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HOWTO: Change serial number and model number for HP IPAQ 6515

Technical, iPAQ, 777 words   Bookmark and Share

Disclaimer: This MAY void your warranty and could POTENTIALLY turn your IPAQ into a brick. I will not be responsible if you try this.

So we’re wondering why in the world do we need to change the serial number or IPAQ model number? Well many have found that after using custom firmware images such as the BigRom images, they tend to change your IPAQ’s serial number and model number to something else. These images are simply a dump of an IPAQ with customized features such as removing the IPAQ File store thus freeing up more memory. This applies to any of the HP IPAQ 6510 and 6515 and has been tested on my 6515e which thought it was a 6515a because of the bigrom hack.

Remember to backup all your data because you will most definitely lose them at the end of the process. Synchronize your data and do a Backup with Activesync.

Extracting the ROM from the IPAQ

The process is not as complicated as one would imagine thanks to the guys at HTC. You will need an SD card at least 256MB in size and an SD card writer.
These instructions are similar to http://en.pdamobiz.com/en/forum/PDAforum_posts.asp?TID=62&PN=1&TPN=1

  1. Kill ActiveSync (wcescomm.exe) by using task manager (Ctrl + Alt + Delete).
  2. Next send the IPAQ into bootloader mode by holding the power button, joystick button and using your stylus to press the soft reset.
  3. While the IPAQ is connected to the computer, fire up a terminal software such as Multi-Port/USB TTY (romupdate.exe(Local) or romupdate.exe(Alternate location))
  4. Select “WCEUSBSH00*” as a com port where * is the port number depending on which USB you connect to. There should only be one port that looks like that.
  5. Put the SD card into IPAQ. If your SD card is huge, you may want to consider formatting the SD card before dumping the ROM on it as it may corrupt the image when we attempt to flash it back on the IPAQ later
  6. Go to the romupdate terminal window, and hit enter and you should
    get a usb> prompt. You may have to hit enter more than once before it
  7. For dumping the IPAQ’s ROM (I believe it is only Windows CE Rom and Extended ROM) to the SD Card,

    USB> d2s

  8. Now you need to take the SD card out of the IPAQ and connect it to a computer via SD card reader/writer. Once the card is mounted on the computer, fire up a terminal or MS DOS prompt.
    For Linux/Unix systems, you can simply execute the following command,

    # cp /dev/mmc rom.nb1

    Where /dev/mmc is the sd card device as recongnised by the OS. Oh, you may need root privileges to do this.

    For Windoze, you need to get something like ntrw.exe to allow you to read raw data.

    c:\> ntrw.exe read rom.nb1 E:

    Where E: is the drive allocated to your SD card.

    Also note that as this a raw image, the size of the image will be the size of the SD card.

  9. Next you need a hexeditor software alter the extracted ROM. Simple google search should give you many free hexeditors available. Open the image in the hexeditor and carry out a search for “3600350031003500″ which is the hex value for “”

    NOTE: you can also carry out a search for 6510 if that is your model listed in the HP Asset Manager.

    AFAIR, there is only one occurrence of that pattern, and you can replace the alphabet after that to alter the model number or even change it to a 6510.

    To change the serial number simply do a search for the serial number listed in HP Asset Manager, and replace the numbers.

    NOTE: You replace existing characters and by no means should you add new characters.

  10. Save the image. Then using the same approach of extracting the image from the SD card, we now need to write the image into the SD card.

    For Linux/Unix systems, you can simply execute the following command,

    # cp rom.nb1 /dev/mmc

    Where /dev/mmc is the sd card device as recognized by the OS.

    For Windoze,

    c:\> ntrw.exe write rom.nb1 E:

  11. Once completed, pop the SD card back into the IPAQ. If it is still in Bootloader mode, it should say something like SD Download Sections=1 Press Power to start update.
  12. Now wait until the update has completed, reset the device and you should have your new model and serial.


1 comment

Comment from: georger [Visitor]  

can you please upload or send me a copy of the raw rom image ready for flashing for hp ipaq hw6515c to my email pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaase!!!!my ipaq is bricked and i have no usb cable and shipping the device is too expensive as im in Africa.please!!!#on ma knees# or tell me another way to do it that don involve usb cable..

13/06/11 @ 12:50

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Brinley Ang

Brinley Ang is a sysadmin, web dev, coder, geek boy, jedi knight fragger, caffine addict, deaf meloncholic and rockstar wannabe. Listens to the sex pistols and a wide assortment of heavy metal.

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