Installing Windows Phone 7.8 on Samsung Focus SGH-I917

My Samsung Focus is an unlocked AT&T model and I had received it with Windows Phone 7.5 OS. Once the WP8 and WP7.8 were released I thought the re-sizable tiles were very needed in my phone. Windows started releasing WP 7.8 update from Jan 30th, 2013. I was pretty happy and excited when I read AT&T and Microsoft  have released the software update. Sadly that wasn't the case and there was no update. I waited for a month or so an finally decided to Flash my phone. In this post I would like to share my experience and hope to make somebody's life easier!

I started of as a noob who had no idea what it means to flash a phone, but I had gone through quite a lot of online materials to know that the worst possible thing that could happen was getting the phone "BRICKED"!! I had also read that the chances of that happening were less if I follow the steps carefully. Who knew I would brick my phone just 5 minutes into flashing! But finally it all turned out well and now I have a Windows Phone 7.8 Custom ROM running in my phone.

Windows Phone 7.8 running on my Samsung Focus

Windows Phone Hacker had released a new wrapper tool named "Seventh Eighter" which reportedly made updating your phone to WP 7.8 easier. Prior to this there was the manual cab file transfer method. I obviously chose to use the "Seventh Eighter" tool. You can check this post in for detailed info on using that wrapper.

Proceeding with this method, I was asked to choose the language packs supported by the phone. Luckily it was just a couple of Chinese languages and English (US). The tool threw up some errors with some error codes. I did not take them seriously and tried to repeat the process with my phone connected. Then I noticed some vague progress messages in the tool and my phone restarted. Couple of minutes after restart there wasn't much happening in the tool as well in the phone. Being a newbie I disconnect my phone from the system and THAT'S IT, phone bricked! The phone would boot with the Samsung logo and then directly go into a screen showing the phone connecting to the system. I'm not sure if there is any particular mode name for that.

I knew I had screwed up and so went on to try various options I had. 3 of them to be specific.
  • The manual cab file method
  • Installing MAGLDR and the custom ROM
  • Restore Samsung Focus Stock ROM
Initially every method failed one after other, throwing up errors. Many thanks to support from XDA Developers I was able to figure out each and every issue and fix them. Below is the detailed explanation and links that I followed.

Method To Unbrick Samsung Focus
  • In case you are have Windows 8 running in your system, I would recommend you to use either Windows 7 / older operating system, because most of these hacking tools are tried and tested on them and some of them might have compatibility issues with Windows 8.
  •  Install the right version of SAMSUNG_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones.exe. I say right version because I had to download and try around 5 different versions before the tools recognized my phone. The version that worked for me was Samsung_USB_Driver_for_Mobile_Phones_v1.5.14.0. You can download it from millions of file sharing sites out there.
  • I found out that the right way out was to first restore the phone to stock ROM and then install the MAGLDR and WP 7.8 Custom ROM. You end with MAGLDR [Info]: USBWorkDMLI_SAM.cpp (206) ERROR if you try to install MAGLDR before installing the Stock ROM.  
  • This link from the XDA Developers provides the necessary download links of the files required to perform the restoration process. Download the files and follow the video provided below
  • Installing the Stock ROM will take you to Windows Phone 7 on your phone. Before proceeding to installation of MAGLDR, you have to install Microsoft Windows Mobile Device Center tool. You can download it from here.
  • Next Download the MAGLDR For More info on that check the link from the XDA Developer. If you browse through the posts in XDA Dev forum, you can find many custom ROM's; Download which ever you want. Just for reference I have installed  FOCUS V1.3-ROM 8835 WP7.8 V5.3.rar. haven't found any issues with it till now. You can follow the below video to install MAGLDR and Custom ROM to your phone.
  •  In case you try to install MAGLDR without the Samsung driver you get an error with error code 173. 
  • MAGLDR 2.00 USBWorkDMLI_SAM.cpp (173) 
  • If you have followed all the steps mentioned above you should end up with Windows Phone 7.8 custom ROM or atleast I hope so!
If you have any queries, you can leave a comment below. I will try to answer if I have come across it. Thank you!


Guillermo said...

Is this rom making the phone slower?

Adithya said...

Nope.. its smooth as any Windows Phone OS..

Sunny Bhai said...

still stuck on samsung logo after successful install

Sunny Bhai said...

still stuck o samsung logo

Adithya said...

Did follow all the steps mentioned?
First install the stock ROM, then the DFT MAGLDR and then the custom ROM?

George said...

Hey Its Cool, I have successfully done everything, but when i check the about phone in my phone still it says 7.5 instead of 7.8, why it is so???
I am so Worried whether i have Messed up my phone

Adithya said...

@George It depends on the Custom ROM you have installed. The one I had mentioned works fine and it shows 7.8 in my phone.

Nothing to worry, if ur not happy with the current ROM, just replace it with another. There are many variants out there from DFT guys. Would hardly take you 5-10 minutes..

howto12454 said...

How do you flash a Samsung Focus SGH-I917

howto12454 said...

How do you update wp7.5 to 7.8 on mac window phone app

Adithya said...

@howto12454 I dont think there is much support for Mac OS..

dammyd said...

Hey, After going thru the process you described above for my Samsung focus SGH-1917, It read as Nokia Lumia 800 instead. I have been trying to set up the picture messaging but i haven't been successful. I still use my Internet using the data connection given to me by network. Am using Ultra. Any idea about what i should do?

Adithya said...

@dammyd Yes it reads as Nokia Lumia 800, and that's perfectly all right. Its getting it from the custom ROM. Don't think that's an issue right?

And as for the MMS issue u mentioned, I'm not sure if i can help as I have personally not tried it. If its the problem with the custom ROM, you should find the solution in the xda developers site. It might already be discussed.

Ontológico said...

dude! i got this problem.
Hi, i´m stucked on brick. I buy this phone on ebay for parts on the back says REV 1.3 but when i try to restore in WP7 7.41 says WP7_PRODUCT_4K_DETECTED CC if i try to restore with 1.3 says that is not correct. (try rogers and at&t)
Sometimes goes to recovery, something not.
magldr is installed, and when i try to install a rom for 1.3 says something that block number is incorrect.
any possible solution or is dead?

PD: if i try to flash 1.4 custom rom
i get this error.
[Error Description]:

OS flash failed

[Info]: USBWorkDWPI.cpp (423)

[Error Description]:

cmd flash data failed

[Info]: USBWorkDWPI.cpp (348)

Adithya said...

@Ontológico Why don't u try installing the stock ROM first and then upon that the custom ROM?

I'm guessing some the current ROM in your phone is corrupted.

Anonymous said...

Nice article, this was basically I did, the noob that I am to Samsung phones. I would like to point out that it is ESSENTIAL you wipe your phone after flashing (I had to several times) or the ROM will probably not boot. Also, be sure to verify the MD5 sum of the rom you've downloaded to make sure it is intact and undamaged.
Overall, good article, thanks for sharing.

Ben Baker said...

I Used the Rom that you installed, it gave me the nokia lumia 800, everything seemed to be fine, but I was unable to download anything from the marketplace. Were you able to find a way around that?

Adithya said...

@Ben Baker Sorry for the late reply. Yes the Phone is recognized as Nokia Lumia 800, but that does no harm. I did not have any problem with the marketplace. There is an app to switch the marketplace of different manufactures. Try switching.

Jesus Dollis said...

my phone still stuck on samsung logo after successful install. someone can help me please !!!

Anonymous said...

Hi peeps I'm rushawn I'm from Jamaica I currently own a SAMSUNG WINDOWS PHONE SGH-i917 I can't download anything in marketplace or no where any one can help please I'm desperate!!!!!!

Awuah Israel said...

I cant update my samsung sgh i917r from 7.5 to 7.8 with seveneighter...It gives me error always

Govind s said...

Amy 1 can help me installing 7.8 through teamviewer Plz experts ...??

Sai Baba said...


Trinayan Bhuyan said...

I want to make my phone normal. I am a new user. But when I connect the phone to my PC, it doesn't shows anything. The memory card needs to be formated each time I push it in the phone. And when it's made out, it requires memory card password, whereas I didn't inputed any. Doesn't supports bluetooth. Again, I can't download anything. Here, the samsung care guys says, they don't recognise this kinna handsets. Please, help me out with my problems, so that I can be able to use it as any other Windows phone without much disturbances. Please help. My email ID:
Thank You.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

flash ok but same re start problem pless help

Shanu Baba said...

Thanks admin for sharing.

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