BlackBerry [BB] is a VERY Fascinating Device.
I did not know that TILL Very Recently [Face-Palm]. However, I recently got a BlackBerry Bold 9700 a.k.a Onyx a.k.a Bold 2 9700 [Many names… but one device!]
So… The device came pre-loaded with OS 5 [v 188.8.131.521]. It was “Nice” & “Interesting”. I played with it for some time.. But the tinkerer inside me.. felt something was missing. The OS seemed Robust & Rugged.. but seemed to lack the finesse that BlackBerry users always seem to go gaga over.
I felt the need [no.. urge ;)] to upgrade the OS. I first tried the Official route & that did not help [It rarely does]. The “Latest Version” of Desktop Manager [v184.108.40.206] Kept on Saying… Nothing to Update… Grrrr.
A “little” snooping did reveal that the OS 6 was released into the “wild” [read Leaked] first, & then EVEN Officially by the good guys at Vodafone Essar in INDIA!
Please note…. BlackBerry OS is NOT Region Dependent… However IT IS Carrier Dependent [e.g: Vodafone, Verizon etc].. It’s as if BlackBerry is NEVER sold unbranded/factory-unlocked… Just to Confirm.. I have a Factory-unlocked / unbranded / plain BlackBerry.. NOT De-Branded.. mind-you.. That’s a different Ball-game.. which is not my scope of this post.
Moving on.. the Official route DID NOT Work & left me a bit disappointed as Normally it is the SAFEST Route & your Warranty is NOT Voided.
But once I had confirmed that the OS 6 is AVAILABLE for the 9700.. There was no turning back or resting..
I searched High & Low & managed to lay my hands on MANY Os 6 available on the NET… But was VERY Skeptical of installing them.
The reason YOU too, will come Across MANY OS 6 files is very simple:
BlackBerry Designs & Develops the OSes & “releases” them to Carriers for “TESTING” Purposes
The Carriers.. then Test it on THEIR OWN Networks (individually) & either:
a) Confirm the OS is all OK & then release to their subscribers (with heavily laden branding) OR…
b) Discovers some bugs reports the same to BlackBerry… which in turn irons out the bugs & re-release the OS to the Carriers [with a slightly changed Version Information (ending with small increments in Version Number)].
SO you can either get a) Leaked Versions from the Carriers which are NOT officially released (much earlier than official release) OR wait a while & get the fully-tested official OSes.
My Advice: WAIT for Official Release… BUT Wait.. I know what you are thinking… Official OS means Branding.. Ugly Logos & losing of the “Freedom”.. Well… Let me assure you.. Nothing of that sort happens once you ensure some steps that I will highlight Below.
1) Download & Install “Latest Version” of BlackBerry Desktop Manager [BDM].
Make Sure you click “No” to: Would you like to receive information about RIM and/or BlackBerry products and/or services from RIM or authorized third parties selected by RIM?
Go Straight to “Download”
2) Download & Install “Latest Version” of BBSAK [BlackBerry Swiss Army Knife]
3) Start BDM & let the initial stages complete & do the ENTIRE Back-up of your Device. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. This Back-up WORKS after Updating to OS6 & you will Have ALL your Data intact! Great.. Isn’t it!!
BDM is VERY Straight-Forward.. If you haven’t already.. FAMILIARIZE yourself [Before Proceeding] with the Manager.. It is a Must-have companion for BlackBerry Phones!
4) Download OFFICIAL OS6 from BlackBerry… Vodafone Essar
SELECT your Device… BlackBerry® Bold (TM) 9700 smartphone.. & Click NEXT
Download: BlackBerry Handheld Software v220.127.116.118 (Multilangauge)
File size: 150.12MB
5) EXIT BDM & INSTALL the OS.. It is in a .EXE File.. DO NOT ATTEMPT to dismantle / reverse-engineer the file & try to extract the OS files… You [& your phone] will be screwed!
6) Make Sure BDM is not running & Connect 9700 to the PC via Micro-USB Cable & START BBSAK.
I am assuming here that there is NO Enterprise Server running (as your phone should be unbranded / factory-unlocked).
DO NOT PROCEED AHEAD IF… the Blackberry is given to you by your Company as it WILL Have some-kind of Encryption & Enterprise Software loaded on to it. Anyways… you WILL be asked for the Security Password.. when you start your BB.
You have been Warned.
Once inside BBSAK… Click on: Wipe Device. Sounds Scary right!! IT IS… What this does is COMPLETLY Wipes the Device OF ANY & ALL DATA INCLUDING the OS..
Remember DO NOT Click on Load OS.. initially at least.. THIS DOES NOT Work till “WIPE” is complete.
Once the Wiping Process is Done…A dialogue box will appear, click yes. Your device will reboot and giving you a 507 ERROR. Don’t be alarmed. You have wiped the device clean and there is no OS on the device at all.
If you have a 64 BIT OS.. then the Program Files Location is
That’s the ONLY difference. Rest remains the same.
8) NOW your Device MUST Be Showing a WHITE Screen with a 507 ERROR… NO OS
With This Status… Click on “Load OS” in BBSAK & Select 9700Asia_v18.104.22.1680_P22.214.171.124 from the Drop-Down List.
The Application Loader Wizard will start up and you will need to select ‘Next’.
The Wizard should automatically detect the port and should display USB and your PIN number. Select ‘Next’.
Next the Application Loader Wizard will read your devices system configuration.
You will see the Device Application Selection screen. Here you need to make sure applications such as BlackBerry Attachment Service, BlackBerry Messenger, and 3rd Party Application boxes are ticked, and any other applications you want installed to the device and select ‘Next’.
I selected most options as the apps are pretty good.
Now it is time to make sure the Application Loader Wizard backs up and restores all information on your device. Select ‘Automatically Back Up’ and make sure you have them emails box checked if you want those restored also. Then select ‘Next’.
This process, depending on what model device you have can take anywhere from 20-45 minutes. DO NOT UNPLUG the device from the computer and DO NOT UNPLUG the USB cable from the device.
Once it has been completed, or near to doing so, you should notice that your BlackBerry has a slightly different loading screen. With the loading bar being at the bottom of the screen and an updated BlackBerry logo. The phone will then boot for the first time (take up to 10 minutes), wait for the boot completely before disconnecting. Do a battery-pull afterwards and letting it reboot (take up to 2 minutes), to double check.
Re-installing 3rd Party Application
Plug in your device, load up BDM, click on Application > Import files, browse your 3rd party application backup file. Select the option that allows you to choose what items you would like to re-install. Wait about 20-30 minutes for the process to complete and your phone to reboot completely. Continue with the next step
Click on Device > Restore, to which then you will be prompted with an option to choose your backup file. Select the most recent, and then select All device data and settings, click on Restore. Wait for the process to complete and your phone to reboot completely before disconnecting. Do a battery pull. Try to do another Battery-Pull in the next hour as well, just for good measure.
Battery-Pull = Switch Off the Device… Remove the Battery…Wait for 10 Secs & Restart.
DO NOT PANIC.. If the Device is taking LONG Time. NEVER attempt to intervene the Process of Wiping, Installing etc. It may take take a VERY Long Time.. Be VERY Patient.
WHAT IF you managed to Screw-Up & BRICK the Phone?
Fortunately this question CAN be dealt with.
Disconnect the Phone. DO NOT attempt to re-start it with any Key-Press Combinations etc… You will manage to further damage & maybe, beyond-repair.
UN-INSTALL the OS version you have installed (in our case: BlackBerry Handheld Software v126.96.36.1998 (Multilangauge)) from “Add-Remove Programs” in Control Panel.
Now RESTART your PC.
Once restarted, START “Loader.exe” from C:Program FilesCommon FilesResearch In MotionApploader & then connect your BB. Loader Should detect the “Dead Phone” & suggest you to…. Install the “Latest” & Stable OS.. the LOADER has (i.e. what OS you have on the PC for your particular phone.) In my case it was OS 5 (from where I started)
All should proceed smoothly & you should have your BB as it was BEFORE installing OS6.
THEORETICALLY, you can employ this process to ALL Blackberry Phones.
Just Make Sure….
You Download CORRECT & RELEVANT OS for your Blackberry & then follow the process as mentioned above. If it fails.. you can simply revert back to your ORIGINAL OS… NOT-TO-MENTION… with your DATA INTACT.