ZTE Blade (Orange San Francisco): How to Flash New Firmware

By | July 15, 2012

Yesterday my friend brought me an Orange San Francisco phone, asking me to reset it. I’ve tried various methods, described on sites, but the only one that worked was to flash new firmware. When I tried to reset it using Privacy – Erase Personal Information, the phone just hanged up after reboot.

The method I describe below will make your phone lose warranty. So if you would like to keep it on warranty, you should choose any other methods (maybe better bring it to your cell provider to fix it). I don’t assume any responsibility if your phone becomes brick after applying any method described in this article.

Let’s start with the list of files you need to flash the firmware.

You can download an archive with all the necessary files here.

Once we have everything downloaded, let’s start with the update process:

  1. Copy all the files mentioned above to the root folder of your sd card. I suggest you to format your card before copying these files there.
  2. Install UniversalAndroot from your sd card. You should allow installation from untrusted sources before. Run UniversalAndroot after installation and ensure your phone is rooted. You should receive the message about it if everything is OK.
  3. Install RecoveryManager. Run RecoveryManager, allow it to action like a root. Go to the Recovery section (top menu). Select “Install Recovery”. Select the recovery-clockwork image you’ve copied to your SD card. Wait until everything is complete. Close the application.
  4. Turn off your phone. I suggest you to take off the battery ans wait at least 10 seconds. Then hold Volume Down button and press the Power button. Hold both buttons pressed until you see the Recovery Clockwork menu.  Select Reboot System Now, by choosing the appropriate option using volume keys. Select by pressing the Home button (hardware button of the phone). Wait until the phone boots up and proceed to the next step.
  5. Preparing your phone to switch to Gen2 from Gen1. This is the way your phone is accessing the memory and you shouldn’t know much about it. Just do it :).  Connect your phone to your PC, go to your SD card and extract Gen1-to-Gen2-TPT-v7.zip  file contents to SD card. You should have image folder in the root of your SD. Ensure your files are in the image folder. Unplug the phone and proceed to the next step.
  6. Installing Gen2 update. Switch off the phone and remove battery for 10 seconds. Hold Menu and Volume up (+) buttons and press the Power button. Gen2 update will start automatically. Don’t touch the phone during this process, just seat down and relax :). The phone will be booted in recovery mode after the process is completed.
  7. After you phone is booted in recovery mode, choose “Wipe Data/Factory Reset“. We need to clean up everything before applying the update. You should remember that volume keys are used to navigate and Home button to select the items. After you receive the message that the Wipe process has completed successfully, you should proceed to the update itself. Choose install zip from sd card option. Then use select zip from sd card. Locate update-cm-7.1.0-Blade-signed.zip and select it. It should take several minutes to process the update. After getting a message that the update process has been completed, press the back hardware button (next to home and menu) and select reboot system now.
  8. Wait for the phone to boot for the first time. It should take a couple of minutes (up to 10), so be patient and don’t touch your phone until it boots up. Everyhting should be ok. Now we need to proceed to the next step – to install Google apps package. Turn off the phone and wait 10 seconds
  9. Hold Volume down button and Power up the phone. You should have the recovery manager menu on your screen. Choose install zip from sd card and select gapps-gb-20110307-signed.zip on the next step. After getting a message that the update process has been completed, press the back hardware button (next to home and menu) and select reboot system now.
  10. After your phone is alive, use file manager and go to your SD card. Install google-maps.apk to have Locator and Navigator enabled.

Have you expected more steps? There are just 10. Hope this guide helps someone to have the latest firmware on the ZTE Blade (I had a branded version named Orange San Francisco).