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[Q] Understanding Internal Storage and /Data Partition

OP ThisAndroidDude

14th March 2014, 01:10 PM   |  #1  
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Hi everybody. First time poster. After 4 hours scouring forums and other sites yesterday, I never saw this precise question asked or answered.

I have an HTC DNA that I'm selling on Swappa soon. Of course, I wanted to wipe the internal storage. [I promise this isn't going to be a "What's the best way to wipe my device" thread,]

I ultimately went with:

1. Encrypt device
2. Fastboot Erase Boot, System, Data, and Recovery
3. Flash CWM Recovery
4. Format all partitions in CWM Recovery
4. Sideload ViperDNA.zip
5. Install ViperDNA.zip

And so here comes the question, in the future, shouldn't I just be able to format the /Data/ partition and be done with it? After all, if internal storage--the /SDCard/ partition---is found at /Data/Media, shouldn't a format of /Data/ wipe the internal storage?

If the answer is "yes," then why is there a second option in CWM for "Format /Data and /Data/Media (/SDCard)"? The second option seems redundant of simply formatting /Data/ (which would include /Data/Media). However, when I run the second format option--the one that explicitly references /SDCard/, it takes noticeably longer than simply formatting /Data. And that suggests that there's more going on with the second option.

Perhaps the answer is that when you Format only /Data/, the phone leaves /Data/Media alone. If that's the answer, then that all makes sense. But I haven't seen that stated definitively anywhere.

Thanks in advance!!
Last edited by ThisAndroidDude; 14th March 2014 at 01:16 PM. Reason: Clarifying Questions
16th March 2014, 03:40 AM   |  #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisAndroidDude

Hi everybody. First time poster. After 4 hours scouring forums and other sites yesterday, I never saw this precise question asked or answered.

I have an HTC DNA that I'm selling on Swappa soon. Of course, I wanted to wipe the internal storage. [I promise this isn't going to be a "What's the best way to wipe my device" thread,]

I ultimately went with:

1. Encrypt device
2. Fastboot Erase Boot, System, Data, and Recovery
3. Flash CWM Recovery
4. Format all partitions in CWM Recovery
4. Sideload ViperDNA.zip
5. Install ViperDNA.zip

And so here comes the question, in the future, shouldn't I just be able to format the /Data/ partition and be done with it? After all, if internal storage--the /SDCard/ partition---is found at /Data/Media, shouldn't a format of /Data/ wipe the internal storage?

If the answer is "yes," then why is there a second option in CWM for "Format /Data and /Data/Media (/SDCard)"? The second option seems redundant of simply formatting /Data/ (which would include /Data/Media). However, when I run the second format option--the one that explicitly references /SDCard/, it takes noticeably longer than simply formatting /Data. And that suggests that there's more going on with the second option.

Perhaps the answer is that when you Format only /Data/, the phone leaves /Data/Media alone. If that's the answer, then that all makes sense. But I haven't seen that stated definitively anywhere.

Thanks in advance!!

I dont see the point to encrypt the device

and second in twrp there is a "wipe internal storage" option that wipes the internal storage, cwm i think they just call it data
17th March 2014, 11:49 PM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .torrented

I dont see the point to encrypt the device

and second in twrp there is a "wipe internal storage" option that wipes the internal storage, cwm i think they just call it data

Thanks for the input. The reason I think encrypting is good, is that it serves the purpose of overwriting the sectors with data (in this case, encrypted data). Of course, I know solid state memory isn't necessarily as susceptible to data recovery for failure to overwrite as magnetic media, but I wanted to be safe.

With regards to TWRP's "wipe internal storage" option, I'm sure that works well. CWM has something similar in the "format /data and /data/media" option.

However, my main question still remains. If Internal Storage is found on the data partition at /data/media, then does a format of /data (in CWM or fastboot) take care of the internal storage? I don't think it does (based on the two different options in CWM and the fact that formatting /data/ and /data/media takes longer than simply formatting /data), and I'm just trying to understand why.
18th March 2014, 03:27 AM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThisAndroidDude

Thanks for the input. The reason I think encrypting is good, is that it serves the purpose of overwriting the sectors with data (in this case, encrypted data). Of course, I know solid state memory isn't necessarily as susceptible to data recovery for failure to overwrite as magnetic media, but I wanted to be safe.

With regards to TWRP's "wipe internal storage" option, I'm sure that works well. CWM has something similar in the "format /data and /data/media" option.

However, my main question still remains. If Internal Storage is found on the data partition at /data/media, then does a format of /data (in CWM or fastboot) take care of the internal storage? I don't think it does (based on the two different options in CWM and the fact that formatting /data/ and /data/media takes longer than simply formatting /data), and I'm just trying to understand why.

well, since the sdcard is not external, one wipes everything but the sdcard and then the other will wipe everything including data/media

if you are doing a fresh rom install, you dont want to wipe the sdcard if you have any backups or the rom you are installing. thats where the wipe data comes into play, however when you want to go ahead and restore it to stock or just clean out the sdcard thats where the second one takes over.
Last edited by .torrented; 18th March 2014 at 03:29 AM.
18th March 2014, 03:22 PM   |  #5  
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Thanks for the additional thoughts. In my case, since I wanted to wipe everything, it made sense to do the /data and /data/media wipe.

I think we both agree about the difference between the two wipes. I think it's just a bit confusing that CWM's option to wipe /data doesn't really wipe that entire partition--instead, it leaves /data/media alone.
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