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I'm having some issues with my Samsung Galaxy Tab, model SCH-I800 (VZW).

It started giving me a reboot loop one day (completely stock at this point). I've flashed ROMs and whatnot in the past, so I thought this would be an easy fix.

Based on the symptoms that this thing is exhibiting, I believe that the internal flash storage has gone bad. However, I do not have the desire to take this thing part and desolder the chip. So how do I get this Tab to boot off the external SD card? I've tried everything google has to offer thus far:

  • Manually (and correctly) partitioned SD card.

  • Edited /etc/fstab in addition to vold.fstab.

  • Flashed numerous ROMs.

  • Data/cache wipe in CWM (for some reason, the newest version won't flash).

Running ls /dev/block in an adb shell shows mmcblk0, mmcblk1p1, and mmcblk1p2. For some reason, after every reboot, mount /sdcard throws an error that references mmcblk0 instead of mmcblk1. I am at my wit's end. I think /etc/fstab isn't sticking after reboot, but I honestly don't know. My knowledge of *nix-based systems is somewhat limited.

Is there any way for me to get this to boot from the external SD card?

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Have you looked at trying a stock odin flash first to fix it? You will have to modify the boot.img to boot from sdcard, which still runs from internal NAND, and there is nothing you can do about that – Drake Clarris May 25 '12 at 18:07
Unless I am misunderstanding you, it isn't the internal NAND that is messed up. It is the internal flash storage that the Tab mounts as /sdcard by default (it's confusing, the internal storage is mounted as /sdcard and the external sd card is mounted as /sdcard/external). Any time I flash with odin, it hangs on hidden.fs. I've tried two stock ROMs (same ROM, different sources) and a few modified ROMs. I am not sure how to modify boot.img but I will certainly google it. Thanks in advance. Let me know if I can provide more information. – bw. May 29 '12 at 18:05
Not totally sure on the workings of ODIN, but I know that devs make custom odin files... can you maybe try one without the hidden.fs? Like have it removed from the archive before flashing? Maybe once booted you could format the internal flash memory in Android itself or in a revocery (CWM, TWRP, whatever) – Drake Clarris May 29 '12 at 18:22
I've tried manually removing hidden.fs and just picking individual files from the archive to flash with heimdall. Nothing has worked so far. Also I can't mount mmcblk0 (internal storage) to format it. It throws an error when I try. Thanks though. – bw. May 29 '12 at 18:43

Sorry but it's not possible to boot from an external sd card since when the phone powers up the processor start to execute code at a fixed adress in the nand, and you can't change that.

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