while but last Sunday, I decided to go ahead and do a firmware update recently announced on my Nokia E71. Here’s the story …

Early Sunday morning, I switched on my PC, plugged on my Nokia E71 and ran the Nokai Software Updater (NSU). The updater software promted me to make sure I’ve made a backup of my device memory. Okay, to be on the safe side, I synced my contacts and calendar into Outlook, then use the PCSuite again to to a full memory backup. After that was done, I did another backup. On the phone menu system, I selected TOOLS > MEMORY > OPTIONS > BACK UP PHONE  MEMORY. It took about 10 minutes, but I was satisfied because I now have three versions of “back up”.

I started the Nokia Software Updater (should be called Firmware Updater, if you asked me), acknowldges that I have done my back up and the update status bar started to move.

“Kids,  go play next door … Dear, do not switch anything on or off for the next 30 minutes … Bibik! do not start the washing machine untill I say so”

That’s how paranoid I was on Sunday morning. I was afraid any of the electrical appliance could cause the fuse box to trip and shut down my PC ( I don’t have a UPS). I could very well “brick” my phone, and turn it into a paperweight,  if there were a power failure while the E71 firmware was being updated. 

The NSU took about ten minutes to download the firmware from the internet and another fifteen minutes or so installing the firmware update. The update was a success. I don’t know if it was just me being excited, but I was quite sure the letters and fonts look better. Navigating through the menu was spiffier. By this time, it was time to go out and do some weekend groceries. So, I clipped my phone back into the casing and off to the supermarket I went. I received a couple of calls while I was shopping, and since the phone is like a brand new phone out of the factory, I couldn’t tell who were calling untill I answered them. I made a mental reminder torestore the back up the moment I reached home.

Okay … back at home, I connected the E71 to the PC once again, launched PCSuite and went on to restore from the backup I made on the PC. It took a quite a while to put everything back to the phone.  A pop up on the screen tells me that the restore was completed and the phone prompted that it needs a reset. I pressed OK.

That’s when the bad things happen.

After the reset and the usual Nokia handshake, there was a message on the phone “Phone start up failed. Please contact the retailer”


I kept calm for a while, switched off the phone and switched it back on moments later. … ding ding diiing ding dooonngg … the nokia handshake … and …


Then I started to panic. 

I called a cousin of mine who has been a Nokia user as long as I can remember to ask if he knows what to do in such situation. He did not answer. I called the store where I bought the phone. They were still closed for Chinese New Year. My goodness.

Out of desperation, I switched off the phone and took out the phone and the SIM card. I though if this Symbian device is like windows, cutting all power amd do a fresh restart would help.

I was wrong. After 30 minutes, I put the phone together and switched it on again only to see the same disappointing message.

“Arrrggghhhh ….. I killed my phone”

I started to sweat, my tummy feel like I swollowed a bunch of butterflies … the feeling was horrible. I feel distress and depress at the same time.

I called my friend Dr. Jamal and told him what happened. He felt sorry for me but did mention that he read somewhere that the phone can be factory resetted by pressing a combination of keys. He cant recall which key combo but we was sure it can be done.

My hopes were back up and went off googling. After following a few links I found a site that explained how to do the hard reset.

There are two ways.

(1) key in *#7370#

(2) switch off the phone. While keeping the green phone button, 3 and #key [correction: press 3 + * + green keys, thanks Punes, for correcting] press the red power button to switch the phone on. keep everythind depressed untill the nokia handshake comes on screen. Let go of the keys only after the handshake screen dissappears.

I could not even get my phoe to start, so I went straight to option (2).

I pressed the three keys as instructed, and being short of a third hand, I asked my son to press the power button.

Ding ding diiing ding doongg … hand shake … and YAYYYY!!!!! the standby screen. At that point in time, I was the happiest man in the world. 

What a relief. The first person I called to test if the phone is working was Dr. Jamal. The phone call went on without any problems. 

This was one heck of a weekend “adventure”. I learned a few things out of this.

I’m just glad I got to use my Nokia E71 again.

  1. Des Lavender says:

    Well, well well. What a lifesaver this has turned out to be!! I found a similarly useful tip about resetting my wife’s car’s airbag warning light and we all agreed to put £1 (1 Pound Sterling) in the next Cancer donation box we saw, by way of thanks. I shall certainly do that for this tip. Anyone else feel like doing the same?

    And please remember,
    “Oppose The War, But SUPPORT THE WARRIORS!”


  2. jon says:

    Great bit of advice. I disconnected by cable by accident while updating the hardware and ended up with the same problem. phoned t mobile tech dept who said it has to go back to nokia once you do that. not that i was worried the replacement was free, just a little inconvenient. search internet and found this article which worked to my surprise. first time something like this has ever worked so i’m delighted. Thanks

  3. maul says:

    It didn’t work to my e71 ! heellp 😥

  4. maul says:

    it didn’t work to my e71 ! what should I do? it has been 3 day I let my phone off

  5. Jon says:

    Fantastic. My face dropped when my phone came up with that error message. I had such hopes too as I was worried just as you describe throughout the update process. When that error appeared, I thought S*H*I*T!

    Thanks a million for putting this up, I bet tonnes of people are having the same problem. Sucks that i bet most people are getting this problem because their network providers aren’t bothering with supplying the firmware updates, so everyone’s having to take things into their own hands. Maybe it’s a ploy so that all the phones are out of warranty and they don’t have to pay up lol.

    Thanks again for the trick, will have to pass this one on to everyone!!

  6. Fahad says:

    Thanks alot man due to ur post my phone is back to life again THANKS ALOT!!!
    Today I feel the happiest person same as u :p

  7. Bruno says:

    Thanks a lot. Same problem: upgrade to 300, restored and dead E71… arghh!!!
    But I found you. Thanks my friend!

  8. petersteier says:

    Thanks! I had my phone upgraded at a local nokia care point from 100.x.y to 300.x.y. After playing back, it stalled like described above.
    The three button combination only works if the battery is taken out immediately before.
    I tried playing back my data again withthe same desastrous result. Did anybody of you get his data back?

  9. rahman says:

    Which one is GREEN KEY? is it the key to answer the phone?

    • nazley says:

      Yup … that’s the one

      • rahman says:

        it doesn’t work on mine… :(. My e71 is new, due to camera non-functional, i re-update the firmware and it said succesful. now i can’t switch it on ie. the phone dies before the “handshake” appears…

        Any other ideas? go to zitron?

  10. Nishant says:

    Guys, thanks a lot…. You cant image, this trick of call+3+* worked amazingly after even the nokia care center people failed to get my phone back to work!!

  11. Punes says:

    Hohohoho! OK I found the solution!
    I think you guys are not correct!
    I tried 3 * green and it worked! Hurray!

    Thanks for the tips anyway!

    • nazley says:

      Yup … you are correct.
      The correct buttons to press to clear everything is:

      press [green]+[3]+[*] while powering up the phone.

      My apologies for the mistake.

  12. Punes says:

    Hey guys,

    I just did what Justin did and ended up with the same fault. But unfortunately the 3 key solution is not working for me. Any idea? This is frustrating… Now I just want my good old sw version back! 🙂


  13. Justin says:

    Thanks for the long story 🙂

    I had just changed my product code to unbrand my aussie vodafone E71. Worked great. Then I decided I’d restore my backup (with my settings) …

    That’s when I had your problem!

    Yay for Google 😉

    The 3 key combination worked.