's BlackBerry 101 Lecture Series

Happy Tuesday Class! And Welcome to Lecture 6 in's BlackBerry 101 Series. Today we're going to take a look at something that's simple if you know the process but can be a complete pain-in-the-butt if you are trying to figure it out for the first time (trust me, I learned the hard way), and that is installing a microSD / microSDHC media card into your BlackBerry. This past week I actually ran into three new-to-BlackBerry users who were having a heck of a time getting their media cards installed, so I figured this would be a good lecture topic to cover asap!

* Update: March 18th, 2010 - Check out the video below for an updated walk through of how to install your MicroSD Memory Card and SIM card into a whole bunch of BlackBerry Smartphone device models, including the Bold 9700, Tour 9630, Storm2, Storm 9530, 8830, 8530, 8520, Curve 8320, 8310, 8300, Pearl Flip 8230, 8220 and Pearl 8100, 8130, and 8120 *


Memory/Media cards have become a top-selling accessory for mobile phones, especially now that the capacity of microSDHC cards has hit and surpassed the 4 gig mark. To turn your BlackBerry into a Media device a microSDHC card is a must have, and is likely to be one of the first accessories you buy for your BlackBerry.

Breaking away from BlackBerry 101 tradition, and in keeping with the Media theme, this lecture is less about reading and more about looking and listening (lots of pictures and even a movie!). Let's get started!

Which BlackBerrys Are Compatible?
The BlackBerry Pearl 8100 was the first BlackBerry to offer support for MicroSD cards. In addition to the Pearl, the BlackBerry 8800 series and BlackBerry Curve series also accept MicroSD cards. If you're running an older BlackBerry, you are unfortunately out of luck.

If you're wondering about the difference between microSD and microSDHC, here's the scoop: Visually they look the same (they are both tiny!), but microSD cards only go up to 2 gigabytes of storage space, while the microSDHC (HC stands for high capacity) formatted cards go up from there (4GB and 6GB are now available, and they'll keep coming out bigger and bigger up to the 32GB mark).

While all of the microSD-equipped BlackBerrys currently on the market support up to the 4GB card with no problems for the most part, it's not quite clearly stated anywhere (that I can find anyways - make comments to this post if you know more) exactly how high up the memory food chain the microSDHC support goes. The BlackBerry 8820 and new devices should be able to handle all the way up to the massive 32GB card when it comes out, but whether or not a first generation BlackBerry Pearl will be able to climb that high I'm not quite sure. You'll want to check in with the CrackBerry forums from time to time to see the scoop as bigger cards hit the market.

I whipped up a "One Cut, No Excuses" video that guides you through the process of installing a SanDisk 4 GB microSDHC card into both a BlackBerry 8830 and BlackBerry Curve. The video is just over 3 minutes long. Take a watch!

If videos are not your thing, the following is a step-by-step, picture by picture walkthrough of the installation process on an AT&T BlackBerry 8300 Curve (click the images for a larger view):

Step 1: Buy a microSD Card

Step 2: Remove the Battery Cover from your BlackBerry

Step 3: If required to access the microSD card slot,
remove the battery from your BlackBerry

Step 4: Locate the microSD Card holder. Note the Lock and Unlock
markings on the casing and the directions that the arrows point

Step 5:Unlock by sliding the door/clasp to the Left

Step 6: Open the hatch!

Step 7: Note the pins on the microSD card and the corresponding
pins in the BlackBerry. You'll want to arrange the card so these touch

Step 8: Carefully slide the card into the slots on the trap door

Step 9: Make sure the card is fully inserted

Step 10: Close the Hatch!

Step 11: Slide the door to the Right to 'Lock' it shut

Step 12: Inspect your handywork! The job is done

Step 13: If necessary, put your battery back in

Step 14: Put your battery cover back on

Step 15: If it's the first time inserting a Memory Card into your BlackBerry
you will see a little pop up that says 'Memory Card Detected'.
From there, head to your Options Screen

Step 16: Click on the Media Card link

Step 17: Adjust your Media Card Settings-
* Media Card Support should be on
*Mass Storage Mode Support should be on
*Auto Enable Mass Storage Mode When Connected can be
changed from 'Prompt' to 'Yes'

That's IT!!!! 

What to Avoid Doing During the Installation Process

The key thing to not do when you are installing your media card is to lie it down flat in the BlackBerry and try and shut the hatch on top of it. You HAVE to slide the microSD card into the grooves on the opening/closing door. Once the card is in the grooves, only then can you swing the hatch closed and lock into place. What makes this an easily confusing process is that this is different from SIM card installation. With the SIM card, you line up the notched corner of the card/holder, lie it flat into the BlackBerry, and then close the door on top. While that works for SIM card installation, it'll break your media card.

Don't # 1: Do not open the hatch door and then try and lie
the media card flat in the slot. You have to slide the card into the
slots on the door.

Don't # 2: If you try and close the door over a card that was layed
flat in the slot (and not inserted into the grooves on the case)
you'll drive yourself crazy trying to get it closed and
likely wind up with a broken media card in the process.


That winds up this lecture. With your media card now installed, it's time to FILL'R UP with guess what? MEDIA! can help you there. Head on over to our free Ringtone Gallery and Wallpaper Gallery and start downloading! Get Crack'n! And we'll see you next Tuesday!

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