Root Insufficient Storage Available right after flashing ROM


Aug 13, 2012
I just flashed my desire to Runnymede AIO v6.1.1 S.E, previously I was using MIUI. Nothing to complain about MIUI and everything was working fine except the notification bar kept showing advertisement. So I decided to try another ROM.

I succeeded in flashing the ROM and launching the OS, but I got the "insufficient storage available" error when installing almost any application(not in the downloading phase, but in the installation phase), right after the flashing, i.e., it is almost impossible for me to install any app. Of course I have checked the storage and I have enough space: internal I have 110M and on SD card I have more than 1G.

Please recommend any suggestion, thanks!
The notification ad probably wasn't MIUI. More likely you'd installed an app that uses push advertising, so if you restore the app in a different ROM you'll get the same thing. For more information see this sticky post from the Android Applications forum - apps that include this stuff usually don't warn you.

Don't know why you would get a low storage message if you have 110MB free internal space. The usual reason people have storage problems with ROMs like that is that they do something like flash the CM7 version of the ROM when they have stock partitions. Try clearing cache is all I can think of.
Thanks Hadron. I guess next time I'll know how to handle the notification ad. But now since I have already flashed a new ROM, I still need to solve the insufficient storage problem.

How do I clear the cache? I tried to wipe all data and cache in recovery, but it didn't help. Also I found this post "Insufficient Storage Available" but still shows free space! - HTC Desire CDMA Stable Mod - CyanogenMod Forum. Specifically, somebody said
"It's because you're using the froyo version of the Find the newer one, designed for 2.3, it will fix your issues." However, as a programmer who has only little experience on mobile Linux, I don't understand what does it mean. There is no too much search result about "". And no similar topics I can find on this. Is he talking about the same as you are? That is a "stock partition" that you are talking about? Does it mean some type mismatch of the partitions? Thanks!
The boot image will come with the ROM, so I don't think that's likely to be your problem. If it were, everyone who flashed this ROM would have the problem.

If clearing cache from recovery doesn't do it then it's probably not that. Did you restore anything from Titanium, and if so, what?

If you don't know what stock partitions vs CM7 means then you are almost certainly using stock. If you are still S-On (e.g. rooted using Unrevoked, not done anything later to obtain S-Off) then you certainly are. If you used Revolutionary to root but have not subsequently changed HBOOT then you are also using stock partitions. That is important though, because some of these ROMs come in variants designed for different partition tables, and when people choose the wrong one (because they don't know what it means and so assume they can ignore it - you'd be surprised how often that happens) it can cause storage problems. But if you have 110MB free then that isn't the case here.

One other thing to try would be to clear data for the market/play store app. Sometimes works if there are problems with installing stuff.
Thanks again for the patience. Here is how I got here: I flashed to MIUI about one year ago, rooted by Unrevoked but of course with earlier version, back by then I hadn’t even hear the word “s-on/off”, “stock partition”, don’t know whether they already existed or not. So last weekend when I tried to flash, I was surprise that it involves so many new things that I didn’t know. But anyway, I ended up with HBoot with s-on, and I read that many ROMs require s-off (although I don’t understand why. Does s-on/off only reflect such things as radio?), so I downgraded the HBoot to 1.02 and then s-off it using revolutionary. So under such condition, do you think that I have this stock partitions VS CM7 problem?
“because they don't know what it means and so assume they can ignore it - you'd be surprised how often that happens”. Actually I am only surprised that there is more than one type of partition tables, and it is not hard to imagine how many troubles this could cause.
BTW I didn’t use restore from Titanium because on this phone I don’t have many apps anyway. And all the essential data is the personal data which can be synced with Google.
OK, no Ti restore means that we don't need to worry about having restored something that was incompatible with the ROM :)

You are on stock tables. To explain the significance, when you are S-Off one of the things you can do if flash a custom hboot which partitions your internal storage differently. HTC allocate 250 MB for the ROM (/system partition), 40 M for cache (/cache), which leaves 147 MB for user apps and app data (/data). That is the "stock" partition table. ROMs that don't include Sense take up a lot less space, so it's wasteful to put a 130 MB ROM in a 250 MB partition (leaving 120 MB unused and useless). Hence people have developed custom HBOOTs which partition the internal storage differently. "CM7r2" is a common one (145 MB /system, 5 MB /cache, 287 MB /data), intended to fit the CyanogenMod 7 series ROMs. See the "root memory faq", from the All Things Root Guide sticky post.

No ROM actually requires S-Off, though a CM7 variant of a ROM like yours would give you less space than the Stock variant, so applying that to a stock phone (as all S-On phones have stock tables) would be a bad move. Such ROMs pretty much all have a stock version as well though, and a CM7 version would work on stock, just not as well.

S-Off gives you the options of replacing radio or recovery via fastboot, and also the option of uninstalling system apps while running android (use with care!).

None of this however explains your problem. If you could get an app called Quick System Info installed we could see how much space is really free. You say "almost any application" - which apps can you install? I am just wondering whether something is filling your /cache partition.
Well, when I said I can't install "almost any program", I mean I did managed with some apps, with small sizes, or right after I clear the cache. But after one or two installation of such apps, further installations all failed. Even for such app as Quick System Info with only 800kb size.

Finally I installed Quick System Info, and here is the storage information:
SD card storage: 7.00GB total 1.06 GB free
A2SD storage: 466MB total 4.38MB free
Internal storage: 1248MB total 114MB free
System storage 250MB total 59.51MB free
System cache 202 MB 202 MB free.
Does it mean my free A2SD space is too small? It's weird because in every flashing it did say formatting ext3. And I haven't installed many apps after the flash. If this is the problem, and if I don't care about backup, can I just format the whole ext3 partition?
OK, that's interesting!

It's clearly redirecting cache to sd or ram disk, either way we can ignore that.

It's odd that it's reporting both a2sd storage and an enhanced internal storage - I'd have expected it to report the actual internal storage, but that looks like real internal plus some large space on sd-ext. I should perhaps add that I've not even used sd-ext for best part of a year, so am relying on memory for what it would show, but think it more likely this is due to particular a2sd/etc setups with this ROM.

Your a2sd storage (sd-ext) is clearly rather low. That would stop installation of a large app, but some small ones should be OK. This is one possible problem here.

Am puzzled by the combination of 466 MB a2sd plus 1248 MB internal. What partitions do you have on your sd card, and what a2sd option did you select when installing? For stock hboot I'd have recommended the standard a2sd, on the basis of reading that thread's first post, but I see that there are actually 4 options: a2sd, ad2sdx, int2sd-s and int2sd-m. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with most of these.
As for why ext is full, the thing to remember is that this ROM is a port from the Sensation (codename Runnymede), and is too large to fit in the internal memory of the phone. So part of the ROM is being stored in the ext partition. So you need a fairly large ext partition for this ROM to work - it recommends 1.0-1.5 GB (with a footnote that there have been problems with partitions larger than 1.5 GB). It also says ext4 rather than ext3 - not sure whether there are actually any problems with ext3 though.
Sorry but the 1248MB in internal was a typo, it should be 148MB in total. In this case I think it did report the actual internal storage. And if I understand correctly, the problem is the ROM has installed part of the programs into sd-ext, (I have verified that after I formatted sd-ext partition from recovery, some programs didn't work anymore), and the OS is still trying to install new apps to sd-ext storage, which is pretty low now, so it shows low storage even though in actual internal there is still some space.
I guess now I have to increase the sd-ext partition size, and possibly convert it to ext4 as well. I'll report when I finish.
Ah, that makes more sense!

Then you have standard a2sd, and the only problem is that you only have a 500 MB ext partition, which is fine for MIUI but not for one of these Sense 2 or Sense 3 ROMs.

The trick is to take a nandroid backup, then copy everything on the fat32 partition to your computer (including files and folders whose name starts with "."). Repartition, copy stuff back to the card, then restore the nandroid. That will reload your enlarged sd-ext with the stuff that was on before the repartitioning (highly unlikely that the card contents will survive repartitioning). That's also how you swap cards when using a2sd - take a nandroid, copy it to the new card, restore the nandroid.
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Thank you so much for your kindly help, Hadron! I've learned much more than I expected. I got more and quicker replies even than I did when I asked a question on MSDN or stackoverflow when I had a programming problem :) Anyway, now my ext4 partition is 1G and everything works really great. I am even considering of delaying my plan to purchase a new phone after 2 years using desire. Although android 4.0 or Samsung S3 seems really cool.

I was curious about how to backup and restore using e.g. Titanium, mainly because I wasn't sure what programs belong to the ROM so I don't need to backup (or I shouldn't restore fearing it might cause some problem with new ROM).

Regarding to MIUI ROM, as a Chinese who was using the Chinese version, I think it has rich features tailored especially convenient to be used in China. However, when it comes to some international features, such as world wide weather or data-roaming when travelling abroad, it is awkward to use. And it seems to have discarded the updates to such old phones as desire. At least my OTA stopped working a long time ago.