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[Q] Nexus one flash partition layout, lowest 63MB...

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By siberx, Junior Member on 5th March 2012, 02:52 AM
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I've been trying to recover some space on my Nexus one and have been largely successful in doing so with a combination of tricks, but while looking at my partitions and tallying up the numbers something didn't seem to be adding up right; the unit is supposed to have 512MB flash, but I was coming up about 60MB short.
I found this thread which discusses the partition layout of the N1; the sizes they show all seem to match up well with what my device shows. Now, the hex address of the end of the last partion (user data) ends just a couple MB short of 512MB; the start of the first partion (misc) however seems to start over 60MB into the memory space... is there a reason for this, and if so what's occupying those lowest 63.75MB of flash space?
 
 
5th March 2012, 09:18 AM |#2  
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Baseband, AKA "radio", is what you're looking for. Unless you want your Nexus not to boot anymore, it's not advisable to try and repartition baseband space.

Instead of working hard and uselessly wasting effort, use A2SD or any other kind of linking to SD-mounted EXT partition. No matter what you try, Nexus doesn't have nearly enough internal space for any common use.
5th March 2012, 04:47 PM |#3  
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That answers my question, thank you.

As I mentioned in my original message, I was successful in freeing enough space on my device; a combination of moving apps and libraries (copy to system/lib and symlink back to original location) into the system partition and clearing out bulky or unnecessary apps has left me with over 60MB of free data space without even having to resort to fancy A2SD business (just normal android move to SD card). I was simply curious about what was filling in the remaining space on the flash chip and the radio pretty much fits the bill.
5th March 2012, 05:42 PM |#4  
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As someone with pretty average amount of user apps (a bit less than 100) and 700 MB user space taken, I can't see the point in doing what you mentioned for anything but pure fun. But if that suits you - I won't argue.
5th March 2012, 06:07 PM |#5  
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Well, by my app drawer I'm sitting at ~125 (44 purely in data, 34 moved to SD with standard android method, rest either native system or moved there) apps, and if my "puny" N1 can have 60MB free and not even need ext-style A2SD I'm not quite sure how the N1 doesn't have "nearly enough internal space for any common use". Seems to me the point (not "pure fun" as you dismissively imply) of doing what I've done is to able to keep using a pretty decent phone that still has more than enough storage space if you make the least bit of effort to manage it.

But hey, who am I to judge if you prefer to buy whatever latest phone the carriers tell you you should want every 12 months just so they can cram more bloated apps on it?

I appreciate the answer to my initial question about what's using the lowest block of flash storage (I was simply curious about what was using it - I couldn't find information if it was flash overprovisioning or some other low-level portion of the OS using it), but I don't really appreciate the unnecessary negative attitude and commentary for what was just a simple question. Thanks anyways.
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6th March 2012, 09:59 AM |#6  
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I guess you didn't understand my point(s). I'll elaborate:

First and foremost, my point is this: N1 is a crap of a phone. Having it for over 1 year, and trying to adapt it to my wife for 3 or 4 months later on before giving up on it, taught me that this phone can't be dealt with by anyone who doesn't want to accept its touchscreen limitations. It was so refreshing having the phone (MT4G in my case) just react without fuss and not expecting it to crap out at any given time - not even mentioning the huge speed-up. The price of "upgrade" (selling the N1 and buying any previous-generation phone, like DHD/MT4G/DS/DZ) can be brought down to as low as $50, and the benefits are huge, I already wrote it a couple of times on the forum.

To the storage point (actually, several points):

N1's NAND is painfully slow, compared to anything, even to regular Class 2 SD card. You can try copying any large file from NAND to EXT and back, from NAND to NAND and from EXT to EXT and see what takes more time. You're likely to discover that A2SD actually adds performance instead of hurting it.

My app data (/data/data/*) alone takes roughly the same space as your whole internal /data storage has, so I guess the amount of apps alone isn't that meaningful of a measurement. I still call it a perfectly normal and average data usage - I don't have anything special installed, no heavy games that save 200+ MB of data on internal memory, just apps like Goggles, Flash, iGO and a couple of other big apps that aren't movable by normal means (and tend to crap the system out when they're forced to move). The problem in your approach is not even the one-time amount of work you had to invest to make that space, but the amount of work you'll have to invest to keep the phone running - moving system updates to /system upon every update, clearing browser cache, etc - generally, keeping things in constant check. Free time is something you learn to appreciate when you don't have enough, and more hassle-free setup is always preferred IMHO.


But again, different people have different needs, so while I can post my point of view - I don't argue with yours.
Last edited by Jack_R1; 6th March 2012 at 10:01 AM.
6th March 2012, 04:51 PM |#7  
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Thank you for elaborating, actually; it clarifies much that was not apparent in your earlier posts. This thread isn't really about the pros and cons of the N1 so all I'll say is that the advantages of the N1 (small size, OLED, build quality, tricolor trackball LED, etc..) still outweigh its manageable downsides for me, even compared to very modern handsets - so I'll stick with it until I can find a suitable upgrade that I'm happy with (is it so hard for HTC to make a <=4" qHD AMOLED? Seriously...).

Your point about the NAND being slow is interesting; this is something I hadn't heard and will have to benchmark; if it pans out it would be a point in favor of A2SD, but not really in favor of replacing the device over it

The upkeep I don't find that bad; Titanium backup makes integrating updated system apps a single touch for the batch, and I've only got a couple libraries symlinked into system that are unlikely to be frequently updated. With the space I've freed I shouldn't need to clear browser caches nearly as often - so it actually saves me time and frustration regularly for the one-time effort.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply and to clarify your points
9th March 2012, 05:57 PM |#8  
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If a2sd+ doesn't work for you you could do custom mtd partitions like I did using fireats custom mtd if u google it u will find it basically you can shrink ur system partition down to almost half because it is being wasted I mean whatever size u want to define it as. I'm using miui and my system partition that i defined is 120 mb (4 mbs are free just in case) and my cache partition is 15 mb. Now that leaves 301 mbs free for user data. I have 107 user apps installed about 10 games or so and I still have 120 mb free for user data for me that's more than enough. This way ur phone won't be buggy because u will only use the system partition for ur rom again I would suggest miui since it takes minimal space and is very smooth and stable with amazing battery life (I use tiamat kernel). Hope this helped

---------- Post added at 06:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:52 PM ----------

Oh if u use a2sd in conjunction with custom mtd then u can have close to 750 mb of space available for user data given that ur sd ext partition is 512 mb (which was stable for me using 8gb card) that's basically rivaling new phone memory so don't just call the nexus one off just yet it can surprise anyone that knows how to play with it or stuck with it for 2years like me lol.
9th March 2012, 06:16 PM |#9  
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I've already been using root access with shell and titanium backup to move apps and libraries into the system partition without resizing it, so I'm already using the available space there. The only major difference is you've dramatically shrunk your cache partition from the default of (IIRC) 100MB down to 15MB; this seems like a pretty huge reduction, and I feel this would have performance implications, especially when running larger apps...

Other than that, if I find my current space as set up proves to be inadequate in the future (it seems just fine for now) then a2sd appears to be the best option for those who need even more additional space on a nexus one.
10th March 2012, 11:20 PM |#10  
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15 mb is more than enough for cache partition unless u plan to download huge 3d games and as we all know gaming isn't the reason that we have held on to nexus one for so long I haven't seen any app large enough to not install due to my partition size. I messed around with that too first I had it set at 5 mb but that made market force close every time then I set it at 10 was stable but large apps couldn't download and then I tried 15 and hasn't given me a single problem. Otherwise all that space is wasted so why not dedicate it to user data? With 20 mb partition u can download almost all games that can function on nexus one but since I'm not a big mobile gamer I stuck with 15 mb cache.
12th March 2012, 09:56 AM |#11  
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Most normal programs don't use /cache.

To fix your cache market issue:
Code:
su
busybox mv /cache/download /sd-ext/download
ln -s /sd-ext/download /cache/download
If you don't have a sd-ext you could use /sdcard/download instead. The directory will already exist if you've downloaded anything from the browser, so I just remove /cache/download before linking. I used to get package file invalid errors from this setup though...

Ti backup will also let you move stuff to /system and re-odex your rom instead of shrinking /system. Sure, everytime system stuff updates you need to click a few times, but unless space is real tight, it works fine. The re-odex-ed rom seems to boot faster for me than with external dalvik-cache, too, but that could just be me pretending. I've never busted out the stop-watch.

I like to keep apks on a2sd and put dalvik-cache on internal memory. It's kinda like raiding the two interfaces together to get the sum of the bandwidths of both when launching a program.

siberx: I'm sticking with the N1 until I find a decent phone that has been designed to fit in my pocket instead of sitting in a purse or on the bar too... I considered the glacier for a while, but, near as I can tell, the only benefits of going there are better touch screen and gpu.

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