How to flash Windows Phone 7.8 on a Lumia

Hi folks. After a long, long wait, Windows Phone 7.8 official builds has finally arrived for Nokia Lumia series though Nokia is not yet ready to give them out. From their official statements, its pretty clear that they would only release the update due in 2013. However, die-hard Windows Phone users don't need to wait anymore for Windows Phone 7.8 if you have a Lumia. Today, I'll show you how to flash Windows Phone 7.8 on your Nokia Lumia in a series of simple steps.

Nokia already has the updates uploaded to their servers. Those who are curious to know why they still are delaying -- Nokia has already told that these are not the final versions of Windows Phone and new updates will come even after the release of WP7.8. Moreover, Nokia said that the updates which are in their servers are not meant for the update and they are more like the Pre-release versions of the OS which is due in 2013. Still, Nokia users have reported good so far after flashing WP7.8 and that just doesn't end the story. I've also heard that some Nokia Care centers are also helping users by flashing their Lumias to Windows Phone 7.8 and I've got most reports of such cases from India. So, if you're lucky, your nearest Nokia Care can help you do this for free.

Moreover, you're hearing all this from an already Windows Phone 7.8 flashed user. Yeah, that's me all right. I flashed my mom's Lumia 610 about 3 days ago and its working fantastically on the device amidst all the limitations the device has to offer. There's a little lag here and that, most probably since this isn't the release build. However, all in all, it's perfect and there's negligibly small bugs.

Beware that this will erase/wipe all your data and settings. Backup whatever stuff you'd want to keep by using backup tools from the Marketplace or by using programs via PC. Also note that if anything goes wrong during the flashing process, your phone will be bricked for life. It's not that easy flashing a Windows Phone when compared with a droid. Still, the whole process is simple. Just follow my instructions clearly and make a steady arrangement for the whole setup. And as always, I'm not responsible for anything you do. It's your choice and will.


Okay, so let's start! Here's a quick overview of the stuff you'll be needing. Do download them before you begin.:
  1. Nokia Care Suite 5.0 (Download)
  2. Navifirm (Download)
  3. Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable and 2010 Redistributable (Go to Microsoft Download Center)
That's the checklist for the process. Okay, we're ready to begin. Make sure your phone is charged to 100% and make sure you backed up the necessary stuff. If you're using a Laptop, make sure the power supply is plugged in for a safe process without interrupts.

1. Download the necessary files and stuff. Extract to a location on your PC.

2. If you already have Nokia Suite or Nokia drivers installed, uninstall them from your PC and restart.

3. Open NaviFirmPlus.exe from the extracted folder (make sure you run as administrator).

4. Now, select your device from the left list (e.g- Nokia Lumia 610 (RM-835) ). Now, select the OS version from the middle list. Windows Phone 7.8 is normally of the form xxxx.xxxx.8858.124xx . It is normally the last one of the middle list but make sure it has the 8858 part. The files of the update would be shown at the right box. Tick all the files and click download. Wait till the download finishes.

NaviFirm interface. Click to enlarge.

5. Install Nokia Care Suite via the installer. Before opening, go to C:\Program File (x86)\Nokia\Nokia Care Suite\Drivers and install all the drivers present in that folder. Once done, restart your PC.

6. Now, go to "C:\ProgramData\Nokia\Packages" (copy paste this on your address bar of file explorer without quotes). Create a folder named 'Products' without quotes. Inside that folder, create another folder and give your product code of the device as its name. e.g- For Lumia 610, the product code is RM-835 and for Lumia 710, it is RM-803. You can check Navifirm for the product code of your Lumia.

Downloaded Firmware files. Copy these, not the folder. Click to enlarge.

7. Open Navifirm folder and go to 'Fw' folder. A folder with the device code should be present where the update files you downloaded lies. Copy all the files in this folder to the folder you created during the previous step, i.e, inside the product code folder.

The Packages folder from Nokia in %ProgramData%. Paste the files to this folder. Click to enlarge.

8. Fire up Nokia Care Suite. Double click Product Support Tool for Store 5.0 and the Product Support Tool program would launch.

9. Connect your Lumia to your PC and if the drivers and stuff are installed properly, the details of your Lumia should appear on the screen. If any error is displayed, just ignore it. We just need to make sure the device is well connected to the Nokia Care Suite. Also, make sure your phone is charging when you connect it to the PC as when my Lumia wasn't detected the first time due to the lack of drivers, it didn't charge and when I unplugged it, it simply restarted. So, make sure your Lumia is connected perfectly.

Nokia Care Suite PST interface. Click to enlarge.

10. Now, click the Programming menu located at bottom left and select Recovery. Select File>Open Product. Choose your Lumia variant from the list and click OK.

Nokia Care Suite PST Recovery interface. Choose the device and click open. Click to enlarge.

11. If you properly copied the downloaded ROM to the folder described above, then you'll see the downloaded ROM in the list below Properties as given in the picture. If you don't, click update list. If you still don't see it, then once again follow steps (6) and (7).

12. Select the displayed ROM. Make sure your phone's plugged in perfectly and is charging. Once you make sure everything's OK, click on start button to start flashing. Follow the instructions if any appeared during the process.

PST shows the detected firmwares you copied. Select it and click start to begin flashing. Click to enlarge.

13. Don't unplug the phone while it is flashing. The phone will reboot many times and this is normal. Also make sure you don't press any buttons on the phone. The flashing will take time and once the status bar shows finished and a message pops up indicating the flash was successful. Press ok. Wait till your phone reboots and displays the home screen. Now, you can unplug the phone.

Voila! If you followed the procedures perfectly, your Nokia Lumia will now be blessed with the true essence of Windows Phone 7.8. Now, you can enjoy all the rich experiences Windows Phone 7.8 has to offer including the Nokia exclusives. These include the Ringtone maker and the Bluetooth Share App from Nokia. The Bluetooth Share app is a killer app from Nokia and allows you to connect with any bluetooth supported device and share media with them. Now, you can customize the tiles into three different sizes which allows you to conserve more space on your home screen. Plus you can now have Bing update your lockscreen with the picture of the day right from the Bing servers and you can choose Google as your default search engine. There's a lot more to explore on Windows Phone 7.8! Even I haven't seen the most of it.


Three tile sizes, Ringtone maker, Bluetooth Share, Bing Wallpapers and lots more to explore!
You can now restore the backups and connect your Lumia to your accounts to start syncing. Moreover, you can still connect to Zune to sync media with your PC and you won't experience any problem with that. I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial. If you're experiencing any trouble, feel free to share it with me by posting a comment. Do give your valuable feedbacks to me and I really love to hear them. I will be posting a quick overview of Windows Phone 7.8 on the Lumia 610 soon which would also cover the new features it packs and I really hope it'd be helpful for the users. So please, stay tuned for more updates. Adios!

Thanks to ako693, Softpedia for additional resources and help.