Upgrading Your BlackBerry Operating System Walkthrough (Official Upgrades)

Since AT&T finally decided to release OS 5.0 for the Bold 9000 I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to test out RIM’s new and improved Desktop Manager 6.0 to upgrade my system. It comes with a completely revamped interface which is a vast improvement over prior versions. However, as with all new designs, we need to learn everything all over again including the dreaded OS upgrade.

Have no fear dear readers as I’m going to walk you through the new upgrade process. I completed the upgrade in less than fifteen minutes, but keep in mind it could take up to an hour depending on your applications and the size of your backup file.

Over the past couple of years I’ve done my fair share of OS upgrades, some using Desktop Manager, others using the Application Loader, and I’ve come up with some useful tips to help you:

  1. Remove the Micro SD card from the device.
  2. Backup all device data.
  3. Remove all non-compatible apps and themes. As all of my themes and apps were meant for OS 4.6, I performed a complete handheld wipe to remove them.
  4. BIS users will have to resend their service books (Setup/Personal Email Setup) and BES users will have to reactivate their phone with IT when the process is complete (if allowed).
  5. Keep all your activation codes and login information for your apps nearby.

Since DM 5.0, downloading and installing your carrier’s OS is no longer mandatory. When connected, DM will automatically detect your device, check for your carriers’ update, display all available versions offered by your carrier, and download the necessary files for you. I recommend that if you have a poor WiFi or internet connection to install the OS on your machine before loading DM. You can access your carriers download site here: http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/downloads/download_sites.jsp. You will need to download the OS’s .exe file, double click to start the process, and follow the instructions. When complete click on the DM icon on your desktop.

First, connect your phone to DM using the USB cable. When the dialog box appears that an update is available click on Get Update. If you accidentally click on Update Later, don’t worry. All you need to do is click on the Update my device button in the center next to the red asterisk, or from the drop down menu in the upper left under Device and you’re all set to go.

Next, an Update Options box gives you the choice to backup your device data and sign up for email notifications of new updates. When you have selected your options simply click on Install Update which will bring you to the final summary page and press Ok. This will begin the upgrade process and should take no more than one hour. A progress bar will track the different stages of installation from wiping to reconnecting to loading the applications. During this stage, my ADHD compelled me to get everything else done rather than stare at the screen. I managed to check my email, played a couple of games of Bejeweled Blitz, and even wrote parts of this walkthrough. I rather liked the fact I could multitask with the operation running in the background although I don’t recommend it. The only thing left to do is wait for the process to complete, unplug your phone, and enjoy your new operating system. There is a slight chance your personal preferences didn’t carry over, but I wouldn’t worry over that.  Sound profiles, themes, wallpapers, and apps can all be retrieved and reset. Just don’t forget to put back your Micro SD card.

For those of you who want to downgrade your system the process is virtually the same with one exception. When you choose Update my device from the menu, you will be presented with an option that says View other versions. From here you can select which software version you want to install and proceed using the directions above.

So that’s all there is to it. Hopefully it wasn’t as frightening as you thought and you’ll all be ready for when BB6 is released.

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