The device model is Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 (GT-N5100) It's not booted yet, had developer mode activated.

The flash memory is completely broken (which probably means the bootloader is gone as well?), and since a simple repair at a shop would cost more than 150 USD, I've decided to give it a last try by copying an Android system onto the SD card to make the device at least function again.

I think I will kind of figure out the last step by myself since I'm on Linux all the time, but I'm not quite sure how to change the boot order or whether it is possible at all.

Is it possible to create a "bootable SD card" to boot Android from on this device – and if so, how is this done?

  • Btw, while waiting, Google a little gives me Run any Android ROM from SD card amongst the first hits, as well as SD booting (both are for Rockchip devices, so they probably don't match your Sammy).
    – Izzy
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 13:04
  • Yeah I was looking at the first link as well while waiting for a micro sd card reader. I will still try to force such an installation, I'll see how it turns out in the end.
    – andrew
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 20:40
  • I haven't inserted the SD card yet, but now that I think of this, isn't the condition of this phone very similar to a bricked device?
    – andrew
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 18:16
  • You will see when you boot (e.g. whether the RAM is broken as well). And you will have to take care for things like /data and /cache, of course.
    – Izzy
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 19:11
  • It is possible on Galaxy S3, but that is the only device. See this thread: Sdcard Bootloader - Galaxy S3 on XDA You may be able to find more information on some of the later pages in that thread to see if your device will be remotely supported in the future. Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 2:50

1 Answer 1


I have been successfully able to boot from SD card on QMobile Z8 by:

  • Replicating eMMC partition table by partitioning SD card on a Ubuntu machine using parted and fdisk
  • Flashing factory firmware images to these newly created partitions using dd
  • Modifying fstab.qcom & init.tegra.rc files in kernel (boot.img) and recovery.fstab and uneventd.rc files in TWRP recovery to initiate mounting and booting from SDCard instead of internal memory

It was successful after some experiments. I think this method should be applicable to any device with similar configuration. However, files to be edited may vary from device to device.

If you want to put only apps' external data to SD card and not the whole partition, you can edit fstab in boot.img and storage list in framework-res.apk on Android 5 and older.


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