Available internal memory appears incorrect

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Q&A' started by John-Summit, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. John-Summit

    John-Summit Junior Member

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    I bought a Teca T-806 tablet (running Android 5.1) for my partner. It supposedly has 4GB RAM & 32GB "phone" storage. Currently only a 32GB SD card is installed though up to 128GB is supported. It generally runs quickly and has a quite good screen. We have added only a modest number of apps so far.
    During attempted app updates an error shows "Insufficient storage". Clearing cache very occasionally works.
    My own Ellephone P6000, with only 2GB RAM & more apps, has NEVER displayed this error so at first I assumed it was pilot error (her first Android device)! However it does not appear to be . . . .
    When I looked at the problem I noticed a very odd fact - the graphic display of available internal memory did not correspond with the figures displayed - by a massive margin.
    See the attached image which shows:
    Internal Storage - Total space: 3.87GB - Apps: 1.16GB - Cached data: 98.85MB
    Simple arithmetic suggests over 2.6GB should be free.
    The graphic bar appears to correspond with this - BUT the figures state only 418MB is actually available.

    Reboot causes no significant change. Uninstalling some apps not possible to move to either phone storage or SD card along with clearing many apps data (I was becoming desperate) finally allowed BBC Radio app to update but unfortunately broke several other functions!

    Can anyone explain where the other 2.5+GB has gone and if it is possible to make it truly available?
    Is this an Android bug (I remember reading Android 5 had memory issues), or is there perhaps some hardware error?

    Many thanks in anticipation.
     

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  2. Traveller

    Traveller Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The 4GB is total storage, not user storage. The "missing" storage is your system, data, and cache partitions, which cannot be accessed unless rooted. Since Android needs that space, there's nothing to be done here.
     
  3. John-Summit

    John-Summit Junior Member

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    Thank you for answering.

    I understand the difference between user & system memory, I was assuming the RAM occupied by Apps etc included Android - the size looks about right given what I have seen on other devices.

    I can still make no sense of the following:
    a) The graphic illustration clearly shows most of the memory is FREE, whilst the sections representing other use appear correct (ie length corresponds with the numbers). Yet the numbers show only a tiny amount of RAM free.
    b) many tablets (& phones including mine which runs with no problem) have only 2GB of RAM (Internal storage). If Android 5.1 is occupying over 2.5GB (over 3.7GB including apps) on this tablet, how do those with less than 2GB possibly function?
    c) Why would a device with 2GB RAM function and, in particular, update apps with never an objection, but one with 4GB of RAM refuse to update any apps? (unless of course Android 5.1 has become, like MS Windows, grossly inflated. Android is based on Linux. My whole Linux system, far more comprehensive than Android, requires a system partition less than 6GB. The RAM in my laptop is only 4GB yet a far more complex system functions well)
    d) How are you expected to update apps when clearing system cache fails? Only after clearing the cache and visiting many apps and clearing data - with dire consequences I might add - could we update BBC Radio app.

    The tablet runs well but what is the use if it is not possible to update apps? I thought I was doing well buying a device with double the typical RAM but it appears not.

    It looks like finding a way of disabling 2GB of RAM would be a solution - so that the device ran with only 2GB of memory. Maybe then it would run as well as other devices with only 2GB installed. But that would be very silly wouldn't it? (PS My old phone had only 1GB of RAM anyway.)

    If anyone could explain any of the above to one very puzzled Android user I would be very grateful.
     
  4. Traveller

    Traveller Super Moderator Staff Member

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    A: It was late at night when I replied, so I apologize if my original answer is confusing given the information shown in the image. So let's try again.

    B: RAM != Internal Storage. For example, my Galaxy S4 had 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. In the case of that device, about 7GB was taken up with the various system partitions leaving a little over 9GB available to me for use. However, that 7GB would NOT show up in the settings. That space simply isn't available to the user. It's the same situation with my Nexus 6. I have roughly 52GB of internal storage available on it. The remaining 12GB is given over to Android for its use.

    My best guess, based upon the image, is that you have a large app on your internal storage which is eating your space. For example, on my Nexus 6 I have installed Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Its .OBB (game data) files take up 2.5GB by themselves, plus another 300MB of mods. That information may not show in the display, which is why I'm going to recommend you download DiskUsage from the Play Store and run it. It will give you a graphical representation of what is using your storage space. It should have no problem installing as it's a tiny app.

    One other thing. This tablet doesn't have a custom recovery installed, does it? On some devices, people using the Clockworkmod custom recovery were complaining about lost space. This is because that recovery does incremental backups, and in order to prevent the backups from being destroyed, the storage space where the backups is stored is protected. This protection effectively removes the storage space from the display in Settings.

    C: You are again confusing RAM with storage. All RAM does is allow you to run an app and keep it in memory. Internal storage is where app data is stored. So if you can't install the app because of insufficient storage, all the RAM in the world won't help.

    D: You shouldn't have to clear the cache to update your apps. Seriously, install DiskUsage and find out what's eating up your space.

    You did fine in getting a device with 4GB of RAM. However, partitioning the flash memory into a 4GB Internal Storage partition and a 24GB Phone Storage partition was not a good move by the manufacturer. They should have partitioned it as 8GB and 20GB, but they wanted to maximize the amount of space you could have for your stuff. There's nothing that can be done about that now, as the partitions are set in stone.
     
  5. John-Summit

    John-Summit Junior Member

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    OK I see the source of some of the confusion. I am not familiar with Android terms and was using terms I would use as a technical programmer. I too found the (Android) terms confusing - so I'll explain.

    The tablet in question has 4GB of RAM (true RAM which the chart - see image - refers to as "Internal storage"); 32GB of what I would call Internal storage (which the chart refers to as "Phone storage", see the last line on the image); and a 32GB micro SD card ( which the chart refers to as "SD Card") although being a recent 64bit chipset this tablet can support up to 128GB SD card, whilst my own 64 bit phone can support only a 64GB SD card. I surmise that the difference is a result of the address bus size.

    I do not think the RAM is a partition of the Phone memory as non-volatile memory is generally not as fast as RAM and will not last long enough due to the multiple writes. Also the Phone storage is reported as 28.74 and the SD card as 28.71 (the reason for the apparent difference between 28ish and 32, as I'm sure you will know, is that most systems report memory/storage sizes based on 1K=1024 whilst advertisers quote sizes based on 1K=1000).

    The device is not rooted, Clockworkmod, SuperSU etc are not installed.In fact very few apps have been added and are limited to things like Avast, half a dozen BBC apps, Chrome, Nova Launcher, Skype and - to try and solve the update issue - App Cache Cleaner. My partner is still learning Android, is satisfied to browse and is awaiting a 128GB SD card I have ordered.

    All apps that will move to SD card storage have been and those which can only be moved to Internal (phone) storage have been. Some apps - system apps I presume - cannot be moved from RAM (Internal) storage.

    For completeness, Phone storage has 28.74 GB reported as Total with 28.57 Available (Apps:146MB; Pics:6.38MB; the rest in KB only). SD card reports 29.71 Total with 25.5GB Available. In both these cases the graphic bar and the wording appear to agree on the amount of memory available.

    Returning to the posted image, the graphic bar clearly shows more than half of the RAM as free but according to the wording only a little over 10% free. These two should correspond (as they do in the other 2 categories) but are nowhere near. The fact that they do not agree strikes me as very odd. The fact that a device with a true 4GB of RAM cannot update apps must also imply a fault. I just don't know if the fault is hardware or can Android 5.1 fall over in some way when 4GB is present?

    So - (B&C) I am not confusing RAM & storage. (D) I have not installed DiskUsage as there is tons of space on storage. I agree it should not be necessary to clear cache to update apps but it was necessary to do more than that.

    We are back to my question which is why is over 2.5GB of the RAM unavailable ?
     
  6. Traveller

    Traveller Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You'll have to forgive me here. I'm running an Android 6.x device, and my recollection of Android 5.1 is rusty.

    In Settings > Apps, if you select the "Running" tab, you will get a representation of how much RAM is actually in use. For example, on my Nexus 6, I am currently using 1GB of 3GB available. On your device, you should have 4GB of RAM. You will have a bar showing the amount of RAM used by the system, a second bar in a contrasting color showing how much was used by the apps on your device, and a gray bar showing how much is free.

    Your image is showing Settings > Storage (or Storage and USB). This refers to the flash memory on board the device as well as MicroSD cards and USB OTG storage. Your device's available storage is broken down into three areas: Internal Storage (3.87GB), Phone Storage (28.74GB), and the MicroSD card. In the case of your tablet, you have 4GB of RAM which you can confirm in Settings > Apps > Running. You also have 32GB of storage, split between Internal and Phone which you can confirm in Settings > Storage. Finally, you have the MicroSD card.

    So, just to make everything absolutely clear here, we are exclusively referring to storage space on the device. RAM has absolutely no bearing on this discussion, except to bring about further confusion.

    Now, you're not rooted or anything like that. Have you attempted to factory reset this device? If you haven't, you may want to, along with wiping all the internal storage, and post a screenshot of Settings > Storage & USB just after the device has been booted fresh. By seeing what the device has with no apps on it other than the ones that come with it, a better assessment can be made. Either the storage space will be freed or not. If freed, then we know it's an app you downloaded. Otherwise, it's an app included with the tablet.

    Since RAM is not Internal Storage, your question is a non sequitur. The proper question here is "why is over 2.5GB of Internal Storage unavailable?" I simply do not know, but can only guess. I believe it's an app that is causing it, but I couldn't begin to tell you which one, or which ones are doing it.
     
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  7. John-Summit

    John-Summit Junior Member

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    OK Traveller, things are getting clearer.
    First my phone (Android 4.4) displays, in settings>Storage only Phone & SD Card. As there is no mention of other memory in the tablet spec. other than 4GB RAM & 32GB storage I assumed the (approx) 4GB of Internal storage was Androids term for the RAM which was included as a category in the An. 5.1 storage display but not earlier versions. Bear in mind that the phone & SD card figures for Total were close so it was reasonable to assume that all the 32GB of internal storage was 'spoken for' in Phone storage.

    Following your instructions I now see that System occupies 1.4GB & Apps 93MB of RAM with 2.1GB free. (A total of slightly over 3.5). This is clearly different from the analysis of the 3.87GB of Internal storage, so indeed that is not the RAM. Point taken.

    Thank you so far for that.

    Still unexplained is why the 2 representations of free internal storage, graphic & numbers, differ. It looks like a bug in 5.1. I also don't know where the 3.87GB of internal storage comes from but knowing it is not in fact RAM is sufficient.

    It sounds like a good idea to do a factory reset as you suggest but it will have to wait. I can then check step by step as each app is reinstalled how the internal storage is reported. To do this carefully will take some time though.

    We are building a house so I'm working 6 days a week so we can move in ASAP. I'll wait until the new 128GB SD card arrives. In the meantime I may uninstall some apps. I'll report any significant change otherwise you'll not hear from me for some time.

    Many thanks again. John
     
  8. hoctro

    hoctro Junior Member

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    Hi John, could you please let me know what CPU it is using? My guess is a Mediatek MTK octa core? Could you run the Antutu benchmark to get a score? My tablet is a T805C, using MTK 6592T octa core, 63780 Antutu score. I'm planning to buy a Teca 809S but I could not get any info from the Ebay buyer (tplus99). Thanks.
     
  9. surya kumar

    surya kumar Member

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    My phone specs also follows 4 GB Internal memory, 2 GB User memory and in phone settings -> internal storage shows 1.48GB meant for user, As you mentioned By rootin we can access that 4GB, By rooting Is my internal storage increases and With that no problem will araise in terms of speed. Pls suggest me.
     
  10. Traveller

    Traveller Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Rooting will allow you to add, delete, or modify files in the /system and /data partitions, but rooting will not give you more internal storage. To do that requires modifying partition sizes, which is something that goes far beyond simple rooting and delves into hardware modification.
     
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