Do All Android Phones/Tablets Support External One TB SD Card?

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Discussions' started by rupeshforu3, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. rupeshforu3

    rupeshforu3 Senior Member

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    Hi I am Rupesh from India and I have lenovo a3000h tab and 64 GB external SD card and I want to use it in lenovo tab.

    Few months back I was discussing with some people in hydrogen audio ( a forum which discusses about audio technologies) and one person raised question that every android device manufactured up to now supports external SD card of size 2 tb provided there is a slot for it. I have argued that it's impossible because manufacturer places restrictions such as "the phone xyz manufactured by me only supports upto 64 GB" etc.,. He has never accepted me.

    He said that if the memory card is formatted with fat file system then any android device can read and write files to it because android has the ability to access external SD card of size upto 2tb. He also argued that it is related to android os and not with hardware. Is it true.

    At present I have android tab called lenovo a3000h and its manual stated that it supports external SD card of size 32 GB. I also have external SD card Samsung evo of size 64 GB and it is of type sdxc with uhs1 file transfer. Is there any possibility of using it.

    Can anyone of you suggest if it is possible to format SD card I mean to which file system I have to format in order to access it in the tab specified above.


    Regards,
    Rupesh.
     
  2. Traveller

    Traveller Super Moderator Staff Member

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    File Allocation Table - Wikipedia
    exFAT - Wikipedia

    To summarize...
    FAT16: Maximum file size 2 Gibibytes -1 (4 Gibibytes -1 with large file support). Maximum volume 8 Gibibytes.
    FAT32: Maximum file size 2 Gibibytes -1 (4 Gibibytes -1 with large file support). Maximum volume 16 Tebibytes.
    exFAT: Maximum file and volume sizes 128 Pebibytes.

    The gentleman at HydrogenAudio is not correct, because the file system can handle much larger volumes than that. He very likely has confused the file size limitation with the volume size limit. In FAT32, while you can store up to 16TB of files, no individual file can be larger than 4GB - 1 byte.

    While Android may include vFAT to support cards formatted as FAT32 or exFAT, the card slot firmware has to be able to support the increased capacity. Thus the main limitation here will be the MicroSD card slot firmware. Some devices cannot accept cards larger than 32GB even though the larger cards fit. At the same time, other devices such as my Garmin GPS can use a 16GB card despite Garmin's specifications stating the slot is limited to 4GB cards or less.

    In your case, you should be able to use your 64GB card if you format it using FAT32, as it's guaranteed to be readable in more devices than exFAT. But be aware that if it doesn't read, then there's little chance of it ever working in that device, unless Lenovo pushes a firmware update.
     
  3. rupeshforu3

    rupeshforu3 Senior Member

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    I have inserted one of my friends 128 GB sandisk sdxc micro SD card in lenovo a3000h tab and I am able to access all the contents present in that memory card. It is formatted as fat.

    Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
     
  4. Traveller

    Traveller Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What you see as "FAT" is actually FAT32 or exFAT. FAT16 was prevalent with Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and early versions of Windows 98. With the OSR2 release of Windows 98, FAT32 became the norm, which carried over to Windows ME.

    Running parallel to these releases Microsoft's corporate version of the OS, Windows NT, used NTFS, but included support for FAT. Today with Windows 10 you still have NTFS as the main file system, but also have the ability to read FAT16 and both read and write FAT32.

    Your 128GB MicroSD cannot be using FAT16, because FAT16 does not support volumes larger than 8GB. Thus it must be using FAT32 or exFAT.
     

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