Upgrading your AT&T Tilt to Windows Mobile 6.5 (tutorial)

I’ve been meaning to look in to how to do this for awhile, and finally worked up the willpower to do it…

Here’s how you can upgrade your AT&T Tilt to Windows Mobile 6.5.  Why would you want to do this?  Well…it’s new!  6.5 brings some nice feature upgrades, as well as generally making the whole operating system more finger-friendly.  Here’s a couple screenshots of my phone now:

WM 6.5 Today Screen from the TPC Elite Series ROM

WM 6.5 Today Screen from the TPC Elite Series ROM

WM 6.5 Start Menu

WM 6.5 Start Menu

One last thing before we get into it.  It seems like there’s a lot of stuff to do to make this work.  Keep in mind that most of this stuff is only done once.  Every other time you want to change your ROM it will be much easier.

Ok, on to the tutorial.

Step Zero – Let’s Break Stuff

Please note that if you don’t follow the directions well, or you use some weird ROM that no one else has heard of, or lightning hits your house while doing this….you can permanently break your phone!  I don’t take any responsibility for anything bad that happens as a result of the following.

That being said, it’s a pretty fool-proof process as long as you follow directions.

Step One – Backup your data

You’ll want to be sure you back up stuff on your phone that you don’t want to lose.  For me, I was mainly concerned with all the contacts.  If you’re syncing your phone to Outlook on your PC, your contacts are already backed up.

If there’s more you want to back up, Tilts have a program called Sprite Backup on them which you can use to back up just about everything on your phone.

Be sure you think about what you want to keep for awhile.  For example, I also had an extensive collection of bookmarks to mobile-friendly websites so I was sure to back those up as well.

Step Two – Finding a ROM

You’ll need to head over to the xda-developers forum for the Kaiser.  (Kaiser being the name given the ATT Tilt hardware by it’s original manufacturer.)  Peruse the ROMs available and download one that it seems you would like.  Getting the ROM with all the features you want on the first try isn’t necessary, as once we’re done it’ll be easy to move from one ROM to the next. You can get a copy of the original ROM for your device if you ever want to go back (or you need to do a warranty return).

Update:  Several people have a hard time finding a ROM to use.  My favorite is the ROM created by twopumpchump which you can find in this thread here.  I’m currently using v11 of his ROM, but he should have v12 out before long.

In case it’s not clear, you are downloading Windows Mobile 6.5.  The “v11” refers to the fact that twopumpchump has created 11 versions of the Windows Mobile 6.5 ROM.  The differences between each version relate to software that is included with the ROM, updated versions of WinMo 6.5, and other little goodies.

Step Three – Note your radio version

There appears to be a bit of voodoo about the software package that manages the different radios on your device (WiFi, GPRS, etc).  Some ROMs work better with different radios.  The easiest tack to take is to leave your radio alone unless the ROM maker specifically says it must be changed or if after upgrading your ROM you run into the problems talked about in this forum post.  In the least I’d make note of your current radio version.

To check your radio version, just turn your phone on (or off and then on) and look at those red numbers in the lower right corner of the screen.  Those are the version numbers of the various software packages required for your phone to run.  The one that starts with an “R” is the version of your radio.  Make note of it.

Step Four – Let’s get started! (Or, time to flash HardSPL)

Download this file and unzip it.  The following is ripped straight from the xda-devs forum

Flashing via ActiveSync with USB Lead
1. Copy JumpSPL1.56-KAIS.exe, JumpSPL1.93-KAIS.exe and JumpSPL1.94-KAIS.exe to your device memory (NOT STORAGE CARD)
2. Pull out the battery and reinsert it (this step IS important) *DONT turn phone back on yet*
3. REMOVE SIM and SD CARDS!!
4. Turn phone back on and let it boot back into your operating system
5. Connect your phone to PC with a USB cable and wait until it syncs with your PC
6. Run File Explorer on your phone, browse to where you copied JumpSPL1.56-KAIS.exe on your device and run it (make sure the USB cable is still connected). If you get a white screen then reset your device and now try JumpSPL1.93 and lastly try JumpSPL1.94 if that one doesnt work.
7. CLick Continue on phone when prompted
8. After a few seconds the tri colour screen will appear on the phone and “USB” will be displayed at the bottom
9. Unplug the usb cable for 30 seconds and then Replug (phone will not re-sync but still says “USB” on the screen)
10. Right click on the Activesync icon in the bottom corner icon on the computer, goto connection settings, deselect “Allow USB connections” and click “ok”
11. Run the KaiserCustomRUU.exe file on your PC thats in the same folder as the HardSPL .nbh file and follow instructions (ticking boxes and clicking Next) *DO NOT re-enable USB Connections in Activesync*
12. Update will goto 100% (should take less than a minute), the Congratulations screen will be displayed on the PC and the phone will restart
13. Unplug USB cable from phone then REPLACE SIM and SD CARDS !!
14. Restart phone

*Remember to re-enable “Allow USB connections” in Activesync connection settings after a successful flash*

The only additional information I would add to the above is this:  If you’re using Vista or Windows 7, you don’t have an Activesync icon.  In those two operating systems you use Mobile Device Center.  Just hit the Start button, type “Mobile” and then select it from the list.  For step 10 you select “Mobile Device Settings” and then “Connection settings”.

At this point, you’ve made it so you can flash a new ROM any time you want.  None of the previous steps need be done again.

Step Five – Flash your ROM

Again, ripped straight from xda-devs forum

Flashing Via ActiveSync(Mobile Device Center)
1. REMOVE SIM and microSD CARDS !!
2. Turn phone back on and wait until it syncs with your PC
3. Run the KaiserCustomRUU.exe from the Roms Folder
4. Once phone finishes flashing, resets and gets to the screen where it configures the stylus, HARD RESET
(press left and right softkey buttons on the front and hold in reset with stylus until message appears)
5. When prompted, Press “Send Button” (Green Call Button on Front) to Clear Data
6. When prompted, Press “Send Button” (Green Call Button on Front) to Restart Phone
7. Follow onscreen instructions to set up your New Rom
8. Once phone has gone through customisation procedure then replace Sim and microSD Cards
9. Turn phone back on and set up as required

You’re basically done.  If your ROM came with a preferred radio, you may want to flash it, which is done in the same way you flash your ROM.

Update:  Some of the keys on the keyboard are swapped around on the Tilt when you flash a new ROM.  To fix that go here.

Leave a comment ?

125 Comments.

  1. Dustin – your directions worked like a charm. Do you know if there is a place to get Office Mobile for WM6.5. I tried to download from MS site and it wants to see a previous version before installing. Thanks!

  2. @jarhead: I’ve seen links to it around the XDA Developers forums. Head over there and do some searches for “office cab”.

  3. Thanks! Just loaded the Titanium; going back to v 11, I like it waaaay better.

  4. Dustin if you can please help. all went well until step five. no matter what i do i keep getting error 240 Googled it and they talk of changing files to .nbh from .image ??? re downloaded it changed zip extractors still same error

  5. dustin as a ps in step two i went to thread here and downloaded tpcv 11 mega /manilla/motto home/tpc but not the mirror portion. was this correct? i got the congratulations message and the phone looks like it did before i started this. is it step five that puts in 6.5 Tnx6 Frank

  6. Dustin found the solution to error 240 downloaded system and it is gorgeous. thanks for the basic walk thru

  7. Only issue I found is the Wifi doesnt work anymore.

  8. I did this upgrade a few months ago and everything was working fine, then all of the sudden I was gettting a message that my system memmory was critacally low. it showed 0.00mb free space. I deleted a bunch of stuff and it showed. 2.XX free. then over night it went back to 0.00 with a system message. I restored factory settings and it went away for a month, now it is doing it again. I will delete something and have plenty of space then over night the free space will disappear. any ideas on this?

  9. I am having the exact same problem as jdunn and hace tried the same things to fix the problem to no avail. Something is obviously storing but I can’t figure out what it is. I even deleted the Auto Call record program. Any help is appreciated.

  10. Disregard. After more research I found the solution on the xda forum. Thanks anyway!

  11. I got to the part where i run the kaisercustomruu file but it doesnt recognize my phone.

  12. Hi Dustin,

    First wanted to say thanks…the steps in the xda-forums are very hard to follow but you have made it so simple..my Tilt is now a totally new phone.

    One question: I used the TPC_V11_KAISER_LOADED and every thing works great except the camera. I can store the pics on the Phone but it does not write the pics in the STORAGE CARD. The card had enough free space available.

    Can you please help?

    Thanks

  13. Dustin thanks a lot for all this information! you really rocks
    Best regards

  14. Hey there. I’ve already upgraded from 6.0 to 6.1 via a rom file. Do I still need to do all that flashing stuff or can I just run the 6.5 rom to upgrade again?

  15. All good to your step 12. I get the progress bar, it never goes past 0%. Then I get Error 262: UPDATE ERROR from the ROM update utility. Apparently some type of communication problem. 🙁

  16. Will this process also work for the AT&T HTC Pure, which also runs Windows Mobile 6.5?

  17. johnnycodekiller

    So i did what you said, and i dont have any audio, people cant hear me, and i cant hear anything… any suggestions?

  18. I cannot copy the JumpSPL1.56-KAIS.exe, JumpSPL1.93-KAIS.exe and JumpSPL1.94-KAIS.exe files after connecting Tilt to Laptop (Windows 7) by dragging these over to the \ (I believe memory of Tilt) folder (The other folder is Storage). Could someone guide me as to how to copy these files to the phone’s memory?

  19. Thanks for the nice guidance. It worked well. The only issue it still has that miniature software keyboard instead of the big ones. And my homescreen doesnt look like yours but it has a horizontal scroll bar with all icons instead of vertical like you have posted.

  20. Thank you very much, now my Kaiser is with WM 6.5.

  21. Works Fine ! Nice guide !

  22. Fantastic explanation! Worked like a charm