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so I got this 36 GB SD card, and I've only used 2 GB on it, I'm on a Samsung J7 Neo BTW, and when I attempt to transfer a 5 GB game to the SD card, it stops halfway trough and a message saying "insufficient storage space" pops up, any idea how to fix it?

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  • So the file is already downloaded local to the phone, you just want to push it over to the external card? Or are you trying to do a direct save in one operation? You may have to read some posts here about how storage is used to understand the mechanisms involved.
    – wbogacz
    Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 15:49
  • I use the transfer app storage to SD card function from the Settings menu, and my SD card has like 30 free GB of memory Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 15:51
  • I downloaded the game from Play Store to my phones internal storage, then did the ingame download of 5 GB, and then I tried to transfer it Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 15:53

2 Answers 2

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It's very possible you bought a fake SD card.

The markets are filled with unscrupulous people and businesses selling fake cards (bad eBay sellers are notorious for this). They take 2GB-4GB cards, and make them look like much larger cards using illegal tricks.

See this link for even more details:
https://www.rmprepusb.com/tutorials/-fake-usb-flash-memory-drives

Update: In the comments, the OP indicated that they have good reason to believe their SD card is good (it previously held 25GB of data). As such, I think it's likely their card is legit, but I'll leave this answer up, as it might help others in the future.

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  • Nope, this ones legit, since my dad stored 25 GB of pictures in it once Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 15:53
  • That's great to hear! I'm so glad you didn't get suckered. Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 15:54
  • I would recommend running a SD card testing tool to make sure it's still good. I have had quite a number of SanDisk cards (which is generally considered a good brand) that were once good go bad after a while. Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 15:56
  • Can you recommend me a testing tool for Sd cards? Sorry for the bother, but I dont know much about advanced stuff on Android devices Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 16:00
  • Sure. Do you have any other devices available? (Linux / macOS / Windows)? Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 16:01
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As the SD-card is smaller than 64GB it is with a high probability formatted using the FAT32 file-system.

As your game is very large I assume it contains at least one file that is larger than 4GB. If you now try to move the game to the FAT32 formatted SD-card you are running into the FAT32 limitation that each file can have a maximum file size of 4GB.

While moving the files the Android receives the error "can write no more bytes to the file" when the 4GB limit is reached. Android internally "translates" this error into "insufficient storage space" because usually this is the reason why you can no longer write data.

Therefore the only way would be to format the SD-card to e.g. exFAT file format. With exFAT you could write files larger than 4GB to the SD-card - assuming your device contains exFAT support.

Another possibility could be that the code moving the files has a 2GB limit. The standard Java code often saves numbers as int which is a 32 bit data type using 1 bit for positive/negative and 31 bits for the actual number. Therefore this number is limited to numbers between -2,147,483,648 to 2,147,483,647. Considering that such a variable is used for counting the copied bytes then there would be a limit of 2GB.

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  • And how do i change the formatting to exFAT? Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 16:48
  • Nvm; I already formatted it to exFAT; im gonna try now and see if it works properly now... Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 17:00
  • I have already formatted it to exFAT; and the game still pops up the same "not enough storage space" text, any other solution? Commented Feb 25, 2021 at 17:03
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    @alecxs Thanks for pointing out, now it is correct. I had the 2GB limit of Java int in mind...
    – Robert
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 10:27

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