Scott Hanselman

Can't Upgrade a Blackberry 7290 to latest system software

March 8, '06 Comments [2] Posted in XML
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Sat_screenshotI had an older 7280 "Blue" BlackBerry that died, so our IT org pulled a "Black" BlackBerry out of a drawer. I went to http://www.cingular.com/bbdownloads for the latest firmware so I could run Google Local for Mobile 

(Which, BTW, is unbelievably brilliant. I wish I knew what flavor of Java they were using to allow them to have such vast phone support. Do check it out if you have a data plan.)

Anywho, when I launched the Crackberry's Desktop Manager after installing the System Software Upgrade Package, you are supposed to get a prompt telling you that your system is out of date and would you like the new stuff. Nothing. It was as if the Desktop Manager couldn't see the new package, or more likely, that it didn't realize that the new package supported this particular Blackberry.

Regmon and Filemon led me to a file called vendor.xml in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\AppLoader. It's got stuff like this:

<vendor id="0x66" Name="Cingular Wireless">
      <bundle id="System" version="4.0.0.201">
  <devicehwid>0x80000503 0x90000503 0x80000403 0x94000503 0x94000403 0x94000903</devicehwid>
      </bundle>
   </vendor>
...etc...

Now, in the registry, under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Research In Motion\AppLoader\SearchPaths\{54DF9FA9-C79E-4BFC-94DE-C56456F9452A} there's a HardwareID listed in decimal, 2617246979 which is 0x9C000503 in hex. It also notes that my BlackBerry is system software version 4.0.0.201.

I wanted to get to 4.0.2.93 and I could see that those files were over in C:\program files\common files\research in motion\shared\loader files.

So, I could go into the vendor.xml file and add the new version of the System software and the mapping to my Device's Hardware ID. Sigh.

Conclusion: Rather than add a new mapping I renamed the vendor.xml file to vendor.foo. Upgraded and everything's lovely. Who has the patience, really?

Elapsed (wasted) time: 9 mins. Damn BlackBerry and their -600 million dollars.

DISCLAIMER: It's your tuckus, not mine, if this violates your IT org's policies, or your ISP's policies. I'm just talking, you're the one who has to take responsibility for pressing buttons and turning dials.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006 5:39:27 PM UTC
love the disclaimer ;-)
Thursday, March 09, 2006 2:57:33 AM UTC
Hmm, I used to manage about 10+ BlackBerries (and accompanying BES) in the past. I can't say that I've run into this issue before. Hacking vendor.xml always seemed to be a technique to get some other Telco's certified OS onto another phone. That is to say, you can't install the Cingular branded version on a Verizon issued BB.
The only other issue I could think is that the BBDM wasn't recognizing it because you had another version kicking around somewhere. I always only had the latest version installed in the loader, but who knows. Managing a fleet of BBs and BES was an insane task to start with... and I was only developing for them, so no users could muck around with the things.
Matt
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.