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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Question Confused about Internal Storage

    After I updated my Sprint Galaxy S3 to the stock rooted 4.3 rom a couple days ago, I noticed that there was another folder in my phone, called "emulated," that I had never noticed before. Within that folder were two more folders named "0" and "Legacy." I searched this folder to see what it was for, but I didn't really comprehend what I read. So out of curiosity, I downloaded a song with an app that I know usually saves it's downloads in the "sd card0" folder, just to see where it would save. It turned out that it still saved it in the "sdcard0" folder, but also in both the "0" and the "Legacy" folder. Does this mean that everything that I download will save in three separate locations of my phone? If so, how do I disable this? I am simply concerned that my internal memory will fill up three times as fast now, with these two new folders that I've discovered. Any suggestions or explanations?

    Thanks in advance!

    P.S.- I googled this issue and searched this forum for an explanation; this is what I found:


    Confused about Internal Storage-screenshot_2013-12-25-21-02-08.png Confused about Internal Storage-screenshot_2013-12-25-21-02-13.png
    Last edited by jacquesd; 12-26-2013 at 12:59 AM.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Confused about Internal Storage

    You're in for a surprise, your actual data doesn't exist in any of those folders either. They are not multiple copies, but symbolic links or mount points, which are shortcuts in linux to the actual files located elsewhere.

    Since JellyBean, Android support multiple users. Your actual data is located in "/data/media/0". "0" denote the main user, if you created another user, there would be a "1" folder. (more below on multi-users) You can't get access to "/data/media/" without root. If you use ES File Explorer, it will show a shortcut icon next to the folders that are symbolic links. "/storage/emulated/0" is a mount point, pointing back to the "/data/media/0" folder.

    However, unlike Windows, don't go and delete these links or mount points, if you delete "/storage/emulated/0" or "/mnt/sdcard" it will still wipe out your files. A more proper method would be to go into the terminal and unlink or unmount, which is not recommended since it would probably mess up your phone functionalities. Another reason Google keep these symbolic links are probably it's more easily understood and organized, mounting them all in "/mnt" folder for easy access. Google does their own things a little different from regular linux folders structure.

    There is also the "/sdcard/android/obb/" or /mnt/obb" folder, which points to "/data/media/obb/". It contains "opaque binary blob" files for certain apps you downloaded, which are large files that contain smaller files within for apps, but only the app related can read and decrypt.

    About multiple users, Android tablets have multiple users, this features is available but disabled on Android phones possibly due to Nokia patent, however, based on , Nokia abandoned it. So I'm not sure it has something to do with Microsoft as well or Google being safe, Google does a lot of things to make sure it's not under patent attacks or have to pay royalties.

    This isn't related to original question anymore, but if you want to enable multiple users on Android phone, you need root and install , then set your build.prop's DPI to about 190 (which is going to make everything too small to use practically), then you can create users and switch between them. The custom rom Paranoid Android supports multiple users at normal DPI value.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Confused about Internal Storage

    Wow, that was a lot to take in, but it makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for the explanation!

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