Unlocking and Flashing your ZTE Blade

If you like this guide, do consider using GiffGaff (subsidary of O2). You can request for a new sim by clicking on the following referrer link (it helps me too). Thank you!

This Unlocking ZTE Blade Orange San Francisco to Gingerbread 2.3 Guide is tested with Mac OSX. Windows also work similarly, please let me know about your experiences. Follow the instructions carefully. There are chances your phone might be bricked but so far i havent heard of such instances. Even though you will be able to unbrick your phone.

ZTE Blade (China) is known as Orange San Francisco (UK), Dell XCD35 (India), SAPO a5 (Portugal) or V880 ZTE. As of May 2011, the newer version of this model is out, called ZTE Skate also known as Orange Monte Carlo. ZTE blades now have gen1, gen2 or gen3 phones.
Popular List of Roms

  • SwedishSpring RLS 5 (Froyo 2.2) – Here Replaced with Swedish Snow RLS 7
  • Cyanmodgen (Gingerbread 2.3) – Here
  • Moldovan Mile-High-Mountain-Pie RLS9 (Gingerbread 2.3) – Here Replaced with Swedish Snow RLS 7
  • GSF Ginger StirFry (Gingerbread 2.3) – Here No longer maintained
  • Swedish Snow RLS 7 – Here

Part 1: Unlocking your phone (Orange San Francisco 1 NOT 2)

  1. Visit http://arrtoo.x10.mx/unlockBlade.php
  2. Get your imei number from the box (a long character) or dial *#06#
  3. Turn off phone
  4. Take off the base cap of the phone (flip phone over and use flat wooden/plastic ruler in the gap below, and slide to the right, and twist slowly)
  5. Take off battery and put in new sim from another mobile company
  6. Turn on and enter code (Do this carefully). Congrats

Part 2: Knowing which model you have

  1. Go to android marketplace and download the app “Ask Mr Pig Fish”.
  2. Run the app the find out if your ZTE Blade is Gen1 or Gen2 or Gen3
  3. Proceed if you are Gen1 or Gen2.

Part 3: Using Clockwork Mod Rom Manager

  1. Search for UniversalAndRoot.apk and copy it onto your SD card
  2. Use AstroFile (from google marketplace) and open UniversalAndRoot.apk
  3. Use UniversalAndRoot to root your mobile
  4. Search for Clockworkmod RomManager on google market place (logo looks like a hat) and install.
  5. Install the app and install clockworkmod to your mobile. (its the first option)
  6. Proceed to Part 4
  7. Download 2 files: (1) Stable update-cm….. (2) Google Apps for Cyangenmod 7
  8. Refer to http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/ (if you have problems)

Part 4: TPT install Method – (*upgrades Gen2 from Gen1)
– Option A:  TPT install Swedish Snow RLS7 (2.3.5) * Recommended

This is a mod out for ZTE Blade which is based on 2.3.5. Good reviews so worth considering.
  1. goto Swedish Snow Download
  2. download the RLS7 normal version image file.
  3. Unzip the file and you will find a folder named “image”
  4. Connect your mobile via usb to your machine
  5. Copy the image folder to the root of your mobile
  6. Turn off the phone
  7. Turn on the phone while holding the “+volume (side of your mobile)” and menu button
  8. Wait for it to do its job with the green text. and you are done. it will take about 4-5 minutes for all process to finish.
Some users might have to calibrate their proximity sensor. I did. If you go into your apps, you should be able to see a ZTE Emode Helper. Use ZTE Emode Helper to start engineering mode sensor calibration. Its the first one with loads of writing. Do the proximity sensor calibrate by placing your thumb on the ear set of the mobile.

– Option B: Changing Cyanmodgen (2.3) to Swedish Snow RLS7

If you have installed Cyanmodgen previously, you can switch to Swedish Snow. Some users feel there are odd problems with cyanmodgen such as mobile randomly turning off during charging or navigation. Swedishspring is your alternative. Its ongoing work from jellyfish.
  1. goto http://www.modaco.com/topic/350875-romgen2-swedish-snow-rls7-android-235/
  2. download the RLS7 normal version image file.
  3. Unzip the file and you will find a folder named “image”
  4. Connect your mobile via usb to your machine
  5. Copy the image folder to the root of your mobile
  6. Turn off the phone
  7. Turn on the phone while holding the “+volume (side of your mobile)” and menu button
  8. Wait for it to do its job with the green text. and you are done. it will take about 4-5 minutes for all process to finish.
For people who wants Spring (Older version of Snow)
Mirrors of Swedish Spring 81.7mb: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=WQIZ0GVN


– Why doesn’t the guide work on my San Francisco 2?
The guide is for san francisco 1. Not 2.
– Why doesn’t it boot into TPT when I hold volume up and menu button?
It just boots into the old version of mobile rom. This happens as your clockworkmod is too new. If you downgrade to it will work. 3.x.x.x should also work. After downgrade by going into RomManager options (scroll down to restore roms). You can resume using volume up and menu button.
If it still doesnt work, it might be that your SDcard does not have the folder /image in it. Some have report to have worked after formatting SDcard (which causes some problems)

– Why so some guides say hold volume down button?
Yes. holding volume down button and pressing power button once. Keep holding the volume down button until some text appears. This will bring you in the reset mode. You can then mount USB connection and copy xxxxxxx.zip files (images of the above) and then install it via the menu. Remember to wipe Dalvik Cache and Wipe Data.

– Can I use ClockWorkRomManager to update?
An interesting mod Ginger StirFry is out for ZTE Blade which is based on 2.3. Good reviews so worth considering. The following method is to update without TPT. It uses RomManager to update
  1. goto http://android.modaco.com/topic/342009-romgen2zte-gingerbread-ginger-stir-fry/
  2. download the RL5 normal version image file.
  3. place the downloaded image file in your root of SDcard
  4. Open clockwork rom manager and flash it with the new image file

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