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Windows Phone 7.8 Update
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Forcing the Windows Phone 7.8 update: Camera button not required but patience is

If you've checked your Windows Phone 7.5 device for the 7.8 update with no success, you may want to try to force the process, just as we did with other Windows Phone updates like Mango.

This is a little different than downloading and installing Windows Phone 7.8 manually, which we reported on earlier. With this method you're basically tricking the Microsoft servers to recognize your Windows Phone and initiating the update early. Think of it as cutting in line (and Microsoft is okay with this, no worries).

The other benefit with this method (versus the CAB one) is it means you are getting the official carrier/OEM update that usually includes the firmware too. If using just CABs you are updating the OS but not any device specific software. That's not a bad thing but it's really not ideal. 

 

How to

Forcing requires patience and the ability to disconnect your computer from the internet. Make sure you have the Wifi and your data connection turned off on your Windows Phone and connect to Zune.  Go to settings and check for an update and as soon as you click the "Update" link in the settings you'll need to disconnect from the internet.

Let Zune come back and tell you that it can't check for an update right now, reconnect to the internet and you should see that an update is now available. Timing seems to be key and it may take you a few tries to get things just right (took me six tries).  From there you follow along with the update wizard and your Windows Phone is updated.

Windows Phone Updates

If this trick doesn't work, it likely means that the update files for your device aren't out there on the servers yet to be installed.  We were successful in forcing the update on the AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 but couldn't get the HTC HD7S to update.  When all was said and done, the Windows Phone version ended up being 7.10.8858.136.

Interesting note on the 7.8 update is that it provides support for devices without a camera button. More than likely this is for future low-end devices like the Alcatel One Touch where the lack of a camera button will keep production costs down.  You may see this in a smaller update that installs before the 7.8 update goes through.

 

Step by step instructions to force the Windows Phone 7.8 update

  1. Connect your Windows Phone to a PC and launch the Zune software
  2. Click on Phone > Settings > Update. Allow the software to tell you whether an update is available. If so, skip this guide. If not continue to the next step.
  3. Time to force the update. Click another button (any of the options above or below the word Update). Then click the Update button again, and this time disconnect your computer from the internet after 1-2 seconds. Do this by pulling out the Ethernet cable, disabling Wi-Fi, etc. If it says your phone is already up to date, you didn't disconnect quickly enough and need to try this step again.
  4. Wait 30 seconds or so and Zune should display a notification that an update is available.
  5. Now reconnect to the internet and continue with the update process through the Zune software.
  6. Depending on what OS build you are starting with, you may be prompted for several OS updates
  7. Let the phone update and wait. The final OS build is 8858. If you are getting just 8779, you'll want to repeat 1-4 above
  8. You may also be prompted to install a firmware update at the very end, follow through with this
  9. Celebrate! The whole process, including backup could take up to 60 minutes. Check that you are on build 8858 to see if you are done.

 

What if this method just doesn't work?

This won't work for every Windows Phone out there, only those that are officially designated for the 7.8 update, so your experience will vary.

If you don't get the update, it can mean one of two things.

  1. Your software update is literally not on Microsoft's servers for your phone/carrier. Try again in a few days.
  2. Your update may never come.

On the second point, we're not too confident generation one devices or Sprint's Arrive will ever "officially" get this update, which is why try as they might this method will never work. For you folks, you'll have to do the more tricky manual CAB method.That will do the job but obviously it won't include any firmware. C'est la vie.

Let us know in the comments if you've had success with the forcing trick to get the update.

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Reader comments

Forcing the Windows Phone 7.8 update: Camera button not required but patience is

1111 Comments

worked for my lg optimus 7.
enjoying windows phone 7.8 runs very smooth and looks good.
but besides the new home screen and bing walpapers its pretty much the same thing.

Are you getting any delay after hitting a start screen tile before the animation kicks in? This was a problem with earlier 7.8 builds.

I noticed this, yes, on my LG Quantum. I find it a tad frustrating. It's a guessing game whether it's a mistap or lag.

Worked for my two LG Optimus 7 E900.  Happy all the naysayers were wrong about LG not pushing out the update.

LG didn't push, LG already said they wouldnt support. HTC is saying 'not right now'. Samsung isnt saying anything at all.
 
Microsoft seems to be the one pushing the update. All unbranded devices can get it (incl. LG's and Dell's that we never expected to see it on) using the trick mentioned above. For carriers it depends on the carrier.
 
That also includes first gen devices, very happy with 7.8 on my Mozart. Thansk Microsoft!

Yes indeed! I honestly was quite worried I'd never see 7.8 on my Mozart. But this worked a treat!
 
Sooo... there might be a firmware update if I try the force update a forth time??? Anyone tried??

I hard a hard time getting update turning of wifi after 2 sec but when i counted to 5 secs bing. got it easy !!!!!!!!!!!

I'm upding my LG Optimus 7 as well as I type.  I'm on TELUS.  I had to do two other updates first, so I had to do this disconnect trick three times to get all of the updates.
I was worried we would not be getting it with the crap coming out of LG HQ.

I too have the LG Optimus 7 on Telus.  How did you do this.  I have been trying the update trick but my computer connection is so fast.  I have to disconnect before 2 seconds or I get the message saying my phone is up to date.  If I disconnect by 2 seconds I get the message stating that it can't check for the update.  Do I need to turn the wifi off on my phone?  My computer is plugged into the router.  Should I be using a laptop and wireless connection to slow down the update check?  Thanks for any help.

You have to put the phone in Airplaine mode.
My manager at work has the same phone and updated this morning.  It took several tries but if you get the timing right it will work.
Also just FYI there are actually three updates so you'll have to do this three times.

Thank you so much.  Nothing worked until I put the phone in airplane mode.  I had even tried turning off wireless and data but that didn't work.  More than anything I wanted the new start screen because I thought it was crazy for them to use up so much space to put an arrow on the start screen when all you had to do was swipe to the left.  Thanks again.

I found what worked best for me was to check for updates and the first time, don't disable WiFi. Let it come back and say no updates found. After that check for updates again, and after 2 seconds disable your internet on the computer and you'd get the update.
That seemed to be the common denominator for me anyway. Hope it helps someone!

Monotheist, thank you so so so so so so so so much!!!
After following your advice, I could load the WP 7.8 on my HTC HD7 (carrier free).
I am in Mozambique and on Twitter / all over the web I saw guys from Italy getting genuine updates, guys from Brazil using "CABs" to load the WP7.8; I gave my trial on this method with no success until I scrolled down to your comment.

Thanks
With love from Mozambique
Dan-E

Amen brother. the 2 secs trick was painful i only got it once out of 12 trys but counting up to 5 seconds i got it spot on twice in a row !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I saw this list over at the AT&T forums (user posted), have you guys been able to confirm what devices are targeted?
HTC:

  • Titan
  • Radar
  • Mozart
  • Trophy

LG:

  • E900

Nokia

  • Lumia 610 & Lumia 610 NFC
  • Lumia 710
  • Lumia 800
  • Lumia 900

Samsung:

  • Omnia W
  • Omnia 7

I've tried to get it on my Surround a few times, but with no luck.  Zune tells me rather quickly (about two seconds after clicking Update) that my phone is up to date.  So either there's no update available, or my timing is off.

if zune tells you way to fast before you have a chance to disconect then you have to unplug your phone and replug it back in. Best of Luck.

i'm with telus and i have htc surround.
trying to force update wp7.8
several times plug, unplug
nothing at all.
 

i wrote to htc and was told that i wont be able to get that update on my phone, since it was an android phone. last time i checked the surround was a windows phone. dumb people who work at HTC do not even knwo their own products. let alone how to update them. att told me that my phone can not handle the update, and that it cant really handle the mango update as well. strange mango runs on my phone.

im updating my surround to 7.8 as of now, without the forced update, plugged it in to get all updates before i try the forced method, but it picked up on it, so the surround is capable of handling it, im with telus in canada

i wrote to htc and was told that i wont be able to get that update on my phone, since it was an android phone. last time i checked the surround was a windows phone. dumb people who work at HTC do not even knwo their own products. let alone how to update them. att told me that my phone can not handle the update, and that it cant really handle the mango update as well. strange mango runs on my phone.

i wrote to htc and was told that i wont be able to get that update on my phone, since it was an android phone. last time i checked the surround was a windows phone. dumb people who work at HTC do not even knwo their own products. let alone how to update them. att told me that my phone can not handle the update, and that it cant really handle the mango update as well. strange mango runs on my phone.

Yes! Now if I find a way to postpone my meeting at the state capital so I can go home and get my update..

on tmobile? or unlocked? having a bit of trouble with process though i was successful with mango
 

My Nokia Lumia 900 updated so easily. Can't get my Dell Venue Pro to take. The upgrade screen goes to "your phone is up to date" in about 3 seconds. Any ideas?

Hi,
How did you update your Dell venue pro. I tried a lot of times through force update using Zune, but still there is no success.
Kindly suggest. My phone is AT&T branded, unlocked phone.

Can confirm this is available on my Omnia 7. You have to do the trick 3 times thought to get all of the updates for my phone.

I had the same problem turn your phone to airplane mode and then check for updates let it say your update to date click on another link then click back on update and count to four then unplug your ethernet or disconnect wireless but make sure if using ethernet wireless is disabled.

No luck with my Quantum after about 10 tries, following the steps from step 1 every time.  Has anyone else with a Quantum been successful?  I realize it was a hugely popular device, but I still love it.
 

ATT LG Quantum successfully updated to 8779 from 8773. I had to unbrand it first and then do the Zune trick. I haven't proceeded to 8858 because Zune made a backup so I will wait a few days to make sure the phone is stable first.

I just did the unbrand and unplug combo on my old AT&T Quantum also, but all the way to 8858. I started getting positive results when I installed the valid SIM from the Lumia 920 that replaced it--could just be that I hit the timing right after that.
Whatever the case there, it looks like it's working fine, but mine only connects to EDGE and not 3G. I'll probably just revert to my backup for now and wait to see if the update just shows up. It does look pretty sweet, though. :)

Strange. I can connect to 3G using 8779. It should be noted that I rebrand it back to ATT-US after the update has installed, but I'm not sure if that matters.

I'm not having any luck with mine :/ but I did use the CAB files to upgrade to 7740 from 7720...it was a learning experience. I'm going to try to use the cab files to go all the way up through Tango to 7.8, but I'm not sure how to really.

Weird, I was able to update my Quantum just fine today. Took a number of tries to get the timing, but got all three updates. (Was already running 8773)

+1000000000000000000000000000000000.............................. thank u..... finally atleast some one says this......

Confirmed on unlocked Brazilian Omnia W too. Had to force through 8779, 8783 and finally 8858. Installing now!

The "Mississippi" comment somewhere below this one is *really* helpful!

Unbranded Samsung Omnia W bought from India updated to 8858 successfully using the cable trick. Had to do it 3 times. 8773 to 8779 to 8783 to 8858.
 
I roughly counted to 8 seconds and disconnected the cable for each update.

Things to remember
 
1. All data connections from the phone should be disabled.
2. Better to use a lan cable.
3. If on turning off the phone's data connection makes zune give cannot contact server even though PC is connected to internet, you need to reinstall zune or use a diff pc.

Cool, I will try this tonight when I get off. Thanks for confirming. Can't wait to set up and configure things.

That is wonderful news. Have an unlocked Titan in Japan. I did receive email today telling me that there is an update for the AU Fujita/Toshiba phone here in Japan., so I figured most were getting the love today.
 
Can't wait to get home tonight and confuse my WiFi on my PC.
 
Has anyone downloaded the new W8 Desktop software for the WP7.x? I am using Zune, and of course that is a love/hate relationship, but want to know if it is worth checking our the new.

On my L900, Bluetooth Share and Ringtone maker are still saying they are incompatible with my device. Any thoughts there?

Downloaded bluetooth share app after 7.8 update.  Appears to be working on my 900.  Not Ringtone Maker though.

Bluetooth Share was on my phone from earlier, didn't work after the update. So I uninstalled thinking that might solve the issue, but the Store won't let me redownload this or Ringtone Maker. I'm in USA on ATT.

I got it to work on my Focus, but I did have to change the operator to ROG-CA. The timing is really tricky too.

I just tried again and this time my Focus got the 8779 update (in progress as I write), hopefully I'll get 7.8 after it's done. BTW, my Focus is an AT&T model that I reflashed long ago to the Rogers retail WP ROM since theirs is a clean version without stupid customizations like the AT&T one. I highly recommend flashing your Focus to Rogers retail ROM, it's not illegal or anything, it'll just make your i917 think it's a Canadian i917R :D You get the original Rogers ROM and you can do all updates normally since it's not a homebrew!

Yup! I'm on the last update on one of our two Focii. Switched from ATT-US to ROG-CA and the updates rolled out without having to even try to force it.
7.10.8779.8
7.10.8783.12
7.10.8858.136
At the end I got an error code c101007b but success on the phone and everything works.
Focus 2: After switching to ROG-CA needed to airplane mode and force update
7.10.8779.8 Zune did not find the next update, needed to force again
7.10.8783.13 Zune did not find next update, needed to force again
7.10.8858.136
Completed successfully on phone and in Zune.

Could you please explain to me how to switch from ATT-US to ROG-CA, or give me a link to some place that shows how to do it?

Wish I had your luck I have been trying for a couple of days for the update and even the forcing trick won't happen :(

I tried it several times with an HTC Trophy with no luck...wonder if the phone is getting the update at all.

Hey I just wanna tell you guys that the Sever-Eight hacker tool does work for the HTC Trophy. It's been confirmed by other owners. Check it out, mine is currently downloading the update. WP Central published the article about this tool
Edit: Just finished installing my update and it works fine. Took 3 updates but it was automated so just had to anxiously sit and wait

I had no luck forcing the update on my Trophy after trying for several hours.  I used CAB Sender and it worked like a charm.

A message just popped up on my HD7 (Bell Canada) that an update is available. Don't have time now but wanted to let other HD7 owners know.

Great thanks for this info, hope we all get it aS I'm very sad about HTC dropping HD7. Waiting to see it it will pop on mine.

Yup, finally did mine last night. No performance degradation at all, HTC and their BS about maintaining a great customer experience by not upgrading. Bye bye HTC, hello Nokia.

Guess I'll just wait. I'm in rural BC, so I'm pretty sure i'm at the bottom of Bell's totem pole. Maybe slightly higher than SK. *sigh*

I just updated my Telecom NZ 800. Took a few goes to get the update showing but managed in the end. Had to do it 3 times to get all updates

At&t l900 here, few hours till midnight, still no update. And trick isn't working. Worked np with mango.

ATT L900 here too and same issues.  No update, no notification for update, and cannot force update after trying for about the past hour.  Typical ATT honestly.  

This is called a workaround. It's not "typical" AT&T. They are making updates available, not EVERYONE is going to get theirs RIGHT NOW. Surely you can survive a while longer without immediate access to the update, like the rest of us?

No its typical ATT.  No mention of the update for months upon months after the initial mention then when its supposed to get here they are silent about how its going to happen.  Why should I have to wait up to 3 more weeks to get my update?   Its not so much an issue of not having the update for me as its just bad business practice to put your customers in a que. 

I updated my Lumia 800 /3Sweden through Mac connector, but if you have a Windows computer use it, anyway It works with Mac :)

Just updated my HTC Radar which I bought outright. I didn't have to do this trick to get the update. After connecting my handset to Zune, it went straight to the update page. =)

Couldnt get the Tmobile Radar to work, ended up doing it manually. Took 5 updates as Tmo Radar never got tango. If anyone wants to manually update, I can tell you exactly what files to use and in which order. Just reply here.

I just started the first folder update and so far so good.
I will say thanks now, but I hope its not premature.  Giggity lol!

Thanks for this, it worked great. My phone is functioning properly as far as I can tell. I have 1 question, Does it include the firmware update?

Hi Yamagushi,
I can't get this to work. When I run cab sender and press B, it says 'system cannot find specified file' and does nothing. And later it would say 'no update file found' (in red). My phone is htc radar 4g tmo with 5 languages. Any tips? 
Thank!

Can't get this to work with either Lumia 900 or Focus. My Internet connection is simply too fast. It is impossible to shut off the wifi adapter before it checks the servers. Even reversing the order and shutting off the wifi adapter before I click update in that split second it takes to shut off the adapter after pressing the button it is able to connect.
The Zune software takes less than a second to tell me if an update is available, so I don't have the 2 second window you need in order to pull off this trick.

If you're on wireless internet, how bout tether your phone's internet to the computer.  Phone internet isn't that fast.  xD

I have a Lumia 900 on ATT in SF, CA but I haven't been able to get the update! Do you think it's because I'm on a Mac? 

Damnit, managed to get the update notification but forgot to activate internet again before starting the update, error. Now I can't get it back. Aaargh

When I turn off both the wifi and the data on my phone, it just gives me an error that it can't connect and try again later, eventhough my computer still has internet. I think I might be confused on which interent to disconnect and what. Could someone please help a fellow brotha out? I want those little tiles like no other :P thanks in advance!!! P.S. sorry if I'm a noob ;P
EDIT: Just figured it out, and now I'm getting the first update :D!!!! Now I'm just hoping i can get the other ones as well. Its a Lumia 900 on AT&T and I'm near Dallas, TX
 
EDIT: As of right now, i have 7.8!! :D Good luck to everyone else out there

 
hey man, how did you do it? I get the exact same message. I turn off my wifi, and turn on airplane mode. Then go to the update, and quicky hit the disconnect button for wifi and the msg that pops up is 
"Can't check for updates right now. Please try again later. We couldn't connect to the update service. Disconnect and reconnect your phone, make sure your copmuter has Internet connection, then try installing the update again."
Then I waited about 2 mins, reconnected internet because no update came up...

miitshaah, it's tricky.  Basically if you get the Can't check for updates right now message, you pulled it too soon, if you get the phohe is up to date message you waited too long.  Here's what I had to do:  count 1 Mississippi and pull it to see which message I got.  (got can't update)  Then 2 Mississippi and pull and so on until I got the phone is up to date message (at 4 Mississippi or 4 seconds).  At this point I knew the sweet spot was between 3 and 4 seconds.  I went through and pulled it when I got to 4 Miss and it worked.  It did one update on my Lumia 900.  I had to use the same method for the second update but the pull time was about one second on the second update.  Hope this helps.
 
LOL nevermind, I didn't read your second post.

BEST. COMMENT. ON. HERE!! Worked perfectly!
You sir are a legend. Now updating my Euro Unlocked/Unbranded HTC Titan =D

This is such clear direction, thanks SO much.
AT&T, Lumia 900, Seattle, WA - took almost an hour (!!!) but finally I got it.  Ethernet unplugged, toggling the wifi on and off while on the "searching for updates" screen.  It was approximately 2 mississippi for me, and that was after about 20 tries.
I hope this helps

Worked wonders. Found the number of seconds it takes to say "Unable to connect to update server..." and the number of seconds it takes to say "No updates found". The correct interval to disconnect the pc from internet would be the second between these two values (like you mentioned).

blushrts717...thanks for that! Using a Lumai 710 and I got my first update to 8783 and second uodate to 8858 right at exactly when 5 mississippi was said. Great stuff.
 
Edit...after the last update was done (8858), and phone restart it automatically went into update mode for a Nokia update.

For my Lumia 510 it worked on Mississippi13!!! 
I guess it depends on the speed of the internet connection as well(mine is pretty slow!).
So keep trying! ;-)

trying to find perfect place in first page to post this one :)
this is how i got the update :
at first, i tried that time counting and sequence timing, but it (almost i think) didn't work. So i decided to find another trick for you all with unstable internet connections (mostly WiFi, because i used it)
1. Do as instructed in article till #2
2. Click other menu in Setting (i.e Sync)
3. Prepare any application in you computer that monitor connections like a graph (i.e Network section in Task Manager, for me i have Rainmeter skin placed in my desktop) I recommend those who seek after both upload & download
4. Try to open Update again
5. Watch the network graph, when the upload graph start rising, then prepare yourself to disconnect from internet 
6. Look after download graph, you'll see that the graph start rising too. Wait it till the graph start falling
7. When it starting to fall (download graph), quickly disconnect from internet
8. Not so long after, the updates notification will appear. 
9. CONGRATULATION, now you can update your WP peacefully. Dont forget to do it twice more (since there three of them)
 
Hope this helping

Hi guys! I just installed 7.8 on my Lumia 800. Instead of disconnecting internet I just let it update and after 2 updates it got to 7.8 automatically. My phone is unlocked and I'm from India just so that you guys know.

I'm having another problem altogether. Zune says it can't connect to the update servers even though the Internet is still connected. I'm using an unlocked unbranded Lumia 710 in India and...well, no luck so far. Currently on my sixth try :\

This is an issue with zune. If you disconnect the data connections on your phone and try to update, it says can't connect even though pc internet is connected. Lucklily I had another system on which I installed zune fresh and the trick worked.

I am able to get first update. You need to check how much time it takes on your internet data connection. You need to find optimal time between "cant find internet" and "already uptodate" messages. You can try below method.
1) Firstly 2-3 times just keep internet connection on and see after how many seconds on an average does "your phone is already uptodate" message comes. For me it was around average 17-19 seconds on my aircel internet during 5-6 times i tried. Depends differently on different data connection speeds.
2)After this I just disconnected my wifi hotspot 1 or 2 seconds short of above time interval. Tried doing this 2-3 times and phone got updated.
3) Then reactivate internet and proceed.
 
PS : I switched off data connection and wifi connection of my phone during this period.

Hi Devesh,
I am from New Delhi and too have Lumia 800 but zune is not detecting any update.
Please suggest if you have any work around.
 
Regards,
Nitin

Hi Devesh, I have an unlocked Lumia 800 too in India but I just am not able to get the update. Not sure if its the timing but after disconnecting about a trillion times at different intervals the only notification I get from Zune is "Cant check for updates right now. Please try again later". How exactly did you update the phone? If you dont mind elucidating that would be great..!! Thanks

I got it working on my unlocked 900 from Rogers. It is on another carrier though (SaskTel). I used the manual method for three updates and so far, no issues. My mom loves the new tile sizes and Bing lock screen :)

try taking the SIM card out before connecting the device to the PC (Zune), also don't have the screen passlocked... worth a try; that is how I updated my lumia 900

Help, please. Need to get something clear.
Pressed update, turned internet off on PC, got the message "can't check for updates right now. Please try again later."
Now what do I do?
If I start the internet on the PC, the message just stays there, naturally, unless I press the "ok" or "cancel".
Please tell me specifically what you did.

Has anyone with a 710 on T-Mobile US gotten this yet, whether it's via the regular or the trick method? So far, it sounds like only AT&T phones are getting the update.

The trick will work on the 710, but it seemed to be a lot harder to trick than my younger lads mozart, the 710 was on Orange UK btw

I received the update as soon as I plugged in my L710 on T-Mobile US. 
 
Seems like AT&T users are in the spotlight now for the update.

Same here. Tried about 20 times and I can't get it to work on my 710 Tmobile US Lumia. Maybe I will wait until later because it is annoying now lol

How did you get it on NOKIA LUMIA 710? I've tried and nothing happened. Also, I contacted tmobile support team online and they don't know anything about this update. 

Hi, I have Lumia 710 but in Czech republic. It works, but I had to switch off the 3g internet connection in mobile phone. When I was trying to switch off connection on my PC, it did'n work...

Can you please share details? I'm also user of Lumia 710 (in CZ as well ;) ), but I'm not sure what exactly you've done to win the update battle.
Let me ask few questions to reproduce your approach:
1) Were you trying to update from Zune with phone connected by wire?
2) Have you switched off wifi on phone?
3) Have you disconnected computer from internet?
4) Have you clicked "Update" and then disabled 3g data on phone?
Thank you

Do I get missing apps like ringtone maker and bluetooth share later? I mean they are missing so do I have to wait or what? 7.8 is awesome..

I also have the HTC HD7S and have tried a numerous amount of time, Tell me for the CAB file trick do i have to be on the latest update TANGO before trying 7.8?

do it again, it installs all the updates. 
at that big ass update screen it says "because updates are cumulative, when you install the laest update, you'll also get all the presious updates ..etcetc"

Must not be there for Focus S. Tried several times. Done this before successfully, but all I get is can't connect message. Wait a bit and no 7.8. Well at least I can still talk and surf simultaneously

I can't get it to work on my Focus S(at&t) either. Damn I was all excited too, after hearing all Windows Phones were receiving the update, not just the Nokias. Hopefully it comes within the next couple of days though.

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