Install OS 4.5 on BlackBerry Pearl or Curve, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we downloaded BlackBerry Operating System (OS) version 4.5, then installed it on our computer. Now, we’ll install it on our BlackBerry Pearl or Curve.



Use Desktop Manager

Run Desktop Manager (my screenshots show version 4.6) and select the Application Loader. In my case, DM didn’t see that my BlackBerry was connected to the computer’s USB port. Not sure why–but it didn’t matter, as you’ll see.

Install after wipe 01

Click the Start button.

Install after wipe 02

Now DM see’s my BlackBerry and gives me a chance to select it (and enter a password if it were protected, but it wasn’t).

Install after wipe 03

It takes a while (a minute or so?) for DM to connect to the device and interrogate it for all the applications it has installed on it.

Install after wipe 04

Because I had previously downloaded and installed BB OS version 4.5, DM also sees that on the computer and lists it as an “application” that can be added.

Install after wipe 05

Don’t change any settings–just click Next. You will receive a warning that after upgrading the OS your phone will reset and have its radio turned off. You’ll need to turn it back on and re-register your phone. (I think just making a phone call will get that done.) Click Next.

NOTE: I did want all my applications deleted, so I changed my settings. I wanted to start from scratch and reload only certain apps. So, in the screens below, you’ll see a message about all apps getting erased.

Install after wipe 06

At this point, many minutes will pass while DM cranks through the upgrade process.

Install after wipe 07

Here is where my apps got erased. You may have decided not to do that.

Install after wipe 08

Now the OS modules are being installed.

Install after wipe 09

And DM does one last check of your phone to see how things went.

Install after wipe 10

It was successful!

Install after wipe 11


Desktop Manager makes it really easy to upgrade your OS. If you try, I hope it goes as well for you. If not, let me know below.


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This entry was contributed by Kelly Carter
84 entries have been written by this author.

35 comments on this post

Kevin L says:
Nov 18, 2008 - 03:11:30

“You will receive a warning that after upgrading the OS your phone will reset and have its radio turned off. You’ll need to turn it back on and re-register your phone. (I think just making a phone call will get that done.)”

No such luck for me! When I restore the connection (make a call, or via the connection manager), I just get a time-out. Any ideas on how to fix this?

Nov 18, 2008 - 03:11:45

Kevin L,
The process may depend on your wireless carrier. With Verizon Wireless, I can also dial *228 and follow the voice instructions to activate (register) the phone. To activate/register, I press a 1. In all my playing around, I’ve done it numerous times and it didn’t cause a problem when I repeated it.

The directions for activating my phone came with my wireless account paperwork and with all new phones I bought (at my carrier’s store), so you may have to look there.

Sorry if this article caused you trouble.

Kevin L says:
Nov 20, 2008 - 11:11:34

The solution…a battery pull. I should have known, the battery pull seems to cure all problems the blackberry has. Also, I noticed that I didn’t immediately have HTML support for my emails. If you have your Service Books re-sent, you can then go into your email options and turn on HTML support…much nicer looking!

Nov 21, 2008 - 04:11:34

Kevin L,
You’re right! The ole Battery Pull works miracles. The other day my car wouldn’t start, so I pulled the battery on my BlackBerry. Car started right up…not really.

aaron says:
Nov 30, 2008 - 07:11:22

I have a Blackberry Pearl 8120 with T-Mobile. Is there any way i can upgrade my OS via OTA. I have a mac and cannot install the blackberry software to upgrade the OS. any suggestions?

Nov 30, 2008 - 10:11:47

No, you need to find a PC and use Desktop Manager to upgrade your OS. Sorry if that offends you. ;-)

P.S.–Or you can use one of the newer Macs that allows you to run Windows.

Dec 6, 2008 - 12:12:14

I am running Desktop Manager 4.6. I downloaded the update 4.5. The files are in the folder you described. When I run the Application Loader, it does not see the 4.5 files. Any suggestions?

Dec 6, 2008 - 03:12:34

So, I think you mean that you ran the downloaded (EXE) file, and it installed to the proper folder. That was the correct process, if you did.

Also, the phone must be connected and detected. Else DM won’t know that the phone needs an update.

Hmmm. I would try restarting the computer and see if DM sees the new OS afterward. If not, remove the installed file (see if Control Panel will do that–I don’t remember), and reinstall from the download (hopefully you kept it). I’d still reboot before trying again with DM.

Let me know how that works (or doesn’t work).

Dean says:
Dec 6, 2008 - 05:12:10

Hi. Well not much success. I tried rebooting with no change.
Uninstalled (control panel), rebooted, then reinstalled.
Rebooted, plugged the phone into the PC and ran DM. It did find the phone, but still only showed verison 4.3.

Perhaps this makes a difference, I am runiing Vista and the phone does connect to a BES.
Do you think it would be worthwhile to uninstall 4.3? Does it look everywhere to find possible applications?

Dec 6, 2008 - 06:12:29

BES is a magic word–that potentially makes all the difference. Typically, a BES administrator disallows end users from upgrading their own phones. You need to check with that administrator. Sorry.

Dec 10, 2008 - 08:12:36

I got with IT and they said we do not have any restrictions on app updates. They suggested this website:

I followed the procedures and have completed the update. So far so good.

Thanks for all of your posts. I enjoy reading them.


Dec 10, 2008 - 08:12:32

Great news! Sounds like your IT department is more flexible than most.

Stay in touch!

Rick says:
Dec 22, 2008 - 09:12:26

What is your opinion about upgrading the handheld software before my wireless carrier has an autorized version? Will my phone quit working? Or should I just be patient?



Dec 22, 2008 - 10:12:53

Generally, I don’t recommend doing an upgrade unless you have a problem you have to fix, or unless there is a new feature that you really need/want. I’m assuming that you have a good reason to upgrade. If you upgrade and it doesn’t work, you can restore your original OS…IF you do the following: (1) Read over all my articles about doing an upgrade to make sure you are aware of what’s involved, (2) with Desktop Manager installed, also make sure you have your current OS version installed on your computer, and (3) do a full backup of your phone. After downloading and installing the new OS, search for, find, and delete the Vendor.xml file. Then go for the upgrade.

Let me know how things go.

chris says:
Jan 2, 2009 - 03:01:30

I’ve tried to upgrade my pearl 8110 to 4.5 3 times. Every time i do, it erases applications, then installs system software, But then why it goes to reconnecting to JVM, it never connects, the phone just blinks its red LED. and the computer keeps beeping like the phone is connecting and disconnecting. I have ATT service. ive spoken with their tech support, they don’t have any idea what the problem is. Please help.

Jan 2, 2009 - 11:01:05

First, make sure the download is correct. I, myself, accidentally installed an OS for the Curve on my Pearl. Make sure the download is exactly correct for an AT&T 8110.

A while back I wrote an article about upgrading the Pearl: Toward the end of the article, I explain about how it might go wrong, and referred readers to here: See if that helps. Let me know.

chris says:
Jan 3, 2009 - 08:01:20

I’ve tried all of that. I still get the same result.

Spud says:
Jan 28, 2009 - 07:01:53

Hi, thanks for the how-to.

I have a Curve 8310 running and want to upgrade to 4.5, but here’s the rub. I’m using an unlocked AT&T 8310 in Eastern Europe, where there is no AT&T service. I am concerned that if I perform the upgrade, I will brick the ‘Berry, due to the “you must reactivate wirelessly” gotcha during the installation (I was trying to use the slipstreamed updater within Desktop 4.5 because the installable update file isn’t seen). I have read that that it is necessary to delete the vendor’s XML file from the vendor-specific version to avoid re-locking it to AT&T; though I suppose one could find an unlock for version 4.5 somewhere, but I don’t want to complicate things. I’m content to stick with v4.2.2.170 if needed; I can’t really see any advantage that 4.5 would give me over here where there are no value-added services like GPS or browsing. I realize I’m not using a fraction of what the Berry is capable of, but that’s because of where I am, mostly… :-(

Jan 28, 2009 - 12:01:04

Sounds like you’ve done the Cost/Benefit analysis and it’s too risky to attempt the upgrade. I don’t have much experience with unlocking issues, so I can’t advise you. My general advice (with computing in general) is that one shouldn’t upgrade unless you have a strong reason to. From what research I’ve done on unlocking, information is varied and contradictory–I think a lot of people are guessing or drawing premature conclusions. There seem to be too many variables for any one person to have all the answers. I am working in the background to try to become more knowledgeable, but it is going to take a while–maybe a very long while.

If, however, you do try something and learn (from positive OR negative outcome), please return and share what you learn so I/we can benefit from your experience. Thanks for visiting!

Rick says:
Jan 31, 2009 - 11:01:17

OK, I finally bit the bullet and tried to upgrade my Pearl OS from 4.3 to 4.5. I followed your advice and the instructions on Crackberry, and…. my Pearl rebooted and runs fine on OS 4.5. My advice to anyone else, follow the directions carefully. Backup your phone data. Have the zip file for your current phone OS on your computer just in case. If the OS isn’t specifically for your carrier, remember to delete the vendor.xml file. The only problem I have is that my favorite theme doesn’t completely work on OS 4.5. But that’s a saccrifice I’m willing to make.


Jan 31, 2009 - 02:01:21

Great advice. In some of my other articles I’ve given similar warnings. Not sure why I didn’t repeat that advice in the article above.

I, too, have seen themes fail to work properly after doing a BlackBerry OS upgrade.

Whittney says:
Feb 10, 2009 - 10:02:25

OKay, I just have one concern?.. When deleting the applications its going to start over like when you first get the phone?

Feb 10, 2009 - 10:02:25

If you backup everything properly before you wipe your phone and upgrade your OS, you should be able to reinstall any apps you want. But, yes, initially it will be like a brand new phone right out of the box, with only the standard apps that RIM provides. Be aware that some 3rd-party apps may not be compatible with the newer version of OS. You might want to research that at the app’s publisher’s web site beforehand.

Rene says:
Feb 16, 2009 - 03:02:18

Hi, i have a problem, my radio keeps turning off, and i want to know if reloading the OS into it will fix it. Thank

Feb 16, 2009 - 12:02:06

I doubt it’s a problem with the OS. It may be that the phone is automatically shutting off the radio to conserve battery charge, because perhaps the battery is occassionally running dangerously low. Or, as I sometimes see with one of my BBs, the phone emerges from being powered off (whether I manually shut it off or it did Auto Off) with the radio down (off). I’m not sure why it does that, but it does happen on occasion to me. Let me know what you think of that info.

Rene says:
Feb 16, 2009 - 09:02:25

i called tech support today and they couldn’t find a solution so they will send me a replacement :( thank you for you help anyways :)

Feb 17, 2009 - 01:02:04

Thanks for returning to let me know.

Maxim says:
Mar 24, 2009 - 03:03:55

I had a T-Mobile BlackBerry 8800 SmartPhone recently upgraded to v4.5.0.69 on connection to the BlackBerry Desktop manager. Now the BB shows edge instead of EDGE and hence not able to setup my enterprise email account. The service provider is Vodafone IN. How do I format (not wipe handheld) the entire instrument and install a OS that is compatible with the service provider. Please advise.

Mar 24, 2009 - 12:03:27

Find a candidate OS to try, download it to your computer, and install it on your computer (this is not the same as installing it on your phone, to be clear). Then, search for the file named vendor.xml that resulted from your installing the OS on your computer. Delete that file. Now, run Desktop Manager and see if it doesn’t automatically detect that an upgrade is available (may take more than one try) .

Now, if the candidate OS is a lower version number than what’s on your phone (a “downgrade”), you may need to hide/delete the newer version OS that is installed on your computer. Let me know if that is the case and you need help doing that.

Mance says:
Apr 6, 2009 - 05:04:56

here is a question… i upgraded my blackberry pearl 8110 and my icons look different in a really bad way… i have like 10 icons that all look the same and its in black and white… how do i fix this? please e-mail me at thanks

Mance says:
Apr 6, 2009 - 08:04:10

i fixed my problem…

Apr 6, 2009 - 10:04:22

If you return, it might help other readers if you share what the fix was.

Mance says:
Apr 6, 2009 - 03:04:58

I went to my computer/c:/program files/common files/ Research In Motion/AppLoader and I deleted the Vendor file from the folder… I then reinstalled the OS and it worked… Also this will work on the 507 error so everybody knows… I was working on my blackberry several times and got the 507 error twice and this fixes it…

Apr 6, 2009 - 04:04:51


Dawn says:
Sep 22, 2009 - 10:09:57

I did a full wipe out, erasing all apps like you did above. When I go to Options>Advanced>Applications, 4.5 is still showing. I pulled the battery and it’s still the same. Does that sound right? I did the upgrade for OS 4.7 and see nothing in applications referencing 4.7???

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