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Something is “Eating” my Android TV Box Internal Storage!

December 21st, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

No, it’s not a joke. I’ve been playing for a while with Eweat R9 Plus Android TV box after inserting a 1TB hard drive in the SATA bay, but while in most other reviews, the apps and files used for testing are just taking around 3 GB, the 9.31 GB storage in that device was completely full, and I have yet to install some apps, and copy some files part of my testing procedure…

android-storage-fullI did not immediately find out about the “storage full” issue, as I first I just noticed Kodi would not start anywhere, and the default video app would just reboot after adjusting the volume… But let’s check what takes all that space…

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Click to Enlarge

I had to uninstall 3Dmark in order to be able to take screenshots, which explains why I have a bit more space now, but the system reports all that space (and more???) is taken by apps. I clicked on Apps, to find out Es File Explorer was the worse offender but with only “285 MB” used. That did not add up, so I started to adb shell to try to find the exact files:


Media directory takes 3.1GB and data directory 4.5GB. After some more checking, I eventually the space mostly is taken by two large “external.db” databases for com.android.providers.media:


Reading from Android’s developer website:

Android Provider provides convenience classes to access the content providers supplied by Android.

Android ships with a number of content providers that store common data such as contact informations, calendar information, and media files. These classes provide simplified methods of adding or retrieving data from these content providers.

I have a lot of files (millions) on my SATA hard drive, many of them not media files, but the box is probably scanning the files and storing some metadata for faster access or/and search within Android. Earlier this year, I had a problem with Media Scanner in Zidoo X1 II TV box, as it slowed down the system greatly while scanning a USB hard drive and affected video playback. I solved the issue with media.Re.Scan: app which allowed me to stop the scanning process at the time. We don’t really need the app however, and since we don’t have space, you’d have to uninstall other apps to install the utility. Instead go to Settings->Apps, select “Show System” on the top right, and scroll down until you find “Media Storage”.

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Click to Enlarge

Now click on Media Storage, select Disable, and click on “Storage” in order to finally select “Clear Data” to free up (a lot of) space.

android-media-storage-clear-data

You can now have fun with your TV box with plenty of storage, and a lot less (apparent) bugs…android-storage-usbHappy to have gotten rid of Media Storage (aka The grinch) right before Christmas :).

  1. Massimo Olivieri
    December 21st, 2016 at 22:21 | #1

    do you have try with “.nomedia” file ?
    A .nomedia file is a blank file placed inside a folder or HDD root . When the media scanner detects the .nomedia file, the media scanner does not scan that folder so the images,video ecc are not appear in the Gallery app, DLNA service ecc…

  2. Ian Tester
    December 21st, 2016 at 22:54 | #2

    What do you have on the drive? It sounds like the media scanner is storing thumbnails, etc for files on the drive.

  3. December 22nd, 2016 at 09:36 | #3

    @Massimo Olivieri
    I have not, but it could be a good idea.

    @Ian Tester
    I have copied part of my PC hard drive to it, with a few thousands media files mostly pictures, two or three virtual machines, and source code and SDKs. There are a lot of small files in the latter.

    I can see the directories in Android have a separate directory for thubnnails.

  4. Robert
    December 22nd, 2016 at 14:43 | #4

    For future reference, if you need a quick way to check what’s taking up all your space: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.diskusage

  5. January 4th, 2017 at 17:06 | #5

    It is not feasible to put a .nomedia file in every directory. Nice find, I will check my G Pad tablet, it also lost a lot of space without me installing anything. I have a microSD card in it, full with a lot of files. I am using Total Commander anyway.

  6. January 4th, 2017 at 17:10 | #6

    @Mihai
    I think if you just put .nomedia in the root directory it will also prevent the system to scan subdirectories.

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