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Support Could someone explain storage space to me?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by rlg5150, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. rlg5150

    rlg5150 New Member
    Thread Starter

    Mar 9, 2012
    Okay, I have a Motorola Milestone (Droid) X2. In Settings>Storage it says I have:

    Application Storage
    Available Space

    Internal Storage
    Total Space

    Available Space

    SD card
    Total Space

    Available Space

    How does the phone store app data exactly? What goes to Application Storage and what goes to Internal Storage? I figured you couldn't save apps directly to an SD card so I wanted to try out my spare 1GB before I buy a bigger one. However, I don't seem to be able to move anything at all to the SD card (apps, pics, etc...)

    My first assumption was that apps stored to Application Storage and other media stored to Internal Storage.. But given that my available Internal Storage is so low (I have no music, a handful of photos and no video) it appears that my apps are stored there.

    I have 4 specific games that I know take up the majority of my memory. These are:

    Shadow Gun
    Dead Space
    Need for Speed
    Modern Combat 3

    I guess these are stored in Internal Storage? Why else would I only have 1.29GB of 4.31GB available?

    What puzzles me further is that I can move these apps to the "Media Area" which is what I assume is Internal Storage. However, the files I'm allowed to move are small in size (I know MC3 can't be 12MB).

    I'm sorry for the long post, but can someone clear this up for me? And I'd also like to know exactly what I can move to the SD card since I see no way of moving apps or photos there.



  2. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon

    Jun 10, 2010
    New Mexico, USA
    Welcome to the forums!


    It's not you, all of the Android makers do a lousy job of explaining storage. Probably they are trying to avoid buzzwords, but they don't help. :)

    So here's the deal. Android phones have internal memory that is separated into partitions, just like partitions on a PC hard drive. Typically there can be 6 or 8 or so. Some are used for stuff deep under the hood, like your radio firmware, so you can't look at the user level and get things to add up.

    Turning to your X2, you have 8 GB of total internal storage, an optional external sd card, and 512 MB of ram.

    The 8 GB are divided into hidden (as I mentioned) and probably 5 main areas:

    /system is where the operating system is, including built-in apps
    /data is what the name implies
    /data/app is where your apps and their data go
    /cache is basically the operating system cache
    /mnt/sdcard is actually what some call an "internal sd card" even though it's not really an sd card (and it has a standard shortcut called /sdcard)

    And then your actual (physical) sd card is usually at someplace like /mnt/sdcard_ext with a /sdcard_ext shortcut, or something similar.

    The trouble you are having moving things around comes from Android standardization. While "internal sd cards" are getting popular, they are not standard. And apps want to follow standards. Digital cameras for example store pictures at /sdcard/DCIM (for Digital Camera IMage). And even when you move an app to an sdcard, many will still default to storing data somewhere in /data. Then there are games, many of which store resources to /sdcard as another example.

    To get a clearer view of your memory layout, try Quick System Info Pro, free in the Market/Play.

    My phone doesn’t have an internal sd card so I can't help further, but I bet other X2 owners can, so I am transferring this to that phone forum for you. :)

    Hope this helps!

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