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By pyro42, Member on 25th February 2012, 08:56 PM
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The partitioning on the droid 4 is kinda annoying me. I really don't like mnt/sdcard being internal storage and my actual sd card being mnt/sdcard-ext. Will the have to be fixed with a rom, or can it be changed on stock somehow?

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9th March 2012, 02:58 AM |#2  
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I was annoyed at that too until I understood the reasons behind it.
Here are the storage locations and what they are for:
  • /system
    • This is were the System ROM storage is
    • I don't recall the size on the original Droid, the size on the Droid 4 is 667MB.
  • /data
    • This is the internal memory for internal apps and data.
    • This is used on the Original Droid and the Droid 4.
    • On the Original Droid it's 300MB in size and on the Droid 4 it's 3.22GB in size.
  • /mnt/sdcard
    • On the Droid 4 this is a partition that is 8.59 GB in size.
    • By having the main storage for user data like Photos, Music, etc. be a separate partition you then have an internal storage place that you can mount on the computer via USB and organize via file managers.
    • Thus you don't need an external SD card for the Droid 4 like you did with the Original Droid to have 1GB+ storage space and the ability to mount it via USB to the computer.
    • The Droid 4 settings shows this partition as a "Media Area" referencing the usage of putting media like music, photos, videos, etc. on it.
    • On of the down side to this is features like MoveToSD put apps in this "Media Area" instead of the real SD card.
    • On the Original Droid this partition was not there so to keep compatibility with existing apps, it's mounted at /mnt/sdcard instead of say /mnt/MediaArea.
  • /mnt/sdcard-ext
    • This is where the real SD Card is due to the above path being used as a "Media Area".
      I'm not sure weather the decision to make a "Media Area" was something Google did with Android 2.3.3 or if Motorola did it but I suspect it was something Google did with Android as from what I've read online other manufacturers do this too though it appears others use different mount points like Samsung apparently uses /mnt/sdcard/sd for the location of the real SD Card.
    • Motorola has an API for apps to get this path if they want to use the actual SD Card and all the built-in MotoBlur apps use this path.

So if you want to use an SD Card you need an app that supports getting the actual SD Card.

You probably can change the paths via updating the fstab file or creating a symlink but if want both paths that will just create problems.
If both /mnt/sdcard and /mnt/sdcard-ext are mounted then MotoBlur apps and apps using Motorola's API will expect the SD Card to be at /mnt/sdcard-ext so if you decided to switch the mount points around and have the real SD Card at /mnt/sdcard and the "Media Area" at /mnt/sdcard-ext then those apps would be storing data on the "Media Area" not the sdcard.

You could try to somehow change the fstab file to mount the real sdcard at /mnt/sdcard and replace /mnt/sdcard-ext with a symlink to /mnt/sdcard so all apps look at the real SD card but then you can not access the 8GB of storage in the "Media Area" partition.

So the safest thing to do is to just keep things the way they are and either:
1. Use the "Media Area" and no real SD Card (This is what I'm doing as the 8GB is enough space at the moment).
2. Tell applications that have the option to use the /mnt/sdcard-ext mount point when you want them to go to the real SD Card.
The MotoBlur apps like "My Gallery" support this, Titanium Backup knows about the two mount points and can be switched and File Management Apps usually let you pick the directory they display when you open them so you can set it to the /mnt/sdcard-ext mount point.
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