How to use memory cards on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

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MicroSDHC card


How to use memory cards on the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic


What are memory cards?

A phone's memory card plays a similar role to the hard disk drive on a computer. Memory cards are usually used to store data such as photos, music tracks, videos, applications, games, text files... pretty much anything. You can even use it to store data intended for other computers, though you may not be able to use such data on the phone itself.

The 5800's internal memory is fairly small, about 81 megabytes, so it's important to make sure it also has a memory card to improve the amount it can store.


Does the Nokia 5800 come with a memory card?

Yes, most 5800s are sold with an 8 gigabyte card already placed in the slot, and preloaded with some music tracks and videos. The card size may vary depending on where you buy it, but there should be some kind of card included with the phone.

You can replace the card that comes with the phone if you want to.

Of course, if you buy the phone second hand you may not get a card with it at all.


How do I transfer stuff onto and off the phone's card using my computer?

Click here to see our tutorial on memory card file transfers using the 5800's USB cable.


How do I access what's on the card?

Most of the phone's applications such as Gallery and Music Player automatically detect what's on the card.

However, if you want direct access to browse the card's files and folders, you can use the File Manager application:

1. On the phone's standby screen press the white menu button.

2. Select "Applications".

3. Select "File Manager".

4. Select "E: Memory Card". This will show the contents of the memory card in a similar manner to the file manager on most computers.

You can view or run a file by clicking on it, which should automatically launch the appropriate application. For example clicking on an image file will display the image in the Gallery, while clicking on an audio file will start playing it in the Music Player.

You can also install applications and games using File Manager. Just click on the app or game file (they usually end in .SIS or .SISX) and it will automatically start the installation process.

The File Manager contains all the usual options for moving files, deleting them, renaming them etc in its Options menu. Be careful when deleting stuff though, as it will be gone forever if you don't have a backup.


Which type of memory cards can I use with the 5800?

The 5800 has a microSDHC card slot, so it can use both microSD and microSDHC memory cards.


What capacity cards can I use on the 5800?

Officially the 5800 can use cards up to 16 gigabytes in size, but unofficially you may be able to use even higher capacity cards (though Nokia won't guarantee that larger cards work).


Which speed cards can I use on the 5800?

The card slot should work with all current classes of memory card. The higher the class, the faster the speed. Higher speed cards are particularly important if you want to record high quality video with your 5800, as slower cards will produce stuttery video files.


Where is the card slot and how do I change cards?

You can find the 5800's memory card slot on the left of the phone, it's behind the lower door in the middle (the upper door is the SIM card slot). Most 5800s are sold with an 8 gigabyte card already placed in the slot.

If you take the card out while the phone is still using it, it can cause damage to the card. Because of this, the safest way to change cards is to just switch the phone off using the power button at the top.

The card slot is a "hot-swap" one, which means you can also change cards while the phone is switched on, but first you will need to press the power button briefly and select the "Remove Memory Card" option before taking the card out. This option shuts down all the applications which are using the card, so that it isn't damaged when you take it out.


Aergh! It's really difficult to take the card out! It's really difficult to put the card in!

You should be able to remove the card by pressing it in a short distance, then letting it pop out towards you. Once it's popped out you should be able to pull it the rest of the distance out with your fingernails.

However, if this last step is too difficult, try using a pair of tweezers/pincers to pull the card out.

You can put the card back in by pressing it in and waiting for it to click into place.

If you're having trouble putting a card in, remember that the brand name of the card should face upwards (i.e. be on the same side of the phone as the screen).


Where should I buy memory cards? Do I have to buy Nokia-brand memory cards?

You can use any brand of microSDHC or microSD card with the 5800. You do not have to use Nokia-brand, other brands work fine (and the other brands are usually a lot cheaper too).

Try to make sure you buy the card in a reputable electronics shop. There are a lot of counterfeit cards floating around the internet, some of which look like they're made by a famous brand but are actually made by someone else. Counterfeit cards may suddenly stop working, and if that happens you could lose all the data you stored on them such as photos, videos, music etc.


How do I format a memory card?

It's best to format phone memory cards in the actual phone, to make sure they're formatted in a way that works properly with the phone.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Remember that formatting a card wipes all the data from it, so be careful!

To format a memory card on the 5800:

1. On the standby screen, press the white menu button.

2. Select "Applications".

3. Select "File Manager".

4. Double-click on "E: Memory Card".

5. Select "Options".

6. Select "Memory Card Options" and then "Format".

You can use a similar procedure for renaming cards too, but choose "Name" instead of "Format".


How long do memory cards last?

In general, card manufacturers guarantee that memory cards last 5 or even 10 years. However the real use time depends on how much you use the card, especially how often you fill it up and delete stuff to free space. If you never fill the card up and never delete stuff either, the card may last longer than its guaranteed time. If you fill it up a lot and delete stuff a lot, it may last shorter than its guaranteed time.

It's probably a good idea to make sure you have a copy of your card's data somewhere else (for example on your computer), in case the card breaks, or in case it gets lost or stolen. You can learn to easily transfer files back and forth between your memory card and computer by reading our USB data transfer tutorial.


What about SD and miniSD? Can I use them on the 5800?

No, they're physically too large to fit into the 5800's card slot.


Can I use microSD and microSDHC cards in miniSD and SD card slots?

Yes, you can use microSD and microSDHC cards in miniSD and SD card slots with the appropriate adaptors. You can see examples of microSD-miniSD and microSD-SD adaptors below.

These adaptors are very cheap because they're basically just bits of plastic, and they usually come free with the memory card itself.


microSD adaptors

On the right is a microSDHC card, on the left is a microSD-miniSD adaptor, in the middle is a microSD-SD adaptor.


Can I use the phone's card in other phones? Can I use it in non-phone devices such as cameras, music players and computers?

You can use microSD and microSDHC cards in any device with a compatible slot. Do not format the card in another device though, as it may stop working in your phone.


What's the difference between microSD cards and microSDHC cards?

They look physically identical, but the microSDHC cards can store much more data. MicroSD cards can only go up to 4 gigabytes in size, but microSDHC cards can go up to 32 gigabytes or even larger.

The 5800 can use both types of card, so you don't need to worry which one you buy. However, remember that the official capacity limit is 16 gigabytes, so you're taking a risk if you use larger cards.

Many people refer to both card types as "microSD", perhaps because that format came first.


I changed memory cards and my wallpaper disappeared!

If you remove a card, you cannot access data on it. If you used an image file from a memory card as your phone wallpaper, it will disappear when you remove the card.

You can get the wallpaper back by putting the card back in the phone. If you want to keep the wallpaper and change the card, try transferring the wallpaper's image file onto the phone's internal memory using the File Manager application mentioned above.


Why are these cards so small?

Because people keep buying smaller and thinner phones, so manufacturers have to come up with ways to reduce the phone's size. Making the card smaller also makes the card slot smaller, which reduces the overall size of the phone.

MicroSD is the industry standard for phone memory cards now, practically all phone makers use it, so there's no way to avoid it.



Click here for a complete list of All About Symbian's Nokia 5800 XpressMusic tutorials