SD Card formatting on Android 11

A little pre-emptive.

To date the only safe option is to pre format or format as Portable/Extrenal

As there were problems in using the internal formatting, which is the ‘top’ option when inserting a new SD card ~ in the FP3 ~ I am wondering.

  • What will happen with Android 11 on the FP3
  • What does happen with Android 11 on the FP4

Hopefully this guide will become a relic.

This is still a problem end Oct 2021

So it would be useful to collect any info when it becomes available

This topic seems quite lasting in this forum.
As you write it’s the top option when wanting to format the sd card in the phone which in general is the way to do it.
I wonder if Google ever put close focus on this option which seem to rather introduce troubles than solve them. Why even use it if the risk is high to sooner or later having problems even with the potential risk of data loss.
Iirc the OS first does some kind of performance test before it states if the cards is sufficient and accepted or not. But to me it sounds that doesn’t happen. Even my 10+ year old Panasonic still picture camera does this.
I know for the FP2 there were more often compatibility issues with sd cards, but we have a great, most verified list of compatible cards here which is very helpful.

Being the top format option I assume many take it as a working default option or don’t know better or maybe not quite the difference between both ways of operation. I don’t know how much explanation at a glance there is provided with each format option, but generally the sd card “could” be taken out at any time and inserted in any other device with compatible slot.

I think default should rather be to format as external storage which should tend to work mostly reliable.
There are countless types of storage sold and even surprisingly much fraud going on with fake types not fully being quality tested and sold aside by scammers. It’s hard to even see when holding the pack in hand as they even have hands on original packages from OEMs. There are documentation broadcasts available stating this. I by random saw one about 4 years ago but there is more info to find (Fake-Speicherkarten: Wenn die Daten plötzlich weg sind - YouTube).

Lastly only a full storage test will proof if the item at least offers the stated capacity or not.
I use Windows h2testw_1.4 tool.

After all it’s a sensitive piece of electronics sensitive to ESD. Not made for dropping on any kind of surface (specifically carpet) or easily swapping between other individuals without attentive precautions like “grabbing each others hand, finger or just connect” or place the item gently on a solid surface from were some other can cautiously take it.
I’m always wondering when hearing about someone having a logically broken sd card. There are lots of fake cards around which can catch everyone meanwhile. But handling of them still is an important point. Sure, many manufacturers state their product could stand salt water, drops resisting ESD impacts, magnetic force fields up to a certain limit. But at the end there are open contacts which stay sensitive and should be treated accordingly.

Hardly one can tell afterwards why a sd card failed or in this topic the system got corrupt. Was it a fake card or one of low quality with very “limited” read/write cycles. Was it too often exposed to heat because the specifications weren’t so high…
In many cases the data is lost without any backup available, that’s most annoying I believe.

When using such a card as internal storage it have to come close to the specifications of the onboard storage. Key attributes such as the read/write data rate is first to mention otherwise the entire system performance will suffer. Again read/write cycles are important as they limit the lifetime of such an item. Going with cheap brands like Intenso shouldn’t be the way to go. There is a device at hand having cost several hundreds but the storage extension ought to be as cheap as possible, that’s not very rational.
At least well known brands possibly also giving long term warranty should be preferred. (There’s Kingston, AData). But other brands are well performing too. Just don’t go for cheap (no-name) brands if wanting to keep sensitive data for long time.

Relating transfer speed one should not only hold on to the big printed description on the pack. The first, often better, to read statement usually is the read speed which is by nature usually higher then the write speed (not in every case though as I could experience). But what’s having a more significant impact on performance is always the write speed as it takes more steps for writing and therefore takes longer. Also the price is an indicator of performance and quality. If advertisement puts more focus on capacity chances are high that realistic performance is poor and who knows how it looks about lifetime.
Better look more into technical specs or ask one who knows whats important, going by price is rather bad practice.
It should be about performance (things like picture series simply won’t work properly with a too slow sd card), then warranty and lastly the price.
In times of 64+ GB on internal storage I don’t really see a meaningful reason for formatting the sd card as internal extension unless there is an app not wanting to deal with external storage, then its data should be kept on internal storage and the data from other less intolerant apps rather on external storage.

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That’s the issue I see as important for me, but I imagine people don’t realise that once an SD card is formatted by the phone as internal, only that phone can then access the data.

Cards and phones fail but to lose both in one go is really depressing.
An SD card formatted in Linux/Windows as FAT32 that I can use anywhere and easily make a backup of is my preference.

Let’s see what Android 11 brings to the game.

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A11 does not make any difference regarding the general concerns. Its already available through e/OS and LOS 18.1.

Really wondering what this topic should achieve or what new value/Information it adds?

Well that’s partly what i was wondering, if the problem exists in Android 11. It seems unclear, according to other posts, if this is a

  • Fairphone issue ?
  • A Fairphone 2 or 3 issue ?
  • An Android issue since A6 ?
  • Still an issue with A11 which Fairphoners are yet to comment on.?

It seems A10 FPOS on the FP3 has further issues, however the recommendation to not format as internal is a general Android related recommendation, so is the Forum SD Guide a general guide, not related to a device or Android Version (the guide was written before the FP3 even existed). As said A11 is already available through custom ROMs on FP2 and FP3 and there is in general no change at all reg the use of SD cards or would this make the SD Usage Guide a relict.

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In the first part I am wondering in the cases of an official FP Upgrade to FP3 and actual real-time users of the FP4.

Secondly : If it was resolved then yes I would hope that the guide wasn’t going to be necessary in future and users would not have to worry or be warned etc.

There seemed to be instances of it occurring in phones other than Fairphone but I haven’t had much luck referencing such. If I can’t confirm that then it appears as though it may be just a Fairphone issue ~ so then I wonder why it has been going on for so long.

Like ~ if it is a Fairphone issue how come it hasn’t been resolved? Hence me query regarding A11

We are going in circles, so just read the Guide (remove while reading the Point in bold about the FP3 and Android 10) and you have all answers that are still true under Android 11. A faulty SD Card always causes issues and can happen on every device.
So please dont mix up general recommendation/Guide with the additional/specific A10 FP3 issue. And why crossing bridges before coming to them.

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Very odd? I’m not looking for answers as you infer that could be found in ‘The Guide’ and it does not relate to A11.

This is not about a faulty SD card or if The Guide is good enough.

Simply I’m hoping to hear from someone who has experience in either of the instances I mention prior.

As I said I’ve no bridges to cross just asking if someone else has or is about to cross that one. :slight_smile: I would really like to know how it goes and what’s on the other side.

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