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I have a rooted LG-D520 (Optimus F3Q) running Android 4.1.2. The internal memory that came with the phone was so small that I installed an 8GB SD card. I formatted it using MiniTool Partition Wizard with 1.5GB of ext2 (the rest is FAT32). Using Link2SD I've moved many of my apps over to the ext2 partition.

I do not have a ton of apps (they just seem to keep getting bigger), yet I only have 5% space left on the ext2. My internal memory has 27% left (355MB), but I've had to delete a lot of stuff to make room. I'm only using a small portion of the 5.9GB FAT32 partition, so I'm wondering if...

  1. I can increase the size of the ext2 beyond 1.5GB. Is there a maximum size and, if so, what is it? Can I repartition without losing my apps & data or do I need to backup, format and start over?
  2. I can add another ext2 partition to my SD card and load apps into there. Can you have multiple ext2 partitions and, if so, would that work with Link2SD?
  3. Are there any other options ?

This has been a frustrating endeavor and it's unbelievable the lengths you have to go to in order to do basic stuff on an Android phone, so I'd appreciate any advice.

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Here's how I did it when I needed to increase the size of my second (ext2) partition that Link2SD used for applications from 2GB to 6GB:

  1. Use free version of Mini Partition (v9.1) to

    • a. shrink the first partition (FAT32) by 6GB
    • b. ensure the existing 2GB ext2 partition is at the end (so that the second space after the first partition is the now unallocated 6GB space)
    • c. create a new 6GB primary ext2 partition in the unallocated space
  2. Use the free version of Paragon ext2fs to mount the 2 ext2 partitions in Windows and allocate each a driver letter

  3. Use Windows explorer to copy the contents of the old 2GB ext2 partition to the new 6GB partition

  4. Put the card back into your phone and have Link2SD recreate the mount scripts for the 'second partion' (just to make sure the 6GB one works)

  5. Use Mini Partition to:

    • a. delete the old 2GB ext2 partition
    • b. move the 6GB ext2 partition to the end of the card/drive
    • c. extend the FAT32 partition to fill the 2GB unallocated space.
  • This looks really interesting. I'm excited to give it a try, however, I'm nervous about messing up my phone. So I'm going to buy a 2nd SD and then use Windows explorer to copy the contents from the old SD to the new SD. I'll let you know how it goes... – Mark Cramer Aug 18 '15 at 6:59
  • Brilliant! I only had an 8GB SD which I didn't want to touch (just in case) so I bought a 32GB SD (~$25) and followed the directions on noypigeeks.com/android/tutorial-a-guide-to-link2sd to set it up. Since I only have 1 SD slot in my laptop, getting the ext2 partition from the 8GB to the 32GB (allocated 10GB for ext2) was problematic. I solved it by using Mini Partition to copy the 8GB ext2 partition to a USB thumb drive. I then copied the USB ext2 to the 32GB ext2. Interestingly, I had a hard time with Paragon extfs copy across mem devices. Same device copy worked, however! – Mark Cramer Aug 18 '15 at 21:33
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You can expand the ext2 partition easily as most partitioning tools such as the one you used to create the partition can handle this.

Edit: turns out resizing ext2 can not be done easily using Minitools or any other popular partitioning tool for Windows. If you really want to resize, you should probably use a Linux live disk or a Linux virtual machine to use the native Linux programs for resizing, like GParted.

Increasing the partition size for your ext2 partition basically means moving files on the FAT32 partition around to make a continuous free space, then shrinking the FAT32 partition then extending the ext2 partition to fill the empty space, and finally expanding the filesystem. Many tools will do all this for you if you just select "shrink" on the FAT32 partition and then "extend" on the ext2 partition.

This process should not cause you to lose any files or data, but you should probably back up the contents of your partitions before changing the partition size, just to be sure.

You should not be worried about size limits, a standard partition can be up to 4TB using ext2. Recent versions of ext2 can handle up to 32TB (see wikipedia for details). Every phone I have ever heard of can handle 64GB easily, but your phone seems to be limited to 32GB (according to the lg website).

Theoretically, you can make add as many partitions as you want to your SD-card, a quick scan through the Link2SD screenshots on Google Play show a selection for the partition to link data to.

1.5GB is not much today, as most phones ship with 8GB or 16GB by default. You can try doing some cleaning on your secondary partition, like clearing the cache and removing the data of apps that are no longer installed.

  • This is great. With the MiniTool Partition Wizard it's easy to shrink the FAT32 partition, however, I am unable to expand the ext2 partition. It simply won't let me do it even though there's 'unallocated' space right next to it. Any idea why? Perhaps I'll just shrink the FAT32 and create a 2nd ext2 partition in the unallocated space. Then I'll use Link2SD to fill it up with apps. Does that sound reasonable? – Mark Cramer May 22 '15 at 21:00
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    I usually use Gparted (on Linux) to partition, but I installed Minitool to try and reproduce your situation, and it seems I was wrong about resizing ext2 in Minitools Partition Wizard. I'm looking for alternatives right now... – gertmenkel May 23 '15 at 18:59
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    I'm sorry, but I couldn't find any Windows tools that allow resizing an ext2 partition. Assuming Link2SD supports 2 partitions, adding a partition probably is the easiest option if you want to stick with Windows. Another option would be to create an image of the ext2 partition as a backup, then deleting the partition, creating a larger one and copying everything back. This requires more knowledge about partitioning and filesystems though. Alternatively, you could try booting a Linux live disk (works without install) and use a tool like GParted, which does support resizing ext2. – gertmenkel May 23 '15 at 19:17
  • Wow. That's awesome that you would go to all the effort. Thank you for the help and good to know that I'm not crazy. All of the choices (a) backup, reformat, resize, b) Linux VM with Gparted and c) 2nd ext2 partition) sound like quite a bit of work, but I'll try the third sometime soon. I don't want to brick my phone before a trip so perhaps when I get back. – Mark Cramer May 24 '15 at 5:05
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I had an issue with mini tool but used Aparted on the phone and it worked like a charm https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sylkat.AParted

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