Converting Chinese HTC Touch Pro to English

WARNING: Changing the firmware on your HTC phone could cause it to become inoperable. A phone with changed firmware may not be eligible for warranty service. Any data on your phone will be erased! Make sure you follow directions carefully and never ever interrupt the firmware update until it is finished. I take no responsibility if this doesn’t work out for you.

So let’s say that you live in Taiwan and want to buy a fancy new HTC Touch Pro smartphone. You’ll quickly learn that in Taiwan you can only find the Chinese version of this phone. Importing a European version is expensive, plus you won’t get any contract signup discounts. US phones use provider-customized firmware that may not work correctly or optimally in Taiwan.

Don’t despair. There’s active communities of HTC enthusiasts who have extracted HTC firmware in English and other languages. It’s a fairly simple process to change the firmware on your phone, but the documentation is slim, so it’s difficult to know where to start. Here’s a simple guide on what you need to do. Each page referenced has additional information if you need more detail:

1 ) Download and install on your computer the English version of ActiveSync from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/help/synchronize/device-synch.mspx

2 ) Turn on your phone and connect the USB cable that came with the phone (aka the charging cable) between your phone and computer and set up the phone to sync. You don’t need to actually sync anything yet, you just need to get ActiveSync on your computer to say it is “Connected”.

3 ) Download to your computer and extract RaphaelHardSPL-Unsigned_1_90_3.zip from here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=410150. Normally you can only install ROM firmware versions intended for your version of the HTC Touch Pro. HardSPL will change the SPL firmware to allow any HTC Touch Pro ROM firmware to be installed.

4 ) Make sure your phone battery is more than 50% charged or the SPL and ROM firmware will not install.

5 ) Run RaphaelHardSPL-Unsigned_190_1_3.exe on your computer. Follow the prompts in the program to start the SPL upgrade. After the upgrade starts there may be an inquiry on your phone’s display asking permission to switch into the bootloader. Press “是” (yes). Do not do anything on your phone or computer until the installer says the process is completed and your phone has restarted. (Note that it says the firmware upgrade takes up the 10 minutes but the SPL is small so it will be much faster.)

6 ) Download to your computer RUU-Raphael-HTC-WWE-1.90.405.1-Radio-Signed-Raphael-CRC-52.33.25.17-1.02.25.19-Ship.exe from http://wiki.xda-developers.com/index.php?pagename=HTC_Raphael_WM6.1_ROMs. At this writing there are newer ROMs there but this one is the stable released version on shipping English phones. (In the future there may be a newer stable release.)

7 ) Run RUU-Raphael-HTC-WWE-1.90.405.1-Radio-Signed-Raphael-CRC-52.33.25.17-1.02.25.19-Ship.exe on your computer. The interface is similar to the SPL upgrade, but this upgrades the main ROM firmware. Again, do not do anything on your phone or computer until the installer says the process is completed and your phone has restarted. This firmware is very large so it will take several minutes.

8 ) When your phone restarts it’ll go through the install process just like a brand new phone. (Your dealer may have done this for you when you bought the phone.) It’ll take several minutes to install the OS and additional software, calibrate the display and setup your phone network settings.

9 ) Congratulations, your Chinese phone now speaks English.

83 thoughts on “Converting Chinese HTC Touch Pro to English”

  1. Sounds like you got a touch pro? kudos!

    This is going to be a candidate for my next phone, but the at&t version is going to suck and I’m not keen on sticking further with CDMA. Is it (reasonably) cheap available in tw?

  2. They came on the market here on Monday and I got mine on Tuesday. They currently go for around $25,000 without contract. I got one for $22,990 with a contract and will pay $775/mo for unlimited data. My plan has no voice minutes but I don’t use voice calls much. They also have a free 8gb MicroSD card for those who purchase before 9/30.

    I’m enjoying it a lot so far. This is my first Windows Mobile gear so I’m still getting used to basic things at the moment. The 640×480 res is kinda a mixed bag as many apps especially Java apps default to tiny fonts but there is usually a way to increase the size. But it does look really nice.

  3. Hey James where in taiwan can I buy a new touch pro that has already been modified with an english menu…I’m currently in Taiwan an would like to purchse one this comming weekend 10/10

    Hope you can help

    Morne

  4. Is there a way to convert an English HTC Touch Pro device to Chinese? I would like to use my UK device to read and input Chinese.

    Does anyone know the link to the Taiwanese/ SG ROM? Thanks

  5. The Chinese ROMs are harder to find. Usually you need to wait until there is an upgraded firmware released. If you just need to read Chinese then you can use Asukal’s e-China no. 5. If you want to read and input Chinese you can use the add-on program CE-Star (I bought this for mine).

  6. Hi! Thank you so much for your info. Just wondering do u receive any comments if any problem be arise so far? any chance will damage whole phone can’t use any more? seems risky.

  7. Thanks for the step-by-step tip!

    After you convert the firmware to the English version, will you still be able to type in Chinese without installing another software?

  8. No, if you want to input Chinese on the English version you’d have to install an IME. I eventually bought CE-Star which I thought was the best solution. There are a lot of free packages out there but I wasn’t really satisfied with their usability.

  9. James,

    Would you mind to mail me the file :1.90.405.1-Radio-Signed-Raphael-CRC-52.33.25.17-1.02.25.19-Ship.exe ?

    I try to download but fail, due to the ip problem, I am very appreciate if you mail me.

    Thank you very much

  10. Hi,

    Following this thread with some interest. My situation is the reverse of the one you’re discussing: I am about to buy a Touch Pro in the U.S. (on AT&T) & will take it to China for five months beginning in 2/09.

    I can get the phone unlocked from AT&T’s network at that time, but does anyone have a sense of whether I would need to upgrade firmware just to use the phone on the China Mobile network?? Obviously I would have a CM SIM card and data plan.

    I don’t need to know about reading Simplified Chinese — I’ll get CE-Star for that. I am worried that the phone simply will not work without a firmware upgrade.

    Any thoughts??

    — Joel

  11. Joel,

    The stock firmware will probably work in China, however US providers do make some customizations to their firmware so there’s always a small chance there will be an issue. If there is, then you should be able to install the UK firmware which is fairly generic. I’d give it a try first though; chances are it will work.

    Lill,

    This firmware will work only for HTC Touch Pro devices. Every HTC model has its own version of firmware (though sometimes one base model is known by several different names). The good news is that there is usually English firmware available for every HTC model on the same web site. Go to http://wiki.xda-developers.com/ and find your model, then click through to the model page and look for what firmware is available.

  12. Great, thanks!

    Don’t worry, I kept a text copy of these ROM instructions! Hope I don’t need them.

    My impression from the “Fuze” reviews is that AT&T did not customize much, and I have seen the device in person since my last comment, so I think that is probably true. If the AT&T add-ons don’t work in China I won’t lose sleep. 🙂

    Many thanks for the prompt response.

  13. Hi James, This great thanks. I have a bit of a variation on your problem. I have a Taiwan HTC Pro (in Chinese) that I want to use on the US TMobile network (in Englihs). Can I go through the process you described? Anything I need to watch out for?

    Thanks!

  14. The UK version will probably work fine on T-Mobile US. If you have any issues using their network with it then you could also try the AT&T US firmware located on the same page.

  15. i just bought htc touchpro here in china and they have to convert it to english. after they did this, the media player is not working properly and also explorer. so i have to use coreplayer(chinese version) and Opera browser. and i downloaded some themes in microsoft, and the background is not working. this really sux.. and im not at all techy.

    so im just wondering if i “reinstall” the windows6.1 english version, will this help with those problem?

  16. it seems xda is out at the moment, is there some mirror for those links you provided? i received it as a gift from tw and i like it… just, i can’t read a thing…

  17. This is just what i am looking for!! except i have touch viva… all in chinese… desparately want to change it to English, would this SPL also work for Viva?

    many regards,

    chris

  18. Each device usually needs its own firmware and associated utilities. While it is common for HTC to have one model with many names depending on who is selling it, the Viva is a completely model of phone and would need its own firmware.

    In general, for most HTC devices you would want to go here:

    http://wiki.xda-developers.com/

    Look for your device and click through to the device-specific page. Usually there is a link for original and modified ROMs. For newer models you may need to wait a bit before a release is available.

  19. hi there !
    i recently bought this HTC touch ELF0160 which im prolly sure is a clone because on its battery its written “HTG”, its an english version but when i start the phone something in chinese showsup and then the WM screen ! i just want this chinese language which appears in the starting to dissapear, if anyone here can help me , please

    regards
    X

  20. hi James,

    I hv a HTC touch pro, chinese version. If I followed the steps above to become english version, am I still able to read and type chinese?

    thanks in advance 🙂

  21. After conversion to English you will not be able to read or write Chinese on the phone.

    If you only need to read Chinese you can install the free e-china software:

    http://www.asukal.jp/English/LocalizeCABS.htm

    If you need to read and write Chinese there are some free IMEs but I was not satisfied with the quality and usability so I bought CE-Star. If you use CE-Star you do not also need e-china.

  22. It took me several hours but that was because I had to figure everything out.

    If you follow the procedure above it should take about half an hour (excluding downloading the files).

  23. Hi, James,
    Great to find your blog since I have been contemplating buying a HTC phone in Taiwan and bring it to US.
    I’m just wondering what the reason is to switch it to English version, if I still want to read and write Chinese? Is it because the Chinese version will not work with AT&T or T-mobile system? The only problem (in my limited knowledge) is that I’d like to sync the phone with my PC (which is in English). Please advice.
    Also, I assume in turns of hardware (WiFi, the data network), there is no compatibility issues between Taiwan and US?
    Thanks a lot!
    Caroline

  24. There should be no compatibility issue with the Chinese firmware. For me, English is my first language so I’m much more comfortable with the menus all being in English. If you are more fluent in Chinese than I am then there’s no reason to switch.

  25. Thanks. Do you think there will be problem if I sync a chinese version Touch Pro (or any other windows mobile phone) with my PC which is in English?
    On a side note, any other new HTC phone you think may top Touch Pro?

  26. I’m not sure, but my guess is it should be no problem to sync a Chinese phone with English OS.

    As for new phones, I haven’t watched recently since buying my phone, but I met a guy with a Touch HD that looked pretty nice. No keyboard, but the screen was very big.

  27. booss…i buy htc touch pro from taiwan…can this method working on my htc touch pro…..i want convert it to english language but i’m still fuze if i upgrade to english…does all function work correctly?i mean wifi or gps or another function work normally???can u give me url that contains new rom about htc touch por..coz i’m begineer about it…thx before…

  28. At this time I can only speak for the version mentioned in the procedure above. That one is currently the 7th version from the top. You can also consider HTC_Touch_Pro_RUU_Raphael_HTC_Europe_5.05.401.1_R_Radio_Signed_Raphael_52.58.25.30_1.11.25.01_Ship.rar which is the latest official update release, currently 4th from the top.

  29. If we follow the procedure that you have provided then I presume that we will not be able to receive any MS updates such as security updates and such. Is that correct? Thanks for the great work.

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