Is it possible to redirect the /data partition to the SD card?


AC Question

Hi! I was unable to find solutions to the problem with my two Android phones I have (ZTE Source and Grand X). Both are soft-bricked, both show the same error message, and both were on the Cricket line. Here's my story with full honesty:

ZTE Source (Late March 2014-Early May 2015): In the beginning of May 2015, something very strange happen when I turned it on in the morning. The UI is completely black, battery still said it's charging after unplugging, and I can only lock/unlock it. Nothing much else. A simple restart would fix it I think, but nope it didn't. The "Encryption Unsuccessful" error message popped up telling me to boot to recovery and factory reset it. I did it as told by the message, but that didn't resolve the problem. I then went into FTM mode (Volume Down and Power), typical on ZTE smartphones for diagnosing problems, and succeeded. I was able to install adb and fastboot to my PC and detected the phone right away.

ZTE Grand X (Mid Feb-Late Dec 2015): A worst case scenario. Some time around Christmas Day 2015, Google apps were crashing and failing to open. However, apps stored on the SD card opened just fine. Being frustrated, I couldn't withstand all the crashing apps at this point; therefore I factory reset the phone immediately. Rebooting it back gave me the infamous Encryption Unsuccessful message again. No matter how many times I did, it still displays this same message! Hoping that it can access FTM mode, instead, it would display a black screen with a solid red light, or alternate between red and green, a signal of an overheating phone. There's nothing I can do about it.

That Grand X only lasted ten months and it didn't last longer than the Source, which lasted fourteen months. Keep in mind I took good care of it ever since! Attempting to fix this will be like taking the side cover off of a desktop computer, which I don't want to touch.

There's some hope of fixing it as it receives adb and fastboot commands. So, I downloaded TWRP and booted it via fastboot. It told me the /data partition is corrupt on startup. It can mount every one of them except /data as it will say "Error mounting /data!" if I do. System files are good to go, so there is no need to flash stock rom.

Since the ZTE Source is able to perform well in recovery. I can think of redirecting the /data partition to the SD card despite its slower read/write speeds. Is this even possible to do? Do I have to download the stock rom and tweak things a bit in order to work? If it is, tell me. If not, still tell me! I have the stock rom on my PC, and I want to reuse it as a mini-tablet. For now, my 4GB SD card containing my media from the Source has been reformatted clean to ext4. What else do I need to do? Could all this be caused by a software bug? No custom roms have been put in either device. It's also not even rooted whatsoever.

Please, please don't suggest me another phone, I already bought the Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime (thinking about it since it first came in to Cricket). I just wanted to reuse my old phones as tablets as I can't afford to buy one regular sized tablet. I bet the Galaxy Grand Prime will last much longer than those two.

Reply asap. Thanks, TheTrustedComputer.

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