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Old May 8th, 2011, 04:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to use external Sd Card

Hi

I have just bought the samsing galaxy s 2 and bought also a 32gb external micro sd card - i mounted it and formatted it.

Yet for some reason when i chose to store apps or anything on memory card they are stored on the phone internal memory.

In fact when i use a file manager - the memory card is listed as the phone internal memory (i.e.16GB (11GB)), and the external sd card - is listed as a folder called external_sd.

My query is this - did i buy a 32gb card for nothing. Is there a way to make use of this card on this phone - can i install apps in it - can i store emails from maildroid in it?

Any advice would be welcome - anyone not having this issue?

Ken

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Old May 8th, 2011, 04:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe that apps can only be stored on the "internal phone memory" and that it is buffered to as "sd card" on the phone. Your 32GB will be refered to as "external SD card" or something similar. Apps I think can only be stored on the internal phone memory of 2Gb (approx) But the 32gb sd card isn't a waste. You can put all your music, movies, pictures on the external 32gb you bought.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 06:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When I put my SD card in the phone, is it going to automatically make folders and crap on there or will it behave and ignore it.
Had a bad experience helping someone moving files on their Motorola V3 or V9 and it did permanent rape damage to the SD card.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 06:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, plug into your pc choose connect and it will show both cards on screen, i have all my music and videos on the external card, also you can copy/drag to external card and your phone will recognise external.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 06:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The external SD card is effectively for your own media. I intend to put music and movies on my 32GB card whenever it gets delivered, as my present 4GB card can only fit a few episodes of Archer (my new favourite program) at a time.

Even if you move an app to SD, it is only moved to the internal memory. Still, there is plenty of space there so unless you have something particular in mind, you've got nothing to worry about.
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Old May 8th, 2011, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Apps2sd from the Android Market claims to allow you to have apps installed on the external memory card. Haven't tried it myself, as I don't yet have an Android device (still on WM6.5 until I pick up a SGSII sometime this month).
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Old May 8th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There are two ways that you can install apps on the external sd card. Just so you are aware also, initially whenever you install apps, they will always install to the internal memory, and there are some apps that you won't be able to move to the sd card at all. To move apps to the card, you will need to get to the "Manage Applications" option in the menu(I don't own this phone yet so I can give you the exact steps). Once you find the Manage Applications menu, you should have the option to "Move To SD". The other way is to install and use the Apps2SD app, which will show you all the apps on your phone which can be moved to the sd card and assist you in doing this. If you aren't used to the "Manage Applications" option, I would suggest that you install the app because it would probably be simpler. Hope this helps.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 01:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a Galaxy S2 and I cannot move the applications with either "Manage Applications" or Apps2SD to "external SD card". I did not found any tools to do it until now.
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Old September 16th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I thought the same - but in fact when you use stock functions of Android 2.3.3 to move an app to the SD card, it is in fact moving the app to the external SD card under a hidden folder within .Android_secure. Even ES File explorer set to show hidden files will not show them, but it you mount the phone as USB storage you can see the application folders in Windows explorer.

However all apps pretty much store their data, cache, back up files in the internal \sdcard\ memory. So moving apps to SD in the system does actually move it to external_sd but most apps don recognise the external_sd only the internal one.

See this one..
http://androidforums.com/samsung-galaxy-s2/365001-why-there-3-different-storage-areas-my-phon.html#post3132711
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Old September 16th, 2011, 09:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Actually if you root the phone there are apps to sd for root that allow you to specify the external sd, but only if you root.
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Old December 14th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by stevehy View Post
Actually if you root the phone there are apps to sd for root that allow you to specify the external sd, but only if you root.
I'm rooted; how/where do you specify installation on External SD? Or are you talking about AP2SD? If you are, it doesn't move to SD since it thinks the internal SD is the SD it's supposed to move to. It can if it' full, but that's why I'm trying to move to the ExternalSD card. Thanks
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Old December 15th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I think you are getting it wrong. Anyway here are some posts explaining the internal USB storage and external microSD storage issue.

Internal memory question

1) If you move to SD, either using App2SD or the stock one, it would be moved to external microSD in hidden folder Android_secure which can be viewed via Windows explorer

2) Big apps like gameloft games will have most of its data in the Internal USB storage.

3) Exe files are likely in the 2GB internal phone memory

Cheers
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Old December 15th, 2011, 08:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Android_Secure Directory is empty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Ng View Post
I think you are getting it wrong. Anyway here are some posts explaining the internal USB storage and external microSD storage issue.

Internal memory question

1) If you move to SD, either using App2SD or the stock one, it would be moved to external microSD in hidden folder Android_secure which can be viewed via Windows explorer

2) Big apps like gameloft games will have most of its data in the Internal USB storage.

3) Exe files are likely in the 2GB internal phone memory

Cheers
I used both App2SD and Link2SD and both seemed to move to the ExternalSD card but when I go to the diretory you mention, it's empty. Just where are the apps going? Two types of SD on the GS2 is very confusing and not that usable, YET.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 12:43 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Then there are 3 things I can think off.

1) You cannot view the files through the phone. Must use the computer.

2) The external microSD card could be corrupted, and in that case files can appear in Lost.dir folder.

3) You have one of the few phones that move to SD goes to the internal USB storage. Before I had a microSD, it went there. Now it goes to the microSD. And if I take the microSD out and try to move it, I get an error.

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Old December 16th, 2011, 05:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Ng View Post
Then there are 3 things I can think off.

1) You cannot view the files through the phone. Must use the computer.

2) The external microSD card could be corrupted, and in that case files can appear in Lost.dir folder.

3) You have one of the few phones that move to SD goes to the internal USB storage. Before I had a microSD, it went there. Now it goes to the microSD. And if I take the microSD out and try to move it, I get an error.

Cheers
Thank you for the suggestions; sure enough, I can't see them through my phone, but can see them in "android_secure" from my PC and it does appear there are large "app" files in that directory. Lost.Dir is empty..good news I guess. I'll remove my microSD card to see if I get an error as well which would indicate the app is truly on the microSD/ExternalSD card. Thank you for all your help.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 08:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cease0828 View Post
Thank you for the suggestions; sure enough, I can't see them through my phone, but can see them in "android_secure" from my PC and it does appear there are large "app" files in that directory. Lost.Dir is empty..good news I guess. I'll remove my microSD card to see if I get an error as well which would indicate the app is truly on the microSD/ExternalSD card. Thank you for all your help.
That's not the error I meant.

If you remove the microSD card, then a lot of the apps won't work. Meaning you likely have to uninstall and reinstall them again. I would hate for that to happen, so as long as I have enough memory, I place my apps in the phone memory.

The error I meant was that if you don't have a microSD card, and you try to move to SD, you would get an error about not enough space.

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Old December 17th, 2011, 09:54 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Default External SD card on the AT&T GS2

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Originally Posted by Russell Ng View Post
That's not the error I meant.

If you remove the microSD card, then a lot of the apps won't work. Meaning you likely have to uninstall and reinstall them again. I would hate for that to happen, so as long as I have enough memory, I place my apps in the phone memory.

The error I meant was that if you don't have a microSD card, and you try to move to SD, you would get an error about not enough space.

Cheers
Understand, thank you for the clarification.
In my analysis, I've discovered that different ROMs seem to handle the External Card differently, or so it seems. Under the "mnt" directory of the GS2, there are a number of Directories:
1. emmc: on my ROM (CM7), this is where my External SD card data is stored.
2. sdcard: this is the GS2 internal SD card
3. usb: not sure what this one is
4. usbdisk: not sure what this one is either
Anyway, everything I put on my SD card (music, books, ROMs, etc.) shows up on the "emmc" card and programs I've installed find "data" there; e.g., Music, Books, etc.
Also, to confuse matters even more under the \mnt\sdcard directory there are several more directories that "appear" to be the external card because of their name, but they are not; they are simply subdirectories of the ineternal "sdcard":
1. external_sd: not sure what this is used for; at one time this is where i stored my music and other large data files thinking it was my External SD card; that's why it ate up my Internal SD card so quickly. I was repeatedly getting "no more storage available" when I tried to download something because the Internal SD was full!
2. usbStorage: not sure what this is used for either
Now it's totally possible that these were simply created by other ROMs I've tried; I've tried several and perhaps this is how they used the physical external SD card I have and use. Hope this helps clarify what I've discovered and what caused my confusion.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 10:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Newer phones and Tablets that include large amounts (by current mobile standards) Like the SGS2 (and my other phone, the Captivate) often partition them so that you don't have a huge amount of system memory that wouldn't be accessible for file storage. On the Captivate (and I am assuming it's similar with your device) Samsung has a 2 GB partition for the system and the remaining 14 GB partitioned and recognized as an sd card by making its mount point /sdcard.

Therein lies the problem. The path to external storage within Android is /sdcard so apps that are installed to external storage will be there, which is the internal sd partition, not the removable sd card. On the Captivate the path to the removable sd card is /sdcard/sd_external, on my SGS2 it's /sdcard/external_sd and on my Transformer is /Removable/Microsd. Custom roms can mount the external card anywhere. Check with the developer for the mount point if you can't find it.

If you have an internal sd card partition, then that will always be the default location for files, apps and data to be stored as defined by the mount point /sdcard. If the phone has no sd card partition, then an external sd card will mount at /sdcard when inserted.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 12:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cease0828 View Post
Also, to confuse matters even more under the \mnt\sdcard directory there are several more directories that "appear" to be the external card because of their name, but they are not; they are simply subdirectories of the ineternal "sdcard":
1. external_sd:
This should be the external microSD directory. But with custom ROM, it could be different.

2. usbStorage:
Its used for some USB thing. I don't touch it.

Refer highlighted for reply.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 10:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default How to save files on External

After reading all this I was a bit confused with the external_sd folders and all.

Then I realized once the Galaxy S2 was connected to my computer it mounted 2 drives in "Computer"

Drive E: was my phone's memory
Drive F: was my SD card
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 12:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Default still confusing....

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Originally Posted by funidude1 View Post
After reading all this I was a bit confused with the external_sd folders and all.

Then I realized once the Galaxy S2 was connected to my computer it mounted 2 drives in "Computer"

Drive E: was my phone's memory
Drive F: was my SD card
while connected to the PC drive
E:/ (phone memory) shows the folder "external_sd" containing an APK file I have recently downloaded from Market (AVG antivirus app).
(PHONE CARD) F:/"android_secure" ----the folder is empty, can not find the AVG app file...
how simple was the windows OS on my HTC HD2...wasn't it?
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Old January 23rd, 2012, 07:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The Android_secure folder will be filled up when you use the move2SD option. Sometimes when I update apps, part of the apps are automatically placed there as well.

And a reminder that any files that is in the Android_secure folder can be viewed through PC (USB connection) only.

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Old February 6th, 2012, 04:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Default Internal vs External SD

On the Samsung S II:

Using Samsung Kies, you'll see it separated to Internal and External SD.

While plugged into a computer you will usually have two new Drives (i.e. Removable R:\ and Removable S:\).

The first is the internal SD card for the S2. The second drive is the External MicroSD card.

Hope this helps people trying to move media from one to another.

The ".android.secure" folder is in drive S:\ (for the purpose of this example. It could be X and Y on your comps etc.).

You cannot see the difference of these two drives in android. Or rather i cannot yet since I've not rooted my phone.

I hope this helped someone .
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Old February 6th, 2012, 08:05 PM   #24 (permalink)
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All this talk of Windows drive names doesn't really help in understanding how it actually works, I fear. Remember with Android you're dealing with Linux. So, let's try looking at it from a Linux perspective. Say you had a PC with two hard drives installed. Linux would see them as /dev/sda and /dev/sdb. The first partition on each drive would be seen as /dev/sda1 and /dev/sdb1. I'm sure it's obvious what would happen if there were two or more partitions on each drive... In order to use these drives/partitions, they need to be mounted & assigned a mountpoint. So, you could have /dev/sda1 as / (root) and /dev/sdb1 as /home. Navigating the system, it would 'appear' that /home was a folder off of / whereas physically they're separate drives/partitions. If we want to assume (I don't know, I haven't rooted my phone...) that Android sees the internal memory as /dev/sda2 (/dev/sda1 would be 'system storage' or /.) and the external card as /dev/sdb1 then sda2 = /sdcard and sdb1 is mounted as /sdcard/external_sd. Hope that helps. Here's some 'further reading'.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Even more confusing. At least for me. All that is important is that once connect to PC, the USB storage memory of the phone will show up as a hard disk on the PC. (Like a thumbdrive). If you have an external microSD card, it will also show up as another storage like another thumbdrive.

The files in the 2 drives can be manipulated by the user quite safely. There is a folder called Android_secure in the external microSD card that you cannot view in the phone only through the PC. Its probably a safeguard since any Apps (part of the data) that are meant to be installed in the phone is placed here if you use move2SD. So the files are important.

All exe files of apps is in the internal Phone memory which you can't see through PC or phone without rooting. So don't have to bother with that. If you can't find the app file anywhere in the phone, its probably in there and you can't access it.

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Old February 18th, 2012, 08:27 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Default Please correct me if I'm wrong...

Let me make sure I understand this correctly. (SGSII, 16GB MiniSD)
A. "Rooting" your phone is essentially gaining access to areas of your phone intended only for access by the manufacturer.
B. It is downright dangerous for the end user to root his/her phone, as it can be somewhat complicated, can "brick" the phone, and voids the warranty.
C. One can only move documents to the SD card for storage if the phone has first been "rooted", but this is very risky (see "B").
D. There are many ways to move files from your phone to your PC, some of which involve doing so wirelessly (a method I, myself, chose, and was successful, much to my delight and appreciation to the androidforums user kind enough to post the instructions).
Does that just about sum things up?
Why, oh why, can't I store .docx to my SD card? Is there no other way?
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Old February 18th, 2012, 08:55 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Let me make sure I understand this correctly. (SGSII, 16GB MiniSD)
A. "Rooting" your phone is essentially gaining access to areas of your phone intended only for access by the manufacturer.
Not exactly. Rooting is gaining administrative access to the file system. It does enable the owner to change anything on their phone, but that is standard OS permission levels and wasn't done to enable manufacturer dominance.

Quote:
B. It is downright dangerous for the end user to root his/her phone, as it can be somewhat complicated, can "brick" the phone, and voids the warranty.
It can be dangerous if you start deleting or modifying things willy-nilly. Most people understand the risks and with a moderate amount of caution, it's perfectly safe. The ease of rooting really depends on the phone model. Many phones can be rooted with a one click method which, as it states, is very easy indeed. Most phones don't brick easily, and rooting is very unlikely to permanently brick a phone. Usually phones that have been truly bricked are made that way because they are interrupted during the flashing process. That has little to do with root.

Rooting will void most phone's warranty for support or replacement due to a system problem. Hardware defects are different and if a rooted phone experiences a hardware failure, many times the warranty is honored. It's up to the manufacturer, or carrier.

Quote:
C. One can only move documents to the SD card for storage if the phone has first been "rooted", but this is very risky (see "B").
No, that's not correct. The SD card is open to the user and you can fully copy, move or delete files there.

Quote:
D. There are many ways to move files from your phone to your PC, some of which involve doing so wirelessly (a method I, myself, chose, and was successful, much to my delight and appreciation to the androidforums user kind enough to post the instructions).
Tethered, Bluetooth or wifi pretty much covers it. Of course you could email or MMS files as attachments, too.

Quote:
Does that just about sum things up?
Why, oh why, can't I store .docx to my SD card? Is there no other way?
You should be able to store any type of file on your SD card. Are you saying the file won't copy or you can't open it?
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Old February 18th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Default SD file saving

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You should be able to store any type of file on your SD card. Are you saying the file won't copy or you can't open it?
Of course, my difficulty must be the user. I just created and saved a doc to the SD, and was successful. Not sure what I had been doing wrong before. This most recent test went along splendidly. Maybe I've simply become used to using the phone.
I think I had gotten lost in naming the document. Also, before, I had not been adding the ext. .docx, so of course things went awry.
Thank you for your interest in helping.
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Old June 3rd, 2012, 07:08 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Thumbs up found external card

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Originally Posted by ken481 View Post
Hi

...
In fact when i use a file manager - the memory card is listed as the phone internal memory (i.e.16GB (11GB)), and the external sd card - is listed as a folder called external_sd.
...

Ken
Thanks guys. I have been looking all over to find how to access the external sd card from "My Files".
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 06:08 AM   #30 (permalink)
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sorry guys i finally understood something but this is my situation:

system rom : 879 mb (931 mb free)
internal: 2,11 gb (1,56 gb free)
sd card: 11,8 gb (9,40 gb free)
external sd card 31,3 gb (31 gb free)

question: - is it possible to INSTALL apps on external sd card??? IS THIS DANGEROUS OR...? '
- How to completely exploit my external sd card

i rotted my galaxy note following this guide: [Guide] How to root Stock ICS rom without binary count - xda-developers

thank you very much
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Old June 23rd, 2012, 11:02 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Just go to manage applications and move the apps using move2SD. It will transfer part of the app to the microSD and placed it in a folder called Android_secure. You would be able to view the folder using your PC.

Don't know about big game data like gameloft and EA games. They save the data in the USB storage (11.5GB) directly. You could try moving the file and see if that game still works. If doesn't, just move it back.
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Old October 19th, 2012, 04:36 PM   #32 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=Russell Ng;4559666]Just go to manage applications and move the apps using move2SD. It will transfer part of the app to the microSD and placed it in a folder called Android_secure. You would be able to view the folder using your PC.

I have a new Galaxy Note 2 and in the Applications Manager, after selecting any application, there isn't an option to 'move to SD'. And, I have tried applications like Apps2SD and after choosing an application to move, it just goes to the App info in the Application Manager.

What am I doing wrong?
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Old October 22nd, 2012, 09:55 PM   #33 (permalink)
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You didn't do anything wrong. If the Note 2 is like the S3, then there will be no partition of 2GB for apps and 11.5GB for USB storage. Everything is in one place, and the move2SD doesn't work in your case.

You can bind the external microSD if you are rooted or if someone figures how to change the move2SD that it works in your case. Either way, advice does not apply to you.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 09:40 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Using Windows Explorer, in my Win 7 64 bit system, I have "show hidden files" radio button on.

In Explorer I have:-

Computer > GT-I900P > Phone, the phone's internal sd storage but I do not see a folder Andriod_secure nor do I see that folder when in Computer > GT-I900P > Card, my 64GB card even though there are a number of apps on SD Card:-

Menu > Settings > Applications > App shows dialog "Move to phone" therefore must be on sd card (Internal - Computer > GT-I900P > Phone above)?

Should I see Andriod_secure?
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Old October 25th, 2012, 09:47 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Try using USB mass storage mode.
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Old December 20th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Is there any way to transfer amazon kindle books I've read from my Samsung tablet app to my SD card to free up space. As I get more books, it takes much longer to open the Amazin Kindle app, so I assume it's due to large number of books currently in there.
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Old June 12th, 2013, 10:03 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Post Workarounds to use external SD card for apps

I have Samsung Galaxy Ace 2, 1hich has about 1GB internal memory, 1GB internal USB memory, and a 32 GB MicroSD card.

I have just spent a long time trying out all the Move2SD and App2SD apps on google play store, and none of them work to transfer apps from the internal memory to the SD card, they only move them to the internal USB memory which it thinks is the SD card. The SD card is basically useless.

Here are some workaround i found on Youtube (have not tried them yet):

How To Move Games & Apps To External Sd Card From Internal Memory on Android 4.0 & Above
How To Move Games & Apps To External Sd Card From Internal Memory on Android 4.0 & Above - YouTube
(basically using the built in file manager to manually move folders back and forth, very troublesome)

How to move apps to external sd card Android - Directory Bind
How to move apps to external sd card Android - Directory Bind - YouTube

How to REALLY put apps on external sd card android
How to REALLY put apps on external sd card android - YouTube

The above 2 videos use directory bind to map directories on the SD card to the internal SD card/USB memory.

Galaxy Note 2 - Install Games and Apps to SD Card (Swap Internal with Micro Sd) - Cursed4Eva.com
Galaxy Note 2 - Install Games and Apps to SD Card (Swap Internal with Micro Sd) - Cursed4Eva.com - YouTube

Galaxy S3 - Install Games and Apps to SD Card (Swap Internal with Micro Sd) - Cursed4Eva.com
Galaxy S3 - Install Games and Apps to SD Card (Swap Internal with Micro Sd) - Cursed4Eva.com - YouTube

The above 2 videos use some kind of hacking tool to make the phone think the external SD card is the internal one. You should use this with care and make sure you know what you are doing.

The next few use Android SDK, which does not need rooting:

Moving all android apps to SD card WITHOUT ROOTING
Moving all android apps to SD card WITHOUT ROOTING - YouTube

Move all Android applications to SD card without Rooting your phone.
Move all Android applications to SD card without Rooting your phone. - YouTube

How to install Android Apps on SD CARD by default without rooting
How to install Android Apps on SD CARD by default without rooting - YouTube
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Old June 13th, 2013, 05:17 AM   #38 (permalink)
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The methods listed for the Note2/S3 won't work as those devices shipped with Android 4.x and their filesystem is partitioned accordingly.

Also the method for "android 4.0 and above" does not apply to an S2 as the original pre-4.x partitioning schema is retained to ensure backwards compatibility.
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