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Thread: HOWTO: Flash TMO-TM506 to CB-TM506

  1. #1
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    Exclamation HOWTO: Flash TMO-TM506 to CB-TM506

    This tutorial assumes you are currently using T-Mobile branded firmware, revision R3CA or R3DA, but it should work with other firmwares as well.

    You can flash to the Cincinnati Bell firmware for FREE using this method.

    Among other things, the CB firmware turns on the following features not found in the T-Mobile version: FM Radio, Better AGPS, TrackID, and Tethering.

    It can also still connect to AWS UMTS(3G).

    This DOES NOT change the simlocks on your phone. If your phone is simlocked, it will still be locked after flashing.

    Don't try this unless you know what you are doing.

    Thanks goes out to Scottish for the CDA number!



    Tools Needed:
    1. Sony Ericsson Upgrade Service
    2. A2Uploader
    3. Save the following as Customize_upgrade.xml

    Code:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
    <customization>
      <info>
        <cda-number>1218-2095</cda-number>
      </info>
    </customization>
    Step 1:
    1. Run A2Uploader and click "FileSystem Tool"
    2. Hold down "2" on the phone and plug in the USB cable
    3. Release the 2 button when you see some activity on the left side of the A2Uploader window
    4. Browse to /tpa/preset/custom.
    5. Drag and drop Customize_upgrade.xml inside the filesystem window.
    6. Check the list to make sure it was uploaded
    7. Click the "Shutdown FS Manager" button
    8. Unplug the USB cable and turn the phone on
    9. It should briefly say "Please wait". When it has finished starting up, turn the phone off.

    Step 2:
    1. Start SEUS
    2. Click the picture of a flip phone then Continue
    3. Click the picture of the TM506 then Continue
    4. Hold down "2" on the phone and plug in the USB cable
    5. SEUS will inform you that the "Latest software is already installed! TM506 AMERICA-BAND1-4 CDF1218-2095" (Make sure it says that, not TMO-US)
    6. Click "Continue anyway"
    7. SEUS will flash your phone to the Cincinnati Bell firmware
    8. Unplug the USB cable when it's done, and enjoy!
    Last edited by S.D.; 02-07-2009 at 06:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    Wirelessly posted (HP 211 and SE Z780: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.7))

    I will also post the special Customize.xml file (contents will be posted here, the file will be posted as .txt, remove this extention, on tmonews)
    don't forget to get 3150read.exe drag and drop the .fbn file onto it, and it'll extract, you can grab flash themes, put the flash to /tpa/preset/system/desktop/flash, and associated theme file to your memory card themes folder
    you have to pay for access from topsony, and get the .fbn file for the following models
    C702, C902
    W760, W595
    Z780
    and later models
    you can get menu.ml from W760 fbn as well
    if you want Chinese interface support, make sure you get zh.lng and zs.lng (MUST match software version)
    Last edited by Scottish Skyeandce; 02-07-2009 at 08:49 AM.



    Optimum/Cablevision

  3. #3
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    Right now, you can reflash over and over again by running SEUS if you delete the wrong file (while debranding, for example), simply by running SEUS. No customize_upgrade.xml trick is needed. If you're already on the Cincinnati Bell firmware it says "Continue Anyway" no matter what. If SEUS ever blocks reflashing you can downgrade to R3CA with the same steps and a different CDA(1207-2630), and flash again with the Cincinnati Bell CDA(1218-2095)


    I'm going to try and make a A2Uploader script that deletes the branding files automatically. A2Uploader doesn't have a recursive delete feature in the filemanager so if you want to delete a folder it stops if there are any files still inside.


    I noticed if I delete all the "_HOOK_##" files in "/tpa/preset/custom", it removes the Cincinnati Bell stuff from the top of the menus, and replaces them with SE links. You know, the usual Games/Apps/Ringers spam... To get rid of the SE links too you have to delete the whole "/tpa/preset/system/custmenu" folder.


    I tried deleting some of the apps manually(all of them but the 3 games), but i messed up and deleted the wrong item or something because the games were broke after that.


    Google Maps 2.0.0 is built into the firmware and cannot be uninstalled. It can be hidden in menu.ml, but it's good to keep that for now anyway since that's the only version that works with the built in GPS.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for this easy to follow guide. I've flashed my phone and finally the GPS is useful.

    Spent some time removing all the unnecessary apps and games after figuring out the phone's file system. It feels so clean now. Looking forward for your complete debranding script.

    Awesome find guys!

  5. #5
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    thanks for your tips
    currently the Amber one is updating
    will put my Customize.xml after that
    can't do on the red one as the buyer's trial is still in effect

    update: installation success
    I deleted cin stuffs as well as desktop hook itm files, as well as installed language and font files
    the Amber TM506 is like a brand new phone
    Last edited by Scottish Skyeandce; 02-07-2009 at 08:00 PM.

  6. #6
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    I noticed if I delete all the "_HOOK_##" files in "/tpa/preset/custom", it removes the Cincinnati Bell stuff from the top of the menus, and replaces them with SE links. You know, the usual Games/Apps/Ringers spam... To get rid of the SE links too you have to delete the whole "/tpa/preset/system/custmenu" folder.


    This works until you do a restart. I got rid of the CBW internet link and the MyPhone link by deleting it using A2uploader. It was replaced by the standard SE links. But then I restarted the phone (not reset, just a restart) and the icons had changed and it had gone back to CBW internet.

    I'm so happy with all the changes that I've been able to do thanks to the new firmware and Customize.xml, being able to get rid of these two icons would be the perfect icing.

    UPDATE; Ok so the solution to this problem is to replace the folders Desktop_Hook_1 and _Desktop_Hook_2 in with the original folders from the Customize.xml that was in the phone before you made it Cincinatti Bell TM506.
    Then once you install themes it will revert back to the CB TM506 menu but a reset settings will bring back the generic menu without losing the newly installed themes

    Disclaimer: Am new to this so YMMV.
    Last edited by kiron_r; 02-07-2009 at 08:43 PM.

  7. #7
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    I also remove 2 certs of CB, as well as 2 .itm files
    right after flashing, I also deleted cin .jpg file, as well as delete the Customize.xml and put mine in
    no more Cin or Tmo junk!!!

  8. #8
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    Another plus for this firmware:
    I can copy files from my Mac to the phone via USB now. Used to have to do it via bluetooth.

  9. #9
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    other than that, I also put about 12 flash themes into Amber TM506
    looks better than ever
    from
    C702, C902
    W902
    T700
    W760

  10. #10
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    When I use the flash theme, say light trace, I find no button for the first position (Sony Ericsson). Are you having the same trouble?

    I am using menu.ml from z780.

  11. #11
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    some don't have
    but try flash themes from C902 and T700 (and W902)
    The Red Carpet, Crystal Spark, Earth, Whisper themes have the top left icon (T-zones)

  12. #12
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    Cool thanks, I hadn't installed all that. The ones I had were all missing the icon so I thought it had something to do with the menu files or CB branding.

    Thanks

  13. #13
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    the "missing" icon is supposed to be PlayNow
    need to find out the link of it

  14. #14
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    Does anyone know the method of creating a fbn/mbn? Like the tool that creates the files when you point it at a folder...

    I want to backup the firmware in those formats but it's not really a necessity. You can actually install a firmware with A2Uploader by uploading the files over the old ones.
    Last edited by S.D.; 02-08-2009 at 12:13 AM.

  15. #15
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    Wirelessly posted (HP 211 and SE Z780: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.7))

    here is better, one-stop solution to COMPLETELY debrand instruction
    follow the first post to flash the phone, but.....
    DO NOT TURN ON THE PHONE AFTER THAT, take the battery out and put back in, run a2uploader, prepare Customize.xml I made (you can get it at tmonews, I put it there)
    run filesystem tool, connect the phone (same way, press 2 instead of C as you did with SEUS), go to /tpa/preset/custom, delete the following
    2 certs from cin bell
    a jpg file from cin bell
    2 .itm hook files
    original Customize.xml, and put the modified one in to prevent the mess
    you can put flashlite 2.0 .swf files and associated themes if you want
    after that, turn the phone on, about 2-3 mins, you'll get welcome screen
    your phone is debranded!
    enjoy radio, Google Maps, flash standby, and Operamini 4
    Last edited by Scottish Skyeandce; 02-08-2009 at 03:05 PM.

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