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My ExtSDCard has begun to act funny over the past few days. I have downloaded and used a few file managers in the past, and my current favorite is ES File Manager. However, over the past few days, I have been unsuccessful in using it to copy anything to the ExtSDCard, always receiving a "Failed to copy" message. I tried the same with Ghost Commander, which is clearer in its failed operation message, yielding the "EACCES (Permission denied)" error message.

To try to correct the error myself, I moved everything I needed to retain to Internal Storage, and reformatted the card. It was virtually empty - barebones. Upon trying to move things back, it did not work again with either File Manager, however, the most simplistic file manager MyFiles did the operation without problems. So now my files are back on the ExtSDCard, but I'm concerned that my favorite file manager ES File Manager is now useless, as is Ghost Commander, too. MyFiles as a file management system really lacks sophistication.

I have uninstalled, and re-installed ES and Ghost Commander without recovering their former functionality. I have rebooted the tablet a number of times, thinking the disk was locked through some system lock that would reset. No luck. I have proved that Dropbox can export a file directly to a location the card, too, so writing is possible, just not with these tools.

I am not looking for alternative file manager suggestions. Anybody have any ideas what is causing well-distributed file managers to lose functionality like this? If it makes any difference, I'm not rooted. It's a Galaxy Tab, which just received an update OTA to 4.4.2 a couple weeks ago. The file managers retained their functionality until just a couple days ago; I don't think the upgrade has anything to do with it.

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It's a Galaxy Tab, which just received an update OTA to 4.4.2 a couple weeks ago.

There you have the reason: Kitkat introduced restrictions concerning access to the SD-Card. While apps still can read from the card, only system apps are permitted to write to it (with the exception of app-specific directories in /sdcard/Android/data).

For non-rooted devices, there's no solution or work-around available (except waiting for the Lollipop update to lift these restrictions a little). There are, however, several solutions for rooted devices, some of them can be found in this list. If you're interested in those (maybe you've meanwhile rooted your device, or rooting became an option for you), watch out for apps like Kitkat external SD card patch or SDFix.

  • for me file manager is able to write files to memory card (ex:ES Explorer), i wonder how!, i am an android dev and having this issue with my application on android 4.4.2 – user229813 Aug 8 '16 at 8:59
  • @user229813 I cannot tell you how – but I'd wonder if it was on the very same device. Some manufacturers (e.g. Huawei) fixed that stupid restriction in their own distributions, so it doesn't affect all devices. Also, most custom ROMs included a patch for it. – Izzy Aug 8 '16 at 10:18
  • It's definitely the same device, there are 3 devices I tested with, lenovo tab 2 A7-20f , lenovo tab 2 A7-30, moto e, running Android 4.4.2,4.4.2,4.4.4 respectively , lenovo tab 2 A7-20f is the one I have problem with – user229813 Aug 8 '16 at 10:54
  • No idea then. And as you're speaking of an app you write: development issues are off-topic here, so please do not ask for how to code that. – Izzy Aug 8 '16 at 11:20
  • I am aware about stack exchange community, hence so I didn't ask for any resolution but pointers for, if anyone know, thanks anyways – user229813 Aug 8 '16 at 11:23

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