Loading 7 Votes - +

Fix Memory Card Error on BlackBerry Without Computer

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. Disconnect/eject the BlackBerry from the computer.5
  3. Select Options from the BlackBerry menu.
  4. Select Media Card.
  5. Push the menu button (just left of the navigation ball) while viewing the Media Card screen.
  6. Select Format Card.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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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Information This article was edited after publication by the author on 27 Oct 2009. View changes.
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0 Votes  - +
hello by Anonymous

very helpful thanks a lot

0 Votes  - +
Thanks! by Anonymous

This has been a real pain in the butt for a few weeks, thanks so much for the simple fix. I had been unable to use my camera’s video camera due to the formatting error. Your instructions were great and much appreciated.

0 Votes  - +
Thank You! by Anonymous

I thought that i had to trash an 8 gig card that i had put in my Tour, but this saved it (& me some $)!

0 Votes  - +
Thanks! by Anonymous

Thank you so much! This was an immediate fix. (:

1 Vote  - +
Thanks by Anonymous

So easy to fix thanks so much

1 Vote  - +
Thanks by Anonymous

I was about to discard my media card which is fairly new. This helped me.

0 Votes  - +
Perfect fix! by Anonymous

Thanks- you rock!

0 Votes  - +
THANKS!!! by Anonymous

omg! thanks sooo much! I have over 300 pics, songs and ringtones on my Black Berry and i was starting to really freak out when this happened. It was so easy and really helped me out! thanks again

thank you

0 Votes  - +
THANK YOU! by Anonymous

this worked for me! and i was about to buy a brand new media card for my blackberry, but this was so helpful. thank you so much!

0 Votes  - +
Thank you by Anonymous

I was totally freaking out until I came across this!!! Thanks again!

It look like the Phone can not read more than 4 GB SD cards.
If we format using the phone then it has only 3.8 gb available. rest of them are not usefull.

-1 Vote  - +
Thanks by Anonymous

WOW!!! I’m so thankful for this. My mom missed up all my data including my media card for my BB. I gave up on trying to fix it (I too have a mac). I decided to research it finally and it work! Thanks a lot!

-1 Vote  - +
thanks by Anonymous

you are a hero, absolutely helpful

-1 Vote  - +
Wow by Anonymous

At first I thought all the comments were from the same person and that perhaps this wasnt the solution I was seeking (always an optimist) but sure enough I followed what you suggested and it worked.

-1 Vote  - +
sweeeet! by Anonymous

thank you sooo much!!! it was super helpful! <3

while doing it i got texts and i cant read the texts but it says i have 3 texts.

-1 Vote  - +
Thanks A lot by Anonymous

I was trying my media card on another cellphone (not blackberry) and when trying to put back on my bb it gave me that same error, i did this and poooom: fixed!! Thanks a lot!!

-1 Vote  - +
Thank You by Anonymous

Thanks man this helped a lot, i just got this message and i was like damn, lol im running linux so no desktop manger, so i googled and found this. exlant artical man. Kudos

is this acceptable for music…? I tried this solution, and still found the problems over and over. I have a 3 gig of songs, and idk if I have to cut those down…

-1 Vote  - +
HELP!!!! by Anonymous

I tried uploading and saving all my pics and videos to my computer to format my card. My videos showed up but not my pictures, i dont want to lose them. How can I get them to upload to my computer before I format my card. Do I have to do something else to my phone? HELP!!!

-1 Vote  - +
Crissy by Anonymous

OMG what would i do without you guys…Following the instructions given i was able to deal with my media card. Thanks alot guys.

-1 Vote  - +
Remove Media Card by Anonymous

I backed up then instead of formating I did remove media card and then installed it back everything went back to normal without loosing any data, music or pics. i

Thank you for this really informative and helpful article. Many people have such a problem and your experience will help them not to do the same mistakes and to find the best solution.
iphone software development

-1 Vote  - +
worked by Anonymous

This worked on my BB Tour 9630.
Thank you

-1 Vote  - +
media card by Anonymous

media card coming error. did as you said it worked thank you

-1 Vote  - +
works by Anonymous

thanks work’d gr8!

-1 Vote  - +
Media Card by Anonymous

it worked, thanks so much!!

-1 Vote  - +
thank you! by Anonymous

This took about 30 seconds and absolutely worked! You saved me a huge amount of time and aggravation. I’m hugely grateful!

-1 Vote  - +
memory card by Anonymous

Thank you sooo much !!!! I thought for sure I wouldnt’ be able to use my card in my bb curve again…

What an awesome site you have n great help !!!

Thanks again…

Take Care

Theresa :)

-1 Vote  - +
total time saver by Anonymous

THis was the best, tech suggestion ever! Saved Huge amount of time that I did not have to spend on the phone with technical support

hey thanks for posting this! it was very use in helping me solve my bb’s memory card problem which has been bugging me for a few weeks now!

-1 Vote  - +
hey by Anonymous

i did it but i didnt back up anything . and when i pressed format NOTHING deletes it just takes away the error. THANKS i’ve used this suggestion over 4 times and nothing gets deleted!

-1 Vote  - +
brilliant advice by Anonymous

i had tried my media card in another phone and got that silly message coming up too but this advice really worked and am very happy that i have everything back on my phone and it was so simple to do. much appreciated

-1 Vote  - +
surprising.. by Anonymous

as funny as this sounds, as soon as i open this page … my phone got fixed ._.
THANK U SO MUCH!.. although i didn’t use your method, my phone got fixed three minutes after i clicked your page link. SO THANK U :D

0 Votes  - +
thankx by Anonymous

thanks a lot buddy …. i read ur article >>>>>media card is now responding >>thankx a lot anyways ….

wow it worked thanks for the info was very helpful

0 Votes  - +
Blackberry Flip by Anonymous

If you have a flip follow same instructions except reaching media card options can be tricky here’s what you do

-click settings in BB menu

then click options

then click memory

then push BB button (left of trackball below green call button)

then select format

format card

then open up your computer and reinsert the files =)

Thank you for this article very helpful i was scared to death.

0 Votes  - +
thanks by Anonymous

YOUR A LEDGEND! Thank you so much for sharing, was just about to cry when i realised it wouldnt work, thankyou!!!!!!!!!!

0 Votes  - +
yay by Anonymous

thanks soo much, i was just about to throw away my new media card and i found this article!!

0 Votes  - +
thanks by Anonymous

So extremely helpful!!! thank you for sharing.. i have been having problems with the sd card for my blackberry since i got it last year and its just now that i was able to do something about it thanks to your step-by-step format procedure!

thanks again!

0 Votes  - +
media card by Anonymous


0 Votes  - +
THANK YOU by Anonymous


0 Votes  - +
thank you by Anonymous

thank you sooo much :D its really helped me a lot :D

0 Votes  - +
thank you by Anonymous

omg this really worked……thank you ooooohhhh so much!!!!im highly pleased

0 Votes  - +
You saved me! by Anonymous

Thank you so much it didn’t come to my mind that it was just this simple! You’ve saved me a lot of time and I really appreciate how you made it look so easy ’cause, well, it is! Cheers mate! :-)

Tried moving all my data from media card to a location on my PC only to realize that my PC does not recognize my blackberry :( .. I dont want to format my memory card as i might lose all data. How else do i back up my data from my media card?

One of my friend also have same problem, we have no idea about how to fix it. Good step wise explain and now i will do it myself. Thanks. Mobile App Development

0 Votes  - +
disappointing by Anonymous

maybe im nt reading this right, but no this did not work on my phone at all

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