One of the most common gripes we hear from Sony Ericsson Xperia owners is that it doesn’t take too long before you fill up the phone’s internal memory. Whilst most of the 2011 Xperia range has a 1GB ROM, only around 380MB can be used for apps or games. Obviously manually moving your apps to the SD card is one answer to this problem, but this can be a pain to manage and sometimes part of the app will remain in internal memory.
To get round this problem, we’ve written the following guide on Link2SD. In layman terms, Link2SD uses a secondary partition on your SD card and uses it as another segment of internal memory. Link2SD moves and links apk files, dalvik-cache (.dex) files and lib files onto this partition, which the OS mounts on boot. The great thing is that these linked apps remain available when your phone is connected in mass storage mode as Android only unmounts the first partition. Also, you don’t need to worry about linking something you weren’t meant to as Link2SD doesn’t allow you to link certain system applications.
Link2SD allows you to cherry-pick which apps/games to move to the SD card, you can auto-link new installs and the whole thing is wrapped in a user-friendly user interface. We’ve been using Link2SD for a while now and it’s a godsend, especially for the Xperia PLAY where we tend to download a lot of games. If you’re constantly managing your internal memory we highly recommend you give Link2SD a try, see the full guide below.
Guide to using Link2SD on your Xperia smartphone
This guide may seem lengthy, but trust us when we say it is straightforward. All steps have been documented which makes it look daunting. Read each section carefully and follow the steps outlined to install Link2SD.
Please make sure you have completed all of the following before starting the tutorial.
On your PC:
– Install the necessary drivers for your Xperia smartphone onto your PC/laptop. The easiest way to do this is to ensure that Sony Ericsson PC Companion is installed on your PC. Once installed, connect your phone to complete the process.
– Download and install MiniTool Partition Wizard onto your PC or laptop.
On your Xperia:
– Enable USB de-bugging mode: Setting –> Applications –> Development –> Tick ‘USB debugging’
– Enable the ability to install unknown apps: Setting –> Applications –> Tick ‘Unknown sources’
– Install Link2SD from Android Market onto your Xperia smartphone. It is a free download.
Rooting your handset gives you the permissions necessary to install custom software on your handset.
a) First, download the ‘Xperia 2011 Easy Rooting Toolkit’ from here.
b) Extract the RAR file using WinRAR or 7-Zip.
c) Connect your Xperia to your PC.
d) Click on ‘RUNME.bat’ from the extracted RAR file, which should give you the following screen. Just press any button to let the program do its work.
e) When finished you should see the output as per the picture below. The phone should now be rooted, make sure you restart your handset before the next step.
3. BACKUP MEMORY CARD
As we will be creating a partition on your microSD memory card, make sure you create a backup just in case anything goes wrong.
a) Create a new folder on your PC and name it anything you want, such as ‘SD_Backup’
b) Connect your phone to the PC, navigate to your memory card and copy the contents to the backup folder.
4. CREATE SECONDARY PARTITION
You now need to create a secondary partition on your microSD memory card that will enable you to use Link2SD.
Note: We will use MiniTool Partition Wizard to create a secondary partition on your microSD card. This partition can be ext2, ext3, ext4 or FAT32. We will use FAT32 as it is supported on all phones and should lead to less troubleshooting later. You can use any partition manager of your choosing, but the steps below guide you through MiniTool Partition Wizard.
There is no need to wipe your memory card when going through this process, just ensure you have at least 0.5GB to 1.0GB of free space to make it worthwhile. You also do not need to use a microSD card adaptor as the process below creates the partition whilst the phone is connected to your PC.
a) Connect your handset to the PC via USB and then launch MiniTool. You should see the details pop up under ‘Disk 2’.
b) Click on the memory card under Disk 2 in MiniTool and then in the left pane, press ‘Move/Resize Partition’. On the blue bar under ‘Size and Location’, move the right arrow towards the left to create the size of the secondary partition desired. In the example below we created a secondary partition with 1018.63MB of space. This value can also be typed in manually in ‘Unallocate Space After’.
c) Once this is done you should see that your memory card is now split into two partitions under Disk 2 of MiniTool. Right click this new partition and then press ‘Create’.
If you see this pop-up below, just press ‘Yes’ to continue.
d) You should then see this ‘Create New Partition’ window. Under ‘Create As’ click Primary and then under ‘File System’ click FAT32. Leave the cluster size as default and you can assign whichever drive letter you want. Once finished press OK.
e) This should bring you back to the main MiniTool screen. Now hit the ‘Apply’ button on the top-left of the screen, denoted by a tick symbol.
This will bring up another pop-up window and will take several minutes to both resize and create the secondary partition.
If successful, you should see message below. Congratulations your card is ready to use in conjunction with Link2SD. Restart your handset before moving to the next step.
This application makes it easy for users with root privileges on their phone to move applications to the SD card.
a) Open the Link2SD app on your phone. You should be greeted with the following menu, check the FAT32 option and click OK.
You will then see the Superuser Request, click ‘Allow’.
Once you see the following message, restart your phone. The app should now be ready to use.
b) To make sure everything is installed correctly. Click the Menu button and go to ‘Storage Info’. This will show you the internal memory and your two partitions on the memory card. In our case, you can see that the second partition has 1GB free.
c) Now you need to move the apps of your choice to the memory card. Click the Menu button and press ‘Multi-select’.
Choose which apps you want to move by clicking the tick box next to the app. System apps are greyed out and cannot be selected. Link2SD can only move apps that are already on the internal memory. If you have apps already on your SD card, you will need to move them back to the internal memory before you can link them with Link2SD.
If you want to move all of your apps, pressing the menu button will bring up another menu allowing you to do this.
d) Once you have chosen which apps you want to move, you then need to hit the menu button and press ‘Actions’, which will bring up the following menu. Press ‘Create Link’.
Leave all three check boxes ticked and press OK. Link2SD will now do its work and move/link the selected apps to your memory card.
Once finished, you should see that the apps you have moved have ‘Linked -> SD Card’ in red font in the Link2SD app list. Reboot your phone.
e) Congratulations your phone is now using Link2SD! You should now go to Settings by pressing the menu button and configure how you would like Link2SD to work. The main decision here is whether you want to Auto Link newly installed apps to the memory card. Given that you’ve gone through the hassle of installing Link2SD we suggest you enable Auto Link and make worrying about your internal memory a thing of the past.