Lumia 800: Software Update via Zune (10th September 2012)
For a while my beloved smartphone has been notifying me about a new software update. It requires installing the Microsoft Zune software onto my beloved laptop, though.
These systems can be badly made monstrocities which I’d like to avoid. However, my nearly always reliable phone might benefit from what Microsoft calls: “Other quality improvements. Includes many other improvements to Windows Phone.”
So I’m going to give it a try. Dad says it worked wonders for the mobile data connection speed. Uninstalling the Zune software should be possible afterwards, if it annoys me.
First I clicked the Sign in link in the top right. I’ve gotten used to this helping personalise services from Microsoft – something that’s hard to do but they’re doing it well.
Next I click the pink Sign up and download now button. This prompts me for my Windows Live password, which I check in the list Firefox saves:
- Click Tools > Options menu.
- Click Security tab.
- Click Saved Passwords… button.
- Click Show Passwords.
- Click back into the Search box.
- Search for live.
- This immediately texts me a code. (An unexpected noise at 12:18am while Fiona is asleep in the next room!)
- It has 7 digits which is easy enough to type in.
- Takes a few seconds for it to move off that page, then a couple of seconds at a blank screen, then I arrive at a my account page.
Setting My Place Loses My Place
The page is set to United States at the bottom. Not really a problem but as some phone things are specific to carriers and continents, I want it to be correct. So I click Internation since that’s the only link near it, which gives a bit list of regions. One of them is United Kingdom (English) so I click that.
This dumps me back at the homepage, breaking whatever sequence of steps I was being led through in order to get the Zune software!
I click the Back button twice as that’s the only way I feel sure will take me back to the process I was going through. Happily it does bring me back to the my account page, displaying United States as before.
Nothing on this page tells me how to download Zune software.
That’s the whole reason I just signed up.
I hover over Products in the main navigation and a dropdown menu shows ZUNE SOFTWARE as the top item. I click that and get a similar page that I had originally.
This time the buttons about signing up are replaced by rainbow text and a Download now button. Finally!
Commence the Download
I click the Download now button but the page reverts to the version which asks me to Sign up and download now. But I just signed up! And it didn’t let me download straight after doing that!
I click Sign up and download now and then notice a pink bar appeared across the top of the promtions area, saying something about region mis-match. Expletives deleted!
I click the Back button and set my language from within the pink bar, then click OK.
This dumps me back at the homepage again.
I click on Get the Zune software which is numbered and highlighted, as if that’s the step I’m already on. (This is what I had to do to find the first link I gave in this article.)
Guess what? The page it takes me to doesn’t have the rainbow text. It has the Sign up and download now button again.
So I click that again and it goes straight to my account. I hover over products and click ZUNE SOFTWARE. Now I got the rainbow text and no pink bar about reasons. So, with bated breath, I click Download now.
Guess what? Rainbow text goes away and it shows the Sign up and download now button yet again!
Better Things To Do
This is when I gave up trying to get Zune software. Stupid, stupid, stupid user experience before even I get to try the software.
One Last Try
After a few minutes I notice that the text around buttons might just be badly written. The first explanation says “the Zune software” while the text for the other button says “the free Zune software”.
This made the think the second one was a lesser version of the software. Why else would they be named differently and why would one require signing up while the other did not?
So I tried clicking Download now (you know, the one without the rainbow text) and Firefox tells me the download size would be 101MB. That certainly can’t be a cut-down version! So I save it:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Zune\ZuneSetupPkg.exe
Why does the filename say
Pkg? (Obvious to nerds that’s short for package but to anyone else I wager it means nothing.)
Slow to Install
So far so bad. After one of the all-time undersized terms and conditions windows, it continues to one of the slowest installs I’ve seen on this machine.
Really hope updates over the air become available for my phone so I won’t have to do this again.
It Gets Worse
It adds an unwanted icon to my desktop. Only the Recycle Bin lives on my desktop. I could probably turn that off but it’s a useful reminder.
starts with a message about features in Zune have changed since the last time I ran it and that I should restart it. Or restart my computer…it didn’t display long enough for me to read it carefully.
That message fades away and I get a WELCOME TO ZUNE window. While typing this up I left the screen unattended for a while. It then showed a fairly old-school Yes/No information message box on the otherwise non-standard interface asking if the screen was displayed correctly.
Given how hard my laptop fan is blowing when I’m just looking at some text with 2 buttons and 1 link, plus this message, I guess they have a lot of problems with this screen being slow to respond!
It’s not a great story so far.
No Way Out
There is no close button on the window. Nowhere. So if that previous message needed me to restart anything, the program can’t do what it asked me to do. WHAT?!
Whatever…there’s a Start button so I’m going to click that.
The next page asks me to select some artists I like. Thankfully there’s a SKIP button, so I click that.
Ah, now I see the message saying “FEATURES HAVE CHANGED”. Now I have time to read it also says: “Please restart the Zune software to see the new features.” Which still doesn’t make sense, as I never used this program before so there’s nothing for it to have changed from.
Whatever. I click OK to the message then press the top-right X to close the program. It closes quickly, so I go straight to the Start menu and Zune is highlit at the bottom. So I click that and it starts right away.
That’s more positive. Except it’s telling me “welcome” again, this time in a popup which I can see around but which doesn’t have a close button.
Oh wait, once my mouse gets on the window I realise the thing scrolls horizontally in the opposite direction to mouse movement. That brings things to either side into full view.
Plug It In
I use the USB data and charging lead for my phone to connect it to the laptop.
The taskbar system tray tells me it is installing software. A few seconds later it tells me “NOKIA Lumia 800” and that the “Device driver software installed successfully.” Good.
Also, the Zune window has changed to a Windows Phone screen, taking to me about “START” and “NEXT STEPS MIGHT INCLUDE”.
I click Next and then Next again, since it alread detected a sensible name for my phone.
It now checks for updates and finds something – just as I wanted. (At some point during this the fan noise died down to normal.)
“UPDATE YOUR PHONE”
Some interesting details it gives are:
Available update: Update for Windows Phone (
THIS PROCESS WILL INSTALL ALL AVAILABLE UPDATES AND COULD TAKE ANYWHERE FROM 30 MINUTES TO SEVERAL HOURS, DEPENDING ON THE NUMBER OF UPDATES.
- Adds features related to SIM card contacts. You can now export phone contacts to a SIM card and selectively import SIM card contacts to your phone.
- Includes many quality improvements to Windows Phone.
The random spacing between elements, use of fake list bullets and uppercase bold for a message about ways the software will inconvenience me are actually quite shocking. Please rewrite using the effective and well defined Windows tone of voice.
Details aside, I click UPDATE NOW as that is the purpose of this exercise.
- Heavy fan noise.
- Downloading updates.
- Still heavy fan noise but happens fast.
- STEP 6 OF 10: RESTARTING YOUR PHONE …
- After the phone restarted, the taskbar system tray started ballooning about installing device software again.
- STEP 7 OF 10: CREATING A BACKUP …
- This took at least 1 minute. Slowest step so far.
- STEP 8 OF 10: INSTALLING UPDATES …
- This took at least 2 minutes. A percent complete readout was conspicuous by its absence. Maybe this is the half hour to several hour part? I make a cup of tea.
- STEP 9 OF 10: RESTARTING YOUR PHONE …
- This went fast.
- STEP 10 OF 10: COMPLETING UPDATES …
- This was after about 20 minutes.
It finished! But after that it started a new step, without a number: Checking for addiotional updates.
This seemed to find something and triggered another 9-step update process! Whiole glancing at my phone it had said success! to me, then changed to a different message, then said goodbye while the Zune software restarted it at the new STEP 6 OF 9.
This took a long time. But after 50 minutes in total, the Zune software told me SUCCESSFUL UPDATE and my phone again told me Success!
I clicked close on the phone and got a blank screen. I clicked FINISH in Zune and it took me to a light theme instead of a dark theme, now showing a picture of a Lumia 800 (in the wrong colour) and telling me it had synchronised the phone.
The last screen told me I could disconnect the phone. I used the taskbar system tray to Eject it like any other USB device. BUt it told me Problem Ejecting USB Composite Device. I clicked OK as that was the only button.
Turn Down the Sync
In the Zune software I clicked VIEW SYNC OPTIONS. A plethora of options lay before me. My fan was spinning up like mad again, as it had done through most of the update cycles for the phone.
The phone just stayed blank, even after pushing some of the touch buttons below the screen. So I clicked STOP SYNC in Zune software. My phone had gone to sleep so I pushed the power button and saw the lock screen, with the right wallpaper and a calendar event.
But swiping past the lock screen just gave a blank screen, apart from time and charging indicator.
After much fruitless searching through the Zune software and the help online, with my fan still working hard, I clicked the top-right X to close Zune. (Although I did find a handy explanation of Windows Phone system tray icons.)
Within seconds my fan speed halved. A little while later it was silent, which is the normal volume for it.
Ejecting my phone now worked. Unplugged it but still a blank screen.
“Turn it off and on again”
As immortalised by The IT Crowd, this workaround to technology problems was the only place left to me. I powered down the phone, waited several seconds, then powered it up again.
The result? My start screen was back! Within a second the phone live tile told me it had found vodafone UK. Other things soon filled in, such as the big Calendar tile.
From Start I swiped to the apps list, clicked Settings and then About. This opened the SETTINGS about page and I clicked the more information button:
- OS version:
- Firmware reviosion number:
That’s the one! We’ll see how it goes from here. Definitely want to get rid of the Zune software this week, if the phone seems OK.
Uninstalled Zune (10th September 2012)
Phone is working fine. Zune software doesn’t fit in with Windows GUI conventions. It’s needlessly heavy on GPU.
The uninstaller ran quickly and politely with very few steps. A redeeming farewell, at least.