Move to SD Card

Discussion in 'Jellybean' started by jeth, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. jeth

    jeth Member

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    I currently have Android 4.2.2 on a Samsung Tab 2 7.0" tablet. Up until recently the "Move to SD card" option wasn't showing in Application Manager.

    But very recently, Samsung shipped a new update that didn't change the version number, and they said it was to correct a few minor problems.

    Then I happened to notice that the Move to SD Card option was now showing in Application Manager, so I decided to try it first on some games. The button briefly changed to "Moving" and when the move was complete (allegedly) the button was change to Move to Device Storage.

    However, even though the storage allocation numbers reflected a change, when I viewed the actual folders, first with an Android file manager, and then with the tablet connected to my desktop, I found that nothing had actually been moved to the external SD card.
     
  2. leeshor

    leeshor Senior Member

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    Only select apps can actually be moved and typically not the entire app. Some of the app's base files still need to be on the internal memory. It can be confusing.
     
  3. jeth

    jeth Member

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    Thank for response.

    I understand tha this can be the case, and that things like widgets either can't or sholdn't be moved to the SD card.

    But the odd thing about this is that the move button in Applicaton manager had disappeared several versions ago, and only very recently reappeared in this last update I received from Samsung.

    Then, when I checked an app before trying to move it, Application Manager indicated that the Total and Applicaton storage were the same and nothing was allocated to the SD card. Following a move, there was only a small amount shown under Application and the rest under SD card. But in fact, when I checked the SD card nothing had actually been moved despite what Application Manager was showing.

    So Application Manager thinks it has moved something, both by what it reports and also by the fact that it changed the Move button to a Move to Device Storage.
     
  4. leeshor

    leeshor Senior Member

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    Question, did you see the available space get reduced on the SD card?
     
  5. jeth

    jeth Member

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    I didn't actually make a note of the available space. I'm not sure how to see that on the tablet. But I did see that no additional folders were present.

    I'm going to take screen shots of what Application Manager shows at three points: before a move, after a move and after a move back. That will take me a little while.

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  6. jeth

    jeth Member

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    Hi,

    As promised, here are some screenshots. There are three to each set; one set before the move, and one set after.

    The first in each set is the Application Manager screen, the second and third are what I see on the terminal for each storage device.

    They don't show actual bytes used, but you can see that the folder and file count on the external SD card didn't change after the move. Minor changes are shown on the internal storage, probably because I am taking screen shots and maybe just moving around on different screens.

    OK, I'm new at this forum.....but I "think" I attached the PDF file containing six screenshots.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. vampirefo.

    vampirefo. Senior Member Developer

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    what are you trying accomplish? what is your goal? what results do you expect. Your pics simply show you moved an app to sdcard I don't understand what you are trying to do.
     
  8. jeth

    jeth Member

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    What I was trying to do was to move an app to the external SD card. Although the Application Manager screens indicated that it was moved, the count of folders and files on it never changed, and nothing was really moved. The pictures are showing what should have happened, but no movement actually occurred.

    Earlier, I had even checked the folder structure on the external SD card (when the tablet was connected to my desktop) and there was no change from before and after the alleged move.
     
  9. vampirefo.

    vampirefo. Senior Member Developer

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    Move to sdcard was removed due to confusing people, Apparently Samsung brought it back on your tablet and guess what it's confusing people. The only thing moved ,only thing moved, again only thing moved to sdcard is the app itself, no folders, no other files. the app by itself is placed in a hidden folder on your sdcard in a ram disc, activated when app runs, you can't now nor will you ever see the app on your sdcard.

    to verify the app is running from sdcard, start the app have adb installed.

    adb shell

    mount

    will show the app mounted and running from sdcard. Samsung should just drop the move to sdcard permanently.
     
  10. edap

    edap Senior Member

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    As post #2 indicates, not all apps are moveable.
     
  11. jeth

    jeth Member

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    Thanks again for response,

    I'll have to spend some more time looking into the adb thing; the only ones I found so far require rooting the device.

    I thought when I had the device attached to the desktop, I was showing hidden files, but I'm not sure. I would think that the total space used would include them whether they were shown or not.

    I also just remember that this may all be related to the way Samsung identifies the two storage areas; this has caused problems in the past. The internal storage was called SdCard or SdCard0, and the external SD card was called extSdCard. Since this latest update they are now showing them as Device storage and SD memory card respectively. I'll have to hook it up to te desktop again later and see what Kies has to sa about it.
     
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  12. vampirefo.

    vampirefo. Senior Member Developer

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    Netflix running from sdcard.

    Code:
    # busybox df -h
    Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
    tmpfs                   188.9M     32.0K    188.9M   0% /dev
    tmpfs                   188.9M         0    188.9M   0% /mnt/asec
    tmpfs                   188.9M         0    188.9M   0% /mnt/obb
    /dev/block/mtdblock2    380.0M    268.4M    111.6M  71% /system
    /dev/block/mtdblock5      1.5G    362.3M      1.1G  24% /data
    /dev/block/mtdblock4    512.0M      9.0M    503.0M   2% /cache
    /dev/block/vold/240:1
                              1.4G    247.8M      1.1G  18% /mnt/sdcard
    /dev/block/vold/240:1
                              1.4G    247.8M      1.1G  18% /mnt/secure/asec
    /dev/block/vold/179:1
                             14.5G    669.6M     13.9G   5% /mnt/ext_sd
    /dev/block/dm-0          45.6M     43.5M      2.1M  95% /mnt/asec/com.netflix.mediaclient-1

    Netflix running from tablet.

    Code:
    # busybox df -h
    Filesystem                Size      Used Available Use% Mounted on
    tmpfs                   188.9M     32.0K    188.9M   0% /dev
    tmpfs                   188.9M         0    188.9M   0% /mnt/asec
    tmpfs                   188.9M         0    188.9M   0% /mnt/obb
    /dev/block/mtdblock2    380.0M    268.4M    111.6M  71% /system
    /dev/block/mtdblock5      1.5G    406.0M      1.1G  26% /data
    /dev/block/mtdblock4    512.0M      9.0M    503.0M   2% /cache
    /dev/block/vold/240:1
                              1.4G    202.1M      1.2G  15% /mnt/sdcard
    /dev/block/vold/240:1
                              1.4G    202.1M      1.2G  15% /mnt/secure/asec
    /dev/block/vold/179:1
                             14.5G    669.6M     13.9G   5% /mnt/ext_sd
    
    the only way you will ever know if app is on sdcard is via adb.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
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  13. jeth

    jeth Member

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    I didn't find the adb thing yet, but I did connect the tablet to my PC again and used a file manager there that doesn't round it's figures like the ones on the tablet. I also made sure that Windows is set to show hidden files. That's my default anyway.

    I went through the sequence again with a different app that I hadn't tried to move before. App Mgr's allocations and the finer count from the Windows file manager are shown in the new attachment.

    After I do some necessary work outside, I'll go back and look for info on adb.

    Joe
     

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  14. vampirefo.

    vampirefo. Senior Member Developer

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    you want to see hidden folder?

    on your sdcard look for folder with a period in front of it.

    it will be called

    .android_secure
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  15. jeth

    jeth Member

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    Hi vampirefo,

    I was able to find that folder, using a different file manager after telling it to show hidden files. I'm surprised that the Windows setting to show hidden files didn't also work, but as you say, you're a Linux guy;)

    To explain how this all started; I have one app that is storage hungry, CoPilot. I can only load a few small map areas due to space limitations. Unlike two other free mapping programs, ALK doesn't want to include an option of where the user want's to have the app or the map files installed. One or both of NavFree and Mapfactor Navigator handle the situation very well. People have been com[laining to ALK since Google removed the move to SD card option a few versions ago. But ALK refuses to budge. One forum contributor gave detailed instructions on how to modify a configuration file and then more the program and maps manually to the external SD card. One drawback with that approach is that it's more than the average user would want to try. The other is that all of that work goes down the drain when they release an upgrade, because you'll have to do it all again. This is why I was hopeful when I saw the move option reappear in app mgr.

    I asked Samsung about it because the option reappeared when I received their last update. Their response is strange: "We want to inform you that once check the size of the application you are trying to move to the SD card. The Size of the application must be greater than 1 GB in order to move to the SD card." But questionable responses from them are not unusual; a few days ago I wrote to let them know that since they were not offering cases for a tablet my daughter gave my wife for Christmas, could they tell me what regular models might have the same physical layouts as the Verizon-specific model she received. Their response echoed my satement about their not having cases, and added that their highly qualified technical staff would assist me in ordering a spare battery. FYI, neither her tablet nor mine have user-replaceable batteries, and they don't sell any anyway.

    Back to my problem, I did find an app I ran across before called Links2SD that would solve the problem, however, it requires rooting the device, which I am not ready to do yet.

    BTW there was one oddity I noticed about that folder you mentioned (aside from the fact that the system said I have the proper permissions to view it)...

    There are two hidden folders of that type:
    ".android_secure" (which shows as empty)
    ".android" inside of which is another folder called ".secure" which contains a file of whose name is undecipherable and reporats as "unknown mime type" so I wasn't able to examine it yet.

    If that statement from Samsung is true about the 1GB minimum in order for the move operation to work (as ridiculous as it sounds) it's too bad that CoPilot, with the one map segment I installed, is only about half that amount. I may try an experiment tomorrow and add another map segment or two to get the size above 1GB and then see what the move does.

    It is strange though, that app mgr reports that it did perform the move and shows changed allocations when it didn't.

    Thanks for your suggestions.
    Joe
     

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