Uninstalling the i-Select Options on Your Nortel Vista 350

This will remove any phone company's installed options, restoring the Vista 350 to the manufacturer's default.

The Problem :

If you are like me, then you own a Nortel Vista 350. I was a Bell Canada customer, and had a number of their i-Select services installed on my phone [Financial Services, Electronic Phone Book, Email Access, etc.].

If you're with some other phone company, these options may have come pre-installed. With Bell, you phone a special number, and the services are installed via the Vista350 internal modem.

At some point I was fed up with Bell and switched to Sprint. After I switched, I noticed that the I-Select services were still being displayed on my screen phone. There were ads for Sympatico High Speed, Bank Access offers, and Trivia Information, and other advertising that was constantly displayed.

I called Bell asking how to remove these advertisements and services and was told that because I was no longer a Bell Canada customer they couldn't help me. I called Sprint and they told me that this was Bell support issue, and they wouldn't know how to help me.

A bit of Technical Background :

I am not an electronics technician [I'm a web designer], but I do have a basic understanding of how various computer / electronic systems work, and so I applied this the my Vista 350. When I installed the options I called a phone number that connected to a modem (yes, there's a modem built into the Vista 350) that displayed a number of options into my phone. There is no uninstall routine.

Unplugging the phone and plugging it in again does not reset it (as you probably have already discovered). This means that the installed applications (options) are being kept in RAM (memory) by a battery. The trick is to disconnect the battery which will clear the RAM, and then reconnect it to reset the BIOS (Basic Input Output System) to its original defaults.

This is not a complicated procedure. I have laid out the instructions as clearly as possible, so that even someone with no electronics background can do this. Unfortunately, there is no other way that I know of to reset your phone.

This is how you do it.

Instructions :

1. You will need three tools: a Philips (cross) screw driver, and an Exacto or Swiss-Army knife, and some non-conductive tape.

2. This is your swanky, but screwed up Vista 350 phone. Place it under some good lighting to work on.

3. Slide the display unit out to the right. There are no screws or anything holding it in place, but it might be a bit tight the first time you pop it out

4. This is a self contained unit. The Ram, Bios, and battery are contained within. They were designed modularly by Nortel, so that they could be serviced or upgraded, simply by swapping display units.

5. Flip it over, and unscrew the four philips screws on the back.

6. Remove the back plate. Be careful, there is a single plastic flange that also holds the back plate on. Try not to break it.

Once the back is removed, there is no need for further dissasembly. DO NOT FLIP IT OVER or all the components will fall out of place. Trust me, they are a real pain to put back together.

7. In the top right corner is the battery. It looks kind of like a watch battery. It is soldered on at two points on either side of the battery.

8. Slip your knife down between the arm of the circuit connection, and the face of the battery.

9. Carefully cut the soldering points, to separate the circuit arm from the battery.

This only needs to be done on one side of the battery, not both.

10. Bend the arm of the circuit connector away from the battery just slightly.

The goal here is just to disconnect the battery for a just few seconds to clear the cache in the RAM.

Whatever you do, don't break the arm off, that will require some soldering, and for that, you're on your own.

If you're nervous about breaking the connector, It's not really vital to bend the arm, you could just slip a piece of paper in there, as long as it breaks the circuit.

11. Once your done, bend the arm back and tape it together [with non-conductive tape]. Just make sure the arm is firmly reconnected.

I recommend electrical tape because once it sets, it slowly tightens, making the connection firmer.

I used scotch tape because I was in a pinch.

12. Replace the back plate and screw it back on firmly.

You may want to hold it up in the air beforehand and check that none of the buttons have shifted out of place before screwing it in tight.

13. Slide the display unit firmly back into place. You should here it lock into place.

If everything went well, the functions should be reset, your options / i-Select / advertising crap you should be deleted, and this message should be displayed on your phone.