Sooner or later every zealous Sony Ericcson Xperia X10 mini (pro) phone user encounters the situation that his favourite smartphone's internal memory (128MB) is not enough We cannot install anything we want, without continously watching free memory. A great solution is App2SD, which - with a small "hack" - allows installation to the SD card. (To do this, we have to repartition the SD card, create the proper filesystem, and direct the installations to this new partition. Only 4-500MBs needed, remaining space will be still usable for storage!)
Let's see what we need besides the SD card and a computer:
- SD-card reader (And the phone in "phone connected" mode!)
- Partitionig software (unfortunately Windows' built-in partition manager cannot create EXT2 partition, which we need). Wide range of partitioning tools available. Under a Linux distribution we can use FDISK or CFDISK; tools. Under Windows we can can use for example MiniTool Partition Wizard or Parted Magic.
- Allow installing unknown softwares (Check Settings / Applications / Unknown sources)
- Root privileges on the phone. (I recommend z4root, here's a little help. Briefly: Install software, then press Root button) It must be done before every other!
Two of my former article in this topic, worth to read:
- Rooting guide for the latest sotware (2.1.1.A.0.6). One thing I want to mention here is BusyBox. With the latest software the App2SD is fully functional with the BusyBox version installed by the SuperOneClick rooting app. But if you have another BusyBox version, you may have difficulties with the installation. (eg. if your BusyBox version does not support the commands needed for App2SD). My BusyBox version is 1.15.3. You can easily check your version with Stephen (Stericson) BusyBox. You can also download this app from HERE!
- It's good to know your Android version.(eg.: Android System Info downloadable from Market)
- A few minutes of free time
- A little piece of information before starting! It's worth to read (short ) http://dyra.eu/blog/android/kis-adalek-app2sd-hez-illetve-mi-kueloenbseg-app2sd-es-app2sd-sima-koezoett
Let's see it step by step!
- Make a backup from your personal data (pictures, music, ...). You can save them to your computer. Your SD card will be repartitioned and formatted, so all data will be lost on it. Another option is simply copying your SD card's content.
- If you manage your SD card with your phone (not with a card reader), your phone must be connected in "phone connected" mode.
- Install and run (on the computer) the MiniTool Partition Wizard Home Edition. (This software is lightweight and simple, I like it.
- Find your card!. Knowing its size or the partition's type may help. ( Click on image to enlarge!)
- Delete the partition by clicking "Delete" button!
- If it's ready, your partition's type become Unallocated. Now you can create a new partition (Create button).
Windows cannot manage more than one partition on an SD card, only the Primary partition. Only this one will be assigned with a letter, so you have to create your "storage partition" first!. This partition is to store for pictures, music, etc. As I know X10 Mini can manage 4-500MB for apps, this size won't cause stability problems. So when creating the storage partition, 4-500MB should be reserved empty. Since Android is based on Linux, the other filesystem will be EXT2. Andriod will manage it without problems. If your storage partition is smaller than 2GB, you can use FAT filesystem, if it's larger, than FAT32 must be chosen.
As seen on the picture, it's ready, click OK. Next you should create the EXT2 partition, where the apps will be installed. Now you have to see something like on the picture below 4., with some "Unallocated" partition. Select this area and click Create. You will see a warning: "The new created partition cannot be used in Windows. Because Windows could only recognize the first partition on a removable disk. Do you want to continue..". Click Yes and change settings like this:
When ready, you can see the new partitions on the SD card, but without applying there will be no changes on the card. So click Apply button on the upper left corner. Answer Yes the "Are you sure?" question, and wait a little for finish. Now you can close the program, the partitioning is ready.
- Now you have an empty partition visible for Windows. You can copy your data back to the SD card. Then turn off / on your phone.
- Now the "hack" that allows installing to SD. For this you have to download the script-software in which you run the script itself. Unfortunatelly this app, Gscript Lite is unavailable on Market, but downloadable from the following link: http://www8.zippyshare.com/v/98768027/file.html.
- Download the script for Android 1.6 "Donut" http://www.megaupload.com/?d=TV8H4Y88
or the Andriod 2.1 "Eclair" http://dyra.eu/sites/default/files/app2sdgt540_2_1.zip
Obviously only one of them, that fits to your phone's Andriod version. Unpack. You will see a app2sdgt540 folder, that contains two more folders: app2sd és a gscript Important! This two folder have to be on SD card's root because the scripts' links won't work!
- Let's go on! Start the installed Gscript Lite app. (If you didn't do it, detach your phone from computer) On the bottom left corner recall "menu", press "Add Script" and "Load file". Select the script "a2sd.sh" and click "Save".
- Run the script by click on "a2sd". Click "Allow" to allow the software to run with root privileges. The script throws an error: "stderr: failed". This is a standard error message, can be ignored at this time. The phone starts to copy the installed applications to the sSD card. It doesn't take too much time. Close the program and reboot phone with "Reboot phone" script. After reboot your new installations will take place on the SD card. (if inserted)
- There are three ways to check it! Besides the a2sd you got a "check" script, too. Installation is similar to a2sd.sh's (See 10.), the only difference is choosing check.sh. With this you can see your partition's size, free space. If you see "Az app2sd müködik " (app2sd is working), then "we happy", its OK.
Second way is to install an app, then turn off the phone, remove SD card, turn on the phone. If you done everything well, then the installed app won't be amongst your installed apps, because its in the removed SD card.
Third way is ADB SHELL . It's simple to use, but this article would be too long if I'd start to explain it.
With this command-line tool you can test your phone via your PC. On the picture below you can see the arrows :). It shows the app folder and its size. (You have just created them on the EXT2 partition)
A few more tips! if you want to delete the apps, remove your SD card and delete them in the usual way. If for some reason the script doesn't run, you can run it again. In this case you get a more expansive error message (for example stderr: mkdir failed for /system/sdcard, File exists), because the script has partially run before. In this example it cannot create /system/sdcard folder, because it exists.
Finally, sorry for the long article, and the defective translation And thanks for my resources, too!
P.S.: Another important thing! The phone's application cache remains in the phones resident (built-in) memory. It can be moved, it's another "hack". I don't recommend this, because SD cards are much slower than built-in memory. It's better to leave it there.
What does it mean? After installing an app, a cache is created in built-in memory. Obviously it will decrease free space there.
So don't be afraid, app2sd is working! This cache is much smaller than the app itself (which is on your SD card).
So if you see your built-in memory's free space decreasing, don't panic, it must be the cache!
There are a lot of cache-managing apps, you can try.