Solved! Moto G 3rd Gen

Jan 18, 2019
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I use a Moto G 3rd Gen as my wife does. My wife and I have been with CC now for about a year. As you know the Moto comes with 8 GB internal memory/storage. When we first got the phones I added a 16gb SD card for more storage. I have never had a problem using my Desktop PC to download photos from the phones. I could always see the file structure on the PC and where to D/L from. Recently I decided to upgrade my phone from the 16gb SD card to a 32gb (max) card. What I did is open the back of the phone, slide out the 16gb SD and slide in the new 32gb sd. When I booted the phone back up it allowed me to format the new 32gb sd. There was also a message that the 16gb SD was missing. In other words the phone had no idea I had removed the 16gb sd. I believe the reason I saw that message in the first place was I had not used the eject command before I removed the 16gb sd. Well I reformatted the new 32gb card and the message went away. By the way, the format choice I used was to treat the new 32gb sd as internal storage. Well when I pluged the phone into my PC to check the files all I could read was the 32gb sd. On my pc screen I could see the moto G label which was supposed to be the actual internal memory but I did not have access to the file structure. I used to be able to backup MMS which i cannon do now. The Moto G only allows certain phone apps to be transferred to the SD card. Even though the 32 gb sd card was formatted as internal storage the phone will not allow some apps to actually function on an external SD card.
The strange thing is when I had the 16 gb card installed I could see both internal and external menory/storage. Not sure what happened. If anybody has a a good answer please let me know. Thank you.
 
This is a flaw in the system and you are not the first person to mention it. It is worse with some devices than with others. On average, the SD card, after being made "Internal" storage, can only be seen if you choose to view the internal storage and not the card when connected.

When the card is made "Internal" storage, it is encoded. At least when it is done the normal way. (instructions below) However, sometimes, when it is done through the devices option to make the card "Internal" when you install it, then it doesn't work quite correctly. I don't know personally what they have done to the system to make the option not make the change correctly, it is almost like they want to give people the 'idea' that the card is being changed over to "Internal" rather than "External", but then it doesn't quite make the change as it should. This is why I recommend people not use that particular option on most devices.

If you haven't put anything on the card yet, I suggest you return it to "External" storage status and then try the instructions below and see if that sorts things out.

First, you need to be using a phone that is running at least Android "Marshmallow" (6.0) or newer, or be able to upgrade to it. Second, you will need the instructions I am including below. And third, you need a phone that has not been restricted by the manufacturer from making this change. Which does happen.


NOTE: If any of the steps are missing on your phone, or they don't work for you, then you have a phone that either has an older Android version or has been restricted by the manufacturer. If that is the case, you will not be able to use this information.


How to turn the "External" SD card into "Internal" storage - Option A

NOTE: Please be sure you start with a blank SD card. It needs to be blank because when the card is converted to "Internal" storage, it will be formatted (wiped) and encoded (making the cards data only readable by that device).

1. Go to device “Settings”, then select “Storage”.
2. Select your "SD Card", then tap the “three-dot menu“ (top-right), now select “Settings” from in there.
3. Now select “Format as internal”, and then “Erase & Format”.
4. Your SD Card will now be formatted as internal storage.
5. Reboot your phone.

NOTE: If you don't reboot the phone, many things may not work correctly, so make sure you do.


How to turn the "External" SD card into "Internal" storage - Option B

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure you start with a blank SD card. When the card is converted to "Internal" storage, it will be formatted (wiped) and encoded (making the cards data only readable by that device), so anything on it prior would be gone.

1. Go to "Settings", and then select "Storage & USB".
2. At the bottom of the list you should see the SD card's details, including the option to format it and make it "Internal" storage.
3. Once this is done, reboot the device and you can start running things from the card.

NOTE: If you don't reboot the phone, some things may not work correctly, so make sure you do the reboot.


A Final Note: If you set up the card as "Internal" storage, then the data on it will not be readable by any other device. To access the data you would have to connect he phone to say a computer and copy it over to the computer from the phone/card. Otherwise only phone can read the data. Also, be sure you do not reset (hard or factory) the phone. If you do, then all the data on the card will no longer be readable, even by the phone itself.

 
This is a flaw in the system and you are not the first person to mention it. It is worse with some devices than with others. On average, the SD card, after being made "Internal" storage, can only be seen if you choose to view the internal storage and not the card when connected.

When the card is made "Internal" storage, it is encoded. At least when it is done the normal way. (instructions below) However, sometimes, when it is done through the devices option to make the card "Internal" when you install it, then it doesn't work quite correctly. I don't know personally what they have done to the system to make the option not make the change correctly, it is almost like they want to give people the 'idea' that the card is being changed over to "Internal" rather than "External", but then it doesn't quite make the change as it should. This is why I recommend people not use that particular option on most devices.

If you haven't put anything on the card yet, I suggest you return it to "External" storage status and then try the instructions below and see if that sorts things out.

First, you need to be using a phone that is running at least Android "Marshmallow" (6.0) or newer, or be able to upgrade to it. Second, you will need the instructions I am including below. And third, you need a phone that has not been restricted by the manufacturer from making this change. Which does happen.


NOTE: If any of the steps are missing on your phone, or they don't work for you, then you have a phone that either has an older Android version or has been restricted by the manufacturer. If that is the case, you will not be able to use this information.


How to turn the "External" SD card into "Internal" storage - Option A

NOTE: Please be sure you start with a blank SD card. It needs to be blank because when the card is converted to "Internal" storage, it will be formatted (wiped) and encoded (making the cards data only readable by that device).

1. Go to device “Settings”, then select “Storage”.
2. Select your "SD Card", then tap the “three-dot menu“ (top-right), now select “Settings” from in there.
3. Now select “Format as internal”, and then “Erase & Format”.
4. Your SD Card will now be formatted as internal storage.
5. Reboot your phone.

NOTE: If you don't reboot the phone, many things may not work correctly, so make sure you do.


How to turn the "External" SD card into "Internal" storage - Option B

IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure you start with a blank SD card. When the card is converted to "Internal" storage, it will be formatted (wiped) and encoded (making the cards data only readable by that device), so anything on it prior would be gone.

1. Go to "Settings", and then select "Storage & USB".
2. At the bottom of the list you should see the SD card's details, including the option to format it and make it "Internal" storage.
3. Once this is done, reboot the device and you can start running things from the card.

NOTE: If you don't reboot the phone, some things may not work correctly, so make sure you do the reboot.


A Final Note: If you set up the card as "Internal" storage, then the data on it will not be readable by any other device. To access the data you would have to connect he phone to say a computer and copy it over to the computer from the phone/card. Otherwise only phone can read the data. Also, be sure you do not reset (hard or factory) the phone. If you do, then all the data on the card will no longer be readable, even by the phone itself.

 
Jan 18, 2019
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Unfortunately your two suggestions did not change things. I did find that if I format as "portable" then I have access to the internal files and external files using my PC. However if I format as internal then I no longer have access to the internal file structure although I can still see the external files. I will probably leave it with the SD card formatted as internal storage. I will adjust to it or buy another phone. In any event thanks for your comments. You never know if something will work.
 

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