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How to Update the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc to Android 4.0.3 ICS

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

While many of the newer and more popular devices are getting an Android 4.0 ICS treatment these days, the older flagship models of the top manufacturers seem to be almost completely forgotten by their makers. This is also the case with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc, the device that was once the cutting edge of the former joint venture. But unlike the other major manufacturers out there, Sony has decided it will update its former flagship to Android 4.0 ICS, but has not released a specific date when it will do so. This article is going to provide an easy to understand guide that contains all the steps that need to be taken in order to safely update the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc with the Android 4.0 ICS firmware originally made for Xperia Arc S. Please note that this is not an official update, but a modified version of one.

Even if this is update is at its origin an official kit of software, it was not specifically designed for the Xperia Arc, so we would like you to read our disclaimer notice before going any further: This software is not our creation so we must warn you that you cannot hold us responsible for any damage that might occur to your device by following the procedures in this guide. However, we will try to help you sort out any glitches or problems that might arise by following the steps in this guide to the extent our knowledge limits us. Proceeding any further into this guide means that you have read and accepted the notice above.

Other than this you should rest assured as this update has been tested to work on numerous occasions and even if the software does still have some minor bugs, they will be solved in future versions. It is also worth mentioning that the Android 4.0.3 ICS version for the Xperia Arc comes without any root access, but we will be covering that particular aspect in the very near future.

There are also some requirements that must be met before attempting the updating procedure. These requirements are here because they represent the minimum safety precautions you should take in order to avoid any unnecessary complications so please follow them carefully:

  • The first crucial requirement is that your Xperia Arc must be charged to 70% or even to full battery capacity in order to prevent it from accidentally powering off during the rooting procedure.
  • Another very important aspect that needs your attention is the one regarding the disabling of any antivirus or other security related software on your computer. These tools tend to interfere with the updating software so it is better to turn them off during the procedure.
  • You will also need to enable the USB Debugging setting that you can find by going to Settings -> Applications -> Development -> USB debugging. And while you are at this you should also make sure that you have the original USB cable that came with your Xperia Arc.

The next important part in our guide covers the backing up part of your personal data. As with any update, it is always better to have a copy of your belongings if something goes wrong. We have made a short list of third party apps and procedures that will help you backup all your personal data as well as restore it once the update is complete:

  • Text messages – We will back them up with the following application : SMS Backup & Restore
  • Phone Contacts –  You can simply synchronize them to your Gmail account or export them to the micro SD card as a .vcf file
  • Call Log – We will use the following application to backup your call log : Call Log Backup and Restore
  • Pictures, Music, Videos, and other files – Simply copy them to your microSD card.
  • Internet & MMS Settings – Write down all the settings from this path “Applications > Settings > Wireless and Network > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names”

After all of these precautionary measures it is not time to move on to the actual updating process. You should follow the steps below with maximum caution and attention as even the slightest mistake might result in a bricked smartphone. We have tried to make the procedure as straight forward as possible, but it is not one that should be attempted by new users:

  • We will begin by downloading two things to your computer: the Flashing Tool and the Update File.
  • Next you will have to download the Generic Nordic Version of Android 4.0.3 ICS for the Xperia Arc S to your computer. The version is codenamed 4.1.A.0.562 and this is the one that we will be flashing onto your Xperia Arc.
  • After you have downloaded the 4.1.A.0.562 firmware you will have to move the .ftf file found inside the firmware to C:\Flashtool\firmwares\
  • The step involves opening the Flashing Tool application and clicking on the Lightning bolt symbol. This will open up a menu where you will have to select the flash mode radio button.
  • In this next step you will have to select the firmware you want to flash from the left window. The correct version is named LT18_4.1.A.0.562_NCB and after selecting it you will have to tick the following boxes: Wipe User Data, Wipe Cache and No Final Verification Check. The screen shot below will give you an example of how to select the correct settings:
Flashing Tool Settings

Flashing Tool Settings

  • The 6th step is the one where you will have to power off your Xperia Arc and reboot it into Flash Boot Mode. The easiest way to do so is to press and hold the Back Key while connecting the Xperia Arc to your computer with the original USB cable.
  • After connecting the Xperia Arc with your PC you will see that the Flashing Tool will prompt you to start the updating process, so please press the OK button to do so.
  • The last step is the one where you will have to wait for the updating process to finish, and you will know it has done so when the message “Flashing Finished” will appear on your screen. When it does appear you will have to disconnect the smartphone from your PC and wait for it to restart.

If everything went according to plan you should have an Xperia Arc running Android 4.0.3 ICS, and you can check if it is indeed the right software version by going to Settings -> About Phone and looking for the 4.1.A.0.562 code. This code is the one associated with the ICS update.

If, on the other hand, you run into any sorts of trouble you should follow the guide again and make sure you select the right options. If you still can’t get it to work after doing this leave us a line in the comments section below.

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