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unable to write files to external sd card

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Mr Dasher

Senior Member
Jan 10, 2011
122
16
I have owned a number of tablets but this is the first time I'm unable to write files to my ext. SD card. Anyone else have this issue?

Thanks
 

naturefreak85

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2007
932
155
Boca Raton
I have owned a number of tablets but this is the first time I'm unable to write files to my ext. SD card. Anyone else have this issue?

Thanks

I have the same issue when using any 3rd party file manager, but doing such through the built in one works. I suspect I just need to back up and format the card through the computer, try that and see how it works.
 

Sigilist

Member
Mar 4, 2011
12
0
I ran into the same issue, but reformatting the external SD have no effect. Whether the system is grabbing hold of the extSD and locking out other apps is as yet unknown. Currently I am attempting to figure out how to root the unit so I can gain access with a better FileMngr than the stock one. Still waiting for the download during the reset to finish, so don't know if it will work.
 

garyd9

Inactive Recognized Developer
Sep 13, 2006
2,643
2,732
51
Pittsburgh, PA
Have you format your sd card? I've got same problem, but now it's ok with ES File manager :eek:
Are you sure? Try this:

Reboot the tablet.

Before you do anything else, start ES File manager, and immediately navigate to /mnt/sdcard/extStorages/SdCard.

Menu->New->Folder (leave the default and hit 'OK')

Did it create the folder or show an error message?

(This has become a puzzle for me. Sometimes I can read/write with ES, sometimes I can't. It's damn annoying...)
 

thaloneus

New member
Nov 10, 2011
3
54
I have owned a number of tablets but this is the first time I'm unable to write files to my ext. SD card. Anyone else have this issue?

Thanks

I can't post a link to the original post on another forum that worked for me so I will quote it:

Simple solution for external sdcard write access on Android 3.2...if you're rooted

I've found a simple solution for gaining write access to the external sdcard (/mnt/sdcard2) on Android 3.2. The sdcard is mounted r/w, but the owning group is media_rw which is linked to the WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE permission. Unfortunately, this permission was not required for access to the external sdcard prior to 3.2 so most file management utilities do not request it when they run...meaning they only have read access to the card.

The simple solution, if you're rooted, is as follows:
1. Using a root-enabled file manager, navigate to /system/etc/permissions and make sure you have mounted the file system r/w.
2. Edit platform.xml and find the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.
3. Add an additional group definition for this permission...<group gid="media_rw" />
4. Save the changes to the file.
5. Restart your tablet.

After this change, any apps that request the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission (which includes almost anything that access either of the sdcards) will gain group membership in both sdcard_rw AND media_rw, giving them r/w access to both sdcard filesystems.
 

naturefreak85

Senior Member
Jun 18, 2007
932
155
Boca Raton
Interesting that it requires root to fix. You would think that even the Samsung file manager would be able to handle it, but it doesn't.

I can't post a link to the original post on another forum that worked for me so I will quote it:

Simple solution for external sdcard write access on Android 3.2...if you're rooted

I've found a simple solution for gaining write access to the external sdcard (/mnt/sdcard2) on Android 3.2. The sdcard is mounted r/w, but the owning group is media_rw which is linked to the WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE permission. Unfortunately, this permission was not required for access to the external sdcard prior to 3.2 so most file management utilities do not request it when they run...meaning they only have read access to the card.

The simple solution, if you're rooted, is as follows:
1. Using a root-enabled file manager, navigate to /system/etc/permissions and make sure you have mounted the file system r/w.
2. Edit platform.xml and find the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.
3. Add an additional group definition for this permission...<group gid="media_rw" />
4. Save the changes to the file.
5. Restart your tablet.

After this change, any apps that request the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission (which includes almost anything that access either of the sdcards) will gain group membership in both sdcard_rw AND media_rw, giving them r/w access to both sdcard filesystems.
 

StingerDog

Member
Dec 31, 2011
49
12
@thaloneus:

Thanks for finding and posting that procedure. Was having that excact problem and after making the edit to permissions I am now able to write to the external sd card. ES file explorer now allows writing to the external sd as well as Titanium Backup.

Interesting note: Titanium was backing up to the internal sd. Once the external became available to write to I was able to create a backup folder there and ran another batch of backups.
 

Mr Dasher

Senior Member
Jan 10, 2011
122
16
I can't post a link to the original post on another forum that worked for me so I will quote it:

Simple solution for external sdcard write access on Android 3.2...if you're rooted

I've found a simple solution for gaining write access to the external sdcard (/mnt/sdcard2) on Android 3.2. The sdcard is mounted r/w, but the owning group is media_rw which is linked to the WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE permission. Unfortunately, this permission was not required for access to the external sdcard prior to 3.2 so most file management utilities do not request it when they run...meaning they only have read access to the card.

The simple solution, if you're rooted, is as follows:
1. Using a root-enabled file manager, navigate to /system/etc/permissions and make sure you have mounted the file system r/w.
2. Edit platform.xml and find the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.
3. Add an additional group definition for this permission...<group gid="media_rw" />
4. Save the changes to the file.
5. Restart your tablet.

After this change, any apps that request the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission (which includes almost anything that access either of the sdcards) will gain group membership in both sdcard_rw AND media_rw, giving them r/w access to both sdcard filesystems.

Thanks worked like a charm
 

boonhim

Senior Member
Sep 5, 2004
52
3
Please someone provide me more details or give me the picture of the edited .xml thanks.

Sent from my GT-P6200L using Tapatalk
 

miksumortti

Senior Member
Aug 29, 2011
154
115
miksumortti.com
Please someone provide me more details or give me the picture of the edited .xml thanks.

Sent from my GT-P6200L using Tapatalk

Here is a screenshot of the edited .xml

Sent from my GT-P6210
 

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kzoodroid

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2010
1,356
264
Kalamazoo
@thaloneus:

Thanks for finding and posting that procedure. Was having that excact problem and after making the edit to permissions I am now able to write to the external sd card. ES file explorer now allows writing to the external sd as well as Titanium Backup.

Interesting note: Titanium was backing up to the internal sd. Once the external became available to write to I was able to create a backup folder there and ran another batch of backups.

From what Ive found you need superuser access to the external sdcard to write to it. I've always been able to access the external sdcard with Titanium Backup as the location of the backup was the first thing I changed in its settings when I installed it. Root Explorer can write to it too. The only programs that can't are the ones without superuser access, ES File Explorer is one I have that I can't get its root explorer working, its not requesting superuser access, so it can't write to the sdcard.

Not sure if this has anything to do with the sdcard mounting to a pc as an MTP device instead of MSC or not but really irritated by that protocol. Not sure if this (MTP) is native to Honeycomb or if Samsung wanted the external storage accessed in this way.
 
Last edited:

StingerDog

Member
Dec 31, 2011
49
12
From what Ive found you need superuser access to the external sdcard to write to it. I've always been able to access the external sdcard with Titanium Backup as the location of the backup was the first thing I changed in its settings when I installed it. Root Explorer can write to it too. The only programs that can't are the ones without superuser access, ES File Explorer is one I have that I can't get its root explorer working, its not requesting superuser access, so it can't write to the sdcard.

Not sure if this has anything to do with the sdcard mounting to a pc as an MTP device instead of MSC or not but really irritated by that protocol. Not sure if this (MTP) is native to Honeycomb or if Samsung wanted the external storage accessed in this way.

If you're still having trouble with apps not writing to the external sd, you might want to edit that .xml file thaloneus had mentioned.

Once I did that I had full access to write to that card from any app. Took me all of like five minutes to edit and test it out.
 

Mochan

Senior Member
May 18, 2007
131
0
Manila
I'm having some trouble with this procedure. Like everyone else, I couldn't write to my external SD card using ES Explorer or what not, although the stock Samsung My Files explorer could (and strangely, if I use a Samba mount I could write to it from my Win7 PC).

Anyway I've rooted everything, and was about to edit platform.xml, but I can't save it. I don't have the ability to write to the system folder.

I think I've done the Mount rw thing, ES File Explorer's option to do it was disabled, but on File Expert it was available. For good measure, I also used the app "mount /system (rw /ro)" but even with all these tools, I still can't write to the system directory.

I'm at my wits end, any ideas?
 

StingerDog

Member
Dec 31, 2011
49
12
I'm having some trouble with this procedure. Like everyone else, I couldn't write to my external SD card using ES Explorer or what not, although the stock Samsung My Files explorer could (and strangely, if I use a Samba mount I could write to it from my Win7 PC).

Anyway I've rooted everything, and was about to edit platform.xml, but I can't save it. I don't have the ability to write to the system folder.

I think I've done the Mount rw thing, ES File Explorer's option to do it was disabled, but on File Expert it was available. For good measure, I also used the app "mount /system (rw /ro)" but even with all these tools, I still can't write to the system directory.

I'm at my wits end, any ideas?

What are you using to edit the .xml file? It may not have root explorer functions.

I used the Root Browser from ROM Toolbox to make and save the edit.
 

azdavef

Member
Nov 20, 2011
18
6
Phoenix
Worked for me with Root Explorer. I have tried most of the free file managers, and Root Explorer is worth every penny to me. It is the only app I have paid for.
 

thaloneus

New member
Nov 10, 2011
3
54
What are you using to edit the .xml file? It may not have root explorer functions.

I used the Root Browser from ROM Toolbox to make and save the edit.

i used the free Astro File Manager to navigate to /system/etc/permissions/platform.xml. When I tapped on the platform.xml file I was given a choice of text editors to open it with. When I finished I was offered the option to save the file.
 
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StingerDog

Member
Dec 31, 2011
49
12
i used the free Astro File Manager to navigate to /system/etc/permissions/platform.xml. When I tapped on the platform.xml file I was given a choice of text editors to open it with. When I finished I was offered the option to save the file.

There you are thaloneus!

You made the one post that helped me fix that issue, then you disappeared. Glad to see you're back.

Thanks again!
 

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  • 53
    I have owned a number of tablets but this is the first time I'm unable to write files to my ext. SD card. Anyone else have this issue?

    Thanks

    I can't post a link to the original post on another forum that worked for me so I will quote it:

    Simple solution for external sdcard write access on Android 3.2...if you're rooted

    I've found a simple solution for gaining write access to the external sdcard (/mnt/sdcard2) on Android 3.2. The sdcard is mounted r/w, but the owning group is media_rw which is linked to the WRITE_MEDIA_STORAGE permission. Unfortunately, this permission was not required for access to the external sdcard prior to 3.2 so most file management utilities do not request it when they run...meaning they only have read access to the card.

    The simple solution, if you're rooted, is as follows:
    1. Using a root-enabled file manager, navigate to /system/etc/permissions and make sure you have mounted the file system r/w.
    2. Edit platform.xml and find the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.
    3. Add an additional group definition for this permission...<group gid="media_rw" />
    4. Save the changes to the file.
    5. Restart your tablet.

    After this change, any apps that request the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission (which includes almost anything that access either of the sdcards) will gain group membership in both sdcard_rw AND media_rw, giving them r/w access to both sdcard filesystems.
    6
    Please someone provide me more details or give me the picture of the edited .xml thanks.

    Sent from my GT-P6200L using Tapatalk

    Here is a screenshot of the edited .xml

    Sent from my GT-P6210
    2
    Following the instruction, I can write to the External-SD card with Root Explorer, but if you reboot your table, whatever in there would be gone...

    Does it happens to You?

    Thanks

    It does not.

    I almost forgot this important step when I edited the file:

    "The simple solution, if you're rooted, is as follows:
    1. Using a root-enabled file manager, navigate to /system/etc/permissions and make sure you have mounted the file system r/w.
    2. Edit platform.xml and find the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.
    3. Add an additional group definition for this permission...<group gid="media_rw" />
    4. Save the changes to the file.
    5. Restart your tablet."

    Check to make sure you are saving the edit before you reboot.
    1
    What are you using to edit the .xml file? It may not have root explorer functions.

    I used the Root Browser from ROM Toolbox to make and save the edit.

    i used the free Astro File Manager to navigate to /system/etc/permissions/platform.xml. When I tapped on the platform.xml file I was given a choice of text editors to open it with. When I finished I was offered the option to save the file.
    1
    It does not.

    I almost forgot this important step when I edited the file:

    "The simple solution, if you're rooted, is as follows:
    1. Using a root-enabled file manager, navigate to /system/etc/permissions and make sure you have mounted the file system r/w.
    2. Edit platform.xml and find the WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE permission.
    3. Add an additional group definition for this permission...<group gid="media_rw" />
    4. Save the changes to the file.
    5. Restart your tablet."

    Check to make sure you are saving the edit before you reboot.

    Oh yeah!!! of course, if it doesn't, then it can't be created on the new files or folder in external storage.

    Double check again, created the new text file on the root of "extStorages", then reboot.... result: File is gone

    FYI