How to Create an FTF file of Your Xperia ICS Firmware

Now that all of Xperia 2011 phones (well, except for Play) have had the taste of Ice Cream Sandwich-the latest incarnation of Android. Sony has also confirmed that ICS is only available through PC Companion and not OTA. This means you must connect your phone to PC or Mac to update your firmware. Isn’t it the best time to create an FTF file for the newest ICS firmware?

So what is an FTF file? Without delving deep into it, let me say it stands for Flash Tool File. Using Flashtool, and the correct firmware file, you can easily and conveniently flash your phone anytime you want. With Flashtool, you can install your stock (unmodified) ftf firmware file if you have not unlocked the bootloader. If you unlocked it already, you can flash modified firmware too. Where do you get the .ftf file? You can certainly get your ftf file from XDA Developers forums. But you can also create your own ftf file. Here I’m going to explain how to create an ftf file of your Xperia ICS firmware. Same procedure is applicable for Ginger Bread too.

How to Create an FTF file of Your Xperia ICS Firmware

What you Need to Create an ftf File:

Warning and Disclaimer: Take a backup of all important data like contacts, call logs, SMSs, apps, APN and other settings before proceeding further. You may have to perform a clean install of your OS. While for all practical purposes, using Flashtool is safe but there is a very very remote chance of damaging your phone and don’t blame me should it happen.

1. Install Sony PC Companion and/or SEUS. This will copy the necessary drivers to your PC. Connect your phone with USB Debugging enabled and allow your PC to install the necessary drivers.

2. Connect your phone and update or repair your phone with the latest firmware version (right now 4.1.B.0.431). If you update/upgrade, your data will be preserved. If you repair, all data may be lost. So backup everything. Now, your phone is updated with the latest firmware. Keep it aside. We don’t need your phone anymore to create the ftf file.

3. Go toC:\ProgramData\Sony Ericsson\Update Engine\db\13740270\blob_fs folder and look for the biggest three files. The folder “blob_fs” may be located in a different place depending on whether you used PC Companion or SEUS. Perform a search for that folder if you can’t find it. Once you are inside the folder, sort by size and see the 3 largest files were just created (when you updated/repaired your phone). Copy them to somewhere else like D:\firmware.

blob_fs

4. Install Flashtool and open it.

5. Click Advanced > Decrypt Files.

decrypt

6. Select all the three files and click the right arrow to send them to the right side and click OK. In a moment, you will see a Flashtool pop up window that shows all the decrypted files. Select all and click the right arrow button.

bundle_select_all

7. Type in the device name next to Device, firmware version number next to Version, and branding next to Branding and click OK.

fw_content

8. In the Device Selection window that appears, select your phone model and click OK.

device_selection

In a moment, your ftf file will be there in the default Flashtool folder C:\Flashtool\Firmwares.

new_firmware

You can use this .ftf file to flash your phone using Flashtool.

Why you should create the ftf file?

If you are someone who can’t resist reinstalling/reflashing for whatever reason, creating an ftf file can be a life saver for your phone. If you root and especially unlock the bootloader and install custom ROMs, having the firmware file always with you is a good idea. Should something go wrong, you can simply reflash the phone (remember unbricking?).

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    • Carla
    • June 26th, 2012

    your content is very useful and reliable, thanks and keep up the good work.

    • Shuggy
    • July 28th, 2012

    How do I find my phone’s branding? Its a T-Mobile, but is the branding ‘global’ or ‘t-mobile’? Otherwise thanks for the very good post!

    • Federico
    • August 13th, 2012

    Hi Vijay and
    thanks for your precious work.

    after decripting I see only “Content” below but if I click OK
    a popup tells me to select a file at least..

    Regards

    • Federico
    • August 13th, 2012

    Ok, now on Win7 64bit it works but after bundle creation I don’t get Device selection window. Is it mandatory ?
    Thnx

    • dinesh
    • August 18th, 2012

    i cant find the folder
    C:\ProgramData\Sony Ericsson\Update Engine\db\13740270\blob_fs

    it shows no folders

    pls help

    • Hi, the location of blob_fs varies depending on OS and whether you used SUS or PC Companion. Please search for the folder it should be there.

    • aravinth
    • September 11th, 2012

    After step 7 nothing happens , device selector pop-up didn’t came.
    In the log got “Finished Bundle Creation” but no device selector pop-up
    also there is no ftf file created in the folder

    • No ftf after creting ftf? Are you using the latest Flashtool version?

    • Akshay
    • September 14th, 2012

    I want to know that what is the procedure to create ftf file using pc companion…
    i tried to find out “blob-fs” folder but i failed in that..
    so please tell me the correct procedure to find out downloaded files by pc companion while updating my phone…

    • Dewanshu
    • September 16th, 2012

    the ftf is generated but flashtool didnt prompt me for device selection

    • That shouldn’e be an issue I suppose. You can go ahead and flash the created ftf file.

    • nr ex
    • September 30th, 2012

    Hello Vijay, can you make a tutorial to convert from zip file to ftf file?

    • Jaydeep Deb
    • October 2nd, 2012

    The ftf file created was of just 15 mb. Anyway, I flashed it & now my phone isn’t booting & shows a thumbnail of a phone with ‘!’ sign. Is the ftf file alright? Plz, tell me how to fix it. Someone help…..

    • You may want to reflash with SUS or PCC. If that’s not possible, you can always get your firmware from xda forums.

        • Mark
        • December 27th, 2012

        hi i want u to help me if u r here i am Egyptian and i can’t update my Xsola to ice cream sandwich and i dunno why i hope u help me or pm me at my e-mail if u can no_mercay@yahoo.com thanks and i wait you pm me please

      • Could you please let me know what you tried to update your phone?

    • Soumyadeb
    • October 4th, 2012

    The created ftf is only 12mb in size. Can’t figure out what went wrong.

    • Grody
    • October 6th, 2012

    Hi, all went fine, I flashed the 4.1.B.0587 for ST15i mini, all works, but companion and over the air update still tells me there is an update available (14.1mb) in Update Center phone app, but cant install it. It boots extracts an package and screen got blank and phone restarts and tell me cant update because i have changed system files (custom kernel and open bootloader).
    All works fine, but how do i fix that update check ?

    • If you have Titanium backup or Gemini File Explorer, you can freeze UpdateCenter.apk .

    • briggs
    • October 8th, 2012

    Can I do this with the Xperia Play 4g?

    • You can create a ftf file of GB firmware. But Play doesn’t have official ICS update.

    • Jahad
    • October 21st, 2012

    Thanks for this! Got the ICS ftf for my Xperia P by this method :)

    Btw, I did not get the Device Selection wndow, using FLashtool 0.9.8, hope that’s not much of an issue…

    And should I have left the ‘Disable final verification check’ unchecked? Will there be a problem when flashing as I have unlocked bootloader and rooted rom?

    • That should be an issue. You can go ahead and flash the ROM to see if that works.

    • Klim
    • November 7th, 2012

    Can I just clarify if this will update the phone with the latest version of the phone’s firmware, or just download a copy of the firmware that is currently on the phone? I’m aiming to create a backup of the stock firmware on my Xperia TX, and I would like to avoid updating to the current update as it’s not compatible with the locked bootloader-friendly rooting method.

    • Dario Brando
    • November 8th, 2012

    I’m trying to make a backup of the out-of-box stock firmware that came on my phone (Xperia TX). The phone was rooted with a method that doesn’t require unlocking the bootloader, since I wanted to maintain compatibility with official and OTA updates. There is a new firmware update for my phone that cannot be rooted with the locked bootloader-friendly method and requires unlocking the bootloader.

    I’d like some clarification on these two matter:

    1) If I follow the steps you list, will my phone get updated to the new firmware?

    2) In the case that it doesn’t, will SEUS download a copy of my current firmware or a copy of the newer firmware to my computer?

    Thanks in advance.

    • If you upadte your phone, SEUS will overwrite the blob_fs (or similar) folder with the new firmware files. If you had already updated your phone with your old firmware (before the new one was released), the files should be there in that folder. Otherwise, you can search the XDA forums for the FTF of the old firmware. Yes if you follow my steps, your phone will get updated with the new firmware.

    • Sjaak
    • November 10th, 2012

    He make a .Sin file. what am I doing wrong?

    • charith
    • December 2nd, 2012

    thankz… very very use full

    • Ali Meer
    • December 17th, 2012

    Hi vijay
    I have xperia p locked to O2 network. It has 0 attempts left to unlock. I guess its hard lock now. Can we use the above procedure to unlock it and from where I can download flash tool.
    Your help will be much appreciated.
    Regards

    • Hi, The above procedure is to backup your ROM in FTF format. It’s not related to sim card unlocking.

    • Reshad
    • December 23rd, 2012

    Hi there, I have 2 very large files (over 100MB), one 15MB file and one 66KB file (like in the screenshot) in my blob_fs folder.

    Should I select all four, or skip the smallest file? Using an Xperia Mini pro, thanks.

    • Skip the smallest one.

        • tasos
        • January 12th, 2013

        Should I select all four, or skip the smallest file? Using an arc, thanks.

      • skip the smallest file.

    • tasos
    • January 13th, 2013

    for xperia arc selected 3 folders?
    Step 8 did not, but the file became ftf.
    To get a copy of the kernel is the same process simply UTILIZE in converting 1 file.
    Sorry for my english

    • sebo.0835@gmail.com
    • January 15th, 2013

    Unable to find blob_fs!! I bought the phone yesterday, installed the PC companion, it says I have one update but it is the one which updates GB to ICS, so I did not update it since I want to have the FTF for GB. now what should I do?

    • You will most probably be able to get your FTF from XDA forums. Just make sure you are downloading the ROM for your country or carrier. You cannot make an FTF file of your ROM if you haven’t even updated your phone with PC Companion once.

    • trq mst
    • January 16th, 2013

    it works only once ! how can i create ftf file for every device i have ?

    • suneet
    • January 30th, 2013

    i have a zip file which i want to flash through flashtool how do i do it. do i have to convert it to ftf? if so how?

    • Usually Zip files are flashed through a custom recovery.

    • Βασίλης Τουμπακάρης
    • February 14th, 2013

    Wow! It worked! Thanks mate!

    • saikumar
    • February 15th, 2013

    Hi Vijay,
    your explanation is really cool, thanks for tat first of all.

    My Xperia sola is Factory unlocked and i wanted to try ULTIMATE SOLA custom rom from XDA.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2025449

    so while going through the procedure i came across “FLASH CWM V5″. can you explain me wats tat..?

    • Hi Sai,

      Clockworkmod recovery also CWM is a custom recovery with which you can perform many advanced tasks like installing a custom ROM, etc. I’m not sure which exact version the author is talking about. You may want to ask in that thread as to which kernel you have to use. Usually, CWM is included with custom kernels. You can install a custom kernel using fastboot or Flashtool which comes with fastboot.

        • saikumar
        • February 15th, 2013

        okay.. got it dude.. thanks for the quick response

    • saikumar
    • February 19th, 2013

    hi vijay,
    can you tel me what exactly “unlocking bootloader” means. i have bought a mbl which is a factory unlocked. so does tat means sony already unlocked bootloader or tat is completely a different case.

    Actually i’m very much new to mbls and all this software and as is see you are a person with high knowledge in this, so i thought of asking you here even my query is irrelevant to your original post.

    Please help. Thanks.

    • Lalit
    • February 23rd, 2013

    similarly can u plz share how to take backup of my currently installed Firmware i.e. Gingerbread on my XPeria U. plz.

    • Haldi
    • March 30th, 2013

    Thanks a lot :) Helped me with my XZ when SEUS wouldn’t want to Update /Repair btw SEUS files are located in a hidden folder in C:\ProgramData\Sony Ericsson\Update Engine\db\13740270\blob_fs

    • Diego Morales (@Diego_hellyeah)
    • April 10th, 2013

    hi there!. If I root the phone first, then create a ftf file. Can I share the ftf file already rooted on… XDA for example?

    • I believe you are asking that if you root your phone and then create an FTF file of your firmware, would it be rooted right? The answer is no, because you are not creating the FTF file from the firmware from your phone but from your PC. The firmware files are downloaded by SUS to your PC in a directory.

    • Raghab
    • May 19th, 2013

    can u please tell me any way to convert this ftf file to a flasheble zip file.if possible also mention how can I make it pre rooted with cwm recovery.that would help everyone to save a zip in sd card and flash it there if faced any problem.thanx

  1. Worked just fine for Xperia P JB 6.2.A.1.100

    Thanks a bunch

    • Ro Hit
    • August 7th, 2013

    thanx man
    m worked for sony xperia MT27i sola
    yo yo

    • Bipin
    • August 12th, 2013

    I repaired my Xperia J from ICS to JB. Now there is 4 files inside the blob_fs folder. 1 of 387 MB, 1 of 15 MB, 1 of 67KB and 1 of 1 KB. Should I select all four files or omit last file of 1KB? This file (of 1KB) has preset1.ta when converted. Can you guide me what is it and is it required or not?
    Thanks Very much.

    • Not very sure about that. But you can have it, that won’t hurt.

    • mshajirahman
    • August 28th, 2013

    hi,
    i have repaired my phone using PCC and unable to find the blob_fs folder can u plz help where to find it

    • On my Windows 7 PC, the folder is under C:\Program Files (x86)\Sony Mobile\Update Service\db\13740270\blob_fs. But This was created by Update Service and not PCC.

    • Umair
    • October 12th, 2013

    Hi…
    please help if u can…
    This is how it started i installed the cust rom cm 9 and was very much unhappy so wanted to switch back to stock so…
    i accidently selected xperia pro 2.3 firmware and flashed that firmware on my xperia mini pro…
    and i didnt realised till the time i flashed it completely…
    i started the phone then noticed that sony ericsson logo was much bigger and then check the logs of Flashtool saw that OMG ive now done something very very wrong and worng…
    i tried all the steps from the threads hybrom custom kernel flash reflash stock firmware etc etc …
    everything is unlocked like the bootloader…
    i can install any and every comptible firmware on my mini pro…
    BUT MY TOUCH DONT WORK NOT EVEN THE BACK AND OPTION TOUCH PAD…
    only home button works… and keyboard works, volume and power…..
    i follwed these steps on this http://forum.xda-developers.com/show….php?t=2366426 link it works but the touch is very very very very slow and if i want to use the back button i mean the touch pad on screen for back… i have too keep on pressing it 8 to 10 times… then it respons like a tortoise….
    plz suggest anything what to do… how can i reprogaram the phone or do nething nething…..
    please help ….
    i have also posted this on xda .com but they are not rplying… plz help if u can…

    • I’m not sure if you have installed the stock ftf of your phone using Flashtool, but if you haven’t, try it. I don’t see why this method should not work. After flashing, perform a factory reset.

    • crash
    • November 5th, 2013

    gran aporte a la comunidad

    • eldorel
    • January 23rd, 2014

    Great tutorial Bro. Worked as a charm !!! All the best !!!

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