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How to use external Sd CardSupport

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  1. ken481

    ken481 Active Member


    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?


    flyguyutah likes this.
  2. daivik

    daivik Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Gearu

    Gearu Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. sleeco

    sleeco Well-Known Member

    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.
    flyguyutah likes this.
  5. Quboid

    Quboid Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. 3waygeek

    3waygeek Well-Known Member

    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).
  7. woodsb123

    woodsb123 Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. dag12

    dag12 New Member

    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.
  9. DaveSyd

    DaveSyd Well-Known Member

    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..
  10. stevehy

    stevehy Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. cease0828

    cease0828 Member

    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
  12. Russell Ng

    Russell Ng Well-Known Member

    I think you are getting it wrong. Anyway here are some posts explaining the internal USB storage and external microSD storage issue.


    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

  13. cease0828

    cease0828 Member

    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.
  14. Russell Ng

    Russell Ng Well-Known Member

    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.

  15. cease0828

    cease0828 Member

    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.
  16. Russell Ng

    Russell Ng Well-Known Member

    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.

  17. cease0828

    cease0828 Member

    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.
  18. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    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.
    flyguyutah likes this.
  19. Russell Ng

    Russell Ng Well-Known Member

    Refer highlighted for reply.
  20. funidude1

    funidude1 New Member

    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
  21. slubo

    slubo New Member

    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?
  22. Russell Ng

    Russell Ng Well-Known Member

    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.

    sos4ever likes this.
  23. thangdien9

    thangdien9 New Member

    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 :).
  24. linuxrich

    linuxrich Well-Known Member

    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'.
  25. Russell Ng

    Russell Ng Well-Known Member

    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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