This evening at about 430pm my business critical top of the range BlackBerry Bold 9700 went blank except for an annoying small and inexplicable, unhelpful message: JVM Error 545.
It’s rendered the device absolutely useless. I saw it and took out the battery immediately smiling with an embarrassed look in case anyone in Starbucks had noticed. I waited nonchalantly for the reboot to finish. Boom, still the same stupid error.
If you’re going to screw up, at least have the graciousness to display a good looking logo. Or boot into safe mode. Or let me do the uber-basics like text my wife.
All of a sudden I was rendered mute. My business day came to a halt. Hugely hugely annoying.
Luckily I had no less than 2 iPhones with me. The Orange one and the o2 one. Both of which managed to step into the hole left by my BlackBerry.
What are RIM doing shipping a device that will just screw up – totally – without warning? The device is only two months old! I can’t even switch it off!
Helpful chaps on Twitter tell me I need to flash the device to reinstall the OS.
So that’s a fun evening ahead.
Has anyone else experienced similar?
I tell you this really does underline why I, as a mobile geek who relies on mobile technology for business and personal life, need to carry a minimum of two phones when I’m out and about.
Assuming I can get this fixed with a reinstall, what confidence do I have that the device won’t just screw itself up at a random time tomorrow?
Update: I’ve now found the error page on BlackBerry’s site. Kudos to BlackBerry for actually having the errors listed so that when I used the ‘Ask BlackBerry for Help’ form on their support site, results actually appeared. I’m now following some instructions to reinstall the device’s operating system. Gaaah.
Unfortunately those instructions linked in the error page aren’t available.
Ok. The supplied link on the error page was wrong. I recognised if you added a ‘1’ to the URL, then it worked. This is where I got to.
First though, I need to do a backup of my device so I don’t have to configure it all again. Thankfully this all looks reasonably straight forward, if not frustrating. This, by the way, is the first time I’ve put in a CD ROM into my computer for a mobile phone for years.
I am reasonably impressed there’s Mac support for the desktop. I was expecting to have to arse around with VMWare Fusion and Windows.
Annoyingly, the CD points me to blackberry.com/mac to download the software! What’s the point of the CD? 😉 At least I will be using the latest version of the software.
Now the software has downloaded and is installing. Alas it wants me to reboot my computer at the end of installation. Take note software engineers, we are not in the Dark Ages anymore. Asking me to reboot my Mac is like asking me to buy a Windows Mobile 6.5 phone. It ain’t gonna happen:
Bollocks to that.
I’ll try running it anyway. As if I’ve got the time to arse about shutting everything down? No.
I found the app in the Applications folder and ran it. Seems to be working fine.
“Please connect your device”…
I’ve connected it.
Of course, my device is still in Class-F (“FCKED”) mode.
So it doesn’t appear to be detecting it. The device is still showing the rubbish error. I have now clicked ‘enter’ on the keyboard — that’s the only option — to restart it. Hopefully it’ll be detected by my Mac during the restart…
What a fcking surprise.
It wasn’t detected.
Back to the sodding original knowledge base page.
I decided to try downloading the PC version using my Windows system on VMWare Fusion. That wants to download almost 300mb of data. The BlackBerry Desktop for Mac software is only 30mb.
Should I just restart my Mac? Perhaps that’s why the phone isn’t being detected?
I don’t know if I should restart, because if I do… and it DOESN’T work, I will develop a serious problem for the arse who programmed the ‘please restart your computer’ message.
Sod it. I’ll do a Mac restart instead of waiting 20 minutes for the PC version to download…..
I decided to wait, as I had other things to do.
The PC version of BlackBerry Desktop installed itself and couldn’t connect to the device. I restarted it a few times before I read the prompt message properly and hit the ‘update’ button, which — I think — is updating the software on the device to enable it to actually boot.
Spoke too soon:
Alas the BlackBerry’s screen is now completely black. I think it’s switched off.
Time to take off the battery… and restart.
The phone is entirely dead.
Ok, don’t panic, don’t manic…
I took out the battery for 5 seconds this time. Put it back in… Ah hah! The red light is showing….
Oooh and we’re getting a start-up bar showing…
And it’s booted straight into the old JVM Error 545 message. At least it’s ‘working’.
I sought help from a higher power in the form of Kevin Michaluk of CrackBerry.com. He’s written the definitive guide to rescuing your nuked BlackBerry. Kevin’s instructions worked perfectly up until this point:
Did a Google for the page to download Vodafone UK BlackBerry software from the BlackBerry.com site.
Then got the stupid, STUPID RIM legalese. I thought they’d killed this:
Alas we’re still in the Cold War.
The next page asks me to confirm that I am eligible for RIM to export the software to me.
Another 117mb download now for the software. Hopefully I can install this on the BlackBerry. At least I’ll be up to date, eh?
Hours later and…
Yes, I think we’re getting somewhere…
Unfortunately I’ve lost all my on-device data. That is an arse.
Of course I didn’t bother ever backing up my device because a) most of my data is cloud-based (on Google, so losing the phone isn’t much of a problem) and b) BlackBerries are very reliable….
Anyway at least my new device will be fresh..
Done. My completely fresh BlackBerry is now restarting.
Update 2: Ok, so that did work. It’s completely fixed. Time to reinstall everything…