I got off the phone with Cingular support and I'm still shaking my
If you're thinking of getting a Blackberry Pearl, unless you want to
lose a few days of troubleshooting (either on your own or giving up
your handset to let the sales clerk try and fix it) this is worth your
time to read.
I posted yesterday on this issue, but sense then I have been able to
get in touch with RIM and confirm a few things so I wanted to provide
that information here.
On the newer Blackberry Pearl phones there is a known problem
regarding the web features on the phone being removed by the
Blackberry Desktop Manager software for Windows the first time the
user attempts to transfer applications using Application Loader or
media through Media Manager from PC to device using the supplied USB
REASONING BEHIND PROBLEM:
A detailed reasoning for the problem was not explained. It appears the
version of the Blackberry Desktop Manager software for Windows that
comes in the box with the phone has sever compatibility problems with
the current Blackberry Pearl handsets. I'm not sure what just in
production, or if the newer phones are just faulty due to poor
manufacturing techniques. Here's what support told me, this is
verbatim: "We've been having a lot of support calls over the browser
icon dispearing and the browser and e-mail not working after users try
to sync with their PC for the first time, RIM hasn't really given us a
solution.... I wouldn't be surprised if they do a recall". According
to Cingular and RIM the problem is A.) Known and B.) Unpublicized
(read: they are trying to keep this internal probably due to the bad PR
RIM (Blackberry) suffered only a few weeks ago, see: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2129498,00.asp
Since the Blackberry Pearl has no true "hard reset" it is impossible
to restore the device to its "virgin" state without reinstalling the
Blackberry OS. In their support system, Cingular has instructions on
how to perform a "master reset" on the Blackberry Pearl, but RIM
support later confirmed that this does produce a true out-of-the box
state, it simply restores settings, it does not restore OEM software
(which includes the web browser, MEdia Net and e-mail setup).
Furthermore, Cingular does not make the OS or these vital applications
available for user download.
If you encounter this problem, the easiest solution is to take your
Blackberry Pearl back to the Cingular store and get a replacement.
Note that you will likely encounter the problem again, but the
information that follows can help you once you have procured a new
Blackberry Pearl handset.
In order to complete these steps you will have to have a backup file
on your PC of your phone (this is a file you will have had to manually
create using the Blackberry Desktop Manager's backup option). You are
not required or prompted to perform the backup operation, so most
people will probably not have this file. If you do not have a backup
you must return the phone to Cingular for a replacement, just make
sure you perform the backup first thing when you get your new phone!
So assuming you have a backup file, here are the steps to restoring
the web browser, MEdia Net and e-mail icons and the restoring the
corrupted files on your phone related to these services.
1. If you have it installed, uninstall the Blackberry Desktop Manager
software that came on the CD-ROM with your phone.
2. Download and install the current version of the Blackberry Desktop
Manager software for Windows from this location: https://www.blackberry.com/Downloads...E4F82F9F00E7D4
3. Plug the Blackberry Pearl into your computer using the USB cable,
the new version of the Desktop Manager should prompted you to update
your phone, let it proceed to update the handset (this will install
the Blackberry System Software 4.2 "patch" onto the phone)
4. In Desktop Manager perform a backup
5. If you follow all the above steps before you try any sort of sync
or app/media transfers from PC to phone, you should be ok... However
if you have a handset that has been corrupted, you can also restore
the device by letting Desktop Manager install System Software 4.2 on
the phone and then performing a restore from a backup that was made
when everything was working.
MY COMPLIANT AND SUGGESTION AND A LITTLE SOAP BOX:
This shows a very critical design flaw in the Blackberry Peal, it's
vulnerable to be damaged by software to a state that only warranty
support can help. That's a problem you will not find on Windows Mobile
SmartPhones, PalmOS bsed SmartPhones or Symbian OS based, SmartPhones.
As far as I can tell it's a critical flaw found only in the RIM
Blackberry products, while not such a big issue for corporate clients
with support accounts, this is really unacceptable in a consumer grade
device such as the Blackberry Pearl.
It's not good enough for RIM to fix this problem in future versions,
they need to work with Cingular now and give Blackberry Pearl
customers an option to reinstall the OS and "OEM" applications that
Cingular preloads on the phone.
Ultimately you can divide the failure up here between Cingular and
RIM, all of this just points to the sad state of quality we get across
the board from cell phone service providers and handset vendors. Its
very easy for them to just say "bring the device in and we'll fix it"
and for them to disregard the hours of work you may have put into
setting up the device and making it useful. In fact, I thought by
going with an RIM product I would have a bit more security sense this
is sort of their area of experise, but RIM really let me down. I'm
frustrated I really want to return the Blackberry Pearl, but the grass
isn't greener. The truth is when it comes to problems, all the devices
I've encourted can be pushed to the breaking point and once they break
there's always a ping-pong support game, essentially the entire cell
industry is horrible at providing true technical support on the
devices they sell.