How do I unbrand an unlocked phone?
February 7, 2008 4:37 PM   Subscribe

Unlocked phone, but I want to "unbrand" it. How?

So I've got an unlocked Motorola MOTORIZR Z3, which I want to use with AT&T.
It was originally a T-Mobile phone, and I think they're the only ones in the US who carry it.

It works with an AT&T SIM to make calls, and I've found instructions on setting up messaging/browser connections that look like I can follow them (knock wood) to get it working on AT&T's network.

But it still has all the T-Mobile, t-zones, etc branding & firmware all over the menus, etc.

But I'd like to get rid of all that branding. How?

I've spent hours trying to decipher posts on MotoModders, etc, but it's all alien language.

Can anyone point me at:

1) a guide to acquiring and installing generic or custom firmware/OS, that a reasonably clever layperson could follow?

2) someone who would do it for me? I'm in San Francisco, CA, USA.
posted by penciltopper to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
you are looking for what are called "SEEM"s
this site is SIMILAR to what you want. it's specific to the V3 ("RAZR") but I don't think it will be all that different.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:09 PM on February 7, 2008 [1 favorite]

People always make flashing firmware on phones a secret... I think people like being part of an elite group or something!

Nonetheless, I used to flash my Moto e398 and it appears the approach hasn't changed much. My favorite site for the info is and here is a thread I found that gives lots of links to tutorials on flashing, as well as some firmware you might want to download.

HowardForums Z3 Thread

Hope it helps some.
posted by ranglin at 5:48 PM on February 7, 2008 has this guide to flashing your phone. The downside is that it uses commercial software, so you'd have to be willing to pay for a license. They also have a forum dedicated to the z3, so you can search that for "unbrand". That's how I found the guide, and there were many more threads I didn't read.

I recently unlocked and unbranded a RAZR v3, but this was in the midde of the night after unbranding(but not unlocking because I don't care about the lock right now) a SonyEricsson w580i, and then immediately deleting all the tools and packs I used after confirming my phones still funcitoned properly, so I can't really point you at the resources I used. The two processes are kind of mingled in my memory. I did manage to do it using free software, though, so if you dig enough you could probably find something similar to what I did.

I do empathize, though. The flashing process on any phone is nerve-wracking enough if you know what you're doing(and I didn't). Trying to decipher the process from most of the forum posts out there makes it even tougher.

Good luck!
posted by owtytrof at 6:39 AM on February 8, 2008

I used the step-by-step guides at The Moto Guide to do my RAZR. They were pretty easy to follow (with pictures!), and had all of the software you need right there for download.
posted by The GoBotSodomizer at 11:32 AM on February 8, 2008

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