If you are a relatively new owner of the Verizon BlackBerry Storm 9530, you may have never upgraded your Device Software (Operating System, or OS). You really need to know how to do this, but you should also be prepared for a number of problems that can occur along the way. Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
- How to prepare before upgrading
- How to download the new software
- How to start the upgrade
- How to handle some problems that might occur during the upgrade
Before you upgrade
Before you even think of upgrading your BlackBerry, back up the data stored on it. If you’re not already doing this on a regular basis, you’re playing with fire! Especially if your Address Book, Messages, Calendar, etc. are crucial to protect.
How to back up your BlackBerry
These instructions will be brief. Connect your BlackBerry to your computer using a USB cable. Start Desktop Manager. Wait for your phone’s PIN to be recognized and displayed in the lower left-hand corner (in the screenshots below, my PIN is “fuzzed out” for privacy reason–sorry).
Select Backup and Restore.
Select the Backup Options.
Make sure Back up on-board device memory is selected.
Save your backup file using the recommended filename that includes the YEAR-MONTH-DAY. Save it in a place you can easily find it if you need to restore the data later.
See how easy that was? So there’s no excuse for not backing up frequently!
Downloading the upgrade
Verizon offers two ways of downloading the upgrade:
- NOT RECOMMENDED: Use only your phone to download the upgrade “over the air” (OTA). Although this is a perfectly valid way of doing it, I don’t recommend that technique for these reasons:
- It’s a REALLY BIG download, requiring time, airtime minutes, bandwidth quota, etc.
- If the download fails, possibly because of a weak signal or network congestion, you have to start the download all over again.
- I suspect there may be a kind of installation failure that will leave your phone useless, forcing to use the other technique anyway.
- RECOMMENDED: Download the upgrade to your computer and install it using Desktop Manager. Why?
- A download failure generally is less likely using your computer.
- Once loaded onto your computer, the download file is there if you ever need it again. And you probably will.
Download the software upgrade from Verizon
These instructions will be brief. Using your computer, browse to the Verizon BlackBerry software upgrade site at http://vzw.smithmicro.com/blackberry/.
Click Personal Email (this link is for “regular” owners of a BlackBerry, not owners whose phone is owned by their employer who uses a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, or BES).
Follow the instructions to select your BlackBerry model (Storm 9530) and enter your mobile phone number. Click Download Now.
Make sure you know where your downloaded file is being saved. Unless you’re an old pro at downloading, I recommend you save to your Desktop because it’s much easier to find the file there.
Install the upgrade on your computer
Locate the downloaded file and double-click it. This will cause the upgrade software to be installed on your computer, but not yet on your phone.
It’s not necessary to know this, but your upgrade package is installed on your hard drive here:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Loader Files\
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Research In Motion\Shared\Loader Files\
I point this out because if you ever need to reload your phone’s Device Software (Operating System, or OS), it will be ready and waiting for you right where you installed it.
Do the upgrade
Finally, you’re ready to actually do the upgrade. You’ve backed up your phone. And you’ve downloaded and installed the upgrade software on your computer. Let’s go do the upgrade…
1. Connect your computer to the Internet, if not already. I’ll explain why a little later.
2. Start up Desktop Manager and wait for your phone to be recognized by its PIN. Select the Application Loader.
3. Desktop Manager will check to see if your phone is eligible for an upgrade. If you are not connected to the Internet, this step will fail.
4. Desktop Manager should report that there are updated versions of “apps” available for your phone. This is really referring to the Device Software or Operating System. Click Update Now.
5. A number of messages and progress bars will appear over a relatively brief period.
6. After a short while, you get to an Update summary screen that shows the new System Software and Core Applications that are ready to be installed on your phone. Click Next.
7. The update will begin…
8. Here is a silly screen asking about email notifications of future updates. Answer however you please, then click Next.
9. Here is a warning that your phone will need re-activation after the upgrade. (I found that this happened automatically, so I didn’t have to do anything at all. Otherwise, I would have dialed *228 and selected Option 1.)
The next two screens show the beginning and end of all the software modules that will be updated. It’s quite a long list, including any 3rd party apps that were previously on your phone that need to be restored.
10. Now you can sit back and wait a while. You can watch the progress bars slowly grow then pass by. Or…you can watch some paint dry—whichever is more interesting to you.
11. OK, this is what we all love about technology: Warnings! Errors!
I don’t know if this will happen to you or not. If it doesn’t, feel fortunate, and skip down to step 22.
It appears that my upgrade basically was a success, but some “application data” could not be restored. Later I discovered that my Address Book, old Messages, etc. were not restored to my phone. That did not make me happy.
I clicked Main menu to try to fix this problem
12. Remember my advice to back up your phone before attempting an upgrade? THIS is why.
From the Main Menu, I selected Backup and Restore.
13. I selected Restore.
14. I navigated to the folder where I keep my phone backups and located the backup I did just minutes earlier. (You DO remember where you saved your backup, right?)
15. The screen below is a bit confusing. Fortunately, your only choice is to click OK.
16. Apparently, my data is now being restored!
17. Or not. I’ve had people smile when this kind of thing happens. They’re so glad that it happens to “professionals,” too. I’ll bet one of you reading this right now is getting a chuckle (at my expense).
18. Not to worry. Let’s just try again. Back to Main Menu. Back to Restore.
But…there’s…nothing to click, is there? Yes…there is! The little File link in the upper left.
19. I did File > Open.
20. I located my backup file (again!) and proceeded much like I did in steps 14-17 above. And got the SAME ERROR. Again.
21. OK, so what does a true professional do at a time like this? Think. What did Captain Kirk do in the Kobayashi Maru training exercise? The no-win scenario. That he won.
OK, well, I’m not exactly Captain Kirk. But I drew upon a lesson I’ve learned many times in my past: Computers Sometimes Are Wrong.
I disconnected my phone and checked my data:
- Address Book OK? Check!
- Messages restored? Check!
- Calendar entries? Check!
- Browser bookmarks? Check!
- Etc. All my data had been restored.
22. If you skipped down to here from step 11, you missed out on the fun I had overcoming a very stupid problem.
I don’t know what caused the problem. Was it because my previous OS was an “unreleased” version that had been “leaked” to the Internet?
I’m eager to publish this article and see if any readers report the same problem. Or report that they had no problems.
This article dragged on way too long for me to go into what I’ve discovered about this new version of BlackBerry OS for the Storm. I’ll just say that if you’ve been running on the previous official release(s) from Verizon, you’ll find this version a welcome improvement.