ics phones not appear as usb storage device?

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  1. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    Hi All,

    I didn't see any recent posts regarding this topic. On another forum (ubuntu) there was a discussion about ICS phones not appearing as a USB storage device when plugged into a PC. The posters said earlier versions of Android did have this capability. One poster said his ICS phone was indeed connecting as a USB storage device no problem. Hence my confusion.

    Question: Do some ICS phones not appear as a USB storage device? Do some phone makers disable this in ICS phones?

    I plan to soon get an ICS phone and if it can't appear as a USB storage device that's a big negative. Double-plus-ungood.



  2. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    Follow up:

    I did some googling on this issue and looked at some other forums and it looks the ICS USB issue is a complicated mess (rooting, MTP, corrupt kernels, flashing roms and all kinds of hyper-technical weirdness that made my eyes glaze over).

    Any suggestions on how I can select an ICS phone that easily appears when I plug it into a PC? Full disclosure: I soon plan to ditch Windows and go Ubuntu-only. Does MTP work on Linux? I'm guessing if a phone shows up as a USB storage device in Windows, it will easily do the same in Ubuntu. Valid assumption?


  3. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate! Moderator

    I can't comment on if it will work with Ubuntu, but when I plug my One X into my Windows 7 PC, it appears as a regular disk drive.

    I've had several ROMs, both Sense & AOSP and they've all pretty much been the same in that regard.

    It's phone specific, not a wider issue with the OS in general.
    Advait likes this.
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    I know most Chinese ICS 4.0 devices seem to work just fine as removable USB storage devices. In fact they have a settings option, USB mass storage mode or MTP mode.

    I believe many modern Linux distros should support MTP straight away, like Ubuntu or Mint.
    Advait and El Presidente like this.
  5. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    If the phone uses a simple sd card setup, it'll mount that as USB.

    If it uses a portion of storage marked as an internal sd card, you'll need MTP for that.

    MTP is a Windows protocol.

    If you don't mind wifi, install SwiFTP for full access or any number of wifi-private-web (read: only on your network) solutions. AirDroid is a very good one.

    I use MTP, SwiFTP, AirDroid (all free) and like MTP least of all, but your mileage may vary.
    Advait likes this.
  6. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    OK, I'm getting a little nervous here. All 3 people who responded to my question are sporting variations on the vampire motif... Should I put an extra lock on my door? Start wearing a discreet necklace of garlic? Am I on some secret list as next in line to get pulled into the shadowy world of the Undead?!

    :) ;-)

    Could be worse . . . Could be a forum full of Menudo fans. (shudder!!)
  7. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    I presume your One X is an ICS phone?

    I wonder how I can tell if a particular phone will easily appear as a USB drive? And which won't? Only one thing to do... more research! :)

    Looks like when I find an ICS phone I may want to buy, I'll have to research this issue first. Thanks for the info. Kind Regards,

    Advait (dodging Kerala vampires)
  8. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    OK, good news. I'm here in India so there's a fair number of cheap Chinese made ICS phones. Still, I'll research the particular phone before purchase.

    I use Ubuntu 12.04.
  9. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure what a "simple sd card setup" is. Could you elaborate?
    No wifi here in my neck of the woods here in rural India.
    mikedt says MTP is supported by Ubuntu, so looks like I'm all set there.

  10. breadnatty08

    breadnatty08 pain rustique VIP Member

    What phone are you using? It may make a difference.
  11. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    It's probably safe to say that just about all Chinese ICS devices should support USB transfer. Because of the prevalence of Windows XP machines here, probably the same for India as well. AFAIK XP only supports MTP with WMP10 or above.

    Although it's currently in Chinese..
    usb mtp.jpg
    ...this is what I get on my phone's notification when I plug it into a PC. USB is selected. In fact my cheap Shenzhen Ampe ICS tablet doesn't even do MTP at all, it's USB only. :)

    Ubuntu 12.04 should be fine with MTP anyway.
    EarlyMon and Advait like this.
  12. Hey Advait
    All android phones having ICS versions gets connected to computer in USB mode. The System does not detect the device as USB mass storage only in the case if sometime user have selected it for charge only mode and selects "do not ask me again".
    Advait likes this.
  13. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    I don't think it's relevant, but my current phone is a Treo Pro WinMo 6.1. But I plan to get an ICS phone soon. Hence my questions... I'm trying to understand the important issues before selecting my ICS phone. I want to make sure it can meet my needs (which are pretty basic, come to think of it).


    PS: Another vampire! :) . . . ( very cool ) What's up with all the vampires?
  14. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    OK, more good news. I'm hearing that most ICS phones out there connect fine to Windows (and probably connect fine to Ubuntu also). When I did a google search on this issue I got lots of hits about ICS failing to connect. But looks like it's been resolved in some fashion.

    Now begins my hunt for my very first droid phone... Wish me luck!

    Thanks! Kind Regards,

  15. admob

    admob Well-Known Member

    in a nutshell, htc handsets connect to macs/pc's like a dream, ive had 4 that all work fine.. samsungs dont really like macs, but ok with pc's, u may have to mess with KIES tho, (a bit like itunes), the end. :)
    EarlyMon and Advait like this.
  16. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

    I want to drink your blood!
    EarlyMon likes this.
  17. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon Moderator

    Staff is being bitten by our friendly undead vampire moderator, OfTheDamned, and being converted into vampires. They tell me that it has something to do with Halloween, but as a vampire hunter, all I know is that I am going to be very busy! :eek: :D

    The easiest way to know if a model is going to give you trouble is to ask us. If we don't know here, then we'll point you at that model's forum for the answer.

    If a phone specs out with 4 GB or less of storage (sometimes spec'd as rom or emmc), then it will have a separate, physical sd card and that card will be accessed on the phone through the /sdcard folder and as USB mass storage by a PC.

    If a phone has 16 GB or more, around 6 GB will be reserved and the remainder will be located at the /sdcard folder, even though it's not an actual sd card, and you'll need MTP or one of free apps I mentioned to get to it with ICS. Those models may optionally allow an actual sd card in addition. That will be accessed on the phone through another folder, such as /sdcard2 or something, and as USB storage by the PC.

    There are a lot of variations out there on the theme, so it's ok and probably best to ask us, model by model.

    But you really can't go wrong with ftp via wifi, you can get to everything through your browser and you don't have to sweat the details that way.
    mikedt likes this.
  18. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Well-Known Member

    Rooted Nexus S with CM9 - plugs right in to Ubuntu 11.10. No problem. Works on XP, too.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  19. Advait

    Advait Well-Known Member

    Ahh, so that's it. You guys are having way too much fun. Do you forum staffers work in the Vampire State Building?

    (I hear your groans, and I feel your pain.)

    Can I get banned for a pun like that? (Only in a just world.)

    What a minute, what's this? Did I cut myself shaving around my adam's apple? That's odd... I don't remember...
    EarlyMon likes this.

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