Advanced Users: BlackBerry Engineering Screen Unlock Code Generator

UPDATE: The Unlock Generator has moved to the following link

NOTE: You can really screw up your device by messing around with options available in this screen. This is meant for those who know what they are doing and are willing to take some risks.

Since OS 4.0 or so there has been a hidden Engineering Screen in the BlackBerry OS. It contains a ton of options and views into what you device is doing and how it is running. For example, DigitalbOy put together a guide on how to disable 2G or 3G on an AT&T Bold without debranding it. It is pretty easy to get into the screen but it takes a little work to get it to go away and the options available have no guide to help you through them.

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You can use the easy Thyth-o-matic Engineering Screen Unlock Code Generator at this link to generate a code to view the engineering screen. Access is controlled through a code generated from your application version, device PIN, and device uptime.

From the instructions:

To access the escreen, access the device “Help Me!” screen. For QWERTY devices, perform the key combination Alt+Shift+H on the homescreen. For SureType devices, type Alt+EACE on the homescreen. For SurePress devices, hold the Escape button, and tap the screen upper left, upper right, upper left, and upper right corners in that sequence.

The “Help Me!” screen contains the application version, PIN, and current up time. Without leaving the “Help Me!” screen, enter that information into the generator. The generator will give you the 8 digit code for the current “Help Me!” screen. If you close the “Help Me!” screen, the device uptime will no longer match the uptime used to generate the code.

Type the 8 digit code into the “Help Me!” screen. You will not see the digits as you type them, but once all 8 correct digits are entered, the escreen will activate. Make sure to use Alt for the numbers on QWERTY devices. Make sure to use multitap to enter the digits on SureType devices.

Once activated, the escreen will replace the “Help Me!” screen for the duration specified when generating the code. You can close the escreen earlier by setting your device clock ahead past the expiration time, reactivating the “Help Me!” screen, then setting your device clock back to normal. Note: Devices with a vendor ID of 1 (RIM engineering sample devices) will always have the escreen open.

12 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. This menu really rocks

    Now I can evaluate processes which take most of my CPU.

  2. The floodgates are now open for “help me!” threads on forums everywhere.

    And the timer is ticking on a once little-known, but very useful resource…

    • True but first of all I don’t see the harm in people asking for help. That is what everybody told us when we posted beta OS releases. Now everybody does it.

      Also if all it takes is a simple web generator there could be 10 more popping up. Not to mention you can already do this with mml…
      I just want to say kudos to tythe for putting this together

      • True enough. I’m not opposed to helping folks out, but I think this is a little different from a beta OS.

        Guess we’ll see what happens. Information wants to be free, and diligent searchers would’ve found this anyway.

        And I concur with the kudos/appreciation for the resource. It’s very helpful.

  3. I wonder how long it takes for RIM to shut this down? I doubt that they will allow this for to long. But hey I will bookmark it until it goes dead. LOL

  4. Has anyone try to see if they get the restrictions off with the 8330 verizon GPS using this?

  5. Yes, you can do the Verizon GPS with it. Go to…
    Radio/GPS/GPS Options/PDE Options. In there, input this data:

    PDE IP Address: 66.174.95.132
    PDE Port: 8888

    That fixes it.

    • hey, i just did that and I was wondering what is now unlocked? Google maps still seems to use the tower-tracking technique, unless I am missing the point and this enables something else.

  6. Welcome to three-and-a-half months ago, when that generator was unveiled. It has been used to generate more than 6000 codes since then (about 70 codes per day).

    I fully reverse engineered the algorithm for the code generation from the operating system module (at the core, it’s an HMAC-SHA1 with some song lyrics and random science fiction rambling). The implementation of the code generator you see on that site is about 10 lines of code (and about 100 more for user interface). It’s not some ugly hook into the MML tool, or anything else quite as barbaric.

    RIM more than likely knows about the generator already, as all of the major English cellphone forums have links to it, as well as a smattering of international forums (I read the referrer log, which is why I am posting here). In the event they become unhappy, I’ll post the program code I wrote to generate the unlock codes — it’s short enough to have memorized.

    As for the Verizon GPS lock… I figured that out in about 30 minutes. I know how to modify (i.e. on the source code level) a 3rd party application to work on those crippled devices (by pretending to be VZNav as far as the GPS chip is concerned). Still working on a way to apply it system wide. When it’s working, I’m sure you’ll see instructions copied all over the popular BlackBerry sites.

    Cheers.

  7. allway lean you?

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