FIXED! Sprint ATIV S Neo Developer Preview 8.1 Unable to Activate after Reset

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There has clearly been an issue with Windows the Phone 8.1 Developer Preview and CDMA phones. The issue was discovered a while ago, but it wasn’t an issue you were aware of, typically, until it was too late. My issue was that, after having to “factory default” my phone, it refused to properly reactivate with my carrier, Sprint. I had texting and voice calls, but no data or picture messages. Some research suggested the APN data just needed to be filled in, but calling Sprint resulted in being told that they don’t give out APN information because they provision over NAI, and their support forum was painfully not supportive.

Complaints aside, there is a way to fix this. The biggest thank you for this goes to Benito Sifuentes, he linked to the files necessary for this fix.

On your computer, follow the instructions for disabling Driver Signing in Windows 8/8.1 (there is a bookmark file included in the download to take you to the same page – if for any reason it stops working, contact us using the comments below and we’ll even include instructions for this if necessary!). Once disabled, or if you have Windows 7, you will be prompted to “Continue Anyway” at some point during the installation of SamsungUSBDriver.msi.

From here on out, follow these simple step-by-step instructions!

  1. Download and extract all of the files in the SprintATIVSNeoFix.rar (using WinRAR) file to a folder on your computer (on the desktop makes it easiest to find).
  2. Install the SamsungUSBDriver.msi.
  3. Power off your phone.
  4. Hold the Volume Up + Camera Buttons, then press the Power Button to power on the phone. Continue to hold Volume Up + Camera buttons until the “Download Mode” screen appears.
  5. Plug the Phone in to your computer via USB cable. You may see the Windows “Device Setup” Window appear. Allow it to finish, it may take several minutes.
  6. Run the flasher program, which is the red icon from the downloaded folder, WP8_SMD_binary_USB_Downloader_Ver._3.47.exe.
  7. In the lower left, click the yellow colored folder and browse to the SPH-I800_VPUAMG6_R folder inside the extracted files. Double click the only “.wp8” file in the folder. Allow the checksum process to complete, depending on your computer, this may take a few minutes.
  8. In the lower left, click the green colored folder and browse to the SPH-I800_VPUAMG6_R folder inside the extracted files. Double click the only “.csc” file in the folder. Allow the checksum process to complete, this one will be much faster.
  9. All other boxes that currently say “NONE” can be left alone.
  10. As long as the Device Setup process was allowed to complete, everything should be ready for you to click “Start” near the dead center of the flasher program. Click Start. You will see animations in the “Channel Information” boxes begin to move around, and the screen on the phone will also reflect progress.
    • note: if the start button does not allow you to click on it, that means it hasn’t detected the phone in download mode. First, ensure you didn’t skip step 4. If it still doesn’t work, view the comments below this post for an alternative driver to try.
  11. This will take several minutes, but the progress bar on the bottom of the phone or in the upper left of the flasher should make gradual process. It will reach 100% multiple times. The phone will reboot, and Windows may make the sound of the device disconnecting, but DO NOT unplug the USB cable at any point during this process, or you will risk completely bricking the phone.
  12. Allow the phone to reboot. Eventually you will reach the activation screen. At this point it is safe to unplug the USB cable if you wish. My phone actually reported failing the activation process, but features which were not working before, such as 3G Data connectivity, were finally working again!
  13. From here, my phone worked like it used to, everything was back to normal. At this point I will be searching for OTA updates from Sprint, and, personally, I’m not planning to reinstall the Developer’s Preview. At least not until I get some sort of confirmation that it’s a little more CDMA friendly.

Please post feedback and questions in the comments below. It took me days to find this solution and piece together something that worked, but I’m glad to say it’s finally working.

11 thoughts on “FIXED! Sprint ATIV S Neo Developer Preview 8.1 Unable to Activate after Reset

  1. I do not recommend disabling driver signature enforcement on Windows regardless of the reason. Unsigned drivers are drivers not fully tested, and you’re exposing the Kernel to not-fully-tested code by following these steps exactly.

    Besides, when I reset my own phone, the unsigned driver set didn’t even work on Windows 7 32-bit. It failed to recognize the phone in download mode.

    Instead, I used the signed driver set available with the Samsung Kies package, available from Samsung’s ATIV S Neo support page. When I installed Kies I selected the option to install non-Android drivers, but I didn’t actually use Kies. Instead I used the SMD tool NuAngel refers to in the screen shot.

    Aside from the different driver selection, these instructions work, and because of the different driver selection it also works on Windows 8 64-bit without disabling driver signature enforcement.

    Don’t compromise your PC just because you’re frustrated with your cellular carrier.

  2. gordonfatpanam I actually had the exact opposite experience.  The Driver included with Kies did not work for me – but the unsigned driver did work for me.  I tested the Kies driver on Windows 7 64-bit, but I used the Unsigned driver on Windows 8.1 64-bit.  You mentioned having 32-bit, so I wonder if that may have something to do with it.

    Either way, I wouldn’t be worried about an unsigned driver.  Unsigned simply means that Samsung did not ship the driver off to Microsoft for additional testing and certification (which costs Samsung a lot of money).  It doesn’t mean that it’s unfinished or in any way dangerous, you can be certain Samsung rigorously tests their software before they distribute it.  It can be downloaded directly from Samsung’s website, which is what I did in this case. But if anyone doesn’t trust my download link, they are free to download them directly from Samsung:

    Also, as there are most likely people in similar situations to either one of us, for anyone who needs it: here is a download link to the driver installer included with Kies 2.6:
    Again, I simply extracted this from Kies, but if anyone doesn’t trust me, you are welcome to visit Samsung and install Kies directly.  As you can see from my website, though, I’ve been at this “helping people” thing a long time, I hope it’s pretty obvious I’m not out to get anyone! 🙂

  3. Thanks for all of your help.  I greatly appreciate it.  For the life of me I can not get the Start buttoned darkened.  I have tried both drivers listed.  The one in your instructions above as well as the Kies drivers.  Neither is working. 

    I tried to install the Windows Phone Desktop App just to see if I could find a way to get my computer to see my phone but that did not work either.

    Tried a different computer as well just to make sure it wasn’t the machine causing problems.

    Is there a setting in the Windows Phone I need to enable.  I must be missing something. 

    Any help woudl be greatly appreciated!

  4. CTLong1079 No setting in the phone should have to be changed.  Android would require you to enable “USB Debugging” or similar settings, but this Windows Phone should take right off.

    -Does the Windows Device Manager on your computer see it?
    -Does it give it a name?
    -Same goes for the “Device and Printers” menu – it should show your phone, does it?
    -Does the phone “charge” while plugged in to the USB port (verifies connection / good cable).
    -What version of Windows do you have? (XP, Vista, 7, 8? 32 or 64-bit?).

    If it does currently show up under either device manager or Devices and Printers, try right clicking and uninstalling it, then reinstalling using one of drivers?

  5. NuAngel CTLong1079 
    Widnows Device Manager does not see the phone when I connect via USB.    
    Device and Printers also does not see it.  Not sure why. 
    I have tried on both Windows 7 64-Bit and Vista 32-Bit.  
    The phone does charge while plugged into the USB.  It seems to make a good connection and I tried multiple USB cables just in case.  

    Thanks so much for your help.  I am tremendously grateful!

  6. CTLong1079 If you plug your phone in to the Windows 7 computer, and click on the hardware icon in the task bar (lower right, by the clock, usually looks like a USB plug), does it show that it is even trying to install the device? I’m shocked that device manager doesn’t show it – it doesn’t even show an “Unknown Device” or anything like that?
    Unsure why Windows wouldn’t detect it as an unknown device that you could then apply drivers to?  Strange.  I wonder if you may have an antivirus program that doesn’t allow unrecognized USB devices (as a security precaution)?  Or maybe you need to go into the BIOS and enable Legacy USB Support (not positive that it’s necessary, but could be worth a shot?).

    Microsoft also provides this:
    Windows Phone 8 is not detected by your computer

  7. NuAngel 
    I’m not able to get the Start button to enable.  I’ve tried both drivers on Win 8.1 Pro with no luck.  Under Devices + Printers the USB Driver shows up when I plug the phone in but under the Unspecified heading.  Any ideas as to what else to try?

  8. buosc With 8.1 Pro (that’s what I used) you should be able to use the drivers inside the big zip I uploaded (the one that has the image file, etc…).  But FIRST, make sure you disable driver signing, or else it won’t detect the driver and assign it to the phone when you plug it in:

    Also, make sure you put the phone in “download mode” (the colorful bars screen) (step 4).

  9. buosc NuAngel

    Having the same issue, I am on windows 10. Wonder if that is the issue or some newer 8.1 update on the phone itself is causing the issue. I was able to update it before about a year ago on windows 8.1

  10. lothear buosc I haven’t tried this on Windows 10 (my ATIV S Neo met an unfortunate fate on a dirt road while camping, just a week or two after my PC upgrade to Win10), so I’m not sure.  But if anything, I would assume it’s still got something to do with driver-signing not being fully disabled.  Windows 10 is definitely heavy-handed about security.

  11. Greetings from Ukraine , I need your help , I have Ativ S Neo, which restarted after the camera , I set to it that the firmware and now it works only in the CDMA, please tell me how to turn the phone back to GSM if possible.Thank you

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