We’ve all had our BlackBerry problems. Some can be solved with some simple troubleshooting. Others can be solved by browsing our BlackBerry quick tips archives, or even the BlackBerry guides archives. Sometimes, it’s as simple as uninstalling a problematic program (I had this problem after installing Zumobi). Most of the time, a pull of the battery will take care of all your issues. However, there comes a time when none of these will seem to work. Your BlackBerry is running slowly, and many applications aren’t functioning properly. So what do you do?
The most noticeable symptom here is that your BlackBerry is running slow. This by itself doesn’t mean that you need to wipe the thing, but it should certainly raise a red flag. If you’re experiencing lag in trackball movements or application launches, you might want to take a look at what lives on your device. Your memory might be too full, or you might be running a poor application.
You might also notice that the hour glass icon appears on the screen for longer than usual, or more frequently than seems necessary. That was my first sign that my BlackBerry needed wiping. Randomly, though usually after I had sent a message, the hourglass would appear on the screen, then disappear. And then appear again. It would cause further lag.
Another red flag can be raised if your messages aren’t being sent on the first attempt. Just last week, I had to resend every single email or text message. On the first attempt, I’d get that big red X next to the message in my inbox. So I’d have to go into the message and hit resend. It’s a small inconvenience that can turn into large problems.
Of course, if your BlackBerry routinely freezes, you might be in need of a wipe. Sometimes, the freezing is temporary, just an extreme form of lag. Others, it means resetting the BlackBerry altogether. Either way, this is not normal behavior. Something is wrong, and the sooner you fix it, the sooner you’ll stop getting frustrated.
A temporary solution here is to pull the battery. I’ve noticed that any problems I’ve had have been relieved, at least for a little bit, by pulling the battery. But now I’m at a point where I’m pulling the battery at least once a day. That’s no good. It’s time for a wipe.
Backing up your applications
The reason I’ve delayed in actually wiping my BlackBerry is that I have so many applications on it that I don’t want to lose. I can imagine other people have this same dilemma. Sometimes, these applications are free and/or easily retrievable. I’m sure that if I wipe my ‘Berry, I can re-download Vlingo with ease, and the only thing I’ll really lose is the “learning” aspect of it. Other applications, however, might be that easy.
The best thing to do here is to back up everything on your BlackBerry. How do you do that? Well, you could play around with BlackBerry Desktop Manager and use the Backup and Restore feature. A quality guide for this function can be found here. You can do a full backup or selective backup and make sure that all of your important on-board files and applications make it through the wipe.
Another method, and one that can help you further, is through the Aerize Card Loader. Which, if you’re so inclined, you could buy from the BBGeeks Store. This will allow you to store and install applications right from your BlackBerry memory card. So instead of deleting the applications you don’t have room for anymore, you can just stow them away on the SD card, and reinstall them when needed.
Wiping the ‘Berry
Back in February, Cooper wrote a quick guide for wiping your BlackBerry and restoring it to the factory defaults. This is one path you could pursue to clean up your device. It’s quick, simple, and should get the job done. Once you’ve wiped it, you can dump your applications back on it, and it should be nearly the same as it was before. Minus, you know, the problems that made you want to wipe it in the first place.
Another method is to wipe the device with Jl Cmder and reinstall the OS. You’ll have to get the OS file from your carrier site and have it ready for the reinstall. Follow the instructions from BlackBerry FAQ, and you’ll have a fresh BlackBerry, just like it was out of the box.
If you’re really in a bind and can’t manage either of the options, you can always take it to your provider to be reflashed. You’ll have to make sure everything is backed up first, of course, but your carrier should be able to restore your BlackBerry to factory defaults with ease. I’m told, though, that many service centers won’t do this for smartphones. You’ll have to check with your own local service center to be sure. In the end, though, it might be worth it to just do it yourself.
Good as new
Well, hopefully. Once you successfully backup, wipe, and restore your BlackBerry, everything should be working like it used to. No more lag, no more freezing. If you’ve installed an application that adversely affects the performance of your device, you might want to seriously consider this. It might be the only way you get your Berry back to normal.