Welll....... an update.
After discovering a program called DFS
, I installed the free 126.96.36.199 version, upgraded for free to 188.8.131.52 and was able to put in the correct MEID for my phone.
I then went back for another use of the KP500 utility to flash the stock ROM. After re-flashing, it gave me the Cricket screen and then went into a loop on the Android screen. I rebooted the phone holding home + vol down + power on until the phone reinstalled fully.
I was able to boot back to the stock rom, used the provisioning code ##626* to get my phone into provisioning mode, put my correct MIN and MDN in, and boom -- service restored.
I have since reinstalled CM7 and it runs beautifully. I have not tried to install the Plague Kernel from PlayfulDroidz Wiki, wanted to get opinions before doing so.
This huge headache seems to have been caused by a failing Micro SD card (which still won't let me delete, alter or format no matter what I try). I'm not sure how but I got stuck in the Fastboot mode and couldn't get out of it, and I spent hours trying to fix the problem.
Thankfully, I read LOTS of posts and guides and tried things that made sense for my phone.
So, thanks to SammyZ for pointing out the original Optimus M Unbricking Guide -- I may try to do the same thing using the .bin and .dll files that I have culled together and report back. If they work, I will upload them & share -- otherwise, my recommendations to unbrick Optimus C for Cricket / Leap Wireless are offered WITHOUT WARRANTY
. If you attempt this you do so at your own risk, but if you're trying this then you've probably already voided warranty on the phone and, well, they don't carry it anymore anyways. This information ONLY applies to Optimus C
-- do not attempt to use it with any other type of cell phone or you're just gonna be hating life.
You will need to make sure you have before you start:
-- Your MIN/MDN (can be obtained from Cricket customer service if your account is active)
-- Your MEID (can be found on the barcode under the battery of your phone)
a) Obtain a working .bin and .dll for Cricket -- should be LW690ZV6_02.bin and LW690.dll
b) Follow Joneidy's Optimus M Unbricking Guide, substituting the .bin and .dll files you've obtained for the ones provided by SammyZ in that thread and you'll be good to go.
Slower Method (but also effective)
a) Follow Joneidy's Optimus M Unbricking Guide
b) Once you've got the MetroPCS flash on the phone, you are partially unbricked. Download & use DFS 184.108.40.206
(install the free version then upgrade) to put your correct MEID into the phone (Their network seems to need this for provisioning)
c) After you've got the MEID correct, restart your phone and use the KP500 flash utility
to go back to the stock rom for Cricket
d) After flashing the stock rom, you may be stuck at the boot screen with just Android flashing on the screen for several minutes. Let it cycle through a couple of times just to be sure that it's run its course. Remove the battery & then, holding down the home button + volume down, turn on the phone. Let it reinstall -- you'll see the installer pop up on the screen if everything went correctly.
e) If all went well, you should be back to stock Cricket rom at this point. You'll now need to properly provision the phone with your MIN and MDN -- for the proper instructions and codes, talk to Cricket Customer Service & ask for help in manually activating your Android, they usually don't ask a lot of questions. Go to the dialer & dial ##626* (or whatever they tell you to punch in), enter the six-digit code & you should have the options View - Edit or Done. Click Edit, put in your MDN and MIN, then click done.
f) Your phone should reboot and you should be back to normal.
Thanks to PlayfulDroidz, joneidy, SammyZ and probably a bunch of other people for the information that helped me put this together. If I left anything out, let me knoww.