Samsung Focus gets new custom ROM with Windows Phone 7.8 bits

The Focus gets some life breathed into it

The other day we gave you folks a quick tour of some bits of Windows Phone 7.8. The upcoming OS update is not yet finished but pieces of it are being incorporated into custom ROMs and are hitting all generation 1 and 2 devices, including the HTC Arrive, Titan and even now the Samsung Focus.

The Focus is considered by many to be the “classic” Windows Phone as it had a great design, sold well and many are in fact still using it. For that reason, it’s kind of neat to see it get this cobbled together 7.8 ROM, which has some other nice bonus features like some Nokia apps and USB Video out.

We haven’t loaded up the ROM ourselves, as our Focus’s battery would need to be brought back to life, so you’ll be taking a risk. We should also note that the Focus hardware version number matters here: version 1.3 are good to go, while version 1.4 are not.

Will the Samsung Focus get an official Windows Phone 7.8 upgrade? We have no idea, but that update is not due until after Windows Phone 8 is released and when it does finally hit, once could always use the CAB method for updating just like in the past. Unfortunately by doing a custom ROM, you will have to hard-reset the device.

For more information, you can head to XDA Forums. Thanks, Philip A., who says this ROM is working out great for him

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Many ROMs came out with this "bits of 7.8" I can confirm the Arrive has at least 2 with a 3rd one on the way... The home screen does "allow" for customization... Sorta... I'm loving it, it will hold me off till WP8.
  • How does one flash this onto their Samsung Focus?  
  • I'd also like to know this. Did some research, can I use MAGLDR for this? Also, will it wipe all of the data on my phone or will it magically keep everything (texts, pictures, videos, etc) intact?
  • Being that my samsung focus (yes it is still running buttery smooth) has not even received the Tango Update via AT&T I am pretty skeptical that I am ever going to see WP 7.8
    At one point I had it unlocked but reverted back to standard fw, might switch it back to unlocked status being that AT&T seems to be taking pleasure in screwing me over on new updates in the hope that I will buy a new phone (out of contract waiting on wp8)
  • AT&T approved Tango for the Focus S a while ago.  Did they really not allow it for the original Focus?  Seems odd.
  • As a fellow att focus user I can also say att has not released tango.
  • OG focus here too, and I also no tengo tango...
  • Add me to the list of disgruntled OG Focus owners. I'm just waiting for WP8. Also considering switching to Verizon.
  • I still don't have the 7740 or 8107 updates for the OG Focus either. Blower.
  • I also have a focus on att and I have got 8112 and now tango by debranding my phone . It is simple and works great . Search google for debranding . You don't have to mess with the regisistry , you might have to use windowsbreak project also , I can't remember exactly :). the onlyt bonus ive noticed is the abiltity to send videos in texts and also attach ringtones .
  • Can an average Joe be able to do this? I'd love to be able to have 7.8 on my focus.
  • I'll give it a try this weekend!  Thanks!
  • No tango on focus here too. At this point I do not care much. This is my last samsung phone for the foreseeable future. After seeing how much effort nokia put in their phones I am definitely getting 920.
  • Agreed, Nokia is definitely in my future again.
  • +1000000000000
  • So bits from an unreleased, available no where and not sure too much work was done on update found their way into custom ROMS?
  • Want this but not too sure how...
  • getting the rapi.dll needed to install.  Any ideas how to add rapi.dll?
  • I put this on my focus last night and i really like, will hold me over until i get a lumia 920,  you can find instruction and how to install the rom, on the xda developers forums site, just goto the samsung focus page and you'll find it, so far i havent had any problems with it, i have all the nokia apps installed too. also note it only works on rev 1.3 so far so make sure you have that
  • Nice gonna test this myself. Does it give you Nokia collection access in the marketplace (store) as well?
  • Yes, it actually makes ur phone a lumia 800
  • Transformer....maybe we should suggest that to Nokia :)
  • If you google how to interop unlock Samsung focus you should find an article actually from wpcentral with info on this in the article there were also links to xda as well. Disclaimer: I don't know if the technique (windowbreak) still works and remember installing any kind of unlock or custom rom could very easily brick your phone so be careful!!!
  • I really would like to try this but won't be until Wheel of Wealth is back in the Store. Damn you, SONY! :P
  • Yay!! I'll be updating tonight probably!! ;-)
  • If you've had this phone at least a year, call Att and they'll give you an unlock code
  • For real? Your sure that's not just a network unlock right?
  • with these custom roms....are they adding more accent colors? I ask b/c the SDK for WP8 didnt have that many colors when compared to the custom roms
  • The rom works great on my focus!!!
  • I am the tipster on this and I can tell you guys the process takes a bit but its really not bad.  You will lose everything though because it does take a reset to make everything work correctly.  Just do your research and be patient!  And those of you like me on AT&T waiting for an update....good luck with that, wont ever happen.  I am willing to guarantee the Focus S will get 7.8, but not the good old Focus.
  • Definitely agree just finished installing and loading back everything now wpcentral first :)
  • I done it! and im an idiot! its not bad take some getting use too but im looking foward to owning a Lumia 920!
  • Lost Pulse ):
  • I found this: extremely helpful with installing MAGLDR.  Once I did that I had to plug the phone into a different USB port on my PC for it to recognize MAGLDR.  Then the ROM EXE worked like a charm!
  • Nice mathiew!!
  • I am definitely running to the PC to do this now! ;-)
  • finally worked!!! yay , i had to fix the rapi.dll thing , and figure out the magldr app but its looking beautiful!! now i have to relearn my phone!! 
  • How did you fix the rapi.dll issue?
  • HELPPP!!! Will this ROM work in Focus flash aka. Omnia W??
  • Sorry, but i dont trust on ROMs, maybe can brick my functional Focus with russian weird stuff.
    And, in XDA forums, so maaaaaaaaaany people always says bad things about ROMS, for example, dont work that or that and that...
    My Focus is totally working and no problems, so , better i wait for official release of Wp 7.8
  • As far as I'm aware, the WP7.8 update is coming directly from Microsoft for just about ALL 1st gen WP devices (including the original Focus), and NOT through the carriers.
    Also, I have installed MANY things on many of my cellphones from the xda-developers forums, and have had virtually ZERO problems! I have had Tango on my Focus S for at least three months now!
  • anyone know how to fix the rapi.dll missing issue?
  • Google the file name and download the dll file if you are missing it
  • Wish focus flash got a custom rom :(
  • +1 . Awaiting for it  :(
  • I went to and downloaded dll fixer. But if you use magldr first it installs the program you need with that file in it. You dont use the rapitool thing at all
  • I have an old WMDC cd that has it, but how and where do i install it (or place it)?  Thanks
  • Can someone post a how to video on YouTube or something?
  • I would like to know, if you already can do custom notification alerts in that custom Version... ???
  • I do not believe custom alerts are an option with the rom. There are a lot of accents and keyboard has a colored emoticon icon, you can resize tiles, customize battery life icons, there are a number of power user features available and it provides access to nokia collection apps in the marketplace as well as im sure a lot of things im not listing.
  • can anyone explain how exactly to all this and install the rom?? never did any of this before and i have no clue???
  • If you have never flashed a rom i would not highly recommend as you might end up with a paperweight. If you want to try though head to xda forums and do some searching as there are posts there that will walk you through it.
  • How did you do it diplomat
    I dont care if I get a paperweight. It says the dft and rapitol files aren't safe to open and the Os file isn't compatible. What's my next step :)
  • My bad was not watching for any more replies on this thread so this may be redundant at this point. The order I did things in was something like this:
    1. Windowsbreak'd my focus
    2. Installed samsung usb drivers and active sync for windows 7
    3. loaded magldr on phone
    4. Grabbed missing .dll files from google
    5. flashed custom rom to phone
    6. enjoying wp7.8 goodness after reinstalling all my stuff (apps, music, pictures etc)
    I found all the information on how to do it on xda site and by googling for windowsbreak project in google.
    I will update this post with some links later tonight as I am at work right now.
  • rapid.dll seems to be gone, but now getting this:
    [Error Description]:
    Please make sure that your device is connected to your computer.
    also make sure that right drivers are installed (Active Sync or Windows Mobile Device Center)
    Try to connect device to different USB port and also you can try to reboot PC.
    Also you can try to exclude USB hubs.
    [Info]: USBWorkDWPI.cpp (136)
  • unplug phone from pc and switch the connection to a different usb port (onboard not pci card added on) I had to try 2 ports to get mine to work. Guess my Asus P5Q Pro Board is kinda a pain in the a** now!!!
  • Did you install magldr yet?
  • got it thanks all!
  • I figured it out! haha i was scared to death when it would just stay on SAMSUNG and didnt load, i almost cried but then I saw welcome to your nokia 800 haha!!!
  • Haha! Right! I was worried for a minute too, cause i had to start it a couple times before it worked, but its cool!
  • Resizable tiles are awesome! And nokia apps! You can also use the htc store or lg store also! But Nokia is better. It does seem that autocorrect works differently sometimes, or not at all. Before it used to fix my words automatically, but not now. At least it doesnt disappear anymore!!! =)
  • This was easy with the MAGLDR instructions.  Although my heart stopped a couple of times...I've bricked stuff before.  I freaking LOVE the nokia apps, resizable tiles, all that.  
    Has any one else notice their volume increased severly?  I used to listen at 21-23.  Now that clips out big time.  I have to leave it at about 15-17 to be listenable. Just wondering.
    PS--love being unlocked now.  loading up on xaps!!
  • Yea!!! I thought so! It goes to 20 only but it seems loud as heck now
  • There seems to be a bug with the radio driver, sometimes it says 4g on my phone!
  • agree, I have seen the same thing as this...4G Focus FTW!!!
  • Right, since I restarted my phone, the limit changed from 30 to 20.  Weird.
    And my phone also says 4G once in a while.  I know I don't have a 4G radio, but was wondering if it was set to say "4G" when speeds hit a certain limit.  You know, like that whole fake 4G thing that the iphone did with the 4S?
  • I installed this rom yesterday.. works like a charm... so glad to have finally rooted my phone thanks to @hoonigandad... does anyone know the key combination for taking a screenshot btw...
    And if anyone has any qualms regarding installation feel free to ask.. i want everyone to experience this amazing new OS.. 
  • One other "bug".  Comments do not appear on facebook posts in the people hub.  Can't figure that one out.
  • worked great for about a week or 2 now it shuts off all the time and is bassically usless so im back to using my slid out key board phone which is awesome haha
  • If you want to revert you can flash the phone back to focus retail rom, there should be a copy available in xda forums just make sure you get the right version!!
    Mine is still going on strong on the custom rom atm.
    Hurry up L920!!!!!
  • Tried to find one than fianlly did! to bad the file wasent there anymore... now my phone wont even start just goes to the Samsung screen then shuts off. Not sure if i should buy a 920 or a Iphone 4 ... would only get the iphone 4 because of all the apps that are avalible
  • .
  • Hi,do any one have any idea when we can get an update to upgrade from 7.5 to 7.8 windows,Do we have blue toothe transfer of files in 7.8 version as a application ?
    Bluetooth option is the best idea form the team , which was an disadvantage earlier.....Hopefully samsung AT&T rocks !!!!!!!
  • I already upgraded my SAMSUNG FOCUS i917 to WINDOWS 7.8
    It runs very smoothly and fast... No bugs at all..the interface is now better... wifi is faster... internet browsing is great...
    the camera looks quite better... and the battery life is much better than windows mango 7.5...
    all is great.. :D
    add me on facebook if you want to know how i did it... im willing to teach you how...