Flashing the V3iThe easiest way to modify your phone is to use what is known as a monster pack. This file contains a language pack, flash file and a flex file and updates them all at once. You would follow these flashing instructions to install it, otherwise you can perform a flash and a flex independently.
There are various types of flash files out there. There is a "flash" (the original factory default one), the "reflash" (which does not cause you to lose any personal data) and the "reflash mlp" (a reflash file minus the "LP" or language pack included).
If you ever flash or flex your phone or perform some other mod and it gets away from you and your phone gets screwed up for whatever reason, flashing with a monster pack is a widely accepted cure all. Flashing with a monster pack will erase all your personal data this is stored on the phone like pictures, ring tones, etc. It will not erase these files if they are stored on your removeable storage card.
The V3i comes in two varieties: one with the iTunes music program (and the dedicated button) and one with the Motorola Digital Audio Player program (with no dedicated button). If you have the iTunes phone then you should only use flashes/flexes/monster packs beginning with "R47A". For non-iTunes phones you should use flashes/flexes/monster packs beginning with "R479". These should never be interchanged between the two phones. You can however use language packs and VST files interchangeably between the two phones.
Head on over to MotoX to get the latest flash or monster pack. There is usually a long list of files there so look for your phone version first then your carrier (like Cingular), then look for the most recent upload date. If you wrote down earlier what you looked up on your phone, you want to make sure you download software that is newer than what is currently on your phone. The most recent monster packs are the iTunes monster pack with S/W version: R47A_G_08.D8.85R.sbf and flex version: GSPSLQATE0B9 from June 14, 2006 and the non-iTunes monster pack with S/W version: R479_G_08.B4.85R_MOTOX.shx and flex version: SE7721AXXF10AC from May 3, 2006.
How do you tell when something is newer than what you have on your phone already? Simple, you just have to know how to count in hex. Here's a little lesson: hex is short for hexadecimal. At its simplest, hex numbers are base 16 (decimal, what we use in every day counting, is base 10). Instead of counting from 0 to 9 and then going on to 10, we count from 0 to 9 and then A through F before going on to 10. For example: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E, 1F, 20, 21 and so on.
Are you ready to go? Did you back up anything you don't want to lose first? A flash shouldn't delete anything, but if it stops unexpectedly part way through or your computer loses power or the phone loses power or the data cable becomes disconnected, anything could happen. Back up whatever you added to the phone that you don't want to lose. All right, let's go.
I am going to cover how to flash and flex with RSD Lite. You will use the same steps for flashing your phone with a monster pack, flash (reflash) file, font, DRM icon set and a language pack. It takes about ten minutes to flash with the monster pack. It takes about two minutes to flash a reflash. It will take about one minute to flash the language pack.
In the image below I used a monster pack. You can see by the file name that it is for an iTunes phone and it's based on the "85R" flash.
Launch RSD Lite. Then connect your phone (while it's turned on) to the data cable. The program should detect your phone shortly. If your phone is not detected (and you are certain you have everything installed), disconnect the data cable, then shut your phone off, and manually put it into bootloader mode. You do this by pressing and holding down the "*" and "#" keys while pressing and holding down the on button until you see text display on your screen. Now connect the phone back to the data cable.
When your phone is connected you will see a message like the one below in the first line of the program's status area. Click the button labeled "..." and find where the monster pack is on your computer that you want to use. Click the "Start" button. Now you should see what's displayed on the second line of text through the tenth line as the program processes each code group and does various other things. In my case I had to manually shut off and power on the phone to complete the flashing process as seen in the next to last line. When I did I got the last message to display. Sometimes you have to do this. Disconnect your phone from the cable and check out your changes.
This is what the V3i displays during a flash.
After it's finished and your phone has given you a confirmation tone, you can click "Close" and disconnect your phone from the cable and check out your changes.
If you should get a message like this where the program seems to hang:
Don't panic. Just close the program, chance are your phone is just fine. Sometimes this happens.
If you get a fail message like this one:
Don't panic. Just close the program, chance are your phone is just fine. Sometimes this happens. This is usually caused by a checksum error. There could be more serious cases where you phone appears dead. In this case try to reflash your file again. You could also try reflashing another file.
I learned how to flash this phone from MotoX at his tutorial right here.
This ends the "flash" section of this tutorial.