How to Update the firmware of Maemo: Flashing N900

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flash maemo n900

Already discussed how you can update the firmware of your symbian mobiles like N97, 5800, N79 etc and different methods of hacking and debranding your symbian mobiles, but this time I am sharing the method to update the firmware/flash your maemo device like nokia N900, N800 etc.

Why to Update Firmware?

The question is why we should update the firmware of our maemo device? There are many reasons to it like:

  • Bug fixes in new firmware
  • Stability and improvement in new firmware
  • You have corrupted the software of your device
  • A virus has corrupted it, though it is very rare if you take little care
  • Introduction of new feature in the firmware
  • And sometimes for debranding

Methods of Firmware Update:

There are three common and easy methods of updating the firmware of N900.

1. Via Nokia Software Updater:

It is easy and most recommended method to upgrade the firmware of maemo device. If there is new firmware update is available, this is the recommended way to do it. You can see more details here how to update using NSU.

2. Manual Method using Flasher:

Here I want to explain the manual method of flashing your device. This method is recommended if you are reinstalling the same/latest (but not the newest which will be available through NSU only) firmware which you have already on your device.

Step by Step Method of Flashing using Flasher:

This method is windows based method (esp XP), but if you have got other operating system (Mac or Linux), you can get a link, read here the detailed procedure for Mac.

  • Download and install the latest version of Flasher (e.g. maemo_flasher-3.5_2.5.2.2.exe).
  • Download the latest firmware (.bin) file and save to ‘c:Program Filesmaemoflasher-3.5′
  • Hot Update: If you want to update your N900 to latest firmware, read the details here.
  • Hot Update 2: The details about latest firmware 1.2 can be found here.
  • Fully charge the battery.
  • Unplug charger and switch off the device.
  • Open the command prompt on XP. Start + Run. Type cmd and press Enter.
  • Change directory to the flasher program
 cd "c:Program Filesmaemoflasher-3.5"
  • Connect the USB cable while pressing ‘u’ key on the N900 (The detailed procedure of connecting the N900 is here).
    1. Turn off Maemo device
    2. Press and hold down key ‘u’
    3. Connect USB cable between Maemo device and host PC while holding down key ‘u’
    4. When USB cable gets connected it powers Maemo device and set’s it to flashing mode
    5. When USB icon appears on right upper corner Maemo device is in flashing mode
    6. You can release key ‘u’
  • Run the following command:
flasher-3.5.exe -F RX-51_2009SE_1.2009.42-11_PR_COMBINED_MR0_ARM.bin -f -R

The update will take about 4 minutes after which the N900 will reboot and display the Welcome screen with Regional settings.

You may experience problem if you are running windows seven/vista. You will have to flash the device in xp mode under Seven x64 and it will work perfectly.

3. via Seamless Software Update (SSU):

This method is same as FOTA (firmware over the air) in symbian mobiles, but it has been named as Seamless Software Update (SSU).

Your N900 will notify you of an update when one becomes available, just as it does for application updates. You may initiate the update process immediately or, if you prefer, ignore it for the moment and wait until your phone is, say, fully charged and on a good WiFi connection.

The process is:

  1. A blinking notification–the same as appears when application updates are available–appears in the status area of your N900.
  2. Tapping the notification opens the Application Manager which automatically shows the available update. (Should you decide to hold off on installing the update for any reason–busy, low battery, on expensive data connection, etc.–you can close Application Manager. The SSU will remain waiting in the “Update” area of Application Manager until you’re ready.)
  3. Tap the update to begin the download and installation process.
  4. Your N900 will prompt you to make a new backup of your data and settings just in case. Making a backup may be skipped, should you want to throw caution to the wind.
  5. Your N900 will close all open applications.
  6. Your N900 will download the update.
  7. Your N900 will automatically install the update.
  8. Your N900 may reboot.
  9. Done.

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