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Guide to Flashing your A1200

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  • Guide to Flashing your A1200

    Hi to All

    Guide to Flashing your A1200

    This write-up explains:
    • what is firmware and how to tell what version you have
    • the advantages and disadvantages of the different firmware versions
    • how to change the firmware (flash) on your phone.

    It was created by combining and summarizing the information provided in the dozens of threads on this forum and then rewriting it as easy-to-follow steps that new users can print off and have all the information that they need in one place to (hopefully) easily and successfully flash their phones.


    Flashing your phone to a different version of firmware should be fairly straightforward, however, please read the following cautions before you start:

    • Always find out what your current version of firmware is before you start (instructions below) and write it down! - so if issues then you will know what you started with.

    • If you have the International version of the A1200 (A1200i) sold in Latin America - do NOT attempt to flash to any other version - you will probably make the phone unusable! .

    • If you flash to firmware 24p, 25p or 30p you can not flash back to any other version. If you have flashed to 24p, 25p or 30p then do NOT attempt to flash to any other version (other than one of these 3) - you will make the phone unusable!

    • Many of the versions do not have firmware files available (eg 19p) so if you flash to a different version then you can not flash back. (Check the list of firmware below to find out whether yours has a firmware file available)


    • Make sure your battery is fully charged before beginning a flash

    • Back up your contacts and files using Motorola Phone Tools or the new Superman app before doing any flashing as flashing will delete all of these and return your phone to a “vanilla” state. Data on your SD card is not touched.

    • Give yourself plenty of time to complete the flashing and BE PATIENT. Sometimes it appears as nothing is happening and it is stuck at a certain % - but sometimes it can take up to 5 min before the % value changes. Never disconnect your phone or turn off your PC until the flashing is finished or you may make it unusable (i.e. "brick" it!!). There are ways to recover using a tool called radiocom (described in the threads) - but they are fairly complex.

    1. What is Firmware

    The A1200 runs using a special Motorola version of the Linux operating system (MONTAVISTA Linux CONSUMER ELECTRONICS 3.1). This is known as the "firmware". There are several different versions of "firmware" that will run successfully on the A1200. Think of firmware as being equivalent to different versions of the operating system (just as there is Windows 98 versus Windows 2000). Every so often Motorola releases a new version of firmware with new features and enhancements. All firmwares come with both English and Chinese languages (except for the International version released in Latin America - up until now it's the only firmware that doesn't come with Chinese language).

    2. Firmware Versions

    It can be confusing to decipher the firmware versions as the higher the number does NOT mean the later the version. In addition, there are 4 different "models" of the A1200 with different firmware "tracks" or paths. Most A1200's sold in the world are the original A1200 or the newer A1200R, but there are 2 other "models" released into specific markets that will only run certain specialized versions of the firmware. There is no way to tell from looking at the phone which "model" you have - you can only tell by checking which version of firmware it is running (see next section).

    The 4 "models" and the firmware tracks that they can run are as follows:

    R532 or R532H2 - Original A1200 : It has 2 supported firmware tracks:
    - 38p-->4xp-->5xp track (eg 43p, 46p, 59p)
    - 03p-->06p-->08p-->12p track

    R532C2 - A1200R - newer version (appeared Feb 2007). Hardware is exactly the same, but runs different firmware than the original A1200. It has a newer bootloader so can only support 1 firmware track (called the C2 track):
    - 19p-->24p-->25p-->30p-->34p track

    R532L4 - A1200i : the international language version only available in Latin America. Comes with Spanish/Portuguese/French/English language support. Be careful if you decide to flash this phone - see section on "Spanish/Portuguese/French Language" below for more detail.

    R541 - A1200E : new A1200 Edge Series (as of Jan 07). Currently only available in China. As of June 2007, 2 versions of firmware available - the China Mobile branded R541_G_11.51.01P or the more recent generic R541_G_11.50.29P. This firmware already has Edge enabled (For all other firmwares you have to do a radiocom mod to turn on Edge). Downside is that A1200E is only a tri-band phone rather than Quad-band.
    Hi hop can help any Member