I take quite a few pictures with my BlackBerry for work. Luckily, my employer was nice enough to buy me a 4GB micro SD card that fits in nicely behind the battery in my Curve.1 Unfortunately, I started receiving the following error a couple weeks ago:
A Media Card has been insterted that contains errors. To correct the errors please use a disk error-checking utility on a computer.
This error would pop up any time I tried to access something on the media card through the phone, or any time I plugged the BB into my computer and entered Mass Storage Mode.2 There were some other odd issues, too. Images on the media card still showed up on my phone background or as profile pictures, but I couldn’t access them through the phone. I could, however, access them through the computer. Additionally, the phone wasn’t able to store photos to the media card directly when taken, and I couldn’t move photos to the media card after they were taken.
While trying to figure out a solution, I was able take pictures and get them onto my computer by storing them in my device memory and then emailing them to myself one at a time. This obviously was a large pain, particularly knowing how quickly my BlackBerry memory filled up and what this could do to my call/email history.3
The obvious solution (I thought) was to reformat the card through a computer, but I had a few issues with this. First, my work laptop (where I have the BlackBerry Desktop Manager4 installed) is severely locked down and doesn’t allow disk reformatting. Second, my personal laptop is a Mac and doesn’t have the BlackBerry Desktop Manager installed (and thus doesn’t mount the media card when I plug it in).
I’m sure there are ways around both of these, but it turns out there’s a much easier way to resolve this issue: The BlackBerry Curve, in all of its not-an-iPhone glory (sarcasm), has the ability to reformat media cards itself. Simply follow these steps:
- Move all data from the media card to your desktop or another location. (This can be done using Mass Storage Mode and BlackBerry Desktop Manager.)
- Disconnect/eject the BlackBerry from the computer.5
- Select Options from the BlackBerry menu.
- Select Media Card.
- Push the menu button (just left of the navigation ball) while viewing the Media Card screen.
- Select Format Card.
- Answer Yes to format the media card. (If you’re not okay with losing all data on the card, go back to step 1 and start again.)
- Move your data back to the card once the formatting finishes.
Voila! Everything is good to go. Well, maybe not everything. You will need to go into your camera options and set it to store photos on the media card when taken. Otherwise, as I mentioned above, you might run into memory/data loss issues.3
The most confusing thing about all of this is why the error message is so misleading. Why point the user in another direction (i.e., a disk error-checking utility on a computer) when the BB itself includes an easy way to fix the problem?
1 I thought this was really sweet until I ran into a coworker with a 16GB micro SD card. I was simultaneously amazed and annoyed. The amount of space on that tiny card is impressive, no doubt – but why has Apple not yet released a 30GB iPhone?
2 Mass Storage Mode allows the BlackBerry to show up as a separate drive on your computer (to/from which you can move songs, ringtones, photos, etc.).
3 Not long after I got my BB Curve, I noticed my entire email and call history would disappear without warning. After doing some searching online, I found this was the result of the phone running out of memory. The best (only?) way to prevent it is to perform a “hard restart” (i.e., pull the battery out of the phone while it’s on). This clears the phone’s memory – including any build-up from used applications – as well as closes any open applications.
4 “BlackBerry – Software Downloads 2.” BlackBerry.com. Accessed February 2009 from https://www.blackberry.com/Downloads/entry.do?code=A8BAA56554F96369AB93E4F3BB068C22.
5 I think this could be one reason my media card developed errors. I don’t know if it’s because my work laptop runs Windows 2000 (yes, that’s right), but there’s no option to eject the BB once I’ve entered Mass Storage Mode. I tried the little green arrow in the system tray, as well as right-clicking on the drive itself. No dice. So, I end up just unplugging it without ejecting it, which gives me an error message every time.
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