HTC EVO 4G LTE Sense 5.0 update might not be what you expect

Sense5-2With my hands on the pre-release for a couple of days of the Android 4.3 Sense 5.0 update that will be available sometime in the future from Sprint, I’d noticed a problem I hadn’t considered before. The update wipes all data on the internal SD card in order to repartition the HTC EVO 4G LTE’s storage to something somewhat sane.

The HTC EVO 4G LTE shipped with 16GB of internal storage, on which a gig or two was devoted to the ROM image, another two gigs devoted to storing cache and apks, and then about 12 gigs of storage devoted to pictures and misc stuff.

What that lead to was a device with a lot of storage that ran out of space quickly because only two gigabytes was devoted to applications, data, etc. You could move applications to the external SD, but you’d find on updates they’d move themselves right back in, and not everything plays nicely with being moved. You’d also just fill up quickly because some applications are huge.

This has been corrected in the new update with a remapping of the partition layout to provide a ROM area of it appears 2.24 gigabytes, and an internal+media storage space of 12.4 gigabytes.

To remap these partitions, everything on the internal storage of the device is destroyed by the firmware update, and then you come along and push a ROM image into the now-blank space.

So unless the firmware that we have in the prerelease is completely different than what will be released, this probably is not going to be doable via OTA, and will most likely wipe what you’ve got on the phone.

Technically it’s doable – download ROM, firmware to SD-EXT assuming you have one, backup all information (contacts, applications, etc.) over there, flash firmware, install ROM, restore contact, applications, etc. But not everyone purchased an external SD card for their EVO 4G LTE, so you can’t assume they’re planning for that.

So my best bet is that this is not going to be released OTA, but RUU, meaning you’ll download an application from HTCDev or Sprint, and to get the update you’ll need to back up your data to a computer, run the RUU, and then restore.

I think this is why we’ve had this delay.

I could be wrong, and they might decide to create a temp partition, move the backup data to it, shuffle things around as new partitions are created and old ones deleted. It is possible to do this without data loss, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

20 thoughts on “HTC EVO 4G LTE Sense 5.0 update might not be what you expect

  • February 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm
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    Dude!! Is that why my Damn EVO internal memory is such a mess to begin with? And here I am thinking I have this figured out!

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    • February 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm
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      Yup, 16 gigs of which apps were given 2.

      Chrome Beta with it’s cache and data I noticed was taking nearly 700 meg at one point on my phone. Not sure if cache and data were stored on the APK partition.

      If anyone with a pre-Sense 5 EVO would like to chime in I was remiss in my duties to check out partition sizes before going ahead with this.

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      • February 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm
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        I can’t tell what’s what by looking at the App section in settings except that there is 6.07GB (App Storage) +9.93GB (Phone Storage) to make up the 16GB. Of course the Phone Storage is the internal SD and is all user accessible by MTP. I don’t know how the 6.07GB of App Storage breaks down, there is conflicting/confusing info when you go deeper into the “Make more space” settings.

        Reply
  • February 14, 2014 at 12:43 pm
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    Is this an official pre-release from Sprint? Or is this a ROM, and if so do you have any clue as to when it will be available?

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    • February 14, 2014 at 11:22 pm
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      This is what Sprint is working with as far as I can tell. It’s not done, but close, so no clue really… could be today, could be a month from now when they get the last of the bug reports combed through

      Reply
      • February 15, 2014 at 6:50 am
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        Okay thanks, I’m slightly disappointed that I have no clue when it will be out, and that it may not be out for another month. How was it though? I’ve been dying to use Sense 5 on my EVO, but I don’t want to root it and possibly void warranty.

        Reply
  • February 14, 2014 at 1:00 pm
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    Wow. They mapped it such that you only got 2 GB of space for apps prior to Android 4.3 and Sense 5.0?

    Yikes and a half. It looks like the new partitioning scheme is the standard data-media (apps and pictures/videos share the same storage space) one that most other devices have been using since Android 4.0 (and even Honeycomb in some cases).

    Reply
  • February 14, 2014 at 5:24 pm
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    These are the reasons I refuse to buy phones that do not have SD card slots.

    So many of these devices, especially iPhones, almost force you to buy higher gig models, or purchase Cloud Storage.

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    • February 14, 2014 at 11:22 pm
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      well, even with our SD card they shot us in the foot when they put the data/app partition at 2 gigs

      Reply
  • February 14, 2014 at 8:19 pm
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    How do I get my hands on this pre release?

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    • February 14, 2014 at 11:20 pm
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      You can either sign up for the HTC Beta program, which is where I suspect it came from, or get -OFF and root on your phone and follow the steps described a couple of days ago in an article titled something like “getting Android 4.3 Sense 5.0 on your HTC EVO 4G LTE” – should be about a page back. That’s the modified beta that actually works.

      Reply
      • February 15, 2014 at 7:44 am
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        What do you mean “suspect”? I know that you have to give them your phones MEID number, what does that have to do with anything?

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        • February 15, 2014 at 10:51 pm
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          There are two places this update could have come from, HTC’s product for Sprint being beta tested by htc, or Sprint’s development for the end user being beta tested by Sprint. That’s why I meant by suspect. It doesn’t say right out where it came from in that thread.

          Reply
  • February 15, 2014 at 9:30 am
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    One of the reasons I’ll be parting ways with HTC, probably will just rock meanbean till I get a new phone.

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    • February 17, 2014 at 5:47 am
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      I just found out about Ting while watching TwiT.tv. Never knew Sprint had started this alternative carrier.

      I just switched over, and should drop my phone bill from $90/month to $24/month.
      Brought my EVO 4G LTE over.

      Reply
  • February 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm
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    I know that it’s not Android 4.3, however Yankees Sense 5 rom is a fantastic way to try out Sense 5. No Zoe but that’s about it. And you can flash it like a normal rom unlike what this update/beta version is asking for.
    I’m on version Y10 and love it. But while grabbing the link I see the developer is now on Y11, so I’ll be getting that after posting this.
    Just a option for you if you’re wanting Sense 5.
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2528953

    Reply
    • February 17, 2014 at 8:09 am
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      Thanks, I’ll give it a try later today.

      Reply
    • February 17, 2014 at 7:10 pm
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      Running it right now, so far I’m happy with it, thanks for the tip :)

      Reply

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