12-09-2017 07:23 PM
43 12
tools
  1. aj173's Avatar
    My unlocked Idol 4s was one of the phones bricked by the bad update. I used WDRT, but it would only install the T-Mobile software. NOT the unlocked software. As a result, I have lost my visual voicemail and probably other features I haven't noticed yet. Anybody have an idea about how I can flash the correct software?
    06-02-2017 06:17 AM
  2. paschott's Avatar
    Looks like this might be a T-Mobile issue - check the forums for the "Open Market" thread to read the details. I'm wary of trying to flash the T-Mobile version as I'm not a T-mobile user and don't intend to be so don't want to try to deal with them to get an unlock code and have to explain that I have the "unlocked" phone that I bought and had to flash to T-Mobile just to get it working in some state. :-/
    06-02-2017 07:07 AM
  3. paschott's Avatar
    Well, not likely the answer that you want, but I contacted Alcatel Support, explained the issue, and am sending it in under Warranty. They noted that I have the unlocked device and I pressed for them to pay for shipping. I'm in the US and relatively close to the repair center but still don't want to pay for shipping and all that when this is partly their fault for not providing the proper binaries to match the phone. Wish they'd fix that issue instead of having to send the device in, but it's better than nothing. :-/ I at least have my backup Lumia 830 so I can pop the SIM into that and keep trucking (minus about 1 month of text messages that I'm not getting back).
    06-02-2017 09:22 AM
  4. aj173's Avatar
    I'm still waiting to hear back from them. I'm just disgusted. Not with Microsoft or Alcatel, but with myself. I was all set to switch to Android, but then Amazon had that massive price cut on this phone, and the emotionally attached part of me decided to stick with Windows Mobile and continue the futile hope for "next year". And then this happens.

    I understand that the flashing issue is probably Alcatel's fault for their substandard support of this phone, but Microsoft really shouldn't have allowed the broken option for the open market edition to make it into a WDRT update. I wouldn't have bought the phone if I wasn't wrongly informed that the open market edition was supported by WDRT.

    I might just unload it on eBay as a T-Mobile version and cut my losses. The performance of the phone is subpar anyway, so even a proper open-market reflash is going to have the same freezing and lag.
    nate0 likes this.
    06-02-2017 10:53 AM
  5. paschott's Avatar
    Good to know. I'm about to send mine in under warranty to have them reflash it and/or replace it. I made sure to specify this was the unlocked version - don't want to deal w/ TMobile to unlock a device I didn't purchase. :)

    I agree that there's fault on all sides here. Wouldn't even be in this situation myself if not for the bad push of the update last night/this morning and MS completely ignoring my preference to pause updates to boot.

    Never noticed any major performance issues, but I was coming from a Lumia 830 so it was quite an improvement. Couldn't justify spending $500+ on an HP. Can't really find a 950 anywhere. The options are pretty limited. The price of the Idol makes sense if you want to stay on WM, though this firmware issue really needs to be addressed. :-/
    06-02-2017 11:30 AM
  6. RumoredNow's Avatar
    I'm wary of trying to flash the T-Mobile version as I'm not a T-mobile user and don't intend to be so don't want to try to deal with them to get an unlock code...
    FWIW cross flashing would not lock your SIM tray to T-Mo. It's a whole different chip on the motherboard that controls SIM lock and ROMs do not touch it to lock OR unlock.
    paschott and nate0 like this.
    06-02-2017 02:13 PM
  7. paschott's Avatar
    Good to know, but seeing that Alcatel would treat that as me voiding my warranty I'm going to play it safe and fall back on my old phone in the meantime. Now if they'd just fix the bad ROM.... :-/
    06-02-2017 02:22 PM
  8. editguy's Avatar
    I'm still waiting to hear back from them. I'm just disgusted. Not with Microsoft or Alcatel, but with myself. I was all set to switch to Android, but then Amazon had that massive price cut on this phone, and the emotionally attached part of me decided to stick with Windows Mobile and continue the futile hope for "next year". And then this happens.

    I understand that the flashing issue is probably Alcatel's fault for their substandard support of this phone, but Microsoft really shouldn't have allowed the broken option for the open market edition to make it into a WDRT update. I wouldn't have bought the phone if I wasn't wrongly informed that the open market edition was supported by WDRT.

    I might just unload it on eBay as a T-Mobile version and cut my losses. The performance of the phone is subpar anyway, so even a proper open-market reflash is going to have the same freezing and lag.
    Perhaps you got a bad one to start with. I've had mine for six months and haven't encountered any performance issues. Performance has been one of the phone's strong points. The camera is the only weakness that I have encountered.
    Balooney likes this.
    06-02-2017 02:53 PM
  9. aj173's Avatar
    It frequently freezes, especially when switching apps, and lunching apps is often way slower than it should be. And I doubt it's the phone, because the same thing happens on my 1520 also. In fact, part of the reason why I bought this phone was because I thought the 1520 was getting too old. The Idol 4S actually loads many websites significantly slower than my 950XL, which kind of shocks me. The awful performance seems to be a W10M thing overall, because this phone operates barely faster than the 1520. It was quite a disappointment.

    And RumoredNow is correct. Flashing the T-Mobile ROM will not lock your phone. However, you will lose just about all other functionality besides basic call, text, and data. Call forwarding, gone. Visual voicemail, gone. Using third-party voicemail services, gone. Mobile hotspot, gone.

    Although on the plus side, my camera no longer forces random reboots like it did on the Lumias, so the reboot issue must be related to the proprietary OIS that the Lumias use. I guess that's something positive, right?
    06-02-2017 03:07 PM
  10. waltndi's Avatar
    Same thing happened to me. I have voice and basic text with an ATT sim. Shows strong LTE bars, but has no internet connectivity. all settings appear to be correct. Wi-Fi works fine.
    06-02-2017 04:34 PM
  11. paschott's Avatar
    That pretty much reinforced my decision to ship it to Alcatel to fix/replace. I don't use Visual Voicemail - have things going to Google Voice. I do use the Mobile Hotspot, though. I can downgrade for a little while to keep those. I hadn't noticed the speed issues, but again - I'm coming from an 830. That wasn't exactly a powerhouse device (not bad, but not great).
    06-02-2017 05:04 PM
  12. anon(10197358)'s Avatar
    @aj173

    Microsoft really shouldn't have allowed the broken option for the open market edition to make it into a WDRT update.
    The first to blame for this situation is OEM, Alcatel.
    nate0 likes this.
    06-02-2017 05:25 PM
  13. aj173's Avatar
    waltndi - try manually adding internet APN settings. Even though mine autodetected the APN, I still had to re-add them and apply the changes manually to get mobile data connectivity.

    paschott - I still haven't heard from Alcatel, but if my previous Windows Phone warranty returns are any indication, I'm sure they'll probably just return me a locked T-Mo phone. Which would actually be a step backwards from where I am now. Considered taking a whack at it with interop tools, but I'm getting to the point where I don't even care anymore.

    DylanCochard - Microsoft bears some responsibility for having a broken option in the tool that they wrote and published. You could have had an intern spend 5 minutes testing it before you pushed it out and falsely told us that we could recover our devices. But with this being the latest blunder in decades of releasing broken updates, I guess I shouldn't assume that MS tests ANYTHING they publish. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me for two decades, and I'm clearly a dumbass who enjoys the punishment.
    06-02-2017 07:33 PM
  14. anon(10197358)'s Avatar
    @aj173

    Alcatel has developed Open Market .ffu file for his Idol 4S, not Microsoft. Therefore, Alcatel is the first responsible for the fact that, currently, this .ffu file can't be reinstalled on this device. It's to Alcatel to detect this kind of issues, issues related on their own developments and devices. Just like Microsoft is responsible for what has happened last Thursday with the internal builds released publicly.
    Last edited by DylanCochard; 06-02-2017 at 11:26 PM.
    nate0 likes this.
    06-02-2017 11:11 PM
  15. aj173's Avatar
    If Microsoft's tool can't recover a given phone, then they shouldn't offer it as an option. Alcatel provides the .ffu file, but the WDRT tool is owned and maintained by Microsoft. If a phone is not supported, then the logical and ethical thing to do is remove it from the list of supported devices.

    "Hey, we got this ****ed up .ffu from Alcatel, so let's just lie to everybody and tell them that their phone is supported so they can learn the hard way someday that it isn't."

    That's such an awesomely Microsoft way to do things. Meanwhile, Dona and company are patting themselves on the back about how great of a job they did fixing everything, and those of us stupid enough to buy this phone are stuck with a device that will never again send an MMS.
    Last edited by aj173; 06-03-2017 at 03:39 AM.
    06-03-2017 12:00 AM
  16. editguy's Avatar
    It frequently freezes, especially when switching apps, and lunching apps is often way slower than it should be. And I doubt it's the phone, because the same thing happens on my 1520 also. In fact, part of the reason why I bought this phone was because I thought the 1520 was getting too old. The Idol 4S actually loads many websites significantly slower than my 950XL, which kind of shocks me. The awful performance seems to be a W10M thing overall, because this phone operates barely faster than the 1520. It was quite a disappointment.

    And RumoredNow is correct. Flashing the T-Mobile ROM will not lock your phone. However, you will lose just about all other functionality besides basic call, text, and data. Call forwarding, gone. Visual voicemail, gone. Using third-party voicemail services, gone. Mobile hotspot, gone.

    Although on the plus side, my camera no longer forces random reboots like it did on the Lumias, so the reboot issue must be related to the proprietary OIS that the Lumias use. I guess that's something positive, right?
    I would still argue that it has to be the individual phone, otherwise, why are there owners like me who haven't experienced any of these issues? If it was the OS, it would be a universal experience. Apps open quickly and I never see "resuming" with this phone.
    mark233 likes this.
    06-03-2017 01:50 AM
  17. aj173's Avatar
    Truthfully, most Windows Phone users are so used to low-end, garbage hardware that they don't know what good performance looks like. A 1985 Chevy station wagon is like a rocket when you're upgrading from a mountain bike. Also, since there are virtually no apps on Windows Mobile, very few W10M users multitask enough to put the processor under any significant load.

    My wife runs an HTC 10. Same processor, same RAM. And it puts the Idol 4S to shame. It's so much faster than the Idol 4S that I was hugely disappointed when I unboxed the 4S. The HTC is snappy and switches between apps effortlessly every time. Browser...to excel.....to word...unzip an archive...mark up a pdf.....open camera...bam. Buttery smooth transitions. And then on my 4S, just scrolling through menus causes perceptible lag in many cases, and it gets worse when you try to do any real work on it. WP8 was crisp and responsive, but W10M just ain't. Which is part of the reason why I'm not super enthusiastic about W10 on ARM.
    06-03-2017 03:36 AM
  18. anon(10197358)'s Avatar
    @aj173

    I understand what you say. But the fact is that the problem is related to the .ffu file, not to WDRT. It's to Alcatel that you'll ask to resolve issue, not to Microsoft. I don't say that Microsoft isn't responsible, I simply say that it's Alcatel the first responsible of this story. But, we've two != conceptions, so we'll not agree.
    RumoredNow and nate0 like this.
    06-03-2017 05:14 AM
  19. aj173's Avatar
    I agree that Alcatel's nonexistent support is a big part of the problem here. This problem could easily be solved by them today with minimal effort. It's inexcusable.

    I also agree with you that it's not Microsoft's job to write Alcatel's .ffu. However, it is Microsoft's job to make sure that their utility works as intended instead of serving up an .ffu that they know can't be flashed. Could you imagine if other professions took this same approach to their job?

    Aircraft mechanic: "Yeah, I know this engine doesn't work properly, but it's not MY responsibility to make sure that the factory assembled it correctly. Oh well. I'll just install it and lie to the pilot."

    I'm not expecting Microsoft to do Alcatel's job and resolve the problem. But I do expect Microsoft to level with me and not serve up a file that they know won't work. I wouldn't have bought this phone if I had known that WDRT didn't work on it. It was Microsoft who lied to me about that. If Alcatel provided a non-working .ffu, then just be honest and say so instead of offering a false safety net. Trying to recover your bricked phone is a real ****ty time to learn the truth.
    nate0 likes this.
    06-03-2017 09:08 AM
  20. nate0's Avatar
    The broken ffu is somewhat old news though. It is only a fire up Alctel's rear now since the Incident on Thursday/Friday.
    anon(10197358) likes this.
    06-03-2017 04:35 PM
  21. nate0's Avatar
    I agree that Alcatel's nonexistent support is a big part of the problem here. This problem could easily be solved by them today with minimal effort. It's inexcusable.

    I also agree with you that it's not Microsoft's job to write Alcatel's .ffu. However, it is Microsoft's job to make sure that their utility works as intended instead of serving up an .ffu that they know can't be flashed. Could you imagine if other professions took this same approach to their job?

    Aircraft mechanic: "Yeah, I know this engine doesn't work properly, but it's not MY responsibility to make sure that the factory assembled it correctly. Oh well. I'll just install it and lie to the pilot."

    I'm not expecting Microsoft to do Alcatel's job and resolve the problem. But I do expect Microsoft to level with me and not serve up a file that they know won't work. I wouldn't have bought this phone if I had known that WDRT didn't work on it. It was Microsoft who lied to me about that. If Alcatel provided a non-working .ffu, then just be honest and say so instead of offering a false safety net. Trying to recover your bricked phone is a real ****ty time to learn the truth.
    Alcatel support seems to have no clue about Windows phones. For one. The other issue is they are dragging their feet to fix this dilemma. They've known about this for more than a month I'd say. Maybe longer.
    Last edited by Nate W; 06-04-2017 at 09:50 AM.
    06-03-2017 04:37 PM
  22. editguy's Avatar

    My wife runs an HTC 10. Same processor, same RAM. And it puts the Idol 4S to shame. It's so much faster than the Idol 4S that I was hugely disappointed when I unboxed the 4S. The HTC is snappy and switches between apps effortlessly every time. Browser...to excel.....to word...unzip an archive...mark up a pdf.....open camera...bam. Buttery smooth transitions. And then on my 4S, just scrolling through menus causes perceptible lag in many cases, and it gets worse when you try to do any real work on it. WP8 was crisp and responsive, but W10M just ain't. Which is part of the reason why I'm not super enthusiastic about W10 on ARM.
    You basically just described how my Idol performs. You just got a lemon
    mark233 and Balooney like this.
    06-03-2017 04:58 PM
  23. nate0's Avatar
    @aj173
    You just flashed the T-Mobile fw correct?

    Make sure you update to the latest build for production. Then do a hard reset. If nothing else works then as you have, make sure Alcatel gets aware of this...

    I would not restore a backup either.
    Last edited by Nate W; 06-03-2017 at 07:38 PM.
    06-03-2017 05:15 PM
  24. aj173's Avatar
    Nate, you are indeed correct. The non-working open market .FFU is old news. However, since I never needed to worry about it before yesterday, it was new to me. Sometimes you don't know what you don't know, and that is especially true when it comes to predicting one-off freakish disasters.

    I did flash the T-Mobile ROM just to get the phone to a usable state. You're on to something about not restoring a backup; the battery life on the phone is atrocious now, obviously as a result of the T-Mo firmware not liking something it sees. I could probably start fresh and live with the phone if I could only get the MMS working. At least I got it cheap on the Amazon sale, so it's not a life-altering loss.

    I might just stick it in the closet for a few months. Rumor has it that the open market version is hitting Germany soon, so maybe there's hope that we can get a working .FFU. T-Mo literally only supported this phone for a few weeks, so Alcatel should just release a single open market ROM for everybody and liberate the small handful of T-Mo users from the stupidity of carrier branding. T-Mobile obviously doesn't care about the phones, and the ones on contract would still be carrier locked regardless, so I don't see what the big deal is.

    In the meantime......back to the 1520. Three new phones over two years, and I always end up back here. I might as well just buy a few more of them on eBay and run them until I die. The universe obviously prefers it that way.
    Last edited by aj173; 06-03-2017 at 11:23 PM.
    nate0 likes this.
    06-03-2017 11:04 PM
  25. nate0's Avatar
    @aj173

    Are you on AT&T? If so I can help you get MMS working, but it requires registry access.
    06-04-2017 12:06 AM
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