The Belle upgrade: Part 1 of 2

I knew the Belle upgrade would be an arduous task and decided I needed to complete the process over a weekend, so my phone would be ready for work on Monday morning. Since Belle is a complete OS upgrade and not just an update, I decided I would literally start from scratch. Here is a chronological, step-by-step guide on the procedure I followed:

Backup/cleanup process:
  • In Messaging, I deleted all sent SMS’s and all delivery reports (to simplify the backup process)
  • Backed up Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Messages and Bookmarks using Nokia PC Suite
  • Also backed up Contacts, Calendars, Notes, Messages and Bookmarks using Nokia Suite
  • Synced all photos and messages using Nokia Suite
  • Backed up all music using Nokia Music Player (I did not use Nokia Suite)
  • Moved all photos and videos from the phone’s mass memory and its memory card to PC
  • Moved all document (and PDF) files from mass memory and the memory card to PC
  • Exported my Best Jotter notes to a .CSV file and moved it to PC
  • Performed a hard reset using *#7370#. This restored my hacked N8 to its original factory default settings and cleared the mass memory
  • Using the File Manager, formatted the mass memory and memory card
  • Restored phone, calendar, notes and bookmarks using Nokia Suite (Nokia PC Suite also successfully restored).
Belle upgrade process:
  • Using Nokia Suite, started the Belle upgrade
  • The 289 Mb download took 9 minutes using a 6 Mbps ADSL connection
  • I forgot to backup my predictive text dictionary which was lost when I performed the hard reset (Nokia Suite backs up the dictionary for you)
  • During the firmware upgrade, I only entered in the PIN and ignored the request to set the language, date and time until the upgrade process was completed
  • The upgrade took 10 minutes which included 2 phone restarts
  • Using Nokia Suite, I installed the optional updates (AgendaServer, Search Widget and Social)
  • Since I hard reset my phone before the upgrade, I deleted the Nokia_Belle folder in mass memory because there was nothing of significance which Nokia Suite backed up during the upgrade
  • The entire Belle upgrade took approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Because I like to hack and mess around with my N8, I decided to used Nokia’s Configuration Tool to backup all settings. I also noted down all access point settings (i.e. WAP.Vlive, Vlive.Internet and Vodacom.Internet). Using the File Manager…Backup and Restore…I created a backup on the phone (see Memory card\Backup folder) of Contacts, Calendar, Messages etc. Next, I hacked the N8 to allow me to access all protected folders and install unsigned apps using the following procedure:

  • Downloaded  Norton, RomPatcher and X-Plore from here
  • Downloaded InstallServer RP+ v1.7 from here
  • Go to Settings…Installations….Installation settings and change Software installation to ALL
  • Installed NortonSymbianHackLDD.sis
  • Started the Norton app
  • Go to Options…Anti-Virus…Quarantine list
  • Go to Options…Restore and selected each file from the list and restored it individually
  • Exited the Norton application and deleted it using the App Manager
  • Deleted C:\shared folder (sometimes this folder doesn’t get created)
  • Installed RomPatcherPlus_3.1_LiteVersion.sisx in phone memory
  • Launched RomPatcher and applied the patch Open4all to gain full access to system folders
  • Using Install Server RP+, extracted Install Server RP+.rmp and copied the file to the phone
  • Used X-Plore to move Install Server RP+.rmp to C:\Patches
  • Started RomPatcher+ again and applied the patch Install ServerRP+. The Install Server patch removes only the signature checks and therefore all other checks are still kept as original.
  • Restarted the phone.
Next, I began the lengthy process to restore all music, photos, videos, wallpapers and maps as follows:
  • Copied my favourite 360 by 640 pixel wallpapers to Phone memory\data\prebuiltmedia\images\custom_backgrounds
  • Deleted Phone memory\data\prebuiltmedia\images\backgrounds
  • Transferred music files using Nokia Suite
  • Moved music files from mass memory to card memory in Mass Storage mode
  • Disconnected the USB cable, started Music Player and refreshed the library
  • Changed camera settings to 9 MP, Capture tone off and E:\Mass memory
  • Copied all backed up images to Memory card\Images in Mass Storage mode
  • New photos stored in Mass memory\DCIM\100NOKIA
  • Changed camera settings to High Definition, Video stabilisation on and E:\Mass memory
  • Copied all backed up videos to Memory card\Videos in Mass Storage mode
  • New videos stored in Mass memory\DCIM\100NOKIA
Nokia Maps:
  • Connected the phone to WiFi (caution using 3G to download maps, ~82 Mb)
  • Started the Nokia Maps app on the phone
  • Selected the option to use WiFi to download and install maps
  • Selected South Africa (82 Mb) and began the download (Map version, released on 13/02/2012)
  • Downloaded and installed the UK-Female voice for Driving
  • Selected the same voice for the Maps & Walk option
  • Then, synchronised Favourites stored at
  • Set the Home Location under settings
  • The maps and voice files are stored in Mass memory\cities
Garmin MobileXT app:
  • Placed phone in Mass Storage mode (Settings…Connectivity…USB…Select Mass Storage mode)
  • Copied all Garmin files to mass memory
  • Using the standard File Manager, browsed the mass memory and clicked on GarminMobileXT.sis in the root folder
  • Switched on Bluetooth (vertical swipe of any homescreen)
  • Paired the Garmin GPS 10x external GPS receiver using pair code 1234
  • Ran MobileXT and checked that both the internal and external GPSs worked
Other Bluetooth devices:
  • Paired my BH-108 bluetooth headset
  • Paired my BH-505 stereo bluetooth headset
Installation of favourite SPB applications:
  • SPB Time (very nice multiple alarm clocks)
  • SPB Wallet (Encrypts and stores sensitive information)
I did not install SPB Shell 3D as I noticed some annoying bugs when I used the user interface with Anna. The user interface would hang when running apps and games in landscape mode (e.g. Nokia Sleeping Screen, Swype, Fruit Ninja etc). Similarly, I did not install SPB Wireless Monitor as there are known issues with Belle (see the official Belle FAQ for more details).
At this stage of the Belle upgrade, I have a working phone that functions adequately as my Personal Information Manager (PIM). I am happy to confirm the Nokia PC Suite v7.1.40.1 is compatible with Nokia Belle and will successfully:
  • Backup and restore PIM information,
  • Edit phone contacts and make calendar entries,
  • Type SMS’s using the PC’s keyboard,
  • Install applications, and
  • Allow the PC to access the Internet.
With my photos, videos and music collections fully restored as well as my two main navigation applications functioning, I am happy with my Nokia N8 running Belle. I was uncertain whether Garmin MobileXT would run on Belle (I am pleased to report no problems so far, but will continue to test all functionality).

Part 2 of the upgrade involves installing all my favourite applications. This will prove more difficult as some applications are not fully compatible with Belle (e.g. JBak Taskman and NetQin’s Mobile Guard). The challenge will be to find similar applications that provide similar functionality.
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