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Samsung Galaxy A3, A5, A7 (2017) Adoptable strorage (use SD card as internal storage)

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By jnflos, Member on 17th February 2017, 06:06 AM
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By default Samsung disabled the option to allow a user to use a microSD card as internal storage. This is very bad especially on devices that come with only 16 GB of internal storage.
Not happy? You can understand the gravity of the situation and complain to Samsung about this
HERE

Adoptable storage is a standard feature in Android Marshmallow but gets disabled by most manufacturers in their attempt of forcing users to throw more money on devices with more internal storage.

What are the changes with Adoptable Storage?
  • the SD card gets encrypted and encryption key is stored in internal device memory
  • the encryption makes the SD card read/write operation slower than otherwise
  • disables the normal use of SD card by swapping it in other devices (unless you select a percent of SD card to be kept as a removable partition)
  • can slow down the loading time of some apps, including installing them
  • some confusion is created in the device's total available memory reporting and memory usage reporting
In order to enable Adoptable storage you need to have custom recovery installed on your device. This will blow the e-fuse in the device, trip Knox, and you will loose warranty for the device.
Put the ZIP attached below on your SD card and flash it. This is an Add-on will make some changes to Android OS core to enable Adoptable Storage option, the one on which Samsung putted it's will to remove it.

The device will restart (if not you can restart it manually). Now you should remove the SD card, and delete the partitions from it on your PC (using an SD card reader or something) with the help of your favorite partitioning software.
This is to force the phone to ask you next time you insert the SD card, how to use it. Otherwise the option Use as internal storage may not appear.

In the new 2017 A series there is this new universal app for managing battery usage, disk usage, RAM usage and security.
Eventually you can find the option to migrate data to the SD card - this can take a while.
Basically it moves all the non-system applications from original internal storage to the new internal storage on the SD card. All new application that you will install will be placed entirely on this new internal storage.

Use another app like Storage Space from Google Play Store to see the real available memory, the universal Samsung manager is not designed to understand Adoptable storage as Samsung intended not to.

That's it. I tested this on A3 2017 (SM-A320FL) with Exynos CPU and ClockWork Mode custom recovery.
Download CWM Recovery for A3 2017 form this post. It should work on all A 2017 series on devices with Exynos CPU.
You can do this (flash a ZIP) using any working custom recovery compatible with your device (CWM, TWPR).
The applicability of this method may be limited to android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

From my experience on the Galaxy A3 2017 it seems that the new internal storage is equal in size to that of the SD card, so the new internal storage it is not adding to the ~9 GB of original internal storage left free - as I expect it.

The New Storage manager app is different from the usual access menu of standard Samsung settings. The menu we are looking for is hidden before the Format as portable storage option and there is no back button.

To make menu appear put the SD card into a computer and delete all the partitions on it.

1. Use MiniTool Partition Wizard on Windows or any other tool that let's you delete the partitions on the SD card
2. Place the SD card back in to the device
3. Go to the Storage Manager and select Storage options form top right

Now you should see the "corrupt" message under SD card. This is what we want.
To make the phone see the SD card as corrupt.

4. Now tap on that and hit Configure on the popup where it says ...in order to use it it has to be configured.

5. Done. Now you will see 2 options:
-Use as portable storage
-Use as internal storage

You can trigger the same menu by reformatting the SD card into the phone but before it finishes formatting tap quickly on the back button. This will actually interrupt the format, corrupt the SD card and then a notification will appear (A new SD card was detected):
  • Swipe down the notifications pane
  • There will be a cog icon and Configure. Tap on it to proceed
  • There it will open the menu with both options:
    -Use as portable storage
    -Use as internal storage

Please feel free to post your feedback and experiences regarding this below.
Special thanks to ashyx who updated this patch to work on these devices and other devices. More details and PayPal donation link here.
Attached Files
File Type: zip adoptable_storage_enabler_ashyx.zip - [Click for QR Code] (424.2 KB, 4692 views)
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21st February 2017, 03:06 PM |#2  
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Will it cause an error if I remove the SD card? Because the SD card will be seen as internal storage.
21st February 2017, 05:37 PM |#3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheoDores

Will it cause an error if I remove the SD card? Because the SD card will be seen as internal storage.

Yes. Some applications may not work normally or at all. However the phone will constantly notify you that the card is missing and to reinsert it.
Optionally you can choose to cancel that prompt but then you'll permanently lose the association with the SD card and you have to re-format it to use it.
25th February 2017, 05:45 PM |#4  
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not working for me I flashed the zip file, everything seems allright but even after formating the sd card, I don't have the option
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25th February 2017, 07:31 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patci32

not working for me I flashed the zip file, everything seems allright but even after formating the sd card, I don't have the option

This is because the New Storage manager app is different from the usual access menu of standard Samsung settings. The menu we are looking for is hidden before the Format as portable storage option and there is no back button.

To make menu appear put the SD card into a computer and delete all the partitions on it.

1. Use MiniTool Partition Wizard on Windows or any other tool that let's you delete the partitions on the SD card
2. Place the SD card back in to the device
3. Go to the Storage Manager and select Storage options form top right

Now you should see the "corrupt" message under SD card. This is what we want.
To make the phone see the SD card as corrupt.

4. Now tap on that and hit Configure on the popup where it says ...in order to use it it has to be configured.

5. Done. Now you will see 2 options:
-Use as portable storage and
-Use as internal storage
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25th February 2017, 07:51 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnflos

This is because the New Storage manager app is different from the usual access menu of standard Samsung settings. The menu we are looking for is hidden before the Format as portable storage option and there is no back button.

To make menu appear put the SD card into a computer and delete all the partitions on it.

1. Use MiniTool Partition Wizard on Windows or any other tool that let's you delete the partitions on the SD card
2. Place the SD card back in to the device
3. Go to the Storage Manager and select Storage options form top right

Now you should see the "corrupt" message under SD card. This is what we want.
To make the phone see the SD card as corrupt.

4. Now tap on that and hit Configure on the popup where it says ...in order to use it it has to be configured.

5. Done. Now you will see 2 options:
-Use as portable storage and
-Use as internal storage

Finally made it work, thanks. However it is sooooo slow that I want to go back. What is the best procedure for this ?
25th February 2017, 09:26 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patci32

Finally made it work, thanks. However it is sooooo slow that I want to go back. What is the best procedure for this ?

You need a faster SD card (type UHS-I U3 or UHS-II U3 for faster access speeds).

As for reverting to portable storage just pop out the card then select "cancel association" from the phone.
Next time you insert the SD card it will say it is not recognizable and you can format it again either as portable storage or as internal storage
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14th April 2017, 09:22 AM |#8  
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Root
when I want 2 root my device with A520FXXU1AQCA, but Odin - FAIL!
Download mode - Custom binary (RECOVERY) Blocked to remaining installment balance.
Whocan help me
16th April 2017, 10:31 PM |#9  
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if i try Adoptable storage do you lose OTA update ?
20th April 2017, 01:59 PM |#10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umbrokhan

if i try Adoptable storage do you lose OTA update ?

what?
20th April 2017, 02:59 PM |#11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aze_abd

what?

OTA means Over the air
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