Let me share an experience that will hopefully help someone else save several hours of their life!

I was given a BlackJack I (SGH-i607) by my daughter at Christmas and have thoroughly enjoyed having it. Windows Mobile 5 and its data/Internet capabilities have allowed me to be very active sending mobile pictures to my SnapFoo account and tweeting my activities as I traverse my day. I purchased an unlimited data plan and am averaging somewhere between 25MB and 30MB per month.

Like I said the BlackJack came with Windows Mobile 5 pre-installed and it has worked just fine – maybe a few situations where things locked up or the interface was a bit slow as I moved around it. No complaints at all really – however, I discovered this past week that there was a Windows Mobile 6 update available from Samsung and the geek in me started to itch about upgrading my phone to the latest software – we geeks are like that and you know who you are out there.

Samsung has an excellent update page with all the instructions listed there on how to do get from your current software to the Windows Mobile 6 installation.

One note of update about this page – the link to the Samsung Modem drivers comes up with a page not found error. The download can be located on the Samsung BlackJack (SGH-i607) download page. Of course if you have the CD-ROM that came with your phone they are also on there.

Another important issue with this update is the fact that it can not be done using Windows Vista:

This updater will only function correctly under Windows 2000 & XP.


This Update (the Downloader Tool) is not compatible with any other product.

And it was due to this fact that my odyssey began.

I am running Windows Vista on all three of our computers at home and I am way past the days of dual booting Vista with Windows XP. So my first thought was to install an evaluation version of Windows XP Professional I have into a virtual machine – it still activates as well!

I started with Virtual PC 2007 from Microsoft which is a free download. I went through the installation and update of Windows XP Pro which on my new dual core AMD system runs very well compared to my older system. I did minimal installation updates and installed ActivSync 4.5 and plugged the phone up to the system. It was being recognized by my host OS (Windows Vista Ultimate) but nothing in the guest OS (Windows XP Pro). After a little bit of Googling I found out that VPC 2007 does not support USB devices. On to the next plan/idea.

My next virtual machine attempt was VMWare Player which is another free download. I was hoping to access the virtual machine that I had created in VPC 2007 – which VMWare should be able to do – however each time I attempted it it came up with an error at different points in the conversion/access attempts. VMWare Player supports USB devices in its virtual machine however you can not create a virtual machine with it. There was a nice convenient link to upgrade to WMWare Workstation in the VMWare Player so I clicked on it and downloaded the 30 day demo of VMWare Workstation.

VMWare Workstation is not free by a longshot – cost per license (one desktop) is $189. However, the 30 day evaluation install allowed me to get access to USB devices for my virtual machine. I did attempt to convert my VPC 2007 virtual machine, again this should have worked, however it kept having errors each time I tried. So I grabbed my evaluation version of Windows XP Pro and did a quick installation and just the basic updates so I could install ActivSync 4.5. This went without a hitch and I was able to sync the BlackJack with the guest OS using VMWare Workstation – all right progress – or so I thought.

Although I was able to access the phone via USB once I was ready to turn the phone into a modem based on the instructions from Samsung I could not get it to install or recognize the phone as a modem. Bummer. After trying several different options, manual installs, etc. I was unsure of where to go next. I had the virtual machine hosting software that would recognize USB but would not make the leap to recognize the phone as a modem.

So as I sat there about 6 hours into my odyssey of upgrading to Windows Mobile 6 and I quickly ruled out the idea of installing to one of my computers in a dual boot. I just did not want the headache of getting there with Vista already installed. As I looked at my laptop I thought about my Windows Home Server sitting in the corner and had an idea. Why not do a backup of the laptop and then do a clean install of Windows XP Pro on it and do the upgrade in a normal computer instead of a virtual machine. This should eliminate any issues with the modem mode of the phone being recognized since it would be directly connected to the laptop. If this all works then I would just use the Windows Home Server Restore DVD and put the laptop right back to where it was beforehand.

Well it worked and worked like a champ and it happened exactly as the instructions from Samsung said it would. I sat there and watched as the phone did its thing and the upgrade was completed. It was quite a sight after all this time to see that nice Windows Mobile 6 logo on the boot up screen.

I was able to easily sync up the phone with my main desktop and get all of my data back on the phone without a problem. Windows Mobile 6 actually synched up better with my Outlook than Windows Mobile 5 did and so I can work on my personal email from the phone now when I am not around the house.

The last step of this upgrade was to restore my laptop back to its Windows Vista goodness and that was as easy as it was to back it up. Just goes to prove that WHS has a lot of value in it besides just that comfortable feeling of backing up your computers every day.

I would be interested to hear about how this upgrade went for others.