All About Media Cards

A media card is one of the most important accessories you need for your BlackBerry (BB). There is simply not enough memory in the phone alone to fully enjoy some of the coolest features that come with your BB: beautiful music playback, crystal-clear photos and videos, voice recording, etc. This article answers some basic but critical questions:microSD

  • Why exactly do I need a media card?
  • Will a media card help with my low memory problems?
  • Which card should I buy? Where? For how much?
  • What can I store on the media card? What can I not store on it?
  • How do I manage the media content on the card?
  • Are there any “secret” tricks I should know?
  • What are common problems and solutions with media cards?

Why a Media Card?

To understand the value of having a Media Card, you must understand a little about the internal, or system, memory of your phone–usually referred to as Device Memory. Your phone comes with an adequate but not generous amount of Device Memory:

Model Device Memory Onboard Storage Memory
Pearl_100w100h BB Pearl
64 MB
64 MB
64 MB
64 MB
none…that’s why you need a media card!
Curve_100w100h BB Curve
64 MB
64 MB
64 MB
96 MB
none…that’s why you need a media card!
Bold_100w100h BB Bold * 128 MB * 1 GB *

The values in the table above may look like a lot, but you’ll find it’s not. Device Memory is extremely critical and valuable because (a) it cannot be expanded (despite the wording you may find in published specifications), and (b) it’s the only memory that can be used to store:

  • The BlackBerry operating system (OS)
  • Standard BlackBerry applications, such as Phone, Messaging, Browser, Calendar, Tasks, Camera, Video Camera, and Media Player
  • BlackBerry “databases,” such as address book, messages, call logs, calendar entries, task to-do items, and configuration settings
  • Custom applications, such as Google Maps for Mobile and Opera Mini
  • Custom themes and games
  • Temporary working storage for running programs

So, your phone is in big trouble if there is not enough free Device Memory for the above. As explained in an earlier post about memory problems, when Device Memory gets too low, the OS is forced to seize and free up memory by deleting older messages, call logs, calendar events, etc. It is extremely common for Device Memory to slowly, gradually disappear (”leak”) until no free memory is left. First-time BlackBerry owners are stunned and sometimes infuriated to discover this, so if you didn’t already know about this, be forewarned. You can manage this situation if you understand it.

Another possible use of Device Memory is to save photos, videos, music, ringtones, and voice notes. These files can be extremely large in size. If you have no Media Card, you have no choice but to save these media files in Device Memory. However, if you do have a Media Card, you can set your phone to store those files on the card, instead. This is the only sensible thing to do with media files–seriously.

Now, to repeat, the Media Card cannot be used for any of the purposes I listed above that are solely for Device Memory. It cannot be used to expand Device Memory. Understand it this way: a Media Card is used to store media files (music, pictures, videos, ringtones, voice notes). Technically, there are some exceptions but I want to keep things simple right now.

Which Media Card Should I Get?

The BlackBerry Pearl, Curve, and Bold will accept microSD cards of varying capacity. (RIM usually states “the amount of storage is determined by card capacity,” saying nothing about a possible maximum supported.) Here are some common questions with answers:

  • Does it matter which brand microSD card I buy? It shouldn’t matter, as all reputable brands should be equivalent. There is a newer technology called SDHC which is more expensive and are not guaranteed to work in the Pearl or Curve. I recommend you not buy SDHC except for a Bold.
  • Where can I buy a microSD card?  Almost any store that sells computer accessories, business office supplies, cell phone accessories, etc. Numerous online sources such as,,, and eBay. Avoid wireless provider’s retail or online stores–they overcharge. Personally, I find the lower capacity microSD cards on clearance sales all the time.
  • What price should I pay for a microSD card? At the time of this article (July 2008), prices (in USD) range approximately like this: 1GB $3-$30; 2GB $7-$40; 4GB $15-$60; 8GB $40-$80. Obviously, you should shop around for the best price!
  • Which size (capacity in gigabytes) should I buy? It depends totally on your particular usage. Below is a table that might give you a rough idea of what you could store on various sizes of cards:
microSD capacity Music:
1 minute
MP3 tunes
Camera photos, medium/normal
Voice Notes:
1 minute
1GB 256 or –> 1,024 or –> 21,000 or –> 42,000 or –> 10,500
2GB 512 or –> 2,048 or –> 42,000 or –> 84,000 or –> 21,000
4GB 1,024 or –> 4,096 or –> 84,000 or –> 168,000 or –> 42,000

Use the search box below to find good deals on media cards at (you can change the search keywords to narrow your search):

If you’re curious, my Pearl 8130 has a 2GB Ativa brand microSD card. It’s about 75% full. I have on it 222 MP3 songs, 80 camera photos, 19 wallpaper images, 16 MP3 custom ringtones, 12 camera videos, 5 MP4 music videos (some single songs, some multiple songs), 1 30-minute MP4 TV show video, and no voice notes.

Probably every microSD card comes with an adapter that allows you to use it with devices that take the much older SD card. In the picture below on the left, you will see a microSD card beside a larger SD adapter (about the size of a regular US postage stamp). Below the microSD card and the SD adapter is a separate and optional product: a USB adapter. The picture on the right shows that the microSD card is inserted into the SD adapter, and how the SD adapter can be inserted into a USB adapter. (USB adapters can be purchased for roughly $10 at the same kind of places mentioned above for purchasing a microSD card. But don’t spend your money until you know if you really need one.)

Card_Adapter_USB_240w_B Card_Adapters_Inserted_240w

Many computers come with an SD card reader built-in, so you can use the microSD card and SD adapter with such a card reader. Virtually every computer has USB ports, so the USB adapter can be used to read the microSD card with your computer.

Now, you may never really need to use either the SD adapter or a USB adapter at all. But in some circumstances, you might. You need to read on to understand why.

Using a Media Card from a Previously Owned Phone

It’s very possible that you have a microSD card from another phone of yours. Furthermore, it may already have a great collection of songs, videos, and pictures. Or maybe you can obtain a used microSD card with known or unknown contents. Can you simply plug such a card into your BlackBerry and start using it? I would NOT recommend that. I can’t rule out that it could work, but I’m almost certain there are cases where it would not work. Why not be safe?

The issues with a used microSD card are these:

  • Does it have any corruption on it?
  • Is it formatted properly?
  • Does it have the right folders for each kind of media?
  • Are the media files of a file format that will work with the BlackBerry?

Here’s my advice (detailed instructions relating to each step below will follow later in the article):

  1. Transfer the old media files from the used microSD card to your computer
  2. Format the microSD card
  3. Transfer the old media files back to the newly formatted microSD card
  4. Test at least a few media files to see if any don’t work (e.g., songs/videos won’t play)

Inserting Your Media Card


Insert a microSD card into a BlackBerry Pearl as shown in the photos below:

1. Pry off the media card cover using your fingernail. Spin it around 180° to clear it from the card slot.

2. With the card’s copper contacts facing upward, push the card in till it clicks and doesn’t pop back out before you replace the cover. It may take a few times to develop the touch to get the card to “click” into place and not just spring right back out.


3. Spin the cover back around and press it into place.


Inserting a microSD card into a BlackBerry Curve is much less convenient than the Pearl. Actually, it kinda sux. Using the photos below as a guide, do these steps:

  1. Power down the Curve.
  2. Remove the rear cover (press the silver button between the two copper charging contacts).
  3. Carefully pry out the battery.

The microSD card does not “plug in” anywhere as you might expect. Rather, it slides into a little hinged frame that raises and lowers like a trap door. Curve_Open_1If that’s not unusual enough, the frame locks and unlocks. If you look closely, there are engraved directions on the frame, with words and arrows showing which direction unlocks and locks the frame.


Looking into the Curve with its top facing upward, the frame unlocks by sliding it to the left. I have to use a fingernail to slide the frame. (Good luck to you fingernail biters!) That allows the frame to swing upward to a vertical position. IMPORTANT: Do not force the frame–be gentle. If it doesn’t slide and make a “click,” try jiggling it, sliding fully back to the lock position, and try again. Sometimes I have to use two finger(nails) to grip the frame better (luckily I have relatively small fingers and good fingernails). If you get frustrated, chill, and keep trying. Don’t get rough with it or jam sharp tools into it. You’ll get it eventually. Probably when you quit trying so hard.







The microSD card is then dropped gently (not pushed or plugged in) down into the frame with the copper contacts facing to the right (where they are easily seen). When the frame is folded back down to the flat position, the copper contacts make electrical connections with the spring-loaded fingers below. The springs will want to push the card back up, so you have to use your fingertip to gently hold it down.

To secure the microSD card in place, the frame must be locked by sliding it to the right. Finally, the battery and rear cover must be replaced. Piece of cake, right? ;-) What was RIM thinking with this design???

With the Curve, swapping media cards is not a very practical idea. Nor is off-loading media files by removing the card and using a card reader. Yes, it can be done. But it’s not something you would want to do very often. Rather, it will be more convenient to plug in a USB cable and access media files using the Curve like a flash drive. That’s covered below. With a Curve, you’d do well to purchase the largest capacity (supported) microSD card you can afford.

Bold_50w50hThe BlackBerry Bold isn’t available at the time of this writing. From images on the web, it appears that the media card is inserted just like the Pearl.


Enabling Your Media Card

To use a media card, you must enable Media Card Support, by doing Options > Media Card, and setting support to On as shown below. You don’t necessarily have to enable Mass Storage Mode as shown below, but you probably will want to in most cases. We’ll come back to that topic later.


Formatting Your Media Card

In the early days of the personal computer, when you purchased floppy disks (think “removable media–like your media card”), you had to format it first before you could store files on it. Well, I have observed that new microSD cards come already formatted in an acceptable exact format needed for your BlackBerry. Microsoft Windows has three format types (older, old, and new): FAT (also known as FAT16), FAT32, and NTFS. Don’t worry about what those acronyms stand for. New microSD cards seem to come formatted as FAT; they need to be FAT or FAT32 to work in your BlackBerry. Not to worry–formatting can be done automatically. I give that background in case something goes wrong and you need to format your media card on a PC.

Automatic formatting by your BB

Fortunately, RIM designed the BlackBerry Pearl, Curve, and Bold to automatically format a new microSD card when you first use it. If the card is new, just insert it, and your BlackBerry will format it. As part of the formatting process, some folders will get created (see Windows Explorer screenshot below). In the root of the media card’s file space, you will see a BlackBerry folder. Inside that folder you will find folders named music, pictures, ringtones, videos, and voicenotes. It should be self-explanatory what those folders are used for storing.

If your media card is not new, or if for some reason it was not properly pre-formatted, you may need to format it manually (keep reading).


Manual formatting using your BB

To manually format your media card using your BlackBerry itself, do Options > Media Card > (press Menu key) > Format Card.


Manual formatting using your Windows PC

Use a card reader or adapter to plug your microSD card into your computer so that it opens like a disk drive.FormatMediaCardOnPC Locate the drive that represents your card, right-click, and select Format. I think it’s wisest to format it as FAT32, as I believe that will work no matter what capacity (in GB) your card is.

Now, if you format your card this way, the card gets the proper file system formatting, but it doesn’t automatically get the folder structure that your BlackBerry wants. As show in the figure a couple of sections above, you need to manually create some folders. After formatting is done, use Windows to open that “drive,” so you see the empty root directory. Create a folder there named BlackBerry. Now, open that folder, and create these folders:

  • music
  • pictures
  • ringtones
  • videos
  • voicenotes





When formatting seems to fail

Many readers report problems where they just can’t seem to get their media cards to format and work properly. Here are some sample complaints:

  • When I try to format my card in the phone, when I click “Format,” the phone reports a device error, or the phone reboots.
    • Your media card may be defective. The best way to know is to use a card reader or adapter and try to format the card using your computer. If that fails, the card is almost certainly defective and must be replaced.
  • Phone reports: “A Media Card has been inserted that contains errors. To correct the errors please use a disk error-checking utility on a computer.”
    • One (or more) of your files may be corrupted. Move all your files off the card onto your computer. Move back a block of them at a time. Test for reported errors after moving each block. When you get to an error, remove that block, divide it into smaller blocks, and repeat the same kind of process. By process of elimination, find which file(s) is corrupt and causing a report of errors. You may even find a case where a file looks/plays fine on your computer, but not on your phone. It may a subtle file problem that your computer can overlook, but your phone cannot.
  • I shut off my computer while my phone was still connected to it. The media card got trashed.
    • Don’t do that! Disconnect your phone first. If you trash your card like that, you’ll need to reformat it. Hopefully, you didn’t do permanent damage to it.
  • I formatted my media card, but it shows up having less space (GB) than it is supposed to.
    • You probably formatted it wrong. Use FAT32 format option, not FAT (FAT16). And don’t format as NTFS.
  • I formatted my media card, but it doesn’t get recognized by my phone.
    • You may have media card support disabled. Do Options > Media Card, and turn on Media Card Support. Enable mass storage mode, too, if you want it to open like a drive when plugged in to your computer.
  • My phone keeps resetting itself. Why?
    • Your media card may be defective or corrupted. Remove it and see if the phone stops resetting. Try reformatting your card.
  • My media card just doesn’t work. Why?
    • Your card may not be supported by your phone. As microSD cards are produced with larger capacities, and using newer technologies (e.g., SDHC), you may end up purchasing a card that’s “too new” for your phone. Sadly, RIM’s specs on the web are sometimes vague about which card capacities are supported.
  • I’ve tried everything you’ve suggested. Nothing works. What now?
    • Your phone or computer may need rebooting. If you haven’t already tried it, reboot  your phone (battery pull). Reboot your computer (if you’re using that in the process). You never know when the card is perfectly fine but the software/hardware in your phone or computer is temporarily out to lunch.
    • You may have an unsupported filename for a media file. This is a long shot, but with a non-BlackBerry phone years ago, I had cases where an unusual filename caused a problem with my media card (a song wouldn’t play, or a song wouldn’t show up when it was definitely there). These aren’t really media card problems, per se, but are in the same ballpark.
      • If you have a filename with “accented” characters, try replacing those letters with the equivalent unaccented characters. For example, change Björk to Bjork, or Niño to Nino, or Pêcher to Pecher, or Cœur to Coeur, or Façade to Facade. You get the point.
      • If you have a filename with punctuation marks, try removing or replacing them with letters/numbers. For example, change 02 – Yeah!.mp3 to 02Yeah.mp3. Honestly, I don’t think you’ll need to do this on a BlackBerry, but maybe some other phones or media players.
      • If you have a filename that’s really, really long, try shortening the filename.

Media File Transfer

There are several scenarios where you might need to transfer media files to or from your microSD card. You may never need to know but one or two methods, but below there are numerous methods described.

Transferring media files from a used microSD card to a computer using a card reader

Following up from the previous section of this article, if you already have a microSD card with media files on it, and aren’t sure if it will work as-is in your BlackBerry, I recommend you take the first step in making sure your media card will work: get the media files off the card and onto a computer. You will definitely need a card reader of some sort:

  • A USB card reader similar to the one described and pictured in the previous section
  • A built-in SD card reader on your computer. You’ll also need the SD adapter that came with your microSD card.
  • A multiple memory card reader of the type often sold in digital camera departments of a store

Using one of the card reader options above, list the contents of the used microSD card with your computer to casually inventory what’s there. On your computer, create a folder named BlackBerry.InsertSDAdapterIntoReader Inside that folder, create folders named music, pictures, ringtones, videos, and voicenotes. From your microSD card, copy (e.g., copy/paste, drag-and-drop) media files to the appropriate folders on your computer. For example, music files to the music folder, images to the pictures folder, etc. Make sure you copy all the files to somewhere on your computer, even if you’re not sure what some files are. If you’re following the 4-step process in the previous section, you’re going to end up erasing all the media files on the card. So, make sure you get all the good files off the card at this stage.

Transferring media files from a computer to a microSD card using Desktop Manager’s Roxio Media Manager

I’m nervous about writing this section because I’ve read so many complaints about the Roxio Media Manager. But, honestly, it’s worked fine for me–what little I’ve used it, and when it works, it has significant advantages. I won’t begin to attempt to cover all the Media Manager features, only a few basics that are pertinent to this article.

Connect your phone to your computer using an appropriate USB cable, give it a few seconds to be recognized by the computer, then start your Desktop Manager (DM). Now give DM a few seconds to detect the phone. Run the Media Manager.


Your Roxio Media Manager is generally divided into an upper pane that looks into your computer (media folders and files). The lower pane looks into your BlackBerry: Device Memory and Media Card. Actually, you can set the upper and lower panes to show whatever you want using the pane’s icon-identified tabs.


Let’s say I want to transfer a video file from a folder on my computer to the media card in my phone. First, in the upper pane, I’d navigate to the desired video file. Second, in the lower pane, I’d select the BlackBerry Media Card and navigate to the video folder.

To do the transfer, it’s as easy as dragging the file from the upper pane to the lower pane. Except that when I release the mouse to do the drop, I get a dialog box asking if I want to Convert for Optimal Playback or not. Generally, I would click OK and let Media Manager decide the best format and conversion parameters to match the performance of my BlackBerry. Prepare to spend a few minutes for the conversion to complete. In the actual case below, I chose an 82MB .wmv file of my favorite band, Flyleaf, performing “All Around Me.” Media Manager took about 5 minutes convert it to a 16MB .mp4 file. The playback quality was superb. For the average user, it’s much easier (and cheaper) to use Roxio to do media conversions for you.DM_MediaMgr_3

WARNING: After using Roxio Media Manager to move files on/off your media card, be aware that the phone needs some time to “re-compute” its directories and playlists of media files. What I’ve observed is that I disconnect my phone from the computer and open up Media to find all my media files missing! But if I wait for a minute, maybe less, I’ll see my hourglass icon pop up for a while, then magically all my media files reappear. So, don’t freak out if that happens to you.

Transferring media files from a computer to a microSD card using the BlackBerry Mass Storage Mode


With your microSD media card inserted in your BlackBerry, you can access it just like a typical USB drive (also known as a flash drive, jump drive, thumb drive, etc.).  To do that, you need to enable Mass Storage Mode on your phone by doing Options > Media Card, then changing the settings as shown in the screenshot on the right.

I don’t recommend using the Encryption Mode unless you really know what you’re doing, because you risk being unable to recover the contents of the card on a later occasion. I do recommend all the other settings as shown.

The way most Windows computers are configured, when you plug in a USB drive (or connect a BlackBerry with media card settings as recommended above), you get a Windows AutoPlay dialog box pop up asking what you want to do with the so-called Removable Disk (which how Windows refers to the media card in your phone). What you want to do is simply Open folder to view files.microSDAutoPlay

When you click to open the media card, you will find in its root directory a folder named BlackBerry. If you open the BlackBerry folder, you will find folders named music, pictures, ringtones, videos, and voicenotes. The kind of files those folders are meant to contain is self-explanatory.


You can now simply drag-and-drop media files from your computer to the appropriate folder on the BlackBerry’s media card.

Transferring media files from a computer to a microSD card using a card reader

This technique is so straightforward that I won’t go into a lot of detail. Using a card reader, be it built into your computer or a separate device, you insert the card and let it open using Windows AutoPlay (if using Windows). Drag-and-drop files to your heart’s content.

Document Storage and Retrieval

I’ve only recently delved into answering questions about document storage and retrieval from media cards. To the degree that a media card can be treated like a flash drive, yes, you can store documents (files not classified as media files) on the media card. Here are some miscellaneous facts worth knowing about:

  • You can’t save email attachments, such as Microsoft Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, to the media card without using certain 3rd-party applications. Why not? Because something tricky happens in the process. When someone sends you an email with an attachment, the email message is handled in the “middle” by a BlackBerry email server (a so-called “middleware” server). The attached file is converted to a unique format that allows it to be rendered on a BlackBerry screen. It is not received in its native file format. So, if you were allowed to save it to your media card, and transfer it to your computer, it would not open in its native program. For example, an Excel spreadsheet attachment would not open in Excel–because it is no longer in a true Excel file format.
  • You can use a computer to copy a number of file types to your media card and be able to use them with your BlackBerry. For example, text files can be opened by MemoPad. Certain Java archive files can be opened by the BlackBerry Browser (simulates an OTA download). I’ve had terrible luck with .jar/.jad Java files being deemed “invalid format” by my BlackBerry. I have considered finding eBooks or journal articles in plain text format and loading them onto my media card so I’d essentially have a book to read on my BlackBerry when I was stuck somewhere with nothing better to do.


I never thought there was much to say about media cards till I started outlining this article. But you can never have enough memory, especially considering that a BlackBerry can double as an MP3 player, and can potentially store and playback full-length TV shows or movies. So, to get the full value from your BlackBerry, you simply must have a media card, and know about using it.


* At the time of this writing, the BlackBerry Bold had not been released, so model numbers and firm specifications were not available.


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About the author

This entry was contributed by Kelly Carter
84 entries have been written by this author.

94 comments on this post

Balan Subramanian says:
Aug 1, 2008 - 03:08:44

I don’t think your statement that microSDHC cards won’t work on a Pearl. I believe it depends on which OS version you have. If you have the latest, it should work fine. I see a lot of sites selling microSDHC cards for the pearl.

Aug 2, 2008 - 10:08:28

Thanks for your comment. I reworded my article to be a little more accurate. However, there are enough warnings about the possible incompatibility of SDHC with Pearl and Curve that I still do not want to recommend it, especially for “newBBies.” See this document from SanDisk for their warnings:

I like it when a reader forces me to reexamine my articles to correct mistakes or otherwise make them better. Please keep coming back.

Dell Brooks says:
Aug 14, 2008 - 02:08:31

Just got the Curve tonight. Thank you for the picks with installing the memory card. You’re right, that is a VERY impractical design.

Lee says:
Aug 14, 2008 - 08:08:48

Hi Kelly,

I just got a media card, and it works great! I stored all my pictures and ringtones on it, which is great, but i was just wondering, does assigning ringtones and pictures eat up internal memory, even if the source is on the media card?

other than being able to look/take pictures, listen to songs, store the ringtones, and film videos, is there any real advantage to having it? i’m using it primarily to store pictures and ringtones. but if both use internal memory to allow me to use them for calls (pic id/ringtone id), aren’t i eating up the memory i was trying to save anyway?

thanks for your help!

Aug 16, 2008 - 11:08:08

If you change settings and store media on the card, you do NOT also store them in Device Memory. So, it truly keeps Device Memory more free for running programs and saving messages, logs, etc.

It’s true that the only benefit from a media card comes from saving media files on the card versus Device Memory. If one doesn’t do photos, videos, music, and ringtones to a signficant degree, the card is of marginal benefit.

Arguably one drawback to using a media card is if you save ringtones and/or caller ID photos there, and you remove the card. Your phone will revert to some other ringtone, and your caller ID won’t show a photo. But when you put the card back in, it returns to normal. If you’re a user who has multiple media cards so you can swap them to have access to a larger library of music, videos, etc., you should probably copy your active ringtones (custom ones, not those that come with the phone) and caller ID photos to Device Memory.

In summary, media cards are very valuable unless you just don’t do media with your BlackBerry. Good question!

LDubs says:
Aug 16, 2008 - 02:08:49


I called Verizon and asked them what the max capacity for my new Pearl was and was told 8 GB. That means SDHC as anything 4 GB or higher is in SDHC. Before I installed it I upgraded my OS to 4.5 (which went very smoothly and quickly btw, probably b/c Pearl is brand-new and didn’t have much on it including no 3rd party apps) b/c I wanted support for html e-mail so I could read my Yahoo e-mail properly. Anyhoo off I went to ebay and grabbed an 8 GB (might as well go all the way, I figured) for $30 (nice!), received it and popped it into my Pearl. Voila, “media card inserted”. I was able to transfer some pix to it using mass storage mode with my Mac. Going to try synching some music using pocketmac shortly. Works fine, so far. No issues.

Aug 16, 2008 - 10:08:03

Glad you shared that info with me. And glad your 8GB SDHC card worked for you. Based on what I’ve read, I have to stick with NOT generally recommending doing that. It may very well be that more recent Pearls are being manufactured to work, or work better, with SDHC. That would be smart thing for RIM to do.

Where did you download the OS 4.5 from? Which model Pearl do you have? Which wireless carrier do you use? I’d like to try 4.5, also.

elijah says:
Aug 17, 2008 - 02:08:25

I also am usig an SDHC 8gb card, the phone works flawlessly, but my computer won’t read the card directly. My phone is a 8130.

Aug 17, 2008 - 03:08:54

Thanks for that input. Interesting!

Jon B says:
Aug 19, 2008 - 03:08:55

Kelly – not related to your post here, but I have an 8130 and when I go into my address book, it goes right to the categorized list. I have alot of other contacts that have no category that I can’t figure out how to get to just the master listing of all contacts again.

Jon B says:
Aug 19, 2008 - 03:08:13

Kelly – never mind. I didn’t know how to turn off the filter, but now I do.

April says:
Aug 24, 2008 - 02:08:06

Hi Kelly,

I have had my Pearl for a few months, and some kind of way I have added songs to it. I can’t seem to remember how I did it. I have a media card. When I connect my phone to computer and try to use Roxio, it says no device detected. I can’t click and drag anything to it. I have the card set to mass media storage, so I’m not sure what’s happening. Any ideas?


Aug 24, 2008 - 04:08:47

It seems Roxio gives lots of people trouble. I almost never use it because it’s easier for me to simple consider my BlackBerry as a flash drive (USB drive) when I plug it in. I simple access my media folders using Windows and that works flawlessly. Roxio is necessary when you want to convert files, say videos, to a proper format for the BlackBerry Media Player. Otherwise, I say don’t use it.

But to try to give you some advice, start by rebooting your computer and your phone (battery pull, or SoftReset–see my article on that), then see if Roxio detects your phone.

Let me know how things work out.

sid says:
Aug 26, 2008 - 09:08:53

Hi Kelly,
My BB8100 camera doesn’t zoom with the trackball anylonger. It just shows 1x on the bar, although it also shows a + above the trackball. I could zoom in/out before. What did I do to inactivate the zoom.

April says:
Aug 27, 2008 - 07:08:20

OK, Kelly.

I tried everything you suggested. I rebooted the computer and did the battery pull on my phone. Nothing. I tried connecting it with Mass Media Storage on and off, still nothing. I am wondering if Roxio would recognize my phone without the media card. I think I’m going to take your last bit of advice and just let Roxio die in peace. :)

Wes says:
Sep 10, 2008 - 07:09:37

I reformated my SDcard on my Pearl to use on my Curve. My curve will not read the card and it will not format it. I put my card into my computor to do it from there and when I click to format it, I tells me that the card is write protected. Now, previously the card was set to encryption mode. I changed it from encryption to none and reformated it again on the Pearl. I go back to format it on the computor again and I get the same “write protected” message again. Should I just get another SD card for my Curve rather than trying to use the same one?

Sep 10, 2008 - 08:09:15

Be aware that some cards, or possibly the frame they slide into for use with a full-size SD card reader, can have a write-protection “switch.” Your computer might actually be telling you the truth–that write-protection is activated. The switch could have been accidentally pushed into the protected position.

If that’s not the case, you may just have a dead microSD card. I suppose the frame you slide it into could be bad, too. Please let me/us know what you find.

P.S.–Oh, if your card is actually a microSDHC card, there may be a compatibility issue. Despite differing public opinions, manufacturers warn that the newer SDHC cards may NOT work in a Pearl. I stick to my warning NOT to use them in the Pearl, even if you have a friend with one that works. That’s no guarantee for anyone else.

April says:
Sep 19, 2008 - 11:09:31


Can you provide some help with Blackberry Media Sync? I’m starting to think I have a device issue. I was so excited when I came across Media Sync, which will allow to download my songs from iTunes to my device. However, Media Sync, for some reason, can’t connect to my device. I have a Pearl 8130. I have this same issue with Roxio (we’ve discussed this before). What’s the deal?

Lou says:
Sep 24, 2008 - 03:09:03

Hi Kelly,
I have Curve 8330 verizon. I have 2GB media Card which I store pic on. I changed the camara settings to store photos to the card but very often the phone resets to saving them directly back on the phone.

Any suggestions


Sep 24, 2008 - 09:09:47

That’s not normal. If your setting keeps changing, your phone is doing something abnormal. The only other possibility I can think of–forgive me–is that you THINK you’re setting the phone to store photos on the card but actually are not. If you KNOW you’re doing it right, then your phone has a problem. Have you noticed any other settings mysteriously changing?

Bre says:
Oct 1, 2008 - 08:10:35

Hello Kelly,

I have the Blackberry Curve 8330 with verizon, and when I connect my phone to my computer autoplay doesn’t pop up so I went to my computer to click on the removable disk and it gives me the message that states I need to insert a removable disk. Any suggestions on what to do?


P.S. I gave up on Roxio days ago. It simply is just a peace of crap.

Oct 1, 2008 - 09:10:33

Are you sure the removable disk refers to your BlackBerry and not some other drive, or a built-in memory card reader, or something like that?

If it IS referring to your BlackBerry, make sure you have your phone set for Mass Storage Mode and have that enabled. Do Options > Media Card.

Make sure a media card is actually inserted in your phone.

If all that doesn’t help, try to verify that (1) your media card is actually good–try using a card reader with it, and (2) make sure your USB port is good–try inserting a known-good flash drive.

Let me know how that goes.

garrett says:
Oct 3, 2008 - 03:10:48

i just got a blackberry pearl and im trying to figure out how to use it its actually smarter than me lol, anyway i put my sd card into it and synced alot of songs but i dont know how to get to them on my razr2 it was easy but i dont know how on this pearl can anyone help?

Lou says:
Oct 3, 2008 - 12:10:23

Follow up from media setting change of 9/24/08
No other settings change mysteriously. My wifes phone does the same thing.

admin says:
Oct 3, 2008 - 08:10:22

Thanks for the follow-up. Two phones doing the same thing strongly points to a software bug. If your OS isn’t the newest version, and if you feel confident enough, consider upgrading the OS. See my article on that.

Robert Repke says:
Nov 13, 2008 - 12:11:00


I have read your article about memory cards and found it detailed and helpful. I recently got a BB Bold and bought a 4 gig microsd card for it. I formatted it as you described and received a format successful message from the phone. I had already enabled the mass storage option on the phone and was able to see my phone as an extra drive with the folder structure that you mentioned. However I don’t believe i am seeing the microsd media card on my computer. The space of the drive when choosing windows properties only shows about 800 meg, which corresponds to the free space on the blackberry under media settings. I am not seeing the 4 gigs of space that i ought to see for my extra microsd card. Is there a way to point the mass storage to my microsd card rather than the internal memory of the Bold? If so how? Should two drives show up on my computer when i connect, one for the internal memory of the Bold and the other for the microsd card or does it get combined? Also is there a way to view the folders locally on the blackberry menu to see what is stored in the local memory and what is showing on the microsd card?

I appreciate any help you can give on this issue. Thanks.

Reed says:
Nov 13, 2008 - 05:11:47


What is the difference between cheap sdhc microsd card and expensive ones? I see 16 gigs for $40 from $110.00. This would be for the Bold.


Nov 14, 2008 - 03:11:16

@Robert Repke,
I don’t believe your computer will show you the Device Memory of your BlackBerry, only your Media Card. To explore Device Memory and Media Card, do Media > (press Menu key) > Explore. You can now explore both memories to see which files are in which memory. Verify that what you see on your computer is actually Media Card memory.

Nov 14, 2008 - 03:11:18

If it’s not a misprint (say, the cheaper price is really for SD not SDHC), then either it’s a simple price variation between competitors, or it’s possible that the cheaper cards have a lower so-called SD Speed Class Ratings (which determines how fast data can be read from, or written to, the card). Class 6 is the fastest speed. You’ll notice on eBay that some cards for sale are listed as Class 6. Read more on Wikipedia here:

Av says:
Nov 16, 2008 - 04:11:50

I got an 8gb SDHC card for my new curve. I copied about 4gb of music onto it. For some reason, not all of the songs show up in the media player on the curve, even though they are all on the media card (I can see them when I connect my blackberry to my computer and flip through the muic folder on the media card). Any ideas why this is happening, i.e., why the blackberry doesn’t show all of the songs that are on the media card? Thanks.

Nov 16, 2008 - 05:11:06

Your version of BlackBerry operating system (OS) determines how much capacity can be used by your media card:

BlackBerry Device Software 4.2.0 Up to 2GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.2.1 Up to 4GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.2.2 Up to 4GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.3.0 Up to 8GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.5.0 Up to 8GB
BlackBerry Device Software and Up Up to 16GB
BlackBerry Device Software 4.6.0 Up to 16GB

If your Curve is new, it actually should have an OS that should “see” more than 4GB. Do Options > About and check your OS version.

I’m overdue to publish an article in upgrading to OS version 4.5. Please check back later for that article.

Av says:
Nov 16, 2008 - 05:11:59

Wow. Thanks for the super quick response, Kelly. I have (Platform installed (my company sets it that way – that’s why I don’t have the most recent one installed). But, you’re saying it still should see all 8 gb with the 4.3 version. Any other thoughts? Thanks so much.

Nov 16, 2008 - 05:11:55

I’m wondering if it’s a matter of whether your media card is formatted as FAT-16 or FAT-32. Do you know how to check that on your computer? In My Computer (on Windows), right-click the drive (media card) and select Properties. See what is listed for its File System. If FAT (same as FAT-16), you could try backing up your content, reformatting for FAT-32, then restore your content. Let me now.

Av says:
Nov 16, 2008 - 05:11:48

Thanks again Kelly. Actually, it says Fat32 (without a dash). Thanks again for all your help.

Phil says:
Nov 17, 2008 - 08:11:40

Would appreciate your help. I have a Bold and similar to Robert Repke – I can’t see any SD card (4gb) when I connect to my computer. I can see the onboard storage memory fine – comes up as G:/home/user/ and then the usual documents, music, pictures folders fine. On the device, I can use explore to see the same folder setup on my card. Is there some way to get the computer to look at the card through the device that you know of?

Thanks – any help you can provide would be great.

Nov 17, 2008 - 11:11:31

I need to ask if you have Mass Storage Mode settings correct. Do Options > Media Card. Make sure you have (1) Media Card Support=On, (2) Mass Storage Mode Support=On, and (3) Auto Enable Mass Storage Mode When Connected=Yes.

I don’t own a Bold yet (I’m on Verizon only–Bold not available), so I can’t test things directly myself.

If your settings are correct, then I’m puzzled, too, why you couldn’t see the media card when connected to your computer.

I’m assuming your media card has been formatted. If not, or format is corrupt, that might make your card invisible.

Nov 17, 2008 - 11:11:49

Very details post! Any new owner needs at least a 1GB memory card! You can use your BlackBerry as a portable media device!!

Phil says:
Nov 27, 2008 - 07:11:31


Thanks for your reply – sorry I took so long to come back. I have tried those things and it still is giving me grief. I can move items I copy onto the device from Device Storage to the Card so I can get stuff on there but not through Roxio – it keeps failing.

Appreciate your help though – I will keep playing with it and let you know if I come up with anything that might help others on a Bold.


Nov 27, 2008 - 08:11:37

I’ve heard many complaints about Roxio. I don’t use it except on very rare occasion, and I don’t even remember why. With my settings as explained above, I let Windows open the BlackBerry media card as if it were a regular USB drive. Then I do my file copies to that “drive.” Roxio can be OK for converting media files to an “optimum” format for your phone. But I can do my own conversions if I need to, so I skip Roxio for that. Are you unable to “see” your media card from Windows? Or just in Roxio? Or both? This may be more of a Windows problem than a BlackBerry problem.

Andy says:
Dec 4, 2008 - 06:12:27

I have a blackberry pearl, and a 1 gig media card. I have a bunch of music files on the card, but the media player will not display them unless I do a “explore” from what I would call the root of the media app. (the one where you have the little symbol which looks like a reel of media on the screen).

When I do that I can’t get the songs added to a playlist (cant mix the Rolling Stones with Handels Water Music). If I open up the music part of the app I can only see some of the songs that I have on my device.

Question is: is there a setting which tells the media app’s music player to default to the files on your Media Card?


Dec 4, 2008 - 07:12:19

I’ve heard this kind of complaint before but haven’t seen it myself. You may notice sometimes that newly stored music or videos don’t show up right away because the media player hasn’t finished scanning and locating them. I have seen that, but if I give the phone a minute or so, it always finds them and lists them.

On an older phone (not a BlackBerry) of mine, I’ve seen where unusual file names (too long, had “foreign” characters, etc.) caused a song not to show up.

Make sure your media card has been formatted properly, which should result in a particular folder structure being created. You will find a folder in the root named BlackBerry, then inside that you will find folders for the various media types: music, video, etc. Make sure you put your songs in the music folder, not elsewhere. I’m not sure that’s your problem, but that’s how files are meant to be organized. If nothing else works, try moving ALL your media files back to your computer, reformat your media card (using the BlackBerry: Options > Media Card > (press Menu key) > Format Card), them recopy files being careful to copy them into the correct folders.

As to your last question: There is a setting like that for the camera under Camera > Options, but there’s no need for that with music. The camera must be TOLD where to store photos, but you are in control of where you place your music files. The Media Player simply shows music or videos wherever it finds them.

RushHour says:
Dec 11, 2008 - 01:12:36

I have a Storm 9530 and cannot access the media from my PC or iMAC. The media manager in BDM says on all attempts access denied or device invalid. It does show both the device memory and media card structures but shows both as read only. The PocketMac attempts to sync and always aborts with errors connecting to the media card. I can’t find any way to change the access rights to the card in the Storm, and attempts to change the rights from within Windows Explorer are unsuccessful. Any ideas?

Dec 11, 2008 - 06:12:58

I’m having a problem myself that may not have anything to do with your problem, but I’ll share it anyway: I’m having great difficulty finding USB cables that will work with my Storm 9530. I bought an adapter that I think is commonly called a miniUSB-to-microUSB adapter so I can use the same cable for my Storm, Pearl, and Curve. With some USB cables, I just can’t get the adapter to work–it plugs in, my Storm may recognize the connection and start charging, but my PC’s USB port never recognizes that anything has been plugged in. EXCEPT sometimes when I push the connections together better.

So, it’s possible that you have a roughly similar problem with a poor connection.

To address one of your points: For whatever reason, my Device Memory and Media Card also show up as Read-Only but they really are NOT. I’ve tested thoroughly that I can write files all over the place on both memories–it’s definitely writeable. So that Read-Only indication is false.

My memory settings (Options > Memory) are still at the default when my Storm came out of the box:

Media Card Support=On
Encryption Mode=None
Media Transfer Protocol (MPT)=On
Mass Storage Mode Support=On
Auto Enable Mass Storage Mode When Connection=Yes
Media Card Total Space=7.3GB

See if you can get access to memory working with your PC before allowing Desktop Manager or PocketMac a chance to mess things up. Plug in your Storm and see if you can’t get it to be recognized as a two disk drives (like a USB drive, one for Device Memory and one for the Media Card). If recognized, see if you can’t copy some files to those memories.

If that doesn’t work, then you know DM and PM aren’t at fault.

Could you return and let me know if the above made any difference? BTW–I’m writing an article on BlackBerry USB-related problems and finding it’s a very complex subject. Your case has given me more to worry about!

Bill says:
Dec 14, 2008 - 10:12:30

I am also unable to access the memory card on my bb storm 9530. I cannot see it either through the device itself or through the desktop manager.

It says a media card is not presently inserted in the device. I cannot format it either. The only format option is for device memory and I don’t want to do that I think

Dec 14, 2008 - 10:12:22

No, you definitely don’t want to format Device Memory.

Here are some possibilities:

1. The media card isn’t inserted properly. Consult your user guide and make sure you’re inserting the card properly. Or maybe you put it in correctly but for some reason it’s just not making good electrical contact. If so, try inserting it a little better.

2. The media card is not formatted, has a corrupt format, or is defective. If you can easily try another media card, try that. If not, do you have a way you can read the card on your computer? If so, try formatting it (FAT32) with your computer. If it won’t read on the computer, and won’t format, then it’s probably a bad card.

3. Your Storm is defective somehow in its ability to access the media card. If you can find a known-good media card and it won’t work on the Storm, I’d assume the Storm is defective. You need to figure that out in time to return your Storm.

Media cards are cheap enough that I’d recommend you buy an extra one. You also need a way to read/write the card on your computer, so get a card reader unless you can plug it directly into your computer. Having all that makes troubleshooting this kind of problem easier, too.

Please let me know how this comes out.

Alfredo says:
Jan 9, 2009 - 02:01:37

I probably know every single thing there is to know about my 8120 but today something I had never seen happened.

I was downloading files to my 2gb card for later use as a makeshift “USB” drive and it worked perfectly. Later on, however, I tried to access my songs through the Media button [I set the media app as the default left soft key] and all that appeared were the music from the newly added files, which were stored on the root card menu. Ex:
>Removable Disk
>ITG 2 [New Folder]
But the problem is that when accessed on my phone it now shows:
>Media Card
>ITG 2
>Blackberry.exe [Unable to Display File]

This is a problem for me. BUT I am still able to use my media card normally. I have to access my song files from the Camera app under View pictures, Up, Up, Music, Menu:Play Subfolder. All my files are accessible through the View Pictures option but its really inconvenient. I have no idea how to change this. I tried every possible thing. Tomorrow I’m considering reloading all my files after I format the Memory card. Any suggestions?

Jan 9, 2009 - 07:01:32

Sounds like the file system on the media card got corrupted somehow. I’d consider copying all the files off to your computer, reformatting the media card, and restoring them. Please let me know how this works out.

Derrick says:
Jan 10, 2009 - 04:01:58

I have a pearl im trying to get the video camera to work do i need to download software

Jan 10, 2009 - 10:01:42

You shouldn’t need to download anything at all for the video camera to work. If you think your Pearl is misbehaving, try a battery pull to reset it: remove the battery, wait a while, replace it, and wait for it to recover. Try the video camera again. If it’s still not working, give me more detail on what it’s doing wrong.

derrick says:
Jan 12, 2009 - 10:01:38

The model that i have is the BlackBerry Pearl 8100 i can get it to take pictures but the video camera doent seem to work the phone works just fine also i have done what you Sugguested and that doest work im only tryin to take video clips to send to a friend over seas

Alex says:
Jan 12, 2009 - 04:01:39


I Just bought the pearl 8110 which came with a 1 gb media card. I have successfully added around 100 songs until when I tried to add more, the message ” the directory or file cannot created” came up. It still says I have 350mb left, and I just do the copy paste method when my BB is connected to my computer?

PS. I formatted a few times and the same message keeps coming up, even though my media card has more space left on it?

Jan 12, 2009 - 09:01:07

Are you formatting the card using your computer or the Pearl itself? You should be formatting it using the Pearl, preferably. If that’s not the problem, it may be that the media card is defective, though that seems unlikely. If you check the total size of the music files on your computer, does it add up to 700-800 MB or thereabouts? Another thought is to connect your phone to your computer and view the media card using mass storage mode, and change your Folder Options (on computer, not Pearl) to allow you to see hidden files. See if there are any hidden files taking up space on the media card. Ask me if you need help doing that.

Alex says:
Jan 12, 2009 - 09:01:39

Thanks for the help sir, all I did was drag the songs into the blackberry folder (videos,pics,ringtones) and its working now.

Thanks again…

Al says:
Jan 24, 2009 - 07:01:18

“the Media Card cannot be used for any of the purposes I listed above that are solely for Device Memory … Technically, there are some exceptions but I want to keep things simple right now.”

OK, so what are the technical exceptions? I’m wondering why I’m forced by RIM to pick and choose which apps I have installed just because there’s not enough device memory to also store email and other data whose size tends to grow (and shrink) as time passes.

Jan 24, 2009 - 08:01:01

The exceptions I was referring to are:

1. Technically, you can copy any kind of file–not just a “media” file (i.e., images, audio, video)–to a media card in the same way you would with a USB flash drive, although it cannot be used by the BlackBerry’s regular apps.
2. There is at least one 3rd-party app (by Aerize) that allows you to move apps back-and-forth from the media card, but you can’t use an app on the media card until it’s copied over to device memory.

I don’t know exactly how the BlackBerry internal electronic circuitry is designed, but with my background as an electrical engineer, I can speculate that the processor doesn’t have the same kind of access to media card memory that it does to device memory, so it physically cannot execute a program (app) that is stored in media card memory. It seems that RIM designers could have chosen to (re)design their operating system to use the media card like a computer’s mass storage device and move apps back-and-forth much like the 3rd-party app I described above. But they have not (yet) chosen to do that.

I suggest that this whole issue is of greatest concern to Pearl owners because, relative to the other BlackBerry models I’m familiar with, the Pearl’s device memory is way undersized. When my Pearl was my primary phone (months ago), I had to be careful to only have installed the few apps I really needed. And I had to carefully manage my “File Free” memory. I didn’t like having to do that, but my personality type is such that it didn’t bother me all that much. Overall, I love my Pearl for what RIM got “right” about it. I hope you can find peace about this in your situation, too.

Michael O. says:
Jan 26, 2009 - 05:01:49

Thanks, Kelly! This was extremely useful. Glad I didn’t break my Curve before figuring out the way the card slides in (before finding your page). I had to re-format it from BB interface before Windows XP would see the drive, so maybe wasn’t properly formatted from adata.

Jan 26, 2009 - 06:01:17

Thanks for the feedback (I crave knowing if my articles do any good, or if they have mistakes, etc.). And I’m glad the article apparently helped.

lulu says:
Jan 29, 2009 - 02:01:17

hi there kelly

i just got a BB8110 i love it its a great phone … but i have a problem with the Media card

as long as it out of the BB its runing great but when i but the media card in the phone turns off by itself and them back on.. and after 30 seconds it turns off again and back on and so on… the media card i got is a microSD 1GB … do i need a different media card? or what?

plz help me ASAP

thank you


BB Queen says:
Jan 29, 2009 - 11:01:16

Hi Kelly,
I was wondering what the you would need to convert your movies to, so you can put them on your BB? I only have a couple I wish to put on for my kids when we are places that a DVD player just is not practical. I checked out, but that seems impractical for what i am looking for.
BB Queen

Jan 29, 2009 - 02:01:03

Sounds like a hardware problem. There’s nothing wrong with your choice of a 1GB microSD card. Either the card is defective or something in your phone’s media card circuitry is bad. Inspect the card closely and see if there is any obvious damage. Use a magnifying glass if you need to. Can you borrow or purchase another media card and see if it kills your phone? You can find 1GB cards for $10 or so, maybe cheaper online. You can order them from this site if you click on the right ad. Please let me know how this works out.

Jan 29, 2009 - 02:01:44

BB Queen,
If you can convert your videos to an MPEG-4 (.mp4) format with dimensions that fit your phone’s display, that’s what I recommend. I can give you more help if you tell me (1) what format(s) your original videos are in (e.g., AVI, WMV, MOV), (2) which BlackBerry you have, and (3) if you have any video conversion software already.

Barry says:
Jan 30, 2009 - 04:01:25

I recently filled my memory card with songs and went through and listened to most of them on my phone. The next time I went to listen to music on my phones, none of the songs showed up except the original hand full I downloaded. Windows media player and Roxio both show the card being near full and I can listen to the songs on my computer from the media card. However they will not show up on my phone anymore. I tried removing the battery and the media card several times but had no luck. Any Ideas?

Jan 30, 2009 - 04:01:01

It seems possible that your card is either “too full” (whatever that might mean) or has a corruption in its file system (directory and/or file allocation table).

I would try temporarily moving all the songs off the media card and onto your computer (maybe you already have a copy of them there). I would delete them entirely off the media card. Then copy them back, possibly in batches, checking 2-3 times to see if what you’ve copied back work in the phone.

If that doesn’t seem to be working, I’d consider moving all content (music, videos, ringtones, etc.) off the card, then reformatting the card (using the phone itself), then copying all the content back to the card. You can try this more drastic action first, actually. I probably would.

I wouldn’t use Roxio at all for this fix, but use the Mass Storage Mode on the phone, where you can access your phone’s media card just like you had plugged in a USB flash drive. I have quit using Roxio. For some BB owners, however, it can still offer some useful features. It just has a bad reputation.

Please let me know what happens.

BB Queen says:
Feb 1, 2009 - 07:02:30

Thanks Kelly! I will try it out. I will also come back to you if I need more help. ;)

Matthieu says:
Feb 2, 2009 - 11:02:26


I have a problem with my BB pearl 8120. Is working normaly, but everytime I’m trying to insert my media card, He’s frozen after 1 or 2 minutes.

I realized that when the card is empty it’s working pretty well, but as soon as I put something on it the device is frozing. can you help me?

I already formated my used SDcard but nothing helps…

Feb 2, 2009 - 01:02:17

Do you have lots of files on your media card, such as songs? I believe what happens is that when you insert a media card–even if it’s the same one that was inserted before–the BlackBerry OS scans the entire card (its directory of files) to build a list in Device Memory. I have seen where that scan takes quite a bit of time, certainly a good fraction of a minute. If I’ve opened Media Player right after inserting a card, it temporarily looks like I have media files (e.g., songs) missing. But if I wait a big, the files do eventually show up.

Maybe that’s what’s happening on your Pearl. Please let me know if your card has a large number of files on it. If not, then maybe there is a different problem.

Matthieu says:
Feb 2, 2009 - 02:02:39

Hi Kelly,

Thank you so much for your answer.

Ok, let me explain what I did:

First, I had a Pearl 8100, then I’ve tried to update le device sftware 4.5 instead of the 4.2 that I had before. and then My pearl went frozen all the time rstarting again and again.

So I bought a new 8100, and then again same troubles.

so I decide to buy the Pearl 8120 because it already has the 4.5 software already set up.

I made a copy of the media card (2 G) that i had on my conputer, and bought a new 4g media card.

I formated the 4G card with on my Pearl 8120 and then made oc opy of Pictures, two movies, approximativly 50 MP3 and few documents like Word, PDF, and Excel
the total make 1.8 G

in fact once again when I insert the media card with everything on it, I can see the scan of the document processing and ending normaly, but as soon as the device is entering the stand by mode, then he’s freezing and nothing else to do except removing the battery and start it again and again.

I noticed that when there is no documents on it everything is going ok and the device is totaly supporting the media card without any trouble

and this is working with differents media card (I have 4 media cards)

so I supposed that there were something wrong with video or MP3 (especially becouse I used to use MP3 as ringtone.

so I tried to only put documents and picture on the media card, and then again it Freezing….

I check if there were any virus on the documents but I found nothing,

there another interesting point, when i put some stuff whatever it is on the media card, it ‘only freezing when the device is not connected to the computer, and that might be normal cause the acces to the media card is unavailable when connected to the PC.

So I’m quite lost and disappointed! someone from my carrier Rogers told me to reinstal the device software 4.5. do you think I should do that?

Ps i have reinstalled the last version of the desktop manager in order to be sure that there is no problem with that.

and when I’m trying to make a backup I have a message error.

I have not idea of what’s going on, this is the first time i have such big deal with my BB
I’ve been using a BB for 5 years now!

and this is very frustrating to no be able to use the media card.

one last thing,

when the media card is empty, there’s no problem when I take some pictures or videos with the device and record them on the empty media card, there is no problem but when I try to copy some stuff on it from the computer, then it’s freezing…

thank you for your help, I hope I’m quite clear!

Al says:
Feb 3, 2009 - 06:02:50

Kelly, it appears the current version of Aerize Card Loader seems to in fact allow (some) apps to run directly from the media card. I’ve re-installed the latest Google Maps Mobile, WebMessenger, iSkoot, Viigo, TwitterBerry, and Yahoo! Go via OTA to the media card, and I have a lot more device memory free than I ever had before with all of those things installed (~12 MB right now).

If I’m not mistaken, I now have all but one or two apps installed that I used to, and the apps I’m missing definitely wouldn’t account for the huge amount of free device memory I now have (because it sure didn’t when I first uninstalled them and rebooted my Pearl).

Thanks for the pointer!

Feb 3, 2009 - 10:02:58

That’s very interesting new information. I will try to look into it when I get some time. I hope you’re right about this.

Sam says:
Mar 20, 2009 - 04:03:38

Hi Kelly,
I just bought an 8GB micro SDHC for my new Bold. The store website said the card was a class 4, but when I picked it up from the store it was a class 2. I want to store music and pictures on the card in my phone, but I know my phone is capable of video and want to be properly prepared for that too. Do you think I should be concerned about the class of the card? Do I need a class 4 card?

Mar 20, 2009 - 08:03:02

I don’t think you’ll have a problem with a Class 2 microSDHC card.

Megan says:
Apr 2, 2009 - 01:04:24

Hi Kelly

I have a 8130 with 2 GB card, however, it doesn’t seem that my applications are downloading to it. When I go to options > media card, it says there are 1.8 GB total space, and 1.8 GB free space. When I try and download an app from the new app store, it tells me that there are less than 5 MB available. I am guessing that my phone isn’t understanding that it is supposed to download new apps to the media card…is there a way to do that? My media card settings (under options > media card) are as follows: Media Card Support: On Encryption Mode: None Mass Storage Mode Support: On Auto Enable MSM when Connected: Yes Total Space: 1.8GB Free Space 1.8 GB

Megan says:
Apr 2, 2009 - 01:04:10

Ignore that – I realized I can’t do that…sorry

Apr 2, 2009 - 09:04:16

Not sure which fact dawned on you, but let me just say that you can’t download apps to a media card. They can only be downloaded and run from Device Memory. That’s unfortunate but true, especially since the Pearl has so little Device Memory to start with. There is an app by Aerize called App Loader (or similar). It’s supposed to help with that problem. When I first tried it, it wasn’t that great. But I hear from others it has been improved greatly.

Sofia says:
Apr 8, 2009 - 06:04:15

Hi Kelly,

I got a 9500 Storm, I’ve just bought a 16GB memory card, but it shows up as 1.8GB only. I’ve formated it, so I just wanted to check if this card really is for 16GB or if there is something wrong with the card reading on my phone.


Apr 8, 2009 - 09:04:26

Did you format it in the phone or in a computer? I would format it using the phone. Then, if you have a card reader, you can check its size on the computer if it still reads wrong on your phone. Other than a formatting error, I don’t know what would cause it to read only 1.8GB (unless, of course, there are tons of files stored on it). Let me know about the formatting.

Sofia says:
Apr 10, 2009 - 10:04:35

Hi Kelly,

I did formate the card in the phone and it gives the same reading on the computer, so guess it might just be something wrong with the card. Thanks for your advise anyway.


Joey says:
Apr 22, 2009 - 08:04:56


I have a BB 8320 and a media card that accepts downloads and shows them as available for viewing (media player and wmv and avi). However, when I attempt to open the file to play the video, the media player opens the file to a black screen with no playback.

Any thoughts? Many thanks in advance for any help!


Misha says:
Apr 25, 2009 - 10:04:37

Kelly– thanks so, so much for this! I have a Pearl 8120 and I am having a strange problem– i have mass storage mode on and sometimes I get a message– cannot use media card because mass storage mode is on. So, I turn it off, then turn it on again, and voila! It is found, formatted and all is well. Weird! (I have the latest OS, so I am wondering if it is a bug.) Anyhow, it is a small annoyance to turn off and on the mass storage mode, but at least nothing is lost.

At any rate, thanks for your thorough explanation. I learned so much from this article!

Apr 26, 2009 - 06:04:48

I get that message when I’m in Desktop Manager, if I remember correctly. It’s not a problem per se, it’s just a technical constraint–and an annoyance.

Apr 26, 2009 - 07:04:10

I haven’t dug too deeply into this kind of problem with my BlackBerry phones, but I did with my older LG phones. Typically, the problem is some video conversion parameter that is outside what is expected by the BB media player. If you converted it yourself and have conversion software, you may want to try re-converting it and trying different parameters. If that’s Greek to you, you may want to enlist the help of someone who owns conversion software and see if they can help. If you decide to try it yourself, contact me again and I’ll try to look up the parameters that you need to experiment with.

Joey says:
Apr 28, 2009 - 12:04:18


Thank you for the input. It has been more of an annoyance than a real issue. These media files are generally attachments to emails I can always playback any attached media from Outlook.

I’ll try to convert a media file from my computer and place on my media card and see if that makes a difference (as opposed to downloading media file attachment from email rec’d on BB).

Thanks again for the help!!

Candace says:
May 6, 2009 - 11:05:31

Hello there.. I have a blackberry curve 8300… I never had a problem uploading music onto my 2gb media card before..until 2 days ago… I usually just connect using a USB cord to my laptop.. and just go into my computer and open up removable disk… then I just transfer the files easily that I want onto the blackberry. But 2 nights ago.. when I tried to open up the removable disk folder.. I got a prompt saying “please insert a removable disk”. I then tried to open up the blackberry desktop manager.. and that was connected but.. for some reason I couldnt find the media transfer icon.. it did not come up…. please help!!

Will says:
May 7, 2009 - 04:05:35

Is there a way to save Applications (like a game) on the media card and be able to used it on the Curve, or do all applications have to be on the device memory?

May 7, 2009 - 10:05:15

Are you sure you haven’t disabled Mass Storage Mode on your Curve? Double-check by doing Options > Media Card. If that’s OK, try a battery pull on your phone (remove battery, wait, replace, wait), and also reboot your computer–just to make sure everything is “clean.” When you plug in your phone, pay attention to make sure that your phone has been recognized as a USB device. If it appears to not be detected, you may need to read my article on USB problems. But hopefully that won’t be necessary. Please let me know.

May 7, 2009 - 10:05:02

Normally, apps need to be installed in Device Memory. The only exception is with the use of a 3rd party program like one by Aerize. I forget the exact name–you can find it on–it’s something like App Loader. I tried it when it was an early version and was not that impressed. But I understand it’s much better now. If you try it, please let me know what you think.

Kristin says:
Aug 29, 2009 - 02:08:43

Hello Kelly,

I have a BB 8120, and I have been downloading themes and games, and they saved in the media card… I cant find the way to manage this card.
How could I “take out” this things from the card, is there an icon for it in the menu?

Aug 30, 2009 - 10:08:12

One way you can “get at” your Media Card is to open your Media icon, press Menu key, and select “Explore.”

If you are trying to install your themes and games so you can use them, you may have to do something different. Downloads can be of two types: (1) the kind you download and install at the same time (it’s automatic), and (2) the kind you download TO YOUR COMPUTER, NOT YOUR PHONE, and install using Desktop Manager’s Application Loader. A download for your computer may be “zipped,” so will need to be “unzipped.”

If you can give me details of what you downloaded, such as filenames (like game.jad or, I might be able to help further. Please return with more info and/or questions.

Nicoya Frey says:
Sep 4, 2009 - 10:09:45

Thank you for your valuable information. I found your site to be extremely helpful in troubleshooting the problems that I thought I was having with my media card.

Samantha B says:
Sep 4, 2009 - 06:09:59

Hey there,
I’ve been having the same problem as someone else has had previously – alex
I’ve had my phone (pearl 8110) for about 2 years now and nothing has ever went wrong with it before.

I bought a 2GB card for it about 2 months ago and succsessfully added my music to it but recently i wiped it, reformatted the card and added 134ish songs.The media card is not even half way ful,l yet i cannot add any more. Everytime I try to import any file into the folder using any method of importing, it comes up with the message “the directory or file cannot created”.

I tried formatting the card again a couple of times (on the pearl itself), I checked for hidden folders or items and nothing out of the ordinary came up and I have checked for corrupted files but never seem to be any closer to a solution to my problem.

Please help me

Sep 8, 2009 - 12:09:15

Thanks for the feedback.

Sep 8, 2009 - 12:09:41

Samantha B,
How are you formatting the media card? You can do it with the phone itself or with your computer. It’s safer to do it with the phone.

Another thing, is your microSD card labeled “microSD” or “microSDHC?” The Pearl is not guaranteed to work correctly with microSDHC cards (which are a newer technology). The 2GB cards can be either the older microSD or the newer microSDHC.

Please let me know if that info helps or not.

Samantha B says:
Sep 9, 2009 - 05:09:49

Thanks for the advice.
I followed your advice and it is working again.
I don’t know what I did but it worked.
Thanks again

Kristin says:
Sep 15, 2009 - 07:09:48

Hello Kelly,

thanks… when I download the themes in mi Laptop and use the Media Manager, where should I save this file? I am downloading the theme from this page


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