My Blackberry Curve 8900 of 3 years went dead last week with 523 error. This error proved to be fatal. I tried finding solutions online but none helped. Finally I did a complete re-blackberryinstall of my Blackberry OS. The install process is a bit convoluted and not documented anywhere properly. I am sharing the process below with help from this guide.

  1. If possible, try to connect your phone to the Blackberry Desktop Manager(BDM) installed on your desktop and take complete backup of your device. The OS reinstall will wipe out all data, hence this is important. In case BDM is not installed already, you can download it here. In case you are not able to take backup then unfortunately there is no option, either you will have to rely on an older backup you may have taken already or you have to lose data.
  2. Install the latest Blackberry OS relevant to your phone and carrier ON YOUR COMPUTER. Here is the complete list. Please note that this OS needs to be installed on your computer first and this is phone and carrier specific, so choose your OS type carefully.
  3. Open Windows Explorer and go to the following folder: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\AppLoader\ and open the Loader.exe file.
  4. After the device configuration has been retrieved, you will be on the Device Application Selection page. You may scroll through the list to ensure all the applications you want are selected.  You can also de-select any applications you don’t use to save space.  Click Next.
  5. On the next page, click on the Advanced button. Ensure that both boxes (Delete all application data and Delete all currently installed applications) are checked. Click Next.
  6. Proceed with the OS reinstall.  Note that this process may take 10-30 minutes (usually ~10 minutes). Do not disconnect the device.
  7. Once the process is complete, re-open the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. Select Backup and Restore and open the Restore application. Select the file to restore (Backup-(Year-Month-Day).ipd) and click open. Follow the steps to restore your device.

Here is some additional and important info on how to install the latest apps. I wasted a lot of time on this stuff.

  1. Once the OS is re-installed, you would need to download and install apps. In my case, for some weird reason though the Blackberry World app appeared in the applications list (Options > Applications > Add-on drop down) but its icon wasn’t available anywhere. I took the BIS service from my carrier and the app world icon appeared after a restart of the device.
  2. If you were used to ‘Google Authenticator’ app which provides 2 way authentication for various services, you may find it difficult to reinstall this app. The official links on Google doesn’t work anymore.
    Here is an easy way. Go to http://dl.google.com/dl/mobile/authenticator/BlackBerry-XX/com_google_authenticator.jad from your blackberry browser. (Replace XX with your Blackberry OS hence 4.5 becomes 45 and 5.0 becomes 50) jad files are automatically installed by Blackberry when loaded inside device browser.
  3. Going forward protect your phone from further eventualities using Blackberry Protect app. This is a free app available inside Blackberry app world. This app can be set to backup your data on a daily, weekly or a monthly basis to Blackberry protect servers on the cloud. Additionally you can use the Blackberry protect website to locate your phone, restore data in case of crash or wipe all data in case of theft. Your Blackberry protect app can configured to back-up data on Wi-fi, hence you may not need to worry about 3G data usage.
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