One of N900’s strong areas is the deep integration of skype. Due to Indian government regulations on VoIP, Nokia had to remove Skype from N900 for India region. And there was no way to put skype back in as skype doesn’t provide standalone app for N900. The easiest way (maybe only way) is to install global firmware on N900. The procedure is pretty easy. This method provides flashing the firmware using Ubuntu Linux x86 and windows 32-bit. A bit of luck is required for 64-bit and it’s better not to take chances till 64-bit supported flasher tool comes out. If you don’t have a 32-bit OS, you can use Ubuntu Live CD. Lets dig in now.
- N900 (with battery having atleast 50% battery juice)
- PC with Ovi Suite installed (for backup/restore)
- Global firmware
- USB data cable
Since installing new firmware erases everything from the phone, it is necessary to take complete backup of the phone. Connect the phone to PC and use Nokia Ovi Suite to backup everything on the phone. There is no need to backup content in 32Gb space as it will not be wiped by firmware install.
Next you will need the latest firmware file for Global region. Keep your phone’s IMEI number as it is required to enter the firmware list. You can obtain IMEI number by dialing *#06# (no need to press dial) from dial pad. You can download the firmware from here.
You can either use the installer to install flasher and run from start –> Programs or use the tar/gzip to download, uncompress and run flasher from same location. In windows, copy the uncompressed flasher executable to C: (as it is easy to run from command line). On Linux, use the command “sudo dpkg <flasher file name>” to install flasher on a 32-bit ubuntu or “sudo dpkg -i –force-architecture <flasher file name>” on 64-bit Ubuntu.
Skyping the phone (windows):
- Open command prompt, cd to the flasher’s location. If you have installed Flasher using installer, run flasher from start –> programs. This doesn’t run the flasher tool but cds to the location where flasher tool is installed to.
- Switch off N900 and connect the phone to PC using data cable while holding ‘u’ key on qwerty. Keep holding the ‘u’ key till Windows installs the driver and recognizes the device.
- Once your phone is recornized, release u key and run the following command (make sure that firmware file is in same directory where flasher-3.5.exe exists:
flasher-3.5.exe –F <firmware file name> –f –R
eg: flasher-3.5.exe –F RX-51_2009SE_2.2009.51-1_PR_COMBINED_MR0_ARM.bin –f –R
- The flashing procedure takes few minutes and N900 boots to display ‘Welcome Screen’ once the flashing process is successful.
Skyping the phone (Ubuntu):
- if you have downloaded tar and uncompressed it to a location, cd to the location and run “sudo ./flasher-3.5 -F <firmware> -f –R”. If you have installed the debian package, run “sudo flasher-3.5 -F <firmware> -f –R”
- Connect your switched off N900 (while holding u key) to USB when flasher tool gives warning “Suitable USB device not found, waiting”. You can release ‘u’ key once the flashing process starts.
- Once the phone reboots and once the flasher exits, remove the data cable and in few minutes/seconds, the phone will show ‘Welcome Screen’.
Once the global firmware is installed, you need to restore your data using Nokia Ovi Suite and start configuring Skype.
You can refer to this manual for more information on how to flash on Mac OS X, flashing eMMC etc : https://wiki.maemo.org/Updating_the_tablet_firmware
Note: Flashing process can sometimes brick the device. Ensure that the phone has enough battery life and that the OS is fully compatible with flasher and the device drivers are stable.
Warning: Flashing should be done at your own risk. Nokia may not provide warranty if the device is bricked while flashing.
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