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Bloody Nokia...

Somebody who would prefer not to be named has never been complimentary towards Nokia's phone interface software. You may recall I've had a few small quibbles (like messing up which messages it actually deletes, and as yet still having practically non-existent support for MMS attachments, not to mention being wholey unable to drag a video (.3gp) to the computer and have it translated on the fly to an AVI). But by and large it mostly works...

I was wanting to start up Nokia PC Suite to grab a few messages off of my phone to clear up space (woeful that with many megabytes free, the phone struggles over ~ 100 texts!).
I was informed that there was an update available.
I downloaded it.
It began to install.

At 6%, the following appeared:

I killed all the Nokia processes. Same.
I logged out and back in again. Ditto.
Tried to uninstall via control panel. It tossed up an indescriptive error and then removed the entry from the list of active programs.
I renamed the old version with lots of 'xxxxx' before the folder name. Didn't want to delete it entirely in case I never got the update in. Tried again, no difference.
I rebooted. Guess what.
I booted into safe mode. Windows Installer won't work in this configuration. Damn, but I bet it wouldn't have made any difference.
Restarted. Loaded (old) Nokia PC Suite. I would have said "don't tell me about updates you stupid piece of..." but there doesn't appear to be such an option. Maybe I'll see what URL the Nokia update server is on and make a fake DNS entry so it'll never see the real thing.

As a programmer, the problems here are pretty obvious:

  • Failure to specify an error. You said something went wrong. That's a bit obvious. What? What went wrong? While you might want to hide complexities from newbies, a "More information" option would be nice for people that just want to get the thing installed without reliance on tech support contacts.
  • Things are slightly better if you know how to access the system event log, but we're still dealing with codes which don't mean a lot to casual observers:
       Event Type:      Error
       Event Source:    MsiInstaller
       Event Category:  None
       Event ID:        11714
       Date:            16/09/2009
       Time:            00:17:58
       User:            AZUMI\Rick
       Computer:        AZUMI
       Product: Nokia PC Suite -- Error 1714. The older version of Nokia
             PC Suite cannot be removed. Contact your technical support
             group. System Error 1612.
       0000: 7b 33 44 33 39 45 37 37   {3D39E77
       0008: 35 2d 44 44 44 41 2d 34   5-DDDA-4
       0010: 33 32 37 2d 42 37 34 37   327-B747
       0018: 2d 30 42 44 43 35 46 31   -0BDC5F1
       0020: 39 31 33 33 31 7d         91331}
  • Looking on Google, I found where somebody had a similar problem and Nokia apparently asked for the phone back, which seems pretty bogus as it's an issue of getting the software into the PC - what's the phone itself got to do with anything at this stage?
    But oh, it gets better. Some of the advice given was "2. Format your PC hard drive and re-install windows (or if your manufacturer has a factory restore image, use that), then re-install NSU.". I $#!+ you not - it was actually suggested by somebody (forum poster, not Nokia, thank god!) to rebuild your system from the ground up in order to reinstall Nokia's software update. I'm sorry, but that sort of suggestion just won't wash. Maybe, back in the Windows95 era it made sense because 95 couldn't even get it's knickers in a twist without... erm... getting its knickers in a twist. These days? I expect mass corruption, viral infection, or an actual real bullet through my SSD before I would consider the liklihood of reinstalling Windows...
    On the bright side, whatever is causing this problem was reported on this forum in 2005 and it's still around!
  • The story ain't over yet. There's a PC Suite Cleaner which might do the trick. On the Nokia website it lists the following:
    Sounds like it might be useful, so I click on the link...
I'm sorry. I came home. Wanted a nice cup of tea, watch a few Japanese songs on YouTube, check my emails, then watch Resident Evil something-or-other I recorded off the telly a week or so back. Well, I've done exactly none of that and it's 1am. My only question now is why doesn't PC Suite have an option to not auto-check for updates? Basic security issues should suggest that the user should have a say in the matter...


Your comments:

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opal, 21st October 2009, 10:22
I would rephrase your question: "Why doesn't PC Suite have an option" ? The market just huge - robust software will beat the Nokia's tool for sure ;). But may be I didn't search carefully enough and alternative tool does exist ? Regards.
Mick, 25th October 2009, 18:37
Nokia software is absolute ****! I talk not only of PC suite, but in the phones themselves. (6230i, 6280) Sticking to topic though, it's really about time Nokia open sourced their code. If I could dump PC suite I would. Some days it finds my phone, others it doesn't. Okay, this is a driver issue rather than the suite but irritating none the less. I backed up all my files, then restored while trying to fix an issue after a reset only to find it hasn't worked and only a partial restore has taken place. While the newest version ( is far better than any I've had before, it still can't see 53 of my messages!!! Arrrgh! Cheers Rick for letting me vent. Now "my phone explorer" for the sony erricson phones ( that is good. Nokia, learn from this. As far as the Nokia forums go... Forget them. More unanswered questions than answered ones. Cheers.
Rob, 7th November 2009, 01:19
Nokia .. argh .. I upgraded the firmware on my N95, because it said it was better... "We recommend you backup first" "Did yo backup?" "tick here to confirm that you know we're going to trash everything on your phone...." ah, right , guess I better do that backup after all. So backup, flash, restore ... and it's lost several apps .. weird, random choice, too. ok, I can see why a slightly dodgy copied one might not work, but Nokia's own Internet Radio app? Why on earth not restore that? And dial up networking isn't working any more. ADT1 OK ADT12 OK ATD123 OK ATDT1234 ERROR what?!

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