How to Mount your Blackberry Pearl 8100 MicroSD on Mac OS X


I bought a 2GB MicroSD card for my Blackberry Pearl, so I could store pictures and music on the device more easily.

I love the Pearl, but as you know, RIM has had a tortured history with Mac-compatibility. Thankfully, the Missing Sync for Blackberry, by Markspace, is a very good solution.

However, I had one last problem. My MicroSD card was not mounting on my Mac as a USB storage drive. Infuriating! I went through pages of Google search results, and no luck. I downloaded a freeware app, called Mount Me X, and no luck.

If the drive doesn’t mount, you can’t synch music or pictures. Drat!

Suddenly I had an epiphany.

I went the Blackberry and entered the password on it to unlock it.

Bingo. USB drive mounted, with no problems. Everything works fine now.

I guess Mac OS X doesn’t know how to get past the unique RIM security feature. The Missing Synch does, however, so it’s strange to me that it doesn’t unlock the phone for you. It asks for the password anyway, when it syncs.

In any case, I hope this post gets indexed and helps some other poor soul out there, in need of help.

The answer is – unlock the Blackberry Pearl 8100 manually with your password before plugging it into your Mac.

This has been a public service announcement.

Update: I have moved on, and given up on the Blackberry completely.  See this post: Goodbye, Blackberry.  Hello, iPhone.

39 thoughts on “How to Mount your Blackberry Pearl 8100 MicroSD on Mac OS X

  1. Good tip. Thanks.

    We have a similar note on our web site:

    “If the MicroSD card does not mount upon connection, check the BlackBerry Options > Advanced Options > Media Card, and set the “When Connected” option to Yes or Prompt. If you choose Prompt the device will prompt you whether to turn on Mass Storage Mode or not and you must choose Yes or No. If you have the preference to sync on connect you may not see this prompt until after the sync is complete and the card will not connect.”

    It would be nice if we could figure a way to do that automatically, but I don’t think it’s possible. I’ll see what RIM’s Windows software does when I get a chance.

    Mark/Space Engineering

    • I tried the steps in original post. They did not work for me. I have Curve 8900. However, the post from EricS Mark/Space Engineering, indicating to change the configuration on the Blackberry solved the problem

    • Hi Eric!

      Thanks for posting this tip but when I go into:
      BlackBerry Options > Advanced Options > THERE IS NO “Media Card” choice.

      I have:
      App / Browser / Browser Push / Default S / Entreprise Act. / GPS / Host Routing T / Maps / Service Book…

      What can I do to unlock my Blackberry Pearl 8130 on my MacBook laptop (10.4.11) ?

      I need my audio notes that doesn’t sync with my M/S MissingSync 2.0.2 (132)

      Thanks if you can help!
      Regards, Guy

  2. Hi Eric,

    Thanks for posting. I actually already have that set. The MicroSD card still will not mount as long as the device is locked. I have my Blackberry Pearl locked most of the time – I’ve even mapped it to the left button to ensure that I keep it locked when it’s in my pocket.

    Locked with a password -> no mount on Mac OS X.

    It would be great if Missing Sync could offer to “unlock” the blackberry when it connects. That would do the trick.


  3. I tried this under Windows and RIM’s own software does the same thing we do. If they ever add support for it on the device, we’ll consider adding to The Missing Sync.

    Mark/Space Engineering

  4. My pearl, unlocked or not, will still not mount as a mass storage device on my OS 10.5. The media card works on the handset, but doesn’t appear on the Mac.

    BB is a 8130 Verizon.

  5. I’m having the same problem as Gavin and I don’t know where to put in the “unlock” password. Please help! No music yet?

  6. this definitely works differently on my windows pc. i plug in a locked blackberry and the blackberry’s screen pops up a window asking if i want to start usb drive device access. on the mac there is no pop up window until after i’ve unlocked the blackberry using the blackberry password. so basically i have to enter the password twice. this is not a big deal but definitely different behaviour than on windows pc, and there is no notification on either operating system (blackberry or macosx) that anything more needs to be done.

  7. My pearl 8130 connected to Mac USB port (OS 10.5) does not mount the media drive ,unlocked or not. Same issue as Gavin and Collin had.
    Guys any resolution yet? Please help!

  8. I have MissingSync software and a 8100Pearl. Same Media card problem. I had to give my phone a password and then voila! It all syncs with music and photos now…good luck!

  9. I have had the same problem mounting the Micro SD card on my 8130 Pearl. I just tried creating a password, but it didn’t make any difference (except that I had to enter the password to sync with Missing Sync). It syncs everything except photos and music just fine.

    Any other suggestions?

  10. I hate to say it everyone, but I have come up with a final solution. As soon as Apple launches the iPhone 2.0, with Exchange support, I’m saying goodbye to the Blackberry. Clearly, they don’t care about Mac sync support, and my wife’s iPhone has had zero issues synching.

    Everyone at my office who has moved to the iPhone is extremely happy with it. I feel like the fool sticking with technology that “should work”, but doesn’t.

    Goodbye, Blackberry Pearl. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    eBay item URL will be forthcoming.

  11. some of these directions are not at all clear. has anyone gotten it to work? can you give better directions?

  12. See above, but I have new directions for this:

    Step 1) Wait until July 11th.
    Step 2) Chuck your Blackberry in the trash
    Step 3) Buy an Apple iPhone 2.0
    Step 4) Never have a single synch or media issue again!

    Much easier than any other solution I’ve found in my 1.5 years with the Blackberry Pearl.


  13. will eventually get a iPhone, but need to work with my 8130 (Sprint) and my G4 MAC for now.

    I only have PocketMac.

    I tried to set a password, unlocked it. After I plugged the USB interface, 8130 has a pop up saying the media card needs to be unlocked with a password, after I type in the password again, 8130 crashes and asked for the passoword again, and if you type it in,, it crashes again. The only way to sync is to set the media card to NO at connection. It will then sync the addresses etc, but not mounting the disk.

    Am I out of luck?


  14. I am having the same problem with accessing my SD 2G media card BB 8130 via USB.
    My iMAC does not mount the drive although i do get a promprt on my BB and manually typed the password.
    My Windows PC “sees’ the drive right away.
    I did try to reformat the SD card. Same results.
    Please help. Any suggestions? Any tips?

  15. Same Issue. Blackberry Perl 8130 Leopard 10.5.3. Everything syc’s fine except music and pics. Need to figure out a way to mount the MicroSD Card in OS X

  16. I have an alternative solution:

    Stop buying the Blackberry Pearl. Stop buying the Blackberry period. I’m done with this incredibly poor support.


  17. Apple iPhone doesn’t have a keyboard. That is one reason Blackberry phones are so popular, and one reason Apple iPhone will never be popular for business use.

    That’s just the truth.


  18. You seem awfully confident, Raul, to base the entire future of the industry on a physical keyboard. Blackberry phones are popular because they provided great, push-based messaging (email) with Exchange integration. They now have a number of IT departments who have invested time and resources into them.

    But the same Exchange support that allows for web access and for Windows Mobile also supports the iPhone, and it’s pretty darn good for a 1.0.

    Count this as one business user who has kissed the Blackberry goodbye.

    Let me know if you want to put some money on that bet:

    “The Apple iPhone will never be popular for business use.”

    Never is a long time, my friend.


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  21. I recently purchased a Blackberry 8130 with a 2mb media card and I have been unable to mount it, I suppose, because nothing I do allows allows The Missing Sync to synchronize music or photos from iPhoto. That’s really the only reason to have the media card for me and The Missing Sync. Did anyone ever find a real solution for this?

  22. email your photos to yourself if you are a mac user. sd card will not mount no matter what I try or remove card and put it in a reader…

    regarding iphone versus BB, no comparison. BB have word processing, iphone had zero cut and paste capabilities…nada…none….

    also, if you travel internationally, flat fee $60 per month for unlimited internet browsing and mail retreival. iphone, ended up costing me over $1000 till I almost chucked it out the window. Got my Att to give me a big fat credit back, but warned me that ‘sorry, we only give 15mgs worth in your package for internet use”…that’s like 4 pages of browsing…and everytime it downloads my mail, they charged me for it.

    when the new Bold BB finally makes the scene this fall, everyone will then chuck their iphones out the window…get an itouch for video/music/wifi needs. If they ever add a camera to the itouch, that will be a perfect device.

    BB sync issues are a drag, but would rather have the ease of performance of the BB (not to mention free international texting using Blackberry messenger with anyone on my BBM contact list!).

  23. Ann, you are missing the point.

    No one is going to chuck their iPhones. They are great. Some roadbumps on the way, of course, with data plans and the like, but the iPhone platform is so much richer, the web browsing so much better, that the spread in capability is only going to grow over time.

    Enjoy your Blackberry. I have an extra one if you need it.


  24. I was able to mount my 2gb micro-SD card whenever I plugged my Pearl into the USB cable under OS10.4.

    After updating to 10.5 it no longer mounted.

    The solution I found to work was to reformat the SD card using Disk Utility. I used the MS-DOS (FAT) format and after turning mass storage mode back on it mounts perfectly. I have the media card set to mount without prompt.

    Hope this helps.

  25. Try turning your BB off.
    Remove the battery and SD.
    Wait 10 seconds.
    Replace SD and battery.
    Turn BB back on. (Plug in USB cable, and enter your password… twice).

    That worked for me, and I didn’t need to reformat the SD with all my pics…

  26. I did Raymond’s solution and it worked halfway. Once the card was reformatted, it was mountable. The problem is that the BB is not able to see the information put on the SD card and requires that it be reformatted. Seems that once the card is reformatted by the Mac it is unreadable by the BB and once reformatted by the BB it is unreadable by the Mac. What the hell? I have only had this for one day and this is not going to well….

  27. “How do you format the card using Disk Utility if it never shows up anywhere?”

    If you plug your blackberry in and just open disk utility is should show up in the left hand column even if it doesn’t show up on the desktop. . .

    • ‘If you plug your blackberry in and just open disk utility is should show up in the left hand column even if it doesn’t show up on the desktop. .’

      Negative. Disk Utility is not displaying unformatted disks [like for instance the Microsd card that won’t mount for me either] in my case.

      I would not expect Disk Utility to be a solution because it requires access to the unformatted disk. If unformatted disk will not mount then logically Disk Utility cannot be a solution for inability to mount unformatted disk.

  28. . . . and for the record the iPhone is a far superior phone to the Blackberry. . .i had one but switched to the Pearl simply because ATT service blows!! I live literally 1 mile from an ATT store and I had absolutely no service in my house, yet when I switched back to verizon I have full signal and there is not a store for 7 miles! [and yes i realize that it is not the retail store from whence Cell signals come from]

  29. i too am having difficulty with this issue. except as soon as I plug my BB 8100 into my mac it say” USB charging current is not sufficient. check the charging source…blah blah blah.” any help? thanks

  30. I’m having issues with my Mac recognizing my Micro SD Card from my BB Pearl 8120 at all… I don’t even see it under Disk Utility so I can format the card…. an suggestions on how to get my mac to recognize the card/mount it? I have a MacBook Pro laptop with Leopard 10.5.5…

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