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Help Ringtones and alarm tunes lost


Android Enthusiast
Jun 12, 2011
It appears that connecting my RAZR to my laptop via a USB cable makes the choices for ringtone and the wakeup music for Alarm Clock Extreme go away. In the place of whatever choice I made is "unknown file". About the only possible cause that occurs to me is plugging in makes the SD card (with all the tunes) go away until the RAZR is disconnected and regains access to the SD. Thoughts? Comments? Cure?

Added: The notification sound (a "Droid" noise) is not affected by this problem. This is under V4.1.2.
I have an added notification on my Bionic and have the same condition that you do.

If the USB connection is set to Mass storage then the PC has exclusive control of the SD and SD-Ext cards and some default tone is inserted when needed on the Bionic side.

If the USB connection is st to Media device then the cards are shared by both the PC and Bionic and the added tone is used on the Bionic side.

In short ... use Media device instead of Mass Storage if it is important to you.

I assume this is the case on the Razr and Razr Maxx also.

... Thom
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I moved my main ringtones and alarm sounds to internal storage to work around this problem. I only use a few so they don't take up much space. I can deal with the ringer being set back to default, but my alarm clock tone is pretty important to me. "DROOOOOOOIIIIID" just isn't going to wake me up. ;-)

I'll get on that idea like a Bat Out Of Hell. :D
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I got on the idea of moving ringtones and alarm clock sounds to internal storage and... shot down in flames. /system/media/audio/ringtones (for example) is marked read-only. So what am I missing (and yes, I do have superuser capability)? (I have a nice soft piece of wall marked out for when I start banging my head on said wall...)
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On the Bionic I put mine in /sdcard/Notifications ... a single .mp3 file.

There is also a /sdcard/Ringtones ... I have added nothing there.

I seem to remember that when you power on the phone it searches for notifications and ringtones and adds them to the various lists. You probably need to power off/power on for the ringtones to be recognized.

Also ... on the sd-ext card you probably have them stored in ... something/Ringtones or ... something/Notifications. You will probably need to change the name. Mine are in /sdcard-ext/tlanet/copy_to_notifications and /sdcard-ext/tlanet/copy_to_ringtones

... Thom
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It is one of the most confusing things in the Android environment. Different apps use different names for the same thing.

My references were using File Manager ... /sdcard is the internal SD card and /sdcard-ext is the removable SD card.

It is a file structure like Windows has a file structure.

What you need to do is to see if the root of the internal SD card has a Notifications folder and a Ringtones folder. If yes ... copy your mp3 files into the appropriate one. If no ... create the folders with those names in the root and copy your mp3 files into them. Then reload the system.

If you are attempting to do it when not connected to a PC by USB ...
what app are you using?

If you are attempting to do it when connected to a PC by USB ... what USB mode are you using?

... Thom
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Razr flat-out doesn't work under Jelly Bean. Google "forgot" to test it. I asked VZN for a replacement handset - and the problems have proliferated; amongst them my Razr remembers a ringtone for a shorter period than the half-life of Radon222.

The alarm and ringtone issue not withstanding, my RAZR MAXX under V4.1.2 works just fine. With one notable exception. For no obvious reason, I wound up in a boot loop while the phone was set up to operate in the Bahamas. BaTelCo doesn't support a feature called fast dormancy (involved with reducing battery drain). Build.Prop has to be edited to suppress fast dormancy; it's possible this contributed to the crash. Or not. Otherwise, the phone has worked quite well here in the US and in Europe (GSM-land). YMMV
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You may be on to something, but first I need clarification; given that I believe in a multiverse existense, I need to ask you which universe you are referring to - mine - or Moto's?

In my universe, I have NOT connected the Razr to my computer, but I do occasionally receive notification from Moto's universe that IT believes I have. To wit, when charging in the car, Moto tells me that the USB is being used for data - I forget the exact message (I don't "text" and drive). This (erroneous) indication combined with your initial premise (my ringtones are indeed on my SD), leads me to believe your diagnosis.

I have not verified that the loss-of-ringtone comes immediately after car-charging Moto, but I have now down-loaded my ringtones* in hopes that the problem will be eliminated.


*I realize in the pure interest of science, I shouldn't have downloaded, but rather empirically demonstrated that there is a 1.0 correlation between car-charging and ringtone-loss. But the pragmatist in me says, "Enough's enough!"
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1. Create a folder called Ringtones (another called Notifications if you have any) in the root of your non-removable storage, move your Ringtone sound files to it, reboot your phone.

2. Change the folder name on your external SD card to not be Ringtones or Notifications.

3. Go into System settings and you should see your ringtones. Pick the one you want. (There will be duplicates if you didn't do 2.)

I think this will solve the problem.

... Thom
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From what I've seen when connecting by USB to my desktop ... if Ringtones were on SD-Ext card they were not available and it resets to the default. When the USB is disconnected it continues to use the defaults.

I seems that when the Bionic initially loads it scans the SD and SD-Ext cards looking for folders called Ringtones and Notifications. It then adds all the sound files it finds to its lists.

So ... after you establish those folders on your SD card (and not the SD-Ext card) you have to power off/power on for it to rebuild the lists pointing to the correct files.

I did not design it. I did not implement it. I had ONE notification sound that I REALLY LIKE and of all things it is the iPhone notification sound.

.. Thom
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