How to fix your presumably bricked Wizard

Recently I have been using various betas of CRACING’s CR96 Touch HD builds of Windows Mobile 6.5. When I tried to install, RUU kept crashing on my Windows 7 x64 workstation. I am pretty sure I installed previous CR96 Touch HD betas aftering installing Windows 7. I tried application compatibility when running RUU (XP SP2), running as administrator, different RUUs, all with the same MFC application error.

I sent time trying to get an RUU to run successfully, but then went on ShellTool. I started flashing the new ROM with it, but after an hour it was still sitting there. I disconnected the Wizard and either soft- or hard-reset the phone. Now it got ugly. The boot screen would come up, displaying the IPL,SPL,Radio, and OS (the latter being, but it would never go past it.

I was able to boot the Wizard into the bootloader, so I tried MTTY. I couldn’t get the USB port to be listed in the drop-down, thinking it was something with Windows 7 or x64. I then went on to nueTTY [link no longer available]. I was able to connect with it, so I ran d2s, which backs up the on-chip ROM to SD. This was successful in that I was now able to put a ROM on the SD card and boot into the bootloader, which prompted me to flash the ROM (I could not get it do this prior to running d2s. Unfortunately, now booting showed only an IPL, SPL, and Radio version….no ROM version installed.

Telling it to flash the ROM resulted in the BINFS being written successfully and then immediately failing with a checksum error. Now I was really stuck. I couldn’t get RUU to run, couldn’t flash from SD card, there is no OS on the device anymore, and I couldn’t find anything helpful while using TTY. So I finally decided to try Windows XP Mode in Windows 7. After getting that installed and running, I installed ActiveSync 4.5. Running the RUU that came with only resulted in errors about needing a newer RUU. I figure this had something to do with the fact that I no longer had any OS on the Wizard. But RUU didn’t crash, which was a good sign. I tried nueTTY again (which needs .NET FW 2.0 and VSTO 2008 runtime). It could see the Wizard connected, but then dropped right back to a command prompt. I tried MTTY again, learning that USB will only show up as a valid port if the ActiveSync processes are killed. MTTY connected, but I couldn’t find any commands that would help me.

Still with me? Well, we’re on the final leg now. While still using Windows XP Mode, I ran the RUU that is for the Wizard and doesn’t do any CID checks. This time it detected the Wizard and flashed succesfully! Finally! That was a harrowing couple of days.

So, what are the key takeaways from this? No, it isn’t “Don’t flash with cooked ROMs that are only in beta.”

  • Be sure to kill the ActiveSync/WMDC processes to get MTTY to see the USB port.
  • Connecting to a Windows Mobile device works just fine in Windows XP Mode; the Pocket PC USB Sync driver will be installed automatically once you attach the port in the USB menu of Windows XP Mode.
  • Running a terminal program, such as MTTY or nueTTY, really can brick your phone if you don’t know what you’re doing.
  • The No ID version of RUU for the Wizard is always good to have on hand.

My aging Wizard is now running IPL and SPL 3.08, radio 2.19.11, and CR96 Touch HD ROM beta. My Tilt is running HardSPL 3.29, radio, and shifu’s 3.2 ROM (6.5).

Stop ActiveSync from opening an Explorer window when a device is connected

Does connecting and/or disconnecting a Windows Mobile handheld to your desktop result in an Explorer window opening? It has been happening to me for so long, and it is really annoying. Long story short, this is caused by a registry entry.

Navigate to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows CE Services\AutoStartOnConnect. You will see a value for (Default) with the data set to what appears to be null (nothing visible in the data field). Click on the (Default) name and then press the delete key. This will change the data to be (value not set). If the same thing happens when you disconnect your handheld, do the same thing in the \AutoStartOnDisconnect key. The change takes effect immediately.

Pocket Controller skin for AT&T tilt

If you use SOTI‘s Pocket Controller Professional to control your Windows Mobile device from your desktop, you know that you can display the screen in a skin and control the virtual hardware buttons in PCP.  You can download skins from within PCP, but only during the first year of purchase.  They consider the skin catalog a "service."  After the year is up, you have to purchase the application again (at an upgrade price), which includes product upgrades for the year, too.  However, PCP hasn’t even been updated in a year, so it seems a pretty cheap way to earn revenue, considering SOTI even solicits images from customers to add to the skin catalog.  (They used to provide the entire skin catalog free of charge.)

My work installation is beyond the one year of service, so I couldn’t download a skin for my AT&T Tilt.  My home installation (separate license), however, was within the service year, so I downloaded the skin and copied it to my work installation.  I could not find anything in the program or on SOTI’s site regarding copyright of the skin images, so I am posting the Tilt images (displayed half-size) for anyone who needs it.

Tilt vertical image

Tilt horizontal image

Upgraded Wizard to 6.1

The Faria ROM I have been using for awhile started having issues recently.  I was having to soft reset more often (sometimes a couple of times per day), and I couldn’t turn on WiFi anymore.  Memory would start at about 21MB and slowly work its way down, though a lot of that is probably due to the applications installed.

So I figured it was time to either reflash with the Faria ROM or use another.  I settled on another, discussed here at XDA Developers.  This is a 6.1 ROM, which is nice because of some of the improvements, such as native threaded SMS.  I also have more memory after a reset: about 24MB versus 21MB with Faria.  Usage feels much snappier, too.  I thought that it might simply be because OMAPClock is included, but when I checked it I was still running at 180MHz.  So if it feels snappy now, I can’t wait to try it at 252MHz, which is what I normally run at.

HTC Wizard with WinMo 6.1

How to CID Unlock an AKU2 Cingular 8125 (HTC Wizard)

Getting WM6 on my Cingular 8125 proved to be a much more vexing challenge than I anticipated, especially considering the development for it over at  The main issue was getting the 8125 CID Unlocked, which allows non-home carrier ROMs to be installed.  Running a multitude of tools to unlock the device resulted in failure but I couldn’t figure out why because it was supposed to work, especially on the Wizard.

Then I found this post on which indicates that Wizards that have been upgraded to Windows Mobile 5 with AKU2 (notable for the DirectPush functionality) have the portion of the DOC (Disk on Chip) that stores the carrier ID set to read-only.  Faria’s instructions show how to successfully CID Unlock the device by first downgrading the ROM to a non-AKU2 version.  Of course, it can’t be any ROM since the CID is still locked, so it has to be one from Cingular or something cooked.

I could not find anywhere the Cingular 1.8 ROM that is recommend to use.  I trolled Google, AT&T forums, xda-developers, Google Groups, but the binaries had been pulled awhile ago.  The other option was a cooked ROM that doesn’t check for a carrier ID.  Again, I could not find the one mentioned, until I found a forum post that linked to another post on a French forum where the ROM is available.  That took awhile to download.

After finally having all the pieces necessary, I was able to downgrade this morning, CID Unlock the device, upgrade the IPL/SPL, radio, and finally Faria’s WM6 ROM:

Combining information and steps from a several different topics at xda-developers and elsewhere, this is what I did:

  1. Downloaded and installed the custom 1.05 ROM, called CUSTOM__RUU_Wizard_1050412_WWE_101_11210_WWE.exe.
  2. Downloaded and ran lokiwiz’s CID Unlocker .2b.
  3. Downloaded and installed the T-Mobile 2.26 ROM.
  4. Downloaded and installed IPL/SPL 3.08.
  5. Downloaded and installed radio 2.19.
  6. Downloaded and installed Faria’s WM6 ROM.