[Partial Fix] How to force format external storage as internal storage

For starters, this may not work with Android 10 and above so for those phones you may need to downgrade them before trying this.

[Partial Fix] How to force format external storage as internal storage

rbeze 58 rbeze 58
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For starters, this may not work with Android 10 and above so for those phones you may need to downgrade them before trying this. Didn't work on my Nokia 6.1/6 (2018) on Android 10 while worked on my Nokia 6.1/(2018) on Android Oreo. Also worked on my Nokia 5. Gimmicky on the Nokia 9 PV but still works for photos and some apps can be moved. It didn't work on my Nokia 8 Sirocco but I think it will if you downgrade it and try this. Also worked on Nokia 7.1 of an acquaintance of mine. This might work for some phone and may not work for others. It varies from device to device. This is blocked my Google on most phones so only phones where Google hasn't messed up, this will succeed. Like on Nokia 6.1/ 6 (2018) on Android Pie, the process will be a success but anything greater than 4 bytes will get corrupted when moved to the sd card. Also apps on Internal storage will almost take half as much time as the ones on the external storage irrespective of how high quality and which class of sd card is used.

Backup your sd-card and proceed at your own risk. You'll require the latest Java SDK. If you don't already have it, download and install Java SE Development kit. The website is www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk8-downloads-2133151.html. I used version 8u101 for Windows x64.

If you don't already have it, download Android SDK Manager. The website is developer.android.com/studio/index.html. Scroll almost to the bottom where it has "Get just the command line tools" and select android-sdk_rxx.x.x-windows.zip for Windows. When it downloads, extract all to a location where you want to keep the folder. Grab the latest one.

Open the Android SDK folder and run the SDK Manager. (If it fails to run, see question 14504325 in stackoverflow). Follow the instructions on www.howtogeek.com/125769/how-to-install-and-use-abd-the-android-debug-bridge-utility/ to get it up-and-running.

When you have the command prompt open, enter the following:

adb shell

sm list-disks

// HERE YOU GET YOUR DISK ID, SOMETHING LIKE "disk:179,64" - REMEMBER THOSE NUMBERS. YOU'LL GET SOME OTHER NUMBERS, THESE NUMBERS ARE INDEPENDENT AND DON'T DETERMINE ANYTHING JUST USED TO IDENTIFY THE SDCARD OR PARTITION. MY COMPUTER SHOWED THE DISKS AS 179,64, YOUR'S WILL DEFINITELY SHOW SOMETHING ELSE.

sm set-force-adoptable true

// IN NEXT LINE, SIMPLY PUT THOSE NUMBERS AFTER "disk:" AND ALSO AFTER WORD "mixed" TYPE PERCENTAGE OF SPACE LEFT AS EXTERNAL, SO IN MY CASE:

sm partition disk:179,64 mixed 60

// IT TAKES TIME. BE PATIENT. WITH THIS LINE I TRANSFORMED WHOLE EXTERNAL SD INTO 40% OF INTERNAL AND 60% OF EXTERNAL STORAGE. BASICALLY, YOU'RE SETTINGS A QUOTA TO USE MAXIMUM OF 40% AS INTERNAL STORAGE WHILE KEEPING THE REMAINING 60% STORAGE AS QUOTA FOR THE MAXIMUM STORAGE AVAILABLE ON THE SD CARD. INSTEAD OF 'MIXED' YOU CAN ALSO USE 'PRIVATE'. AND CAN USE 100% INSTEAD OF 60% IF YOU WANT TO USE YOUR ENTIRE STORAGE AS INTERNAL STORAGE. IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THE MICROSD CARD PERMANENTLY IN THE SMARTPHONE, YOU CAN NOW PARTITION ALL OF YOUR MEMORY USE 'PRIVATE' BUT YOU'LL NOT BE ABLE TO USE ANOTHER DEVICE TO ACCESS YOUR SD CARD AND WILL REQUIRE TO RE-FORMAT IT. WHILE IF YOU USE 'MIXED' AND USE ONLY SOME% AS INTERNAL STORAGE THEN YOU CAN STILL ACCESS YOUR REMAINING SDCARD ON OTHER DEVICES. I PREFER THIS. AND USING MIXED 100% IS GOOD BUT SOME PHONES DON'T WORK WITH IT AND THE CMD WILL JUST QUIT OUT.

sm set-force-adoptable false

//YOU CAN ALSO CHANGE THE VALUE TO TRUE IF IT DOESN'T WORK FOR YOU WITH FALSE.

NOW DON'T BE SCARED WHEN YOU GO INTO ANDROID SETTINGS AND SEE A LARGE NEGATIVE LONG VALUE INSTEAD OF THE ACTUALLY SIZE OF YOUR SD CARD. IT'S ALRIGHT. YOU CAN'T CHANGE IT BUT IT WON'T BREAK ANYTHING. ALSO ON SOME PHONES IT WILL SHOW ALMOST 100% STORAGE USED ON THE SD CARD. ONLY SOME PHONES SHOW CORRECT STORAGE DATA CORRECTLY. ALSO SOME PHONES WILL ALLOW THE SD CARD TO BE FORMATTED BUT SOME APPS WON'T BE MOVED TO THE SD CARD NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, LIKE ON MY NOKIA 9 PV LARGE GAMES AND EVERYTHING ARE ON MY SDCARD AND ALL APPS ARE ON MY SDCARD BUT HAPPYMOD APP AND ES FILE EXPLORER WILL NOT BE MOVED. EVERYTIME YOU TRY TO MOVE THEM THEY'LL START MOVING AND GO UP TO A CERTAIN PERCENT AND THEN THE PERCENT STARTS DROPPING AND THEN YOU'LL GET AN 'NOT ENOUGH FREE SPACE ON DRIVE. APP COULDN'T BE MOVED' ERROR.


IN CASE, YOU REMOVE THE SD CARD AND TRY TO REBOOT THEN IT MIGHT CAUSE A BOOTLOOP TO AVOID THAT DON'T REMOVE IT OR SIMPLY REBOOT INTO SAFEMODE.

SOME PHONES WON'T BE ABLE TO INSTALL UPDATES WHEN DOWNLOADED TO THE EXTERNAL SDCARD IN THOSE CASES, REMOVE THE SD CARD AND THEN REBOOT THE PHONE AND DOWNLOAD THE UPDATE TO THE INTERNAL STORAGE AND APPLY THE UPDATE. AFTER THE UPDATE BUT THE SD CARD BACK IN. THIS MAY CAUSE THE LOSS OF THE RECORD OF HAVING EVER USED THE SD CARD AS INTERNAL STORAGE SO KEEP THAT IN MIND AS IT MAY LEAD TO DATA LOSS. USE THE BEST POSSIBLE AND FASTEST SDCARD YOU CAN AFFORD FOR THIS. SINCE I ALSO TRIED WITH A CLASS 6 SDCARD AND IT SHOWS UP AS FORMATTED IN RAW AND WON'T OPEN AND ASK TO BE FORMATTED. FORMAT WILL EITHER FAIL OR YOU'LL GET A READ/WRITE ERROR.

If you now want to use the adopted memory as such, you must also migrate apps and data. This can be done through the storage section of your Android settings menu. Tap the MicroSD card, then move to the top right of the menu and click on Move data. You cannot select this menu item before partitioning. Now, and in the future, downloaded apps are fully written to the MicroSD card. Only system apps and updates use the internal memory. This means that you should never again get error messages due to lack of space if an app update is pending.

Comments

  • jdi000 jdi000
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    Not worth the risk to phone or data to do this. 32 gb is plenty for most people and sd card can be used as portable storage for pics, download files, movies and music.

  • While I agree with your point but 32gb isn't enough for me, and my previous nokia 5 allowed me to format external storage as internal and that was the only reason I bought 32gb varient of Nokia 6.1, otherwise I would have purchased 64gb varient and when I booted the device I realised feature isn't there and to make matter worse because of A/B partition you get 22gigs or something as usable memory, having call of duty and pubg both installed at once is only dream for me.

  • jdi000 jdi000
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    If you are using games that large 64 gb or.128 gb phones are best the internal storage was meant for 8/16 gb phones to be able to be used with more apps and the larger os , not really for gaming. Internal storage always seems to have issues or fail over time.

  • I agree with you but my previous nokia device(Nokia 5) had this particular feature and I had no problem installing several apps in that, so I purchased nokia 6.1 32gb varient expecting it to have the same features otherwise I would have went with Nokia 6.1 plus or something considering price difference was only small, so I definitely felt betrayed by the brand and my expensive micro sd is kinda of a waste now, since I don't click photos or watch movies that much and as far as device storage failure is concerned I still have oneplus 2 working and I am playing games on that and despite bricking it, installing 100s if not 1000s of roms in it and still no failure on that particular device, to give you a better example if I purchase my next nokia device, I would again expect it to have fast charger in the box and if they decide it to sell seperately because it's healthy for battery or something but it would still be a betrayal for me because I expect that device to have that feature.

  • jdi000 jdi000
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    You need better research instead of buying and expecting something. This is not valid complaint against a phone or brand the features are listed.

  • This was some basic feature that nokia offered when it came back head over to XDA to see other Nokia users who are also disappointed, and it's not like anyone is ranting or complaining over here except for you, you can't even appreciate a guy who is offering a solution to problem faced by users, just stop don't like the solution ignore it, I hope you are happy and enjoy using your device, Good day Sir .

  • rbeze 58 rbeze 58
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    What you're talking about is something entirely different. This is for people who want to use the external sd as their internal storage to move apps and games and other data to it. While all you said was everything that is included in using the external sd as portbable storage much less like an internal storage.

  • rbeze 58 rbeze 58
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    Thank you. Exactly what I would've done. If you don't like it then ignore it. Nor did I mention something that was something that couldn't be ignored. I tried all these by myself and shared my results. So anyone who tries it after me can expect similar results or decide to not experiment after reading my post to prevent damage to their device. The whole meaning of a community is to share their own findings to help others who follow suit or need help. People disregard this method saying it doesn't work anymore. When it actually does, but it's limited to certain devices and on certain OS. The same device may support it on Android 8 and Android 9 but not anymore on Android 10.

    Thanks for understanding. Thanks for your support at backing me up. I really appreciate it.

  • jdi000 jdi000
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    A hack that can cause the phone to be unstable and cause the phone to require service is not a good idea for people to try without understanding the whole story. buying a phone with stated specs and then not liking the specs is not the phone manufacturers fault. People who need more than 32 gb without being disappointed should play attention to this. There is nothing wrong with using sd cards but formatting as internal storage is a slippery **** that can backfire and cause data like important things like pics and docs to be lost when the card fails.

  • singhnsk singhnsk
    Super User  / 

    I think the thread is being taken somewhere else unnecessarily.

    Yes, using SD cards formatted as internal storage has its downsides. First of all, the storage is a lot slower than the actual inbuilt storage. Then, all data gets encrypted, just like the core internal storage which kills all the portability of data that sd cards offer. Next up, the device can stop booting if a critical app's data was linked to the sd card and the sd card is removed or gets corrupted, etc.

    As for this post, it is simply a workaround for those who need such a feature and are looking for a way. I feel that the OP did a very nice job at writing this guide and no criticism is/was needed. If somebody wants to use SD card as internal and is in so much need that he is willing to fiddle with command line, then the guide will definitely show him some path and a possible success. So, eventually he will be happy. If somebody doesn't like using SD card as internal, then he shouldn't be a part of this thread.

    As about the specs and storage choices, I can see that OP was clearly saying that his Nokia 5 had this feature and it was working fine for him and he managed to increase the usable storage on his device which kept him satisfied even if the actual on-board storage was low. So, he went with a lower storage variant of the new phone as he was expecting to use the SD card as internal storage to save the app data in the same way. Where's his fault in this case? Whether the sd card gives slower I/O or gets corrupted or whatever could be a user's own risk factor, but it is a manufacturer's fault for dropping a feature Android naively offers; after all, these phones are advertised as "Pure" and should support what AOSP offers under its standard configuration.

    I'm personally not a fan of this feature and I also feel that Nokia poorly implemented it on the new devices which come with this option and it is probably not even needed of devices with larger storage because such a setup does slow down the SD cards (because a lot of users use slower cards and then blame the phone for being slow). But I'm cool if somebody likes it and needs it. He should have a choice to use it, but Nokia should ensure that it works properly and shouldn't have OEM level bugs apart from the standard downsides of mounting external cards as internal.

    TL;DR: Instead of arguing about why the internal is small or why SD card shouldn't be used as internal, the thread should go around how to make it somehow work for those running low on storage (this is what the OP already covered).

  • jdi000 jdi000
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    First my initial comment was my opinion about formatting sd cards as internal storage. It was in no way to be disparaging to your post about what you tried and presented. It was also not saying this process would not work. As we all know people try things and get themselves into trouble, you did provide adequate instructions and fair warnings. My post was only an option on what could happen or go wrong. I have personally tried formatting internal storage many times to no good endings and loss of data.

    Second is the matter of the build of android having access to format sd card as internal storage. This option is in Android but not made avaliable by some of perhaps most of the phone brands as it's becoming more obsolete in it's intended purpose and the unreliability of the sd card itself. I cannot personally fault a phone company from hiding it nowadays. There is more storage on most phones. Where I take issue is with companies still trying to push phones with less than 3/32 configs. Phones should start with 64 GB internal storage as the practicality of any less is becoming a issue for the usability and device experience.

    Last I want to apologize @rbeze 58 for jumping to conclusions on your post and the intended subject. It's always good to share with everyone to help and to make everyons experience better.

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