I have succesfully upgraded the MK2.5 instrument cluster outside of the car before it was programmed into my MK2.
I have connected a 12 volt power source to the instrument cluster and the ELM327 interface and connected the HS-CAN bus wiring between the instrument cluster ande the ELM327 interface.
After this i have disabled the screen saver, internet connection and anti virus/firewall software. The upgrade procedure worked without any problems.
I have read that European and Asian Focus MK2.5 instrument clusters are made by different manufacturers. Maybe the European firmware isn't compatible with your instrument cluster.
Well, in this case my cluster maybe isn't compatible because is European (Portugal but make in Germany)!!!
Where can i see if my cluster is compatible?