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How to Reload the Operating System on a "Nuked" BlackBerry

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 7/6/2011

Oh no! Your BlackBerry is stuck in a constant reboot cycle and you can't get it to anything! Before you go rushing off to your cell provider for help, check out how you can reload the operating system on a nuked BlackBerry yourself.

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    If you've owned a Blackberry for a while, chances are you know what it means to have a “nuked” Blackberry. Something has gone terribly wrong and has the device stuck in a constant loop mode where it restarts over and over and is useless.

    It's not useless just yet. This guide will walk you through the steps to restore the nuked phone, but before we dive into how to do it, there are a few things we need to get out of the way.

    You will need:

    • to use a computer running Windows.
    • to have the Blackberry Desktop Manager installed.
    • to have the operating system you want to reload on your Blackberry installed.

    To get the Blackberry Desktop Manager, download it from the Blackberry website. Your cell phone carrier will have access to the operating systems. It is important to note that you do not have to reload the same version of the operating system that you had before. If you were looking to upgrade or downgrade, this is the perfect time to do it.

    **You will lose all third party applications and files. There is no way to recover this data.**

    Step One: Do not connect the Blackberry to your computer. You'll need the AppLoader application and you will not have a shortcut to it, so you'll need to navigate through the files on your hard drive until you reach: “Program Files > Common Files >Research In Motion > AppLoader. Find the shortcut, double click it, and click next.

    Step Two: Plug the Blackberry into the USB port and watch for when the screen switches to “USB-PIN:UNKNOWNClick next immediately. This is the step that takes the Blackberry out of the constant reboot cycle and allows for the reloading of the OS. If you miss it the first time (there is not much reaction time to allow for clicking next) you can try again and again until you get it right, so long as you disconnect the phone from the USB each time. It may take a few tries to get the timing down. Take the battery out of the phone to allow for more timing.

    Step Three: The hard part is out of the way and you can now choose the options you want to install on your phone. Once you have selected all the applications you want to load on your phone, click next, and click finish to start the installation.

    You will see the phone go through a series of screens, and eventually will arrive at the “The loading operation was successful" screen. At this point, the phone will reboot itself, and you can disconnect it from the USB because the phone is not actually connected at this point. The reboot will take a long time, probably around 10 to 15 minutes.

    You are all finished. Now you can take the time to backup the information you need before you install anything that may cause the Blackberry to nuke.