Being quite a Windows Phone 7 fan, I have a Samsung Omnia 7 and an HTC HD7 (thanks to AddictiveTips, of course). On Nodo, both were unlocked as I used Chevron to gain privileged-level access to the devices. Having an unlocked device was important for me because it allowed me to take screenshots using homebrew apps, gave me registry access and with it, I could also side-load as many apps as I wanted. However, then came Mango. It is difficult to see the fruity WP7 update as a villain due to all the awesome features it brings to the metro OS. But nothing is perfect, and Mango has a few disadvantages, too, the biggest one being that it revoked all side-loaded apps and took away dev unlock from Chevron users. This, coupled with the fact that the Chevron team joined hands with Microsoft to develop a paid tool for unlocking, has made it almost impossible for users to jailbreak their Mango phone without paying a fee.
If you try searching the net, there seem to be many methods available for accomplishing this feat, especially if you have an HTC device. HTC HD7 is more fortunate than most other WP7 devices because you can get RSPL/ HSPL for it, which is the basic requirement for flashing custom ROMs to any phone. It was a huge leap for WP7 unlocking, and soon enough the first HTC custom ROM, DeepShining, made its way to the XDA forum. People who ignored it, and upgraded to Mango without taking any measures in advance, lost their dev unlock. Though, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way out of it. You can revert back to Nodo and then unlock, and if you take care while updating back to Mango, you will have an unlocked Mango phone.
So how exactly can you roll back to Nodo and pre-Nodo? There are two ways to do so; there is the option to use the default Restore point created by Zune on each update, or you can use this alternate procedure that we described in an earlier post.
So you finally manage to get Nodo on your phone; what to do now? There are two paths that can be taken. One leads to the DeepShining custom ROM (if the device involved is an HTC one) and the other is to unlock your phone and then update to Mango. Let’s take a look at these methods separately.
The Custom ROM Procedure
The first, and most obvious, limitation of this procedure is that it is only viable for HTC devices. Assuming you do have an HD7, Mozart or one of the supported devices, the first step is to get RSPL/ HSPL on your device. Our guide on getting HSPL / RSPL for HTC WP7 devices should help you with that. Even though the guide still works, there is a problem most users face now. The SPL versions dealt with by this procedure are only up to 3.5, whereas on most updated devices, SPL is now 4.5. There is no way to apply this procedure to unlock the updated SPL (as of yet), and if you can’t do that, there is no way to flash DeepShining on your HTC (as you can read in our guide to the process of flashing the ROM in question). No SPL, no DeepShining.
The Prevent Relock & Update Procedure
Things are not as hopeless with this procedure as they are with the first one, but that doesn’t mean you get things done easily. If you are very lucky and blessed with amazing foresight, then you backed up the pre-Nodo state of your phone somewhere. If that is so, place those files at the path given below, replacing the ones already present there:
C:\\userprofile\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Phone Update
After you have done that, connect your phone to the PC via a USB cable, go to Zune and in the Settings menu, navigate to the Update section. The Restore button there will take you back to pre-Nodo state . Once you are on pre-Nodo, unlock your phone following the simple procedure described here. After that, update to Mango using our guide to upgrade while retaining unlock.
But what if you don’t have the restore file stored anywhere? The only method left for you is to head over to the XDA forum and search for a pre-Nodo version of the stock WP7 ROM that is compatible with the Radio version of your device.
Spend $9 And Buy A Chevron License
If you find the methods above too complicated, or just can’t find the suitable pre-Nodo version for your device’s firmware, you can purchase a Chevron unlock license for $9 by going to the service’s official website. This license will grant you permanent dev-unlock for one device. However, if you really want full access to your phone, inter-op unlock is what you are looking for. Once you have unlocked the phone using Chevron’s paid version, you can go to this link and gain interop unlock if you own a Samsung or LG device.
We aren’t claiming that the aforementioned methods are the only ones available,. There may very well be other ways to get unlock, and in a less complicated fashion. If you’re familiar with any alternate methods or workarounds, feel free to mention them in the comments section below.
Update: Now Samsung users can avoid all the troublesome methods discussed above, as WindowsBreak is here. It is a method which can be used to get interop unlock on any Samsung device, and that too by simply going to a link from the phone’s Internet Explorer. Presently WindowsBreak does not work for WP7 devices from OEMs other than Samsung, but the developer of the jailbreak has hinted that the solution might be updated to incorporate more manufacturers pretty soon.