Install the Latest Unreleased Build of the BlackBerry Tablet OS on your BlackBerry PlayBook by Updating via Desktop Manager!

Force Upgrade to Latest BlackBerry PlayBook OS
By Kevin Michaluk on 21 Apr 2011 10:23 am EDT

So this is pretty awesome for all you hardcore CrackBerry readers + PlayBook owners out there who want your PlayBook to have the absolute latest software on it, even if it's an internal build that will never get pushed out to PlayBook owners via the WiFi update. This means if you Check for Updates on your PlayBook, none will be available (it says your OS is current), but if you follow the steps in this blog post you'll be able to upgrade to a newer version. Props go to Scott at BBSync for figuring this one out.

To upgrade your BlackBerry PlayBook to the latest internal version of the BlackBerry Tablet OS, do the following:

Step 1: Connect your PlayBook to your PC via MicroUSB cable and open Desktop Manager
Step 2: Backup your PlayBook! This install process is a CLEAN WIPE. You'll lose all data.
Step 3: Within Desktop Manager, hit Device > Update on the menu.
Step 4: No Update will be found. Just hit ok and go back to Desktop Manager homescreen.
Step 5. From there, while still plugged in, Restart your PlayBook using the power button app.
Step 6. A new popup window will appear giving you some options. Hit Update.
Step 7: Let that baby update and you'll be on the latest software. Warning: it takes a while!

It's kind of funny to see that this is RIM's way of fixing a bricked PlayBook (see the debrick in the filename above?!). It's also pretty awesome that this process loads up what we think are the latest internal builds of the PlayBook. The day the PlayBook was released, it launched with version .1690 software. Later that day we saw some PlayBooks get updated to .1696 via this method. If you follow this process above right now, you'll get updated to .1705. Yet via the WiFi update method .1690 is still current. As always with this sort of thing, do so at your own risk, but a few of us have tried it now with great success. It's hard to say how long RIM will allow this to continue to happen for, so get in while the getting is good!

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Install the Latest Unreleased Build of the BlackBerry Tablet OS on your BlackBerry PlayBook by Updating via Desktop Manager!


Interesting that RIM refer to the product as a tablet (is it an Asprin?) rather than by its name as the PlayBook.

I actually checked on my playbook and it says there is an update, but to the same OS number and for only 2mb (as opposed to the customary 300mb). I'm guessing this is why people have been bricking their device.

I'm refusing to do that update.

The update you are seeing is a replacement for bundled app(s) that you have uninstalled. In other words, if you apply the update, the bundled app(s) you uninstalled will return.

At least, that's what happened to me after I uninstalled NFB. I uninstalled and then checked for an update. There was a 2MB update available, and when I applied it, NFB was back.

Haha...i did this procedure without knowing i updated, lol. But its nice to know that its something new! :)

Typing this from my bb playbook far no noticeable changes. It went from amazing to still amazing.

I actually had to use this method because my playbook bricked itself during the initial setup process (endless startup video loop). Running 1705 with no issues at all. Works great!

I tried at 4am and about 30 min ago. Doesn't seem to work for me. ***just tried it one last time and it worked. Dwnlding update now

So for people with MACs we obviously can't do this method,

but are most new OS updates going to do a clean wipe of our device,
or is that only because this method simulates a bricked
PlayBook and that's why the whole OS is wiped and reloaded?

It's only a clean wipe because this method simulates a bricked PlayBook (as far we know). All regular updates via WiFi or Desktop Manager (when it tells you as soon as you check that an update is availalble) will not do a full wipe.

can anyone confirm if doing this method to the very latest OS on the PB helps fix the bridge content on the torch 9800? im still having issues with my bridge not opening files on the pb and not getting proper message symbol when i receive a new email thanks evryone

I had some problems earlier but bridge seemed to work itself out in after a few eecinnecting attempts.
I have a storm 1 though.

Not able to get this process to work on my end. Tried twice.

Does the pop up menu Kevin is refering to above show on the playbook, or on Desktop Manager?

After restarting my playbook, the playbook screen shows that it's communicating with the computer, and allows me to "dismiss" the message. Should I keep that screen on, or should I dismiss it?

Thanks Guys!

Shouldn't matter if you say dismiss. The playbook should turn itself off and the pop up menu will show up on the pc side in the desktop manager.

Third time is a charm.....finally popped up for me. I dunno if I can be PB-less for 40 minutes while it does it's thing. I'd love some feedback from people who have already installed this OS as to if there are any noticeable changes!

I backed up my Playbook first, and then i wiped it, all while it was still connected to the computer and then Desktop manager told me it was disconnected and then i pressed okay and it started to load the new OS on to my PB and 20mins later, i have the new OS

So Kevin ..I back it up says it backed up all 501.00 ..then it goes away then nothing..pls help..

Hi Kevin,
Can you please help RANK the existing tablets base on the list below,

What is the Best Tablet in the market.

• Display
• Audio
• Connectivity
• Web browsing
• Productivity
• multiprocessing
• Portability
• Battery life
• Messaging
• Video playback
• Multi-touch capability
• Performance
• Apps
• Flash support
• Others


I know you are not bias writer, you can also use reviews from other website to support how you rank each tablet. So that other readers will know that you are not basing it on your own perspective but also on the other views of tech writers like you

Holy smokes is this slooooooooooow. It took me 3 times to get DM to make this happen, and I had to disable the device password as well. In any case, this download is so slow that it seems like it's coming from the moon...

The popup screen was not what I expected, so I missed it the first time. I am now installing. Hope RIM pushes out OTA updates soon to fix some of the identified issues.

Whats the proper way to disconnect from Bridge?

If I simply turn off bluetooth on my phone or go out of range, I have to reinstall Bridge on my 9000 and start from scratch in order to bridge again.

The only way to avoid it is to press "disconnect" under "BlackBerry Bridge" options.

This update didn't fix this problem.

Just turn the bluetooth on/off and it'll find the BlackBerry again. I guess it gives up after a while to conserve the battery. There should be a reconnect button (or it should wake up on a screen swipe) but I can live with this until they fix it.

I had to do this method yesterday because my PlayBook was bricked. It updated to .1705. Today I'm trying to update the software again hoping its another build because I'm a crackberry whore lol.

Started the process about 40 minutes ago and am only about 15% through the download. This thing is SLOW! But it will be worth it I hope. lol

Its not really an "update" per se, it is a fix for those that had "bricked" devices and connectivity issue, nothing more. If your PB is working fine and connects thru Bridge and wifi without issue, you don't need it. But, if you really want to just have a slightly higher number on your version and like wiping your device just for fun, by all means! LOL. There is a real update rolling out this weekend, I'll wait for that one. :-)

it's tempting but you're right. my playbook is working just fine on the current OTA update, bridge works fine too, with no problems with connectivity. so i'll pass for now.

but still worth reading just in case...

"Step 1: Connect your PlayBook to your PC via MicroUSB cable and open Desktop Manager
Step 2: Backup your PlayBook! This install process is a CLEAN WIPE. You'll lose all data."

so you are saying I have to do a clean wipe after backup?

has anyone seen an issue after using the dm method to update using the ota update? after running the brick download, my pb just says, "There is an error connecting to the update server." it has said this for 3 days now since the firmware was loaded.

I'm using the microUSB cable from my phone (was already connected to computer so I just put the tablet on it). The update is at 15% after more than 1/2 hour. Is there a difference between the microUSB cord in the PlayBook box and the one for the phone? Would that be the reason mine is so slow compared to 20-40 mins. for others?

The OS update fixed the problem with the profile keyboard leaving parts of the letters behind after the keys are pressed and the web browser seems faster. But I was a little disappointed in the back-up that was created with desktop manager. I was missing some apps, and I lost my place in need for speed.. Not a big deal.

I was only able to get the update once i did a HARD RESET(press n hold power button + volume up & volume down until red light appears) vs. the power app + restart button or power button alone which got me no where. just an FYI for anyone having issues updating

Has anyone experienced web pages not loading fully on the playbook? Including this site. It is actually pretty annoying. however did I already say that i love my playbook? i haven't put it down yet. oh AppWorld sucks!!! RIM keep the updates coming. All i need now is my kindle reader app and google chat.

These steps worked 2 days ago when I used this method to uodate from 1696 to 1705. Then 1710 showed up this morning in DS so I upgraded to it. But now 1746 doesn't show up at all, neither when using the DS upgrade (I understand - they can't roll it out to everyone at once) nor when using Kevin's 7 steps. Oh well, guess I'll just wait till it shows up in DS tomorrow morning.

They've shut it down... now is the latest you can get via USB or WiFi.. No other newer updates are being sent or offered using either approach. :(

Running after Wifi update yesterday when I first took it out of the box. Is this newer than the one the desktop manager is installing?