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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sony Ericsson P990i Debranding Adventure: the steps

In connection with the previous article, I've written down the steps I've made for documenation purposes. So that I wouldn't "decrypt" the whole thing again, just in case a redo should be made.

Piece of advice if you want to do the same thing - be careful, and be very careful. One mistake could render your precious P990 unusable. I am not sure but doing this could also void your warranty! Don't do it if your phone is SP locked, as I've read that locked P990 wouldn't accept any SIM card after the debrand.

The process requires replacing two specific files in a folder named blob_fs which is located in SEUS installation folder.

System Requirements
The Steps
How To Determine The Files To Be Replaced (the tricky part)
Two files are needed to be replaced in the blob_fs folder. But the names and size of these files differ from one firmware to the other. The first file is about 350+ bytes in size, and the second one is about 420+ bytes. To know the exact size, from Windows Explorer, right-click on the file, then "Properties". Under general tab, look at the label "Size:" (not "Size on disk"). Sorting files "by size" in ascending order helps.

The First File
As stated, the first file is about 350+ bytes, so in blob_fs folder, look for a file which is greater or equal to 350 bytes, but less than 400 bytes. The name of this file should be something like this:

where: NUMS are series of numbers and XXX is a 3 digit number

To be sure about this file, fire up XVI32, and examine it. The first 12 bytes of this file should be like this (in hex):
E3 4C 88 75 FB 5E CC C0 FD 57 70 20

As shown here: (same files from other P990 firmwares)

The Second File
Do the same as the first file. This time, look for a file which is greater or equal to 420 bytes, but less than 440 bytes, and with this name pattern:

To verify, fire up XVI32 again and load the file. The first 11 bytes of this file should be like this:
E3 4C 88 75 FB 5E CC C0 FD 57 08

As shown here: (same files from other P990 firmwares)

Renaming and Replacing the Files in blob_fs Folder
  • Rename the first file (350+ bytes from the extracted archive) exactly as the name of the corresponding 350+ bytes file in blob_fs folder.
  • Rename the second file (420+ bytes from the extracted archive) exactly as the name of the corresponding 420+ bytes file in blob_fs folder.
  • Copy and paste these renamed files to blob_fs folder, replacing the existing.
Locating the blob_fs Folder
I am not sure if it differs from one another, but in my installation, the blob_fs folder is located in:
C:\Program Files\Sony Ericsson\Update Service\db\13740270

P990i Captured Screens
First update (step 2)

Second update (step 7)

Third update (step 8)

Other 350+ bytes size files I checked

Other 420+ bytes size files I checked


Adam said...

Brilliant - easily the clearest instructions on how to do this, worked great for me with P990i (was Hong Kong Trade)

c05328793 said...

Excellent guide very straight forward, It 100% works!

A. George Jacob Thekkethattil said...

H, I like your blog. I have a small question. When I try to run the SEUS I get the following message from Windows:
Ma3platform.exe – Application Error
The exception breakpoint
A breakpoint has been reached.
(0x80000003) occurred in the application at location 0x7c901230
Click on OK to terminate the program
Click on CANCEL to debug the program
SEUS then refuses to run. I can't figure this out. I tried contacting SE, they asked me to take it to the local dealer who had no idea. I run WinXP Pro SP2 on an acer Centrino machine.

Chee Hoo said...

what do you mean by force update 1 2 3 times ?

Keith said...

Hello po. do you have the CDA files for Philippines Generic Trade? I needed to go back to R5 since the generic world 1 is so buggy on R6. Please send it to my email keith[at] if you have them. Thanks so much!

s said...

anybody tried to restore a backup from old cda?


Kamian said...

How do you do a force update? I replace the files after confirming with the hex editor but it still says that I have no available updates for my phone :|

I really need help as I find the Asian Charset annoying since I can't understand a single character hah!

Akshay said...

i did all the steps n it still says "update not needed latest software is already installed"

pls help

Akshay said...

the version shows as

CDA162007/8 R5A16

pnoytechie said...

force update means... clicking "Continue anyway" even if SEUS tells you that "Update is not needed"

halabaluza said...

What does SP locked mean and how do i know if mine is or is not ?

Tommy K said...

I have 6 317k files a single 336k and a single 880k file, none within the ranges described. When i look in the hex editor I get everything right untill the end where i get 57 09 CE and i have no files ending in 57 70 20.

how do i continue, i cant find any english language packs for my phone!!!! ahhhh

pnoytechie said...


SP Locked means Service Provider locked, that is if your phone can use only SIM from one specific provider.

Tommy K,
I think you missed something. I was talking about bytes and NOT kb.

dogadder said...

You wrote:

"Don't do it if your phone is SP locked, as I've read that locked P990 wouldn't accept any SIM card after the debrand."

Any links? I googled and didn't find anything about it. I'm worried since my phone is locked.


Jojo said...

My P990 say it is Network lock while both network subset and SIM unlock (all three show value of 5 though). Does that mean I cant use the debranding technique to unlock? its currently under Globe.

pnoytechie said...

doggader and jojo,

here's the link where cases of unbranding locked P990i had problems after the process:

Eric Beerhorst said...


I did it and as you gues... my P990 wouldn't accept any SIM card after the debrand. But it wasnt a locked mobile, i could have in my phone my sim of o2 (Czech) but also my sim t-mobile (also czech). I tried to get the orginal CDA back from my backup but without sucess... Anyone?????

Eric Beerhorst said...

NelMan said...

Thanks for this one, kabayan!

Good thing I read your blog before trying to de-brand my P990i, as my phone is SP-locked to Smart. :)

More power and God bless!

tippy said...

to the one who made this steps:
thank you kapatid! i had a generic trade phil firmware and just converted it to generic world 1 and now i have R6E28 for my cda. R6D26 was really a bad frimware thats why i had to upgrade to this new 1, generic trade does not offer the latest firmware yet thats why i had to upgrade as a generic world1 user. anyway just wanted to thank you dude for your simplified procedures i tried debranding with other vague instuctions and just wasted time and effort. like you said, it would require a lot of guts and thats what i had, didnt use any hex editors coz your instructions were good enough. thank you once again and pinoys rock!!!!!!

borneoeye said...

Hi,it's almost as if I am trying to do brain surgery here. I have downloaded the .rar file. How do I extract it? Thanks

borneoeye said...

I have tried to UnRAR it but don't know where the files went? helpppp!!!!

borneoeye said...

Finally did a RTFM again and manged to change my cda. Now happily on the R6E28 Generic World 1.Thanks folks!

Nena said...

hi, im planning to buy p990i here on philippines, maybe you guys can give me some tips and hints on what to buy, i know the debranding sounds easy for you guys but not for me, i dont have that much guts hehe, pls try to give me some advice, ill be waiting...

tippy said...

hi there nena, if you are going to buy the p990i, try to check the cda first if it is a world generic 1 or world generic 2, while inspecting the phone press the more button and select status, then look at the CDA, if it reads 162007/1 or 162007/2 then it is a world generic cda which means you dont have to debrand it anymore bec. world generic 1's are the most up-to-date cda versions. usualy cda's here in hte philippines are generic trade where i bought mine with a cda of 162008/75 and debranded it to 162007/1 in order for me to upgrade to the latest firmware. i hope this info will help in your decision making coz p990i for me is really a great phone. ive been putting a lot of applications in it and it really helped me a lot. so goodluck.

transfo said...

Dear all, my p990 is .......cda, .........Phone ,
i've tried several times to update it but witout succes, i also try to apply your method but i didnt find the two files in C:\Program Files\Sony Ericsson\Update Service\db\13740270. i've your phone is uptodate by suse?

Can you help me please?

transfo said...

phone: cxc162037 R7A001
Orgniser: CXC162036 R3B01 AND R3B01V
CDA: 162007 1 R3B01


Phang said...

Thanks for the brilliant guide! Even though we might not need to double check the replaced files with the hex editor, but I feel safer to follow the process. Everything worked flawlessly even with the latest update service software version! It might fail initializing the phone firmware version, but do not panic, try again you bingo!

glor1a-macapagal-arr0y0 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
glor1a-macapagal-arr0y0 said...

Thanks bro. Initially, I was having problems updating it to Generic World; however, after going back and carefully understanding the steps, I was able to do so. Just be patient guys, and look for the blob_fs duo carefully. It will save you a great deal of time. :)

opaque said...

Hi Pnoytechie,
I bought a Generic Word2 P990i phone and wish to debrand to Generic S'pore version. The reason is to have the Chinese input and the dictionary from SE. I tried your steps but it doesn't work. Kindly advice? Many thanks.

MANyak said...

very informative one. just follow the procedure above. i just finished debranding my p990i singapore region to world 1. if you have already seus installed in your pc, uninstall the seus, then install again, and start updating for the first time. change the 2files stated above, and force update for 2nd and 3rd. bingo!!!

many thanks po!!!

dzon said...

Has anyone tried this with SEUS ?

Also can these files (that you download to replace the ones in blob_fs) still be used even when R9F us outdated and new one is out ?

And finally how do i download the .rar archive ? when i click the link it just shows me a page with "idn3odn829dho3qufh" and so on .. ?

pnoytechie said...

Hi dzon, I haven't tried with SEUS

R9F pertains to phone version, not CDA version.

I can download the rar file without any problem, may be there's a problem with your connection (or browser).

dzon said...

Yep i was trying firefox and it showed that but with IE it downloads ok.

But it should work with this SEUS version right?

ime2 said...

thanks man....great work-did the trick for me:-)
everything was explained as it should and it was easy to follow up.
Once again ...thanks man:-)

Vladimir said...

Thanks man. It worked for me. My P990i was 162008/87 German Generic. I used SEUS Just read it carefully and there should be no problem.


Ron said...

i have a globe-locked phone, but had it unlocked. Can i still debrand it using that method? thank you

jv said...

hello im trying to debrand my orange p910i...( it sucks i know cause you cant use other application because of the freaking home screem). is there a method that is same as you mention that i can use to debrand p910i....i have a SEUS latest version...icant debarand using the 1.18 version cause its obsolete( i think bcoz the other files i need are remove from the download section from the net) got broadband here

jv said...

my phone is unlock .....just need to debrand it

Marcelo said...

what 4 a tutorial!!!
xellent..worked perfect 4 me ;)
SE W950i

could not sync (os x)
now its working;)
thanx you´re great!!!!

nightbird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nightbird said...

Hi all,

I need Help : impossible to find the files mentionned...I have 49, 525 & 670 bytes files and noone with the hex key mentionned ...!
My phone P990i-Orange-Fr & Update_Service-v2.7.9.14-1


theTester said...

Another Happy Puppy from Greece. Good Riddance Vodafone customizations! I can't thank you enough my friend! I 'll have a beer in your name!

Tek said...

All is Ok for me, thx very much.

Also my file 350 + was :

E3 4C 88 75 FB 5E CC C0 FD 57 70 21 and not "....57 70 20".


Anonymous said...

+1 with Tek, i'm on a ORANGE (french op') phone.
Thx a lot for your great job ;)

joehoper said...

my file 350 + was :

E3 4C 88 75 FB 5E CC C0 FD 57 70 21


Worked like a charm, debranded to world 1 from generic trade UK and got the latest firmware, thanks! :D

Kaye said...

Hi! I have been using my P990i for three years now but haven't tried to upgrade since I got it. My CDA # is 162008/75 version R6A01.

I know this was posted three years ago and I am not sure if this will work with the latest SEUS version ( May I ask for your advice on this please? Thank you!