Here’s what to do if your Windows 10 for phones upgrade goes south

Fahad Al-Riyami

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Here's what do if your Windows 10 for phones upgrade goes south

Windows 10 for phones is almost upon us, and just the thought of that is making us all giddy! A lot of new features will be headed our way with the new OS and while we are all looking forward to getting it up and running on our devices, we still need to keep in mind that Windows 10 for phones is still in development. That means that there will almost certainly be bugs, crashing, and if worse comes to worst, devices may get bricked.

You’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft will be releasing a tool to rollback devices to Windows Phone 8.1 from Windows 10, but that may not be option should something bad happen during the upgrade and you end up staring at what you see in the image below.

Here's what do if your Windows 10 for phones upgrade goes south

So if you end up with a bricked Lumia in one hand and a Windows 8 installation disk in the other not knowing how to proceed, don’t worry. There are plenty of excellent guides out there on how to go about flashing a Lumia device, but the best one we’ve found is this one from XDA-Developers. Follow the instructions carefully and within an hour or less, you should have a fully functioning Lumia again.

Having gone through this process myself using the guide linked above, I would like to stress a few things. Firstly, backup your device if you have anything worth keeping on it. But if your device is in no state to allow you to do that, the most you could do is remove the MicroSD card in it and restore from it later.

Secondly, make sure you select the correct firmware. This can’t be stressed enough as you may end up permanently damaging your Lumia if you try to flash the wrong firmware. Have a look at this to help determine your Lumia model, Product Code, and Product Type.

Thirdly, once you reach the fourth bullet point under ‘Flashing The Product Code’ in the guide, know that some of the newer Lumia devices may have different button combinations to put the device in recovery mode. Nokia Care Suite suggests pressing and holding the volume down and power buttons, but that combination didn’t work with the Lumia 1520. It took hard reset procedures to get things going which includes pressing and holding the volume down, power, and camera buttons.  

Here's what do if your Windows 10 for phones upgrade goes south

Coincidentally, this guide can also be used to flash a different region’s firmware on your device. So if for example you have a Hong Kong International Lumia 1520 (RM-937), you could flash it with International Lumia 1520 (RM-937) firmware from different regions, regions that may already have the Lumia Denim firmware update. However this can cause cellular network compatibility issues especially if your device is locked to a carrier or if the network bands are different between the regions you are flashing, so it’s not recommended you do that, but it does work provided you flash firmware for the correct Lumia model firmware (RM-937 in this case).

Regardless, Microsoft has confirmed that the Lumia Denim update is not required to upgrade to Windows 10 for phones, so you’re still eligible to get the latest preview OS without Denim. We hope the update process goes smoothly for you and hopefully Microsoft’s internal testing stage ironed out most of the bugs. But just in case things don’t go as planned, know that there is still hope for your precious Lumia.

NOTE: We do not recommend you install Windows 10 for phones on your primary device. The last thing you want is for it to start acting up just when you need to dial 911 during an emergency. But if you insist, and I know many of you will, myself included, try to keep a backup phone nearby.