How To Switch to a Different MicroSD Card on Android (When Using Apps2SD)

Got Apps2SD, loaded Hero on your phone, or your using Swap and a partitioned memory card with your custom ROM? But what to do if you buy a new memory card (finally get rid of that 2GB for a much more equipped 4, 8, or 16GB Class 6 card)? Here’s how to swap the old for the new.

I. Find a Memory Card that Suits Your Needs

1. First thing is to get a memory card that will do what you need. No need to go to the largest card just because you can. Get the card with enough memory so you don’t get frustrated when you try to put all that you want and it tells you “not enough available space” (also keep in mind that we’ll need 500Mbs for ext2/ext3 and another up to 96mbs for Swap for most ROMs).

2. Class 6 is best. For most ROMs, we use the SD card as part of the system memory and have it run Apps off of it and sometimes use it for virtual RAM (called Swap). So the speed at which our phone can access and write to that card becomes very important to avoid apps not loading quickly or our phone not being able to use the RAM efficiently.
Class 6 (the highest class commercially available at the moment) allows the card to read and write data at speeds up to 6Mbps (hence Class 6) as opposed to 4Mbps and 2Mbps for Class 4 and 2 cards respectively. So when your budget allows, grab a Class 6 card.

II. Swapping Out the Memory Card

1. Save whatever is on your old memory card to your computer as backup.

2. Turn off the phone and turn it back on by holding down home and power to get to recovery mode.

3. Take out the old memory card and put in a new one (while still on the recovery screen).

4. Click on Format SD Fat32+ext2+swap and wait for it to finish.

5. Click on Convert ext2 to ext3 and wait for it to finish.

6. Now, WITHOUT taking the phone out of recovery mode, put all the stuff you have on the computer (that you saved from the old memory card) back onto the new memory card in the phone (either by taking it out and using an SD adapter and your computer, or by mounting the SD card via usb cord and the phone’s recovery screen. Amon Ras newer recovery screens have an option for Mount SD. Once you click that and the phone is plugged in via USB it should pop up as a folder on your computer like normal).

7. While you are copying the backed up stuff to the new SD card, also put on the ROM that you were using and rename it to like normal.

8. Once done, unmount the SD card in the recovery screen (if you mounted it) or put the SD card back into the phone (if you used the SD adapter).

9. Click Wipe Data (you can try to skip this step, but if it gets stuck on a boot loop then come back to recovery mode and click it this time then do step 10).

10. Click Apply update to flash the ROM again.

All done!

85 thoughts on “How To Switch to a Different MicroSD Card on Android (When Using Apps2SD)”

  1. to late for me… but this is what i did. to upgrate from 1g card to 8 gb

    1. Save whatever is on your old memory card to your computer as backup.

    2. Turn off the phone and turn it back on by holding down home and power to get to recovery mode.

    3. Take out the old memory card and put in a new one (while still on the recovery screen).

    4. Click on Format SD Fat32+ext2+swap and wait for it to finish.

    reboot the phone

    sing in in to my google acc

    download appmanager

    tranfer my app from pc to the phone

    and re. instaled them

    and all done..

    it works just like before but i have more memory.

    ( but please. use the unlockr method.)

  2. couple of questions.

    1. Is it really necessary to run again or can you go straight to reboot the phone?

    2. I hear the swap term on xda developers pretty often and i hear them throw different numbers around for the partitions. What are the default partition volumes created using your method for ext2 and swap, and how would we change those volumes if we wanted to?

    1. Hello Methodz,

      1. Try doing it without it and see what happens. It might start up, and then if it doesn’t do the part lol

      2. There is a big debate over swap values and alot of people think 32Mbs is the magic number while others think 96mbs is the magic number. We use Amon Ras recovery image and he has it do 32MBs. His last one 1.2.2 did 96mbs of swap but apparently he changed it back to 32mbs because of issues 96mbs was creating for some people. If you want, flash his older recovery image and try it and see if there is any noticeable difference (i’ve never noticed a difference either way, but who knows). You can find it with the same download link we have on the site, just select the older one once you get to his page.

  3. TheUnlockr,

    I have recieved this message after manually partitioning my SD card with Gparted any ideas?? i flagged the fat32 partion with lba, does the order of appearance for the partitions matter

    “(Invalid argument)

    Can’t mount sdcard
    E:Can’t mount /dev/block/mmcblk0p1 (or /dev/block/mmcblk0)
    (Invalid argument)
    E:Can’t mount SDCARD:”

  4. Hi Unlockr,

    Just want to say great videos, really has helped a lot. Just having a problem with install apps on to my sd card. I’ve the correct rom installed and partitioned my sd card correctly but none of my apps are transfer to my sd card automatically. Can you please help?


    1. Anthony1709,

      Thanks! You’re welcome!
      Apps2SD doesn’t transfer existing apps, it only saves all new apps to the SD card from then on. So uninstall and reinstall the apps if you want them on the SD.

  5. Oh I thought MoDaCo Custom Hero ROM is suppose to automatically transfer my apps over to my sd card? So anyway I created a 750MB partition ext3, but on the internal phone storage it only shows about 60MB free. Should it not include the 750MB from ext3 as well? Or I am completely wrong and confused?

    Thanks again.

    1. Anthony1709,

      No youre not wrong, its just that Hero roms dont display the correct info in that settings page with apps2sd. Look in the forums for how to check if apps2sd is working.

  6. Firstly just want to say thanks for quick and prompted responses, very much appreciated. Let me start again, I’ve a Hero 1.5. I followed your “How To Root Your HTC Hero in One Click!” followed by “How To: Load a Custom ROM on Your HTC Hero” videos. It seemed to work fine, as I was able to boot the custom recovery screen and load a custom ROM. But as you know I can’t get the A2SD to work. Now I am not too sure if I’ve rooted my phone properly because I installed the app Better Terminal Emulater, opened it up and typed su but I get the message permission denied. Does this mean I haven’t rooted my phone and if so could please tell me where I could have gone wrong? Thanks.

    1. Anthony1709,

      You are very welcome!
      You need to load Modaco’s Custom ROM to have root access.
      Do the one click rooting process and make sure it flashed the recovery screen correctly, then do the how to load a custom ROM and load the latest Modaco ROM, then you are all set.

  7. I am pretty sure I have loaded Modaco’s Custom ROM, as it has the apps which weren’t originally installed on the phone. So I’m sure the phone is running Modaco’s Custom ROM but I still get permission denied on the Better Terminal Emulator. How do I check to see if the A2SD is working or not? Thanks again, and sorry for all the questions.

  8. What should I do if the data off of the original SD card had already been formatted? I’m just trying to get the default file structures back onto my SD card…


  9. Easiest method in the world is to use a script called (search XDA). It will back up your entire environment (ext partition, data, ROM, etc.) less fat32 which can easily be backed up using mounting. Then, copy the files created to your new SD card and restore. You are done. Your EXACT environment is now moved. I jump from my G1 to myTouch and back all the time without missing a beat. There is simply no easier method.

  10. I have swapped from a class2 to a class 6 16gb card using this method but the old 16gb class 2 card wont mount on any PC. As it wont mount anymore is there anyway to format the old card so it will mount back on a PC. ive tried several systems Mac OSx 10.5, windows xp, windows 2000… all recognise the old card but wont allow it to mount using a usb adapter. I would love to fleabay the card to offset the cost of the class 6 card but i cant unless i can mount it. any advice appreciated?

  11. Hey,
    I have lost my old sd card and on top of that have been using my new one for a while (it’s still running cyanogen but not very well!)
    Do I need to find my old sd card to be able to do this tutorial or can I just do it without?

  12. Cheers.
    The version that is on my phone is 4.0.4 but that is not longer on the cyanogen website. Should I use 4.1999/4.25 instead?

  13. Ok well I jumped the gun a little and went w/trying 4.25 and moreover I couldn’t do:
    4. Click on Format SD Fat32+ext2+swap and wait for it to finish.
    5. Click on Convert ext2 to ext3 and wait for it to finish.

    (the options weren’t there)

    So instead I (stupidly) just wiped then tried to apply

    Now my phone won’t go past the red vodafone screen whatever I try. Is my device bricked?
    Please help?
    I will paypal you money if you can fix my device!

  14. The author forgot one step which greatly lowers the time of switching – BART backup!
    It’s build in RA’s kit 1.6.
    Everything took me less than 5 min, have all the same data and programs.
    Noticed dramatic change in speed going from class 2 to class 6 not all runs like a flash in a split of a second.

    1. John Galt,

      I didnt forget it, it didnt exist when I wrote this (or wasn’t very popular at least) lol.
      Great addition though, Ill add it to the procedure, thanks!

  15. My variation of this which worked out quite well, at least for me, was that I used MyBackup app to backup my apps and data to the SD prior to the process (data is just in case a wipe was necessary) then follow the video exactly and download the app once the process is complete. No need to bother downloading all those apps again one by one. Then using MyBackup have it recover your apps from prior to switching SDs (you should’ve copied the appropriate files when you switched SDs) and it’ll go through all the installation processes for all your apps one by one. Just be ready to keep pressing “Install” and “Done”.

    I know that this might not be beneficial to many, as it only does what you would do anyways by going through the market. But for those who aren’t that experienced or who would like to save the few minutes by avoiding the market process, this works. Cheers!

  16. Side Note: It shouldn’t matter, but this is on a rooted HTC Hero (GSM) with the MoDaCo Hero ROM. So, it works for the Hero if your were wondering.

    1. Rich D,

      Do the How To Flash a New Recovery image procedure and get an Amon RA recovery image, you’ll be happy to have the format sd there instead of doing it manually with terminal, trust me.

  17. hi there, when i try to partition sd:fat32+ext2+swap and it said “error: run via console” i dont really know what it means. and all i get is the g1 screen after reboot for like A LONG time. can you help me? love your videos

  18. Hi Unlockr

    Thanks to you I managed to load modacos custom rom (2.8) on my hero and been using it for few months now.

    Before loading the custom rom and after flashing the device with patched recovery img(amon ra v1.2.3), I did a nandroid backup and then backed it up to the pc. I then wiped everything and formatted ext3/swap partitions on the sd card.

    Due to some small issues I have temp decided to revert back (nandroid restore) to the htc stock rom I had before before loading modaco custom rom, which was successful. Now at the moment I have 2 qsts

    1. since i have reverted back to the htc stock rom (which doesnt use apps2d etc) what has happaned to my sd card? I assume it should be still partitioned with ext3/swap etc? or did the nandroid restore affect the sd card….and since I am now using the stock rom (with no apps2sd or any need for swap partitions – i assume), can i jus copy my sd card contents to a new sd card (class 6, 8gb) and start using that…or should i follow this procedure…is there any need for swap and ext3 partitions on the sd card if using unrooted stock htc roms….i do realise that once i decide to root/load another custom rom I would use the wipe/format options from the amon ra recovery console but at the moment can i jus exchange sd cards..

    2. i did a nandroid restore…but still have the patched recovery image (that I flashed using flashrec.apk) which allowed to me do nandroid backup in the first place… can I revert to the original htc recovery console (if any) so that if i need to send the phone to htc they have no way of telling that i have been flashing images/roms to the device

    hope u can help me with this! thanks mate ur a legend.


    1. Bengar,

      Yes it is. It has a different name but it is there. Says Part SD or something, then when you click it there is an option for swap + ext2 + fat32 and then it asks you what sizes as you go.

  19. I followed the steps above but when I restarted my phone, none of my apps are available. Also, I don’t have the Android Market App. I then applied the Nandroid backup that I did before upgrading SD card and that didn’t help. I did a dalvik-cache wipe and fix permissions within the AmonRa Recovery to no avail. Any guidance would be helpful.

  20. I have a rooted mytouch. I swapped the oe 4g card for a class 6 16g but I’m missing alot of apps, even the market(Vending.apk). Everythings on the card when I look at it in storage mode but nothing pops up, cant use package installer either? I followed the walk through step by step and tried several times. I would just add the apk but the installer isnt in the phone.. What can I do?

    1. Kris,

      So you formatted the new SD card, wiped data, and then put the ROM back on the SD card and flashed it again with the new sd card in the phone? Cause if not, then you need to do all that or it wont work 🙂

  21. Seems there is another way using PC and Acronis True Image + Acronis Disk Director software. I tried it because already had APP2SD running and placing my soft on 4 GB SD-card and didn’t want to be risky and loose my paid GPS software. Made an image from first card (4 GB): Fat32, Ext3 and Linux-swap, restored it on new card (8 GB) and repartitioned it with Disk Direcor (Partition Magic could do the same job). Worked out smoothly.

  22. I partitioned the sdcard fat32 + ext2 + swap. I then take it out of the phone or mount the phone to the pc and try to open my sd card but it keeps saying that my sd card isn’t formatted. So I can’t even get the rom in the sd card to do an update. I then format it to fat32 and I’m able to open the sdcard again. Any ideas?

  23. Berny,

    Try the way described in my post above – make partitions on PC instead of the phone. Partitioning with the phone sometime may give a surprising result, as my expeience has shown…

  24. Hi, Great info on this site, thank You! I am having a problem with this process. On my MT3G I am switching sd cards. When I try to run “Convert ext2 to ext3” I get this error “run upgrade_fs via console!”. What does that mean and how do I do this? Thank You

  25. Hey Unlockr,
    Cannot see the option Format SD Fat32+ext2+swap on recovery screen.
    I have
    Sapphire PVT 32A Ship S-On G
    HBOOT-1.33.0013 (SAPP31000)
    OCT 21 2009 22.33.27
    Amon Ra Sapphire-v1.6.2G
    Custom Fender w/ root access ROM

  26. Hi the reason I did a HOW TO ROOT HERO WITH ONE CLICK is because i wanted to upgrate my SD card from 2G to 4G. After copying my backup file from sd to pc to new sd,mount and reboot,the phone become unstable.Music player can reconize music file,manager accessing sd card show can i increase the memory of my sd card? thanks for your informative web site.

    1. Gary,

      Do this procedure, not the one click root again. Partition the SD card swap + ext2/3 + fat32 then load the rom you were using back on the sd card (the partitioning would have erased everything on the card), then wipe data, then reflash the rom. All done.
      (Try to do all of these steps while the phone is in recovery mode).

  27. Hi and thanks for the reply.i didnt download any ROM,what i am using now is still my own Hero software. Could i just flash the “recovery-backup.img” that i have make earlier?
    Thanks a lot.

  28. I have successfully rooted, loaded a custom rom(modaco), amon ra recovery, gold card, etc. i have been able to do everything except the apps2sd thing. I don’t believe it is working. What is the best way to make that work. Secondly, can you give me some step by step instructions for installing a radio. I have dl’d hero radio How do i go about putting that on the phone. any guidance will be greatly appreciated. Oh and thanks for the excellent tutorials for the stuff i already achieved.

  29. WOW!!!! Worked as it said it would. Rooted my MT3G with a 4G Class 2…. Oops!!! Got a 8G Class 6 and this worked as advertised. Unlockr is the way to go.

    Now to see if all these force closes go away.

  30. can you flash an updated radio just like everything else…by changing it to and then flash? or is there a more specific way to update the radio?
    Thanks again.

  31. how do i tell applications to install to the sd card still seem to be installed in main memory ? thanks 🙂

  32. Why does it say applications 141MB i formated a 1G ext2 so shouldnt it say 1141MB ? pls help even with yuor excellent guides this has been a long painful process 🙂

  33. hey i got a few questions…

    im using HTC Desire… how do you take the MicroSD card out of the phone in recovery mode, when you need to take the battery out first before u can get the MicroSD card out. You mean the phone can stay in recovery mode as long as you are still plugged in on USB, but without the battery?

    Another thing is.. the formatting of the new SD card will be done in recovery mode? Does the clockworkmod recovery has that option? Thanks.

  34. I followed these steps exactly but the apps2sd did not take effect. I partitioned my card through Amon Ra like I had done with my old card…any suggestions…I already tried formatting my current memory card.

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