BCD436HP Sentinel Software won’t read SD Card

BCD436HP Sentinel Software won’t read SD Card


Like many, I was excited to know that Uniden was coming out with a new line of scanners. As someone that owns many of their products as well as their HomePatrol I have really liked the direction they have been going with easy of programming (like GRE has done for some time) and the ability to use GPS to automatically update locations is another great option.


Well, you have read enough about the scanner and I will do my own review at some point, but this post is about the fact that there has been a nagging issue that I have seen others have and unfortunately, I ran into the same issue.


For some reason Uniden did not format their SD Cards in the same format so there has been some of us with both the UNIDEN BCD536HP as well as the BCD436HP that have had SD Card unreadable or not recognized by the Sentinel software.  I have read many posts out there about people getting frustrated and sending theirs back as defective units which I was concerned about when I read this, but alas after trying several cables, different computers with Windows 7, Windows 8 and even Windows 8.1 I found a very simple solution.


I formatted the SD card removing everything from it with a FAT 32 format then went back into the Sentinel Software and downloaded the firmware and full database which then allowed me to get my scanner functional and running as advertised.


Here are the formal steps I took:


1.)  Found a SD formatting program from download.com (I used SDformatter but I’m not recommending or saying there aren’t others)

2.)  Quickformated the SD Card

3.)  Ran Sentinal Software – Clear User Settings

4.)  Downloaded Firmware

5.)  Downloaded Full Database

6.)  Disconnected USB from UNIDEN BCD-436HP

7.)  Restarted scanner and inputted my zip code

8.)  Scanner tested fine and was scanning my local area


That was it, simple solution. Thanks and enjoy your scanner.




  1. John Waller says

    A couple of questions, how did you install Sentinel if you could not get it from the card?? Is it easily available from the Uniden site?? (I do not need it, this is for those with this trouble) Why didn’t you use Windows format??


    • says

      I had to reinstall it from the Uniden website and yes it was easily findable there. I found that the windows format wasn’t readable by the Uniden so I tried FAT which worked.

  2. Bob D says

    ugh.. computer doesn’t see scanner only storage device, never loaded sentinel on comp. tried you above tricks, still reads clear data.
    i intially tried to install with a mac and it repaired something which did the opposite. then i read PC programmable, tried to load it on a PC and NOTHING. i downloaded sentinel and clear data/ firmware/ and all that still nothing.
    thanks for any help..

  3. Nathan says

    I was able to format the SD Card clear the user data just fine and Sentential can now see the SD card installed and has the updated firmware files written to the SD card.
    The SD card is recognized as “Uniden Unknown (ESN: XXXXXXXXXXXXXX)” by the Sentenial software
    But now the scanner is displaying

    SD Card File Error
    Use Sentinel
    Clear User Data
    Operation to initialize
    SD Card

  4. Steve Giovanis says

    I bought an extra cable, and haven’t had any problems. I hesitate removing the card from the radio since it’s so fragile.


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