I've been putting off any changes to my N8 until I had a lot of spare time in case anything should go wrong. Up to today, I was running a custom Belle firmware (don't remember the details) that I had modified slightly (default analog clock, fixed some errors with the little icons along the top, etc). It was reliable and fast, and I loved the customizability. But a few months ago, the Store stopped working. It would load, but I couldn't go to the screen with My Stuff to check for updates, and I couldn't download new content.
Removing the custom firmware took a little research. The generally accepted procedure is to flash the N8 with the 11.5 Scandinavian version, after which you can install whatever you like: Anna, Belle, etc. Problem is, v11.5 no longer appears in Navifirm. After some hunting, I finally found a copy on the N8FanClub site.
Flashing the N8 did not take long at all.
- Close all applications and make a full backup using Nokia Suite.
- Power down the N8.
- Remove the microSD card and the SIM (this may not be really necessary because I forgot once, and nothing happened. Still, may not be a bad idea).
- Uninstall Nokia Suite to prevent it from popping up every time the N8 is reconnected to the computer.
- Install Phoenix.
- Copy the Scandi firmware to Phoenix\Products\RM-596.
- Start Phoenix, select the port the N8 is connected to.
- Press ctrl-R to rescan.
- Select Flashing -> Firmware Update and press the button with the three dots.
- Choose firmware 0598984 Scandinavian DG.
- Press the Refurbish button.
- After programming the phone is complete, it was necessary to manually power up the phone and abort Phoenix. For some reason, it was waiting for a communications check with the phone, but the phone stayed powered down. Fortunately, the phone didn't brick. Once the N8 powered up, it was clearly running older firmware and was ok. Yay.
- Rename the Scandi RM-596 directory, to save it for next time.
- Download the new firmware and put it in Phoenix\Products\RM-596. At first I downloaded and flashed 111.030.609 since that was the most recent version for my phone (059C8T6), but when I realized that it was an old version of Belle, I threw it out. Reflashed to Scandi 11.5, and grabbed nam_0599218. The product code doesn't match (0599218 vs 059C8T6), but I did confirm that nam = North America. It seemed like a low risk substitute. If anything went wrong, I could just reflash, right?
- With the new firmware in the RM-596 directory, restart Phoenix and connect the N8.
- Select the right USB port, press ctrl-R, and select Flashing -> Firmware Update again.
- Select the button with the three dots. The new firmware (0599218 nam) should appear).
- This time select Update Software.
- After about 5 minutes, the phone has been updated.
- Restore the phone from backup, and enjoy setting up your N8 again.
The curious thing is that after I upgraded with the nam 599218 firmware, my phone still shows Product Code = 059C8T6. Unexpected, but I can live with that.