How to: Fixing "Unable to install application" error on N900

| January 5, 2010 | 28 Replies

If you delved into the realms of “Extras Testing” applications, an app there may possibly have caused a fault in your N900 giving you “Unable to install __insert__app_name” errors. Since Christmas day I’ve been unable to find the answers to fix

  • Unable to install ‘Bounce Evolution’
  • Unable to install ‘Hermes’
  • Unable to install ‘MooBox’ etc.

Reinstallation/formatting memory card did not work.

Thanks to Jon Shipman’s reply in my plea post “How to Hard Reset your N900?” [not a tutorial] there’s now a working solution! By following the simple steps below (it’ll take a couple of minutes], you’ll be able to install applications again.

  1. From your N900’s Web Browser go to
  2. Download that file and install it (you may have to find the download using file manager. Once you open this file, App Manager will take care of installation)
  3. Open X Terminal on your N900
  4. Type
      • sudo gainroot
    • You’ll see “BusyBox v1.10.2 …../home/user #”
  5. Type
    • cd /home (not sure if this part’s necessary, I don’t understand this all, but this is how I got it to work)
  6. Type
    • mkdir opt
    • Refresh application catalogue in download. You’re done!
    • I was unable to reinstall “MooBox” before, but now it’s back. And so will a whole bunch more other apps now this error has been fixed.

    Many thanks again Jon!

    Now if the “unable to install error” was self inflicted by extras testing app, you’ll know to be more careful. If you ever do come into similar problems again however, you’ll know what to do. (Hopefully nothing worse than this)


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    Category: How to:, Maemo, Nokia, Nseries

    About the Author ()

    Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]