Finally, Android 5.0 Lollipop has started to roll for owners of the newer Xperia Z series, however the limiting factor is that it is currently only available in select regions. For those that don’t have the patience for it to arrive in their region we’ve created a quick guide on how to download and install the Lollipop update to your Sony Xperia device.
The process will be familiar to long-term readers of the blog and essentially if you’ve read one of our various debrand guides in the past, along with our tutorial on how to create a FTF firmware file then you’re pretty much there. However, after numerous requests we’ve decided to provide step-by-step instructions for those new to Xperia devices.
Installing Xperia Lollipop using XperiFirm and Flashtool [TUTORIAL]
Disclaimer: Please read the following instructions thoroughly before attempting to flash your phone. Xperia Blog absolves itself from any responsibility should something go wrong. Please proceed with caution and at your own risk.
Note: You do NOT need an unlocked bootloader or root for you to flash your handset. Warranty will NOT be voided if you flash new firmware to your handset.
It is recommended that you create a backup of your existing regional/carrier firmware just in case you need to send your device back for repair. This guide can be used to create any firmware file, so to create a backup just follow the instructions below with the relevant firmware build.
1) Enable ‘USB debugging’ on your handset: Settings > Developer options
2) Enable ‘Unknown sources’ on your handset: Settings > Security
3) Install drivers for your Xperia handset: You need to ensure that your PC has all of the necessary drivers installed for your Sony Xperia. The best way to do this is to install PC Companion.
Make sure you connect your Xperia to the PC before starting the process to download the necessary USB and ADB drivers. If you have any problems you will find the necessary drivers (once you have installed Flashtool) in the following location: ‘C:\Flashtool\drivers’.
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.
Important: Only download firmware for your model and variant number. For example, if you own a Xperia Z3 (D6603), only browse and download the firmware builds listed under D6603.
Once clicked, you are asked to confirm whether you want to download the firmware. Ensure that “Unpack automatically” is ticked and then click “Download” to proceed.
Choose any folder as a location to download the new firmware.
The firmware will now start downloading.
Once complete, you will see the following pop message “Unpacked Successfully!” Click OK.
The same “Unpacked successfully!” message will appear on the download dialog. Click “Close”.
Check your download location and you will find a new folder that contains your firmware files.
Inside the folder, you should find a number of files that look similar to the below.
NOTE: If your list of files includes “fwinfo.xml” as highlighted below then manually delete it before continuing to the FlashTool steps. You MUST delete this file otherwise your FTF firmware file will corrupt.
Congrats! That is the XperiFirm part of the tutorial complete. You now have the necessary files to create your FTF firmware file to flash your handset using Flashtool.
Download and install FlashTool.
Note: To install the Flashtool drivers for Windows 8/Windows 8.1, please follow the steps below.
1) Press the Windows key + R and in the run box type: shutdown.exe /r /o /f /t 00
– Now make the following selections to boot into the Start Up Setting Screen: Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Start Up Settings > Restart
– Then, when the machine restarts, select number 7 i.e. “Disable driver signature enforcement”. Your machine will start with Driver signing enforcement disabled until the next reboot.
2) Now you can install the Flashtool drivers.
– Windows will warn that the driver is not signed and will require you to confirm the installation.
– Once the installation is complete, reboot the machine
Once you launch the program, you should see something similar to the below. Navigate to Tools > Bundles > Create.
A new pop-up called “Bundler” will appear. Click on the three dots next to “Select source folder.”
Now choose the folder where your firmware files are located and click “OK”.
The bottom “folder list” of the Bundler should now include all of the firmware files. Now double-click in the “Device” space to input the Xperia smartphone or tablet that you want to flash.
Once you choose your device, you will then be prompted to choose the variant. If you don’t know your variant, go to your Xperia device and click ‘Settings > About phone’ and look under “Model number”.
Note: If your device is not listed in the dialog then fear not. As long as the FTF firmware bundle you are creating includes the loader.sin file, then it can be flashed. The “Device Selector” is used to identify a device only if the FTF bundle does not include the loader.sin file. If the loader.sin file is included then the “Device Selector” is used for naming purposes only and does not affect the flashing of the file.
So, for example, if you have a Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact (which is not listed in Flashtool at the time of publication) you could select any device and variant in the list and the FTF firmware file can still be flashed (as long as the loader.sin file is included in the bundle, which is what we recommend below anyway).
Now input the branding and firmware version number into the appropriate boxes. You should know these details from the actual firmware you downloaded from XperiFirm earlier.
Highlight all of the files in the “folder list” and click the right arrow to move them all into the “Firmware content” frame. Click “Create”.
Flashtool will now start creating your FTF firmware file. You should see a progress bar as seen below.
Once your FTF firmware file has been compiled you will see the following message.
To ensure the FTF firmware file has been created, you can navigate to the following location on your PC: “C:\Users\[Your PC Name]\.flashTool\firmwares”
Now that the FTF firmware file has been created, you need to flash your Sony Xperia device. Click on the lightning bolt in the top left of Flashtool to “Flash device”.
Select “Flashmode” and click “OK”.
Select the firmware build version that you want to flash from the “Firmware” pane. If you want to retain your apps/data, untick “DATA” in the “Wipe” pane. Then click “Flash”.
Flashtool will then indicate that it is “preparing files for flashing”.
You may have to wait around 60 seconds for the pop-up below to appear. Once it does, you should now connect your Sony Xperia device. Make sure the device is powered off and then hold the ‘volume down’ button whilst connecting the USB cable. Once the pop-up disappears and flashing has started, you can let go of the ‘volume down’ button.
NOTE: Ignore the instructions displayed which says “press the back button” – these relate to the older Sony Ericsson Xperia handsets.
Flashtool will then start flashing your Xperia device. Once you see “Flashing finished” as indicated below, your Sony Xperia has been successfully flashed.
Congratulations you have just installed Android Lollipop! Now disconnect your Xperia device and power on the handset. Don’t despair if it takes a while for the handset to boot.