Few problems are more aggravating than a sudden loss of email capability with your BlackBerry, but this does happen.
In this article we cover a solution that works for many cases of email failure. It involves a feature of your phone that most BlackBerry users are unfamiliar with: Service Books.
Why has my email stopped working?
You may never know for sure why your email stopped working, but here are some possible causes:
- A software glitch (defect, bug, accident) caused a corruption of your BlackBerry’s memory and damaged the Service Books (explained below) needed to send and receive email.
- You or your wireless service provider performed an upgrade on your phone and the Service Books were not installed, or improperly installed, or corrupted.
- You installed and ran a poorly-designed 3rd-party application that somehow corrupted your BlackBerry Service Books.
- If you are using a corporate BlackBerry that works with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), your BES administrator may have unintentionally caused your problem. In that case, don’t try to use this article–contact your corporate BES administrator (usually in your IT Department).
What are Service Books? Without getting too technical, Service Books are small computer programs that must be installed or downloaded into your BlackBerry so that it can provide various services (e.g., email, text messaging, web browsing) using your wireless provider’s network.
If you know, or even suspect, that your Service Books have been damaged, it’s not that difficult to restore them. It involves a request for your wireless provider to “send” you a new set of books.
How to Restore or Send Service Books
There are several ways to Send Service Books. Which works for you might depend on the version of software you have running on your BlackBerry, which wireless carrier you use, or your carrier’s version of BlackBerry Internet Service. I’ll list a few ways below so you can try each.
Use your phone’s Email Setup
If this method will work for you, it’s by far the easiest. From your Home Screen, open Email Setup. That should take you to the Internet and connect you to your wireless provider’s BlackBerry Internet Service. Click Service Books > Send Service Books.
After your Service Books have been received, you might receive an email message to each of your registered email accounts to notify you of what just happened.
Use Your BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS)
If the above method doesn’t work for you, you might want to try using your computer instead of your BlackBerry. You will need to know how to log on to the BIS for your specific wireless provider (e.g., Verizon, T-Mobile, Rogers, TELUS, AT&T, Orange, Sprint).
To locate the login page for your provider, try looking here:
- Do a web search (e.g., Google) of these terms: “BlackBerry Internet Service” + “your provider’s name” + “your country, if not in North America” + login
- BlackBerry.com’s list of North American carriers BIS sites (scroll toward bottom of page)
- Another list on BlackBerry.com (North America only)
- BlackBerryForum’s list of various International carriers BIS sites (search through discussion)
- CrackBerry.com’s list of various International carriers BIS sites (search through discussion)
- If, by chance, you haven’t set up email on your carrier’s BIS, you might want to start with this BlackBerry.com article: Set up a BlackBerry email address for your BlackBerry Internet Service account.
Log in to your BIS account and find the link to Send Service Books. (I don’t have access to all the various BIS sites, so I can’t show screenshots.)
Ask Your Provider’s Tech Support to Send Service Books
Reportedly, you can phone your wireless provider’s technical support and simply request they send Service Books to your phone. Be patient, as these personnel are usually required to take you through a standard list of questions. Tell them, “My Service Books list is empty, and almost nothing works.” I don’t know how they could refuse given that specific complaint.
Reboot (Reset) Your BlackBerry
In almost any case your BlackBerry is acting strange, or after you’ve made a major change to your BlackBerry (as in this article’s procedures), it’s always a good idea to reboot/reset your phone. With power on…
- Remove the battery
- Wait a while (say, 10 seconds)
- Replace the battery
- Wait for phone to recover (a minute or two)
You May Need to Update Your Host Routing Table
Your BlackBerry is a sophisticated Internet-connected device. To work properly, it must have a list of Internet (IP) addresses to “talk” to various other devices on the Internet. This list is your phone’s Host Routing Table (HRT). In some situations, you may need to rebuild or update it by doing Options > Advanced Options > Host Routing Table > (press Menu key) > Register Now. You may receive an email notification to confirm.
If All Else Fails, Try This
Due to the complexity of the BlackBerry phone and network, you may have encountered a problem that isn’t resolved using the methods described in this article. A comprehensive list of troubleshooting procedures is provided by Research in Motion (RIM).
I hope the information above has helped you resolve your problem. The general method of restoring Service Books and/or Host Routing Table can remedy a host of problems, so those are good tricks to know. I don’t think there is every any risk of trying them, even if that’s not the problem.