The following guide will help new Sony Xperia Z users to debrand handsets to generic unbranded firmware. The advantage of doing so is likely to mean faster firmware updates given that carrier customised firmware normally adds unnecessary bloat.
The process of flashing the handset via Flashtool (courtesy of xda-developers) hasn’t changed for a long time, however whilst the process is likely to be familiar to many regular readers, the guide will hopefully help those new to Sony Xperia smartphones. The instructions should be self-explanatory, although if you do have any questions let us know in the comments below.
Guide to Debranding your Xperia Z
Disclaimer: Please read the following instructions thoroughly before attempting to flash your phone. Xperia Blog absolves itself from any responsibility should something go wrong. Please proceed with caution and at your own risk.
Note: This tutorial does not require you to root your handset nor does it require you to unlock your bootloader. FLASHING YOUR HANDSET DOES NOT VOID YOUR WARRANTY.
2) Enable ‘USB debugging’ on your handset: Settings > Developer options
3) Enable ‘Unknown sources’ on your handset: Settings > Security
1) Install drivers for your Xperia handset
The very first step is to make sure that your PC has all of the necessary drivers installed for your Sony Xperia. The best way to do this is to install PC Companion or Sony Update Service (SUS).
Make sure you connect your Xperia to the PC before starting the process to download the necessary USB and ADB drivers. If you have any problems you will find the necessary drivers once you have installed Flashtool in the following location: ‘C:\Flashtool\drivers’.
If you can source a different FTF for your region, you can use that instead of the above files. However, the above files will work on any Xperia Z (C6603) handset and provide numerous language options.
3) Place firmware in correct location on your PC
Place the FTF file in the C:\Flashtool\firmwares folder.
4) Launch Flashtool
Open the Flashtool application on your PC.
Click on the lightning bolt symbol. Select Flashmode and click OK.
5) Select firmware
Select the firmware that you have downloaded in the left column. If you do not want to do a clean install ensure ‘Data’ is not ticked. Press the ‘Flash’ button.
Note: For the Xperia Z, internal storage and data storage are in the same partition. Therefore wiping data will erase everything including media. As a precaution, we recommend backing up all content.
6) Connect your Xperia to the PC
Once you press the Flash button, you will see that Flashtool is ‘Preparing files for flashing’.
When you see the prompt below you need to connect your Xperia handset to the PC. Turn your phone off. Press and hold the volume down button while plugging the USB cable into your Xperia.
7) Flashing process will start
The flashing process should now start.
Once you see the “Flashing finished” message in Flashtool, remove your handset from the PC and restart it (this may take a few minutes so don’t panic).
8 ) Your Xperia Z should now be updated
Congratulations, your Sony Xperia Z should now be running debranded firmware!
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