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Introduction

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 Some information/links may be outdated.

Well I couldn't stop with making a web site for the V3, I had to get a V3i and continue learning.





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 further 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.

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 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.

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.   These instructions have worked for me and many of my readers who have written to thank me for this guide.   However, this is not an indicator that this guide will work for you.   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.

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

Back up your V3i'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.




What you need

You need a V3i 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)

Mobile Phone Tools (MPT) 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.

cell phone






Motorola P2K Drivers version 2.9.   Important drivers for your phone.   You need to install these drivers before using any P2K programs.   Click here to download this program.

cingular wireless



P2K Phone File Manager (Build 26.02.2004).   Also known as "P2KMAN".   This older version of the program is required to work with the V3i, newer versions of this program will not read the file structure of the phone, but it is still good for transferring seems back and forth.   The older version allows the transfer of most all files (including seems) and the deletion of "locked" system files that you may want to get rid of.  Click here to download this program.

razor



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.

p2k tools



RSD Lite.   This program will flash and flex your phone.   Since it is one of those official internal Motorola only programs, you'll have to find it on your own.   Try searching for "RSD Lite 3.2" and various other version numbers.   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.

Verizon wireless



XVI32.  This is the program for editing seems.   Click here to download this program.  You can also use other hex editors and various P2K all-in-one programs.

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 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).   Here is what my bootloader says:

bootloader


You should also know what flex version and what software 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 GSPSLQAT676VB06B) and the "S/W Version" (mine was R47A_G_08.D8.35R).   Alternately you can type *#9999# and get a screen that will tell you this information.


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 throughout these instructions.   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 - A 64kb section in memory.   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 you will need to use a Smart Clip 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, enbaling the roaming icon, 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.





Program installation notes

These instructions are written from the standpoint of never having any Motorola phone software installed on your computer.

I am going to install some programs and drivers, which will allow the computer to communicate with the V3i.   Download the "Motorola P2K Drivers version 2.9" 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


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.   This screen shot is from the older version of the program.

motorola usb driver


Next install RSD Lite.   Then install P2K Phone File Manager.   Then make sure the phone works with all of these programs.

The first time you use RSD Lite with the phone connected to the data cable and attempt to flash the phone, the hardware wizard will appear 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 >".

flash backup




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

flash backup


Don't forget to install MotoSkin, P2K Menu Editor, XVI32 and any other programs you downloaded.

If after you install the following programs, you have problems getting your computer to recognize your phone, then the first thing you should check on your phone is this: press the menu key key then go to "Connection", press "Select", go to "USB Settings" then press "Select" then go to "Default Connection:" and make sure this is set to "Data/Fax Connection".

If you still have problems after doing this, you should read this thread or this thread or this one.   Please do not e-mail me about this issue, I've never had this problem so I can't help someone else with it.   The only things I could think of to help is try another USB port and make sure you aren't connecting through a USB hub.   I'm running Windows XP with Service Pack 1 and I just got lucky installing everything and having it work the first time.





This ends the "start" section of this tutorial. cell phone



V3i
home
V3i
V3
V3i
backup
V3i
flash
V3i
flex
V3i
flex
V3i
seem
mail
 
V3i
unlock
V3i
mods
V3i
media
V3i
troubleshooting
V3i
faq
V3i
downloads
V3i
market
V3i




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