Flashing your BlackBerry with new software

For those of you who like to keep their BlackBerry up-to-date: here’s the HOWTO.

First, make sure you have a BlackBerry Desktop Manager installed. Version 4.7 is the current version. If you don’t have it yet, check Google:
If you have the choice between a version with Media Manager or without, get the one without the Media Manager; it’s a lot smaller and the BlackBerry download server is not the fastest one I’ve seen… Who needs a Media Manager anyway? Do you want the Desktop Manager in your own language, or will plain English do? If you get the English-only version, the download will be smaller, too.

Once you have the Desktop Manager (install it!), get the latest firmware version for your BlackBerry. You’ll see that most of the telecom operators don’t have new firmware available, which is why creativity is important.

Get the firmware file for your BlackBerry model (for instance: if you have a BlackBerry 9000 Bold, you may want to get version from http://tinyurl.com/dycmuo). The mobile operator you get this file from is irrelevant, because there’s a file called Vendor.xml, which contains the codes for every mobile operator. Once you delete this file (install the firmware file first), there are no limitations anymore and the file will install, regardless of your mobile operator! Vendor.xml is located in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research in Motion\AppLoader. Delete the file (or rename it, if that makes you feel better). Make sure to use an elevated Command Prompt in case you’re using Windows Vista with UAC enabled. (otherwise it won’t work). Make sure to get the MultiLanguage version of your firmware file, in case you have a choice. There are some mobile operators who offer Chinese only firmware files and we don’t want those, unless you want a Chinese BlackBerry 🙂

Now you’re ready for the update process!
Start the Desktop Manager, connect your BlackBerry to your PC and the Desktop Manager should inform you about newer software available for your BlackBerry!

If this doesn’t happen, you either failed to remove the Vendor.xml file or you got the wrong firmware file (make sure to get the right firmware file for your BlackBerry).


The message “Connecting to device” takes longer than you might thing necessary, but it is, so don’t unplug your BlackBerry and wait patiently for the sun to go down and up again 😉

If you do unplug your BlackBerry during the upgrade process, you might end up with a bricked (a dead) BlackBerry. I do have a HOWTO for recovering your dead BlackBerry, but it’s better if you don’t need it 🙂
It happened to me once (I did get away with it once), when I was trying to flash from Windows 7 beta 7000. Don’t try that… Use Vista or XP instead!