[WP10] Solution for bricked HTC 8X after windows phone 10 upgrade (updated sept 26)

This is a short blog post for everyone owning an HTC 8X who got their phones bricked by the wrongly installed Windows Phone 10 update two days ago. I’m not taking any credit for this one as the solution was posted by Mevlüt Çayır in this thread on the Microsoft forums.

When your phone is in an endless reboot / upgrade cycle like mine was, here’s what you need to do:

Check out the updates below this post, use the official Windows Phone Recovery Tool to restore you phone!

  1. Download a RAR file from https://yadi.sk/d/g4sR-Nmoj2y9G (mirror via OneDrive here) (win mobile 8.1 ROM + ROM update utility)
  2. Unzip the downloaded file to a folder on disk
  3. Get your phone in recovery mode:
    • Turn off phone
    • Press VOLUME UP + VOLUME DOWN and hold these while your phone boots. If this doesn’t work, try the following sequence:
    • Press VOLUME DOWN + CAMERA + POWER to boot.
    • When untill the phone vibrates then release only the POWER button.
    • Wait whilst pressing down VOLUME DOWN + CAMERA buttons until a white screen and some tiny sentences appear.
  4. You’ll know when you’re in boot mode when your screen shows stuff that makes you look like a 1337 h4ck3r.
  5. Now plug the phone into a computer via usb.
  6. Double click ROMUpdateUtility.exe
  7. The screen will switch to black and some text will start appearing. A progress bar in the bottom will show the flashing progress. It took me two tries before it got to 100%.
  8. Wait until the progress completed to %100. Can take about 10-15 minutes.

And now, when everything went well, you can reboot your phone and you’re back on good old Windows Phone 8.1. I’m definitely not installing the developer preview stuff untill I know for sure that it’s safe this time. Chances are I’ll have a new phone before that and now that its fixed, I might consider Windows again….

Disclaimer: this is NOT my ROM so I don’t exactly know what you’re installing here. It could have a virus, spyware or other software made by NSA. So when going this route, you’re on your own (but it does beat a bricked phone…).

Update: the ROM in this download seems to be limited to only unbranded GSM models. So people who have Verizon phones for instance cannot use it unfortunately. When new ROMs make it to the surface I’ll post some new links.

Update 17-09-2015: The ROM seems to have its origins in Russia. It comes with a preinstalled “Yandex.Search” app which apparently is a Russian search engine. It could be loaded with malware you don’t want, I cannot be sure. Updating this ROM after installing the Preview for Developers app doesn’t work, ends in error 80188301 which indicates a missing base package.

Update 18-09-2015: Gabe Aul (finally) tweeted yesterday that Microsoft is treating this as a high priority issue and they have a dedicated team on it. I guess they’re negotiating with the vendors and carriers to get the right ROMs up in their Windows Phone Recovery Tool servers. Probably there is some testing to be done, etc. etc. Will still take some time I believe. But when the official ROMs are posted, I’d advise everyone to reflash your phones using that one!

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Update 21-09-2015: People seem to be getting good result with ROMs downloaded from this Vietnamese forum: http://www.winphoneviet.com/forum/threads/huong-dan-khac-phuc-htc-8x-cap-nhat-windows-10-bi-loi.169585/. I haven’t tried, but people with branded phones are reporting some these ROMs work. This depends on your phone version and radio version, so be sure to check those (settings –> about –> more info). Still no word on an official solution from Microsoft 🙁

Update 26-09-2015: Sure, we had to wait for a while, but Microsoft has now made the correct (official) ROMs available via the Windows Phone Recovery tool you can download here. If you have a running phone, make sure you back-up you settings and then recover to 8.1. After signing in, you can restore the back-up and you’ll see your phone returning into YOUR phone again 🙂