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Invisible files

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by Roy Oxlade, Feb 23, 2021 at 7:11 AM.

  1. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi all

    I am running a navigation program called memory map, this uses maps in a quickchart format(qct) which need to be stored on the Android device, this one is running Android 5.1. I think there are several issues but this one has me beat. The program is working and accessing the qct files, it states the location of these files is

    internal/DMS ----- GB/OS2016 and this folder contains two qct files

    So using file manager on the device or with it connected to the Pc I cannot find these files on the device anywhere, and have made hidden files viewable. They must be somewhere but where?

    Can anyone with knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of Android help please.

    thanks Roy
     



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  2. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Is your Android device rooted? If not, there are going to be issues involving a lot of directories as they have system-level permissions so any non-rooted file manager app will have limitations accessing them.

    As for getting full access to the file system on your Android device remotely using a PC, assuming its a Windows system keep in mind that Windows relies solely upon NTFS as its base file system, and includes only very cursory support for any other platforms. If it's a Mac, that uses either APFS or HFS+ and while OS X includes more support for FAT based file systems, not much else. Your Android device uses ext4 as its base file system, so when using something like Windows Explorer or Mac's Finder to view your mobile device, there are a different set of limitations involved when using a non-native OS to view your Android device.
     
  3. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    Welcome to Android Forums @Roy Oxlade :)

    Out of curiosity, I downloaded "Memory-Map" app from Google PS. My device running OS 6.0.1 MM (api 23). The fact that Im rooted grants me access to all the files (apps, system,internal and external)

    App data/file/DMS//basemaps/qct



    Screenshot_2021-02-23-14-10-50.png Screenshot_2021-02-23-14-08-33.png Screenshot_2021-02-23-14-08-42.png Screenshot_2021-02-23-14-08-52.png

    The image below is what it looks like when I open the qct with a text editor.

    Screenshot_2021-02-23-14-42-04.png
     
    #3 MrJavi, Feb 23, 2021 at 3:31 PM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 3:48 PM
    Roy Oxlade likes this.
  4. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi all

    Thanks for the replies. Firstly I am new to Android, both the OS and devices so hence why I joined these forums. I am a software engineer but from the world of embedded control, ASIC and other programable devices. I have found Android a steep learning curve, so different from the Windows OS and again I started with NT4 and DOS so it's now another world.

    It sounds like I need to root my device, not hear of that one but will look at that right away.
     
    MrJavi likes this.
  5. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Been looking at rooting, it seems that nandroid backup is high on the priority list in case you mess up the system files. If your only intention is to view all files and be able to copy them from a Pc to the device then is this step essential. I do understand that changing system files can make a device non bootable so could it be a worthwhile investment?
     
  6. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Been reading info on rooting, how do you know if a phone can be rooted? Mine is a Ruggex Rhino 2 . I also can now see that to backup it needs to be rooted first so I need to dig deeper into this subject, again thanks for your help but I imagine I have some journey ahead.
     
  7. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert


    The best place to find out if you device can be rooted is on XDA. For instance, I have an sm-n910p so I search "XDA Sprint Galaxy Note 4". Having an unlocked bootloader (not to be mistaken an unlocked carrier) with a custom recovery would be ideal. Stay away from apps like King root, Framaroot, Towelroot.....

    If your having trouble with an app why not try a lower version.
     
    #7 MrJavi, Feb 23, 2021 at 9:12 PM
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 9:17 PM
  8. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi all

    Well I used Kingo root and it says it rooted my device but nothings changed as far as file structure and visibility. Before this I tried Magisk but that was totally unsuccessfull. Is there a more manual method that may work or any suggestions.
     
  9. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi

    When you root a device, does this also unlock the bootloader or is this another area? If you only want to have access to seeing all your files do you need to unlock this?

    thanks
     
  10. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Ok

    Using Kingo root on my PC and then the icon SuperUser on the device states it is root, but following device reboot it then states No Root. So I try the root now button and that brings up a security warning that prevents me continuing. It says there are problems with the security certificate for this site.

    Any suggestions?
     
  11. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    The latest, I had to do a factory reset on the Android to get it working again, then tried Kingo root from my PC again and that seemed to work, then SuperUser which also looked like it has worked. So installed Root checker from the playstore and that shows a green tick and says" congratulations Root access is properly installed on this device" . But I still cannot get a directory structure that looks like the one @Mr Javi has shown. So is this the file manager I am using, the one that was pre installed. Is there a better one anyone can recomend?
     
    MrJavi likes this.
  12. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    Rooting doesn't automatically unlock the bootloader. What is the Android phone you wish to root?
     
    #12 MrJavi, Feb 24, 2021 at 5:45 PM
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021 at 6:40 PM
  13. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    I used a pc program called Odin to flash a custom recovery (TWRP). After making a complete android back up of all partitions, I then flashed Chainfires SuperSu .zip. Once rooted, I installed BusyBox app and enabled (mount) full R/W access system wide.




    Screenshot_2021-02-24-16-59-23.png

    I have systemless root but you device running (5.0 Lollipop) is most like a system root method. The image below is based on my Note 4 systemless root. Download and open "BusyBox". You will need to choose the correct path to install the binaries most likely system/xbin.

    https://forums.androidcentral.com/samsung-galaxy-s3/235627-do-i-need-busybox.html

    Screenshot_2021-02-25-02-41-51.png

    Screenshot_2021-02-25-02-41-58.png
     
    #13 MrJavi, Feb 24, 2021 at 6:00 PM
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021 at 4:15 AM
  14. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Thanks for the help

    I have SuperSu installed by Chainfire version 2.82-SR5 as confirmed by Root checker Pro, this states Super user app and Binary files are installed so I assume it is rooted. I have also installed BusyBox Pro version 1.320 that is in /system/xbin. I do not understand how to enable or mount full R/W access system wide though, can you please provide further details

    thanks Roy
     
    MrJavi likes this.
  15. MrJavi

    MrJavi Android Expert

    Chainfire's SuperSu 2.82 SR (systemless Root) and if you have systemless your BusyBox binaries should most likely be installed to system/bin. Its necessary to unistall system/xbin before proceeding. However, I find it unusual that a 5.0 Lollipop has systemless root. Without knowing you specific device Im unable to provide accurate feedback.

    Screenshot_2021-02-25-10-47-00.png Screenshot_2021-02-25-10-47-08.png Screenshot_2021-02-25-10-47-16.png
    Although my device displays n920p due mods I've done in buildprops. Its in fact an n910p.

    Screenshot_2021-02-25-10-55-25.png
     
  16. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi the device is a Ruggex Rhino 2 phone running Android 5.1 Lolipop. It uses a Media Tek CPU.
     
  17. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Just looked for the Busybox and they are in /system/xbin/
     
  18. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Try installing the Root Explorer app, it's a root-required file manager app:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.speedsoftware.rootexplorer&hl=en_US&gl=US
    Another useful utility is the Termux app. This is a terminal emulator app with a very solid and expandable feature set:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.termux&hl=en_US&gl=US

    Keep in mind that not all apps on your device will just become magically 'root capable' when you root it. The apps themselves have to specifically be created in the app's development stage so a lot of them are always going to function just as they are whether the device they're installed in is rooted or not.
    Getting past that 'this doesn't work like Windows' mentality is going to take time. A lot of stuff you'll read online refer to rooting an Android device is comparable to using an admin login account with Windows, but that's not a very good comparison. There's not even direct comparison between a rooted Android device and running a root shell on a desktop Linux system. Android development has become its own unique platform.

    As for your phone model, you might find it easier to work with a more popular model. That Ruggex model is a relatively specialized one. Something like a Samsung Galaxy model will have a lot more online chatter and postings when it comes to hacking, along with more sources for things like stock and custom ROMs.
     
    MrJavi and Roy Oxlade like this.
  19. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Hi thanks for the help

    The reason for the Ruggex is that it is IP68 and usable in the outdoors in all weathers, the battery can be swapped out and it is even submersable to a few feet with an armoured screen. It is intended to replace an HP Ipaq Rx5700 that runs Windows CE which is now over 12 years old but still giving good service but with batteries getting hard to come by. The first issue I had and thought was going to be most difficult was resolved by using a Ublox GNSS receiver to give the required GPS accuracy, little did I realise that getting data files loaded nto it was going to be even more of a challenge. This was just taken for granted with the Ipaq, often just changed the SD card and the program used the new data, but now what a problem that should really not be one.
     
  20. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    If that Ruggex phone is your daily usage phone, another reason to look into using a more commonly used model for all this is so you just leave your primary phone in working condition.
    There's always a risk of soft-bricking (possibly recoverable) or hard-bricking (probably not recoverable) your phone when rooting it, and that just gets more iffy when you're not familiar with the operating system and the file system structure its running on top of. Do your experimental learning on a secondary phone where you can always just re-flash the stock firmware to start over if something does go wrong.
    If that's not an option, at least be sure to backup your phone frequently so you can restore it if needed.
     
  21. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    No the Ruggex phone is purely for navigation, GPS and cartography and has no SIM card in it. Basically I am trying to use it as a display device and do everything I can to maximise battery life. My objective is simple, or so I thought and that is to copy data files into a location that the program can use, ideally like you can with the Windows file explorer. In the old system using CE the files could be put anywhere and you told the program where they are but now in Android the files are downloaded into a location which is data/data/com.memorymap.mm2/files/DMS/GB/OS2016 but this download method only works when in range of WiFi and is useless when miles from any mobile phone networks. I still cannot understand why something that was so simple is such a big issue with Android, copying files is such a basic task.
     
  22. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Update

    Installed root explorer and granted it super user access and I can now view all the files in the required directory, so I must be rooted. Now just need to learn how to copy files. I am hoping if I put them onto the SD card then root explorer will give me the means to copy. Will also look at Turmux app and see what that can do.

    thanks again for your help.
     
    MrJavi likes this.
  23. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Just when you think you are on top and wining! Looks like Andoid still uses the FAT file system, Pc's use NTFS so now looking into how to copy files, almost like starting all over again in another world.
     
  24. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Actually, all Android devices use ext4 for file system of the internal storage. FAT (more specifically, FAT32 or exFAT) only applies to microSD cards and other external media you may or may not be connecting to your Android device. FAT basically is outdated and even Microsoft stopped supporting it decades ago. It's a proprietary file system that was crap even in its day (back when WinXP was the default Windows OS). If you're seeing a FAT file system, you're not looking at the internal storage, that's a card or other external media.
     
  25. Roy Oxlade

    Roy Oxlade Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I think the access issue is now sorted, I have done a backup using TWRP and saved the system, Data and Boot partitions to my SD card. Then I saved this backup to my Pc which I could not do using a USB cable, had to use WiFi File Transfer app which worked. Very restrictive program and only usefull for access to SD card and not much else. I also backed up the programs using the provided backup and restore app and again backed this up to my Pc. I can see an issue here in that I need that app in order to restore the others. For the next chapter I will start a new thread.
     
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