April Fools 2011!

Every year, the internet takes it’s April Fools jokes seriously, and many have been hoaxed, or caught out in the past. There were two today that stood out for different reasons, one quaint, and decidedly obvious

YouTube’s pre technology videos are good for a laugh, but the clever prank today,
Hack to get early internal Mango update for your WP7


This was a really clever and well thought out prank from @longzheng and @walshie, and what’s really funny about this is that it is based on an actual workaround that is getting people the NoDo update. Walshie posted on his blog, and it also appeared at XDADevelopers, a hack to get the NoDo update early.

So, download this, deploy it, run Registry Editor and navigate to HKLMSystemPlatformDeviceTargetingInfo.  Change the MobileOperator key’s value to 000-88 (thanks Raf).

Press ok, now the next part is tricky, so you need to pay attention.

  1. Download this pbk and save it somewhere, you’ll need it later, and connect to the Hungary PPTP VPN.  Username & password is “demo”.
  2. Once connected, on your phone, navigate to the mobile network settings and leave it open.
  3. Plug the phone into Zune and get ready.
  4. Click Settings > Phone > Update, just let it fail the first time (by fail, we’re talking about the message saying you’re already up to date).
  5. Now, the trick is, once the phone has downloaded the cab file marker (takes about 1-6 seconds), turn off the “Data connection” and waitThe key to start the countdown timer, is to watch the 3G/H icon switching, it will change from 3G to H when it’s transferring, so once you’ve clicked on “update” in Zune, watch the icon switch and start your counting now then switch it off.
  6. Once zune has found the update, disconnect the VPN by relaunching that pbk file you saved earlier and click hang up.
  7. Now follow the prompts in Zune
  8. That’s it, Zune should have prompted you to install the March update.  If it still isn’t working, try #5 again.

What @ walshie and @lonzheng did was rewrite this hack a little bit for a joke, which was probably more effective on the windows phone team than the general public, but if you see it on Engadget or Gizmodo tomorrow, it’s a superlative effort. Why did it work so well, a little post over at PocketNow, that touts a supposed glimpse of the #WP7 Mango build. Taking advantage of the update angst that users are feeling was the key to this prank.

Some glimpses of a UI addition are all that we have at the moment, while still waiting for NoDo to fully roll out. but here’s how you may or may not get your Mango!

Without a further ado, the directions. Enjoy.

  1. Edit your HOSTS file under “%WinDir%\System32\Drivers\ETC\hosts
  2. Add an entry “updateservices.windowsphone-int.com updateservices.windowsphone.com
  3. Download USAIP and connect to any US-based VPN (ex. USAIP L2TP California)
  4. Use username “demo” and password “demo”
  5. Connect your Windows Phone 7 to the PC and start Zune
  6. Disable WiFi on the phone
  7. Open “phone” settings on the phone
  8. Manually search for an update within Zune
  9. After a few seconds (~15 seconds) disable data connection on the phone
  10. Enjoy the sweet juicy fruits of your labour

It will be interesting to see how many forum threads this generates over the weekend, but I salute the ingenuity of the ploy. If it wasn’t a joke???


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