Why My New BlackBerry Pearl 2 Deletes Txt Msg (SMS)

It’s not a conspiracy plot against other forms of non-email communications and for once it’s not even Bell Mobility’s fault. It’s just a little bit of bad planning on behalf of BlackBerry maker’s RIM.

Here is what happened, I received my BlackBerry Pearl 8130 just before the Christmas break and like any other BlackBerry user would quickly do I quickly loaded up my favourite Google Apps, tried out the new FaceBook application (more on this another time), added Twitterberry and then proceeded to walk around the Office taking every one’s picture so I could “test” the 2 mega-pixel camera and update my address book with photos of who is calling. During the course of the day I had received quite a few text messages,SMS, and also replied to quite a few; Twitter had finally started working properly so this had brought on a wave of new “txts”. By the time I got home that night and check my new messages, the entire list was gone…

This was weird, so I checked my email and they were still there safely, even my GMail. I continued to look around, the address book was fine, same with the calendar, task list, and notes. But now the call log was also clear; I know that I had made at least 5 calls and received at least 3, yet there was no record of this anywhere. This was very weird, the email was fine as I had expected it to be but all other communication had been wiped clear. At first I thought it might have been theBlackBerry policies set up on our corporate BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server), so a quick call to our Network Admin on a Friday night confirmed there no such policies, he suggested checking the memory and taking the battery out. CHECKING THE MEMORY!!! Of course I had taken all those pictures and loaded up a bunch of apps including Google Maps. Even though I was using a 2Gb microSD card, the Pearl’s Default settings are to store pictures on the device which only has 64Mb of shared memory. Shared memory on any phone usually means 14 – 20 Mb available to the user. So I pulled out the laptop and moved all my pictures to the card using the included Roxio Media Manager (tepid experience at best) moved all the pictures from the device memory to the card. This freed up a little space next I had to make sure all new pictures would be stored on the card as well.

To do this you need to access the camera application, press the funky new BB menu button and go to [OPTIONS], scroll down to Store Pictures: and choose [ON MEDIA CARD] (make sure you card is inserted). Then scroll down to folder and select the pictures media card/BlackBerry/pictures folder. Now press the Escape key, the one to the right of the trackball, and select save. You now have to the same for the video camera application as well. Once this is done you will have to pull the battery out in order to the Pearl’s memory. Removing the battery seems to be the standard way to reset all BlackBerry’s, however be warned BB boot up time is quite slow, especially if your on BES . So now you are probably think that all my problems are over and that I should be able to following text message threads without any problems.

Well not exactly, you if you surf the web on a BlackBerry, the pages you visit will get cached so you need to clear your cache regularly as well. To this go your BlackBerry Internet Browser, hit the [menu] key and scroll to [OPTIONS] now go to [Cache Operations] and clear your [Content Cache] and your [Pushed Cache]. You want to leave your [Cookie Cache] alone as this is were your auto-login stuff is stored. Like when you click on your Facebook bookmark and automatically get logged in. If your using opera Mini do the same for that as well. (You don’t really need to pull the battery out for this.)

Something else you could try is reducing the amount mail you store on the device, if you’re on a BES, you can simply view you folders and they will go get your older mail. If you’re a using BIS, try using the GMail app which will go get your older mail when you search for it, or you can use the web interface to see older mail. Personally I find emails to be quite an important part of my BlackBerry experience and prefer to sacrifice elsewhere. The same goes for the address book, the calendar, task and notes. You can set all these to only hold 30 days instead of 60 or 120 days.

Next is the big one! I found this out after a lot of searching and trolling the various BB Forums, I don’t recall where I found it but I’m giving it out for free as this is the one thing that really seems to make the biggest difference. When you get your Pearl, Curve or World Edition, it comes with a nice demo video of the device swirling around with lot’s of music. This video is 2 Mb and try as you might you will not be able to delete using the delete key in the Media Browser. Now your saying that 2.2Mb is not a lot on a 64 Mb device, but remember that you only have 12Mb at best to _YOUR_ disposal on a clean Pearl; so 2.2Mb almost 20% of your available storage space. That is a lot of call history and text messages. So how do you get rid of it? It’s actually quite easy. On you home application screen scroll down to the [Options] application, open it the go to [Advanced Options] now select [Applications]. Warning: This the list of applications on your device, do not delete anything unless you installed and you know what is it. Now scroll down to preloaded media and hit the menu button and select delete. Once your done, hit escape and return to the home screen. Now you will have remove the battery to see the extra memory. Remember to Sync your data and make a back up before you start playing around in the advanced options or deleting stuff from your device.

Since I have done this, I have almost aways had 10Mb of memory on the device. I store no media on the Pearl itself and now feed the need and desireTxt msgs when they either in German (Ich Habs: has nothing to do with Les Canadiens) or FaceBook pokes from Nick! (You can not win Nick! Resistance to an unlimited SMS plan is futile…)


  1. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I have been having so many problems with this on my pearl, which I’ve had for a couple weeks ago. (I LOVE the phone, and I was loathe to return it.) Since I basically never talk on the phone, texting is my primary form of communication, and this problem is very bothersome. Over the past two weeks, I have sent several texts to my entire address book, telling them if they texted me, chances are, I didn’t get it.

    I just have one thing to add to all your wonderful suggestions, and this helped me out a bunch for a few days. I switched to the Pearl from a Moto Q, and I always left my web browser open, along with other things such as Google Maps, etc. That’s a no-no on the pearl. When you’re done browsing, be sure to hit the menu button and close the application. Same with your media player, games, etc. Make sure if you are not actively using an application, it is closed. This saved me a lot of grief. Seems like common sense, but if you’re coming from another device, it may be something you’ve taken for granted.

    Thank you again for your advice, I’m kinda slapping myself in the forehead for not figuring it out myself, but I’m glad someone did. In the meantime, I hope my tip helps someone else!

  2. Glad you found this as useful as I did.

    And I know what you mean about closing applications after you finish using them. Especially for Windows Mobile devices, like the Moto Q. There is no easy way of doing this on the Pocket PC’s and Smartphones without using third party apps. If you don’t close app on those devices it make them more prone to crashing.

    I have never really had this issue on BlackBerry devices though. The BlackBerry seems to put other applications to sleep in the background pretty well. I have idea how it does it, is it Mac OS like in it’s use of RAM? Who knows but I often have all the IM’s running, along with the Internet Browser and the Media Player without ever seeing a dip in performance.

    The one application that I always close is the BB maps; this is mostly do to the fact that I don’t like having the GPS on while I’m not actively using it. GPS is probably the biggest battery drain on the device. Bluetooth is pretty well managed and the camera only uses juice when you are snapping away, whereas the GPS is always actively searching for satellites and calculating your position based on the time codes it receives every second. This is pretty heavy stuff, so I have forced my self into the habit of stopping the GPS and closing the maps whenever I don’t actively need. It’s almost as automatic as setting the BB to quiet before a meeting. You only tend to make those mistakes once.

  3. THANK YOU I also use SMS most of the time and was horrified for days trying to figure out why my messages where gone! Phoned service desk and they ensured me I was recieving the texts, BUT they were no where to be seen. Once I cleaned out that sample video and yes took off my pictures as well it now works fine!:)>

  4. Thank you so much! I did a google search and your blog popped up first. I found there were a lot of forums out there talking about this fairly common problem, but you spelled it out perfectly. Hopefully I can keep my call logs and texts now!

  5. Kate,

    Glad you enjoyed the read, I wrote this article in January and 6 months on I am still happily using my Pearl 2 without problems. This is a great device and that txt’ing issue really had me puzzled and more than a little ticked off. The biggest difference for me was getting the 2Gb MicroSD Card. Along with Flickr upload and Facebook, I am snapping away and uploading like mad without fear of loosing my txt’s.

    Keep Thumbing Away!


    I HAD THIS PROBLEM ON MY PEARL, I WAS SCERRED. I dont use the browser, or email, or GPS, WHY DO I HAVE A BBERRY? I Don’t know, its just sexy, and the data plan is a bit much … but…this issue was worrying me, thanks for sharing your insight!