Phone and firmware manipulation guide

From Legacy Portable Computing Wiki

This is a guide for dealing with binary data from phones. Different types of phones handle resources differently, thus, several programs exist for handling binary data from different phones.

Note that some older software, such as P2K tools, certain serial drivers, and ResMan, work most reliably on Windows XP. Usually, this can be taken care of by running the software in a Virtual Machine, using a program such as Oracle VirtualBox. However, in cases where software doesn't work or USB devices can't be routed to the VM, having a physical Windows XP computer to use normally works best, if all else fails.

Due to licensing restrictions, we are not able to provide direct download links to every program mentioned in this article and its sub-pages.

Examples of these were the fonts extracted from Siemens mobile phones

General file and graphics extraction

The firmware of many older cell phones is in a self-contained .bin file that contains all the graphics, sounds, and software. Resources can be extracted from .bin files using WinRipper and MultiExtractor. Most sequenced ringtones can be extracted using ToneSniffer.

For raw bitmap graphics, Image Search Editor is a powerful tool for the job.

Note about 'Box' firmware formats

Firmwares dumped from 'Box' programs (Octoplus box, FuriousGold, Infinity Box, SigmaKey, etc) are about as good as useless for ripping contents as these tend to be encrypted, or are missing pieces of the firmware that are most commonly of interest (e.g. FuriousGOLD Qualcomm LG files do not include the MEDIA EFS2 partition).

Generally speaking, 'Box' firmware files can be identified if they are the same size or nearly the same size in compressed form. For example, if someone were to download a firmware for (phone), and the .7z file was 18.4MB, and the extracted file was also 18.4MB, chances are it's encrypted.

Work is being done to figure out the encryption methods used on these 'box' file formats as well as how to decrypt them, however.

Guides by brand/platform

Many phone brands and platforms use custom file formats, and as such, there are different programs and methods for dealing with them.

In order to make reading easier, this page is split into sub-pages for each brand or platform.