I have been having some very strange issues with my blackberry starting around December 8th. The phone started dying very quickly, the GPS stopped working all together, and certain web pages started throwing uncaught exceptions. If you don’t know by now I live and die by my blackberry, and I do consider myself a power user so all of the above problems really did matter.
these are the steps that I went through that eventually ended up with my bricked phone:
- Swap the battery with a known good one. It stopped dying so I gave the good battery back to Nicole and ordered one. Which also meant I looked like a total retard carrying around an external battery for my cell phone until the new one arrived.
- Web pages throwing errors? I tried wiping the phone from the internal device menus, reconnecting to my exchange server. I doubt the exchange server had anything to do with it but I depend on that connection. Anyhow after wiping it the web no longer had any issues.
- GPS still not working? I downloaded the latest Google Maps and It still would not lock in. Finally I called AT&T customer support to find out why the GPS stopped working. This was one of the most painful conversations I have ever had with tech support. I spent 1 hour trying to explain that GPS has to do with satellites and not any mobile communication networks EDGE/GPRS etc. The one rep even tried to tell me I had to pay for the AT&T mapping service so that my phone could get the GPS signals from the wireless network??? I finally gave up and decided I would do more research on my own.
- Try upgrading the firmware on the device. I had actually never hooked my blackberry up to the computer because I used exchange and everything I needed before came over the air. So I had to download the blackberry desktop manager software and the newest firmware which was 4.5.0. I followed the instructions I could find online and after the second failed attempt the device no longer responded, hence the term brick.
So now I have a phone that does not work at all. So I used web chat to contact AT&T since I got the link for all of the above software from their site. After about 30minutes of chatting it was determined by the rep that since the computer would no longer recognize or connect to the device that nothing could be done. He was very knowledgeable (so I thought) and did not waste my time, he could tell I was no amateur.
The phone is just over a year old and thus out of warranty. I looked about replacing the phone with a newer model but just didn’t like the thought that it could really be dead. I did some more searching and pieced together some ideas.
Basically I just opened the blackberry desktop manager again, connected the phone via USB (which still only showed a sad little blinking of the power LED, but no inkling that the computer recognized it) and attempted to delete all the applications from the phone. Strangely the computer software started to do some processing? Then it switched to say deleting applications from device?? how was this the computer did not even show a USB device attached and there was no change in status on the bricked phone. After about 10 minutes the computer software said that the operation was complete, I hit a button on the phone and it said it was connected to the computer.
Strangely enough the upgrade to the new firmware had somehow taken place, and the phone was no longer bricked. Better yet it somehow kept all the settings to my exchange server and started re-importing all of my emails, contacts, calendar appts and notes.
I guess that point is don’t ever underestimate a true geek when he is determined not to let the ghost in the machine win!