Cell phones that are purchased with calling plans are encoded with special programming that brands, or locks, the phone to one particular service provider. This means that the phone may only be used with SIM cards and plans that are offered by that specific provider. Consumers who wish to change providers must either buy a new phone or "flash" their old phone to "unlock" it. The Sony W580i supports "flashing," and can be easily unlocked using a free software tool.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- SE Tool 2 Lite
- USB cable
- Sony W580i
- Unzipping software
- SIM card from a different service provider
Make backup copies of all of the information stored on the phone. This includes ringtones, text messages, contacts and any other personal information.
Turn the phone off.
Download and install free unzipping software (see Resources) if not already installed on the system.
Download SE Tool 2 Lite (see Resources).
Right-click on the SE Tool 2 Lite file on the desktop and choose "Extract to Here."
Install the required drivers. Double-click on the extracted folder to open it, then double-click to open the "SETool2Lite" folder inside. Use the same method to open the "Drivers" folder, followed by the "USB flash driver" folder inside; then double-click on the "ggsetup" file to install the driver.
Start the application, and select "W580i" from the available phone models.
Click "Add" in the "Files" area, and select the following two files from the extracted folder on the desktop:
Click on the "..." button next to the "Misc. Files" field and select the following file from the extracted folder on the desktop:
Press "Flash" and plug the phone into the computer with the USB cable while holding down the "c" key on the keyboard.
Wait for the flash process to finish, and test the unlocked phone with a SIM card from a different service provider. If the phone turns on and is able to read the new SIM card as well as make and receive calls, then the flash was successful.
Flash the W580i
Tips and warnings
- Fully charge the phone before performing the flash. Borrow a SIM card from a friend or buy a prepaid SIM card if available for the testing phase.
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