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Old July 1st, 2012, 11:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can't delete files, driving me nuts

Hello all.
Once again I'm in need of help. This time with an issue which I've been strugling with the whole weekend and it's driving me nuts:
Firstly, I have a Galaxy Nexus which does not have an external SD, but instead uses an internal partition that works as an SD card. Second, I currently have a stock, rooted ICS 4.0.4 but I've restored nandroid backups with 4.0.2 and the leaked JB 4.1 to see if they help somehow, but the problem remains:


I have in the aforementioned SD partition a folder containing two rather large files which I need to delete. Altough its a bit technical for me, I've checked they have read and write permisions, yet they refuse to go. I have tried using 3 methods:
  1. Via USB cable: When I connect my phone to my PC, browse to the folder where the files are and delete them, they appear to be gone. But as soon as I reconect the cable or refresh the view, the files reappear.
  2. Remotelly with programs such as airdroid and Wifi file explorer: I use my computer's internet browser to navigate through my SD partition and delete those files as per each of the programs usage. Again the files appear to be deleted, but when I refresh the folder contents, the files remain.
  3. On the phone itself, with file explorers such as Astro filemanager: Same. I use the app to try delete the offending files and depending on the app I might get a message saying "files deleted" or something similar, but nothing happens with the files.
I am at a loss on what to do because I can't think of what's causing this or how to solve it and I've reached my technical capabilities, so any help would be greatly, greatly appreciated.

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Old July 2nd, 2012, 12:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe they're system files, which the OS recreates as soon as you delete them?
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by chanchan05 View Post
Maybe they're system files, which the OS recreates as soon as you delete them?
Hi. They are definitely not system files. I copied them from my pc a few days ago. They are play station games I wanted to try with an emulator I bought, and because they are "images" extracted from CDs, they are rather large.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 01:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Do their filenames have periods in front?
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 03:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Do their filenames have periods in front?
Not in front, and I can't rename them either.

If this were an external sd card,I'd just format it and be done with it, but I don't know if that can be done with "virtual" storage
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 04:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What happens if you drag and drop the files from the internal storage to the PC desktop while connected via USB cable?
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 07:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What happens if you drag and drop the files from the internal storage to the PC desktop while connected via USB cable?
Hi.
The files get copied normally to my PC. On my PC I can rename, delete or do whatever to those copies.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 07:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Not in front, and I can't rename them either.

If this were an external sd card,I'd just format it and be done with it, but I don't know if that can be done with "virtual" storage
You can format your internal storage which will wipe out all your files, app settings etc. But it should also get rid of those pesky game roms. Your internal storage is just a partition in internal memory much like a hard disk partitioned into multiple virtual drives.

Back up all the files - including the hidden files - in your internal storage to a folder on your PC, then reformat the partition. Copy all the files back EXCEPT the game roms, overwriting any duplicates, and then reboot the phone.

I can't guarantee it will work 100% but it should get rid of the files for you.
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 09:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You can format your internal storage which will wipe out all your files, app settings etc. But it should also get rid of those pesky game roms. ...
Do I understand you correctly in that you recommend I do a "factory wipe"? I might have to end up doing that, but I'd end up losing everything. I have a good backup, but I lack the time and willpower.
Is there a way to format the "virtual sd" partition and only that, so the rest of my info remains?
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Old July 2nd, 2012, 11:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanchan05 View Post
Maybe they're system files...
.
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Originally Posted by asdf12321 View Post
Hi. They are definitely not system files.
.
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Maybe they're system files
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 05:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I actually wasn't suggesting a factory reset. I was suggesting you format only your internal SD partition.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 06:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Have you tried using Root Explorer?
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 11:20 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Gmash View Post
Have you tried using Root Explorer?
I have, same result: I get a confirmation popup stating that the files got deleted, but they don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunatic59 View Post
I actually wasn't suggesting a factory reset. I was suggesting you format only your internal SD partition.
Great! That's a perfect workaround. Could you tell me how to do that without affecting my other stuff?
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 11:35 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have, same result: I get a confirmation popup stating that the files got deleted, but they don't.


Great! That's a perfect workaround. Could you tell me how to do that without affecting my other stuff?
Go to menu>settings>storage and you should see where you can format the internal storage. On my phone it's called USB storage and the SD card is called SD storage, but it's not consistent across phones of versions, so you'll have to figure out which one is the internal partition. The easiest way is to turn off the phone and remove the SD card. When you start it up what's left will be the internal partition.

Remember to back up everything first because formatting this will clear a lot of app data and could even remove apps that were installed to SD card. It will also remove pictures, ringtones files, etc anything you've saved to your phone.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 12:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Go to menu>settings>storage ...
That was actually the first place I looked. I don't have any options to format anything. The one and only option I have there is "USB computer connection" where I'm asked if I want to "connect as Media device" or "connect as Camera". That is it. As stated on my OP I donīt have an SD to remove. This phone does not have an external card at all.

Shall I just do a factory wipe and spend my next weekend restoring it all? :/
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 12:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That was actually the first place I looked. I don't have any options to format anything. The one and only option I have there is "USB computer connection" where I'm asked if I want to "connect as Media device" or "connect as Camera". That is it. As stated on my OP I donīt have an SD to remove. This phone does not have an external card at all.

Shall I just do a factory wipe and spend my next weekend restoring it all? :/
Hang on, I'm going to find a staff member with a Gnex who can tell me the proper menu. I've got an S2 with 4.0.3, but usually all Samsung menus are similar.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 12:49 PM   #17 (permalink)
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With ICS there seems to be the option removed for to format the SD card.

I don't find that option on my updated HTC Sensation any more, only the option to erase the SD card (that might mean, formating is included ).

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Old July 3rd, 2012, 01:11 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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With ICS there seems to be the option removed for to format the SD card.

I don't find that option on my updated HTC Sensation any more, only the option to erase the SD card (that might mean, formating is included ).

Harry
This is correct. I think the only way to do it is in a custom recovery.
For mounting to your pc, you want to do it as a Media Device.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 01:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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asdf12321,

Luna gave me a quick heads-up re. this thread, so I'm trying to get my bearings here, so I've got a couple of questions and ideas for you:

1. First, if you know how to use adb, can you publish here the full path name and size of the files in question? Ideally, if you could do an adb shell ls -a -l filepathname and report the output here, that would be very helpful.

Barring that, you could use Android Terminal Emulator (free in the Market) to do the same thing and capture a screen shot showing the output.

2. Also, the output of a df /data command (adb shell df /data or just df /data from the Android Terminal Emulator) would show us your disk usage stats for the /data partition.

3. As you've noted, the "SD card" is actually a soft-mount of /sdcard to the /data/media location on your filesystem (there's actually a program called fuse that facilitates this, too). So, that's why you don't see an option to format the SD card and you certainly don't want to try to format /data since its used for other "stuff" (that you need ).

4. I don't have a stock ROM booted-up at the moment (I'm running AOKP M4), but check to see if Settings -> Storage -> menu shows a "USB computer connection" option. If it does, there's a Media device (MTP) option that is typically checked. Try unchecking this to see if that helps you delete your file (I have no idea if it will or not, just an idea).

5. If you able to, you could try to remove the files manually via an adb shell or from the Android Terminal Emulator as discussed above (i.e., via the rm filepathname command). Its possible that the file is actually open by something and that's why it cannot actually be deleted. Is there an app you have installed that might know about these files and might be holding them open?

That's all I got for now, pending your feedback.

Cheers!
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 02:12 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Agree with Scary, I'd try adb although it's odd other means keep failing. I made a mock up session with a fake file called aaa.zip. Here are the steps I used to delete from /sdcard (/data/media):








Oops, there's one other command I should have circled just under adb shell...cd data/media.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 02:13 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Beautiful!

Thanks, IBT!
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 03:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I sincerely wish to thank all of you who helped me on this thread.
Using the rm command on the adb command prompt I was able to finally get rid of those two files I couldn't before.
I was so excited to try that out that I did it before doing what scary alien asked me on points 1 and 2, but its moot anyway since the files are gone for good. The difference this time, and the reason I know they will not appear again, is that the space they occupied on my SD partition is now free.
So thank you all, my problem is solved, and I appreciate your time and advices.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 03:29 PM   #23 (permalink)
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asdf12321,

This thread is a good example of what we try to do here at AF .

Lots of very helpful members chipping-in to help one another out--that's what makes this place so great.

We hope you'll hang-around and make our little forum your home, too!

Cheers and thank you for your post--that was really cool.
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Old July 3rd, 2012, 04:55 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Hey guys, I've moved this thread to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus area since it seemed to be a pretty device-specific issue ("SD card" differences, etc.).

Don't think the solution was really root-related, so I've placed it in the main GNex area (a few minor root references, notwithstanding ).

Cheers and thanks to dreadnatty08 for the heads-up re. this!

Have a great 4th, everyone!

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Old July 8th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Hi all,
I am having a nearly identical issue, but this is not working for me. I apologize if I should have started a new thread, but this is nearly identical.

What might be making this more impossible is that the files I'm trying to delete are pinned music files from Google Music. Before I rooted, I had pinned almost 7GB of music onto my Galaxy Nexus. I used adb backup & restore, but Google Music could not function (I got a weird "No space available" that prevented streaming or pinning). I solved that issue by renaming the "artwork" and "music" folders in the Google Music. But now there's no way to get rid of those folders or the files within them.

I can't post screenshots because I'm new, but I can tell you that the permissions are:
drwxrwxr-x root sdcard_rw 2012-07-07 11:07 nameoffolder
[and the files inside have the same permissions]
  1. using chmod after su doesn't do anything (and in fact the Root Explorer app says that it's not possible to change permissions in the sdcard).
  2. Using rm -r results in permission denied.
  3. Using rm -rf isn't recognized.

Now the one thing that I don't get: is in iowabowtech's picture, you're listed as root@android - but I'm always shell@android (in adb shell) or app(somenumber) in the terminal emulator. How can I actually log in as root (or add my terminal app to the sdcard_rw group)?

Any other ideas?
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Old July 8th, 2012, 09:57 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkokandy View Post
Hi all,
I am having a nearly identical issue, but this is not working for me. I apologize if I should have started a new thread, but this is nearly identical.

What might be making this more impossible is that the files I'm trying to delete are pinned music files from Google Music. Before I rooted, I had pinned almost 7GB of music onto my Galaxy Nexus. I used adb backup & restore, but Google Music could not function (I got a weird "No space available" that prevented streaming or pinning). I solved that issue by renaming the "artwork" and "music" folders in the Google Music. But now there's no way to get rid of those folders or the files within them.

I can't post screenshots because I'm new, but I can tell you that the permissions are:
drwxrwxr-x root sdcard_rw 2012-07-07 11:07 nameoffolder
[and the files inside have the same permissions]
  1. using chmod after su doesn't do anything (and in fact the Root Explorer app says that it's not possible to change permissions in the sdcard).
  2. Using rm -r results in permission denied.
  3. Using rm -rf isn't recognized.

Now the one thing that I don't get: is in iowabowtech's picture, you're listed as root@android - but I'm always shell@android (in adb shell) or app(somenumber) in the terminal emulator. How can I actually log in as root (or add my terminal app to the sdcard_rw group)?

Any other ideas?
I don't have this phone, but with my phone, in order to use the terminal as root, you need to root the device. A good way to test this is with the terminal emulator app type su. The prompt should change from a $ to a #

I'm not familiar with Google Music, but I might try to either kill the app and then re-try this or maybe see if you can rename the folders again... I'm sure someone more experienced with either this device or Google Music can help you out.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 10:38 PM   #27 (permalink)
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drkokandy,

Apologies, I meant to reply earlier this evening.

I do think 9to5cynic's reply has merit, by I honestly don't know anything about Google Music and pinning operations.

Have you done an "su" command after you've started-up an adb shell (or on your phone from the Android Terminal Emulator)?

For example:

c:\android-sdk-windows> adb shell
$ su
# cd /sdcard
# ls -a -l

Note that if you are rooted and you've given permission via the Superuser app, you're prompt will change from the "$" to the "#" (pound sign) prompt.

It does sound like you are indeed rooted...unless you were rooted on 4.0.2, accepted the OTA, and lost root without having saved it previously?

Let us know.

Cheers!
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Old July 12th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Thanks for your quick responses 9to5cynic & scary alien. Sorry to take so long to reply, but I've been in the hospital since early Monday AM (long story). To answer your questions-

I am rooted, and I know it's been effective for everything else I've done. I rooted from stock 4.0.4 just recently and haven't received any OTAs since then.

I have been trying this with the su command, and I do get the change both in the shell & the terminal from a $ to a #, but it still gives me that same permission denied error.

I might try blowing the app away & seeing if I have permission to remove the files then. I will try to do the ls -al -l command and post the readout on here either today or tomorrow when I'm back set up at home.

Thanks for being willing to help!
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Old July 12th, 2012, 06:38 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkokandy View Post
What might be making this more impossible is that the files I'm trying to delete are pinned music files from Google Music. Before I rooted, I had pinned almost 7GB of music onto my Galaxy Nexus. I used adb backup & restore, but Google Music could not function (I got a weird "No space available" that prevented streaming or pinning). I solved that issue by renaming the "artwork" and "music" folders in the Google Music. But now there's no way to get rid of those folders or the files within them.
Interesting situation indeed. I had no prior experience with "pinning" music so I pinned one of my songs and then proceeded to /sdcard/Android/data/com.google.android.music/cache. I did note the artwork and music folders there but my song was not there. In fact, there were .nomedia files located in each of the two which seemed a bit odd frankly. Also, both folders contained permissions for r-w-x so its odd you have no permission on an sdcard folder. Am I looking in a different spot than yourself?
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Old July 12th, 2012, 09:31 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Just grasping at straws here now, but if you guys don't have any other music files on your device, you could try something like this to locate the file...

Code:
find /sdcard -iname "*.$file"
where $file is a music file type, such as .mp3

That should spit out the location of the media file. It's odd that it would store the album art in one directory... I wonder if maybe the cache folder under google music is where the application will *first* look for album art, like it pre-fetches the art and stores it unless it notices a change (Much like how dns gets cached on your desktop).

Hmm... could the files be in /sdcard/music perhaps?

(Again - I don't have google music, so it's all speculation )

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

EDIT:

Quote:
  1. using chmod after su doesn't do anything (and in fact the Root Explorer app says that it's not possible to change permissions in the sdcard).
What about chown from su ?
*shrugs*
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Old July 13th, 2012, 12:00 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Ok guys I figured out where pinned songs reside:

/data/data/com.google.android.music/cache/music

Makes much more sense to me that they are in /data/data. So I am absolutely lost as to why you cannot rename those folders back to their original names using root explorer. This should absolutely be possible because root explorer automatically mounts as r/w while in /sdcard (aka /data/media).

I would try connecting the phone to the pc and accessing the internal storage (labeled 'galaxy nexus') via a windows machine. Try to rename the folders back to their original names: artwork and music. If you're able to access and rename them, leave nothing in them except a .nomedia file in each one. If you no longer have .nomedia files in them, place one there. If you need us to help you with that, let us know.

If all else fails, I'd try using ADB to pull the 2 folders from the /sdcard to the PC. Then try renaming them on the PC along with removing anything but the .nomedia file, then push them back to the same subdirectory in the /sdcard.
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Old January 29th, 2013, 06:26 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I have the same problem, think i got it from an extracted file with weird characters in its filename. What i did is i left it alone on that folder, moved the others on a temp folder and deleted the original folder where the problematic file was then renamed the temp folder with the original folder name. Problem solved!
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Old April 26th, 2013, 12:11 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Mad Having the same problem, but cannot execute "abd"

I'm have the same issue after using the phone as a jump drive.
When connected to the PC I can delete the files, even the entire directory, then create a new directory with the same name, and put different files in it... On the PC, it all looks good, but when I disconnect and reconnect, NONE of the changes have occurred.

So I went into the command line and used DOS commands, and deleted the files... now windows shows the directory as empty (consistently, even after disconnecting and reconnecting), but the phone still says that they're there...

Using the phone menu's to delete or rename also has no effect.

Finally, after backing up everything, the "Format SD Card" command is grayed out and not select-able, so I can't refresh that way.

Any other ideas?
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