Set date and time error unlocking a Windows Phone

Scenario - local phone dev in Tampa has a Nokia 520. He's developed an automation type system using the Windows Phone APIs and wants to developer unlock his 520 so he can deploy his app. When he runs the Windows Phone Developer Registration tool, he gets a message that he must -set the correct date and time on the phone to proceed-. But the correct date and time are set already! WTH?

I've probably unlocked or helped folks unlock hundreds of dev phones. This isn't that hard. The requirements are simple - dev account and an phone connected to the computer. Run the program. Yet the 520 won't unlock. I check and double check everything. Heck, I even relock and unlock my Nokia 925 to make sure all the connections are good. And I've unlocked my 520 before so I know its not a 520 issue.

Solution - So finally, I put the Nokia 520 onto the wi-fi. And it unlocks. I didn't tell you the Nokia 520 had a SIM in it that didn't have a data plan. I also reproduced this situation on other Windows Phones that didn't have any SIMs in them at all.

Moral of the story - Once I put the phone on an internet connection I could unlock it.

Widnows Phones without SIMs or Internet connections? Oh my. Not as unreasonable as you think. My customers scenario - they were looking for a cheap bluetooth enabled device with great programmability they could use for some automation projects. A $69 Nokia 520 fits this bill quite well. Hard to reproduce all the capabilities that come in a Nokia 520 or 521 with any other device at that price point. If only we had kiosk mode - sigh.

I've also seen people picking up 520/521s to use as Zunes or a fruit-company type music device. The 520/521s allow for an external memory card to be used. They have a GPS and a camera. You can put music, games and podcasts on them. Seems like a winner to me.

I also know a number of people who picked up the 520/521 for testing 512meg app scenarios. This is the hottest selling Windows Phone in the world. At $59-$79 (when on sale) its a very affordable dev device to have in your bag. And most of those devs would not get an extra SIM card for the 520/521. And in many scenarios, the phone might not be on the wifi when trying to unlock it. As happened to us.

Full text of error message reproduced here in hope the SEO gods will bless and bing empower its stickiness for some other developer out there. 

Developer Phone Registration 
 This tool unlocks your phone for debugging and testing Windows phone apps. 
To use this tool you must have the following: 
o A current developer account 
o The Microsoft ID and password associated with your developer account available 
o A Windows Phone that is connected to your computer, powered on, and screen unlocked. 

For more information about registering as a developer, see Registration Info. 

Status: Error communicating with the Windows Phone Dev Center. 
Please set the correct date and time on the phone, 
check the Internet connection on device and try again later (ErrorCode: 0x64)