How to update the firmware on the Nokia N800 and n810

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Main article: Updating the firmware


[edit] What is firmware? Why would I want to update it?

Like many electronic devices, the Nokia N800 and N810 internet tablets have something called firmware (which Nokia confusingly calls "software"). Firmware is what tells the device how to behave, and includes all the applications you see when you first switch on a brand new tablet.

Electronics manufacturers often issue new versions of firmware which corrected mistakes and sometimes add new features. When you take an electronic gadget to a service centre, they will typically install updated firmware on it as this simple action can often solve many technical problems. Nowadays you can also install the new firmware yourself at home using your PC. It's completely free, it usually makes your device run more reliably, and it also may let it do new stuff it couldn't do before.

The downside of a firmware update is that you lose any data or programs you have installed on your gadget, though this can be dealt with by making backups of your data onto a memory card and then restoring the backups after the update.

Updating the firmware is also known as "flashing" the device.

[edit] Upgrading your N800 to OS 2008

N800 users have a particularly good reason for updating their firmware, because Nokia has just released a brand new version of the tablet's operating system called OS 2008.

OS 2008 is present on all N810s, but most N800s shipped with the older OS 2007, so N800 owners probably have to update their firmware in order to use OS 2008.

OS 2008 replaces OS 2007 and makes all sorts of improvements such as greatly increasing the processor speed, more finger-friendly menus, a constantly updated directory of internet radio stations, better sound quality on Skype, better video quality on YouTube etc. OS 2008 makes the N800 look and run exactly like the more recent N810 model, and run at the same speed too.

To upgrade your N800 from OS 2007 to OS 2008, simply follow the instructions below for doing a firmware update. The process of upgrading the OS is technically identical to the process of updating the firmware.

[edit] How to back up and restore your N800 or N810 settings and data

Before you do a firmware update, you may want to back up its settings and data.

Firmware updates usually wipe anything you store on the tablet's own memory, including e-mails, documents, music, videos, settings, bookmarks and contacts.

However, firmware updates do NOT wipe anything stored on memory cards including the N810's 2 gigabyte built-in memory card, because they're technically not part of the tablet itself.

Before you do a firmware update it's a good idea to back up your data and settings onto a memory card, so you can restore the data after the update is complete.

You can do this very very easily by using the built-in Backup/Restore application. Simply click on the Applications icon (the green squares on the left), click on Settings, and click on Backup/Restore. Click on New Backup, click OK, make sure all the boxes you want backed up are ticked, and click on OK.

When you have finished the firmware update (see below for how to do this), the tablet should ask you automatically if you want to restore your data and settings from the backup you just made. If it doesn't, just go to the Backup/Restore application yourself, select the backup from the screen and click on Restore.

PLEASE NOTE:If you are updating your N800 from OS 2007 to OS 2008, you should NOT back up and restore your data and settings using the built-in Backup/Restore app. Doing so may cause serious problems with using the N800 after the update. If you can, try to back up your files manually by moving them onto a memory card using the N800's file manager, as they will be safe on the card. There's nothing you can do about settings though.

[edit] How to back up and restore your tablet's applications

Firmware updates also wipe any extra applications you've installed since you got your tablet. Unfortunately there is no way to back these up, they have to just be reinstalled after the firmware update.

However, the Backup/Restore application can save a list of the apps you have, and then offer to automatically reinstall them after the update. In theory this should work, although in practice if one of the applications doesn't install properly it stops any of the others installing. If this happens, don't panic. You can still reinstall the apps one by one yourself, just like you installed them first time round.

[edit] How to update the firmware on the Nokia N800 or N810 using the Update Wizard for Windows PCs

  1. The firmware on Nokia's internet tablets can be updated on Windows PCs using the Nokia Internet Tablet Software Update Wizard, which you can download for free at the following link: (Scroll to the bottom of the page). After you've downloaded the Update Wizard file (it ends with .exe), double click on it to install it, and follow all the instructions.
  2. At this point, make sure your N800 or N810 is fully charged. Even if the battery logo looks full on the desktop, it may not actually be full. Plug the charger into tablet, and it should tell you when it really is full.
  3. Try and find the USB cable that came with your tablet (specifically, a miniUSB cable with the N800, a microUSB cable with the N810). Make sure your tablet is switched off, and connect it to your PC using the USB cable.
  4. Start the Update Wizard on your PC, but don't do anything with it.
  5. Press and hold the bottom button on the front of the N800, or the top button on the front of the N810. (See the appropriate video above if you're unsure which button to press.) While holding the correct button down, turn on the tablet with the power switch on the top. This will put the tablet into update mode, and if you do it correctly it will stop on the Nokia logo with a black USB logo in the top right hand corner of the screen. You can let go of both buttons now.
  6. On the Update Wizard on your PC, you should see the Wizard's welcome message. Press the Next button to go to the warning page. Then press the Next button to go to an instruction page, and it should show that it's found your device at the bottom of the screen. Press Next.
  7. The Update Wizard should now tell you two pieces of information: what firmware version you have on your tablet, and what the latest official version is. If the versions are the same, you probably don't need to update at all and can press Cancel. If the versions are different, click on Next to continue with the update. (If you get error messages instead of firmware versions, try pressing Back and then Next again, and if it still doesn't work try doing it again a few hours later.)
  8. Click on I Accept The Agreement and Next.
  9. The update will now start, and should be completely automatic from now on. You probably won't need to do anything more. The Wizard will first of all download the firmware (which can take a long time depending on the speed of your home internet connection), then it install it on your tablet (which happens very quickly). If you see an error message during the download process such as "File Corrupted", press Back and then Next. If you see "File Corrupted" several times in a row, this may indicate that Nokia's servers which provide the firmware aren't working at the moment, and you should try again in a few hours time.
  10. After the tablet's firmware has been updated, it will automatically start up with the new firmware version, and you can unplug it when this happens.
  11. When the tablet starts up for the first time with the new firmware, if you have made a backup of your settings and data it will ask you if you want to restore this backup. This should work fine, unless you're upgrading from OS 2007 to OS 2008 in which case say no. For some reason many people upgrading from OS 2007 to OS 2008 have experienced problems using restored settings.
  12. When the tablet starts with new firmware, it may also ask you if you want to automatically reinstall the extra applications you had installed before the update. As noted above, this may or may not work, and if it doesn't you can reinstall the apps yourself one by one.

AUTHENTICATION/CLOCK ERROR NOTE: If you get a mysterious error message while using the wizard which talks about authentication and adjusting a clock, don't worry, you don't have to adjust any clocks. Try pressing the "back" button on the Update Wizard and then the "next" button.

[edit] How to update the firmware on the Nokia N800 or N810 if you don't have a Windows PC

By far the easiest way to update the N800 or N810 firmware is using the Update Wizard for Windows. Unfortunately the Wizard isn't available for other operating systems, so you can't use it on Linux PCs or Macintoshes.

If you're not technically-minded, try to find someone who does have a Windows PC, so you can use their machine for the update. You don't have to do firmware updates very often, in fact it's up to you how often you do them, and using the Wizard will save a lot of time and bother.

If you ARE reasonably good with computers, here are some suggestions for Mac and Linux users on how to update the N800 or N810 firmware:

  • Macintosh users can use a utility called 770Flasher, which was originally written for the Nokia 770 tablet but which works on the N800 and N810 too. You can download 770Flasher by clicking here. You can get the latest N800 OS 2008 image by clicking here, and get the latest N810 OS 2008 image by clicking here.
  • Linux users should click here to read a guide to updating firmware on internet tablets, over on

[edit] How to go back to OS 2007 on the N800

Some people have expressed an interest in rolling back their N800 to OS 2007, often because a particular third party application they use on OS 2007 isn't available for OS 2008 yet.

Going back to OS 2007 is possible, though it's slightly trickier than an automatic update. First of all you have to manually download the latest version of OS 2007 for the N800 onto your computer, which you can get from by going here. After you've done that, here's what you do next:

  • If you have Windows, you can use the Update Wizard to go back to OS 2007. After you've downloaded the OS 2007 firmware from onto your PC, run the Update Wizard as described above. When it gets to the point where it tells you the latest firmware version, click on the "Change" button and select the file name of the OS 2007 firmware you just downloaded. You can then proceed as described above, and it will install OS 2007 instead of OS 2008.
  • If you have a Mac or Linux, simply use your firmware update methods described above, but using the N800 OS 2007 file you just downloaded instead of N800 OS 2008.

If you do reinstall OS 2007 but change your mind and want OS 2008 again, you can simply update the firmware to the latest OS 2008 version using the methods described earlier in this article.

You cannot use OS 2007 with the N810, OS 2007 has never been released for it.