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Old September 12th, 2010, 06:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to move apps to sd card on an unrooted device: A noobs guide. **Updated 09/02/11**

mod note: this guide has been superceded by [Guide] Move more (most) apps to SD without root (Simplified)

My Noob's Guide to this Process. (The phone doesn't need to be rooted)

*Updated: Widget Info / Guide / Fix *

*Updated 2: Added some more info for windows 7 users and for new SDK*

Note:
  • This requires Froyo 2.2
  • It doesn't void your warranty
  • It doesn't delete existing apps
  • It's perfectly safe
  • It doesn't require rooting.

I realise there are a few threads about this, but I thought I would make a new one for my easier guide, and hopefully people will find it more easily as they won't have to scroll through pages of other threads to find an answer.
I am now successfully running most apps from my SD Card now. I just thought I would make an easier guide as the others are fairly complex for noobs like me. So here is my guide - hope it helps

  1. Download the SDK from here- Android SDK | Android Developers
  2. Extract using something like WinRar
  3. Copy the second folder into the sdk named "android-sdk-windows" to the desktop.
  4. Open the folder on the desktop and open the file, SDK Manager.exe (as no such file as setup.exe exists in the new version of the SDk)
  5. Close the command / windows command prompt window that opens
  6. Untick all options you are promted to download except ones like the manuals, and Essentially, ensure the USB driver option is selected / ticked.
  7. Let these files download
  8. Ensure on your phone, USB Debugging is on - Go to Settings/Applications/Development/USB Debugging and ensure its ticked / on.
  9. Download and install HTC Sync from HTC's website for your device.
  10. Connect your phone by USB and select the HTC sync option when it pops up with charge only, disk mode etc.
  11. Allow the sync to complete.
  12. Open windows command promt. Start / Run
  13. Type in (without quotations) "cmd"
  14. The following should appear. (with your user account instead of William - note its "users" in windows 7, not documents and settings
15. Type in the following after the ">" at each step (without quotations,and including spaces and capital letters)

"cd desktop\android-sdk-windows\tools" (might be "cd desktop\android-sdk-windows\platform-tools" in windows 7)
"adb devices"
"adb shell"
A $ sign should pop up
"pm setInstallLocation 2"
Another $ should pop up

And your done. Close everything, disconnect phone, turn off phone and then turn it back on again.

16. Now the phone will be set to install all apps you install onto the SD card. However, current apps on phone will mostly still be stored on the internal memory. This process doesn't move these apps for you, it adds the ability. So you must now manually move those already installed on the phone.

To do this, go to settings / applications / manage applications
Then you just click on an app, and the move to SD card box should no longer be Grey. So you must now move all the apps you want onto the SD Card.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note: I would not advise moving apps like widgets, or anything system related. Furthermore, for example, I have the 3g watchdog app constantly running, so it is advisable to keep apps like that on the internal memory.
See below for more information on widgets...

If you get an invalid path message, it suggests it cannot find the required folder you are asking it to. My method only works if you have saved it to the desktop. If you have saved it elsewhere it won't work. You would have to redirect the desktop part of the code ("cd desktop\android-sdk-windows\tools") to somewhere else.

For example if you saved it in my docs instead, it would be - "cd My Documents\android-sdk-windows\tools". That's why I used the desktop, it's far easier to code the cmd to find the file.

Finally, part of the problem is that when you extract the core sdk rar file, it is extracted to a folder wherever it was saved originally titled android-sdk-windows, but in that is another folder called android-sdk-windows, and then only once you open that second folder do you gain access to the tools, usb driver folders and so on. Therefore, you must either, remove the first folder so you are left with just a folder named android-sdk-windows which inside contains tools... or you must recode my above to say "cd Desktop\android-sdk-windows\android-sdk-windows\tools".

Likewise, beware as I can't remember for certain, but I think the sdk in its core form is called android-sdk_r07-windows or something (08/09 too), so rename this to android-sdk-windows.

One final note. Fairly irrelevant to this process but since this is being viewed a lot I'll say it anyway. Don't ever use a task killer. Wrecks the phone! Happened to me, happened to thousands. Ask below for more info.....

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Widget Fix / Guide

Just to clarify about widgets for anyone unclear. There seems to be a bit of confusion here. This may have been said earlier I don't know, but again hopefully this is simpler. Ill add this to the first post too.

With this process, you can still use widgets, but not if they are on the SD Card (which they automatically will be assuming you got my original guide process to work.) Ive tested this, and it works every time for me. I know some widgets are weird but I think it will work. So to get a working widget....

Note: Some irritating widgets may require you to uninstall the app before you proceed to step 1.

  1. Download and install the widget from the android market
  2. Go to Settings/Applications/Manage applications/Downloaded (or All) and find/select your widget.
  3. Select move to phone.
  4. Turn off the phone
  5. Turn on the phone
  6. Voila. Widget should now work.
------------------------------------------------


Good luck. Any questions just ask. Ill check back regularly too. Hopefully, this guide is a little simpler for noobs

William

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Last edited by Slug; October 26th, 2011 at 04:46 AM. Reason: Thread closed and link added to updated guide
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Old September 12th, 2010, 11:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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After this procedure ALL (not really) of your NEW apps will be installed to your SD card. So all of your already installed apps will still have to be moved manually.

ALL= this is not accurate. Some apps will go to your phone's memory and you can do nothing for this.

After that widgets will also be install on SD. If you move them to phone memory they probably wont work. So advice for not installing widgets on SD is... how can I say it... unnecessary.

Organized guide. But you can find this info on Tip and Tricks section of the forum. It is from another blog I think. Well done though!
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Old September 12th, 2010, 03:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SHiFT3R View Post
After this procedure ALL (not really) of your NEW apps will be installed to your SD card. So all of your already installed apps will still have to be moved manually.

ALL= this is not accurate. Some apps will go to your phone's memory and you can do nothing for this.

After that widgets will also be install on SD. If you move them to phone memory they probably wont work. So advice for not installing widgets on SD is... how can I say it... unnecessary.

Organized guide. But you can find this info on Tip and Tricks section of the forum. It is from another blog I think. Well done though!
Ok thanks, but its not from another blog. Obviously I didn't come up with the method, but I haven't just copied and pasted the method under my name. I typed it all up, in my own words and if you compare it to the "other blogs" you will see that mine includes substantially more detail, pictures and basic information which many take for granted. As I say, the other guides are a bit more complicated and difficult to follow than they need to be. I made this guide, using information already available, and put it into simpler "noob" language.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 07:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I followed the guide 'literally', all went went well until the last $ sign that appears at the end, but when I installed a new app from the market, it still installed to the phone memory and I couldn't move it to the sd card using Manage Applications, am I missing something here! I'm on froyo-HTC Desire.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 03:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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nice, i did this last week using the guide from xda devs
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Old September 13th, 2010, 05:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Very nice. Thanks for the info williamj1.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 07:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Excellent, thanks for the clear explanation.

Really needed this for my Need For Speed...
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Old September 13th, 2010, 10:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASD007 View Post
I followed the guide 'literally', all went went well until the last $ sign that appears at the end, but when I installed a new app from the market, it still installed to the phone memory and I couldn't move it to the sd card using Manage Applications, am I missing something here! I'm on froyo-HTC Desire.
When you say all went well "until the last $ sign", did both dollar signs come up? Two should show up in total.

Also, what was the app. Although it works for 99.9% of all apps, there are a very minor few which explicitly state they must be on the internal memory, like ones which deal with the very internal aspects of the phone.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 10:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamj1 View Post
When you say all went well "until the last $ sign", did both dollar signs come up? Two should show up in total.

Also, what was the app. Although it works for 99.9% of all apps, there are a very minor few which explicitly state they must be on the internal memory, like ones which deal with the very internal aspects of the phone.
they can still be moved, it just breaks the phone
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Old September 14th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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WILLIAMJ1 .. i love you man .. haha .. many thanks for this NOOBS guide , im so much of a noob im not even sure wot the hell noob means , haha but im guessing im probably one of em , worked first time for me no problems at all , ive seen a couple of these posts describing the same kinda of method but i finally got the bottle to try your one last night and like i said i had no problems at all , so thanks again mate ...
just 1 quick question though please if you dont mind ... you know when i had to tick the usb debugging box thingy ... do i have to untick it now or leave as it is ???? i do most of my installing of apps and everything else in disk drive mode when i drag and drop onto sd card via usb cable ... i hope you understand the question .. haha and if you could tell me what NOOB stands for would appreciate that aswell .. haha .. thanks again ...
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Old September 14th, 2010, 09:25 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Do you have to be on 2.2 for this? Is there any way to undo it as well?
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Old September 14th, 2010, 11:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by magneticflip View Post
Do you have to be on 2.2 for this? Is there any way to undo it as well?
Yes,

"pm setInstallLocation 0" ...default

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Old September 15th, 2010, 12:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pauliep View Post
WILLIAMJ1 .. i love you man .. haha .. many thanks for this NOOBS guide , im so much of a noob im not even sure wot the hell noob means , haha but im guessing im probably one of em , worked first time for me no problems at all , ive seen a couple of these posts describing the same kinda of method but i finally got the bottle to try your one last night and like i said i had no problems at all , so thanks again mate ...
just 1 quick question though please if you dont mind ... you know when i had to tick the usb debugging box thingy ... do i have to untick it now or leave as it is ???? i do most of my installing of apps and everything else in disk drive mode when i drag and drop onto sd card via usb cable ... i hope you understand the question .. haha and if you could tell me what NOOB stands for would appreciate that aswell .. haha .. thanks again ...
Lol, thanks

And yes I understand your question I think. You can disable / untick the usb debugging box if you wish. It really makes no difference. Now the process is complete, it won't make any difference now. You can leave it as it is for future use or disable it. It won't move all your apps back. In fact, unticking it now won't do anything at all, nor will leaving it ticked so go ahead.

The only thing is, if you ever want to set it to save all apps by default to the internal memory again, i.e. remove the process then you will just need to tick usb debugging and then do it again setting pm install location to 2. So yes, you can untick it if you wish

And, as far as I know, noob doesn't stand for anything. But the word noob just means the opposite of a pro or expert. I am a noob with android stuff as I switched from apple os crap so I really know very little about android. It was a noobs guide because it was simple, for people who didn't have a clue what they were doing.

Like, I was a total noob at using the other guides as they said "open cmd run promt" and I was like whoa slow down wtf? :P So I made this "noob" guide, for people like me who aren't experts with this techy stuff.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 09:05 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Lol, thanks

And yes I understand your question I think. You can disable / untick the usb debugging box if you wish. It really makes no difference. Now the process is complete, it won't make any difference now. You can leave it as it is for future use or disable it. It won't move all your apps back. In fact, unticking it now won't do anything at all, nor will leaving it ticked so go ahead.

The only thing is, if you ever want to set it to save all apps by default to the internal memory again, i.e. remove the process then you will just need to tick usb debugging and then do it again setting pm install location to 2. So yes, you can untick it if you wish

And, as far as I know, noob doesn't stand for anything. But the word noob just means the opposite of a pro or expert. I am a noob with android stuff as I switched from apple os crap so I really know very little about android. It was a noobs guide because it was simple, for people who didn't have a clue what they were doing.

Like, I was a total noob at using the other guides as they said "open cmd run promt" and I was like whoa slow down wtf? :P So I made this "noob" guide, for people like me who aren't experts with this techy stuff.

ok , thanks again mate , much appreciated
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Old September 18th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm trying to follow this guide.

But i'm having 1 problem.. my phone wont detect htc sync.. i'm in debugging mode, i've tried updating the htc sync... restarting the phone.. restarting laptop..

I've got the drivers installed.. will i mess up my phone if i continue with out syncing the phone ?
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Old September 18th, 2010, 04:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanimal View Post
I'm trying to follow this guide.

But i'm having 1 problem.. my phone wont detect htc sync.. i'm in debugging mode, i've tried updating the htc sync... restarting the phone.. restarting laptop..

I've got the drivers installed.. will i mess up my phone if i continue with out syncing the phone ?
I had the same problem with the htc sync, but I left it for a little while (5-7mins) and it eventually connected.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 02:49 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Can u just confirm something for me please, im with tmobile and only just yesterday we got the froyo update and im a bit dissapointed that a lot of the silly apps and games i downloaded aren't movable to the sd card, but witth the abovee procedure i can move them correct?

And is there a list of apps/programs that really shouldn't be moved out there?
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Old September 19th, 2010, 04:22 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medic-one View Post
but witth the abovee procedure i can move them correct?

And is there a list of apps/programs that really shouldn't be moved out there?
No! The above procedure is for the apps that will install AFTER.
There isn't a list, but all applications that were written for Froyo are ok.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 04:40 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragosP View Post
No! The above procedure is for the apps that will install AFTER.
There isn't a list, but all applications that were written for Froyo are ok.

Ok thanks, i've only had the phone for a week so only have a handfull of apps. So if i delete them and then install them again after this i can move them right?
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Old September 19th, 2010, 06:25 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hanimal View Post
I'm trying to follow this guide.

But i'm having 1 problem.. my phone wont detect htc sync.. i'm in debugging mode, i've tried updating the htc sync... restarting the phone.. restarting laptop..

I've got the drivers installed.. will i mess up my phone if i continue with out syncing the phone ?
Nope it can't do any harm. As long as the drivers are installed then the HTC sync isn't really necessary. All it does is ensures people have the drivers, but if you have then its irrelevant to have htc sync. Try the next step anyway...
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Old September 19th, 2010, 07:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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What happens if the apps want to update? Won't that screw with the phone.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Just done this myself with no problems - fab guide
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Old September 19th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
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What happens if the apps want to update? Won't that screw with the phone.
If the app wants to update, you go onto the market and update the same as before. Why would it cause problems? All this does is move the app to the sd card. It's really a very simple, safe process and it won't screw with the phone.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:31 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Is there a guide like this for linux users?
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Old September 19th, 2010, 11:59 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Is there a guide like this for linux users?
As I may have made clear already... I am a total noob! But ill ask anyway :P



You can run linux on an HTC Desire? :O

PS: Why in hell would you want to?
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Old September 19th, 2010, 01:21 PM   #26 (permalink)
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As I may have made clear already... I am a total noob! But ill ask anyway :P



You can run linux on an HTC Desire? :O

PS: Why in hell would you want to?
lol! Let me be clearer, sorry. I meant to say: Is there a guide for people who are running a linux operating system (e.g. Ubuntu) on their personal computer that will allow them to move all of their apps to their SD Card on their HTC Desire, as the above instructions are only valid for Windows users.

Anyway, it doesn't matter, as I booted up Windows to do it and it worked fine. Thanks for the help! Now I can move Need For Speed to the SD Card and save myself 40mb!!!!
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Old September 20th, 2010, 05:34 AM   #27 (permalink)
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it's not going too well for me lol
my next problem:



Ive got all the drivers downloaded, i ended up downloading all the updates on sdk.. dont know what to do now ..
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Old September 20th, 2010, 06:54 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot for this great post William!

I'm a noob too and this only took me like 10 minutes and it was very straight forward.


I've now got the original T-mobile Froyo 2.2 on my unrooted phone and pretty much all apps can be moved to my 16 GB class 6 SD card thanks to your little trick above, so i can finally start enjoying the phone for real now
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Old September 20th, 2010, 07:32 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I plan to do this tonight, so just to be clear. After this I can move all my existing apps to the SD card - except those that have use widgets on any of the home screens as these won't work (such as National Rail and Facebook for example). Then all new apps will go straight to the memory card and any new widgets from these will operate form the SD card and not the phone memory?
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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:37 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nestacres View Post
I plan to do this tonight, so just to be clear. After this I can move all my existing apps to the SD card - except those that have use widgets on any of the home screens as these won't work (such as National Rail and Facebook for example). Then all new apps will go straight to the memory card and any new widgets from these will operate form the SD card and not the phone memory?
Spot on.

- But you can technically move widgets to sd, its just not advisable.
- And yes, so if you then later go and install a widget it will go onto the sd card automatically, but it isn't a problem as you simply click move to phone in settings once installed instead of move to sd card and the problem will be solved.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #31 (permalink)
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it's not going too well for me lol
my next problem:



Ive got all the drivers downloaded, i ended up downloading all the updates on sdk.. dont know what to do now ..
The picture shows the phone isn't connected properly. Does it complete an HTC sync? Is usb debugging enabled and on, and is it in sync / charge only mode?
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Old September 20th, 2010, 01:03 PM   #32 (permalink)
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The picture shows the phone isn't connected properly. Does it complete an HTC sync? Is usb debugging enabled and on, and is it in sync / charge only mode?
it doesn't connect to htc sync, hence my earlier post i went ahead and tried when i read your reply..

it's in sync mode when i connect and usb debugging is on..

So looks like i have to get this htc sync problem sorted
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Old September 20th, 2010, 02:02 PM   #33 (permalink)
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it doesn't connect to htc sync, hence my earlier post i went ahead and tried when i read your reply..

it's in sync mode when i connect and usb debugging is on..

So looks like i have to get this htc sync problem sorted
yup sounds like it. As the method you tried seems fine to me, so most likely once you get that sorted this method will work fine
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Old September 21st, 2010, 09:50 AM   #34 (permalink)
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If I wanted to change to another SD card later, can I just copy everything from the one card to the other?

where are the apps saved on the sd card? somewhere inside the android folders??
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Old September 21st, 2010, 10:05 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Just a quick question: Does this work on 2.1? I'm trying to find a temporary solution while I'm waiting for the 2.2 OTA update to come from my provider.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:00 AM   #36 (permalink)
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If I wanted to change to another SD card later, can I just copy everything from the one card to the other?

where are the apps saved on the sd card? somewhere inside the android folders??
Don't quite know where they are saved, but I wouldn't think it would matter as just copy every folder on the sd card onto the new one and I'd have thought that would work just fine.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 11:01 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Just a quick question: Does this work on 2.1? I'm trying to find a temporary solution while I'm waiting for the 2.2 OTA update to come from my provider.
2.2 Froyo Only.

Either wait for network or root.
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 06:53 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Great guide William, had it done in less than 10 min!

Just one thing tho, being a noob myself, is there need to root now? I have been toying with the idea for ages and haven't bothered for fear of bricking my phone.

I am i little less scared now so i might go for it if there are any real benefits. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 09:29 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Smile thankyou!!

excellent advice, many thanks|!!
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 12:22 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Some apps are failing to update since doing this, anyone else experienced this or know a way to fix it?
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 02:50 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Fantastic, but does anyone know how to set it back it back to installing on the phone again??, just thinking if ever the phone has to go back under warranty they might pick up on this!!

Thanks again

Pete
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 03:09 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Fantastic, but does anyone know how to set it back it back to installing on the phone again??, just thinking if ever the phone has to go back under warranty they might pick up on this!!

Thanks again

Pete
This is up there ^^^^^ somewhere, you do the same thing again but set install location to 0
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 03:20 PM   #43 (permalink)
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This is up there ^^^^^ somewhere, you do the same thing again but set install location to 0
Ooops
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:37 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Ok, just one thing, i have noticed that some apps are still installing on the internal memory and i have to move them across, yet other apps are installing direct to the sd card, is this correct???

Thanks

Pete

P.S i have apps2sd installed and every now and again this tells me that what ive downloaded can be moved to the sd card, but i thought that this tip said that the apps i download would automatically install on to the sd card??, do i need apps2sd installed or is this just confusing things??

Thanks

Pete (again!)
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Old September 24th, 2010, 03:49 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sean3lions View Post
Great guide William, had it done in less than 10 min!

Just one thing tho, being a noob myself, is there need to root now? I have been toying with the idea for ages and haven't bothered for fear of bricking my phone.

I am i little less scared now so i might go for it if there are any real benefits. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Rooting will let you use custom roms - xda developers has a a board dedicated to the whole custom rom scene. It does however have warranty implications so it's worth researching first.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 04:47 AM   #46 (permalink)
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I dont understand this, i have removed apps2sd, i had 42mb left on the internal phone memory, i downloaded google earth, it went onto the internal memory(thought it should have gone on straight to the sd card??), that left me showing 22 mb, i then transfered it to the sd card yet my internal memory is still showing 22mb, Does anyone have any ideas what im doing wrong, i followed the above guide to the letter and all the icons etc that should have come up did, so i guess that part went all to plan, yet this is baffling me??

Pete
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Old September 24th, 2010, 08:28 AM   #47 (permalink)
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Very helpful post, Will, will try this out once I make time ^_^
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Old September 24th, 2010, 10:34 AM   #48 (permalink)
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I dont understand this, i have removed apps2sd, i had 42mb left on the internal phone memory, i downloaded google earth, it went onto the internal memory(thought it should have gone on straight to the sd card??), that left me showing 22 mb, i then transfered it to the sd card yet my internal memory is still showing 22mb, Does anyone have any ideas what im doing wrong, i followed the above guide to the letter and all the icons etc that should have come up did, so i guess that part went all to plan, yet this is baffling me??

Pete
Yup it all just depends on the app. Some may insist on being storied on internal memory only such as google maps, others automatically go to internal but can be moved like you say and others (most) have no preference about where they are stored so once this method is applied will just go onto sd card from the beginning. But anyway, despite all this, you can't always move absolutely everything onto the sd. Some apps even once installed on the SD still need to store some data on internal. I'm no expert, but I don't think you can avoid this. I don't know why it happens either but it does.

So, you haven't done the process wrong or anything, its just that not all 100% of apps can go onto sd card (but this is a very rare few apps) , but most can, and some even with this process applied won't go there by default - you just have to manually move them. Most however, will move there by default.

Hope this helps
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Old September 24th, 2010, 10:44 AM   #49 (permalink)
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This is a nice alternative for stock Android users, however when you download and install stuff like Beautiful Widgets or other widget based stuff which gets automatically installed to the SD card, you'll want to manually move it back to internal storage so they work properly.

Apps such as those that require services or such like last.fm will not work on SD storage.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 11:01 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williamj1 View Post
Yup it all just depends on the app. Some may insist on being storied on internal memory only such as google maps, others automatically go to internal but can be moved like you say and others (most) have no preference about where they are stored so once this method is applied will just go onto sd card from the beginning. But anyway, despite all this, you can't always move absolutely everything onto the sd. Some apps even once installed on the SD still need to store some data on internal. I'm no expert, but I don't think you can avoid this. I don't know why it happens either but it does.

So, you haven't done the process wrong or anything, its just that not all 100% of apps can go onto sd card (but this is a very rare few apps) , but most can, and some even with this process applied won't go there by default - you just have to manually move them. Most however, will move there by default.

Hope this helps

Thanks very much for the explanation
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