UPDATE: 01 OCTOBER 2010: THE WEBSITE THAT HOSTED THE ENGINEERING SOFTWARE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE HOSTING OF THE ENGINEERING SOFTWARE NOR DO I HAVE A COPY OF THE SOFTWARE. BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS MOD, I STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU OBTAIN ALL SOFTWARE BEFORE CONTINUING SO YOU ARE NOT STUCK HALF WAY THROUGH THE UPGRADE PROCESS.
READ THIS FIRST: Update: 02 November 2009: There have been many suggestions, updates, fixes to common problems, and “FYI’s” in the comment’s section of this post. Please read all comments if you have an error or problem before posting.
It also appears that the original site hosting the MML files has been pulled offline. If you have links to the hosted files please let me know and I’ll add them to this blog post. The original links in the post (that no longer work) have been kept in the post for posterity’s sake, so use the links below. I don’t have the files on servers under my control and cannot vouch for their integrity or content. The MML files at Media Fire I discovered through a Google search.
Before I go into my own debranding experience with my Blackberry Bold 9000 let me first give three important points:
- First and foremost I do not approve of, or support, the cloning of a device’s IMEI, IMSI, PIN, SIM, or any other identifier in order to circumvent the security and privacy of another’s device or to circumvent the security of a wireless carrier. I do not support any illegal activity stemming from the use of engineering software on a Blackberry device and I feel strongly that any person using the engineering software on their Blackberry device for illegal means should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
- Like all of my hardware and software modding posts, this is strcitly for fun. If you’ve read my previous posts on similar issues I only do this for fun and will only continue to do it for fun. Modding electronics (from routers, to computers, to smart phones, etc…) is a hobby for me and I enjoy the thrill and learning experience. If your intentions are ill or illegal then find another website or blog for your criminal mischief; don’t come here.
- I am NOT responsible or liable for any damages to your property. There is a very likely chance that your smartphone will be turned into a paperweight. I am recommending that you do not change anything on your phone.
Alright, with that said, Monday of this week I stumbled across a website that spoke of debranding a Blackberry smart phone thus removing the carrier’s logo (AT&T, Rogers, etc…) and enabling an “engineering menu” I assume is used by Research In Motion’s engineers to, well, engineer the Blackberry.
I liked the idea of removing my carrier’s logo (AT&T) as I’m not a walking billboard for free advertisements. I decided to debrand my own Blackberry Bold 9000 and that the benefits (removing AT&T’s logo) outweight the risks (permenantly bricking my $300.00+ 4 month old phone). Oh, this will void the warranty too. Here are the steps I took (deviated from the steps commonly found through a web search for debranding your Blackberry smartphone).
Step 1: Backup your application data using the Blackberry Device Manager. BDM v4.7 can be found at your carrier’s download site. I used Singapore Telecom as they seem to have newer versions of Blackberry software.
Step 2: Acquire the engineering software.
Step 4: Copy the extracted MML data files to C:\MML overwriting the original MML files.
Step 5: I’ve read that internet access should be disabled. I ignored this and just blocked the application in my firewall from accessing the local network and internet. So, block the application from accessing the tubes or turn off your connection.
Step 7: Connect your Blackberry Bold (At this point if you haven’t made a backup, STOP, and make a full backup of your device). The application will go through a series of connecting, uploading, and erasing. IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOUR BLACKBERRY IS NOT UNPLUGGED AT ANY POINT DURING THIS PROCESS!
Step 8: Once you see “Fail” on the MFI installer and “No Application…” on your Blackberry, unplug your Blackberry from your computer, close and then re-open the MFI application this time disabling “Auto Start”
Step 10: Select “Load VSM” from the drop-down menu and locate the .vsm file which should be in C:\MML\bin. You will then see “VSM Loaded Successfully”
Step 11: Close the MFI application. Your Blackberry Bold will display “No Application Linked Factory OS”
Step 12: Download and install whatever OS software version you choose. This can be found in the carrier section of Blackberry’s website (http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/downloads/download_sites.jsp ) OR do a Google or Yahoo search for finding beta and pre-release OS versions for the Bold
Step 13: (I use version 188.8.131.52 as it is the most stable for me). Once the OS is downloaded and installed, navigate to C:\program files\common files\research in motion\apploader (or wherever you have your program files folder installed to). Locate and delete the “Vendor.xml” file.
Step 15: Once the application software is reinstalled (and this took about an hour for me [multiple messages of scrubbing and erasing]) open the Blackberry Desktop Manager and restore your backup from earlier.
The great screen caputring software came from TechMogul.com which I found at Hooked on Tronyx!. Hooked on Tronyx! has a lot of useful information and applications for your Blackberry device. Check out his site.
Some other useful links that went into this post: