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:
- Sony PC Companion or SEUS
- Flashtool and its updates if any.
- Internet connection.
- An Xperia phone of course.
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.
4. Install Flashtool and open it.
5. Click Advanced > Decrypt Files.
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.
7. Type in the device name next to Device, firmware version number next to Version, and branding next to Branding and click OK.
8. In the Device Selection window that appears, select your phone model and click OK.
In a moment, your ftf file will be there in the default Flashtool folder C:\Flashtool\Firmwares.
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?).