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Old 12-12-2011, 09:41 AM   #1
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Internal vs. external SD card

Can someone explain the physical makeup of the Vox to me? (Maybe someone can point me to a ling where the internal gubbins of the Vox are described.) Apparently there is an internal SD card for storage. Would the operating system and other system files be stored there, or just the apps and their files and data? I don't see any card when I remove the back, so why would the settings have provision for "unmounting" the internal SD card before removing it? What would happen if I unmounted the internal card? Would the Vox still work? Also, I've often removed the external Micro SD card to sideload books and never "unmounted". Is that bad? do I really have to? I just assumed you can remove the external card anytime, just like plugging and unplugging something in a USB port on a computer.
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:35 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldyellr View Post
Can someone explain the physical makeup of the Vox to me? (Maybe someone can point me to a ling where the internal gubbins of the Vox are described.) Apparently there is an internal SD card for storage. Would the operating system and other system files be stored there, or just the apps and their files and data? I don't see any card when I remove the back, so why would the settings have provision for "unmounting" the internal SD card before removing it? What would happen if I unmounted the internal card? Would the Vox still work? Also, I've often removed the external Micro SD card to sideload books and never "unmounted". Is that bad? do I really have to? I just assumed you can remove the external card anytime, just like plugging and unplugging something in a USB port on a computer.
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As far as I know, you should always use the unmount command for any memory interface. USB, cards, etc. The reason being is that the host unit can still have write buffer data that has not been sent to the unit at the moment you wish to remove it from your system. When you use the unmount or eject command, this information gets written to the files on your portable device and the files are then closed by the host (your laptap, desktop, Vox...etc) By just pulling out your USB devices without unmounting/ejecting them in the past has probably left corruption with your file structure. You only will know about it when the corruption becomes fatal.
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Old 12-16-2011, 03:32 AM   #3
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Unmounting is more important in certain situations than in others. The reason it's always safer to do it is because it prevents any application or process from writing to the card while you take it out and also prevents you from losing data in connection to delayed write operations.

The reason most people don't unmount stuff is that most mainstream home operating systems are setup to accommodate that. They got tired of people complaining of lost data, so both Apple and Microsoft minimized or removed delayed write operations (even though they're often more efficient and safer) and other transparent data access to those types of devices.

Android has done a bit of this, too. However, since the memory card is used so heavily it's hard to reduce writing completely and so it's far safer to ensure you unmount the card safely.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldyellr View Post
Can someone explain the physical makeup of the Vox to me? (Maybe someone can point me to a ling where the internal gubbins of the Vox are described.) Apparently there is an internal SD card for storage. Would the operating system and other system files be stored there, or just the apps and their files and data? I don't see any card when I remove the back, so why would the settings have provision for "unmounting" the internal SD card before removing it? What would happen if I unmounted the internal card? Would the Vox still work? Also, I've often removed the external Micro SD card to sideload books and never "unmounted". Is that bad? do I really have to? I just assumed you can remove the external card anytime, just like plugging and unplugging something in a USB port on a computer.

I won't touch on the external SD card as the other two explained it well enough.

As for the Internal SD, yes, there's an Internal SD Card you cannot get to without opening up the device. It's partitioned into 4 sections, one partition housing the factory image, one has the system, one is app data and the last is user data. the first two are hidden. The one that holds app data I believe is the one listed as internal, and one that holds user data is the internal SD.

in any case, all that was to say, don't worry about the un-mount for the internal SD card as you can't remove the card
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyke View Post
As for the Internal SD, yes, there's an Internal SD Card you cannot get to without opening up the device. It's partitioned into 4 sections, one partition housing the factory image, one has the system, one is app data and the last is user data. the first two are hidden. The one that holds app data I believe is the one listed as internal, and one that holds user data is the internal SD.

in any case, all that was to say, don't worry about the un-mount for the internal SD card as you can't remove the card
Thanks for explaining the internal card. As you say, it's not accessible without removing the circuit board, which makes me wonder why un-mounting it would be available in the user settings. If I chose to un-mount it, would anything stop working, or does it just ensure that anything being written to it gets completed?

Another question:

Since the Vox does not ship with an external card, I assume it's optional for extra storage and side-loading books and many users would never even use one. I got one so I could side-load some free eBooks I found. When I installed Overdrive and used it to borrow a library book, I chose to download it to the external micro sd card. Now that the book has been "returned" there's still a load of Overdrive stuff on my external card (mostly empty directories), plus there's some TuneIn Internet radio stuff, even though I was never asked where that app should store data. Does the Vox automatically put data on the external card if one is there? If so, and someone wasn't aware of that and erased the card, would they lose apps or saved favourites? It seems like an external card, once installed, becomes a critical part of the system.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldyellr View Post
Thanks for explaining the internal card. As you say, it's not accessible without removing the circuit board, which makes me wonder why un-mounting it would be available in the user settings. If I chose to un-mount it, would anything stop working, or does it just ensure that anything being written to it gets completed?

I'm not sure why it's there, but it is confusing. If you ever accidentally un-mount it, anything that depends on it will become unavailable. To fix, just, turn off the device and restart it. It should automatically re-mount the card.


Quote:
Originally Posted by oldyellr View Post
Another question:

Since the Vox does not ship with an external card, I assume it's optional for extra storage and side-loading books and many users would never even use one. I got one so I could side-load some free eBooks I found. When I installed Overdrive and used it to borrow a library book, I chose to download it to the external micro sd card. Now that the book has been "returned" there's still a load of Overdrive stuff on my external card (mostly empty directories), plus there's some TuneIn Internet radio stuff, even though I was never asked where that app should store data. Does the Vox automatically put data on the external card if one is there? If so, and someone wasn't aware of that and erased the card, would they lose apps or saved favourites? It seems like an external card, once installed, becomes a critical part of the system.
In most cases, it will use the internal SD card to store user data, including books. I haven't seen it use the external one as of yet, and I've never seen the option while the external SD card was plugged in.

The external, as you said, is really for user data that you want to import into the device, be it music, video, pictures or sideloaded books. I've used it to put my daughter video's so that she can keep her main device memory free for downloaded content. you shouldn't be able install apps to it, although you can install apps from it.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:51 PM   #7
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I know it might seem confusing, but there's good reason for that internal sd un-mount.

The un-mount option isn't just for physically removing the card. It is also needed if you want to remount the internal memory differently. The partition that this option affects is the user storage, it's the partition that your computer needs to mount in order to let you transfer files to your Vox. When you connect to your computer and select "turn on usb storage" your Vox in-mounts that partition of the internal SD card and your computer mounts it. It gives the user the option to do this (even when not connected to a computer) as well simply because of the way android is built.
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Old 12-17-2011, 08:20 PM   #8
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I know it might seem confusing, but there's good reason for that internal sd un-mount.

The un-mount option isn't just for physically removing the card. It is also needed if you want to remount the internal memory differently. The partition that this option affects is the user storage, it's the partition that your computer needs to mount in order to let you transfer files to your Vox. When you connect to your computer and select "turn on usb storage" your Vox in-mounts that partition of the internal SD card and your computer mounts it. It gives the user the option to do this (even when not connected to a computer) as well simply because of the way android is built.

Thanks for the explanation Jeff, but it's still generally an option that is not necessary for general use, at least not in the same way it's used for the external card, and the only reason it's there is because the internal memory is a removable SD card, which is something most users won't remove or need to unmount themselves
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:38 AM   #9
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You'll need to use it if you unplug your device from your computer unsafely and the internal memory fails to remount.

Aside from that, there's not a lot of practical use. However, even if you have an Android device with standard internal memory wired in you'll usually get this option. My Nexus S has only hardwired internal memory but it gives me the mount options, too.
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