Microsoft changing Windows Phone Recovery Tool after Windows 10 preview issues

Microsoft will make a couple of changes to its Windows Phone Recovery Tool a few days after it was discovered to be the cause of bricking devices like the Lumia 520 when rolling back from the Windows 10 for phones preview.

Specifically for the Lumia 520 and its 521 variant, Microsoft said:

" It was discovered that some devices are having trouble accepting the recovery image data being flashed. The blocks of data were too large for some devices to handle, and the memory on the device was having trouble with the speed at which the data was being written. In short, devices were getting too much data, too quickly. This would cause the failure as the new software is corrupted."

The issue is only affecting a small number of those smartphones but Microsoft said there's no way for owners to check if their phone is part of that subset with the issue. Microsoft then outlined their plans for the changes to the recovery tool:

"We will be lowering the size of the data blocks being fed to the device during recovery (lowering from 2MB down to 128kB), and we will also be slowing down the data writing speed (from 8MB/sec to 5 MB/sec). Testing has showed promising results from these changes.""To implement these changes, we have released an updated version of the WPRT tool. You may notice when launching the WPRT that it checks for updates automatically. Before attempting any further recovery or flashing on 520/521 devices, ensure that you've closed and re-launched the WPRT. It will find this new mandatory version and automatically update."

Microsoft has pulled the update path for Windows 10 for phones preview for the affected Lumia products, and the company now plans to contact some phone owners to see if this solution will solve this bricking problem. It added, "Once we're confident in the results, we'll turn the update path back on for these devices". Microsoft also said it will continue to do research for phone owners who have had their devices bricked but added, "There is no guarantee that using this updated version of the tool will recover an already-bricked device."

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab); Via: WinBeta

  • this happened to my 1020. 1st!
  • You should've used Lumia Recovery. That saved my 1020..
  • The older version of recovery tool caused an error when trying to do the rollback on my 1020. this new version fixed that.
  • I have a Lumia 1020 and none of the recovery tools work. The Lumia recovery, Nokia Recovery and the updated Windows Phone Recovery fail to work on my 1020 that the Windows Phone Recovery tool bricked.
  • Yup Lumia recovery tool is best!
  • Same here
  • Battery is horrible on my 1020 now
  • It was same on my L920 but check for the background apps. Every app keeps running in the background even pressing back button.
  • Yes, I noticed that too on my Lumia 920: they keep running in the background, you really have to watch out for that.
  • Lol, my 1020 is averaging 22 hrs(combination of ew games + network), with light usage 1d6hrs so.....
  • When I install it on the laptop it didn't work...i mean it didn't install
  • I tried it once never again
  • next time use Lumia Software Recovery Tool and no problem ;)
  • Instead of wasting resources fixing preview builds, only for Windows users to whine about bugs. why don't they focus on Windows 10 development.
  • Because only one group of two guys are running MS
  • While I agree with you, this is an issue that needs to be fixed sooner or later anyway, better sooner rather than later (a tool like this shouldnt fail even in the rarest of circumstances) so i aplaud microsoft for taking the time to make sure this software works properly with all devices
  • Yup, guessing they didn't have such issues when they tested the tool.
  • Yeah, lets ignore bricked handsets and hope they don't brick when we go official.
  • The whole idea of preview builds IS so they can work on windows 10 development. The whole point of preview builds is so users can give feedback about the os and features etc, so that MS can change or add new stuff which users want. Now if adding features and making ui changes isn't windows 10 development then I'm not quote sure what is
  • Why don't you focus on not being so ignorant?
  • You're the ignorant one my friend. Take a moment, let it sink it. It might take a while
  • Actually no, that's you.
  • Because this is part of Windows 10 development! It is just as important to be able to go to a previous build in the event of needing an old feature as it is to have a smoothly running new build. It is all part of the same package, and it needs to be fixed.
  • Development = regression
  • I roll back my lumia 520 today with windows recovery tool and it's rollback to 8.1 with out a problem 
  • Did windows 10 lagged on your phone? Did the apps work properly?
  • Yes
    No L635
  • It kinda did on mine. Had keys delays, battery draining very quickly (within an hour the phone dies) and heating above the camera. A reset didn't help.
  • hi I am trying to recover8.1 in my lumia 520 but the connection is breaken during installation time so my phone is power off and not power on could you please suggest any suggestions
  • the same here with my lumia!!!! what i have to do if you found the solve!!! my phone dead
  • Hey  I am getting error over and over again. Whole 1.54gb is not getting downloaded. What should i do?   
  • At least they figured it out.
  • Im sure their really at fault when users were flashing images not meant for their hardware
  • it is meant for their hardware
  • Here's another reason Microsoft shouldn't have a ridiculously long and confusing list of model numbers and variants of the Lumia line. Completely unnecessary to have so many Lumia's.... unless their goal is to confuse every person on the planet.
  • Their goal is to flood the market to give windows phone a name, its the exact same tactic andoid used, and look what it did for them.   That being said, I do think they need to make another brand for high end lumias since they took this strategy.
  • Microsoft's fault? More like Carriers who want special versions like Verizon with the Icon and T-Mobile needs devices that support their frequencies for 3G/LTE that not every device supports. So, easy to place blame when you don't understand how the cell phone business works.
  • Well then why is there "an iPhone 6" on all carriers. Why is there "a Galaxy S6" on all carriers ? No stupid exclusive names or variants and NO CONFUSION.
  • Samsung and Apple have more power over Carriers. Microsoft no longer does have the pull as it did during the Windows Mobile era.
  • It's not that Apple and Google have more power. It's the idiotic business plan of Stephen Elop. When he was running Nokia he stated that exclusive contracts and limiting a phones availability is how to generate demand and excitement. Ahhhh no.... Sorry. Limiting a phones availability is how you piss people off and drive them to your competitors. It's funny because RIM had the same approach with Blackberry (exclusive contracts with carriers and a zillion different model numbers and variants that followed no pattern and made no sense) and we all know where Blackberry is now. Circling the drain. MS needs someone else to head up this division. They need to stop making so many different models and variants. Three, maybe four tops (baseline model, one, maybe two middle grade phones, and a flagship). And go with a model number that can progress over the years. Not the current method of throwing darts at a wall full of numbers and picking what it lands on.
  • Only AT&T was willing to put up with Apple dictates at first, so they got an exclusive deal the first two or so years. Other carriers were then willing to put up with Apple calling the shots once sales and demand were strong enough. Microsoft is boxed into a slow sales and low demand corner at the moment. They have little clout with carriers.
  • They don't need clout. They can bypass the carriers by making the phones work on the networks and sell them through their own store. If the carriers want to make a fuss, sue them. They are federally regulated and receive federal funding. They don't get to dictate who can or cannot use the airwaves.
  • I'm not confused. My next Lumia will be either 1040, 940, or 840. Not hard at all.
  • This happened to me. Bricked the phone. Tried it again, phone wouldn't even start up and is nowcompletly dead.
  • Same with my 620
  • Same with my L520, any idea how i can get my phone back to life. Regretting why i installed Win 10.
  • Let me guess, QHSUSB_DLOAD when connecting to PC...
  • Remove the battery put it again and try to flash it using Lumia Software recovery tool and not Windows Phone Recovery Tool.
  • I guess that will make update process more longer than now...
  • it won't, only if you roll back or reflash
  • Just roll back my Lumia 720 to 8.1 & yes there are some serious issue while rolling back, after trying 6 times I finally rollback. (tips - if u cause any issues just change ur USB) I don't why but only after this trick i am using 8.1.
  • I recommend using the original usb cable that came with the device... Using a cheap cable can be too slow for the data and may cause the process to stop.
  • Unfortunately Ms decided not to provide USB cable for Lumia 630! I had a red screen and that can make anyone panic. Managed to go back to 8.1.
  • That would have to be a VERY cheap cable to have any effect whatsoever.
  • And will there be compensation for the brickees? Or is that risk inherent in the acceptance of the Ts & Cs of Insider?
  • IMO it's not the TP that kills phones but recovery tool. It's so MSFT fault and they should compensate it to all affected...
  • Which bit of "this may permanently damage your hardware" on two distinct "click to accept" screens did "brickees" find hard to understand? Of course MS shouldn't compensate them. Personally, I'd ban them from all MS services for life. Has someone already decided to be cool, trendy and demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of western political history by referring to it as "brickgate" Or are they holding out for a bit to make themselves look really stupid?
  • Your hostility is unnecessary. I am one of these "brickees", where my Lumia 920 no longer works after attempting the rollback from Windows 10 to Windows 8.1. Do I expect compensation? Of course not! I knew what I was signing up for when I joined the Insider Program. It's unfortunate that my 920 is bricked, but I'm eagerly awaiting tomorrow's delivery of my new Lumia 930.  Saying you'd "ban them from all MS services for life" doesn't make any sense. I hope you're referring to the people who demand compensation, and not just all the people whose phones have been renderred unusable by an unfortunately software bug that's completely out of their control.
  • No hostility.
    Just was a bit weary of people determined to make their mistakes someone else's fault that day.
  • By installing any builds that aren't a official update, it voids your warranty until a official one is again installed. It's one of the things you agree to. (even on developer preview program) so unfortunately, I can't see that happening. :/
  • May void warranty. May.
    And it's location dependent.
    If I install PfD and the next day the screen falls off, I'm still very much covered by warranty.
    If, however, I get pissy cos some minor software feature stops working, that's on me.
  • I am torn about what they should do about that. Part of me thinks they should send out a load of 435s to affected people. But a big (possibly bigger) part of me would want them to not replace them. I think it is real important that they don't send out the message that they will replace bricked phones, it would open the floodgates. I also think that having a few bricked lets people know just how dangerous it is to use the builds.
  • Send them 3210's and leave them to it. But remove the sharp corners from the packaging first - wouldn't want those kind of folk hurting themselves.
  • From all indications my 620 will not work anymore. Fortunate enough I did not try it on my 730.
  • It's not only phones upgraded to the WP10 Preview getting bricked. Mine was on 8.1 and I was just trying to load a fresh image since it had gotten quite slow. I had used both NC and the Lumia Recovery Tool in the past with absolutely no problems. I figured it would be the same with WPRT, but unfortunately I was one of the unlucky ones whose 521 got bricked.
    I do own several phones, so it wasn't that big of a deal, but I believe we should be compensated since we were using an official tool which even MS recommends to use in their support website.
  • The question is, would the new tool fix devices that has already bricked?
  • This is what I want to hear.
  • Microsoft clearly said that there's no guarantee about that...
  • Rolled back to Windows 8.1 Denim after the crapstatic Windows 10 TP in my Lumia 822 didn't compel me one iota. The software is 100% suck to the upmost level!!! Photo app is crap! Calendar app is crap! People app is crap! Many issues with layout, performance, UX/UI, etc. What a mess. I dont know how they plan to fix it...but it is a total and utter MESS! This OS is doomed if they plan to release this type of software.
  • There's a reason it's called "technical preview". It's not anywhere near the final product - it's bleeding-edge, and bits will not work. If the same bugs are in the final product, believe me, I'll be complaining as loudly as the next WP user. But this is just a preview for uber-techy people. Keep your hair on! :P
  • To be honest I think that the 8xx series may be having an issue with current build. From what I saw of W10 looks good, but as Ricardo said it appears to be completely unusable. Certainly is on my UK 820. And I mean completely. Nothing works! On screen graphics merge and pixelate it's very weird. For instance when scrolling on WCentralapp, the lock screen keeps flickering onto screen. No cellular connectivity or dialer or text. Settings menu took patience to get working. Will wait until next build. Could feed back problems because letters missing from keyboard.
  • Did you try a hard reset and reinstall without a backup restore? That would've ironed out a lot of bugs. At least it made my L435 usable with W10TP. Had a good look at what the preview had to offer and rolled back to 8.1.1 with WPRT without issues.
  • I will try there TP again, and do it this way. But just going to wait until I get new Lumia next month then this won't be my main phone any more. Thanks for info..
  • I actually enjoyed the TP. Only reason I rolled back was my phone started to not respond. If it's such a mess, don't download an unfinished product.
  • this is the exact reason ms shouldn't have released this preview
  • Same here install the windows 10 got many bugs n reset my phone n bricked it so rollback to 8.1 with no problem Lumia 535
  • how have you recoverd? I'm unable to recover my 535. When WPRT starts software installation my phone reboots and returns back to the start screen Do you have any solution to this? 
  • well windows,lumia or nokia recovery tools not helping...none pick up my phone when i attach the usb cable so from last saturday the phone is dead
  • I haven't had any problems with it on my 635 or 1520
  • Buggy feature less build (not much to preview) and buggy recovery tool. Hopefully next ones are better, can't be much worse.
  • I hate lumia software recovery tool, because: The hash value is not correct
  • Download a genuine one from the correct source.
    Or is the checksum known to be incorrect?
  • This happen to my Lumia 620 when rolling back to 8.1 with the Windows phone recovery tool. Presently I can't use it anymore, because it's not coming on at all. But if you guys can help me out I will be happy.
  • QHSUSB_DLOAD when connecting to PC?
  • yep
  • I didn't install WP10 and haven't had any problems!
  • Good for you!
  • Works perfectly on my Lumia 920 as well. I really like the transparency effects on the start screen, the voice recorder app built in, new calculator and an Outlook e-mail app that works okay at least (looking forward to a newer version soon. I guess it will be updated once the new Office preview comes out).
  • Just updated coz i was rolling back, unfortunately... good stuff though. oh roll back was sucessful - 1520  
  • Please I'm a little confused. Is Microsoft Recovery tool and Lumia Recovery tool one and the same or are both different? The first set of comments confusing me. Edit: I mean Windows Phone Recovery ( not Microsoft)
  • I am also confused about this. Thanks for asking.
  • They're different
  • Please can you describe the difference for those of us confused? Thanks.
  • Lumia recovery is for the old Lumia's(say 800,900 etc) and other nokia's. microsoft recovery is for new Lumia's(prducts made by MSFT). if your phone is made by nokia, i recommend you to use lumia software recover to roll back to 8.1.
  • Thanks! I now understand. My device is L920 (which was made by Nokia) so I'll have to use Lumia Recovery. But this means I'll have to also have Windows Recovery Tool for when I get a Lumia made by Microsoft. Thanks once again @shreyas989 (and to you all)
  • You're right. I too have l920 and rolled back to 8.1 using Lumia recovery.
  • Still no fix for QHSUSB_DLOAD devices...
  • Hey Jucan! Any fix or workaroung for QHSUSB_DLOAD issue? My 620 is dead. :(
  • I have a 521 with the Win10 preview installed. Luckily it's not my primary device. Looks like I'll be waiting for word on this before I try to brick it updating or downgrading now...
  • Used Lumia recovery tool on my 822 to rollback. It said that the device was unsupported due to windows 10 being installed so I chose the ' my phone won't turn on ' option then it automatically went to flash mode after downloading the firmware. Everything went smoothly.
  • Microsoft solving problems in no time, why I love them
  • Just tried it on Lumia 521 with the QHSUSB_DLOAD issue. Did not detect my phone.
  • Just to balance things out, I installed the preview on my 830 and was able to successfully roll back. I like the layout and the direction it is going, but not having data on was definitely going to be an issue. I am not certain if this was fixed recently our if it will in a newer build, but I kind of need the data portion of my phone. That said the MS recovery tool outline on this site last week worked flawlessly.
  • I think it's not really a problem with newer models, the old ones are (520, 620, 920, etc.). They have older hardware and can't handle the recovery so it bricked.
  • The recovery tool gave me Denim on my Lumia 1520 in Australia ;)
  • That happened when I downloaded the update on my Lumia 625 for Telcel Carrier in Mexico but I decided to go further and install the Windows 10 preview.  What a bad decision I made, Windows 10 preview has made me loose all my credit on my cell phone pre-paid plan twice. I thought the first time it wasn't the OS, but second time I verified and cellular network was disabled, and data sense also, but I detected this is a bug in the preview, you can't really turn on or off the cellular data network, it's always on and drains out whenever I put credit on my phone.  I'm going back to Denim on my Lumia 625 and I won't download the release of Windows 10 on my phone again, until I see a online review that it is correctly supported on the 625.
  • It is correctly supported on that handset. But it's a technical preview with no working cellular data toggle.
  • Mine did recover well but it's a Lumia 1520
  • It loaded wrong country O2 rom on my 1020
  • My Lumia 625 cannot start anymore after the WP 10 preview installation I did 1 week ago and after the battery went down, it is charging since it's hot but it doesn't turn on, my last app I installed was Office Lens Can anybody tell me if this is an issue with my charger, or is this an issue with the Windows 10 preview when the phone discharges?
  • Ok finally my Lumia 625 booted and it was indeed a charging issue, it took me about 8 hours to solve, but finally made it work.  I was using a 1A USB charger instead of a 2.4A, for some reason I didn't know this info and when your Lumia has Windows 10 preview and looses all the battery you have to use an original Nokia charger if you don't have a 2.4A charger.  I don't have the original Lumia charger so I'm using those chargers sold at Walmart retail stores for 5 bucks.I Walmart saved my day. I started thinking my device was bricked.
  • Well
  • Interesting. Based on this the cause of the bricking isn't related to the W10 beta. Bricking your phone by installing a beta would be on the phone owner. Permanently bricking it for using the recovery tool should be on MS. I use it and advise others to use the recovery tool on any used phone they buy, for example. And we know that some Windows bug allows badly written or malignant apps to damage the Windows install so badly, the Recovery Tool is required to correct it. I get it that the terms for the recovery tool probably say use at your own risk, but that would not make it a slam dunk in a court. Hopefully, MS was just being overly cautious about the new version might being able to recover a phone bricked by the previous version. If almost all are fixed, no big deal.
  • No way that could be on MS. Crazy talk. In some places outside the US, people take responsibility for their own actions. Rather than looking for the nearest person to sue.
  • Don't know what you are smoking but... even if a fire extinguisher says use at your own risk, if it is filled with gasoline instead of foam, those words don't mean much. I think you are confusing the installation of W10 as the cause of the bricking. That is something the owner should be responsible for if that was what happened. But the article says the problem is NOT with W10 but with the Recovery tool. That recovery tool is also used by people who never even considered installing W10. It was just the coincidence of many W10 users using the recovery tool that brought attention to the problem with the Recovery Tool. The Recovery Tool is like a fire extinguisher. If it doesn't put out a fire, that's not the manufacturers fault. If it makes the fire worse, the manufacturer is responsible. Now maybe WC got it all wrong and misreported the problem but the way it was written, this isn't just a problem with the Recovery Tool failing to work if W10 happens to be on the phone.
  • Petrol filled fire extinguishers?
    It's not me been smoking anything dodgy.
    Whatever your point is, that's one heck of a way to not explain it.
    Way I see it, Recovery Tool broken = bad.
    Recovery Tool broken and you only found out cos you bricked your device = c'est la vie (that's French).
    The warnings for the Insider program are quite clear - phrases along the lines of "know what you're doing", "may permanently damage", "comfortable downgrading ROMs".
    It's OK though, MS is a US company so will probably have to answer to some numpty's class action, lawyers will take a cut and the world carries on, just a little smarter in other places.
  • You still don't get it. Read slower. Based on the article this has nothing to do with W10 or the Insider program. The Recovety Tool is NOT something invented for rolling back from W10. The article doesn't say the tool only bricks phones that had W10 installed. There are lots of other reasons to use the recovery tool than to roll back from W10. For example (again), it is a smart thing to do with any used phone you acquire because you have no way of knowing for sure what is on that phone. Or someone installed an app that broke Windows so bad, that the only way out was to use the recovery tool. Even with the examples in the article you don't seem to realize that the phones were not bricked by W10, they were bricked by the Recovery Tool. So this is extremely analogous to a fire extinguisher that worsens a fire instead of helping.
  • Goodbye windows
  • Happy I read the disclaimers. Curiosity killed the cat here and nothing else... Nobody can make the argument they didn't understand the dangers using personal devices and not hardware specifically dedicated for the sole purpose of providing constructive feedback.
  • I installed WP 10 preview last week and before doing it I asked in Windowscentral if there was a way to rollback, just in case the update could now work on your device, and I was told about the recovery tool which requires a PC with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.  What I didn't count was that some Lumia 520 models could get bricked, hopefully this was not my case since I have a Lumia 625, but if I had a 520 and my device was bricked, I would be very sad with Microsoft. Glad they are changing the recovery tool which will also work with Lumia 520's, this means all phones released with Windows Phone 8 without exception will get the Windows 10 version once it gets released. This also shows carriers need to hurry up, in my case the Carrier cell phone network is not working and is draining my pre-paid phone credit, so until that get's fixed, I'll probably stay with Lumia Cyan which is my carriers last working update for my device.
  • My friend's Lumia 520 got toasted after trying the recovery following a failed Windows 10 update. Luckily his phone was under guarantee and was taken back.
  • Worked fine for me after downgrading my 1020 back. Although, I'm sad I can no longer get MetroTalk. I regret doing it now. I should have just lived vicariously via this site.
  • My Lumia 1020 got bricked after two days. Tried to do the recovery yesterday and no luck. Got the update today and now I'm all good.
  • Works! Thank you, Microsoft. :)
  • Yea windows 10 for phone is the worst update y'all ever made..... MS y'all update to fix bugs. I'm a hard-core MS fan if I said it u kno something wrong. My phone 1520 so fix the bugs
  • U no itz not an update, yo?
  • actually, the recovery tool is what bricked my phone. But the Microsoft Store fixed me up. I'm back on 8.1 and going to wait patiently for the flagship Windows 10 phone before upgrading.
  • i tried installing win 10 preview on my samsung ativ SE, phone got bricked and i cnt even use it anymore.. that forced me to switch to the galaxy s6 edge
  • It's only meant for Lumia Phones, at this moment in time. That was stated.
  • Well on my 625 I put Windows 10 tech preview on, my phone started running hot & battery100% was 3hrs &15 mins & not 1day 5hrs so I rolled back to denim in total it took a while with all the updates & setting up it did but phone runs better than it ever has plus, gained 10GB storage on phone & SD card
  • Thanks for confirming the 625 can be rolled back to Denim, I'm downloading the 1.4GB package needed to roll back from 10 preview. Fingers crossed. :)    
  • Done, I had to download the Nokia recovery tool since Microsoft's tool crashed twice after downloading the 1.4GB image, but with Nokia tool it worked at first time. My phone is on Cyan again and I enjoyed the WP 10 preview, but unfortunately the cellular data controls didn't work. Other than that I think WP 10 on phones is in good direction, I'm looking forward in purchasing the Lumia 940, I hope it comes to Mexico for Telcel carrier.
  • Well I also faced this problem during recovery but somehow I have recovered my phone I thought its was my Pc ports problem but not I get it... Anyway win 10 is not complete yet but the preview wasn't working so well on 520 crashes many times in many places... But I hope in next preview everything or many things will solved!! :) keep it up MS!!!
  • In short.... These cheap ass low end phones we are pumping out can't handle the overwhelming speed of a USB connection.
  • Need Help. I have updated technical preview of windows 10 to lumia 520. Tried recovering it to windows 8.1 with windows recovery tool failed to recover. Now my phone is not working neither switch on. Tried doing all reset troubleshooting no result. Your help to this is much appreciated. Thank You  
  • Well, they DID mention that the preview build may cause the phone to malfunction. So I guess you really can't complain when it did.
  • Except it didn't. The recovery tool bricked it, not the preview build.
  • N mine 1 of them..bricked.. :\
  • My phone is dead :(  phone is not starting. no vibrate. (520)
  • same with me dude...let me know if you got any solution asap...
  • Many users are posting updates here >
  • Has anyone with bricked lumia with NOKIA on red background was able to recover with new WPRT update?
  • any solution bro? help me, T.T 
  • yep, brought back my lumia 525 from red screen.
  • I already got my 520 bricked. I so loved it. Getting a 930 now
  • Why did Lumia 525 disappear from the list O_o  
  • Is it necessary to connect to WiFi when rolling from window 10 to window 8.1
  • Using window phone recovery tool
  • So that's why I could revert back to WP8.1 within 5 mins... No wonder.
  • I used mine on 730 to go back to 8.1. Wp10 too much problematic for the time being, at least on 730.
  • I too updated my phone windows 10 preview for phones. As said i couldn't downgrade my phone back to 8.1. I tried with phone recovery tool. Its shows reading phone information and stays at that screen with no change. what to do now for that.