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New Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎08-27-2010
My Device: Curve 8900
My Carrier: Rogers, Canada

Curve 8900, trackball

Hello everyone, I am new to forums, so I apologize in advance if I miss the protocol!


I have a Curve 8900, about 18 months old. Trackball will not scroll down, even hard to the right. Tried everything./

Is there another way to navigate through the icons on the main screen, using some other keys?

Or any other ideas to fix this issue?


Thanks in advance, David R

Posts: 16
Registered: ‎08-29-2010
My Device: Curve 8900
My Carrier: o2

Re: Curve 8900, trackball

I had same problem, try moistening your finger, roll the trackball around a bit and it should work. Try doing it for a few minutes.

Posts: 36
Registered: ‎07-30-2010
My Device: Not Specified

Re: Curve 8900, trackball


    I also faced the same problem what you are facing. I saw a video on Youtube.com , just rub the trackball against a newspaper gently. it will some how sort out your problem.





Posts: 210
Registered: ‎05-18-2009
My Device: NA
My Carrier: NA

Re: Curve 8900, trackball

If your like me, your either going to need to end up replacing your trackball and voiding your warranty or paying RIM with a quart of fresh human blood to have it changed out.


The trackball was one of the worst implimentations on a SMART Phone to ever reach the mass.  They cannot be easily replaced - are not cleanable, and routinely break from poor design and structure.  The chip underneath is also a free-floating chip, where they didnt bother to solder the darn thing to the phone.


Trust me, as long as you have an 8900, your going to either need to void your warranty and buy a bunch of trackballs / pay RIM the cost of your phone twice a week to repair it for you / or accept that the trackball is practically useless.


You'll get used to what games you can download and use that don't use the trackball.


Running it upside down on newspaper is suggested a lot and its 'wonderful' for your screen,


- ed

Posts: 35
Registered: ‎08-20-2010
My Device: Blackberry 8900
My Carrier: o2 UK

Re: Curve 8900, trackball

I've heard if you stick a straw on your trackball, and spin it between too fingers, therefore moving it on a Z-Axis as opposed to the usual X/Y-Axis, you can effectively clean the sensor of muck that builds up from just up and down motion. 


Never tried it (haven't had to, touch wood!) but it's worth a shot before you go messing around with cleaning alcohol or whatever. 

Posts: 23
Registered: ‎07-27-2009
My Device: Curve 8900
My Carrier: O2

Re: Curve 8900, trackball

I wish I'd seen this reply about the straw,  when my trackball failed this morning.  I read a load of others one of them said to try to gently prise it out and clean the insides with a cotton bud.  It doesn't come out that easily. At least I couldn't get it out without damage and if you can't get it out you risk the ball not working in any plane when you try to snap it back into place.


I've had to send mine back to my service provider because there's no way I could get it going by fiddling with it.


The best idea I've seen on here is your trick of twiddling with a straw trick. It might have worked for mine.

Also I didn't know the sensitivity could be changed - but then there's a mass of stuff hidden in menus on the Blackberry so I could have been messing around with it for long enough to get a chimpanzee to write the works of Shakespeare before I'd have found that.  It's going back to my phone provider tomorrow and if they can't fix it, then it will be sent to Blackberry to see if they can do it. 


Meanwhile I make do with an old Nokia in my Pockia to tide me over for the next 10 days or more without the 8900.   Hey ho.  Happy days with technology eh?



Laurie Prior
New Contributor
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎09-09-2010
My Device: Not Specified
My Carrier: Vodafone

Re: Curve 8900, trackball


This has worked for me in the past. A little cleaning alcohol on the ball and move it around and around for while. Then  pressed the trackball down and use compressed air to try and dislodge the gunk. May need to do a few times.


NOTE do NOT use too much alcohol at a time or it will get else where and may kill their blackberry.

Posts: 210
Registered: ‎05-18-2009
My Device: NA
My Carrier: NA

Re: Curve 8900, trackball

Yeah, and if you put your finger on your nose, dance in circles while counting to twenty - the problem goes away for life.  Smiley Wink


Okay, not so much.  Anything you do (at best) is a band-aid solution.  The only way to be rid of trackball problems is to purchase a phone with a trackball that is cleanable (read: non-BlackBerry) preferably stable (read: non-BlackBerry) and less likely to fail (read: non-BlackBerry).



Regular Contributor
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎09-02-2010
My Device: Q5
My Carrier: Vodafone

how to unlock the trackball without disassemble your blackberry

[ Edited ]

I'm using intensively the 8900 since July 2009 and believe me, I use it a lot (I mean the trackball too).


Maybe because I'm a technician and so I prefer to prevent than cure, I had not big deals up to now with my trackball except than in two cases.


First I'd like to tell you about the best practices to care of:

- bread, flour and dust particles in general. Beware using your trackball when (maybe) it's your meal time, you may have some microscopic crumbs (literally: powder) on your finger and they are the worse for the trackball 'cause they are small enough to filter inside the ball track and in some case to lock the ball.

- I say it, ether if useless, you should use the ball only with a clean finger Smiley Happy) . This mean also sweat free.

- from time to time, rotate the ball to check its surface. You may find some little plaques (created by a mixture of sweat and dust) that on the long period would create issues inside the trackball mechanism.


Next I tell you what I did in those two cases when my trackball was locked in one direction, it did lock in one axis only and so here you:

how to unlock the trackball without disassemble your blackberry 8900

come sbloccare la trackball del blackberry 8900 senza smontarlo


NOTE: this solution is meant to fix a trackball that cannot turn in one of the rotation axis. If the trackball turns free in every axis of rotation, the problem is something else.

I suggest you to DO NOT USE LIQUIDS inside the trackball mechanism unless you tried everything else.

Do you know rubber gloves? Yes, those gloves designed to clean the dishes.

Sometime I wash the dishes and with my girlfriend we have some couples of gloves. Not all of the types have a lot of grip, for obvious reasons, you need the gloves with the most of grip.


Let's go unlock the trackball.

  1. You need one rubber glove for dishes washing that fits really tight your hand
  2. I preferred to buy a new couples and clean them or use them to clean dishes at least one time
  3. I'm right-handed so I fit the glove (perfectly dry) in my left hand
  4. Next you will hold the 8900 like a planning machine and the trackball will be our "blade"
  5. The ball must "point" to your floor (obviously. Because in the next step, this position will help any dust particle to fall down/out)
  6. The final step is to scrub the trackball (literally use the 8900 like a planning machine) on the back of your left hand trigger finger (glove covered): the goal is to make the ball turning again, pushing it against the locked axis of rotation. Note: you can obtain the same result holding the phone steady and moving the back of your trigger finger (dito indice) against the ball (the phone will be on top and the finger will be below it)
  7. Start with a few of pressure and increase it as much as needed to make the ball turning again. What entered and locked the ball... will come out.
  8. When the ball turns again we well do a little of "spring cleaning". So as Noted out in step # 6, hold the phone steady and move your finger fast, with a little of pressure, making the ball turn repeatedly in every direction. The idea is to make the ball spinning fast to "centrifugate-out" any residual dust


This solution allows you to apply as much power you need/want and because the glove is clean and because of its grip this will help also to stick any dust particle.


This worked for me already two times and I'm quite sure it will work again if a trackball lock happen.


If this helped you, let me know.




Posts: 23
Registered: ‎07-27-2009
My Device: Curve 8900
My Carrier: O2

Re: how to unlock the trackball without disassemble your blackberry

We seem to need to back off a bit on our mechanical brutality to these electronic machines.


This remedy you have kindly posted, sounds like a very well thought-out and useful reply you have detailed here. But....

I have some misgivings about it, because it really does amount to cleaning by mechanical force and if there really is some grit in there, the trackball is fitted with such precision as to allow very little space for gritty debris to exit while forcing the ball to move if it's physically stuck.  It's worth pausing to work out why it has stuck.  How can such a vast amount of debris get in through such a tightly sealed gap?


Fortunately my own trackball never jammed, it still moved perfectly smoothly but the cursor on screen wouldn't shift in the downward direction.


Trying to pick the trackball seating out to clean it, wasn't a good idea as I could see how delicate you'd have to be, and delicate won't lift it out!  Even the repair mechanics at my service provider couldn't do that.  They found that it couldn't be repaired within the 5 day limit they set themselves to get it back to me - which is a very good aspect of their service designed to inconvenience us the customers as minimally as possible.  I was very grateful that instead of sending it to the BlackBerry company for radical repairs they took the easier way out and the far better one for me. They sent me in rapid post, a brand new Curve 8900 which works very well and I had backed up all my old one so it was easy to Restore all settings.



But here's a tip on how you can extend the life of your trackball.  You know how the ball accepts a press-in with the thumb or finger to Select the choice you've scrolled to?  Well instead of pressing the ball against its own spring and risking muck going down with the ball into the chamber, why not press ENTER instead as often as Enter will substitute for a trackball push? 


If you go to send a text message is so easy this way.  With cursor on SMS shortcut press ENTER

Press ENTER again - you get "Select SMS contact".  Press ENTER again.  Next you have to press the ball as ENTER won't help so you get to your MENU for Choose Contact -


Now you are in your address book contacts list and you scroll with trackball to the person you select or you use Alphabetic search on the keyboard.


Press ENTER again That's 7 presses of the Trackball you have already avoided.


Select the phone number and again press ENTER

Scroll to OK and Press ENTER.  That's 9 trackball presses you've saved


Write your text message and press ENTER when you've finished so you save 10 presses of the ball against its spring which is a considerable saving in wear.  

Whether this ends up wearing out the ENTER key or not I haven't yet found out !


Sill,  when the trackball seems such a weakness on Curve 8900s it does make sense not to over-work it.   One thing the digital age has done to people's interface with machinery is that we have become far less mechanically sympathetic.   You can see this in the way School Children having first Piano Lessons "Hit" the piano keys like it's a keyboard of a computer game and have to be taught how to approach mechanical things a little more dynamically, sensitively and flexibly.


I'm treating my BB Curve with a lot more respect now since I had that annoyance strike my phone.



Laurie Prior