1. GLove500's Avatar
    Hello everyone,

    A few days ago my Galaxy S2 reported that memory was almost full ("some system functions may not work...").
    I've had this issue before, but it then sufficed to remove some apps which I no longer used.

    What bothered me a bit this time is that I did not install any apps in the past few months. At first I thought that one or more applications were writing data to the device memory, filling it up slowly. But when I looked at the Storage information screen (Settings>Storage) I saw something which I cannot explain (see screenshot):
    - The total device memory is 1.97 GB
    - The memory used by apps is 0.97 GB
    - The available space is 19.25 MB

    Device memory "gone", but not as usual-screenshot_2018-01-23-21-01-18.png

    I was expecting to have 1 GB of available space (1.97 GB - 0.97 GB = 1 GB), but there's only about 20 MB (yes: MEGA bytes) left.

    I cleared all cache data for all apps:
    - through Settings>Application Manager (one by one)
    - through the Android Assistant app (which was already installed)
    I also wiped the cache partition (through the menu obtained after restarting with the volume up, the home button and the power button pressed).

    I deleted an app which I could miss and this freed up about 40 MB. However, after a day or two the available space again was down to 20 MB (screenshot was taken then). Today, the available space is only 11 MB.

    Although I work in informatics (which allows me to say that I am proficient in working with computers) I am a noob on the Android level: I know how to use the end user interface of Android but I am by no means specialist in the background working of Android.
    I have been searching for an answer on this forum (and others), but unless I am using the wrong keywords, it seems that no one has encountered this issue before. The only thing I see is people having issues with applications writing data and filling up space, but never the discrepancy between total, used and available space.

    Could someone explain what causes this issue? I know it is an old device but I would not like to write off my trusted companion...

    Some additional information:
    - Galaxy S2 GT-I9100
    - Android 4.1.2 (last possible update for S2)
    - Baseband I9100XXLS8
    - Kernel 3.0.31-889555
    - Build number JZO54K.I9100XWLSD

    The device is not (and has never been) rooted.

    Thank you in advance!
    01-24-2018 10:02 AM
  2. GLove500's Avatar
    Ok. Not much input.

    Can someone then explain how the available space is calculated by Android? Or point me to a source where I can find this information?

    Thank you in advance!
    01-25-2018 06:44 AM
  3. Dano1200r's Avatar
    Download DATA SIZE EXPLORER. Scan your internal memory and you will see what is using what. Good luck
    01-25-2018 06:47 AM
  4. GLove500's Avatar
    Thanks. Will try that. Try, as my available space to install new apps is low

    I'll share my findings.
    01-25-2018 06:50 AM
  5. Mooncatt's Avatar
    Are you asking about memory, which is RAM, or storage space? According to your screenshot, it shows roughly 2 GB of memory, but it's reportedly only available with 1 GB memory. The total storage amounts also don't match to the reported 16 GB.


    I did some more digging around, and it looks like back then, the storage was partitioned 3 ways. OS, app storage, and mass storage (I.e. Independent files). So I guess that may explain the confusion, though Samsung isn't doing us any favors on your phone by calling storage space "memory" when that's not how it's traditionally been referred to.

    In either case, I don't think you'll find any long term solution to your problem at hand. It's an old device with severely limited capabilities. Not just in storage, but performance overall. Even if you did fix the problem, I feel it's only going to be a temporary solution.

    So my suggestion is to upgrade to a newer phone. You'll still have some storage naturally taken up by the OS, but current devices no longer differentiate storage partitions and you'll be able to use remaining storage for apps and files at your discretion.
    01-25-2018 07:15 AM
  6. GLove500's Avatar
    What Samsung calls Device Memory in the above is indeed storage space. The RAM memory is 1GB, but this is not part of the 16GB internal storage and is not affected by the issue.
    The problem area is the "app storage" partition, as Mooncatt described it. For what I know, the total internal storage of 16GB is divided as follows:
    - OS: approx 4GB
    - App storage: approx 2GB
    - Mass storage: approx 10GB (= 16 - 4 - 2)

    What confuses me know is that the mass storage as indicated in the screenshot should be 11.50GB. So either the OS takes less than 4GB, or the mass storage takes about one GB from the app storage partition (which seems weird to me, but could explain my issue).

    I know that the S2 is an older device, but it suits the purpose perfectly. I only use that phone to call, to browse, to take pictures and to do some engineering calculations.
    As mentioned above, there were no modifications in the apps installed, simply because I do not need any. That is why I am wondering what caused the available space to drop suddenly. I am not interested in how Android stores its data for any other purpose than this. It may very well be that a newer device solves a lot of these issues, but this doesn't push me into buying a new one

    I will try to install the DataSize Explorer this evening (after work ) and will report.
    01-25-2018 08:26 AM
  7. GLove500's Avatar
    OK. So finally I was able to get to installing DataSize Explorer. I had to free up some space to be able to, but I managed.

    The DataSize Explorer shows "Internal Storage - 12.5GB [total space]".
    This confuses me even more, because if I add the 2GB total "Device memory" and the 11.5GB total "USB storage" (as seen in the screenshot above) I would expect to see 13.5GB in total.

    The 12.5GB seems to correspond to the sum of the 1GB used "Device memory" and the 11.5GB total "USB storage". This would mean that the number of total "Device memory" is not correct.

    I assume that the 3.5GB which remain to get to a total of 16GB is then used by the Android OS?

    Anyway. The DataSize Explorer showed me that I have a .thumbdata3 file of 1.6GB. This surprises me as I have encountered this issue before and I placed a .nomedia file in all folders containing images, thus preventing the .thumbdata3 file to automatically increase in the background.
    I will start by deleting the .thumbdata3 file, but I thought that this was positioned in the "USB storage" part of the internal storage, so this could not affect the "Device memory".

    Thank you for all advice. I suppose I'll have to live with a decreasing performance. It is, after all, becoming an archaeological device :-)

    Maybe I'll wait until March, when the S9 is released...
    02-02-2018 03:30 PM

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