Recovering a bricked HP iPaq 614c (and 91x)

I’m quite happy with my iPaq 614c, I even like Windows Mobile, but today I decided that Windows Mobile 6.0 was too old school and that it needed an upgrade.
I’ve been looking at Windows Mobile 6.5 for a while, following a thread at XDA where new versions of Windows Mobile 6.5 are posted rather frequently. I quickly downloaded the ROM ‘23081 WWE Beta 26’, installed it on my phone and I was happy.
However, I also wanted to try out the Manilla version (which included lots of software found on HTC phones) so I grabbed another ROM and guess what … it was the wrong one. I accidentally downloaded a ROM for the iPaq 914c instead of the 614c and of course it didn’t work like it should. The screen was messed up and guess what … the SDLOADER (which is used for flashing the phone) failed to install any other ROM which means the phone was as good as useless.

Recovering
Luckily, HP knows that we tend to mess with our phones and it’s rather easy to recover it (even if it’s a bricked phone).
Note: do this at your own risk, I’m not responsible if you mess your phone up or if something goes wrong.

What do we need:
A computer with Windows XP, Vista or Seven 32-bit (XP works, Vista might, don’t know for 7)
This tool, called DNW
This Windows Mobile 6.0 ROM (910c users, scroll down to the “For iPaq 91xc users” part because you’ll need another file.
Your charged iPaq 614c and a USB cable to connect it to the computer

Start DNW.exe and go to Configuration > Options and change the USB Port Download Address to 0x3000000 .

DNW

Connect your iPaq 614c to the computer using the USB cable and simultaneously press RECORD + OK and then press the power button. The iPaq will now power on and on the top it’ll say something like Download Image …. If it does not say anything then try it again but keep pressing the RECORD and OK button (keep pressing until it says Download Image …). Also ensure that the USB cable is properly connected.

HP iPaq 614c in flash download state

Windows will now detect a new device, it’s likely that it won’t find the drivers by itself. The drivers can be found in the DNW/Sec folder. If everything goes well, Windows will now see your iPaq as SEC SOC USB Testboard. You can verify this by starting devmgmt.msc (Start > Run)

device

This is the most easy step. The Windows Mobile 6.0 ROM is stored in a file called flash.dio. Rename it to flash.nb0 (yes, that’s a zero, not an o)

Rename

Now it’s time to download the ROM to your iPaq; go to USB Port > UBOOT > UBOOT and browse to the flash.nb0 file. DNW might seem frozen at first, but after a minute (or less) a progressbar should appear which indicates to download progress.

DNW2

That’s basically it. From now on, everything is automatically done for you. Once the ROM file is copied to your iPaq it’ll start installing it. A line of dashes ( [##___] ) indicate the progress.

This whole process should take less than 10 minutes if everything goes fine.

Note: the Windows Mobile 6.0 ROM is not the official one, but it saves you the trouble of modifying other files. Once your iPaq is un-bricked, you can use the normal methods (HP RUU installations or flashloader) to install custom or original ROMs.

Ps. all credits go to Paloma.

For iPaq 91xc users
To get your iPaq in the download image state, press VOLUME DOWN + OK + POWER at the same time.
You’ll have to create your own flash.dio file, follow step 3 to find out how.
[910c only] 910c user are lucky, someone made the flash.dio file for you this [mirror].

Troubleshooting recovery
In case something goes wrong in the previous steps.
I see no progressbar after selecting flash.nb0 and DNW does nothing at all
-> There’s probably something wrong with flash.nb0 file you’re supplying. Make sure you use this one and not a custom cooked 6.1 or 6.5 ROM.

Windows won’t recognize the phone as SEC SOC USB Testboard
When you extract DNW, there is a folder with the name SEC, the drivers are here. These drivers work on Windows XP (I tested it) but not on Windows 7 64-bit.

DNW says: Can’t open USB device
1) make sure your phone is connected to your pc using the USB cable
2) ensure that the phone is in it’s flash download state
3) check if windows found the device and installed the drivers correctly
4) Check the USB address, it should be 0x3000000 and DNW shows this address in the title bar.

This post was originally posted on my My.Opera blog on Friday, December 25, 2009 6:16:45 PM. This post has been copied to my WordPress blog since the My.Opera blogging service will be discontinued.

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