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THOUGHT: Who removed the Windows Mobile ROM Update capability from Windows Vista?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 21.02.07 - 13:12:59 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 16613x
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If you regularly read MoDaCo or Xda-developers, this is nothing new but I have to rant about this topic now as well, since I just went into the same trap: "How to update a Windows Mobile ROM under Windows Vista"?
I've just received a new test ROM for one of my HTC devices (no, not Windows Mobile 6 but just an ordinary Windows Mobile 5 ROM) and tried to update my beloved HTC Hermes.
And so far, ROM updates were a no-brainer most of us experienced users have done dozens of time but even for regular users it's (or better was) an easy task. Even digital cameras have ROM updates today (just updated the ROM of my Nikon D80 two weeks ago as well).

So far so good, I connected the Hermes via USB with my Notebook, launched the RUU upgrade which showed me the current device ROM number and the ROM version I'm going to update to, the Hermes went into the Bootloader mode, Windows Vista found the "new" device and installed the driver but after the RUU Update utility stopped because it hasn't found the device. Doesn't matter if you run it as an Administrator, killed the Windows Mobile Device Center and/or the SyncCenter, the RUU simply fails to recognize the device again, after it wnt into the Bootloader mode, which HTC uses to update the device ROMs.

Ok, some can say it's HTC's fault to to release a Vista compatible ROM utility but then I say that it has to work with old ROMs also and it cannot be the fault of the ODM but Microsoft - as the end to end owner of the operating systems - has to take care about it. Even if HTC (or any other ODM) is going to release Vista compatible ROM update utilities in future, it means you cannot use the old ROMs anymore and sometimes there are good reasons to either update an even older ROM to another old ROM or to downgrade to a previous ROM version.

While some smart folks at Xda-developers found a workaround (which is rather complicated) to get ROM updates working under Windows Vista as well (but it looks like the workaround isn't working for all devices), most users have no clue what to do and they even don't want to know it - they are just users (and we are talking about a mass-market today).

Well, I will "solve" this problem by downgrading one of my old Notebooks to Windows XP Professional at the moment but how many users have several spare PCs or Notebooks at home they can use as a development machine only?

Seriously I hope, Microsoft will provide a solution soon and hopefully this solution is provided before the first ODMs are shipping the Windows Mobile 6 updates (like i-mate, T-Mobile U.S. and Palm).

Cheers ~ Arne


Related Articles THOUGHT:

Posted by luv2chill on 21.02.07 - 20:54:46


Someone at xda-developers figured out how to make it work in Vista. See this post:

Others have had success with that method.

Posted by The Virtual Man on 21.02.07 - 22:47:40

Hello Arne,
have you ever thought of virtualization?
It would also help.
With Vmware you can run a XP on top of Vista ;-)

CU in Munich

Posted by Arne Hess on 21.02.07 - 23:24:02

@luv2chill: Yes I'm aware of the Xda-developer workaround, I've even mentioned/linked it in my article but a) how many Joe Users read Xda-developers and b) know how to kill their WMDC, install the old ActiveSync drivers etc? Not too many I would think. Also the workaround seems not to work with all devices, for instance Quanta devices like the Xda Atom.

@The Virtual Man: Yes, I even thought about virtualization (you can't believe, right ;-)) but I didn't got Virtual PC 2007 (just released in time) working for the update (but didn't dived to deep into it) and VMWare is too expensive for me (just to have a device updated).

No question, both workarounds are fine but not good enough for the average user (and it was way easier and faster for me to format c:\ one of my old PC to reinstall Windows XP again). No, the average user expects, that a Windows (Mobile) devices simply works fine with another Windows (PC) device, without having tweaks and virtualization here and there.

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