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Intro:

This is a no-nonsense guide for running your Samsung Galaxy Tab with only an external SD Card.

This guide is a compilation of other (more experienced) user's solutions, as such I take credit only on gathering presenting them on a single easy to follow post.

I don't make any guarantees, specially since this guide involves hardware modification, proceed at your own risk.

I did this procedure on a Sprint CDMA version, but all Galaxy Tabs should be more or less the same.

Why would I do this?

Because your Galaxy Tab 7 no longer works (bootloop in GB Roms or Encryption Unsuccessful on ICS/JB).

Pictures of common symptoms that this procedure fixes:



Special Thanks to (from XDA Developers and Rootzwiki):

Black6spdZ: Who originally posted this method.
derekwilkinson: Who helped me out with the update.sh changes.
xz124: For making me custom kernel for a couple of tests (No longer needed with hardware hack) and overall being very supportive.
cgugino: Who guided me to use vold.fstab hacks to fix the device (sadly it didn't work).
iFixit: For their step by step images.
Every single Android hacker and hack user who makes this community great.

Procedure:

Summary:
- Open up the device and take internal SD Card out.
- Re-assemble the device.
- Partition the external SD Card (3 partitions, two small ext4 and one big FAT32)
- Modify ICS or later ROM's update.sh to use partition 3 as external SD Card.
- Flash modded ROM via CWM (and Google Apps optional).
- Enjoy

Taking it appart:

Don't panic!, if you can use a screwdriver and build with Legos you are qualified to do this!

iFixit does a wonderful job of showcasing how to open the device up that I rather link to them than try to out-do them.
Follow their guide until step 13 then refer back to this guide. http://www.ifixit.co...Teardown/4103/1



To actually remove the Internal SD Card (that is not soldered to the board but in-fact glued to it), I recommend you take an exacto knife (or other small blade or thin screwdriver) and slide it around the edges gently; once the edges are loose, take your screwdriver under the chip and just pop it up.



There will be adhesive residue on the board, I recommend using some gentle solvent to remove it (I used a cloth with a little paint thinner).

Put everything back together (just follow the iFixit guide on reverse) and feel proud that you are done with the hardware mod.

Partition your external SD Card

I used three partitions (all primary, not logical) , two 500 MB ext4 and a FAT32 with the rest of the space.

Linux users will probably not require much help on deciding what software to use, but for Windows users MiniTool Partition Wizard does a good enough job.

Do note that your device will perform according to your external SD Card, so it's not a bad idea to invest in a category 10 SD Card.

Modifing the ROM:

Download your ICS / JB ROM of choice, unzip it and open update.sh
Edit both line 31 and 35 to be as bellow
Code:
	SD_PART='/dev/block/mmcblk0p3'
Save and zip back.

Loading the Modded ROM to the SD:

Because we messed with the SD Cards, CWM will have a bit of trouble finding the external SD Card (until we flash our ROM).

Go ahead and connect your device to your computer and ADB the following command:

Code:
<br />
adb shell "echo /dev/block/mmcblk0p3 > /sys/devices/platform/usb_mass_storage/lun0/file"<br />
That will allow you to access your SD Card from your PC, just copy your modded ROM to it.

Now, issude the following command:

Code:
adb shell mount /dev/block/mmcblk0p3 /sdcard
This will allow you to install the .zip file from CWM, go ahead and do that.

After checking partition types, your device will reboot and appear on a countdown to find the external SD Card, go ahead and reboot it manually before it does automatically (reboot to recovery with volume up).

Flash the .zip again, this time the installation will go successfully and you will have a working device.

Optionally, flash your desired Google Apps.
 

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Thanks for putting this guide up, ChrisCTX!

Some notes:

On the Verizon Galaxy Tab, SCH-I800, the first two screws you have to remove are not phillips head. They are some weird triangular head and you'll need to use a flat-headed screwdriver to get them out (a VERY FINE one). Inside the device, the EMI shield is screwed on with 5 VERY tiny phillips screws which are nigh impossible to remove. They are on there TIGHT. You will need an ULTRA-FINE phillips screwdriver to have any success. Think of the smallest phillips screw you've ever seen; these are even smaller. I could not remove two of them and had to pull the cover off with force until they popped out.

The NAND chip on mine was not glued on on the edges like ChrisCTX's. It appears to be glued on all over the underside as well (don't know how else to explain it). It was impossible to remove it without destroying the chip. I had to "chip" away at it; it would only come away in little pieces and flakes. I will be surprised if my device still works after this. Obviously there are differences between the Sprint and Verizon models, or differences according to production place or date, which you may run into that makes this mod difficult or impossible. My recommendation is not to attempt it unless you are ready to kiss your device goodbye.

UPDATE: I can't believe it, but my tablet works again! Thanks again for putting this guide together!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad to hear it McMick :D

The whole glue situation just sounds like it will vary by device, it was probably done by human hands and thus prone to be different.

Yes some of the screws are quite fine, If anyone attempting this mod doesn't have any that fits I recommend getting a "Precision Screwdriver kit" they are very affordable and are essential for most computer stuff.

As for the mmcblk staying the same, that's actually the whole point of this mod, the Linux Kernel only notices the external SD, and thus it thinks is the internal one and behaves as normally.
 

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Nice guide man :)
 

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MILF
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Using CM10 nightly builds while running /data partition off the sdcard :

(this is meant to be brief, it's really simple and I suck at writing guides n such)

* format your sdcard with 3 partitions like in the guide in the OP, 1 FAT, 2 ext4.
* create a file in the root of your sdcard named "activate_data_on_sdcard"; doesn't matter what kind of file, just use that name.
* download the latest CM10 nightly from http://get.cm/?device=p1c and place it on your sdcard
* reboot into recovery and flash the CM10 zip, gapps, etc
* reboot again into CM10

NOTES :

partitions:
* the FAT partition on your sdcard needs to be the first partition
* the 2nd partition (ext4) will be your /data partition. make it however large you want
* the 3rd partition (ext4) will be your /cache partition. Doesn't really even need to be bigger than 20mb or so.

additional notes:
* if the file is not named appropriately, or if it is ever removed, the partition arrangement will revert back to stock and your device may not boot
* simply replacing the file will restore the modified partition layout
* you are welcome to continue flashing nightly builds as they appear as long as the file is in place, this "easter egg" isn't going anywhere
* nandroid backup/restore/etc will work just like normal. recovery knows about the new partitions too.
* I'm not responsible for any lost data or damaged hardware if something goes wrong
 

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This is great, thanks for the help. I'm still puzzled about the /cache partition though:

1. Where was it originally located? Was I right about it being at /dev/block/stl11 originally?

2. What was its original size?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
jt is the man!

Bringing Jellybean to an old device and supporting hardware defective ones is just awesome. Really thankful for it.

I will wait for a stable version of CM10 to upgrade "my" tab since I originally fixed it to gift to my father, and would hate for him to become frustrated with any bug CM 10 might have in the meanwhile.
 

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MILF
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This is great, thanks for the help. I'm still puzzled about the /cache partition though:

1. Where was it originally located? Was I right about it being at /dev/block/stl11 originally?

2. What was its original size?
It was originally on the nand, don't remember which partition exactly. Its gone tho, reformatted and resized in mtd conversion.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using RootzWiki
 

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MILF
Joined
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678 Posts
jt is the man!

Bringing Jellybean to an old device and supporting hardware defective ones is just awesome. Really thankful for it.

I will wait for a stable version of CM10 to upgrade "my" tab since I originally fixed it to gift to my father, and would hate for him to become frustrated with any bug CM 10 might have in the meanwhile.
A lot of the bugs in cm9 have been resolved in cm10. Its much more stable at this point imo.

Sent from my SCH-I500 using RootzWiki
 

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MILF
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The way I had the bootstrap hacks done in the kernel concerned me as a bit of a security issue, so I rewrote the code. Now everything is detected automatically so other than creating a file on your sdcard there is no manual intervention required. I've updated my post above with updated instructions.
 

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Trying this out but having a bit of trouble. When I try the command:
adb shell "echo /dev/block/mmcblk0p3 > /sys/devices/platform/usb_mass_storage/lun0/file"
I'm getting a directory not found. I think maybe I'm not flashing the device with the right recovery, I've tried a few different ones. Using heimdall if that makes a difference.
 

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Android Beginner
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Trying this out but having a bit of trouble. When I try the command:
adb shell "echo /dev/block/mmcblk0p3 > /sys/devices/platform/usb_mass_storage/lun0/file"
I'm getting a directory not found. I think maybe I'm not flashing the device with the right recovery, I've tried a few different ones. Using heimdall if that makes a difference.
adb shell
cd dev
cd block
ls
then see if it has mmcblk0p3

if not you did something wrong with the formatting of the sdcard or the sdcard isn't being seeing as mmcblk0 which could be caused by your original memory chip still being in there and the kernel not mounting the sdcard in the proper block
 

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Alright got the command to work and was able to mount and install the zip, derek, I think I had the wrong version of recovery or put it in in the wrong order. Kind of stuck in a boot loop though with the cynogen mod screen, think I forgot this step the last time I messed with the card though:
create a file in the root of your sdcard named "activate_data_on_sdcard"; doesn't matter what kind of file, just use that name.
Letting it charge up a bit before messing with it again
 

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Thanks for putting this guide up, ChrisCTX!

Some notes:

On the Verizon Galaxy Tab, SCH-I800, the first two screws you have to remove are not phillips head. They are some weird triangular head and you'll need to use a flat-headed screwdriver to get them out (a VERY FINE one). Inside the device, the EMI shield is screwed on with 5 VERY tiny phillips screws which are nigh impossible to remove. They are on there TIGHT. You will need an ULTRA-FINE phillips screwdriver to have any success. Think of the smallest phillips screw you've ever seen; these are even smaller. I could not remove two of them and had to pull the cover off with force until they popped out.

The NAND chip on mine was not glued on on the edges like ChrisCTX's. It appears to be glued on all over the underside as well (don't know how else to explain it). It was impossible to remove it without destroying the chip. I had to "chip" away at it; it would only come away in little pieces and flakes. I will be surprised if my device still works after this. Obviously there are differences between the Sprint and Verizon models, or differences according to production place or date, which you may run into that makes this mod difficult or impossible. My recommendation is not to attempt it unless you are ready to kiss your device goodbye.

UPDATE: I can't believe it, but my tablet works again! Thanks again for putting this guide together!
Hi can you tell me what you used to destroy the chip?? I'm having lots of problems with mine.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Use a screwdriver, just keep trying to pop it off, either it comes right off or you will have to use enough force to break it, just be sure to be careful with the board and clean everything up once its completely off.
 

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I have completed the hardware steps listed but I am having an additional problem. In the many things I tried after getting the cm9 encryption failed error, I tried restoring back to the "factory" rom versions. Device currently boot verizon logo and then bootloops/hangs on the verizon logo. It no longer has CWM on it. I am using heimdall on OSX 10.8. I am getting an error I never got before when trying to write to it. When running "sudo heimdall flash --kernel zImage --recovery recovery.bin", I get the "Failed to detect compatible download-mode device." message. It is in the correct download mode per the image on the screen. Any ideas? Also worth noting that your instructions are incorrect for current cm10 roms. The lines 31 and 35 are not the SD_PART lines anymore.
 

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Alright got the command to work and was able to mount and install the zip, derek, I think I had the wrong version of recovery or put it in in the wrong order. Kind of stuck in a boot loop though with the cynogen mod screen, think I forgot this step the last time I messed with the card though:

Letting it charge up a bit before messing with it again
I alse created the file create a file "activate_data_on_sdcard" ,but still stuck in a boot loop .
 

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Registered
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Intro:

This is a no-nonsense guide for running your Samsung Galaxy Tab with only an external SD Card.

This guide is a compilation of other (more experienced) user's solutions, as such I take credit only on gathering presenting them on a single easy to follow post.

I don't make any guarantees, specially since this guide involves hardware modification, proceed at your own risk.

I did this procedure on a Sprint CDMA version, but all Galaxy Tabs should be more or less the same.

Why would I do this?

Because your Galaxy Tab 7 no longer works (bootloop in GB Roms or Encryption Unsuccessful on ICS/JB).

Pictures of common symptoms that this procedure fixes:



Special Thanks to (from XDA Developers and Rootzwiki):

Black6spdZ: Who originally posted this method.
derekwilkinson: Who helped me out with the update.sh changes.
xz124: For making me custom kernel for a couple of tests (No longer needed with hardware hack) and overall being very supportive.
cgugino: Who guided me to use vold.fstab hacks to fix the device (sadly it didn't work).
iFixit: For their step by step images.
Every single Android hacker and hack user who makes this community great.

Procedure:

Summary:
- Open up the device and take internal SD Card out.
- Re-assemble the device.
- Partition the external SD Card (3 partitions, two small ext4 and one big FAT32)
- Modify ICS or later ROM's update.sh to use partition 3 as external SD Card.
- Flash modded ROM via CWM (and Google Apps optional).
- Enjoy

Taking it appart:

Don't panic!, if you can use a screwdriver and build with Legos you are qualified to do this!

iFixit does a wonderful job of showcasing how to open the device up that I rather link to them than try to out-do them.
Follow their guide until step 13 then refer back to this guide. http://www.ifixit.co...Teardown/4103/1



To actually remove the Internal SD Card (that is not soldered to the board but in-fact glued to it), I recommend you take an exacto knife (or other small blade or thin screwdriver) and slide it around the edges gently; once the edges are loose, take your screwdriver under the chip and just pop it up.



There will be adhesive residue on the board, I recommend using some gentle solvent to remove it (I used a cloth with a little paint thinner).

Put everything back together (just follow the iFixit guide on reverse) and feel proud that you are done with the hardware mod.

Partition your external SD Card

I used three partitions (all primary, not logical) , two 500 MB ext4 and a FAT32 with the rest of the space.

Linux users will probably not require much help on deciding what software to use, but for Windows users MiniTool Partition Wizard does a good enough job.

Do note that your device will perform according to your external SD Card, so it's not a bad idea to invest in a category 10 SD Card.

Modifing the ROM:

Download your ICS / JB ROM of choice, unzip it and open update.sh
Edit both line 31 and 35 to be as bellow
Code:
	SD_PART='/dev/block/mmcblk0p3'
Save and zip back.

Loading the Modded ROM to the SD:

Because we messed with the SD Cards, CWM will have a bit of trouble finding the external SD Card (until we flash our ROM).

Go ahead and connect your device to your computer and ADB the following command:

Code:
<br />
adb shell "echo /dev/block/mmcblk0p3 > /sys/devices/platform/usb_mass_storage/lun0/file"<br />
That will allow you to access your SD Card from your PC, just copy your modded ROM to it.

Now, issude the following command:

Code:
adb shell mount /dev/block/mmcblk0p3 /sdcard
This will allow you to install the .zip file from CWM, go ahead and do that.

After checking partition types, your device will reboot and appear on a countdown to find the external SD Card, go ahead and reboot it manually before it does automatically (reboot to recovery with volume up).

Flash the .zip again, this time the installation will go successfully and you will have a working device.

Optionally, flash your desired Google Apps.
The tab will be ok ,but when you link the usb to your pc, the tab wouldn't mount the usb storage correctly .
 

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Android Beginner
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Jt, I followed your instructions. It gets past optimizing apps, but then the google services framework fc's and it reboots. I've tried wiping data/factory reset, etc. Partitions are 24gb fat32 / 5gb ext4 / 35mb ext4 with activate text file at the root of the sdcard. Any suggestions?

Edit: I figured it out. Setup a 24gb fat32/4gb ext4/100mb fat32 partition configuration.
 
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