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Need help making space on data partition!

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by SkinJob, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    At 99% full, I have officially run out of space on the data partition of my rooted Playtab (sigh....) tablet (Rockchip rk3026). It has a 1gb internal memory storage area (DATA partition), plus a 1 gb SYSTEM partition, plus a separate 5gb NAND flash ROM partition (that it cutely refers to as "SD card"), which it stores the apk's on. All these partitions are full, but the DATA area is the primary concern. I also have an external SD card that has lots of room. And there are more apps/games I need to install on this tablet!

    PROBLEM: The @#!% Dalvik cache files are taking up 700mb on the 1gb DATA partition. While user and OS system apps take up much of the rest.

    I have deleted all the system and user apps on the DATA partition that I can get away with. I've tried many Play store apps that purport to clean the Dalvik cache (including Titanium), and man.... they do almost nothing! They will only clean a few kb worth; not the entire 700mb! (Although I know much of it will be recreated on boot anyway). The tablet goes from laggy to extremely laggy to hair-tearing wanna lob-your-knees-off lagginess. But I don't know if that's courtesy of the 512mb of RAM it has, or the limited space on DATA partition.

    My idea is to delete the entire 700mb of Dalvik cache files, download the rest of the apps that I want to install, and then.... reboot! That's where it gets murky. As the Dalvik would be recreated on reboot, plus new caches created for the newly installed apps, the DATA partition will hit 100% full. Will the android system then use the SYSTEM partition for the space it needs? Or will it put the tablet into "FU" mode? (That's where it says "I'm just not gonna start up your tablet, so FU, guy-who-thinks-he-can-outsmart-the-technically-crippled-AndroidOS).

    PROBLEM #2: I'm not "fully" rooted. I have no recovery, and a Chinese super user, translated to English (so there are some rare apps that can't speak Chinese and don't recognize me as rooted). As far as I know, I cannot safely flash a custom ROM or recovery to this rk3026 device. (Even if a ROM exists, its a rather risky venture and its not my tablet!). So that means I can't use fancy A2SD scripts to permanently move the Dalvik folder to another area.

    Aside from the obvious solutions of smashing the tablet or uninstalling apps, what are some useful options that might resolve my DATA partition dilemna?

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  2. hyfurd2112

    hyfurd2112 Newbie

    Hmm. Try using Linktosd to link apps to your external sd card. Works for my LG Optimus L9.
  3. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Already tried that. Link2SD will not recognize my external SD card!! It thinks the internal SD card is external, and will not allow me to specify the location!
  4. hyfurd2112

    hyfurd2112 Newbie

    Did you try using AParted to make a partition on the external SD card?
    SkinJob likes this.
  5. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I looked at creating an ext2 partition when i formatted the SD card, but decided not to. I think it was for several reasons:

    a) I believed only custom scripts/ROMs could make use of it.

    b) I figured Links2SD would see the FAT32 partition.

    c) I was concerned that if Links2SD does allow me to store apps on an external partition on the external SD card, then the app or system will ONLY see apps on the external SD card. Not good, as most apps are stored on internal storage; and i want to be able to store them on both, to maximize the space I have.

    Now of course its a bit more complicated to do, as I have installed apps and such half filling up that card. But if I do find a way to back all that up and restore it, and create an ext(2?) partition with Aparted.... how exactly does that help with the DATA partition? It seems Play store (and other stores) will always fill up the DATA partition with Dalvik caches for these apps. That's what's mostly filling up my limited 1gb DATA partition.
  6. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Link2SD can use a partitioned SD (I've used it with ext4 before now). It's a long time since I used it but I suspect it needs to be partitioned to move the dalvik cache there (possibly needs ext format for that). You can also move apps selectively with it, choosing which apps and which parts you move. Of course I have only tried this on ROMs which support init scripts, but the app doesn't cite that as a requirement.

    Now having said that I did find it slightly finnicky at times - it took me 2 attempts to set it up. And if you erase the dalvik cache it will rebuild it in the /data partition (but if you haven't got a custom recovery you won't be doing that). But I think there is a fair chance it might work for you.
    SkinJob likes this.
  7. hyfurd2112

    hyfurd2112 Newbie

    I believe the system would see all the data it needs for apps to function properly. I have been using it for a couple of years now with my LG Optimus L9 with no problems. You can choose to move specific files such as dalvik files.
  8. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Well, I am taking up Hyfurd's suggestion to try to use Links2SD as a solution. I'm backing up the SD card as I type this, and will try to use Aparted to format an ext2 partition on it. This I presume will mean *all* of my apps will have to reside on that partition, for Links2SD/the OS to see it. So I will have to make it large enough; I'm thinking 2gb for apps should do it.

    Crossing my fingers.... Thanks y'all.

  9. hyfurd2112

    hyfurd2112 Newbie

    Did making a partition and using linktosd work? Just curious. No problem by the way.
  10. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Well, after 3 hours of fiddling, I couldn't get Aparted to work... it kept telling me to unmount the SD card, even after I did many times (and deleted relevant caches, etc). I ended up using MiniPartition Wizard on a PC to partition the SD for an ext2. Finally, Links2SD does appear to have worked (but n.b, what it copies depends on if its the free or paid version). However! My tablet is now TOAST. It will not go beyond the boot animation screen any longer.

    I'm still deciding whether that's a good thing or a bad thing. Normally it's a bad thing but.... spend a week of your life toiling away on a Playtab tablet bought at a Mexican Wal-Mart... and you might well change your perspective.

    As for what did it in... I have two theories.

    1) Links2SD. I uninstalled it a few times in order to install newer versions. I was never sure what happens to your system if you do that. I am sure it does not undo the links or anything like that. So if you boot your device without Links2SD installed.... (fill in the blank). I remember quiching my phone due to Links2SD years ago. I stopped using the app since. But at least then, I could reflash the ROM, and start over. With the Playtab, I can't, I have no recovery.

    Links2SD is not for the faint of heart.

    2) I upped the Dalvik-VM heap value from stock 16m to 32m. Just a little tweak I wanted to see if it would help the Playtab's unbearable lagginess. I did it before without any noticeable effect. I don't know if this second attempt might be responsible for the bricking.

    Or maybe the Playtab is hibernating for the winter, and if I wait a number of months, it will eventually get past the boot screen into the desktop...:rolleyes:
  11. hyfurd2112

    hyfurd2112 Newbie

    May your tablet rest in peace. I am so sorry about this...
  12. SkinJob

    SkinJob Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter


    It's a bit late for news, but in case you're interested to know.... my El Cheapo Playtab is alive and (almost) well again! :smokingsomb:

    I literally brought it back from the dead, after doing open heart surgery (aka "shorting") on its memory chip with a flat blade screwdriver. This finally brought the Rockchip software to recognize the tablet, which led to me finding and installing a stock rom from another tablet that actually worked on this one. The wifi does not turn on, but hey! I haven't given up on that either! ;)

    I can't tell you how many times I've bricked this thing since, flashing wrong kernels, wrong ROMs. So far, I've managed to fenagle my way to an "unbricking", every single time. (Knock on wood). Not by opening it up, but by playing around with different combination of buttons and getting the timing right.... "pinball wizard" style.

    The really surprising thing is that this dual-core tablet is no longer a hair-tearing experience. It's actually quite speedy now, with the new ROM! It's a totally different machine, actually! Even though it's still jb 4.2.2, I never realized how the original firmware could have screwed up the usability of the tablet so much.

    Hope this inspires someone to not lose hope, even in the most hopeless situations! :)

    mikedt likes this.

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