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Families 2.4.0 + Galaxy S7 with SD card: "no external storage"
#1
Families was running fine on my Verizon Samsung Galaxy S4, with data stored on external SD card.

Just upgraded thephone to a new S7, and transferred all data (via Verizon Cloud) from old phone to new phone.  GooglePlay also reinstalled all my apps on the new phone.

When I opened Families I only saw the Kennedy Family data file, even though this is not present on the SD card. It's only present on phone storage.

I then went back to PC and re-did SYNC function.  Now I saw BOTH Kennedy Family and my Sperber family.  These are the two data files now present in \Data of the phone storage, and the size of my Sperber family file is correct (being larger than the one on the SD card which is older and obsolete).

I really did want to use the SD card, not the phone.  So I went into Settings and tried to ON the "use external storage" setting.  However it produced a popup message saying:  No external storage; there is no external storage available.  Interestingly, when I OK the error message and get back to the settings dialog screen, the OFF has actually been changed to ON!!  But if I exit Settings and re-launch Settings, sure enough it is now back to OFF.  This is just a minor cosmetic issue of course, with the real problem being that it is unhappy with external storage on the S7.

So the 64GB external storage card really IS available, and there is about 5GB of general assorted data on it, and Samsung My Files and other apps sees it all.

Anyway, can't get Families to use the external SD card.


Additionally, there is a second problem: I cannot DELETE the default Kennedy family tree.

Well, I actually I appear to have deleted it, since its name disappears and only my Sperber family tree (on phone storage) remains.  And I can in fact select that file and work with it just fine. So it appears I've deleted Kennedy.

However if I close the program and re-launch, lo and behold the default Kennedy family file GETS REGENERATED!!!  And now both Kennedy and Sperber appear in the list of files for me to choose from with Families.

I can use either Families or My Files to delete the Kennedy file from \Android\Data phone storage.  But it doesn't matter... Families will recreate it the next Ime I launch the program.
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#2
Bump.

Again, cannot delete Kennedy family from phone storage.

Also, cannot put database on SD storage.

Galaxy S7 phone.
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#3
(17-Sep-2016, 08:50 AM)DSperber Wrote: Bump.

Again, cannot delete Kennedy family from phone storage.

Also, cannot put database on SD storage.

Galaxy S7 phone.

Sorry you're having these problems.  Unfortunately dealing with external storage in Android has always been a pain, as there is no standardization in the path naming of the SD card storage, which varies according to both device type and Android version.  The current version of Families checks for up to 17 different paths, but it seems that the Galaxy S7/Android 6 combination uses something different again.  To help us identify the problem, could you let us know:
- the version of Android you have on the S7
- the value of Base Folder when Use External Storage is OFF
- the value of Base Folder immediately after you've set Use External Storage to ON

I think the problem with deletion of the Kennedy file will be solved when we resolve the external storage problem.

Malcolm Green
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#4
Sorry for the delay in responding.

My phone is a Samsung Galaxy S7, Android version 6.0.1. Android security patch level August 1 2016.

Base folder when "use external storage" is OFF: /storage/emulated/0/Android/data/uk.co.telgen.families/files

I can't actually set external storage to ON, although it changes from OFF to ON when I go through the motions. But as soon as I press the OFF/ON toggle button to change from OFF to ON I get that popup error message box: "No external storage; There is no external storage available". When I then push the OK button the error box disappears, and the "use external storage" now shows ON. However the base folder value remains unchanged and still shows the value I stated above.

If I then BACK out of settings and then get back into settings, the OFF/ON toggle button is once again shown as OFF.
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#5
I've researched this problem on the web, and it appears to be caused by a fundamental change in the way in which external storage is handled in Android 6.  The path to the SD card is no longer fixed, but contains numbers which vary from one device to the next.  Many other app developers have hit the same issue.  We will need to redesign the way we handle the SD card and this will take some time.  Meanwhile it will be necessary to use internal storage if using Android 6.

Malcolm Green
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#6
Thank you for looking into this. I will be patient, and have no problem using internal storage for Families for as long as it take to get resolved.

As you've mentioned, other apps do seem to have similar issues. I use KeePassDroid (to match KeePass on my PC), and it too has some very strange behavior regarding theoretically supporting its own database file(s) on external storage. And, as with Families, KeePassDroid also doesn't actually succeed here on my new S7 even though it worked perfectly with My S4 using the SD card as the repository. I've reported this issue to that software vendor as well.
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#7
One more interesting observation on SD card storage in the S7, specifically dealing with transferring files to/from a PC. This used to be handled perfectly fine through MTP on the S4, and there was no problem reading/writing from/to the SD card when inserted into the phone, through a USB cable connection from phone to PC with "media" selected as the USB connection mode (rather than "installer").

Well, with the S7, it looks different. I believe I should be using the new USB connection option of "file transfer", and this does allow the directory of the SD card to be seen in Windows Explorer on the PC. But I have been unsuccessful in actually reading the JPG files I'm trying to get to which are stored in \DCIM\Camera on the SD card. I can select them, but the copy process just doesn't work and Explorer seems hung. I have to unplug the USB cable to break the connection to get back to normal.

I did a little research, and found this useful article which seems to be reporting exactly what I have now discovered for myself.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In an effort to simplify things, Samsung uses one slot in the body of the Galaxy S7 to hold a single tray with both the SD card and SIM card in it. Even though you're more likely to want to remove the SD card for data transfers to/from a computer than you will remove your SIM card, in this instance you don't have a choice — removing the SD card is also going to pop out your SIM.

That means if you're going to want to use your phone for calls and data while the SD card is out, you'll have to replace the tray with just the SIM — and then, of course, remove the SIM once again to put the SD card back in the phone. Every time you remove and replace the SIM the phone will take a little bit to re-connect to the network and negotiate things, and in some cases that'll require a reboot of the phone if it's been a while.

Nothing to lose any sleep over, but one to be aware of nonetheless — you may run into a couple small pain points (or simply some waiting) by removing the SIM every time you remove the SD card.
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#8
(22-Sep-2016, 08:12 AM)admin Wrote: I've researched this problem on the web, and it appears to be caused by a fundamental change in the way in which external storage is handled in Android 6.  The path to the SD card is no longer fixed, but contains numbers which vary from one device to the next.  Many other app developers have hit the same issue.  We will need to redesign the way we handle the SD card and this will take some time.  Meanwhile it will be necessary to use internal storage if using Android 6.

Malcolm Green

I have the same problem with Sony z5 phone and Sony z2 tablet both running Android 6. Seems to be a problem with Android 6 as the SD card was fine on previous version of Android. Base folder for both is /storage/emulated/0/Android/data/uk.co.telgen.families/files. This folder exists and I've copied family files into it.  But when I go into settings I can't even turn on the option "Use External Storage", it is just ghosted. Base folder location is also ghosted. Otherwise, really happy with the software, hope you can find a solution soon (before they upgrade android again and finding another way of locking us out of the SD card, I'm sure it all has to do with security, but I'd like the option of using it. If I wanted to have everything locked down and be subjected to the dictates of the software engineers I'd have bought an Apple!)
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#9
I'm most surprised at the inability to READ the files from the SD card via USB cable connected to PC, with "media" selected as the USB connection mode. You'd think this corresponded to MTP on the S4 and other devices (like cameras) containing SD/flash cards, where the device itself serves as a USB card reader.

But no... my camera's JPG picture files that got stored on the SD card can be recognized as being present (i.e. the directory of file names is visible with Windows Explorer on the PC). But if you try to READ, it simply fails. I don't think WRITE to the SD card through the phone will work either, as it did with MTP on the S4.

So to READ/WRITE the SD card must be physically removed from the S7, inserted into a USB card reader, and accessed that way. When you're done, you have to reinstall the SD card back into the phone.

Tragic. I spoke with Samsung support about this today, and they certainly know all about it. But there's nothing they can do at this point, as I suspect the implementation might have been a combination of efforts both by Google with Android 6 and Samsung, and the product is what the product is (unless Google comes out with a change in a new release of Android 6).
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#10
(23-Sep-2016, 08:36 AM)DSperber Wrote: I'm most surprised at the inability to READ the files from the SD card via USB cable connected to PC, with "media" selected as the USB connection mode.  You'd think this corresponded to MTP on the S4 and other devices (like cameras) containing SD/flash cards, where the device itself serves as a USB card reader.

But no... my camera's JPG picture files that got stored on the SD card can be recognized as being present (i.e. the directory of file names is visible with Windows Explorer on the PC).  But if you try to READ, it simply fails.  I don't think WRITE to the SD card through the phone will work either, as it did with MTP on the S4.

So to READ/WRITE the SD card must be physically removed from the S7, inserted into a USB card reader, and accessed that way. When you're done, you have to reinstall the SD card back into the phone.

Tragic.  I spoke with Samsung support about this today, and they certainly know all about it.  But there's nothing they can do at this point, as I suspect the implementation might have been a combination of efforts both by Google with Android 6 and Samsung, and the product is what the product is (unless Google comes out with a change in a new release of Android 6).

I don't have that problem with my Sony phone and tablet, I can connect both to the computer via usb cable and (depending on which option I select) can read and write to the SD card and to the phone/tablet's main storage.  Only SD card problem I have is getting families to see it.
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