Aidan Fitzpatrick
Posted by Aidan Fitzpatrick,

Owners of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 in the UK will likely be running BlackBerry's version 5 operating system. Version 5 isn't bad, but RIM released OS 6 some time ago, and it's excellent. The interface is really souped up, and it makes the phone easier and faster to use.

Unfortunately, OS 6 isn't released in the UK, and UK carriers don't let you upgrade without jumping through some hoops first. Here's our guide on how to complete the upgrade yourself. This release isn't official supported in the UK yet, and we can't support or recommend doing this.

  1. Make sure you have the latest copy of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager installed. If you don't, you can get it here.

  2. Sync your phone with the BlackBerry Desktop Manager, and be sure to take a backup of your phone's data. The upgrade should be a lossless process, but you never know. If you do lose data, you should be able to recover some of it with the BlackBerry Backup Extractor.

  3. Visit BlackBerry's software download site and select the latest AT&T OS for download. At the time of writing, that's 6.0.0.2342.

  4. Run the downloaded OS update program, and it'll install the update into BlackBerry Desktop Manager.

  5. Open the BlackBerry Desktop Manager's "Apploader" folder. This will likely be in C:\Program Files\Common Files\Research in Motion\Apploader (or C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Research in Motion\Apploader on x64 systems).

  6. Rename the "vendor.xml" file to "_vendor.xml" so that the desktop manager cannot find it.

  7. Run the application loader program, "Loader.exe" from the folder, and follow the instructions it presents. It'll take you through the OS upgrade on your BlackBerry, which could take 5 - 10 minutes.

  8. Enjoy your newly upgraded BlackBerry!

There's a video showing off some of the new features in BlackBerry OS 6 on YouTube.