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[Verizon] Need an automated file copy utility -

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Zoandroid, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Until Android app programmers start dealing with the issue of our newer devices' Internal Memory being labeled as "SD Card" on top of the REAL SD Card listing separately, we have a problem. Apps that save or back up their data, and look for the path name "SD Card" thinking they are saving that data on the real SD card are in fact defaulting to the INTERNAL memory and storing things there, and not putting them on the SD card.

    I have been manually copying and/or moving such data on my Galaxy S III (and my Iconia A500 notebook) to put the date where I WANT it to be, on the removable SD card. But what I would like to find, or have someone develop, is a utility that would simply clone folders and their contents, allowing you to pick which ones you want, and keep their content synchronized from the "internal storage SD Card" path location over to the REAL external SD card location. This path would need to be user-defined, because the actual path name for the external SD card varies depending on device and on any ROM you might happen to run. I've seen it simply named SD Card, ExtSdCard, Removable, etc. following the /mnt/ path.

    Cheetah Sync does a job something like what I seek, but it only works between an Android device and a Windows PC over wifi. I want this sync to take place totally within the confines of the Android device.

    If anyone knows of a utility that can do this, or is interested in creating one, please let me know.

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  2. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    Why would you want to do this? You went from using the external card to having apps consume twice the space by using both..?

    Apps that use a lot of data usually give you a choice of internal (or automatically use) the external SD card.
  3. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    The data I am wanting to move to the REAL SD Card comes from apps which do not offer that option. I have asked the developers of those apps to consider adding that option, but as of yet they have not, and some of this data is generated daily, making the copying process bothersome. I am not concerned with using more storage space. My only concern is being able to keep the data more safely preserved outside of the phone's memory. Once I am assured the data is copying properly I will add clearing the internal SD Card space part of my weekly backup process. For apps which do offer that option, I have already set them to use the real SD Card.
  4. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    Titanium Backup will do this.

    Copying only works if the data never gets corrupt; if it does, corrupted data will get copied.

    I don't understand the implication that the phone's SD card is somehow less secure/stable than the external one. For all intents and purposes it is an SD card, just not one with a socket.
  5. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    By "corrupt" I am referring to catastrophic failure of the phone itself. You see, I have no way to access the internal memory of the phone should it suddenly decide to become a doornail. If I could literally remove the internal "SD Card", we would not be having this conversation. When the phone dies, I would just pull the card and put it in the replacement phone and move on. I've been through this scenario too many times over the years and lost valuable data because of it. If it were up to me, NONE of my apps would ever write anything to other than external, actually removable, memory. So cloning the data to a location over which I do have control when the phone is dead is my goal. I am doing this manually now. I just want a utility to save me all the steps. A "one click" app to copy the content of folder A to folder B, without my having to navigate through mnt/sdcard/appfolder, copy, move back to mnt/extsdcard/appfolder, paste.

    I might technically be able to do it with CheetahSync and actually gain the added bonus of an automatic backup to my PC, simply by setting up sync jobs in both directions from phone to PC and PC back to Phone but in the B folder location on the real SD Card. But again, that is 2 steps. I want to do it in a single click. Plus, if I had such an app, I would be using it on multiple Android ICS devices, to alleviate this problem on them. I am very much opposed to this "internal SD Card" design decision, which makes apps that THINK they are sending data to a removable SD Card actually send them to internal memory we can't access if the device fails.
  6. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    Again, Titanium Backup will address your concern--even upload backups to the cloud if you want.

    You can schedule nightly backups to external SD card (which will be compressed and even encrypted if you like), have it synch to the cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.), and keep a history of backups. Set it and forget it.

    If your phone were to plotz, you can restore TiBUs from cloud/extSDcard on the replacement phone, to include the app+settings as well as its data.
    Zoandroid likes this.
  7. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I'll look into TIBU then. I did not realize it could do that. I've used the Pro version for some time now across 4 devices, for backing up and restoring apps, but I knew it had more features I had yet to explore. Sounds like I already have the solution and didn't know it. :)


    Could you help me figure out HOW to do this? The wiki, How to, and Knowledge Base are woefully lacking in mentioning anything about scheduled backups other than that they are an option. When I went there and tried to design the operation, I found that the operational backup choices are ONLY available from a canned set of pre-programmed choices designed around backup up and restoring apps and data, pretty much the only thing I knew TIBU could do. I see no way to tell it to copy folder and/or its contents from internal memory to the SD card. It doesn't appear possible.
  8. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    I'll admit, TiBU's interface isn't the easiest as it packs so many elements into it.

    Click schedules button and the first option, "redo backups for modified data" is what you want; your data (that which you want to "copy") will be backed up to extSD/cloud if it has changed.
  9. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    OK, but how do I tell it which folders I want backed up?
  10. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    You don't select folders; you select the apps and their respective data/folders get backed up with it.
  11. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, but I doubt that would get me what I want. For example, lets say you wrote a document using a word processor, and for some unknown reason this word processor would only save it to mnt/sdcard and not to mnt/extsdcard (unlikely, but just a generic example here). Would backing up the word processor app and its 'data' also back up all the documents you created? I always figured 'app data' meant the settings and data files an app needs/creates to run, not the content files you create with it.
  12. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    That's a good question; you'd have to test it (just with any backup).

    Another option is the included Verizon Backup Assistant. It does backup whatever is on the ext SD Card (with some listed exceptions) and it will offer to restore when it sees a new device (to include a new ROM flash) and you can access those files from the VZW web site.

    Additionally, TiBU can move any app to the SDcard.
  13. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I tried TIBU backing up an app named OnTrack, which is used to record blood test readings. It does NOT copy the backup of the data file to the specified target folder when it runs the backup. In fact, it did not copy anything at all to the target folder.

    I found a file explorer app named X-Plore that works something like the dual-paned File Explorer we used to have in early Windows OS. I can set an origin path in the left pane and a target path in the right pane, and copy the files with a single tap. So at least I don't have to keep slogging around the various paths of /mnt/sdcard and mnt/extsdcard and deal with copy/paste.

    Eventually I'll also try using Cheetah Sync, because I remembered that I can set up multiple sync jobs and run them in sequence with a single command. So I could copy from multiple internal memory locations to my PC, and then copy all those same files back from my PC to the extsdcard. IIRC Cheetah Sync can also be scheduled. So it is probably going to be the most automated way to do it.

    Thanks for your help.
  14. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    Are you looking in the zip file created by TiBU? (it doesn't copy, it performs a backup)

    I use X-plore as my file manager exclusively...love that app.
  15. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    I never saw a zip file. The folder I had set for the backup to go into remained empty after I ran the backup. Not sure why. But I will try the other options I mentioned.
  16. sainthooligan

    sainthooligan Lurker

    Hey Zoandroid- I'm searching for the same type of app or process...and ironically in part because I would like to copy some of the app data to the "external" SD card...and seriously, I actually use the Ontrack app as well and have lost data from that and other folders that I forget to copy over on a consistent basis when the phone has been reset. My "fix" has been using the first option listed below.

    At any rate, you CAN get there from here!

    First, the easy route, but not free- try TASKER (from the google market) it's about $6.
    HOWEVER-- you can get a 7-day trial from their website (won't let me post links yet, so remove the spaces) h t t p://tasker.dinglisch.net
    With this, you can either manually click the task to copy OR set up in the app a task "profile" to have the copying occur at a specific time.
    You also set the task itself to copy FROM a specific folder or files TO a specific folder or files (ie. from the phones internal "ontrack" to the external sd "ontrack" folder).
    It works on the SII (epic touch 4g) stock & no root, and should work fine on the SIII.

    Another option would be to try something like gscript lite (free version in google market)
    and create a script to copy the folders or files.
    From there you could either
    a) create a shortcut on the home screen to the script for manually running
    b) use something like Llama Location Profiles (free in google market)
    to automate the task.

    I've had some issue with gscript lite not always working well (as in quickly closing when done), but just wanted to share info/alternatives.

    Hope that helps.
  17. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks sainthooligan,

    I would not mind paying the $6 to be able to get these apps which intrinsicly save to the internal memory to put copies of their files on the (real) SD Card where they 'belong'. I'll give tasker a look.

    FWIW I have had email conversations with the developers of Ontrack, Memento, and MobisleNotes, asking them to add the option to save their data to the real SD Card (after explaining ICS's shenanigans). They all agree it is a good idea. So hopefully in time we'll see them (and more devs) dealing with this issue. But IMO it never should have happened in the first place. Google's programmers are to blame for this PITA.
  18. Metfanant

    Metfanant Android Expert

    its an attempt by Google to centralize everything...as phones pack more and more internal storage they will probably begin to move away from expandable external storage altogether (see: iPhone, GNex)...i mean i have the 32GB phone with the 16GB card that came with my Droid X back 2 years ago...i have all my music and pictures stored on the extSD and i have barely used ANY storage on the phone itself...
  19. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    If what I read is true (posted by a support tech on a Galaxy Nexus support forum) that is precisely their plan! They want to completely do away with us having any kind of removable storage at all, as well as do away with us having a USB jack on the phone! I'll leave you to ponder all the reasons why I think this is total BS.

    I passed on the remodeled Droid Razr because it does not have a removable battery. I won't buy another phone or tablet in the future that does not have a removable battery, an external SD card and either a USB jack or some other data transfer cable jack (perhaps someday the Universally Sucking Bus we finally be improved by something that WORKS 100% of the time) which will allow me to copy files to and from the device with my PC.

    These product planners are trying to herd us like dumb animals into their fantasy world of overlord-controlled cloud computing and no user options or software on portable devices unless THEY approve them first and build them into the device. I won't fall for it.

    I certainly can't understand why, but it seems EVERYONE developing new products or software wants to head into the draconian walled-garden concept made famous (and famously hated, for many of us) by the Fruit Company. M$ is doing it with Windows 8. The more I read about that the more I know I'll never use it. My only prayer is that Android, which to me totally symbolizes freedom of choice, never falls down into that abyss along with all the wanna-be fruits. But with these changes to the file structure made in ICS, it sure seems they are thinking about it.
  20. Rolo42

    Rolo42 Android Enthusiast

    I don't know about conspiracies but I see this as on par with any evolving technology; applications have always had to keep up with OSes and OSes have always had to address hardware issues/evolving standards.
  21. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    @ sainthooligan - Thanks again for the suggestion to try Tasker. It is working flawlessly copying the files I have set up to be copied automatically at specific times of the day. Looks like I'll be buying this app! :)
  22. sainthooligan

    sainthooligan Lurker

    glad that tasker worked out for you too...and glad that you communicated with the devs about the SD. Hopefully, there will be a change.
    I was looking at the siDiary app and pc software- but think the price is ridiculously outrageous for what it does, even if it does sync with the app.

    By the way- if you have a dropbox account and download an app called Cloudpipes...
    You can set up cloud pipes to manually or automatically (yep, even with a schedule) copy files/folders.
    It will move,overwrite,copy or copy newer versions to a folder within a folder specified in dropbox.
    Though I'm not a huge fan of storing certain info in the cloud for obvious reasons (not to mention you have to have an internet connection to do anything useful with your files), it is another automated option, even if only for contingency's sake. Anyhow, figured it was worth a mention.
  23. Zoandroid

    Zoandroid Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Thanks. I just paid for the Tasker full app. Should have backed up my profile BEFORE the free trial ran out. :( If you want to buy the license on the Play Store, as I did, they force you to remove the trial version before the paid version will install, so I had to lose and re-create the Tasker jobs I am using. But it is pretty easy, so did not take long.

    Tasker itself also defaults to backing up to the INTERNAL "SD". Sigh. I'll have to write to this dev too. But the nifty thing is I already have a task copying this backup to where it 'belongs' on the 'real SD'.

    I appreciate the added suggestion, but in a nutshell I don't do cloud storage. :)

    I am opposed to cloud computing, WebOS, or any such technology that places the partial or full functionality of my computerized devices in a position where I must have internet access to use them. Not to mention the security risks involved in trusting an unknown server who claims to be secure. ;) Our broadband averages 16 outages per year (I keep a log), from the only provider servicing this area. So it will be some time before I ever consider the internet "reliable" here. Of course it always goes down right when we need it the most.

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