Unbricking the N9

Okay, so the N9 I’m trialling managed to spontaneously brick itself yesterday. No idea how – I wasn’t doing anything developer-ish with it, just treating it as a black box phone, and it happened while driving and the phone was locked and in my pocket at the time. It was working when I got in the car, and when I got to the range, all I had was the “Device is malfunctioning” screen. Resetting it (by pressing the power key for 8 seconds) did nothing. So I moved the SIM back to my n900 and started looking for ways to un-brick it.

Took a little while to figure it all out and find all the bits and pieces, but here’s how I did it:

  1. Download and install the maemo firmware flasher from here, at least version 3.12 (the older 3.5 version won’t work on the N9)
  2. Download the N9 firmware binary image using NaviFirm+. Here’s the (warning, 1.1 Gb!) file in case you don’t want to install NaviFirm+.
  3. sudo flasher -F DFL61_HARMATTAN_10.2011.34-1_PR_LEGACY_001-OEM1-958_ARM.bin -f -c

And done. All back up and working again. Simple once you have the bits and bobs.

Hope it helps someone…

13 thoughts on “Unbricking the N9

  • Oct 23, 2011 at 1402

    can’t even detect my n9. what am i doing wrong? how do you turn n9 into flashmode anyway??

  • Oct 23, 2011 at 1404

    If you can’t even detect the N9 when you plug it into the USB cable, it may be unrecoverable 🙁
    Have you tried cold-flashing it using the -c option?

  • Oct 23, 2011 at 1520

    i didnt really brick it. it still on working condition.

    after i put in the command it just stuck here

    Sending ape-algo image (7026 kB)…
    100% (7026 of 7026 kB, avg. 714 kB/s)
    Suitable USB interface (phonet) not found, waiting…

    what am i doing wrong?

  • Oct 23, 2011 at 1732

    That’s odd – I saw that when trying to flash the N9 with the wrong firmware. Yours isn’t the 16Gb version by any chance?

  • Oct 23, 2011 at 2146

    I’m using 64GB.

  • Nov 3, 2011 at 1148

    I have the same kind of issue on the black 64G N9. it seems that the link is dead, could you correct it? (I don’t have access to a windows machine for Navyfirm)

  • Nov 3, 2011 at 1308

    Seems to be Varnish choking on the size of the file. I’ll try to fix it as soon as I get a chance Corsac.

  • Nov 3, 2011 at 1324

    I managed to find firmwares files for N9 at http://mrcrab.net/nokia/Nokia_N9.html?productType=RM-696&releaseID=6324395729&version=10.2011.34.1

  • Nov 7, 2011 at 0548

    Hi. I haven’t a clue about command line stuff, but hope you can help. Here’s the problem. I have almost brand new N9. Let my Son play with it, and seems the lock screen is activated, along with a code I don’t know. Tried the default 12345, but no help. My only idea now is to flash the firmware. Can that be done from the lockscreen? It’s not a problem to lose any info inside, as it’s so new. I’m away from home right now, so can’t take it to the service center.
    Hope for some help.

  • Mar 2, 2012 at 1154

    For the ones who say the phone is not recognized by Windows, download and install NokiaSoftwareUpdaterSetup. It will install all the drivers for N9 (Update Mode).
    Good Luck!

  • Jul 23, 2012 at 1006

    thanks. i used your command and my n9 load very well.

  • Dec 21, 2012 at 0518

    my N9 stock on boot Nokia logo, it’s back after flash ROM
    you save my N9

  • Jan 19, 2013 at 0948

    @david..were u able to unlock ur security code? i seem to have the same problem now 🙁

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