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Xoom out of AOSP due to partitioning (Motorola simply didn't plan for the future)

OP Winesnob

19th November 2012, 01:47 AM   |  #1  
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Some other threads discussing "full partition" problems loading custom ROMs onto the Xoom led me to some digging around. The short story is that Motorola only allocated 236MB to the system partition on the Xoom, and the current JB stock build (JZO54K) occupies nearly 231MB.

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Given that various features were not included in the JB update when compared to the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus, it's all starting to make more sense why. When Honeycomb rolled out for what is now thought to be a public beta test of the Android tablet form factor, the system partition likely had plenty of space for growth. Dial the calendar ahead several months, and ICS emerges with a footprint that is nearing the Xoom's capacity. And the first item to go - face unlock. It's all good, no one really uses it for actual security but is a cool novelty to show your non-Android/non-ICS friends. Then comes Jellybean. And it's BIG. The Galaxy Nexus system.img file is over 400MB for toro (obviously apples and oranges due to its use as a phone, but you get the idea). So, to make it work for the Xoom, a lot of the frills are stripped away - new wallpapers, sound search as a system app, on-device voice search, Google hot word to start a search in Google Now, etc. It all just doesn't fit inside the partition that Motorola assigned in early 2011. Sad when you realize that there is a giant 32GB flash memory chip built in. And I suspect the Nexus S is faced with the same problems - hardware will work, but the system partition is just too small.

And now we hope for custom ROMs for 4.2 that can fit inside that tiny system partition. Based on the current size of CM10 for wingray, I'd say Team EOS has the best possibility from the size standpoint. That shiny Nexus 10 is looking better and better...


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19th November 2012, 05:40 AM   |  #2  
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I was under the assumption that re-partitioning was possible?
19th November 2012, 01:46 PM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheStickMan

I was under the assumption that re-partitioning was possible?

Possible, but Motorola would first have to write an updated boot loader, and the OTA would have to move existing files to the new blocks. Probably an OTA nightmare. I recall HTC skipping updates to ICS for this reason.


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19th November 2012, 02:54 PM   |  #4  
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They can skip the unnecessary **** like google now and keep it as clean as possible and 4.2 will fit
19th November 2012, 03:01 PM   |  #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romdroid.

They can skip the unnecessary **** like google now and keep it as clean as possible and 4.2 will fit

I personally use Google now and really find the information helpful. However you are correct-get rid of the Motorola crap like Cordy and Dungeon Defender, and the Google apps that no one uses like Currents. Make Maps, Earth, and other Google products optional instead of being system apps and it will probably fit. I do think both CM and Team EOS will need to strip lot some of their own system apps to make it fit.


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19th November 2012, 03:28 PM   |  #6  
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I am obviously no Dev. But, is it not possible for any of the Devs here to write a new bootloader and partition for the Xoom? Or at least modify the current one? Seeing as it is unlocked. I only ask because well, the Xoom is such a very nice peace of hardware, as old as it is. The shear fact that it is virtually a pure Google device, has a metal housing, mSD slot, and is all around a cool device. One could hope for such a monumental mod.
Another thing, is it possible to boot off of a mSD card and install the OS on there? Not that that would be such a hot idea due to read and write problems. But an option either way?

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Last edited by Jaytronics; 19th November 2012 at 03:32 PM.
19th November 2012, 04:58 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaytronics

I am obviously no Dev. But, is it not possible for any of the Devs here to write a new bootloader and partition for the Xoom? Or at least modify the current one? Seeing as it is unlocked. I only ask because well, the Xoom is such a very nice peace of hardware, as old as it is. The shear fact that it is virtually a pure Google device, has a metal housing, mSD slot, and is all around a cool device. One could hope for such a monumental mod.
Another thing, is it possible to boot off of a mSD card and install the OS on there? Not that that would be such a hot idea due to read and write problems. But an option either way?

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More power to the Dev that could make this happen, but modifying the boot loader can be a quick journey to a bricked Xoom.


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19th November 2012, 11:22 PM   |  #8  
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Having owned the Advent Vega and used many home brew ROMs it was very common to change the partition layout to make the ROM fit. An issue used to be when using nvflash from a PC as it would not account for any bad nand blocks. But, in the main it worked.
Owning the Skate phone that too has the opportunity to change the system / cache / data partition layout to fit the custom ROMs.
Whether that would be an option supported for the Xoom I do not know.

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20th November 2012, 12:57 PM   |  #9  
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The nexus s has a system 528mb system partition.

There is no hardware limitation at all for that device.

You could. make a case that its amount of ram makes for a bad user experience though. It has around 345mb available. But they put 4.1 on it so there is a no reason they shouldn't have supported 4.2 IMHO.

Looks a like a case of we don't want to bothered supporting that old device to me.
20th November 2012, 04:49 PM   |  #10  
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So let me get this straight, there is literally no way we can repartition our system storage space to anything different? Even with an unlocked bootloader and such?

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