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Some Samsung Omnia 7 phones getting bricked by Windows Phone 7 update

Microsoft's new update to the Windows Phone 7 software appears to be turning some Samsung Omnia 7s into paperweights, but the company says it's working on a solution.

Microsoft has pushed out a minor update to its Windows Phone 7 OS that appears to be bricking some (but not all) Samsung Omnia 7 smart phones. Amid concerns from users, Microsoft has provided details of how to fix the problem, while promising a new, working update within a few days.

MobileCrunch explains that according to angry tweets from users in the US, some people trying to install the update on the Samsung Focus (as the Omnia 7 is known there) have been encountering a 'Restoration Error' just over halfway through the update process.

"An error prevented the restoration of your phone to its previous version. Your phone can't be used in its present condition and there are no restore points for it on this computer," explains the worrying on-screen message. "The phone might restart and return to normal if you disconnect it. For further assistance, contact your mobile operator."

Gulp. Microsoft has moved quickly to offer instructions on how to fix the borked phones, while promising a new update. "While we continue to investigate the issue, we would ask that you not attempt the update until your device alerts you of another update opportunity, in approximately three days' time," says its email to users, as reported by the::unwired.

That site also has the instructions for unbricking phones. Users are advised to disconnect their handset from their PC, pull the battery out, then put it back in and turn the phone on, so it can reboot into the 'OSKernal'. If that doesn't work, the advice is to perform a full hard reset to factory default, although presumably that means you'll lose settings and data.

The update in question is actually fairly minor, preparing the way for a bigger update in the coming weeks which will add more features. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer demonstrated several of these during his Mobile World Congress keynote, including multitasking, integration with the Kinect controller for Xbox 360, better Twitter support and Internet Explorer 9.