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Introduction

I no longer maintain my Motorola websites. Some information/links may be outdated.

I created this site because I wanted to learn how to modify the L7 simply and correctly.   I learned from a lot of reading at numerous websites, how-to guides and numerous threads in a few forums.   I want to thank the websites I learned everything from: ModMyMoto, MotoModders, and MotoX.   THANK YOU to all the people who post their modding findings for others to learn from.





I've done everything in this site that I've written about so I know that everything works.   Since I host all but two of the programs that I use in these instructions on this site, when you download the programs from me you'll be using the exact same version as in the screen shots that will walk you through all the steps needed to mod your phone.   This site is graphics intensive.   If you are on a dial up connection you are going to hate waiting for these pages to load, as I have a lot of information to display here.

This guide was written with the intent that a reader would start out at this page and read through the entire guide to the last page.   The instructions I have written build upon each other as you progress farther into the guide.   So if you just skip ahead (and have no modding experience) a crucial step or five may be "missing" as far as the reader is concerned.

You should know doing any of this could void your warranty, and I'm not responsible for any damage done to your phone by following anything in this guide.   Keep that in mind if you have a problem and decide to email me about it and I reply that I can't help you.   I am not technical support for everyone out there in the world.   Read my trouble-shooting page, it might help you, otherwise you're on your own if you mess up your phone.

Follow the instructions carefully or you could wind up with a dead phone.

Back up your L7's files (both your personal files and the system files) before you modify them in case you later have a problem.   It's very simple to do everything in this guide, you just need to read carefully and have some patience.   The easiest way to get in trouble is to not read all the directions in a particular section, or worse, think you know what you are doing and ignore my directions and go off the map.

If you don't find what you are looking for here, try using the search box at the top and bottom of each page.   By clicking on one of the radio buttons you'll be able to select from four of the biggest and most active Motorola modding forums around: Howard Forums, Mod My Moto, Motomodders and the MotoX Forum.   I am just one guy running this site; I can't compete with the hundreds of people found on the forums who are on the bleeding edge of what you can do with this phone.

Enough talk, let's get going.


What you need

You need an L7 phone with a fully charged battery.  I can't stress enough the importance of having a fully charged battery prior to performing any modifications with it.   Doing this kind of work and using the various modding programs drains the battery quickly when it's connected to a computer via the data cable.   It's best if you charge your battery from the wall socket and not the computer.   People seem to have many issues because they charge their batteries from the computer.   If you insist on using the computer to charge your battery before modding you may need to recondition your battery to attempt to restore its life.   You do this by discharging the battery until it's dead, take it out for a few minutes and then plug it back into the wall socket and fully recharge the battery, with the phone shut off, until you receive a "Charge Complete" message.

Data transfer cable (USB A to USB mini B - 5 pin).   You can find this cable here.   This cable is also used by many digital cameras so look around your house.   This can be found at the local electronics store too.

usb cable


Windows 98 (not SE, not ME) or a Windows XP computer with service pack 1 installed at a minimum.   You could also use a Mac running Virtual PC but it will be slow and many report having USB connectivity issues.   All the programs needed are only made for the Windows platform.   There is a program called moto4lin, which is for Unix, Linux and Mac OS X platforms.   It will only allow you to transfer and delete files, modify attributes, edit seems and manage Java midlets.   Here's their home page.


Programs: (the must haves)


Flash & Backup 3.0.058.   Backs up your phone's system files into one file with your current settings.   This is great if your phone is already modded and you want to preserve this state for easy restore later.   It's not critical you have this program as you could just restore your phone from a stock monster pack.   It has a PDS editor, a patcher and flash interface and a firmware manager.   This program is worth the $9.95 registration fee so you should consider buying it, as the trial version will only operate 15 times.   There is a link inside the program that will take you to the registration page.   Click here to download this trial version program.


flash backup



Mobile Phone Tools (MPT).   Available at the Motorola store.   Motorola sells this is as a direct download or will mail it to you with a data cable.   With this you can transfer mp3s, pictures, and backup up your phonebook to your computer.   This isn't a critical program as you can reproduce the majority of its functions with other P2K programs, it's just nice to have.

cell phone



Motorola Handset USB Driver.   Used for connecting your Motorola mobile device to a computer running Windows 2000 or Windows XP via a USB cable.   NOTE: Installation of Motorola's Mobile Phone Tools may affect the performance of this driver.   Re-install this driver after installation of Mobile Phone Tools.   You can download this from Motorola.   Click here to download this program.

Cingular wireless



P2K Commander.   This program aids greatly in installing skins, or themes, which change the look of your phone's buttons and menus and sounds. Click here to download this program.

v3



P2K Tools.  This program is another file manager, can upload Java programs and skins, but most importantly, it offers one of only a few ways to auto reset all ring details to silent so that access to the ring details menu can be restored.   I host two versions of this program. Click here to download these programs.

rollover minutes



RSD Lite 3.2.   This program will flash and flex your phone.   Since this is one of those official internal Motorola programs, you'll have to find it on your own.   Search for "RSD Lite 3.2" on Google.   I found it in 10 seconds, so I don't want to hear how you have tried and can't find it anywhere.  I won't link to it or host it since it is illegal to do so.   I will not respond to email requests for this program either.


Cingular SLVR wireless



XVI32.  This is the program for editing seems.   Click here to download this program.  You can also use other hex editors.

family plan






Now that you have the programs you need, ensure your battery is fully charged.   If your battery dies you could have an irrecoverable situation on your hands.

Information that would be good to know before you start grabbing flashes and flexes (although there aren't very many out there) and modifying your phone left and right are: what version of bootloader your phone has.  Find this by holding down "*" and "#" while holding down the power on button (while your phone is off of course).   My L7 had bootloader "08.D0".   You can also see my software version is "R4513_G_08.B7.DCR_RB".   It is crucial that you only use software that is in the same family as the version on your phone when you bought it.   When I say family I am referring to the first few characters of the software version.   In my case "R4513".   There are several families of software out for the L7 and you cannot mix and match them because it will destroy your phone.   Keep that in mind while you read my guide.   Some other families out there include: "R4517" and "R44419".

bootloader



You should also know what flex version you have.  To get this information press the menu key key then press "Settings" press "SELECT" scroll down to "Phone Status" press "SELECT" scroll down to "Other Information" and press "SELECT".  Now you can check the "Flex Version" (mine was GSTL7T675DP10A).   I didn't have the menu "Other information"; I had to use Flash & Backup 3 to get my flex version.   This could be because I have a European phone and haven't put a U.S. monster pack on it yet.


Program installation notes

These instructions are written from the standpoint of never having any Motorola phone software installed on your computer.   These instructions were adapted from a really great guide over at the Mod My Moto Forums.   This is the thread I'm referring to.   If you've seen my other modding sites you'll know that I generally follow instructions I've found on the web and polish them and add details and put them into my style so that it is very easy to reproduce what needs to be done.

I am going to install some programs and drivers, which will allow the computer to communicate with the L7.   Download the "Motorola Handset USB Driver" here.   Now extract the file "Motorola_EU_Driver_Installation.msi" from the zip you downloaded and double click the file to start the installer.   Click "Next >".


motorola usb driver



Follow the screens and the program will install the drivers and you'll wind up at this screen.   Click "Close".

motorola usb driver



At this point make sure your phone is not connected to the computer via the data cable.   Now go to your Windows' "Start" button and click it, then click "All Programs" and you will see a new program folder has been added called "Motorola Driver Installer". Highlight the file called "Motorola Driver Installer.exe".   The program will immediately start doing its thing.

motorola usb driver



When it's finished click the radio button labeled "Clean and Reinstall" in the "Operation Mode" section of the screen and then click "Start".   The program will do its thing again.   When it finishes click "Exit".

motorola usb driver


Before you connect your phone to the USB cable you should verify whether you are in "Memory Card" or "Data/Fax Connection" mode.   You want to be in "Data/Fax Connection" mode.   If you aren't and you connect your phone to the computer it will only see the phone as a storage drive, and the P2K programs won't be able to communicate with it.   To check this setting press the menu key key then go to "Settings", press "Select", go to "Connection", press "Select", go to "USB Settings", press "Select" then look at "Default Connection:".   If it says "Memory Card" then press "Change", scroll to "Data/Fax Connection" and press "Select".

Now connect your phone to the USB cable.   I then started the program P2K Tools, but before it could start the following screen appeared.   This wants to install software for a USB Composite Device.   Make sure you check the same radio button I did "Install the software automatically (Recommended)", then click "Next >".

motorola usb driver



The program will install the software and will finally display this screen.   Click "Finish".

motorola usb driver



Now this screen appeared.   This wants to install software for an Accessories Interface.   Make sure you check the same radio button I did "Install the software automatically (Recommended)", then click "Next >".

motorola usb driver



The program will install the software and will finally display this screen.   Click "Finish".

motorola usb driver




Now this screen appeared.   This wants to install software for a Data Logging MCU Interface.   Make sure you check the same radio button I did "Install the software automatically (Recommended)", then click "Next >".

motorola usb driver



The program will install the software and will finally display this screen.   Click "Finish".

motorola usb driver




Now this screen appeared.   This wants to install software for a Test Command Interface.   Make sure you check the same radio button I did "Install the software automatically (Recommended)", then click "Next >".

motorola usb driver



The program will install the software and will finally display this screen.   Click "Finish".

motorola usb driver




Finally we are done installing drivers and P2K Tools started and recognized my phone.   These screen shots are from the older version of the program.


motorola usb driver



I then started the Flash & Backup 3 installer.   Click "Next >".

flash backup




Now choose your installation folder and click "Install".

flash backup



You will then get this screen once it has been installed.   Click "Finish".

random's flash backup



The program started and identified my phone.   Note in the "Active phone profile:" that I am selecting "Motorola L7 SLVR" from the drop down box.

flash backup



I then started the installer for RSD Lite 3.2 and at the same time I got a prompt from the Windows Setup Wizard so I clicked "Next >" and let it do its thing first.

flash backup




After a reboot I restarted the RSD Lite installer again.   Click "Next >".

flash backup




It removed an older version of itself and reinstalled quickly.   Click "Finish".

flash backup




The program started and it recognized my phone.

flash backup




I then started the Flash & Backup 3 program again because the first thing I want to do is backup my entire phone the way it came from the factory.   Note all my settings: "Active phone profile: Motorola L7 SLVR". Select all the code groups, select "Cut empty bytes at the end of code groups", select "SHX (S-Records file)" as the "Backup format:", enter any notes to distinguish this backup from others and click the "Read data" button.



flash backup



The program now tries to put the phone into flash mode and since it's the first time I've done this the hardware wizard pops up looking to install software for the Motorola Flash Interface.   Make sure you check the same radio button I did "Install the software automatically (Recommended)" and click "Next >".   Note: you could have also started RSD Lite and attempted to flash your phone, the same thing would have happened (hardware wizard), I just wanted to do a backup first, which any good modder will do before modding.

flash backup




You will shortly see this screen.   Click "Finish".

flash backup




You'll need to restart the backup operation again and you'll get a status bar for each code group that is backed up.

flash backup


You have now backed up your phone with a monster pack that can be flashed using Flash & Backup 3 or RSD Lite.   You have also completed installing all drivers needed to mod with.


Terminology

Here are a few definitions of some terms that you'll hear a lot of when you start modifying your phone.   It's important we are all speaking the same language when it comes to working on and trouble shooting our phones.   By the way, I use the terms operator, carrier, network and service provider interchangeably.   They all refer to whomever you pay to get cell phone service from, like Cingular.


Bootloader - This can be compared to the BIOS on a PC.   It is low level software telling the phone what is what and where to find what it needs to operate. Bootloaders can be upgraded and downgraded.   There is no real reason to upgrade one, so don't be tempted to.

Flash - This is the most common thing you modify on the phone.   The flash is essentially the operating system of the phone.   When you flash your phone it will adjust the various features of your phone.   You will not lose any of your media or any of your specific settings when you flash.   A flash can be used on most any carrier's phone unlike the flex, which is carrier specific.   Reflash files are flash files.   They are called this I imagine because you use them to reflash a phone after you have already installed a monster pack on it but now you want the most recent flash.

Flex - These are the files that contain the cell phone service provider's branding on the phone.   This is where things like your start up animation with the Cingular or T-Mobile logos and sounds come from.   It also contains the specific menus and labels for programs they use like T-Zones or MEdia Mall.   They also include all the programming needed to connect you to their Internet service and text messaging on their network.  The most important thing to remember is if you have a Cingular phone, then don't install a T-Mobile flex on it. Your phone will essentially function, but any of the network connectivity for the Cingular network will be lost and you'll need to reprogram the connection data specific to your carrier, or just flex again.

Monster Pack - Includes the flash and the flex and a language pack for a specific language all in one file.   It installs everything in one step. They come in many varieties, some are unbranded for Motorola, some are Cingular, O2, Rogers, and can come with various features already enabled.   Just read the description that the file comes with so you know what it does before installing it.

PDS - It holds critical information like your IMEI, ESN and any subsidy locking information.   The PDS is the most sensitive part of the ROM.   If it should become corrupted (downgrading when you shouldn't, misuse of Flash Backup, etc.) you will need to use a Smart Clip or follow the test point procedures or get a copy of the free demo version of Motorola Repair Studio to fix it, otherwise your phone will be dead.

Seem - The phone has numerous seems programmed into the operating system of the phone.   These seems control every aspect of how the phone behaves such as: SMS being turned on or off by default, enabling the video camera and its various settings like zoom control and brightness of the image, raising the volume level on the various speakers of the phone, enabling ENS, etc.   You change one feature at a time when you edit seems in a hex editing program.   While the flash is all the programming on the phone, the seems edit the individual programs, if you will, in that flash, one feature at a time.

Unlock - A phone that is locked will only work on that particular service provider's network until it has been unlocked.   There are a few ways of unlocking a phone and they usually all cost money.





This ends the "start" section of this tutorial.



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