Nokia N91: Mass Storage not working, Unable to read.

A Very well written email was sent in to me by Ben, who goes on to explain an interesting issue He is having….


Greetings Macbuckley,

Thanks for running such a great site for just what I need – using a
Mac with the N91 (which I just got a week ago – the N91 that is).

All is well, however I guess I should find out if anyone else has had
this issue:

Mass Storage not working

I have had no problems with the phone at all, however this morning I
got the issue reported about Finder crashing when copying files to
the phone (I was copying some album art images at the time). Anyway,
it seemed that there was a folder left there after I had to relaunch
Finder, which was corrupted. I could not delete this via the phone or
via Bluetooth, so decided to reformat the drive (Full Format not
Quick), however since then when selecting the 'Mass Storage' option
when connecting the USB cable, it reports that it cannot read the
drive and needs to be formatted. Normally you would think this would
be a HDD problem, however I can transfer music with no problems using
the Music Manager, as well as being able to drop files on it via
Bluetooth, however no dice when it comes to mounting the drive on the
desktop as Mass Storage.

FYI – I tired it on a PC (in case) and it also reported the drive as
not being formatted there as well.

I am going to get it looked at via the local Nokia specialist, who
will upate the firmware, but what is weird, was that it was working
this morning! And also, did the format as well! I don't really want
to do a full factory reset, but we shall see. I will update you as I go.

Cannot find anyone else online who has had this issue!




Many Thanks for the Email Ben, you wouldnt belove the kind of emails ive been getting of late , but thats another story.

You mention that finder crashes when copying or moving large files, well this is a known issue and I know of a few users with the same issue.

Im hopeing that Apple/Nokia work something out or it defeats the purpose of having a 4gb HD in the phone. Time will tell on that one.

Now on to the More Interesting issue….

 You say "when selecting the 'Mass Storage' option
when connecting the USB cable, it reports that it cannot read the
drive and needs to be formatted.
can transfer music with no problems using
the Music Manager, as well as being able to drop files on it via
Bluetooth, however no dice when it comes to mounting the drive on the
desktop as Mass Storage."

This sounds to me that the the process was not compeleted fully, perhaps certain parts of the drive are formatted and not others??

Id like to suggest to redo the Format process and see what happens, as this is very odd indeed.

Also do a FULL , from what i remeber it will or shud do error checking and then format the drive so this should clear it up , also make sure its pluged in to the charger for the full lenght of time it takes to do the reformat.

Note: the Drive should never be reformated with anything other then the built in tools that come with the phone , also  only FAT32 is supported nothing else.

Let us know how it goes , but be interesting to see what the Nokia Agent says as well.




Filed under Nokia N91 Problems, Nokia N91 Tips

22 responses to “Nokia N91: Mass Storage not working, Unable to read.

  1. Bill

    Yes, it is strange. Full format should fix the problem. It runs about 19-20 min. Actaully you can use Windows to do that BUT use 32K cluster size:
    Format /FS:FAT32 /A:32K
    Another thought – it might be related to label. Don’t enter one – leave default even if you format on the device.

  2. Bill

    format f: /FS:FAT32 /A:32K

  3. Akash

    after the format is the phone like factory new because i wanted to sell on my n91 cuz it has 2 dead pixles (1 very noticable) and the colour is not to my liking.

    ps will the live 8 videos and other protected preinstalled stuff still work???

  4. elloco

    Hi Akash,

    When reformating the Hard Drive all contents will be LOST!, the only thing you can do is copy whatever you want to protect to the PC BEFORE you run the format then copy back to the N91.

    If you Reset the N91 (Factory reset) also all the protected content will not play anymore, so keep that in mind if you want to reformat the device completely.

  5. AKash

    is there a way for the live 8 vids to work maybe if i backup the phone first or something because i don think the value of the phone will do down??? or is there anyway for me to clear the call records/logs and timer that are dead giveaways of the phone being used alot???

  6. Akash

    ok a version that makes sense is:

    is there any way at all for the live8 video clips to work, maybe if i use the nokia backup system or something because the value of the phone will go down otherwise.

    and if no then in there anyway for me to clear the call records/ call timers and other stuff that are dead giveaways that the phone has been used alot???

    plus if i use the code *#7370# what does it exactly do??? and will the live 8 videos work if i use that code???

  7. Ben Treston

    Hey Guys,

    Just so you know, I had tried a FULL and Quick format, which did not resolve this issue originally.

    But as an update, I took the phone into the Nokia service centre for this problem and they updated the firmware, and while in the store plugged in the phone and.. the same problem happened – my Powerbook asked to Initialise the drive. Anyway, I then did the reformat AFTER this firmwire update and that seems to have fixed it now, so I will keep an eye on it and let you know what happens.



  8. Dips

    So what’s the firmware version on your phone now Ben? Type *#0000# to find out. Will have to get it done myself if they’ve released a new one.

  9. Akash

    Can Somebody Ans My Question Now Please

  10. Akash

    Cummon man plz sum1 ans my question please please pllleazzeee… By ta way tis site still looks gud evn tough im usin ta nokia browser in my n91.

  11. Anonymous

    its been lk a week someone please answer MY QUESTION!!! NOW PLZ CUMMON…MAN

  12. Akash (^^^^anonymous^^^^)


  13. macbuckley

    Akash, Now you get the message.

  14. AKash

    Gee… thats makes me feel welcome here dosnt it by the way if ne body wanted to kno no there is no way of savin the videos i talked to nokia for hours on end and 7370 just restarts the phone thats all

  15. Cianc

    The hard drive is actually in FAT16 format not FAT32 so that would be a prob if you formatted it in FAT32 on your computer

  16. Vinh

    hi all, does anyone can help me, i have Nokia N91, but after i did full-format thenwhen i back to then phone, i cant open “Other ” folder. If it can open , there are many unreadable files which i couldnt delete it. can anyone help me out of it ? i forgot to back up my SISX and some original installer from my HDD. tks

  17. ajay kenia

    how to get rid of the theme problem?

  18. dollar

    ive got a very serius problem after i tried reformatting my n91.
    the first time i tried reformatng i accidentally took the battery cover off and then it froze. so i restarted the phone and tried to reformate again (problems started to occur) when i went to tools in the haRDRIVE AND TRY TO REFORMAT AGAIN IT SAYS “HARDRIVE UNVAILABLE OR SOMEHTING CLOSE TO THAT LINE’ BUT THEN I MANAGED TO REFORAT IT./
    but things just got worse i cant open my music player, when i open it it just froze. when i take the battery cover off and put i back on i can start playing songs but after that it will freeze again. and 1 more problem i cant refresh my music player asweel plz help me thanks

  19. dollar

    o yeah when i try mass storage mode it goes” hdd in use by other application” so i cant do mass storage mode

  20. John

    Please help, I cant open my settings on tools folder as well as the clock. Please email thanks much.

  21. hai in my N91 mobile i saw a problem whar it is , that to access the hardisk it replyes that close the back door , but i fitted the back panel door, can u tell me any solution, thanq

  22. zara taha

    my children put my n91 in tea….firstly i could receive calls n messaged also but now i can open it only ,,key pads r not working …not detected on pc….what to do plzzzzzz help me out;(

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