So I got myself a used G1 from a local guy. The main reason for purchasing this phone was that I needed a quad-band GSM phone for my visits abroad. Then, I thought why not put a few more $$ and get a smartphone that I can use as a PDA when in the US (as I don't have/want a cell phone nor an active voice or data plans).

The 1st problem I encountered was that in order to turn on the phone, I had to activate it by registering my Gmail account. But, in order to get to that point, I had to overcome the "No SIM card" screen, and to activate the WiFi connection. I was able to use my foreign Sim to pass the first screen, and found instructions on the web for activating WiFi before registering Gmail. The problem is (or at least was at the time - a couple of months ago) that this method required the installation of the RC29 system version.

So, my question is - is there a readable walk through or tutorial that explains, step-by-step, what is required in order to upgrade my system to something more modern - without a local voice or data plans?

  • Is the screen asking you to register a google account not closeable? Did you try hitting the Back or Home buttons? On my phone, the register screen asks me to connect to WiFi when I don't have a SIM card. Did you try to register at least and see whether you were prompted for WiFi? Commented Jan 8, 2011 at 21:09
  • @Matthew Read - to be honest, I am not sure I remember the initiation sequence in 100% accuracy. I have been through this a long time ago, and now the phone is operable. However, I would like to update the system, and for this I will run into the problem again, hence the question. But I am pretty sure, however, that b/c of the Gmail registratio, which I could not normally bypass, I couldn't get to the wireless network settings.
    – ysap
    Commented Jan 9, 2011 at 13:58
  • I see. Do you know for sure that the update will erase your data? Most don't. The update might also eliminate this problem. Commented Jan 9, 2011 at 21:28
  • @Matthew Read - I don't care about erasing data, as I hardly have any on the phone. My concern is that the walkthrough that I found online for how to activate WiFi w/o a data plan (which is normally required for registering the Google account) says that the 1st step is to downgrade the firmware to RC29. Any later firmware will not work for this bypass. So it is kind of a loophole...
    – ysap
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 16:34
  • 1
    @Matthew Read - Thanks. If you make this an answer, I'll rep you ;-)
    – ysap
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 21:18

2 Answers 2


Most updates won't erase your data. The kernel and /system partition can usually be updated without the filesystem needing to be wiped, so your data folders aren't damaged. If the WiFi network data isn't erased, then your phone should connect to WiFi after the upgrade, and you're good to go. I can't find any info on what happens when upgrading to RC33, for example, but official updates usually don't wipe data. The update might also eliminate the No-SIM-so-you-can't-do-anything problem.


Thanks to @Matthew Read, the phone was updated. So, it happens that updating the firmware through the automatic updates popup does not erase the user data, which means that my WiFi definitions remained in the phones memory, and it connected to the network automatically, as well as maintained the Google registration information, once the update took place.

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