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Warning: 4.4.2 update breaks SD card access!

OP fzammetti

13th February 2014, 10:34 PM   |  #1  
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So, I just installed the 4.4.2 OTA and I immediately noticed one big problem: I wasn't able to modify content on my SD card. I wasn't able to delete folders, or create folders, or create files. Reading content was no problem, and the camera app was able to save pictures to the card, but going through a file manager wouldn't work.

I started to do some research and I found this post from the developer of my chosen file manager, FX:

https://plus.google.com/+TodLiebeck/posts/gjnmuaDM8sn

Then, while getting ready to post this, I found another related thread:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2641936

I thought this was a big enough deal to warrant a new thread here. Bottom line is you may want to hold off on this update, or at least go in with your eyes open because for a lot of people, like me, this is a BIG problem. It's damned near a dealbreaker for using my S4 as a matter of fact. Note that it does seem you're able to use the My Files app, but that's almost useless to me: FX has SMB support and I'm constantly pulling files off my server. I even have FolderSync set up to run every night, but I don't expect that'll work either (I'm about to try now).

Whether Samsung spits out a fix quickly, or whether I can root and fix this, it's a pretty significant problem. Be aware folks!
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13th February 2014, 10:58 PM   |  #2  
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Then I will update after a stable de-knoxed ROM is available.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
13th February 2014, 11:21 PM   |  #3  
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Thanks.for this. I think I will still update as I plan on staying unrooted and will use "my files".

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13th February 2014, 11:22 PM   |  #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anees02

Then I will update after a stable de-knoxed ROM is available.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

I'm all for avoiding Knox, but in this case it appears to not be Knox-related after all... looks like it was a permission change that Google mandated for devices with external storage and Samsung followed the specification to the letter. I think Tod Liebeck explained it better than I can though. I can only hope Samsung gets it together and quickly releases a patch... I've read in another thread that they may have done this before and quickly put out a fix... if so, shame on them for making the same mistake twice, but so long as a fix is forthcoming, so be it. I'm not so sure there will be one though, that's my concern.
13th February 2014, 11:35 PM   |  #5  
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It's early to call that is the bug since nobody mentioned this issue.
And all are busy how to update.
I will wait 48 hours until all things be more clear.

Could you try another SD card and tell us if the issue is happening to the new sd card?

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
Last edited by anees02; 13th February 2014 at 11:40 PM.
13th February 2014, 11:49 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anees02

It's early to call that is the bug since nobody mentioned this issue.
And all are busy how to update.
I will wait 48 hours until all things be more clear.

Could you try another SD card and tell us if the issue is happening to the new sd card?

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Thing is, it was something that was apparently talked about before the update on other devices with 4.4.2. It's not a bug per se, Samsung did what Google told them to do, and Google told them to do it, I'd bet, to push people towards cloud storage since they don't want external storage used anymore anyway. None of that matters though because the fact is it's hurting some users (though I'd agree that not all will be impacted- it all depends on how you use your device).

A different card wouldn't matter, it's not related to that at all. It's a permission change that Google mandated with 4.4 (or 4.3, I've seen some conflicting info) that only impacts devices with external storage, and Samsung chose to follow Google's specification exactly in this case, to the detriment of (some) users.
Last edited by fzammetti; 13th February 2014 at 11:54 PM.
14th February 2014, 12:30 AM   |  #7  
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FYI, *IF* you're rooted, here's a solution that fixes this. Worked for me and easy to do:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2524277

Just remember to keep a copy so you can quickly undo it to take an OTA since I assume it'll stop an OTA.
14th February 2014, 12:50 AM   |  #8  
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Soooo lemme get this straight... Lets say I update to KitKat (NAE)and root it, and I have apps on my computer (like Flappy Bird APK for instance), I now cannot copy the Flappy Bird APK onto my SD Card then place it (using a root explorer) in system/app and use it?! If so this is a huge deal-breaker... Or am I misunderstanding this and there's more to it?
14th February 2014, 01:04 AM   |  #9  
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thankfully you can still create on the SD card from a computer when plugged. but i can confirm you cannot create anything on the SD card from ES file explorer, you can still create on the internal storage just fine tho
14th February 2014, 01:28 AM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe0113

Soooo lemme get this straight... Lets say I update to KitKat (NAE)and root it, and I have apps on my computer (like Flappy Bird APK for instance), I now cannot copy the Flappy Bird APK onto my SD Card then place it (using a root explorer) in system/app and use it?! If so this is a huge deal-breaker... Or am I misunderstanding this and there's more to it?

You can still copy from your computer if you use a USB cable... if you instead have a shared drive on your PC and connect to it via SMB from a file explorer, you won't be able to copy a file to the SD card.

In addition, using a third-party file explorer you won't be able to create, rename, delete or edit files or directories on the SD card, nor will you be able to copy files from internal storage to your SD card. This is strictly a limitation placed on non-system apps (meaning any you yourself install).

If you're rooted though, a quick edit to a single system file will deal with this, but nobody should *have* to do that.

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