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Want to know if ICS can mount an SD when formatted as EXT4 or does it still need a FAT32 partition like Gingerbread. Googled for 30+ mins, can't find an answer.

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PS: Ext4 needs an eMMC chip with a flash translation layer (usually done in hardware) that does wear-leveling, bad-block management, etc. Pure NAND must use an FS designed for pure flash devices like YAFFS2. Most newer devices have an eMMC with an FTL and will use Ext4. –  ce4 Nov 21 '12 at 9:54
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2 Answers

Two separate issues.

  1. Does your current ROM force vfat or not? For example, I'm pretty sure CyanogenMod does not force vfat and will not forcibly reformat an ext4 when it finds it back to vfat. This is what will happen on some stock roms. If it does not force vfat, great.
  2. Ext4 is almost certainly supported, if it's not forced instantly into vfat. I quote from CyanogenMod FAQ: "Is ext3/ext4 safe for my SD card? Probably, unless the SD card is very old and does not support wear leveling."

In short, it's impossible to answer if "ICS" works with ext4. It might work, but force ext4 into vfat instantly. It might not work at all. What's important is that you check if the ROM you are using both supports ext4 and does not force it back to vfat. Only one way to find out, except asking around xda-developers ;)

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ICS usually has Ext4 support. The Google Nexus S for example had that already with Gingerbread. It depends on your actual phone model however:

cat /proc/filesystems

This gives you a list of supported file systems. Execute the above command using any terminal app, eg. "System Tuner pro" -> Terminal

You don't need any rooting to view what file system your android kernel supports. My ICS 4.0.4 shows ext4 support.

Older droids were vFat mostly.
If you don't have support you will need to root and install your own custom kernel and/or ROM.

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