REDUX: upgrade your T-Mobile Dash to WM6.1

This time last year (or so), I posted an article on upgrading your T-Mobile Dash phone to Windows Mobile 6.1 – the latest WinMo build available for these phones.  While that article is still very valid and useable, I thought it best to revisit this topic with more current information, including the WM6.1 ROM that I’m now using.

I’ll be rehashing much of the info from my previous post (no sense reinventing the wheel!).  That said, this article should be able to get you from your current state (WM5, WM6 or WM6.1) to the Windows Mobile 6.1-based “EnergyROM”, which I’m liking very much.  Even better, many of the tweaks that I posted in my previous article are no longer necessary – they’re built right in!

Here we go…

First of all, this write-up assumes that you have a fully-functioning T-Mobile Dash phone operating on the U.S. network.  It also assumes that you know how to use your phone fairly well, as not everything is spelled out for you.  Lastly, this procedure may void your warranty, so please be aware of that.

What you’ll need:

  • A functioning, usable T-Mobile Dash phone (aka HTC Excalibur) on the T-Mobile network
  • Windows PC (XP, Vista or Windows 7 –> what I use)
  • USB sync cable to connect your phone to your PC
  • To download this ROM file and unzip it to a local folder on your computer.  The desktop works fine.
    (Note: you will need a RAR compatible unzip program like WinRAR.)

If you’re already confused, then this upgrade isn’t for you.  Otherwise, please continue…

UPGRADING THE ROM

  1. Turn off your phone, remove any MicroSD card you might have, and boot the phone back up again.  When the phone is fully booted (and usable), connect your phone to your PC via your USB sync cable.  Windows should recognize your phone and either 1) launch ActiveSync/Windows Mobile Device Center (pictured), or 2) see it as a removable drive.  Fine.  Things are working normally.

    winmoUpgrade01

  2. With your phone connected to your PC, double-click on the “auto.bat” file from the EnergyROM .rar file that you downloaded/extracted in the earlier steps.winmoUpgrade02
  3. The ROM update utility will start.  You should be greeted with a command prompt box telling your to “remove SD card and reboot…”.  We’ve already done this, so hit Enter (any key) to continue.  The ROM will be copied to your phone.winmoUpgrade03
  4. The screen should read “execute SPL now…”  Hit Enter one more time.winmoUpgrade04
  5. Now, hit the middle (silver) button of your phone d-pad.  The screen on your mobile phone should turn white.
  6. Back at the CMD prompt (DOS box), hit Enter once more to continue.winmoUpgrade05
  7. The GUI for the ROM updater should launch.  Keep the defaults and select any “I agree” statements when prompted.  The ROM update itself takes about 5 minutes or so.winmoUpgrade06

    winmoUpgrade07

    winmoUpgrade08

    winmoUpgrade09

    winmoUpgrade10

    winmoUpgrade11

    winmoUpgrade12

    winmoUpgrade13

  8. Update successful!  After the update, your phone will reboot by itself and run some behind-the-scenes configurations, which might take awhile.  This is normal.
  9. Upon rebooting again, you will see the Windows Mobile desktop, which is followed up shortly by the “Connection Setup” dialog.  Choose your cellular operator and hit OK to apply those settings.
  10. For whatever reason, this ROM update sets your time, date and time zone quite strangely, which may adversely affect some program installs.  So, go ahead and set those settings now.  Go to START > SETTINGS > Clock & Alarm > Time & Date.
  11. Finally, your phone should be ready-to-go with the WM6.1 EnergyROM.  Congrats!!!  You can re-insert your MiniSD card, if you like.

INSTALLING THE ‘MINI OPERA’ BROWSER

Although this ROM comes with a newer version of the mobile Internet Explorer browser, it leaves some things to be desired.  I’ve found that the (free) Opera Mini browser is very nice to use on these phones, can browse most any website, and is really quite fast – even over the Edge network.

Here’s how to install Opera Mini, if you like.

  1. On your phone, select Start > Internet Explorer
  2. Click the right soft button for the Menu, and select Go To Web Address
  3. Hold the backspace arrow to delete the current text.
    (Note: to disable the XT9 predictive text, hold the Alt key + Space Bar to bring up that menu.  Choose ‘ABC’ from the list.)
  4. Type in mini.opera.com and hit Enter
  5. When the page loads, choose the bottom most option that says “If this version fails to install…” and click the center button on your d-pad
  6. On the next page, select the top option for “Download Opera Mini! (English, Multiple Certificates)” and hit the center button.
  7. Click the left soft button to Continue.  Click OK at the <root> option prompt.  Click Continue again.
  8. Click OK at the warning screen
  9. Click OK at the Security screen
  10. Opera Mini will download and install.  Click YES to launch when prompted.
  11. Click YES at the initial Permissions screen for Opera Mini.
  12. At the Permissions screen, select “Yes, always.  Don’t ask again” and hit OK to continue.
  13. Opera Mini will finish its install.  Click “Accept” and you’re done.
  14. Finally, within Opera Mini, choose Menu (left soft button) > Tools > Settings.  Deselect the “Auto-complete address input” and “24-hour clock” options.  *Highly recommended*.  Hit the left soft button to Save.
  15. Opera Mini is ready-to-rock!  Enjoy 🙂

Note: Opera Mini is a java application, so you won’t see an ‘Opera Mini’ link on your Start Menu.  Instead, launch the Java application, and then launch Opera Mini from within it.  You can assign a hotkey to the Java app, or use MortScript to make Opera Mini its own “program”, so to speak.  More on that in the near future.

PARTING THOUGHTS

The T-Mobile Dash  continues to surprise me with how well it performs after all these years.  Hey… this sucker was originally released in late 2006!  The continuing dev support, especially at XDA Developers, is nothing short of astounding.

Even better, the EnergyROM has breathed additional life into this phone, which is really cool.  It looks great, is a bit faster, handles low-memory situations better, and incorporates a lot of the tweaks I really love.  Very nice work, NRGZ28!!

I hope you enjoy it too 🙂

homescreen

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celetask

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64 Responses to “REDUX: upgrade your T-Mobile Dash to WM6.1”


  1. 1 Derrick May 30, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Hi, i tried to run the recommended upgrade package, energyROM. I have no problem in the process until the beginning of the 19 minute upgrading process. The launcher on my PC informs me the image is corrupt and to try again. Ive re-downloaded it and have had no success. Please help. WM6 is killing me, i need the 6.1!

    thanks,
    derrick

  2. 2 PutiPato May 30, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    This is probably going to be a stupid question but then again, in my world, there is no such thing as a stupid question when searching for answers.

    I’ve just bought one of these nifty little phones which is in fact unlocked for use on any network. I don’t use T-Mobile, I use the much hated att, lol. So, my question is, will your upgrade tactics still work for me even though I’m not on the T-Mobile network? Should I even bother? Thanks in advance!

  3. 3 yipcanjo May 31, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Not a stupid question at all.

    “YES”… these same instructions will work for an unlocked Dash on the AT&T network. No problemo. Enjoy!

  4. 4 yipcanjo May 31, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Derrick —

    Sounds like you need to re-download your EnergyROM. Go here….

    http://www.mobilematt.net/NRGZ28/EnergyROM/ROMs/Excalibur/

    …and download the ROM once again. It should be fine.

    • 5 arthurstechnotalk June 6, 2009 at 4:21 am

      Same problem for me. I have tried 6 or 7 times with the ROM you provided at the link you listed.

      I had 5.x on it then used your upgrade utility. It failed 4 times.
      I updated to 6.0 through T-Mobile’s free upgrade utility.
      Then I used this again today and it failed 2 times.

      Today with 6.0 I got as far as 3% on the progress bar. I didn’t even get that far when I had 5.x, so I know I am making some sort of progress (no pun intended), I just can’t get to 6.1 yet. I really want it for the new features.

      What do you recommend?

  5. 7 noel June 5, 2009 at 4:38 am

    my fone is an unlocked gsm phone on a caribbean network( digicel) will the update work?

  6. 8 PutiPato June 5, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Hi, I have yet another question that seems stupid to me and I haven’t been able to find an answer elsewhere so I thought I would query you again, if I may. By the way, the phone had already been upgraded to 6.1 so there was no need for me to do it.

    The problem I’m having now is that when I attempt to send text messages I receive this: “The following errors occured while sending and receiving messages: Your text message cannot be sent.”

    I thought maybe something was up with my service provider but when I took the sim out and put it in another phone I was able to send messages just fine. Any ideas what may be going on with my phone? Have you heard of this problem from any one else? Any suggestions or help you can provide would be awesome! I really love this phone and believe me, not being able to text message isn’t going to be a deal breaker for me anything but it would be nice to fix the issue.
    Thanks again for any info you have!

  7. 9 yipcanjo June 5, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    @noel

    There is no reason that this upgrade shouldn’t work just fine for your phone. The only potential issue is that you might have to manually configure some network settings (that are typically handled automatically) after loading the new ROM.

    @PutiPato
    That’s an interesting one. The one works fine otherwise? Phone calls, Internet, etc.? My guess is that something is configured incorrectly in regards to your service provider. Anyhow, check out the XDA “Excalibur” site for more help…

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=309

  8. 10 Sunny June 7, 2009 at 5:48 am

    its saying my phone isnt connected? where as i am connected perfectly

  9. 11 yipcanjo June 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    @arthurstechnotalk

    I believe that the “3% error” issue is due to the phone not being “app unlocked” yet, which I thought the ROM handled. I could be wrong on that.

    Check out this link…
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=415225
    …and grab the ‘SDA Unlock Application’ referenced at the very beginning of the post. They have screenshots to go along with it.

    PLEASE let me know if that does the trick!

    Yip

  10. 12 yipcanjo June 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    @sunny

    In this case, “connected” specifically refers to Windows Mobile Device Center (or ActiveSync, if on XP) recognizing your phone — not just whether it’s plugged in or not. If plugging your phone to your computer via USB cable does *not* launch Windows Mobile Device Center (or ActiveSync) automatically, then try launching it manually instead. Once that app sees your phone, nothing else is necessary to do there — just start the ROM upgrade per the instructions (above).

    Hope that helps.

  11. 13 Robert June 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Do you know how I can put “T-Mobile Dash” back into my user-agent? I would like to keep the 6.1 user-agent but it does not have the model in the string the way 6.0 did and this is causing problems on a couple websites. It is reporting IEMobile 7.11 in the user-agent but I can’t find 7.11 in the registry anywhere. Is it a file outside the registry like /Windows/ModelName.txt?

    Thanks in advance.

  12. 14 Robert June 11, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Another question: My ‘N’ has an ‘&’ next to it but after the upgrade, ALT+N = ‘@’, my ‘J’ has an ‘@’ next to it but ALT+J = ‘£’

    I have a eT9.Excalibur.0408.kmap, a eT9.Excalibur.0408.kmap.txt, a eT9.Excalibur.0409.kmap and a eT9.Excalibur.0409.kmap.txt in /Windows/ and they all contain, among other things:


    {J J @ @ 0x10}

    {N N & & 0x18}

    And another thing, when I hold down the ALT key while typing several digits, when I get to a ZERO I have to let go of the ALT key, press and let go of the ALT key and then press ZERO. If I just hold down the ALT key and go straight to ZERO without letting go of the ALT key I get a TAB instead.

    So is there any kind of GUI to eT9 or any fixes for my last three remaining issues?

    Thanks

  13. 15 Laura June 13, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Question about how to disable wifi connected sound….
    Whenever i have my Dash in Wifi mode, I hear a single beep when it connects, which is very annoying as it disconnects and connects a lot. I have searched for hours online, but can find no threads about diabling this sound. Help please?

  14. 16 Soulfull Vibes June 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    I upgraded and it has tons of nice features but, no sync with google contacts or calendar anymore, no imap support for gmail it does pop, if those features can be fixed it would be the best, I have since downgraded back to 6.1 the old one, works alot better and stable, please take in consideration these errors and try to get them resolved will be alot better version

    thanks,

  15. 17 Soulfull Vibes June 22, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Why was my comment deleted? just asked a question like everyone else?

  16. 18 yipcanjo June 22, 2009 at 3:11 am

    @Soulfull Vibes

    Simmer down, my friend. I hadn’t “deleted” your comment, it just hadn’t been “approved” yet! 🙂

    It seems as though you are under the assumption that I have anything to do with making these ROMs. I do not. I enjoy using them, and I like to provide a service of giving easy-to-upgrade instructions, but that is the extent of my involvement.

    To get more help (or make future suggestions), check out the XDA Excalibur forum…

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=309

    Thanks 😀

    Yip

  17. 19 Pablo Ferrari June 25, 2009 at 12:59 am

    Hi. I just upgraded my tmobile dash to wm 6.1. Internet doesn’t seem to work. I tried deleting the proxy and creating the sms and internet profile but when I try to go to a web page it tells me that the page cannot be found. (i tried google and yahoo though).
    The tmobile page to get the settings doesn’t seem to work now either with number or any other. I really need the internet to work to keep my wm 6.1 which I love by the way.
    Thanks.

    • 20 yipcanjo June 25, 2009 at 2:03 am

      @Pablo

      Is T-Mobile your cellular provider, or someone else? Try going to START > ALL PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES and re-run the Connection Setup wizard. That *ought* to do the trick.

      • 21 Pablo Ferrari June 25, 2009 at 3:23 am

        Yes. That did it. Thanks very much. I’m updating my htc s620 to energyrom now. I’ll post my comments later. But thanks again!

  18. 22 Leslie July 7, 2009 at 12:21 am

    i try to download the update on my phone but it says “image file is corrupted” can you help? 😦

  19. 23 elai July 7, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Hey yip, i’ve tried downloading this multiple times but I get an error message saying the file is corrupted. Anyway I can get it to work? Please help =) thank you!

  20. 24 yipcanjo July 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    @Leslie & Elai

    Sounds like you need to “app unlock” your phone before updating the ROM. This should *probably* be included in my instructions, since some phones need this. Not all, but some.

    Grab the SDA Unlocker here (bottom of first post)
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=523718

    Good instructions here…
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=493266

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  21. 25 Wallbanger July 7, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    GREAT post – thank you! Does this process blow away your contacts? I entered them all manually and don’t sync them to Outlook (which isn’t even installed on my “almost all open source” VMWare install of Windows). Thanks.

  22. 26 yipcanjo July 7, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    @Wallbanger

    Yes…this deletes *EVERYTHING* on your phone. It is like formatting your computer. If you have an SD (Storage Card), you need to remove it first. That data is, of course, left alone. If your contacts are stored on your SIM card, those will be fine, but the main phone memory is completely wiped.

    All that said, if your phone is currently using WM6, then you should be able to use the Microsoft MyPhone software to backup your important data. Haven’t used it myself, but it’s a thought.

    http://sn1-p3.myphone.microsoft.com

  23. 27 elai July 9, 2009 at 4:49 am

    Hey yip, me again. I downloaded the wm6.1 on my phone, however, the usb cable was accidentally disconnected. I rebooted my phone and somehow, the new wm6.1 downloaded perfectly. I was just wondering if this is okay?

  24. 28 yipcanjo July 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Should be fine, but you can just re-flash the ROM again, if you’re concerned about it. No worries.

  25. 29 ENCORE July 13, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    What prograps are included in the ROM?

  26. 30 Marlon305 July 23, 2009 at 2:59 am

    hey thanks for the upgrade but im dealing with a problem..after i installed the software my dash can’t be recognized on my pc. activesync doesnt recognize my phone either..I NEED HELP

    • 31 yipcanjo July 23, 2009 at 3:57 am

      Try a couple of things….. 1) reboot the phone, and 2) try plugging and replugging the USB cable to the phone a few times.

      I’ve noticed that mine takes 2 or 3 times before the computer will see it, though I just figured it was an issue with *my* phone or cable. Perhaps not?!?

  27. 32 fred July 27, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    hi…i upgraded to wm6.1 and it is awsome except for one thing,my MMS is not working!!!! Can anyone help with this issue please….

    • 33 yipcanjo July 27, 2009 at 10:31 pm

      First things first. Have you rebooted the phone? If so, is it still not working?

      Secondly, are you getting an error message of any sort?

  28. 34 JM August 5, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    my phone won’t connect to my computer anymore either (activesync or as a device drive). I rebooted and unplugged like 10 times. Any other suggestions?

  29. 36 TIARE August 7, 2009 at 2:36 am

    IF ITS SAYING THE FILE IS CORRUPTED DO I NEED TO DOWNLOAD THE LATES EXCALIBUR OR UNLOCK THE PHONE?

  30. 38 JM August 7, 2009 at 2:50 am

    can I reflash if I can’t get my phone to connect to the PC?

  31. 39 JM August 7, 2009 at 4:40 am

    since I installed this ROM I am no longer able to connect to my PC through activesync or any other manner. My device is no longer recognized. Is there anyway to reset the phone back to the factory settings or flash to the new ROM you suggested without having the phone connected to the PC?

    or is there some way to fix this ROM so it’ll connect to my PC?

  32. 41 mike August 13, 2009 at 3:47 am

    how long does it take for the behind-the-scenes configurations to take?

  33. 44 mike August 13, 2009 at 6:29 am

    i have one quick question why does the view pictures on memory card now keep poppin up? what do i need to do to make that stop?

  34. 46 TIARE August 15, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    WHAT IS GOING ON WHEN IT SAY IT HAS TO GO ONLINE AND SEARCH FOR THE APPROAITE PROGRAM??

  35. 47 TIARE August 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    AND IF IVE DELETED EVERY FILE ON MY PHONE WHY DOES FLASH SAY THERES NOT ENOUGH ROOM ON MY DISK

  36. 48 Larry September 16, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    I keep getting the message below when clicking on the “download this ROM file” link. How can I get there?

    The webpage cannot be found

  37. 52 Larry September 20, 2009 at 10:40 am

    I’m getting corrupt image file message message very early in the process. Is there a workaround that you are aware of? Thanks.

  38. 55 David Jonas October 1, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Just a heads up for anyone who want to get weather on the home screen using this rom.

    Please follow the following instructions.

    1.) Look around for …

    NRG Mini Chome Weather 1.2.1 + Monitor HTC Version.cab

    (Its not hard to find.)

    2.) Install it

    NOTE: YES. it WILL change your home screen.
    However you can change it back. Please continue reading….

    3.) Run it and set it up with your zipcode and personal options.

    4.) Go into setting>>Home Screen>> And change the home screen using the right and left rocker dongle .

    Change it to the HTC Home Default one that is original used.

    Go into the CHome Config settings app and “Hide” the original weather section.

    It might give you an error about not being able to access a registry entry or something similar at startup.
    (This can be safely ignored)

    Unfortunately their are some unmitigated circumstances that have crippled the weather funtion of the weather section.

    Their is a fix but I find this to be much easier.

    Kind Regards,
    DJ

    ***IMPORTANT***

    I would like to ask the author of this blog to kindly go threw my instructions and fine tune them so they are easier to read.

    Thank you!

  39. 56 tutsuo / Logan October 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    i did this and it worked FLAWLESSLY, ty for the post, ITS AMAZING

  40. 57 mistermish2000 October 31, 2009 at 1:49 am

    hey buddy..my t-mobile dash is updated to wm6 standard with the free update t-mobile gave..my phone is country unlocked because i’m using it with a provider outside the usa…also i am from south east asia…so in this case can i proceed ur this update or not? do i have again unlock the country code? plz reply…i love this post and i want to update…waiting… and is there any way to backup my t-mobile dash rom what is running now???

  41. 58 Tutsuo/Logan November 30, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    apparently this was canceled was due to errors… Odd… my phone would crash ALL the time, since i did this flash with this rom… my phone works faster then when i first had it and looks sleaker too.

  42. 59 iisan7 February 15, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    I recently found this post and am looking forward to the upgrade… one question though — does the new ROM include a myfaves/fave 5 app? It’s nice being able to change that w/o going online or calling t-mo customer service.

  43. 60 Cmac-physio November 6, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    hey yipcanjo
    pretty nice threads. i will try the ‘upgrade-t-mobile-dash-to-window 6.1’
    keep it up

  44. 61 solomon March 31, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    please can you help me i seems to be encounter this problem (The requested URL /NRGZ28/EnergyROM/ROMs/Excalibur/ was not found on this server.

  45. 63 solomon April 3, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    i try the link you gave me and i was able to download it. thanks, but when i try to install it to my phone i encounter this problem( window can not find the ‘ROMUpdateutility.exe’ please i need what i need to do next. thanks


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