14/11/2012

[MOD] Swap any Android's External and Internal sdcard

These days, a lot of Android phones and tablets with internal storage of 1 Gigabyte or more are partitioned by default into two parts:
  • Phone's internal storage: Stores system apps, other system files.
  • Internal sdcard: Stores apps data, sd data in case of heavy games. Basically it works similar to what a normal sdcard works to on every other phones that comes with such partitions.
Before you proceed, let me tell you, your device must be rooted. That's another perk of rooting your device. I am sure you know what swapping these locations will do: You will be able to install apps and games data on the external sdcard which on most devices is supported upto 32 GB. That makes keeping a crazy collection of HD games in your mobile/tablet! Please note that this trick has been used on various devices on xda forums, but it's the first time it's available for Any Android device. Well, me and my friend Himanshu have tested it on 5-6 devices of different models, so we think that it would work on every device out there. Your feedback is most welcome in the comments section below.
Swap your internal sdcard with the external one!
See the swapping magic
Image on the right is after swapping while using a 4 GB external sdcard.

Guide: Swapping your internal and external sdcards

    1. Take a backup of your device via clockworkmod or any other recovery just to be safe.
    2. Install any file explorer with root permissions. Root Explorer is a really nice one.
    3. Copy every folder that is present in your internal sdcard to the external sdcard, so that your apps and games continue to work once you have swapped the sdcards.
      Use Root Explorer to do the tinkering
    4. Browse to the location /system/etc and you will find a file named vold.fstab lying there. Note: In Root Explorer, to make any changes to the system files, you need to change the permissions from Read only to Read and write from the top right.
    5. Copy the vold.fstab file to any location on your sdcard.
    6. Upload the vold.fstab file to any file sharing service (like mediafire, devhost or Google Drive.)
    7. Give me the link to this file in the comments section below or in this xda thread. Please include the name of your device so that I can include that in the list (at the end of the post) of devices which already have got the modified vold.fstab file
    8. I shall upload the modified vold.fstab file to devhost.
    9. Rename the original vold.fstab file in /system/etc to vold.fstab.bak
    10. Download the file from there. Unzip the file using Root Explorer and copy the new void.fstab file to /system/etc. Change the permissions to rw-r--r-- by long pressing on the file. 
    11. Reboot your device and go to the storage section on your device.
    12. If the internal storage section now reflects the stats of your external (and real) sdcard, then thank me and if you wish, you can format the new external sdcard (which previously was the internal sdcard) as all the stuff has been already copied to the new internal sdcard in step3. And I don't think you would want copies of same files lying at two places, do you?
  • Attention: Post requests to get your files modified in this topic (link dead now).
    Update: No more requests are being entertained. Apologies.
  •  All the files that have been modified till now are available here. Watch out if there's already one for your device.
  • If it didn't work, delete the vold.fstab file from /system/etc and rename the file vold.fstab.bak back to vold.fstab and reboot your device. Sorry I could not make it work on your device. You can always use Directory Bind as an alternative to this.
  • Another great alternative I just found is to use an app called Root External 2 Internal SD. It's available for free at the play store. This app even works on phones like Galaxy S Duos whose vold.fstab file couldn't be modified due to some personal reasons :P Ok, not personal, in some new phones by Samsung, the partition info is stored in two different files, vold.fstab and vold.conf. Using this app, even these phones can be swapped!
This method has been tested working on Samsung Galaxy S III, Karbonn A9+, HTC Rezound, Micromax A110, Micromax Funbook, Xperia Sola, Xperia Tipo, Xperia Miro, HTC Amaze 4G and a long list of other devices. What are you waiting for? Give me that link to the uploaded file right now. I shall try to respond back asap, and I can't respond during night.

Thanks to Dr. Himanshu Parashar for bringing this under my notice. Comment below with the link to the original vold.fstab file in your Android device, and ye shall get the modified one! Let's fix what shouldn't have been disturbed by the manufacturers!
P.S. I shall update the below list with modified vold.fstab files.
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