How to: Update unsupported phones to Windows 10 Mobile

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Windows 10 Mobile Header

Microsoft and promised updates is a thing which get discussed very often. Back in time when Windows Phone 8.1 had been released by the company, none of the devices sold before with Windows Phone 7.5 have been eligible to get the update to Windows Phone 8.0. It was kind of disappointing to see my Nokia Lumia 800 dying but there Microsoft had a good reason to not offer the update to older phones. the problem was not that these phones wouldn’t have enough power but with the release of Windows Phone 8.0 Microsoft was working on a kind of universal operating system already and therefor they changed the kernel architecture of the mobile OS to match the one from the desktop OS. Apart from that reason, they also released a pretty huge update to Windows Phone 7.5 devices to get at least some of the new features and UI tweaks.

Now we have 2016 and another generation of Microsofts mobile operating system has been release to consumers, Windows 10. While the Windows Insider Program was open to almost all Lumia phones ever released with Windows Phone 8.1, the final release was a bit of a disappointment. A lot of people were complaining that classic phones like the Lumia 1020, Lumia 920 or even the Lumia 925 haven’t received the update. I mean the Nokia Lumia 920 for example is 4 years old and has since then always had great support from Nokia and also Microsoft afterwards. Though I didn’t like the reaction from Gabriel Aul when people were asking him on Twitter why these phones will not get the update. He simply said that there have been too many reports about the operating system not running very fluently on these. Well so we are in a time were devices which can not run such an operating system are sorted out instead of trying to make the operating system more easy too handle for the hardware, even the Lumia 950 dies have it’s problems with handling Windows 10 Mobile. Though I am not a developer neither am I a part of the Windows 10 Mobile developing team so there might more than just that. Although there is now a method which requires you to modify your Lumias registry in order to update to Windows 10 Mobile.

Yes you heard right, there is a way how you can update your gorgeous Lumia 925 to Windows 10 even if Microsoft doesn’t want to provide the update for your phone. Over at the XDA Developer Forum user Raghulive has found a few how you can tweak your phones registry so that Windows Servers think you are using a different phone. It is relatively easy to do that though you will need to invest some time so be sure take you the time you need and don’t hesitate. If something goes wrong it could have some pretty bad results.

So let’s get started, here is a step by step guide to give you all the instructions how you can get Windows 10 Mobile. For further questions either drop me a comment underneath the article or head over to the XDA Developer Forum and ask your questions in comments there.


Disclaimer:
Modifying the registry and receiving the Windows 10 update this way may cause serious damage to your phone, neither the team at OneTechStop nor Microsoft or me are responsible for any damage to your device. Think twice and decide to go or not.


Preperation

So that we can get started we have to download a few things, two .xap files – apps – which have to be deployed on your phone and the tools to deploy these apps on your phone. Furthermore you need to download the latest version of the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview which is available for your phone. Download the Windows Insider App on your phone and start it. Choose the Slow Ring to receive new builds and check for updates. After you have successfully updated to the latest build available through the Slow Ring, switch to the Release Preview Ring inside the Windows Insider App and make sure that the Extras & Info App isn’t being updated.

Necessary Downloads

  1. Windows Insider App
  2. Windows Phone 8.0 SDK Tools
  3. Windows Phone 8.1 SDK Tools
  4. vcReg_1.5 XAP
  5. CustomPFD_0600 XAP


Getting Started

Once you have successfully downloaded all of the components you can start with the actual process:

  1. Open any folder on your PC, click on >View< in the top left and the check >File name extensions<
  2. Navigate to the downloaded files and change the file extension of the vcREG_1.5.zip & CustomPFD_0600.zip both to .xap
  3. Extract the Windows Phone 8.0 SDK Tools and click on >InstallWP80SDKToolsLite.bat< to install it. Say yes to any prompt which appears during the set up.
  4. Extract the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK Tools and click on >InstallWP81SDKToolsLite.bat< to install it. Say yes to any prompt which appears during the set up.
  5. Start the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK Tools by navigating to the following path: >C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v8.0\Tools\XAP Deployment< and double click on >XapDeploy.exe<
  6. In the dropdown menu choose device as target and click on brows to choose the vcREG_1.5.xap. Hit Deploy and it will install the app on your phone.
  7. NOw switch to your phone, open the installed app and click on the three dots >…< on the app bar at the bottom, choose >Templates<. Once you are there check >Live Interop/Capability Unlock< & >Restore NDTKsvc<. Afterwards click on Apply and exit the app.
  8. Connect your phone to the PC again and choose the CustomPFD_0600.xap to deploy it on your phone. In case you are getting an error message at this step, open the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK Tools by navigating to the following path >C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows Phone\v8.1\Tools\AppDeploy< and start the AppDeploy.exe in this folder. Now choose the CustomPFD_0600.xap file once again an deploy it on your phone.


Tweak the Registry

Now things are about to get serious. Tweaking the registry can be very dangerous and result in fatal errors and even brick your phone. So be sure you really want to do this and pay attention that you are doing exactly what’s mentioned in the steps below:

  1. Open the >Cutom PFD App on your phone<
  2. Navigate to >HKLM –> System –> Platform –> DeviceTargetInfo<. There I'd recommend you to do a screenshot or to write down the original values since there is going be changed a bit.

Now change the following 4 things

  1. PhoneManufacturer –> MicrosoftMDG
  2. PhoneManufacturerModelName –> RM-1085_11302 (for Single SIM devices)
    PhoneManufacturerModelName –> RM-1116_11258 (for Dual SIM devices)
  3. PhoneModelName –> Lumia 950 XL (for Single SIM)
    PhoneModelName –> Lumia 950 XL Dual SIM (for Dual SIM)
  4. PhoneHardwareVariant –> RM-1085.


Finishing Steps

Once that is done you can download and install the Windows 10 Mobile Upgrade Advisor app from the Windows App Store. The Update is currently only available through this app even for phones which are officially supported for the upgrade to Windows 10 Mobile.

Let me know if this method did work for you to receive the official Windows 10 update on your unsupported phone. If anything is unclear I’d recommend you to visit the relevant Thread at the XDA Developer Forum or you can drop us a comment below with your question and we will try to answer you as soon and as accurate as possible. Stay tuned for more Microsoft related news in the future.


Source: XDA Developer Forum

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