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#1
MOD EDIT: Flasher tools site is currently down; official mirror is located here

Navifirm has restricted access so get images from here


Mirror for PR1.3 images if above is not working

COMPREHENSIVE FIRMWARE FLASHING GUIDE
for the NOKIA N9


"Reflashing" your phone with the original Nokia firmware can solve many problems and is necessary in a number of circumstances, but a lack of documentation has resulted in a lot of misinformation and confusion. Hopefully, this guide will demystify the process and help bring ailing N9s back to life.

Warning: Improperly using flasher could damage your phone and void your warranty. However, following these directions precisely to use flasher to install "stock" Nokia firmware images is quite safe, and can fix problems that would otherwise require warranty service. In any case, flashing your phone is at your own risk. Do not use this guide if you aren't somewhat familiar with the command prompt/terminal on your operating system. While many users have experienced success with this process, it is not officially recommended by Nokia in any way. Read the entire guide before you start.

Warning: Installation of generic firmware images on certain carrier-branded phones seems to be blocked - if you're currently running a carrier-branded firmware image, it's recommended to wait for more details.

Warning: Do not modify the product code of your N9. Doing so is not necessary to replace your phone's firmware, and some programs for changing the code could cause problems (namely NSS Pro).

SELECTING A FIRMWARE IMAGE (N9 SPECIFIC)

Main firmware images for the Nokia N9 are divided up into "variants" by regions of the world. Except for carrier-branded variants and the 003 (China) firmware, these images are more or less the same.

  • 001 - Europe (1), Latin/South America, South Africa
  • 003 - China
  • 005 - Asia/Pacific (incl. Australia/New Zealand, excl. China)
  • 006 - Middle East
  • 009 - Europe (2)
  • 2xx, 3xx, 4xx - "Country Variant" and carrier-branded images

Downgrades of firmware are normally blocked by the phone. Whether something is a "downgrade" is determined by comparing the entire version strings of the old and new firmware versions, which include the variant code, from left to right. As a result, the variant code must be the same or higher unless you also upgrade the firmware version at the same time. For example:

  • PR 1.1 variant 009 to PR 1.1 variant 003: Blocked
  • PR 1.1 variant 003 to PR 1.1 variant 009: Allowed
  • PR 1.1 variant 009 to PR 1.2 variant 001: Allowed
  • PR 1.1.1 variant 006 to PR 1.2 variant 005: Allowed
  • PR 1.2 variant 001 to PR 1.1 variant 001: Blocked

Additionally, there is a content image ("eMMC image") for most countries/regions that can be used to reset the user data on the phone and restore the wallpaper/music/map files that originally shipped with it. It is possible to "mix and match" any content image with any main firmware image, which is useful for installing your home country's maps on an imported N9. If you don't require preinstalled maps, or if Nokia doesn't produce a content image for your country (e.g. US and Canada), you can save time by using the content image for product code 059J1Z5 ("rest of world"), which doesn't include map files.

When downloading firmware images, it doesn't matter which color or capacity (16/64 GB) you select - the files are the same for all models.

Nokia recommends always using the latest firmware image for your phone's product code (printed on the SIM card tray). This is the safest option. However, you may wish to change to a different variant than what shipped with the phone for the following reasons:

  • Receiving updates sooner - new firmware versions are normally released for the 001 variant first
  • Removing carrier branding - installing 00x variant firmware makes your subsidized N9 act just like an unlocked one
  • Switching away from 003 (China) firmware - firmware images for N9s shipped in China lack Western online service integration (Twitter, Facebook, Skype, Dropbox) and include the Chinese IM service QQ instead

DOWNLOAD FIRMWARE (N9 SPECIFIC)

Use the following steps to retrieve the appropriate firmware files for your phone:

On Windows:
  • Download and run NaviFirm+, a utility for downloading firmware files from Nokia's servers.
  • Make sure Server is set to Nokia Care Suite.
  • Find Nokia N9 (RM-696) in the Products list, then select the firmware release you wish to install.
    • 10.2011.34.1 = PR1.0
    • 20.2011.40.4 = PR1.1
    • 22.2011.44.2 = PR1.1.1 (Middle East only)
    • 30.2012.7.1 = PR1.2
    • 40.2012.21.3 = PR1.3
  • Select the appropriate product code in the Variants list. In most cases, you should use the product code printed on the SIM tray.
  • Click Unmark All, then scroll to the bottom of the Files section. Tick the boxes for the two files starting with DFL61_HARMATTAN.
  • Click Download. Wait for the download to complete, then close NaviFirm+.

On Linux:
  • Install WINE using your Linux distro's packages.
  • Download and run NaviFirmEx, a replacement for NAVIFIRM that doesn't use .NET.
  • Select Option > Server > Nokia Care Suit [sic] in the menu.
  • Find Nokia N9 (RM-696) in the Products list, then select the firmware release and variant you wish to install (see above).
  • Click Add to Download Task, then Inverse Select. Tick the boxes for the two files starting with DFL61_HARMATTAN.
  • Click Download. Wait for the download to complete, then close NaviFirmEx.

Any OS:
  • Go to Nokia Firmwares (unofficial firmware download site) and search for Nokia N9. Click CHECK! toward the right-hand side.
  • Click the link for the firmware release you wish to install (see above).
  • Click the link for the file starting with DFL61_HARMATTAN.
    • Unlike NaviFirm+, this website cannot retrieve content/eMMC images.

BACK UP YOUR DATA

All of the procedures described below will destroy some or all of the data on your phone, so you should be sure to back up anything you care about first. This includes contacts, messages, game saves, music, .deb packages, etc. You can do this either through the built-in backup feature or manually using developer mode.

PREPARE TO FLASH

If your phone has a low battery charge (less than 50%), plug it in and let it charge for a while. Then, make sure your phone is disconnected from any USB cables (including USB chargers). Power off the phone.

Go to the Flasher download site and download/install the version for your operating system (WinFlasher_3.12.1.exe, MacFlasher_3.12.1.dmg, flasher_3.12.1_i386.deb, or flasher_3.12.1_amd64.deb). Do not use Flasher 3.5 - it isn't compatible with the N9/N950. You can skip this step if you've already installed Flasher.

On Windows, open a Command Prompt with Administrator permissions (with UAC, right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator). On Linux, open a root shell (sudo -i/su). Change to the directory containing the firmware images you downloaded.

On Windows, run set PATH="C:\Program Files\Nokia\Flasher;%PATH%" in order to add Flasher to the system path.

FLASH THE PHONE

Run the following command, then connect the phone to your PC.

Code:
flasher -i
The current firmware version of your phone should appear. It is now time to flash.

Use the following list to determine which of the steps below you need to use to accomplish a particular task:

  • Upgrade operating system: Replace operating system
  • Recover from damaged OS install: Replace operating system
  • "Unbrick" phone: Replace operating system or Comprehensive reset
  • Reset back to a "clean slate": Comprehensive reset
  • De-brand phone: Comprehensive reset
  • Prepare for enabling open mode: Comprehensive reset
  • Disable open mode: Comprehensive reset
  • Prepare for selling, recycling, or destroying phone: Zeroize device
  • Clear data before returning phone for warranty service (if possible): Zeroize device
  • Reset device lock code: Zeroize device

Note that you should replace main.bin and emmc.bin in the commands with the actual names of the image files you are flashing.

Replace operating system (preserves user data)

The following command will replace your phone's operating system with the supplied firmware image. All applications will be removed, but music/documents/maps/etc. will be kept. This is equivalent to updating/restoring your phone using the Nokia Software Updater (NSU) utility.

Code:
flasher -f -F main.bin
Comprehensive reset (destroys user data)

The following commands will remove all data from your phone and restore it to factory state. The provided content files (sample music, wallpaper, etc.) will be restored.

Code:
flasher -f -F main.bin
flasher -f -F main.bin -F emmc.bin --flash-only=mmc
Zeroize device (destroys user data)

The following commands will securely erase your phone such that no data can be recovered later, then restore the operating system and provided content.

Warning: The secure erase feature has not been audited by a 3rd party. Do not rely on it to protect all traces of highly sensitive information from a well-funded attacker. The first part will take a very long time - let it run overnight.

Code:
flasher -f -F main.bin --erase-user-data=secure
flasher -f -F main.bin -F emmc.bin --flash-only=mmc
RECOVERING FROM FLASH ERRORS

Note: If you did not receive any errors, you can skip this section.

In some cases, the new firmware image includes cellular modem (CMT) firmware that is older than what is already installed. This has typically happened when flashing N9s running 003 (China) firmware with other firmware variants. If you received an error about flashing the CMT, obtain the image for the firmware that was previously installed, then run:

Code:
flasher -f -F old_main.bin --flash-only=cmt
If you previously upgraded your phone "over the air" (through SSU) and now receive a Downgrade disallowed error when flashing, try flashing an image with a higher variant code. For example, if you experienced the error with variant 001, try using variant 005 instead.

REBOOT INTO THE NEW OPERATING SYSTEM

The phone is now ready to leave flashing mode:

Code:
flasher -R
Use the power/lock button to boot your phone into the new system. Your N9 is now ready to use!

Last edited by thedead1440; 06-16-2013 at 02:51 PM. Reason: Mod Edit for Flasher tools official mirror
 

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#2
You can combine clearing the device, flashing the main and emmc in one go:
Code:
flasher -f -F main.bin -F emmc.bin --erase-user-data
 

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Posts: 245 | Thanked: 890 times | Joined on Feb 2012
#3
Originally Posted by Fuzzillogic View Post
You can combine clearing the device, flashing the main and emmc in one go:
Code:
flasher -f -F main.bin -F emmc.bin --erase-user-data
You don't want the --erase-user-data normally - that's why it's only in the "zeroize" steps. You're right though - combining them works too.
 

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#4
there is a complete guide to flash n9 on windows7 in youtube( it is in spanish).
 
Posts: 256 | Thanked: 103 times | Joined on Jan 2012 @ Europe
#5
Well done, itsnotabigtruck. Many people will surely find this guide useful if not life saving!
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NOKIA N9 16GB BLACK
 
Posts: 13 | Thanked: 8 times | Joined on Feb 2012
#6
Very helpfull!
Thanks itsnotabigtruck

When you say:
Warning: Installation of generic firmware images on certain carrier-branded phones seems to be blocked - if you're currently running a carrier-branded firmware image, it's recommended to wait for more details.
What's the meaning of "blocked"?

My N9 is branded (Nokia N9 of Argentina, "Personal" brand).
One of my goals is to get "Vanillla" Meego Experience. My branded N9 can not use WiFi-spot, has a horrible startup animation, and has some other limitations.

I'm planning to flash LTA firmware on it. Are you aware of any trouble?
Anyone has any experience on something similar?

Thanks in advance.
 
Posts: 27 | Thanked: 35 times | Joined on Feb 2012
#7
Originally Posted by youmeego View Post
there is a complete guide to flash n9 on windows7 in youtube( it is in spanish).
Please link it, can't find it.
 
Posts: 245 | Thanked: 890 times | Joined on Feb 2012
#8
@gpollano I saw a post somewhere here from someone having trouble debranding an Australian N9, but can't seem to find it now. I added that warning to be cautious - I know a number of people have successfully debranded their phones going to PR1.1 at least.

Try doing the comprehensive reset and see if it works. If it doesn't, I expect it to simply refuse to install the image.
 

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#9
@itsnotabigtruck thankyou for taking the time to write this up
In your opinion is this safer than using some other application based flashing utility?
Do you know if NSU will allow me to use pre-downloaded files?
Whats the difference between nokia care and prod external in navifirm? (do you use + or regular navifirm?)
The reason i ask - i miyself have a N8-00 and my wife has the better phone - N9-00
She's currently where the internet is painfully slow - or non-existent.
I had thought of pre-downloading the firmware files and then flashing at my leisure (yea right)
So - right now - she is at PR1.0 - and now that 1.2 has come out - i need to update her twice - which means i need to risk the flashing twice...
Also - where do the files to be flashed need to be located? same folder as flasher?
And since i have your attention - if for some reason the internet is working well when i start an OTA instead- and the internet disappears mid download - will it hurt the phone or will i just need to start again when the internet returns?

Thanks in advance!
 
Posts: 67 | Thanked: 19 times | Joined on Aug 2010 @ Nu1st Street, Iron Triange, Richmond, CA
#10
Bravo! Update to 1.2 from NSU went fine.
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