Removing the Carrier’s Logo on the Blackberry Bold 9000

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.

  • http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=652217d0a1ad632e6b21be4093fab7acb1d7285d45e41baf87095ac91101628c
  • Before I go into my own debranding experience with my Blackberry Bold 9000 let me first give three important points:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    http://na.blackberry.com/eng/support/downloads/download_sites.jsp

    Step 2: Acquire the engineering software.
    See: https://hookedontronyx.com/Blackberry/Unbranding/MML.zip

    https://hookedontronyx.com/Blackberry/Unbranding/MMLSetup.msi

    Step 3: Install the MML software onto your computer. This will install by default to C: root (C:\MML)

    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 6: Enabled “Auto Start” and disable “Full Erase”

    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 9: Once the MFI application is opened and “Auto Start” unchecked, press CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+F12 to open a hidden drop-down menu. Once the menu is displayed reconnect your Blackberry Bold

    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 2.6.0.245 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 14: With your Blackberry still connected, locate and execute loader.exe. This will start the Blackberry software loader. Follow the prompts until the software is installed on your Blackberry.

    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.

    Once your restoration is completed you can now enjoy your debranded Blackberry with a plethra of extra options. The engineering screen is accessed by pressing (and holding) ALT+aA+H on your Bold.


    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:

    Unlocking and Unbranding: What Do They Mean?
    Engineering Screen on Bold
    Accessing the Engineering Screen without Unbranding

    And see related post: Mapping the Blackberry Engineering Menus

    This entry was posted in Blackberry, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

    80 Responses to Removing the Carrier’s Logo on the Blackberry Bold 9000

    1. racs says:

      Just use the .314 of the 5.+ serie that one works like a charm.
      Will remove the carrier logo in a sec and will report later.
      Greet.
      Racs

    2. phoner says:

      Hi, I’ve done everything successfully but when I turn my bold on it says: Initialization Failed instead of the carrier and shows SOS instead of the signal bar…
      I tried to put a peice of plastic at the sim card as I read in other forums and tried with 3 different sim cards but nothing works!
      Any suggestions?
      Thanx

    3. ReyTeam says:

      @Racs
      Could u guide me to OS.314 of 5+ series link mentioned in ur post? & only loading the OS will be enough is it? no need of the above mentioned process to remove the logo? pls inform?
      WBR
      REyTech.

    4. ReyTeam says:

      and has anyone tried this on a new security blackberry bold on which the imei’s start from 9xxx series? pls gve ur feedback to me,
      WBR
      ReyTech.

    5. lector says:

      will it work on a 9700 bold?

    6. johndball says:

      Not sure, haven’t tested it on a 9700 yet…

    7. SiiM says:

      hi all of you thanx for the greatest blog .

      i tried this on my storm 2 9520 vodafone .

      i just have a problem i cant load the vsm file the screen become white and every thing is great but when i try to load the vsm it said you cant branding issue .

      its ok i reload the OS and every thing is fine i guess but it was nice to try …

      if there any thing to solve the problem update us please

    8. Sachin says:

      hi all,

      When i click Clesr MEP Data in MFI Multiloader it says “feature not supprted by firmware version Commang 0xff2e can’t get confrmta
      can’t set MEP data can’t load mep file”, Please help, My BB is 8320

    9. johndball says:

      This is because the guide was written for a Bold 9000.

    10. Al Burgess says:

      MFI file not found on local drive. How do I rectify this?

    11. Dipz says:

      Is there a likely to be a new MFI for the 9700 any time soon?
      thanks

    12. VonDat says:

      can i load a different VSM file? i got mhy phone from the US and i want rebrand it for my local carrier so i can enjoy their BIS service.

      can you email me a reply. thanks!

    13. Suraj says:

      Will it work on 8900?

    14. ricco says:

      top guide dude works a treat

      Thanks

    15. Marek says:

      There is a CRC error in this file MML-splitarchive.part01.rar

      Also MML is not starting under Windows 7

    16. allan says:

      can you help me with my bb 9000? it just blinks with this series (10111). it wont turn on and connect to the pc. tnx!

    17. johndball says:

      Try using Google and searching around on the web. I no longer have the Blackberry Bold 9000 to test on.

    18. nicolusse says:

      Got stuck at Step 8. It says “The MFI file was not found on the local drive…..”. how can I fix that error?

    19. pointman says:

      Just tried this on my Curve 8310 & it worked a treat. Many thanks for sharing it.

    20. Bhushan says:

      Hi,
      I tried downloading the engineering software as menioned in step 2 and it failed as the browser reported file to be removed form the server. Can I get another link to download the applicatipon?

      Thanks.

    21. Matt says:

      Hello,
      As suggested above, I did try downloading the engineering software but the link is broken. Could we please get another link to download the applicatipon.
      Thank you.

    22. infinus says:

      hi,

      i have downloaded mml and it says connecting to device forever.
      even though my 9000 is connected. and i can see hidden menu after hitting Alt+ctrl+shif+F12.

      i am logged as dubeyLabs which is administrator account on my XP.

      can you help.
      i want to debrand my 9000 on Fast 100 (Platform id: 179)

    23. R says:

      Is this works for Curve 8520 as well??

    24. dfr says:

      i just tried on the 8310 AT&T and it said PASS instead of FAIL, so i reset (from Menu) and came up with the “not linked to factory”, so i started the testing phase and after playing a bit with the test i reloaded the OS from the apploader… it came up to the same test screen so if you read it says: press START to load, and i did now its loading all good from apploader…

      now, the device might take some time. up to 15 mins to start for the first time but after that it comes up and guess what>? There’s no carrier Logo at all !!!

      It shows a RIM Logo instead !

      To get the MML go to TPB and download a torrent…

    25. Trevor S says:

      This may sound like a silly question.

      I’m looking to unlock a BB Bold 9000. In every guide (and with the torrent I downloaded) they say something like “Copy the additional MML data files to C:\MML – Overwrite all the original files”. In your case, this is step 4.

      What are these additional files? Does this mean extracting the MML.zip over top of the installed MMLSetup.msi ? The rest of the guide seems rather clear.

    26. snmp says:

      * You have could have a problem with bold like me with my unlock 9000 in OS5 (that sound like come from the os update with change in base band or come from “smart card protection”) :
      “FAILS” with the following errors: Timeout. Cannot reconnect to radio.
      The device may be password enabled, please make sure the password is correct. Cannot connect to radio.
      And the pinn umber is also 0000000

      If you want un-brick your BB 9000 you need restor the firmware = explanation of the process : http://forums.crackberry.com/f3/how-do-i-recover-dead-blackberry-32322/

      @infinus,
      - You need to copy [BbDevMgr.exe] from the location C:\MML\bin\
      - And Overwrite the one in the location C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research In Motion\USB Drivers\

    27. snmp says:

      BTW : Bold 9000 with imei start with 98XXX could have the RTAS Protection/permision like the 8520 8900 9500 9630 9700

    28. snmp says:

      I have found the tool for make the job with Bold with RTAS prtoection (imei with 98XXX or 35XXX.03 ).
      * found with Google : Loader new security .rar,
      * connect your phone with USB
      * launch the Loader 9000 .exe who rewrite the ROM
      * No Application…” on your Blackberry, unplug your Blackberry

      You will back to the Step 8.

    29. tendy fish says:

      I Know its for BB Bold 9000, but i’d like to know if it will work on BB Curve 3G [9300]

    30. johndball says:

      Not sure. Try looking around on various search engines.

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