Oct 132011

I recently took advantage of some freebies to replace the original class 2 microSD card with a larger and faster one on my HTC EVO 4G phone, and of course, I wanted to do it without losing any data from the old card.

The upgrade was much simpler and quicker than expected and it took me these three simple steps:

1. I copied the contents of the old card to a computer
2. Copied the same contents from the computer to the new card
3. Put the new card in and booted up the phone.
It’s that easy! Everything is still there.

This applies regardless of the way you read the cards – it can be by mounting the phone via the USB cable as a disk drive, or by using a card reader or an adaptor.

The beauty of Unix and most Linux and open source distros is in their core simplicity. There’s no registry, no proprietary mess and everything in it is a file, so the entire file system can be backed up and restored by simply copying the folders and files. This is how we used to do enterprise backups of huge Unix systems at work (it was a bit more complicated and it involved several different methods for disaster recovery, but it was always based on this principle). This is also the case with Android microSD cards – if it’s already properly formatted (mine came pre-formatted with Fat32), you only have to copy the contents to the new card and that’s it.

Just in case, I made sure my computer is set to show system and hidden files before doing this (this is my default setting), although Linux and Android distinguishes these by adding a leading dot to the folder or file name so they were visible and copied in Windows.

The whole procedure took about half an hour, but your time may vary, depending on the amount of data your current card has on it.

Disclaimer: If you are in doubt and not 100% sure and comfortable doing what’s described here and don’t know how to back up a drive or swap a microSD card, don’t do this at home. You may damage your phone or data on it permanently even if you’re just out of luck, so it’s best to leave these procedures to experts.

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