Finally Android 11 arrive to Nokia 5.3, with workable Adoptable Storage (Unofficial)

Thanks to Nokia for the Android 11, although it isn't so perfect (I miss the 3-rolls pull-down control panel & the power key screenshot, it will takes time to get used), but Nokia also make the Adoptable Storage working well, unofficially.

Finally Android 11 arrive to Nokia 5.3, with workable Adoptable Storage (Unofficial)

Donkey Donkey
✭✭  / 

Thanks to Nokia for the Android 11, although it isn't so perfect (I miss the 3-rolls pull-down control panel & the power key screenshot, it will takes time to get used), but Nokia also make the Adoptable Storage working well, unofficially.

There is no any option on 5.3 from Android 10 to 11 for the SD card, to format as "internal storage", so ADB shell is always necessary.

Same as Android 10, but this time I can move data from Internal shared storage to SD card (mount the SD card as /storage/emulated/0), and after reboot or shutdown, apps still can access their external data without trouble (on Android 10, data moved to SD card mounted as /storage/emulated/0 always lost after reboot).

Same step as Android 10 to format SD card as internal storage via adb shell command (keep in mind, it will wipe out the whole SD card).

sm partition disk:179,64 private

and the whole SD card will be exclusive internal storage for the Nokia 5.3.

The card I use on Nokia 5.3 is Samsung EVO Plus U3 256GB. Don't know why Nokia 5.3 always detects its size as doubled, 512GB, after formatted as adoptable storage. But there is no such error on Sandisk Extreme Pro 32GB.

There's no way to move data directly after format SD card as internal sotrage, since there is no UI to do that like other Android devices with officially supported.

But Nokia still keep the other option, to migrate data from internal shared storage to SD card as adoptable storage.

(I took the shot after data was migrated, so I "edit" the menu, to "recover" the option.)

If necessary, the migrated data can be moved back to phone storage later.

How storages look like in Total Commander, after all steps has been done.

Some power users claim that since SD card isn't not so reliable & fast like phone storage, it mightn't good idea to move everything to SD card, so why not keep apps in the phone storage & move their external data to SD card? External data by apps might be lost by the defected cards, but the phone & apps would still keep working. Nice balance.

There is an option inside Developer options, "Force allow apps on external", to move those apps only be installed on device storage to the SD card. Personally I avoid to enable this option, it caused some trouble during installation of the monthly Google updates on Android 10. Maybe it's fixed on Android 11, but I save most phone storage for apps, still keep it disabled.

Last, the benchmark by A1 SD Bench for both phone storage & Samsung EVO Plus SD card on my Nokia 5.3.

A1 SD bench installed & run in the device storage, both storages treated as separated.

Move A1 SD bench to the adoptable storage (SD card), recognize it as internal.

I might try to test their IOPS later. This Samsung card is not very brilliant performance comparing to phone storage, even it's U3. Maybe the reader on 5.3 is the bottleneck (On W10 PC with decent reader, its speed over R90/W80, a little bit faster), but I have larger phone storage for more apps now, with the averaged performance.


  • Dant3 Dant3
    ✭✭  / 

    Hello, can you please give me a link to try this out on my device?

  • Donkey Donkey
    ✭✭  /  edited August 14

    First of all, you might NOT "brick" your Nokia 5.3, but the worst situation, you might need to do factory reset on it. So, prepare a decent SD card (at least a faster USH-1 U3 or A1 card) & have the minimum trials in the early days -- If you did it working, don't try to enable "Force allow apps on external" right away & move everything to the adopted card.

    Most important, make sure backed-up everything inside the internal storage of your Nokia 5.3 before start any step.

    1. You need a PC / USB cable, ADB tool from google & the adb mode driver (if your PC is Windows 10 with the automatic-update enabled, it should install the drive from MS automatically when the device touched)
    2. enable the dev mode on your Nokia 5.3, link it & the PC with the USB cable, run the ADB tool in command shell (the command "adb shell") on PC & accept the asking on Nokia 5.3.
    3. in the adb shell execute the command "sm partition disk:179,64 private", then it will completely wipe out your card & merge it as an internal storage.
    4. optional step, if you want to save more internal storage for apps -- inside the Nokia 5.3 setting, go into "Storage", locate the adopted card like I mentioned above, move everything by "Migrate Data" from your Nokia Internal shared storage to the adopted card, such as your photos & external data of apps.

    Please read & consider it carefully, try it at your own risk. Here is the link you look for.

    I prefer completely dedicated private mode not the mixed mode, to avoid less unexpected issue -- if you use the phones without any external storage, you still have no chance to save the data easily when the phone gets trouble. Why not use the card as an extended internal storage for the phone.

  • Dant3 Dant3
    ✭✭  / 


  • Erfan Siavoshy Erfan Siavoshy
    ✭✭  / 

    I just have created another post back there about this issue:

    Nokia 5.3 Move Apps to SD (Use SD for extra phone storage) — Nokia phones community

    But honestly, after reading your post @Donkey which explains how to merge SD card and Internal via ADB tools, now I've decided to stay in my current situation and don't merge them actually 😑

    I prefer to uninstall some of my games to free some space in my Internal Storage instead of missing up with the speed of whole functions in my phone.

    Your last screenshot shows us that after merging, the total speed of merged storage will be downgraded to the speed of SD card, and it's not what I want...

    However, that I have a very very expensive SD card which there's no other more expensive SD card in the store 😅 and it's sooooo fast, but still not as fast as my phone's Internal Storage. Maybe because of the SD card reader on Nokia 5.3 actually...

    But as a conclusion, I prefer to keep my current "FAST" situation with my lovely Internal Storage which is "FAST" (again 😅) rather than slowing down all the functions of my phone...

    If only the moved apps to SD were affected by low speed, I would do that. But according to your last screenshot it's so clear that the united merged whole storage's speed will be decreased by the low speed of SD card. Which means lowering your Internal Storage speed as low as your SD card for ALL apps and even the whole OS.

    The best thing you can do in this case, would be testing.

    I mean after merging Internal & SD together, first in place, install a high demanded game (like PUBG) on the virtual Internal Storage (I mean the storage that seems to belong to Internal Storage by using "virtual" word).

    Then run the game and note the fps.

    In the next step, install the same game on the virtual SD card, then run the game again and note the fps.

    If the results were same, so it means that merging Internal & SD by your provided solution (which I really respect your efforts for it) will be lowered the whole storage's speed as low as SD card.

    So ALL apps are affected with this low speed, not only those apps which you've moved to SD.

    And it's bad, very very bad.

    If everything that I stated here are totally wrong, honestly, I even would be happy to hear!

    Because if I'm completely wrong, so merging Internal & SD by your solution won't affect the speed of whole apps and even OS, and it will only affect those apps that are moved to SD.

    Then I would surly try your great solution which I critically need it now.

  • Donkey Donkey
    ✭✭  / 

    Hi Erfan,

    If you could test your card by the AndroBench, it would tell more story -- not only throughput, but also the IOPS.

    However according to your A1 SD bench, I guess its IOPS might not be so bad.

    I think the card reader of 5.3 or system itself is the performance bottleneck, since I ever tested this Samsung card on PC, the value is more better.

    "the united merged whole storage's speed will be decreased by the low speed of SD card"

    The merged storage, is the SD card itself. SD card can't decrease the speed of merged storage, because they are the same thing. Precisely, the merged storage (SD card) decrease the speed of whom be replaced.

    Since by using the SD card to replace the Internal Shared Storage, the emulated SD storage (mount point /storage/emulated/0) is gone, left the whole internal storage to apps (mount point /data).

    The space arrangement of internal storage, is dynamic, that's why Nokia define the emulated SD storage as Internal "Shared" Storage. Without the merged storage replacing it, the more apps we installed, the less Shared Storage we would have.

    As exchange, we keep larger & faster internal storage for more apps, meanwhile, if some apps need to access external data on Internal Shared Storage (replaced by merged storage), their performance might be impacted, depend on how those apps access external data. But to those apps keep away from external data, their performance won't be impacted, since 2 storages (internal & merged) is isolated to each other. It's impossible "whole storages" being effected by the merged one. If that's true, must be other reason, try the AndroBench to verify the IOPS value. Or you might show the brand & model of your card, I will try to find it test result.

    In your case, I only see the PUBG is effected, how other apps are also effected? what kind of apps? what symptom? I tried the PUBG then ran other apps, no any glitch, such Chrome & Google Map, even another game, except the phone became too hot to hold.

    Move the A1 SD bench to internal & run it again, you will know what I mean, just like my another pic above the last one.

    So, realize what you need, the larger storage or faster performance, then make your decision. The "adoptable storage" is never a solution for performance. Even you ever used it on 7.1, it can never make the performance same or even better, right?

  • Donkey Donkey
    ✭✭  /  edited August 26

    Experience sharing, to folks interest in the Optional function "adoptable storage" on Nokia 5.3 (Android 11).

    1.Must know how to access developer options to enable USB debugging & use ADB shell on PC ( -> sm partition disk:179,64 private)

    2.A decent micro SD card, brands with good reputation, speed class UHS-I/U3 is basic, with A1(IOPS R1500/W500) even A2(IOPS R4000/W2000) app performance certification. But some U3 cards also meet the A1 standard with no official cert.; or with the cert. but isn't fully qualified, especially some A2 cards. We can only know those by googling. Research more & pain less.

    E.g. Sandisk Ultra U1 series (grey/white & grey/red looks) aren't recommended, although they meet A1, but their write speed are too slow (USH-1/U1, below 20MB/s). Supposing no one would access data only in read without write, right?

    3.Do some stress tests, fill & clear the card couple times, to evaluate possible performance & make sure it's genuine. Too many fakes on sale. With those fake or unsuitable cards, you can only have the worst experience with adoptable storage. It also means that you will completely erase the card, so make sure no any important data on the card.

    4.Not recommend to enable the option in dev "Force allow apps on external", it would cause update failure for Google monthly update & trichrome library which always comes with Chrome & Android System Webview update. Let the system & apps developers decide where install apps. With performance concern, it always allow you to move any app from external back to internal. optional step, "Migrate Data" inside the adopted card setting, move all the data from the internal storage to adopted card, where those user & apps external data exists, such as DCIM / Download etc., so it could save more internal storage for apps. If you decide to do this especially with GBs data, do it in safe mode, safer & quicker (tip: tap the power off or restart on screen for 1~3s while shutdown, you will need to re-arrange the widget later after reboot to normal mode). Migrating data in normal mode, you might suffer the card going offline, or even worse, data loss. It's reversible with same option inside internal storage setting, after data's migrated.

    The adoptable storage, is just similar to add an extra SSD on PC, this extra & internal storages are isolated to each other on Android. And "Migrate Data", likely moving the user data from Windows system drive to the extra SSD, replace the internal emulated SD storage (Internal Shared Storage) on Android by adopted card. System will arrange dynamically & operate the adopted as it does on internal storage (hint: the mount point /storage/emulated/0 & VFAT) .

    Commonly, the SD card works in portable mode just like the removable drive on PC, can be removed anytime easily. The difference is, since the limitation of customization on consumer Android devices, we can only change add-on SD card into extra storage, from portable to adoptable, like changing the removable drive to fixed on PC, however we won't do that, but add a true SSD, since it's easier to expand storage on PC.

    Story about olden days.

    I ever used a rooted HTC Desire S (768M RAM / 1.1G ROM) with cyanogenmod (Android 4.4, only left about 600MB for storage), since it's lack of storage, so I expanded it with Link to SD with a 16GB Sandisk Ultra U1 card. Although no additional steps for encryption / decryption during access, but it's also lack of RAM, I must create additional 320MB swapfile on card that caused additional consumption. Finally it worked similar to mixed mode adoptable storage, but with swapfile. It's a TRULY painful experience based on the slow-write Ultra U1 with swapfile on it. However, I still used it for another 3yrs with no data loss until 2017. Only issue, it's TRULY slow, because of the unsuitable card & swapfile. Painful but acceptable.

    With that experience, I know storage-expanding is workable on Android, depend on usage, just avoid the swapfile on SD card. Luckily we have enough RAM on most Android devices today.

    Does adoptable storage cause system unusable or even worse, turn the phone into brick? Hard to image, since it's completely isolated to internal storage. If such function is so highly risky, why Google develop it? Lure users to damage their phones, so their partners can sell more? How ridiculous.

    Bad performance? Everyone use their Android devices in the same way for the same purposes? Who make the rule, people must always use Android in Absolutely high performance mode? Taliban?? I just enjoy my device with expandable storage & acceptable performance loss. Don't like my way? Come to shoot me, I can pay for the bullets. Find me if you can.

    Data loss? it's relative probability, no one could guarantee such issues must or not happen, too many variables. But because of variables, should we give up any attempt? Should we behave like apple cult??

    Give people choices, decide by themselves, don't be technical tyrants. As common users, we can't customize Android too much. Don't decide for us how we should use our phones, it's even hard to void any warranty under such condition. We pay for our phones by ourselves, not someone else do.

    Adoptable storage is just an HIDDEN & OPTIONAL function on 5.3. Don't like it? Please share the Bad experience then step away from it. It's OPTIONAL & HIDDEN. Know the 2 words meaning? Less & less options, should the world develop like this?

  • Donkey Donkey
    ✭✭  /  edited August 26

    Looks like someone don't like my opinion, a world with more options.

    Works of couple hours has been totally vanished.

    Thanks, to whomever.

    So, Taliban DO be everywhere 😂

    They can't even just modify inappropriate words or paragraphs, just completely erased the post instead.

    Even the experience for adoptable storage, is totally gone.

  • singhnsk singhnsk
    Super User  /  edited August 27

    Hi @Donkey (I wish I typed a different name from you because come on your know-how isn't of a donkey haha), nobody deletes posts here. What likely would have happened is that Akismet ( saw your comment as spam and has held it for moderation (asking some actual human to double-check it before it is posted). The problem here is none of the hmd employees actually monitor the forum with dedication. I will now try to look through the spam queue and I'll unmark your post as spam (if found).

    Edit: I found it and it's restored. The post now appears above and none of your future posts will be held like that. Thank you for your participation. Yours are some of the most detailed, techy, and informative discussions I've seen on the forums in several months. I mean 99% here only come here to report problems and then disappear :D


    I've personally been a fan of Samsung's EVO SD card(s). SanDisk is so famous but I feel cheated with their marketing and branding. At one point I had to use it temporarily in my DSLR and it decided completely reject the card saying it is too slow. A similarly priced Samsung EVO did that with flying colors. I have also seen a much lesser failure rate with Samsung.

    And for the issues with SD cards mounded as adoptable storage, I have seen so many scary stories on the forums here. The stories where the phone was restarted and now the SD card only has jumbled characters instead of real file names (the data is all encrypted and the phone is not decrypting it) or the phone only gives the option to format the card before it can be used further. The risks of data loss in adoptable are so high. So much that I always wished Google stops the whole mess of adoptable storage and OEMs give much larger storage options for a not-so-high price. 128GB on the phone should be standard (at least if you are paying some 300 USD or more) and 64GB should be the bare minimum. Nevertheless, sure, yes, having an option after the user knows and agrees to the risks is better than not having it at all.

  • Donkey Donkey
    ✭✭  / 

    Hi singhnsk,

    Thank you for your positive & kind reply. It's really frustrated after hours typing, especially to a Donkey 😆

    What's amazing, my stupid work is back 😂

    I had the Samsung card because its local agent offer a Great discount (about 80% off, half price of Sandisk Extreme Pro) in the last year. In fact, I HATE Samsung storage very much, since my 2nd hard drive in my life just was made by Samsung, it's broken accidently & my data's completely vanished. I had never expected to use any storage from Samsung for almost 30yrs.

    However with others experience on Samsung cards within years, I decide to have another try.

    It's sad, but everything is regarding **** MONEY, so I chose Nokia 5.3 & Samsung card to expand its storage. If I'm rich enough, I must enjoy my Pixel now 😅 (I still look for another chance to replace Samsung with Sandisk, by more evaluations from others & more acceptable price).

    I also read many stories other places, regarding how users lost their data, because the cards issues. A major part of these, because they bought fake cards for a ridiculously sweet price (U$10 for a 512GB Sandisk Extreme Pro ?!). But even worse, some fake cards' sold just like the genuine discounted, it isn't easy to tell from genuine or not. Beware of those unknown online sellers.

    Another stories, genuine cards but from notorious manufacturers, because of ...... again, cheaper price, the money.

    Luckily, there're some apps on both Android & Windows to help users verifying their card, & many bad experiences sharing over there. By taking the proper study & procedure at first, we might lower the risk.

    So, although the adoptable storage is for saving money, but it doesn't means cost in unbelievable low price without any risk for that, it just means we may spend less to have larger storage comparing to those high-end phone, with acceptable performance loss.

    Please DON'T use a card of unknown condition for adoptable storage, then complaint why bad performance even data loss happens, it's unfair. Please test the card for days, evaluate it in multiple ways, then put it online.

    Please choose your cards very carefully, no matter what's your purpose. Do more researches on google. It costs some works for avoiding risk & saving money. When everything's done, we can enjoy our 5.3 with extra large storage for more years, never concern about its space shortage.

Sign In or Register to comment.