Seth Bokelman’s Weblog

Installing BlackBerry OS 5 on Sprint Blackberry 8330


I took the plunge earlier this week and installed the new BlackBerry operating system on my Sprint BlackBerry 8330 phone.  I’ve had really good luck with it, it’s been stable, and the improvements to the browser and messaging portions of the operating system have been well worth the time I spent getting it working.  In order to save others some time, here’s the procedure I used.  The only downsides I encountered were that I had less memory available afterwards in the phone (the new OS is larger) and I had to tweak permissions for some of the Google Apps to get them working.

Disclaimer:  This is unsupported by Sprint.  You may kill your phone doing this.  You may lose data.  You may trigger the apocalypse.  If you do so, it’s not my fault.  This worked for me, but you have been warned.  This very well may work on Verizon and U.S. Cellular 8330 phones as well, but I haven’t tested it.


Step 1. Plug your BlackBerry into your PC via USB and back up all your data via Desktop Manager.  I sync my contacts to Gmail using Google Sync, so it was easy for me to restore them back into the phone once I was done, but you’ll want to back up all the data on your phone before you start this.

Step 2. Download the Boost Mobile version of the OS from this site. Install it on your PC.

Step 3. Download version 1.7 (or newer) of BBSAK from this site, you’ll need to register for a free account to access the download.  Install it on your PC.

Step 4. Make sure your backups are good before going any farther.  Launch BBSAK, (your password is probably blank).  Select “Wipe Device” and BBSAK will nuke your BlackBerry.  It’ll take a few minutes, and will automatically reboot, then give you an error message on the screen, indicating that your OS is gone. This is normal.

Step 5. Click the Load OS button in BBSAK.  This will now let you load OS 5 onto your phone.  You can select or deselect a few optional components that you want to load onto the phone, then wait as it copies the OS over, and reboots.

Step 6. Wait.  Be patient, seriously.  A progress bar will pop up on the phone as it boots for the first time.  It’ll appear to hang at around the 60% mark, but it’s not frozen.  Go find something else to do for 10-20 minutes, and it’ll be done by the time you come back.

Step 7. Start reinstalling all your data and apps.  It should now be up and running.  Performance may be lousy at first, as it re-downloads all the shortcuts from Sprint for things like Sprint Navigation, the IM clients, the software store, etc.  You’ll want to reinstall the pieces you use on the phone, then start adding in the third party software pieces you use, including BlackBerry App World.  I had to modify the permissions for some of the Google Applications, which you can do in Options –> Applications in the phone.  Google Sync refused to install properly using the installer that installs all Google applications, but going to the Google Sync web site with my BlackBerry directly and installing just that piece worked fine.

Step 8. Enjoy!  You’re now the first kid on the block with BlackBerry OS 5 on your 8330!  Performance will improve after the OS settles down from that initial boot, and I’ve had no issues with lockups or memory leaks, but as always, your mileage may vary!


  1. I just got my blackberry 8330 from sprint today. I did this upgrade it went perfectly. Thanks a million. :)

  2. Just wanted to take a minute and show my gratitude. You are the man!!!!
    it works perfectly on my Sprint BB 8330. I like the changes the new upgrade brings!!!
    Thank you again.

  3. Ditto. I followed the instructions and it worked exactly as you said it would. I had a few tense moments, and had to do the procedure more than once, but held my ground and got it working.

    You are right the messaging itself is worth the upgrade.

    Note that I did this all via VMware running Windows XP on a Macbook Pro and it worked just like I was on a Windows PC.

    I don’t have BES, I have unlimited Sprint DATA and it all worked great on my Sprint Blackberry 8330 Curve now with version 5 BB OS


  4. You are the BEST, Thank you so much ! just do what it says and it’s NOT hard to do and my phone work’s GREAT……………

  5. Thank you very much. Your instructions are very helpful and worked perfectly on an older Sprint Blackberry 8330 Curve. Muchas gracias !!!

  6. Seth,

    Your instructions where correct and precise. I installed OS 5 on my 8330 (Sprint – ESN) and it works perfectly. Thank you for taking the time to document this…it saved me a lot of grief.


  7. I tried this and it didn’t work on my Sprint 8330 Curve. Wiped the OS and when trying to load the new OS, from BBSAK it wouldn’t work.

  8. Great!!! Thanks for putting this guide together. Worked great. Had one small issue with BBSAK on Vista where it ‘Couldn’t Detect the Device’. Had to temporarily disable UAC and restart. Other than that, no issues. Thanks, D

  9. outta curiosity what would the time frame be for doing something like this never done a manual os upgrade before i’ve heard it can take up to 3 hours

  10. I’d say it’s a good 1.5-2 hours or so.

  11. something went wrong. Not sure what. When i loaded the Os itr wouldnt go any further. was i supposed to back up using BBSAK?

  12. thx man helped alot

  13. hello my name is Yudi ,, i wanna ask about FB v3.1.0.17 on OS 5.0 ,, when you using check in feature in this app the device will restart it self or not? because my device is restart it self when using check in feature in this app,. i need the answer as fast as you can :) … my device is 8330 Spint carrier
    thank you :)

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