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External SD Card as internal storage and wrong disk space usage reports

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by duoblem, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. duoblem

    duoblem Lurker
    Thread Starter

    I just add an external SD card as internal storage on a not rooted 8.1 Android smartphone. When I did the very same procedure on an Android 6 smartphone I did not notice any unexpected behavior, that is at the end of the procedure all the image and video files and all the compatible apps were successfully moved to the external SD.
    Now I noticed some misbehavior:
    1)At the end of the procedure in the external SD card there about 4 giga of space allocated to apps but actually the apps had not been moved
    2)Video and images were instead were actually moved but on the internal SD the space for such file seems stil to be allocated

    I addressed issue 1) moving the apps by hand were applicable but I don't know how to handle issue 2).
    The odd thing is that the "false positive" is shown only in settings->storage->Internal storage whereas ES file reader seems to correctly detect the free space- My worries are about this issue is that google play my see that space as not free and refuse to install new applications .
    Is this just a cosmetic issue or there something to do and solve it?

  2. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Your microSD card once re-formatted as internal (a.k.a adoptable) gets changed in significant ways. Its filesystem is changed to ext4, to match the same filesystem your phone's internal storage is using, and it gets encrypted, with the encryption key now linking the card only to your phone. At this point, the card itself is no longer meant to be used like it was previously, it should remain in your phone and left as is. The Android OS running on your phone now considers the card to be a part of the overall filesystem. You don't directly interact with the card or its contents any longer, that's determined by the OS as you use your phone.

    If you want to use your card as an external one again, you have to go back into the Settings menu and re-do the formatting process again. This needs to be done on your phone as there will be system and app data that needs to be migrated back to your phone's internal storage, plus it needs to be changed back to using FAT32/exFAT (which will also in turn remove the encryption).
    Dannydet, Member2035261 and duoblem like this.
  3. duoblem

    duoblem Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi svim,
    thank you for the reply. I am actually aware of the differences between the two ways in which a external SD can bu used. Anyway, even when the external SD card is seen as a part of the system Android is still able to tell you how many bytes are used on the "original" internal storage and how many the added one. What happened to me was that images and videos migration did not complete successfully, that is there where duplicated on the two storage. Moreover camera app was saving images and video physically still on the "original" internal memory keeping on wasting space
    What I did to solve the issue:
    1)Connected the phone to a PC and mounted ad an external storage, copied the camera directory to the PC and then deleted the content from the device from the PC file browser
    2)After unmounting the phone from th PC I had this situation: file browsing applications installed on the phone were no longer able to access images or videos but Android kept on saying there were 4 giga of images and videos in the original internal storage
    3)I reformatted the external SD not to be an internal storage, as soon as the format completed Android told me there was a new external storage and asked me if I wanted to transfer there video and images. After this operation videos and images where accessible by file manager applications, and 4 giga of space were indeed freed in the internal storage.
    4)I unmounted end extracted from the phone the SD, mounted it on a PC an backuped the content
    5)I placed again it in the smartphone deleted all the data and reformatted it as internal storage
    6)The issue about applications is still there but now camera saves video and images physically on the added internal memory


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