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Old 06-07-2011, 09:54 PM   #1
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[How To] Move Apps to your SDcard in Ermine

Before you read any further, the following post is a workaround to a known Ermine problem. While Dingo users might be interested in some of this information, I sincerely doubt that most of them will actually want to go through this process.

Let me start with a little background. Ermine is a very polished Android build, but it has a number of well-known issues. One of the most problematic is the inability to move apps to the sdcard. To make matters even more complicated, the Pocket eDGe designers rather unfortunately decided to separate the internal memory into two chunks. The first is called "application storage" in the device storage menu. The second is called "internal storage," and it is located in the /sdcard directory on the device. Unfortunately, the eDGe seems to treat this "internal storage" almost like an sdcard, so it's impossible to even copy applications onto this additional space. That leaves you with about relatively small 350mb to install programs. While this might be plenty for some people, I've already started to get dangerously close to that limit. As such, I wanted to see if I could find out a solution to the problem.

From what I've read, Android uses a program called "Apps2SD" to move programs to the sdcard. Here's how I understand the process works: when Android is instructed to move an application, it starts by encrypting the necessary files. Then, it moves over the copy-protected data. That way, people can't just unplug the sdcard, move it over to a friend's phone, and illegally install the copyrighted software. After doing a little research, I'm almost positive that the reason Apps2SD doesn't work in Ermine is because of this encryption process. If you look at the logcat, you get the following errors when you try to move over files:

E/Vold ( 1219): Error opening devmapper (No such file or directory)
E/Vold ( 1219): ASEC device mapping failed (No such file or directory)

On the threads I was reading from more knowledgeable folk, they said fixing the problem would required modifying the kernel. I'm completely clueless about how to do this, although I think a more skilled Android user could figure it out.

After doing some poking around, I discovered another method for moving over applications to the sdcard. Once it is up and running, it is relatively painless to use. However, the procedure for getting it to work is pretty complicated. Hopefully, someone will figure out a way to streamline this process. If anybody has any pointers for making it easier, just let me know, and I'll update the instructions.

To put it in a nutshell, instead of using the built-in Apps2SD software, you are going to use a freely available application called Link2SD. You can download it through the Android Market or through the app's xda page. For the most part, the program is simple, but there is a catch: you need to partition your sdcard into two sections. Essentially, you are "tricking" your eDGe into thinking your sdcard is actually two entirely different storage devices. By the time you are finished with this process, you will have significantly reconfigured your device's storage. Right now, the eDGe maps the drives onto the following locations:

/sdcard = internal storage
/extsdcard = sdcard

By the time you are finished, you'll have it mapped the following way:

/sdcard = first sdcard partition (for data, documents, movies, and music)
/extsdcard = internal storage
/data/sdext2 = second sdcard partition (for applications)

Finally, before you get started, just keep in mind that whenever you screw around with the system files, you risk messing up your eDGe, so make sure you are prepared for that possibility. You definitely want to backup everything on your sdcard. In addition, you probably want to backup any important applications with Titanium Backup, and you might want to consider saving a copy of any important documents. In addition, remember to download a copy of the golden update and Ermine update, which you'll need in order to get your tablet up and running in case you completely mess it up. There is a low chance of that happening with this procedure, but you never know. Better safe than sorry.

One last thing: this process requires your device to be rooted, which is super easy to do with z4root on the Amazon Marketplace. You also need a file management tool like Root Explorer. In my instructions, I'll be referring to that program, but you can use any similar application with text editing capabilities.

Step 1: Download Link2SD and install it on your system.

Step 2: Partition your SDcard into two partitions. You can do this in numerous ways. You Linux wizards might be able to do it manually. Alternatively, you could use a piece of partitioning software, such as MiniTool Partition Wizard. Personally, I used ClockworkMod Recovery on my Optimus V, which is relatively easy to use. Regardless of the way you do it, you need two partitions: one that is FAT32 (which will be used to store your data and documents) and one that is EXT3 (which will be used to store your applications). I have an 8GB card, and I allocated 6GB to my FAT32 partition and 2GB to my EXT3 partition. If you want more room for your applications, you can potentially make the EXT3 partition an even larger chunk.

***If you have trouble with the next two steps, I've uploaded the three files you need to modify to a subsequent post on this thread. You can simply download them and copy them to your device. This seems to have greatly simplified the process for a number of people. Make sure to read through the experiences of the other folk on this thread for more advice if you get stuck.***

Step 3: Map your sdcard onto the /sdcard directory. In order to accomplish this feat, you need to edit two Android system files. Go into Root Explorer and navigate to the /system/etc directory. Scroll to the bottom, and you'll find two files: void.fstab.external and void.fstab.internal. Hit "mount r/w" at the top of the screen and open both in your text editor. Basically, you want to replace any mentions of "extsdcard" with "sdcard" and any mentions of "sdcard" with "extsdcard." So, for example, take the following line in void.fstab.internal:

dev_mount sdcard /mnt/sdcard auto /block/mmcblk0

You want to change it to this:

dev_mount extsdcard /mnt/extsdcard auto /block/mmcblk0

Make sure you've inserted your partitioned sdcard. Then, after you have made these changes, reboot your eDGe. Now, your internal storage will be mapped to the /extsdcard directory, and your sdcard will be mapped to the /sdcard directory.

Step 4: Setup Link2SD. Click on the program. It should automatically detect your second partition. Then, it should ask whether you want to use an ext2, ext3, ext4, or fat32 . You want to select the "ext3" option (unless, of course, you formatted your second partition as one of the other options). Once it has finished setting everything up, it will ask you to reboot. Go ahead. After your computer restarts, make sure you can move an application over to your sdcard with the Link2SD program. (Note: my instructions are a little sketchy for this step because I have to recall everything from memory).

Step 5: Modify the Link2SD script to manually mount your sdcard's first partition. Now, you should be able to move applications to your sdcard, but there is a new issue: unfortunately, the program causes Android not to recognize the first partition on your sdcard. That leaves you unable to access a significant amount of storage space. Fortunately, there is a way to resolve this problem. Link2SD creates a script called "install-recovery.sh" that runs when you boot and manually mounts the second partition on your sdcard. You can also use this to manually mount the first partition. Go back into the system/etc folder on Root Explorer. You should find the "install-recovery.sh" file. Right now, it just has two lines. You need to add two more:

mount -t vfat -o rw /dev/block/vold/179:1 /sdcard
mount -t vfat -o rw /dev/block/mmcblk0p1 /sdcard

Reboot your eDGe. Your system should now have mapped the first partition of your sdcard to the /sdcard directory.

The process has only major limitation: if you ever need to remove your sdcard, you will need to reboot before the system properly recognizes it. Otherwise, Link2SD is actually a versatile piece of software, which will allow you to move basically any app to your sdcard.

For more information about Android's built-in Apps2SD program, check out the following thread. I wouldn't have been able to figure this out without GodfatherIP's helpful information. Finally, if you have any suggestions about how to streamline this process, just let me know.

Good luck! If you're brave enough to give this a shot, tell me how it works!

Last edited by kennyminot; 07-26-2011 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:03 PM   #2
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nice guide, I don't have an SD card yet to test it on(well I have one, but its currently being used for other purposes ATM), hopefully I'll get the one I ordered in the next day or two soz I can report results...
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Old 06-09-2011, 02:38 PM   #3
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Thanks, Kenny!

I might try this in the future. Right now I'm deleting apps I don't use or that take up too much space -- definitely could use the extra storage. Your directions are clear and detailed, so one day when I am feeling brave (or particularly fed up with space limitations) I will find this thread and give it a shot.

Nice work! Very much appreciated.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:55 PM   #4
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moving apps to the external sd

hi, trying it out now but i can't get it to work. after changing both files in root explorer, followed by a reboot, links2sd keeps asking for a ext2 formatted sd sdcard or something. do you by any chance have a nice screen shot of the edited files? i do not know what i am doing wrong. (pe is rooted and every thing)
please help!
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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I attached the three files that you need to modify. However, your problem sounds related to how you partitioned the sdcard. You MUST partition your sdcard into two parts in order for Link2SD to work. How did you go about doing this?

Also, are you using the latest version of Link2SD? Go into the program, hit menu, go to settings, and select "about." You should see "version 1.6.2." If you have an earlier version, it might only work with ext2 partitions. The newer one is more versatile and allows ext2, ext3, ext4, and fat32 support.

Finally, do you have the EXACT error message?

Hope this helps!
Attached Files
File Type: txt install-recovery.sh.txt (251 Bytes, 659 views)
File Type: txt vold.fstab.external.txt (1.2 KB, 658 views)
File Type: txt vold.fstab.internal.txt (1.1 KB, 535 views)
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:33 PM   #6
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i used minitool partition wizard, two partitions: 1 fat 32(10gigs) and 1 ext3(6gigs).
both are "primary"...
i'll have a look at your files!
(at the moment the pe doesn't even recognize my microsd!)
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:56 PM   #7
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thx dude!

dude! thought i f-ed up my microsd for sure! luckily i found SDformatter, so i managed to rescue it after about 1 hour. i re-applied both partitions and copied your files exactly...
and, lo and behold! i think it is working! link2sd works a bit different than apps2sd(you have to create a link i guess?) but seems to do the job.
one question: the pe only recognizes my first 10 gigs... at least when i check it in "settings". is there an app i can use to check all "disks"? i'm still a bit of a noob concerning this device (but i can allready tell that to me this is sooooo much better than a ipad! love the reader!)

to recap: works good, maybe great after i get the last issues straightened out.
from my humble home, located in th e north of the Netherlands... I salute and hail thee, o great one! you delivered an awesome method of making the pe even better than it allready was!
fiy: i think that entourage really screwed up by pulling the plug so completely! if you hadn't posted this, i would have been left with a crippled device. i totally ow you man! if you are ever in the neighbourhood, let me know; I'll buy you a beer!
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Old 06-10-2011, 06:13 PM   #8
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Glad to hear it worked out! Note there are some limitations to the method. For example, if you want to plug your Edge into the computer, you will be able to easily look at all the files on your 10GB partition; however, once you unplug it, you'll either have to manually remount through the terminal or reboot your device.

As for the issue of your eDGe only recognizing 10GB, the settings are actually just playing tricks on you. Android isn't technically designed for partitioned sdcards, so the settings only recognize the first partition. If you go into Root Explorer, you'll notice that /sdcard is the 10GB partition. To see the size of the second partition, you need to actually go to /data/sdext2. The remaining partition is now mounted to that folder. If you ever want to easily check how much space you have left, just check Link2SD - it should break it down pretty nicely for you. Hit "menu" and go to "storage info."

If I'm ever in your parts, I'll definitely take you up on your offer. Have any recommendations for good beer?
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Old 06-27-2011, 01:20 AM   #9
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Assistance, please!

First off, thanks for doing the legwork on this!

I've been unsuccessful in my attempts to get this to work for me. Here's the situation/steps so far . . .

1. I rooted my PE using Z4root - no problems
2. I downloaded and installed Link2SD
3. I partitioned my sd card using MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition--I made 2 partitions, 1 FAT 32 and 1 EXT3
4. I made the changes to void.fstab.external and void.fstab.internal, as instructed by Kennyminot. These files are now EXACT copies of the text files provided in the link posted earlier by Kenny minot.
5. I made sure the partitioned card was in the slot, and re-booted.
6. PE claims that I do not have an sd card mounted (although, thankfully, my apps n' stuff still run fine).
7. I check to see where my stuff is, using root explorer. Sure enough, my apps are all listed in the extsd folder. I double check the void.fstab files. I make sure they have the same "owner" and "permissions" as the other files in the system/etc folder.
8.I reconsult the forum thread, and based on bmkoknl's experience, download SDformatter, reformatted my microSD, re-partitioned it, and tried again.
9. No luck
10. Re-format and re-partition, take 3. This time, I give the partitions ids. "sdcard" for the fat32 partition, and "sdext2" for the EXT3 partition.
11. Re-boot . . . and nope.

Help!!!!!

When booting up, I get a brief message in my taskbar that says "SD card is empty (or contains no data, I don't recall which)." I've tried it both with and without actual "stuff" on the FAT32 partition of the disk.

In Link2SD, The following error message pops up "Second partition not found:No SD card present."

Sigh.

Suggestions?
Assistance?
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Old 06-27-2011, 02:59 AM   #10
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Update. I'm 99% sure my problem is the sd card formatting/partitioning/somethinging. I tried a different microSD card that I haven't messed around with, and it mounted (although, of course, it is not partitioned).
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Old 06-27-2011, 07:52 PM   #11
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Update 2: I was finally able to get the PE to recognize the sd card (unpartioned) by first formatting it with SDFormatter, and then right-clicking in Windows 7 and dolng a complete reformat (not quick reformat) with the allocation unit size set to 32 kb. However, when I used MiniTool Partion to re-apply the partitions (adjusted the size of the first partition, and added an ext3 partition of approximately 2 GB), the PE no longer recognized the card. I'm going to try gparted next (after windows finishes re-formatting the sd card . . . again). Suggestions are still welcome . . .
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Old 06-27-2011, 09:51 PM   #12
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I have no suggestions but am following your progress with interest. Haven't tried it myself yet. Your experiences will help when I do . . . thank you!
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:57 PM   #13
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Okay, so I can't, for the life of me, get my edge to accept a partitioned sd card.

I have tried partitioning using minitool partition on a whole host of different settings. I've similarly tried gparted using different settings. Every time I partition the sd card, my PE tells me that the card needs to be formatted before I can use it. If I let my PE do the formatting, it destroys the partition.

This was true after I made the changes to the void.fstab.external and void.fstab.internal files AND after I changed them back.

Unless anybody's got some new ideas as to how I can get my PE to accept a partitioned card, I give up.

Sigh. I was really hoping to make this work.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:34 AM   #14
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attemptress:

You are probably missing the last step. Looking through your description, you seem to have doing everything correctly for the most part. Is Link2SD letting you move apps over the sdcard? If so, go through Root Explorer and look for the /data/sdext2 folder. Do you see a bunch of apps in there? If that's the case, the problem is that you need to manually mount the other partition of your sdcard in the boot script. To do that, you need to modify the "install-recovery.sh" file in the system/etc folder. Make sure it has the following two lines:

mount -t vfat -o rw /dev/block/vold/179:1 /sdcard
mount -t vfat -o rw /dev/block/mmcblk0p1 /sdcard

Alternatively, you can just copy/paste over the file. I attached a copy to an earlier message.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:17 PM   #15
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kennyminot:

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I can't get that far. The sd card doesn't show up in my PE at all (except for the warning in the task bar that says its unuseable). If I use root explorer to navigate to the card, it won't open the folder (or there's nothing there). If I open Link2SD, it tells me that there is no sd card mounted (actual message: "Second partition not found:No SD card present" --if I try it with a non-partitioned card it says "No second partion found" instead). If I check the "device storage" the internal memory (after making changes to void.fstab.external and void.fstab.internal) is grayed out. After swithcing back, the PE claims there is no sd card mounted. I tried a method I found on another forum (I don't have the link handy) for manual mounting of the sd card - it too, failed. In short, I haven't been able to get to the final step, because the PE and all of it's apps simply refuse to admit that a partitioned card exists. Would adding those lines to the bootscript before testing Link2SD make any difference? Also, I have read elsewhere that the order in which the partitions are made makes a difference. In all of my attempts, I first formatted the card FAT32, and then made the EXT3 partition, so the first partition was FAT32, and the second was EXT3. Any insight would be appreciated.

-A
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