How I Upgraded my BlackBerry Storm OS

VZW_SW_Update If you were one of the early adopters of the BlackBerry Storm 9530 from Verizon Wireless, you may have noticed that your Storm had a few quirks. It’s no secret that the 9530 was released a tad early, even after all the delays, before its software was truly “ready for prime time.”

Well, on December 5, 2008, Verizon Wireless released an update to the Storm 9530 operating system (OS), or Device Software, to move it from version to For BlackBerry newBBies who have never upgraded an OS, let’s see how easily that’s done:

First, you really should determine what version your OS is by doing Options > About. See below that mine was at version At some date, Verizon will begin issuing Storms with (and eventually, even newer versions). So make sure you understand your before and after versions, else you may end up downgrading your OS.



The basic steps of the upgrade/update (those words are interchangeable here) are very simple:

  1. Backup your Storm
  2. Download the OS
  3. Install the OS on your computer
  4. Install the OS on your Storm

Let’s Do the Update

Step 0: Install Desktop Manager

OK, there’s really a step that should have preceded all this, but you may not have performed it: Installing the Desktop Manager software that came with your BlackBerry Storm. The version that you received should have been version 4.7. An older version might work perfectly well, but I recommend you use the version issued with your Storm, just to be safe.

I won’t detail that installation here. Just find the CD labeled BlackBerry User Tools (not the disk labeled “BlackBerry Storm 9530 smartphone,” with VCast and VZAccess on it), pop it into your CD or DVD drive, and follow the instructions to do an installation.

Step 1: Backup Your Storm!

If you haven’t already learned this lesson–now is the time. Develop a habit of regularly backing up your BlackBerry. Why? So you can restore your phone (to the original or a replacement) if anything goes wrong.

  1. Connect your BlackBerry to your computer using the appropriate USB cable and let your computer detect your phone. NOTE: The USB connector on the Storm is different than previous BlackBerry models, and is different from the USB connector used with many digital cameras, media players, etc. This is unfortunate, but that’s how it is.
  2. Open Desktop Manager and let it detect your phone.
  3. Use the Backup and Restore feature to backup your phone (see the screenshots below).

Select Backup and Restore.


Select Back up.


Save your Storm backup file to a safe place that you will remember.


Click Save. For your enlightenment, you may want to try to follow the progress to see all the things that get backed up (e.g., Address Book).


It only takes a very few minutes to complete the backup (although it depends on how large your Address Book is, how many 3rd-party applications you have installed, etc.)


Now, promise yourself that you’ll keep up this habit. I recommend doing a full backup weekly, keeping a backlog of at least 4-6 weekly backup files. Why? You may suffer damage or loss (e.g., accidental deletions from your Address Book) and not discover it for several weeks. You’ll need an older backup file to recover from a late-discovered loss. OK–back to the update…

Step 2: Download the Device Software (OS)

For Verizon Wireless, OS updates are downloaded from Browse to there and make the following selections:

Select Personal Email. [If yours is a corporate phone and you use a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), stop now. You must contact your BES Administrator for a software upgrade.]


Select BlackBerry 9530 and enter your phone number (I don’t think it’s used, it’s just checked to verify that it’s a valid Verizon phone number). Note that there are directions for a “web-based upgrade” for users who don’t have Desktop Manager installed. I don’t recommend this type of upgrade; I recommend you have and use Desktop Manager for its overall usefulness. Do NOT click “Upgrade.” Please read on…


Instead, scroll down and click Download Now.


In the resulting dialog box, select Save. Pay attention where it’s saved to–you’ll need to find the file to install it on your computer. I usually recommend saving files to the Desktop because it’s so much easier to find them there–but make your own choice.

Notice that the name of the file reveals the OS version number ( and the carrier (Verizon). Note that it’s a fairly large file (102MB), so will take a while to download depending on your Internet speed.

Step 3: Install the Device Software (OS) on Your Computer

Are you wondering why the OS must be installed on your computer? Why not just install it directly to the phone? Well, when you install it on your computer, what is saved on your computer are dozens of modules, including BlackBerry standard applications and foreign language support. If you choose to, or accidentally, delete one of those modules, having it on your computer allows you to restore it later using the Desktop Manager’s Application Loader. So, you need the full collection of OS modules permanently residing on your computer for potential future maintenance of your phone.

Now you need to remember where you saved that big download file. Locate it and click it.


Choose your language (e.g., English).


The installation to the computer begins.


Click Next.


Give the process a few minutes.


And you’re done. Click Finish.


You may be curious where the OS got installed to. On a typical Windows computer (in my case below, Vista 64-bit), it gets installed to a folder with a name like this:

c:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Loader Files\


Step 4: Install the Device Software (OS) on Your Storm

Finally, we get to our ultimate goal: installing the OS on the Storm. Start your Desktop Manager (version 4.7 recommended since that’s what was issued with new Storms at the time of this writing) and let it detect your phone.

When it detects and interrogates your phone, and then checks to see what OS(es) is installed on your computer, Desktop Manager realizes that an update is available and gives you the option to Update Now. Do it!


Here is a closer view of the dialog box that reveals that OS version 4.7 (termed System Software, Core Applications, etc.) is what the update will be.


The installation to the phone begins.


Application Loader prepares the update. Click Next.


You are warned that your device will need reactivation after the update. (For Verizon Wireless, that is done by calling *228 and selecting option 1.)

You are notified that applications and their data will be backed up to the computer, deleted from the phone, then restored after the update.


The process moves forward…


…and keeps going…


…and going.


At one point, the phone reboots itself. You’ll see the LED glow red for a while. This takes a few minutes to complete.


Apps and data are restored.


And your update is complete!


Disconnect your phone from the computer, and your screen will guide you through a few steps. Here are a few (I may not have them in the correct order–sorry):

Agree to the license for the new OS version.


I chose Yes here.


I skipped the setup wizard (clicked Close).


Just to be sure, do Options > About and check that your update gave you the desired version:


Remember that we were warned that our phone would need to be reactivated? Well, somehow my Storm reactivated itself–I’m not sure how. I didn’t have to dial *228 and select Option 1. I don’t know if your Storm will behave the same or not. I’d like to hear back from readers on this.


All-in-all, the above took about 30 minutes. Before beginning an update, make sure you allocate enough time to see it through to the end.

I hope you find that an OS upgrade, done carefully, is not difficult at all. It’s important to read this article in advance to prepare, be careful to make the correct choices along the way, and not let the process get interrupted.


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About the author

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

44 comments on this post

Akmed says:
Dec 6, 2008 - 05:12:44

Thanks for this. is now in my feed reader, I’ll keep and eye out for your next story. I like the layout of your site, nice and clean and easy to read. Thakns.

Dec 7, 2008 - 01:12:56

The more you post on your Storm, the more I want one. :D Now that you’ve been playing with yours for a little while, it is worth upgrading to? I’ve got one of the 8130 Pearls, and I really enjoy using it, but the Storm looks great. Anyways, I look forward to hearing more about your experiences with the Storm.

Dec 7, 2008 - 06:12:07

Fr. Sticha,
I love my Pearl, Curve, and Storm–all for different reasons:

A. Pearl: I love its small size. I actually like the small keyboard and SureType.

B. Curve: I love the larger screen for web browsing, video playback, and photos.

C. Storm: I LOVE the huge, high-quality screen for web, video, and photos.

Realize that the touchscreen is NOT as typing-friendly as a physical keyboard. It’s fun to use but not nearly as fast or easy (for me, others may feel differently).

Cell phone choices are so personal, you’ll have to decide yourself (after some prayer!). Or do like me and own SEVERAL!!!


P.S.–The ads on this site are purely to help me offset the cost of owning so many BlackBerrys. So far, it’s only helped a little, but every little bit helps. God Bless!

Jennifer says:
Dec 9, 2008 - 05:12:59

Great article!!

Elena says:
Dec 18, 2008 - 12:12:28

How can I transfer photos from my PC to my Storm? I am so frustrated !!
Thanks in advance for your help

Dec 18, 2008 - 01:12:11

Your Storm should have come with a built-in 8GB memory card that will hold a ton of photos, music, videos, etc. First, I recommend you enable Mass Storage Mode. From the Home Screen, do Options > Memory. Make sure Media Card Support=On, Media Transfer Protocol (MTP)=On, Mass Storage Mode Support=On, and Auto Enable Mass Storage Mode When Connected=On. Press the Menu key and select Save (if you had to change any of those).

Now, connect your Storm to your computer using the USB cable that came with it. Depending on how your computer is set up, you should see two windows pop up. If you get two windows, one represents a view into Device Memory. The other is a a view into Media Card Memory. The Device Memory has a folder named “user.” Don’t use that window–close it. You’d rather store your media files on the Media Card.

If you don’t get the two windows, open My Computer and see if you can find the disk drive that represents the Media Card Memory.

The Media Card should have a folder on it named “BlackBerry.” Open that folder and you’ll find folders for “music,” “pictures,” etc. Open the folder named “pictures.” Drag-and-drop photos from your computer into that folder.

That method is easier than attempting to use the Desktop Manager’s Media Manager, although Media Manager does work well for many people. You can try it if you want. Or maybe that was what was frustrating you earlier–you didn’t say.

Let me know how that works for you, and come back for more help if it doesn’t.

Elena says:
Dec 18, 2008 - 07:12:06

Oooooh Myyyy Gosh ! You are Awesome ! It took me all of 3-5 mins to accomplish this ! I was trying with the Desktop Media Manager for about 3 hours last night ! I have definately put this website as a favorite ! THANK YOU SO MUCH !!

Dec 18, 2008 - 08:12:18

I’m really happy you got your photos moved to your phone. Glad to help. Please do keep coming back. What we did together–recorded above–might help a lot more people as they pass by here.

Reggie says:
Dec 28, 2008 - 10:12:19

Hello Kelly,
I was wondering if anybody has complained about their service on the Storm? Mine is great :-) but I have a friend who is having trouble getting service on her Storm. She does not live in the same area as me but she has always had Verizon phones & service has been just fine. I guess my question is can the phone itself make a difference as far as receiving service? My suggestion was to send it back for a new one ( she is within her 15 day trial period) but I am curious if anybody has had any “Storm Specific” reception problems.
Thanks for your help as always!

Dec 28, 2008 - 09:12:20

I haven’t heard any complaints on the Storm’s reception/transmission quality. I live in an area of weak signal strength and it has been working about the same as my Pearl and Curve.

Elena says:
Dec 29, 2008 - 11:12:25

I had a few reception problems and the guy at Verizon told me to turn it off and back on again so it can “reset”. Works great. He also told me to be sure to turn it off at least once a week.

My screen “freezes” up everyonce in a while. The only way I can get it to work is by shutting it down all the way. Then it comes back normal. Is anyone else having this problem?

Dec 29, 2008 - 11:12:29

I haven’t had any “freeze ups” although there are times it is very slow to respond. I assume it’s doing something in the “background,” but I’m not sure what it is. I’ve read where some people have eliminated the slow responses by deleting some apps, such as Visual VoiceMail and VZNavigator. I haven’t tried that.

Elena says:
Dec 30, 2008 - 02:12:13

Yeah Im doing that today. In fact my whole dang phone just froze up. Its getting old so Im headed to verizon and decide what to do. My just go to a different blackberry. Cant even call out with mine right now. I’ll report back this evening.

Elena says:
Dec 30, 2008 - 10:12:22

Well I decided to stick with the storm. I had put my phone in my pocket and not locked the screen. I had accidently turned off all my conections. Works like a charm.

Dec 31, 2008 - 11:12:38

Oops! Having the radio off does pose a small obstacle. BTW–in case this ever happens to you, sometimes one of my BlackBerrys will emerge from Auto Off and its radio will be off. I don’t think it’s supposed to do that, but I often find it does.

P.S.–Thanks for taking the time to return and leave me status. That’s very helpful for me and future readers.

April says:
Jan 1, 2009 - 04:01:31

Kelly..your response to Elena regarding pictures worked well for me too! Thanks… I successfully loaded 38 songs on as well…it won’t take all the songs I want for various reasons but it’s okay for now. I may have a stupid question. I have a Palm One PDA and would like to import my calendar…is this possible. If not, I would like to type the data into the Blackberry calendar but on my PC. It would be way to time consuming to do it on the Storm. I welcome any advice you have.

Jan 1, 2009 - 09:01:45

If you can first synchronize your Palm One calendar with Outlook Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, or even Google Calendar, then there is a way to next synchronize that 3rd party app to your Storm. Use Desktop Manager to sync with Outlook or Yahoo; use Google Sync (a free download) to synchronize with Google. Outlook is probably the easiest and most reliable method, if you have Outlook on your PC.

If those suggestions don’t appeal to you, an alternative is to use the same technique I describe in my slightly old article about using Excel: If you have Excel, you can fairly easily type in all your calendar information there, then import it into your Storm using Desktop Manager. I’ll be glad to work with you on that. Soon I’ll be writing an updated and improved article about using Excel and the Storm to manage Contacts, Calendar, etc. Helping you with it now would help push me forward with that article.

Let me know how you want to proceed, or what success you have with the above suggestions.

Chris Duffy says:
Jan 10, 2009 - 12:01:23

I am a real NewBBie! The Storm is my first BB, and though I love it, I am also finding frustration with trying to transfer photos from my pc to the storm. I tried the solution you mentioned to Elena on December 18th and am stuck. In MY COMPUTER, I find the Blackberry, the Media Card…..but withing Media Card I only have two folders. One for music (which has the music I’ve transferred) and one for documents. NO picture folder. Why? I have no folder to click and drag photos into.

Can you help me? I have spent 3+ hours trying to bring photos from my pc to the blackberry :(

Jan 10, 2009 - 10:01:11

Not sure why your folders don’t appear. Try creating them yourself: Do Media > (press Menu key) > Explore. From there, you should be able to select the Media Card, then a folder named BlackBerry. In there, you normally should have folders named documents, music, pictures, ringtones, videos, and voicenotes. If you don’t use the Menu key to get a command to create a New Folder. See if you can’t create those folders. Hope that resolves your problem. If it doesn’t, let me know.

Kuzz says:
Feb 2, 2009 - 11:02:28

ok, so i figured out my last question. my new one is speed of the operating system. my BB seems to take approx 2-3 sec to transition after selecting an icon. any ideas on how i can speed that up? also is opera mini worth the trouble?

Jeevan says:
Feb 22, 2009 - 12:02:06

Hi, can you help me figure out how to synchronize my memos with the PC so I can view them on my my PC as well ?

Jeevan says:
Feb 22, 2009 - 12:02:49

also shouldn’t I just be able to autmoatically see it after synching like with my Palm Treo. It seems so not user friendly. I seem to have synchronized everything but I can ‘t view my memos or calendar on the PC, where do I find them now…can yu help me out?

Feb 22, 2009 - 06:02:47

A little more info from you would help me: Is your phone a Storm? Is your computer a PC running Windows (versus Mac or Linux computer)? Are you attempting to synchronize Contacts, Calendar, and memos with Microsoft Outlook? Are the memos Microsoft Word? Do you need to simply view memos or do you need full editing capability?

In anticipation of your response, I can tell you that you can sync a Storm with MS Outlook’s Address Book, Calendars, and Tasks. But memos is a different matter. Using a different procedure than sync’ing, you can copy MS Word docs to your Storm. But for full memo editing capability, you need to purchase some 3rd-party software. I’ll await your reply before I get more specific.

Debbie says:
Mar 5, 2009 - 06:03:03

I have purchased songs on my Verizon phone (30 to be exact), I recently purchased a Blackberry Storm from Verizon and I took it to a Verizon store so they could download all my stuff. They downloaded all my songs, but I can’t play them. Verizon says there is nothing they can do, because they are copywrited. I purchased them from Verizon, why can’t I play them on my new phone????? It’s just not right.


Mar 5, 2009 - 09:03:59

You’re right–it’s not right, it’s wrong. Just because one Verizon rep says something doesn’t mean that’s the final answer. Or the right answer. Try (1) asking to see the store manager, (2) going to a different store (if practical), and/or (3) phoning Verizon customer support. Be courteous but firm, and persistent. If you paid for the songs, you have the right to play them. Please let me know if you get any results or not. I’ll try to think of how I could help.

Mohammadreza says:
Mar 16, 2009 - 06:03:55

Dear Please help me,
I’ve got an unlocked Vodafone Storm, it works fine, i want to upgrade it to latest os, to be able to install application and …, but i want to know will it be locked again ? or it will remain unlocked ?
please help me. the damn thing is, i’ve bought it from Germany, but i live in another country U.A.E, and here’s no one to service and support my phone, some one please help.

Mar 16, 2009 - 11:03:07

I don’t know from firsthand experience, but I’ve read from several sources that once a phone is unlocked, an OS upgrade will not cause it to be locked again. If you do the upgrade, would you please let me know what you discover (if it’s still unlocked)?

Mohammadreza says:
Mar 17, 2009 - 12:03:24

Dear Kelly

I do the upgrade, it successfuly upgraded but the device could not perform backup operation, so I update my contacts, memo, notes, … myself, and after the update yes it’s still unlocked and no need to reactivate it by Vodafone, but I suffer a problem in Multimedia, when playing a music file or movie file the on screen control (play, pause,…) become unstable and flick and flick…., I don’t know why exactly but I know it could be fix soon.
Again Tnx for all your kindness and guide,


Mar 17, 2009 - 06:03:32

Thanks for confirming that the phone remained unlocked.

I recently upgraded my Storm to an OS version that was “leaked” (maybe for a European wireless carrier), so was not authorized for my phone. It’s version It seems to be more stable than the version I wrote about in the article above, except that when I use the video camera, the phone freezes up and I have to remove the battery to recover. It’s obvious that the Storm was released far too early, and there are still problems. I hope RIM works it out before long.

Take care,

Muzakki Irawan says:
May 9, 2009 - 06:05:11

Hi, i have an unlocked vodafone UK storm, but I found a problem that my blackberry can’t read the inserted media card (I use 4 GB Sandisk), can u help me to solve this problem?

May 9, 2009 - 04:05:24

Please search for and read my article “All About Media Cards.” Here are some things to test for:
1. Is the card bad? Can you read it on your computer?
2. Is the card unformatted or corrupted? Try formatting it?
3. Is the Storm configured to enable use of the card?
Let me know if the article and my reply help or not.

Natalie says:
May 10, 2009 - 08:05:28

Hi Kelly,

I have a storm but use Macs not PCs. I cannot load pictures or songs from/or to my storm from my Macs. I have tried pocketmac which allows me to sync calendar, e-mail etc, but does not recognize that my storm has a media card installed even though in options all items are turned on.

Not sure if you can help, but I am really hoping you can!!


May 11, 2009 - 12:05:45

There is an updated driver for PocketMac this is required for the Storm. If you haven’t already downloaded and installed it, go to, and select Support > Latest Updates. Let me know how that works out.

Natalie says:
May 11, 2009 - 02:05:12

Sorry, I should have mentioned that I had already downloaded and installed the new driver. It still wouldn’t work. I also tried downloading a program called double twist which allows you to sync your music and pictures but it does not recognize my blackberry when I connect it. Their customer support have tried their best to help me, but were unable to duplicate the problem on their end.

May 11, 2009 - 03:05:16

I have written a fairly comprehensive article about USB problems on Windows, but not for the Mac (I know…sorry). But it sounds like the same general kind of problem. From our discussion so far, it’s not clear to me whether your Mac is not recognizing the phone as a USB device, or is recognizing it but only not seeing the Media Card. You imply that Mass Storage options are enabled, so if your Mac is recognizing the phone as a USB device, it really should see the Media Card. Have you double-checked that your Mac doesn’t “see” a removable drive, or USB drive, and maybe it’s just not being clearly labeled as your BlackBerry?

Natalie says:
May 11, 2009 - 04:05:11

With Pocket mac uninstalled the mac does not show my blackberry in the finder window at all.

It is pocketmac when installed that recognizes the blackberry but doesn’t see the media card.

May 12, 2009 - 10:05:30

Unfortunately, I’m not very experienced at debugging Mac problems of this type. It sounds like PocketMac is responsible for installing a driver that allows the BB to be recognized, but for some reason, it doesn’t appear to “connect” to the Media Card. You might get help by issuing a support request to the PocketMac support folks at I’m sorry I can’t help any better than that. If you do find a solution, would you mind returning here to share for others to learn from?

William says:
Jun 17, 2009 - 01:06:14

I recently upgraded the new software version on my storm. Evertyhing upgraded OK with the exception of my pictures. I tried to set one of them as a wallpaper and the home screen comes up blank. My verizon store said I might need to do a hard boot but that means losing everything. I feel there is a simple fix rather than hard booting. Also, is there a way to transfer my pictures from my phone to my PC without using the desktop manger?

Jun 17, 2009 - 03:06:06

I think by a hard boot they might just mean doing a battery pull. That is a trick that corrects a vast number of problems: remove battery, wait a few seconds, replace it, and wait for it to restore. Try that anytime your phone seems to be acting strange. It can’t hurt and usually helps. You’re not going to lose anything doing that.

Yes, the BEST way of transferring media files between your computer and your phone is to NOT use Desktop Manager’s Media Manager but rather use the Mass Storage Mode of your phone. Please see my article “All About Media Cards.”

William says:
Jun 18, 2009 - 12:06:27

Thank you for the advice. You’re the first one that I have received a legitimate answer from. I will try the battery pull. Thanks again.

Sandra says:
Aug 11, 2009 - 06:08:59

Dear Kelly,

I have unlocked storm. I have so many problem with this phone and struggling alot with it. First I cant open the vidieo that I recorded with my storm. When I press play button it shows blank. So I tried to delete them. but they dont even diappear even if I press delete button. I am going crazy with this. is it my OS version problem?mine is v4.7.0.114(platform Should I upgrade my OS to solve the problem?

Aug 11, 2009 - 11:08:12

First, if you have warranty or insurance protection, consider just returning it or having it swapped out. I don’t know where you bought it from, but it could have been defective from the start.

If you can’t or don’t want to return/swap it, then I do think an OS upgrade is worth trying, since the problems you report sound like corrupted software (if not a worse defect). Wiping the phone and reloading or upgrading the OS can go quite easily or it can be tricky (and there is no way to know in advance which way it will go). Please read over all my articles on wiping a BB and on upgrading an OS before you decide whether you want to try it. I’ve had lots of readers do it successfully even though I’m sure they were very nervous before they tried it.

Ask more questions if you want. Please let me know what you decide and how it turns out. Wish you the best.

Sandra says:
Aug 12, 2009 - 01:08:51


I cant return or swap my phone since I got it as a gift from someone and actually here where I am living now there is no storm available. I dont know how and where he got it but all I have sticker attached on the box written Hungary…
I will try to upgrade OS even though I am not an expert on these kind of things. Wish me a luck on it and I will let you know!!!


Sandra says:
Aug 15, 2009 - 01:08:40

It was not successful!! After I down loaded upgrade program on my computer, I try to upgrade to my storm from desk manager. But there was no application upgrade available. my version is v4.7.0.114 and the one I tried to upgrade with was v4.7.0.167. what went wrong?

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