Windows 10 MURDERED your Lumia? Microsoft says it may have a fix

Revamped Recovery Tool takes it nice and slow

Microsoft has made some changes to the Windows Phone Recovery Tool that should keep it from accidentally disabling users' phones, but Lumia owners whose devices have already been trashed by the tool aren't necessarily out of the woods yet.

Complaints began surfacing last week that customers who tried to roll their devices back to Windows Phone 8.1 were encountering a nasty surprise: in some cases, their phones would no longer work, offering either a blank screen or a frozen screen with a red Nokia logo on it.

Microsoft has been looking into the matter and says it has identified a problem with some Lumia 520 and 521 devices where the Recovery Tool was pushing data to the handsets faster than their flash memory could handle, resulting in firmware image corruption.

In a blog post, Redmond's Lumia team said it believed only a "small portion" of Lumia 520 and 521 handsets are affected by the issue.

To avoid future problems, Microsoft has published a new version of the Recovery Tool that sends data in 128KB blocks, rather than 2MB blocks as before. The data rate has also been lowered from 8MB per second to 5MB per second.

Lumia owners are advised to quit out of the current version of the Recovery Tool and allow the new mandatory version to download automatically before attempting any further firmware updates.

Microsoft says it isn't quite ready to make Windows 10 builds available for Lumia 520 and 521 handsets again, either.

"Before we re-enable the update path from WP8 to Windows 10 Technical Preview for these devices, we will be reaching out to users to do a bit of additional real-world testing," the Lumia team wrote. "Once we're confident in the results, we'll turn the update path back on for these devices."

What's more, the revised Recovery Tool is no guarantee that users will be able to recover phones that have already been made inoperable by the earlier version of the tool. According to Microsoft, devices that are stuck on the Nokia logo have a better chance of being recoverable than ones that have blank screens.

Early users of the tool are reporting mixed results, with some successfully re-flashing their phones but others no better off than before. ®

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