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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    On Gingerbread 2.3.4 (in my case on a Galaxy S2 phone), if I've got it right, the USB and Internal SD are partitions of the standard 16GB of flash memory, yes? I believe USB has ~2GB, while the "SD" is 13-14GB.

    I added a 32GB microSD card, which I'm guessing becomes the "External SD", is that correct?

    Terminology aside, here's my issue ... when I move apps (using the native Gingerbread move2SD method) to SD card, they appear to be landing on the internal SD, and not the 32GB external SD. Is there a way to designate the external SD as the target for apps when moving them?

    Thanks for any suggestions...
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    There are only two locations apps can reside. Internal memory and External SD. There is no USB storage. The USB is what you use to connect your phone to your computer with.

    Now, when an app is installed it usually gets installed on the internal memory. I have seen some of my apps go directly to the SD on installation.

    The way to tell where it is residing is to go to Settings > Applications > Manage apps. Tap on one of your apps. If the button says Move to SD then the app is on your internal memory. If the button says Move To Phone then it has been moved to the SD card. Now not 100% of the app gets moved to the SD. Some of the app will remain in the Internal memory.

    I hope this helps.
  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by valorian View Post
    There are only two locations apps can reside. Internal memory and External SD. There is no USB storage. The USB is what you use to connect your phone to your computer with.

    Now, when an app is installed it usually gets installed on the internal memory. I have seen some of my apps go directly to the SD on installation.

    The way to tell where it is residing is to go to Settings > Applications > Manage apps. Tap on one of your apps. If the button says Move to SD then the app is on your internal memory. If the button says Move To Phone then it has been moved to the SD card. Now not 100% of the app gets moved to the SD. Some of the app will remain in the Internal memory.

    I hope this helps.
    What do you mean there's no USB storage?http://i.imgur.com/lswWB.png

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Quote Originally Posted by titanoman View Post
    What do you mean there's no USB storage?http://i.imgur.com/lswWB.png

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
    So are you thinking your USB cable has storage??? Not totally sure, but I would think that was your SD card... when you connect your device to your PC via your USB cable you have access to your SD card... that must be what your ROM is call USB storage. Is this a Froyo ROM???
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy97 View Post
    So are you thinking your USB cable has storage??? Not totally sure, but I would think that was your SD card... when you connect your device to your PC via your USB cable you have access to your SD card... that must be what your ROM is call USB storage. Is this a Froyo ROM???
    Gingerbread; Galaxy S2. And look at the very top of the screenshot: 6 something g's.of storage available on my 8gig sd card. So...

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Quote Originally Posted by titanoman View Post
    Gingerbread; Galaxy S2. And look at the very top of the screenshot: 6 something g's.of storage available on my 8gig sd card. So...

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
    And if you had scrolled up a little more I might have been able to read what the 6.77GB was actually for... all I can read is it's under Storage, but not what that is part of... normally there is a line above that saying what it is... like Total space, Available space, etc.
    Current: Moto X (2014) Pure Edition, ASUS ZenWatch, Pebble Steel, Chromecast
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy97 View Post
    And if you had scrolled up a little more I might have been able to read what the 6.77GB was actually for... all I can read is it's under Storage, but not what that is part of... normally there is a line above that saying what it is... like Total space, Available space, etc.
    I didn't scroll up father because I was also showing the couple of gigs of internal storage as well...So...
    http://i.imgur.com/uMFaj.png
    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
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    Back to netarc's original question...

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  

    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    This is apparently a terminology issue - naturally we're not talking about the USB port, cable, etc ... but on the Galaxy S2 (or possibly all Gingerbread phones?) the storage terminology is system storage, USB storage and SD card.

    I took a screenshot of the screen in question - this is from the built-in task manager app...


    I am guessing that system + USB = the 16GB of internal storage.

    It appears that when apps are installed, they are installed by default to the SYSTEM; I say this because I installed a bunch of apps b4 attempting to move any of them to the SD. When I did move them (after I had installed the 32GB SD card), I saw the system storage go down, while USB storage went up ... but SD Card stayed the same, iirc. Moreover, if I use MY FILES to check contents of /sdcard/external_sd, all I see within are the directories DCIM (camera pictures), download and LOST.DIR ... no evidence of any apps.

    So I'm presuming from this that the migrated apps ended up in USB storage, and I'm wondering - how can I move them to the external SD card? Or, if they are actually already there, where would I navigate in the directory to check what is actually stored on the SD card (e.g., if /sdcard/external_sd is not giving the complete picture).
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    Quote Originally Posted by netarc View Post
    This is apparently a terminology issue - naturally we're not talking about the USB port, cable, etc ... but on the Galaxy S2 (or possibly all Gingerbread phones?) the storage terminology is system storage, USB storage and SD card.

    I took a screenshot of the screen in question - this is from the built-in task manager app...


    I am guessing that system + USB = the 16GB of internal storage.

    It appears that when apps are installed, they are installed by default to the SYSTEM; I say this because I installed a bunch of apps b4 attempting to move any of them to the SD. When I did move them (after I had installed the 32GB SD card), I saw the system storage go down, while USB storage went up ... but SD Card stayed the same, iirc. Moreover, if I use MY FILES to check contents of /sdcard/external_sd, all I see within are the directories DCIM (camera pictures), download and LOST.DIR ... no evidence of any apps.

    So I'm presuming from this that the migrated apps ended up in USB storage, and I'm wondering - how can I move them to the external SD card? Or, if they are actually already there, where would I navigate in the directory to check what is actually stored on the SD card (e.g., if /sdcard/external_sd is not giving the complete picture).
    All I know is I'm having a hell of a time finding all my power-amp music and getting it all in one place on my card. The USB is just really complicating things.

    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Quote Originally Posted by netarc View Post
    This is apparently a terminology issue - naturally we're not talking about the USB port, cable, etc ... but on the Galaxy S2 (or possibly all Gingerbread phones?) the storage terminology is system storage, USB storage and SD card.
    It's not a Gingerbread thing. My Inspire only has SD card and internal storage.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Quote Originally Posted by pazzo02 View Post
    It's not a Gingerbread thing. My Inspire only has SD card and internal storage.
    Ok so apparently this is a Samsung thing. Does anyone have any clue what this partitioning thing of the internal memory is about, why it's split into system memory and "USB"?

    More importantly, how can one move applications from the "USB memory" store to the external sd card? Upon using move2sd to migrate apps off the 2 GB system memory store, I've confirmed that the applications are ending up in the "USB memory" store, NOT the external SD card
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    From what I read, it sounds like not much other than apps go to system storage. Why would you want to move apps to your external? I would assume they'll just load slower there. If your system storage is low, you can always move move to the "USB" storage. If you have 13+ GBs of apps installed, I guess I dunno what to say.

    I know that the question is just how to do it, not debate why, but, I just thought I'd bring this up. Is there some reason why you need to move apps to external?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devinator View Post
    From what I read, it sounds like not much other than apps go to system storage. Why would you want to move apps to your external? I would assume they'll just load slower there. If your system storage is low, you can always move move to the "USB" storage. If you have 13+ GBs of apps installed, I guess I dunno what to say.

    I know that the question is just how to do it, not debate why, but, I just thought I'd bring this up. Is there some reason why you need to move apps to external?
    Shouldn't everything that can be moved be moved to sd card to free up phone memory? I don't know if this is true or not. All I know is this USB storage has me all confused.


    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Quote Originally Posted by titanoman View Post
    Shouldn't everything that can be moved be moved to sd card to free up phone memory? I don't know if this is true or not. All I know is this USB storage has me all confused.


    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk
    Why would you do that? That's like moving everything off your computer onto a flash drive.

    Additionally, it's not memory. Your phone does indeed have ram, but, this storage is not memory. Your phone loads apps into memory when they run. I'm not sure exactly what the internal storage on these phones is like, but, I assume it's faster to load apps into memory from your internal than your SD.

    When your computer loads a program, it loads it from hard disk into memory. Hard disks are faster to read than say USB. If you tried to load a program on your computer off of your hard disk, vs loading it off of a flash drive, it should load faster via the hard disk. I would assume the principal is the same with Android.

    I'm not sure what else your phone uses internal storage for, maybe something like paging. But, other than that, I don't see why internal storage should be a concern. Even if these phones paged all of their ram to internal, it could be 512 MB, 1 GB, not a big deal, and, there is no way all of it would be paged anyway.

    It's not USB Storage, I dunno why they chose to call it that, USB is just an interface. I guess they did that because that's the only way it can be accessed. From what I can tell, internal storage on these phones has at least two partitions. One is for Android to use as it sees fit, apps and whatever else it does with it. And, the other is, well, who knows what it's for. It seems pointless, IMO. The only thing I can think is that they were trying to dedicate a certain amount of space for the OS. But, if you can load it up with apps and take up all the space, what does it matter. It's like they should have partioned off a spot for the OS and then made a partition for apps and everything else. Then the OS would have as much space as it needs to do its thing, and the rest of it is for apps, or whatever you choose to use it for. That I could see.

    I hope the beginning of my post doesn't come across sassy or condescending. I in no way meant it to be mean spirited. Just informative!!
  16. #16  

    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    I have never noticed any app running slow after moving it to the SD card. On my phone, apps on internal are running just a smooth as those I've moved to SD.
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Well, I didn't say running, I said loading. Not to split hairs, but, there is a difference. I was only stating that it will be slower to load an app into memory to launch. Maybe it's barely noticeable, but, it should still be the case. Whatever the internal storage is, it should be more quickly accessible and load faster into memory than SD. Sorta like how old school PATA/IDE will load programs into your computer's memory slower than SATA 1.5, which will be slower than SATA 3.0, which will be slower than SATA 6.0.

    Unless your internal storage uses the exact same interface type as SD, that is. That I can't say. I just assume that it isn't the case. But, maybe it is, who knows.
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    My goal is to move apps which I use less frequently, particularly large ones, to the external SD card. I suspect loading an app from SD wouldn't be much slower than loading one from internal memory, but even if it is I can live with that for less commonly accessed apps.

    More to the point,I want rio ensure that apps which on turn download media (eg podcast managers) are forced to use the external SD card....and since those I've looked at don't support designating the download dir in their settings, seemed the only way to do this was to move the app ourself to SD.
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Honestly, I'm sure it's nominal, but, technically it should still be the case. But, we are talking a tiny app here, not some 30 GB PC game. I was just saying there was really no reason to move them to SD. But, you definitely made that point moot.

    It's kinda lame that they don't let you set the directory. But, I would assume like you said moving them to SD would help. It looks like there is limited functionality for this at the moment. This is from about a month ago. I don't know how accurate it is, but, they say it's only possible for certain apps right now.

    Samsung Galaxy S2 - How can I install apps in SD Card in S2

    I guess in the meantime, if you can't move it to SD, you'll have to do some manual file management using your PC. Or, if that wont help in this situation, at least move it to the non system internal storage portion. That partition is pretty sizable at 11 GB.

    Unless anyone else has an S II and has some idea how to move any app to SD. Maybe if you root? Dunno, just spitballin.
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    How many drives come up when you plug in your phone to your computer. I only get two. And my storage settings are listed as application storage, internal storage and sd card.
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    I have an X2 as well, and, you should only get two. One for internal, one for SD.

    The S II internal storage is partitioned into two partitions for some reason. It might mount as one, it might mount as two. But, the issue is that they can't move their app to SD. The OP said that when they do it just gets moved to the non system storage partition of internal storage. They want to move apps to their SD but are not able to do so.

    I guess it'd be nice if someone with an S II that has this working would chime in. Netarc, have you posted this in the S II forums? Might not be a bad idea to post there as well. Might catch someone with an S II that has a solution that doesn't read this forum.
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    I totally posted that last comment thinking this was a one page thread. I missed page two. lol. sorry.
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Hahaha, been there, almost done that. So I can totally understand.
  24. Thread Author  Thread Author    #24  

    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Quote Originally Posted by Devinator View Post
    I guess it'd be nice if someone with an S II that has this working would chime in. Netarc, have you posted this in the S II forums? Might not be a bad idea to post there as well. Might catch someone with an S II that has a solution that doesn't read this forum.
    Good point ... when I started thsi thread I assumed it as droid/gingerbread-specific issue, but now realize it's Sammy-specific. I'll post there, thanks!
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    Default Re: Storage: USB v. Internal SD v. External SD

    Yea, I kinda figured that is why you started it here. Since you did, this was a logical place to post it. Good luck with it in the S II forums!!

    If you get an answer, maybe you can post it here too. Might as well in case anyone ever stumbles across this thread, ya know?
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