You can flash an FTF in flash tool to restore your phone to stock without losing your data, but downloading from the firmware links can be a pain in the neck with slow downloads and also the firmware to restore your phone to stock may not even be available for your particular device due to branding, country, carrier etc.
You can flash using SUS (Sony Update service) and it will be much quicker plus your firmware will always be available but you will end up losing your data
After reading online i found you can download the official firmware for your specific device using SUS, package it into an FTF then flash through flashtool. And you can keep your data.
Most users may not know how to fully do this and your average noob is probably already lost and confused.
So i created this noobs guide with all you need to know
Stage 1 = Installation
Stage 2 = Getting files to create an FTF
Stage 3 = Creating FTF
Stage 4 = Flashing FTF
PLEASE FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY TO AVOID DATA LOSS
1. Flashtool . Latest version can be found here
2. Sony Update Service Direct link to download is here
3. JRE may be required if Sony Update Service doesn't install it for you, can be found here
4. LOCKED BOOTLOADER is required otherwise sony update service will reject your phone.
Currently there is no way to relock bootloader, if you are unlocked you will need to wait till we have a relock procedure
Stage 1 - Installation
Step 1. Install Flashtool using the installer file downloaded above, this should normally install in C:\Flashtool
Step 2. Install Sony Update Service, IT is better if you install it to the directory C:\Sony Update Service\
when it asks you where to install, This will make things easier and quicker when creating the FTF. and this is what i will refer to in this guide
*Step 3. Install JRE ONLY if Sony Update Service fails to install it or it does not run.
Stage 2 - Getting files to create an FTF
Step 1. Load up Sony Update Service, will ask you to accept license whenever you run it with some tips before you start, CLICK START
Step 2. Next it will ask you to connect your phone, Switch off your phone, Keep hold of volume down and plug your usb into the phone. Your phone LED will briefly flash Red then Green
Step 3. SUS will tell you, you are already up to date, Tick the box and Click install
Step 4. SUS will ask you to confirm data removal, and inform you all DATA will be lost, CLICK YES
NOTE: You will not lose your data if you click yes and then follow the rest of the instructions,
Step 5. SUS will start to download the official firmware for your device, it will not install anything to your device till it has finished downloading all the firmware,
MAKE SURE YOU KEEP AN EYE ON IT AS SOON AS IT HITS 100%, PULL YOUR USB OUT OF YOUR PC ASAP, RAPID, QUICK, FAST WHATEVER OTHERWISE YOU WILL END UP FLASHING FACTORY FIRMWARE AND LOSE DATA
If you pull it out before 100% the download will stop and you will have to follow steps 1 to 5 again, it will resume from where it left off.
At this point i pulled my USB OUT STRAIGHT AWAY ! BEFORE IT TRIED FLASHING MY PHONE
Your Download will be saved in your C Drive > Sony Update Service > DB > some numbers (mine was 13740270) > blob_fs
But at this point it is not in FTF and will need decrypting
Stage 3 - CREATING YOUR FTF
Step 1. Load up flash tool. Once it has opened, click Tools on the menu bar at the top THEN SUES/DECRYPT
Step 2. Click Browse and select your blob_fs folder we discussed above C: > Sony Update Service > DB> ####some number#### > blob_fs
This will show you 4 files, not sure if some might show more or less, but generally 4 on the left in Available files
Step 3. Click on each file then the arrow to send it to files to convert then click convert, Note if it is not doing anything be patient, Decrypting can take several minutes and it will not update you until each file is fully decrypted.
Step 4. Once it has decrypted, it will automatically bring up the Bundler. Give your FTF a name, Version and Branding, see how i named mine.
Move across everything EXCEPT LOADER.SIN from the folder list on the left to the firmware content on the right using the arrows.
If you include loader.sin then you get an error when flashing with flashtool and flashing aborts! this is why i have requested you do not move/include it
Step 5. Click create, a little box will pop up with devices, just double click on C660X SONY Xperia Z or press ENTER
Step 6. Flash tool will then create your FTF, It will automatically save it in C:\Flashtool\Firmwares and also whenever you load flashtool and flash in flashmode it will show you the one you created.
Stage 4 - FLASHING
Step 1. Load Flash tool if you haven't already done so and click the black lightning icon. Then make sure flash mode is checked and click ok.
Step 2. Click your firmware, this should show up by default, if it doesn't then browse to your firmware folder by clicking browse at the top
Step 3. UNTICK DATA & CACHE under wipe if you would like to keep your data
otherwise leave it ticked if you want to restore everything to stock and lose data as well
Step 4. Click Flash and then Flashtool will ask you to connect your phone in flashmode
Power off your phone if it is not already off, Hold Volume down button and then plug your USB in
Step 5.Wait for it to flash then disconnect your phone and boot, Note: keep hold of power button till it vibrates once then it should boot up.
I just recovered from a semi brick/bootloop while testing Krabappels recovery for locked bootloaders.
Successfully downloaded from Sony Update Service within 20 minutes, created the FTF and then flashed the phone without losing my data. Firmware links on the forum were showing 1 hour or more to download
Phone is back to normal and working with all my data and settings still there.
Don't forget to click thanks if this helped
As this is my first Xperia device i have worked on. (X10 was always stock) Credits go to: Androxyde, Bin4ry, Krabappel2458, DooMLoRD for all they have done and are doing!