Create your own FTF firmware files using XperiFirm and FlashTool [Guide]

by XB on 16/08/2014

in Featured Content, Firmware, Tips & Tricks


FlashTool_6We recently reported on a fantastic new tool called XperiFirm, which allows you to browse and install the latest firmware files for any Sony Xperia device. We have had a number of people get in touch asking us how they can use those files to flash that firmware onto their handset using FlashTool. Therefore, we have created a tutorial below, which walks through the process in baby steps.

The combination of XperiFirm and FlashTool makes for a powerful and complete recovery solution for Sony Xperia owners. The great thing is that the process is very simple and it has never been easier for Xperia users to take matters into their own hands when trying out new firmware updates. Check out the guide below, which shows you how to create your own FTF firmware files.

GUIDE TO CREATING YOUR OWN FTF FIRMWARE FILES USING XPERIFIRM AND FLASHTOOL

XperiFirm steps

First step is to download XperiFirm. Follow the instructions in that link to install.

Once installed you will see the program below. Navigate to your handset on the left pane. You can then choose the firmware for your region/carrier in the middle pane. The pane on the right side will show you which firmware is available for that region. Click on it to download the file.

XperiFirm_0

Once clicked, you are asked to confirm whether you want to download the firmware. Click “Download” to proceed. Choose any folder as a location and then the download will commence.

XperiFirm_0b

Once complete, you will see the message “Downloaded successfully!”

XperiFirm_1

You will find a number of files prefaced “FILE” in the download location. Please take note of this location as you will need it for the next FlashTool steps.

XperiFirm_2

FlashTool steps

Download and install FlashTool. Once you launch the program, you should see something similar to below.

FlashTool_1

Click Tools > Bundles > FILESET Decrypt

FlashTool_2

You will see the box below. Where it says “Source Folder”, click the three dots to locate the folder where your “FILE” files are. They should then appear as per the screen below under the “Available files” pane.

FlashTool_3

You then need to highlight all of these files and click the right arrow to move across to “Files to convert”. Hit “Convert”.

FlashTool_4

Once you do this, FlashTool will start decrypting your files. This can take a few minutes so please be patient before moving to the next step.

FlashTool_5

Once the above step is finished, you will see a pop-up similar to the screen below.

FlashTool_6

Tap the “Device” box which will bring up some pop-up boxes allowing you to automatically select which firmware the handset is for. You can then type in the region under the “Branding” box along with the build number in the “Version” box.

FlashTool_7

Now select and move all of the files on the left side (apart from the .ta files) to the “Firmware content” pane on the right. As you can see in the picture below, do not include the .ta files. Click “Create”.

FlashTool_8

FlashTool will now start creating the bundle.

FlashTool_9

Once you see “Bundle creation finished” your job is done. Close FlashTool.

FlashTool_10

Congrats, your newly created FTF firmware file will be located in the FlashTool firmware folder. This is in “C:\Flashtool\firmwares” for a default installation.

You can then use FlashTool to flash this FTF to your handset. Check out our previous guide on this – the principle is the same, just use your FTF file, instead of the one provided in the guide.

FlashTool_11

  • JRMoore

    Why shouldn’t .ta files be included? What happens if you flash those files?

  • paul4id

    The two developers should work together here and make XperiFirm and official part of Flash Tool so that this is done automatically.

  • paul4id

    That is one if the great mysteries of the universe that no-one cares to explain in detail. Some guides say not to include them and others say to include everything.

    It has made no difference to me, but I have heard it has something vaguely to do with SIM-locked phones. I really think the community needs to explain this better and standardise on one standard way — personally, I think it would be better to just include everything and have the “exclude TA” box ticked in FlashTool by default if it is such a big problem.

  • http://advancehearing.gr Theo

    Can’t download the FLASHTOOL!!

  • mrjraider

    This is the exact guide I made here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/crossdevice-dev/sony/tutorial-downloading-firmware-convert-t2837097

    Thanks for the credits (not)

  • http://hybrideon.com Deepak Sharma
  • http://hybrideon.com Deepak Sharma

    same question from my side :D
    i prefer including all files
    and i flash without ticking any option in exclude
    no problems till now
    fingers crossed X

  • Andreas Makris

    Flashtool beta is already released and combines all features into one tool and gives you mostly a one-click experience to download and create ftf:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=54855631&postcount=2228

  • Andreas Makris

    is done already, Iagucool gave Androxyde his code to intregrate into flashtool:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=54855631&postcount=2228

  • XperiaBlog

    Erm… no. We have never seen your guide before.

  • Andreas Makris

    That is just old bullshit, flashtool automatically filters out the TA files which could harm your device. You can just include it into the FTF, no worry there. If you force flash a simlock.ta on your phone your phone may end not accepting any simcards. But flashtool won’t let you do that normally, you really need to force this to happen ;-)
    TA files are small scripts which change informations in the TrimArea of your phone. It can contain alsmost anything, from simlock, imei etc. to unlockcode.
    In the case of “re-locking” after unlock one usually “just” deletes your specific unlockcode from the TrimArea, where it was stored by the adb oem unlock command.
    So you see, TrimArea is the most important part of your Sony phone, so don’t mess with it and let flashtool just do. Everythin that flashtool does automatically (even include ta files in FTF) is compeltely safe, we tested and bricked a few devices to ensure that :D

    Regards

  • paul4id

    AWESOME!

  • paul4id

    Thanks for that. I think I will just keep including all files then

  • Androidos

    Ha, I always wondered, how to make own ftf file, without need to upgrade phone, or improve… Now I can do it every moment, when I need it. Great job guys.

  • dr

    Does this allow you to modify for example the generic UK z2 firmware by removing any specific bloat apps you choose (ones that you could normally only disable) then recompile it into a new firmware to flash? Excuse my ignorance if this is an obvious question

  • mrjraider

    I dont buy it.. But hey this is an unofficial blog ;)

  • Gaelex

    Not working for older Xperia like the Xperia PRO, no firmware found, no download possible.

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  • Apollo89

    NOT TRUE! Although Flashtool automatically excludes simlock.ta, it does NOT exclude files like cust-reset.ta. If you include this file in your FTF and you don’t exclude it when flashing, a part of the Trim Area (“the most important part of your Sony phone”) gets ERASED!

    By the way, Androxyde (the creator of Flashtool) himself advised me to exclude .TA files when creating an FTF, because Sony’s official tools (Sony PC Companion/Sony Update Service/Sony Bridge for Mac) don’t flash these files either!

  • Andreas Makris

    Sorry to disappoint you. I am right. Thats what i wrote: Flashtool automatically decides which files to use and which not. To include Cust-Reset.ta does not harm your device in any manner. It is absolutely no problem to include all these files because flashtool WILL NOT flash them automatically. I don’t know why you think that, but it is just wrong what you say.
    If you include the cust-reset.ta you will get the option box (Reset customization), which by the way is NOT selected by default. So you can just include it. THAT is exactly the same behaviour as in Emma/Seus/PCC. Please get your facts straight before posting wrong stuff. You would be able to test this yourself by just starting flashtool …
    So what i wrote is still good:
    Just include any files in your FTF, to include them does NOT cause any problems, it just includes the files and flashtool will NOT flash them automatically. To NOT include the files is an advice we gave a long time ago when we still just flashed everything bundled, but this times are long over.
    An yes i know who Androxyde is, but you seem not to know who i am (Bin4ry is my Nickname btw) ;-)

    Regards

  • Apollo89

    Okay, so apparently things have changed and with the new versions of Flashtool it is safe to include these files (thank you for pointing that out!), but this was certainly not the case with the older Flashtool versions (I’d say less than one year ago). A more extensive changelog would be useful, so that we can keep abreast of these kind of changes ;-)

  • Flavio Lemos

    Hey guys i woke up and grabbed my tablet z and is showing an new update that can only be done throw computer. Anyone? The thing is that is showing version 230 and im already did this update and is showing again. WTF! Some bug???

    best regards,

  • paul4id

    Look harder. Xperia Pro files are there.

  • Andreas Makris

    Well i have to semi-correct me after re-checking the sourcecode! For non-known ta files what i said does not apply at the moment. So all .ta files which are not “known” till now are getting flashed. (We should change that ASAP). But just for your info ;-) Will make sure that it does change before any “critical” new TA files appear on the horizon :D

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  • Christian Buntrock

    Hi Andreas, is this already fixed? Can you tell me which class contains this stuff where it should be fixed? Thanks!

  • http://www.piratebay.se/ Dick Perry

    Its most likely some bug fixes to it. I just did it to my Xperia Z phone and i haven’t noticed any difference. And it wont matter since there is a new firmware on its way soon so i soon have new bugs.. :-)

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