I recently bought a new Alba 10" tablet, along with a 32GB microSD card to boost the storage.

My problem is that the SD card isn't functioning as I would expect.

The expected behaviour

  1. If I insert the card when the tablet is already switched-on I see a "Preparing SD card" notification message, which subsequently disappears.
  2. If I remove the card when the tablet is already switched-on I get an "SD card removed unexpectedly: Unmount SD card before removing to avoid data loss" notification message.
  3. The card appears in the tablet's built-in file browser (and other apps I've tried) as a 29.79GB SD card and it appears to work normally (creating/deleting files and folders etc).

The unexpected behaviour

When the SD card is present the Settings->Storage screen only shows the tablet's internal storage, exactly the same as when the card is not present. This has a few undesirable effects:

  • I can't unmount the card to avoid the notification mentioned in "expected" behaviour 2, above.
  • I can't change the default write disk. This means that I can't, for example, save photos from the camera app directly to the card.
  • I can't move any apps to the SD card.

Some other points that may or may not be relevant

  • The tablet is running Android 5.0.1 and doesn't appear to have any major customisations.
  • The card is a Samsung EVO 32GB microSDHC, bought from a reputable retailer and delivered in sealed packaging, so I'm about as sure as I can be that it's not counterfeit.
  • I've tried the card in my PC and it appears to behave normally. I've also tried reformatting it on the PC before retrying in the tablet, with no change in the tablet's behaviour.

And here are my questions...

  • Is the described behaviour truly unexpected or is it my own expectations that are wrong?
  • If this is known behaviour then is there some way to make the SD card show up on the Settings->Storage screen?
  • If this isn't known behaviour then is there anything else I should try in an attempt to diagnose and/or fix the problem?
  • Does it really matter if the problem can't be resolved? Is it likely to be safe to use the card purely as file storage, even if it can't be made to appear on the Settings->Storage screen?
  • For the storage space problem see this question: android.stackexchange.com/q/132961/86358. Can somebody tell me what is up with people asking why their reported disk space is slightly less then advertised on the package? Watch out for the difference between GB and GiB
    – GiantTree
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 12:02
  • @GiantTree: There is no storage space problem here. The reported size of the SD card is exactly what I'd expect, that's why I noted it in the "expected behaviour" section. My question is why the SD card doesn't show up at all on the Settings->Storage screen when, as far as I can tell, it is recognised correctly by the filesystem?
    – LukeH
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 20:13

2 Answers 2


The immediate red-flag is that you are using a Samsung EVO SD card. There have been a huge amount of counterfeits being reported, even from retailers like Best Buy and Target. It even made it on XDA, which explains pretty thoroughly what to look for: Fake Samsung EVO 64GB SD card - XDA

It doesn't seem, however, that it would affect your Settings app in that manner. I have a few unbranded tablets that handle storage terribly, and I think it's definitely the manufacturer's fault.

If you like Vanilla Android tablets like I do, I would recommend the Dell Venue line of tablets, they are Intel core and handle games and Bochs emulator very well.


What I do in my situation is switch off my device from power menu. wait for a minute or two insert the card and reboot the device. and my phone or tablet whichever device recognize it normally.

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