Well this isn't a guide about unbricking the Xperia SP but more on my experience throughout the entire process. So, this won't actually be helpful if you are look on a detail guide on unbricking your Xperia phones.
How did my phone get bricked in the first place? I was looking for a root access method in order to remove some of those annoying system apps. Not wanting to mess around with third party ROMs, I decided to try those one touch root exploit method. I came across an app KingRoot that does exactly that. After installing it, everything goes well until I rebooted the phone and that is when things goes wrong. The phone will stuck in a boot loop and hard power off does nothing. At this point I concluded that the phone is totally bricked.
At this point I was searching on how to get into recovery mode only to find that it didn't have one. Then I found a thread on the XDA forums stating that ROM installation can still be done externally from a PC via the USB.
I went to FlashTool and downloaded the latest version. Installation went well, I also followed the guide in the site FAQ page for installing the ADB drivers.
Then I tried plugging my SP and it was detected. That's great, but now i need to get the ROM file. I then found another tool called XperiFirm. What it does is basically connects to Sony server and "nicely" ask for all the available ROM for all Sony's devices.
At this point I could just download the SG version and that it no question asked but that wouldn't be me. I wanted to know what's the difference between the three version since they all have the same hardware specifications. I suspected its the different baseband configurations for different region.
I was spot on, the three version were as follows;
- C5302 (3G only) HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
- C5303 (3G & 4G) HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100, LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 MHz
- C5306 (3G & 4G) HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100, LTE 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100
A quick check on the 3G & 4G Frequencies to confirm the frequencies used.
With high speed fiber internet, the 770MB file download took about 2 mins to complete.
The original files were automatically unpacked which was required for the next step.
Next, I used the FlashTool program to create the TFT file from the unpacked ROM files.
At this point, I keep getting an error "ERROR - Processing of system.sin finished with errors." A quick search in XDA forum indicates that; "Version post 0.19.8.6 but prior to 0.19.9.1 uses a template file called fsc to accommodate new xperia devices. This breaks support for older xperia devices that doesn't have the fsc template. The template can be created of course, but it seemed no one from the xperia sp community want to contribute"
After downgrading FlashTool and trying it all again, the Xperia boots again! Debrick was a success.
Afterthoughts from the whole experience in point form;
- Entire process took about 2-3 hours on a weekend day.
- One touch root solution might sound too good to be true but comes at a risk.
- I won't know what I lost exactly when it's actually lost. Cant remember what are the apps that I used.
- Full disk encryption really works, my data in the SD card is considered as good as gone.
- Backup your phone before venturing into the unknown.
- Or better, don't use your daily/work phone.
- On the bright-side, starting from new means I could explore other apps and settings.
- Learn something along the way like baseband frequencies and stuff.
- Xperia phones are pretty much unbrickable unless the bootloader was corrupted somehow.
-- Guess its the same with any other phones.
-- Not sure about iphones though not like I give a shit about apple products.