I tried to detect my Android storage in Windows. But Windows only detect one storage device, which is my external storage (when activated). How do I actually activate or share the internal storage, so that I could gain access the internal storage and write data onto it?

Final Objective:

Write binary data from PC into both internal and external storage.


For External: I found several ways of doing it. One is to Remove the external memory and plug it into the PC card reader and start writing. or we could share the storage media.

For Internal: I couldn't even detect the storage from the device nor I don't know how to remove the memory. Should it be while the power is off or on to be able to detect the internal memory from PC? Should I have a root access to the phone before able to do it? (I tried rooting the phone, but no luck)

  • 1
    What device do you have? Are you talking about an internal "SD card" like the Galaxy S devices have or about the main (system) storage? The latter just isn't made available to the PC. Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 2:29
  • I'm using Samsung Galaxy Gio. I didn't know that there's two storage. Yes, if possible I prefer both, because my objective is to write data to all area of the storage available.
    – Yeo
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 2:55

1 Answer 1


There are many storage locations in an Android device (specially in Samsung Galaxy - series)..

Storage Locations which don't require root access:

  1. External SD: If your device supports removable MicroSD card, its mounted on /mnt/sdcard/external_sd (also hard linked at /sdcard/external_sd).

  2. Internal SD (also labeled as USB Storage): This is mounted at /mnt/sdcard (also hard linked at /sdcard).

You can access File System of device over Wi-Fi. To reach storage locations, just follow the paths. Here, you can write anything without problem, but there may be problem deleting files/directories here due to limited FTP permissions (follow last part of answer to remove this limitation). If you access file systems using USB connection, there shouldn't be any permission problem.

Storage Locations which require root access:

  1. System Storage: Its protected storage of system reserved for apps. e.g. /data partition.

  2. ROM: Its the storage where firmware files can be located. e.g. /system partition.

To write here, you do need root access. If your device isn't rooted, you are out of luck. If you are rooted, you can use Root Explorer or ES File Explorer to write anything here. Note: You need to mount some partitions with R/W access to write. e.g. /data partition is already mounted with R/W access, but /system and /dbdata partitions are mounted with R/O access.

Accessing them on PC is somewhat tricky: Use Terminal Emulator to mount the partition with R/W access permanently (if its not). Install a native linux FTP server & execute it under root user. Make sure to configure FTP server for accessing the location you want to access. Done! You can now access this location over wi-fi using any FTP client.

Its not a concern for questioner, but its worth mentioning: When internal SD is not present, removable MicroSD card might be mounted on /mnt/sdcard (also hard linked at /sdcard). And, all these mount points are decided by manufacturers, firmwares and may be different. So, its always better to check with mount command in Terminal Emulator.

  • 1
    Note that not all phones have both (1) and (2), some may only have one or the other.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 10:42
  • @GAThrawn That's true, but Galaxy - series always include (2). When it comes to (1), I am not sure about his Galaxy Gio.. That's why I put if your device supports...
    – iOS
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 10:50
  • Wow, what a great answer.. (3) is what I am looking for. Thank you very much. I gonna try it out :-)
    – Yeo
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 12:26

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