Firefly AURII Secret Mini internal memory problem

Strange memory problem?

Well, I can’t find anything about the problem (until today, August 6, 2017, see below) I am having with my Firefly AURII Secret Mini, so maybe this post can help me, and Firefly Mobile, as I presume they would want this solved.

The problem is that the internal memory of my Firefly  AURII Secret Mini slowly fills up with ‘something’. And that ‘something’ is not apps and it is not data. The ‘something’ is completely invisible from a users point of view, at least invisible for me, and believe me, I know a little bit how to find ‘things’ in a computer like device, which my Firefly AURII is.

So well, let’s just create a basic page first. Maybe add a screendump of the current memory, as I will have to do a factory reset again as the internal memory of the phone is virtually completely full and some things don’t work anymore. I already uninstalled Dropbox that still resided there, but that didn’t really help.

So the memory before the factory reset, after uninstalling DropBox, that wants to be in that memory:

Memory Firefly AURII Secret Mini before factory reset.

And now it stopped completely, probably because it was hardly charged and connected to my computer through USB, at least I hope that is the case.

And fortunately that was the case. I was just able to turn it on again.

Just continued setting it up, I am getting good and fast with it. Memory just after the factory reset:

Memory Firefly AURII Secret Mini after factory reset.

And the memory after my ‘mixed’ formatting with ADB:

Memory Firefly AURII Secret Mini after (mixed) format.

And looking at the pictures now I may have been able to format the first partition as internal memory without formatting with ADB, but well, maybe next time. Or with second thought, not easy, as it is not visible. I thought it was visible looking at this page, but probably was looking at the wrong image.

Maybe a known problem

Seems to be a known problem as I found and some more pages about a similar or the same issue. I presumed already it was some kind of log file growing and growing (folder /data/log). I already presumed something like that. On my phone the ‘dial *#9900# does not work. And no, I don’t like rooting my phone also, so for now it seems I am stuck with the problem. Went to the shop where I bought it today and not easy to explain what is going on, but it seems they are willing to help.

And the problem seems to be getting worse. I did a factory reset two or three days ago and the internal memory is virtually full again. I made screendumps to keep track.

Today, August 7, 2017, I went back to the store where I bought my Firefly AURII Secret Mini, after going there yesterday, but finding out there is not much they can do on Sundays. And yesterday the phone was full again, so I deleted Dropbox to make some internal memory available, but today, just now, and also when I was at the store, the memory was virtually full and the phone started complaining again things might not work. And indeed, things started to stop working properly, especially tonight.

Another factory reset

So yes, I decided, or better had to, do a factory reset again, which I just did. Memory before was:

Memory Firefly AURII Secret Mini before factory reset.

And this time I decided to just go for the full use of the SD card as internal memory by just using the standard phone option. I doubt that would make any difference, but according to the staff in the shop I am the only one having the problem, so it might be the split setup of the SD card I used before, even though I strongly doubt that. But I saw some messages about ‘memory card found’ before, so this setup may be different somehow. Anyhow, here is the memory for the clean Firefly AURII Secret Mini with my 16Gb SD Card:

Memory Firefly AURII Secret Mini after factory reset.

So, well, installing all the stuff again. And yes, I made a copy of everything that was on the phone and am using Carbonite SMS Backup & Restore for backing up my SMS messages. Main issue is that Viber does not seem to keep the messages, so I made a screendump of an important message I got yesterday.

So here we go again:

  • enter local WiFi passwords;
  • enter Google account for Google Play;
  • install Carbonite SMS Backup & Restore;
  • copy my files like music and videos back, and yes, the SMS backup files;
  • set up security, like entering pin;
  • set my desktop background image;
  • set up SIM and other preferences;
  • answer all ‘allow’ questions;
  • remove (default) signature for messages;

And full again today, August 11, 2017, with complaints about internal memory again and possibly problems storing/handling (SMS) messages. And I could not even move some apps that still resided in the ‘real’ internal memory to the SD Card without deleting the data of some of the Google system apps. It didn’t make much difference though as the internal memory filled up pretty fast again after deleting and moving some last ‘options’.

So factory reset again tomorrow I guess.

And I did not have really time, so I am kind of in trouble now as I did not find the time yesterday to do the factory reset again. And this was much earlier than expected, only after three or four days. I thought I had some more time. And it is a real problem right now, as my phone may not store any messages anymore or may not accept calls.

Memory Firefly AURII Secret Mini full again.

And I already cleared the cache, moved the remaining apps there to the SD Card, deleted Dropbox and even deleted the data from the system apps residing there, like Google Play stuff. The last may create more problems, but the phone stopped working properly, like I was not able to send messages again.

And it is getting annoying, as it seems some photos were not stored, some photos I cannot replace. So yes, better install a ‘mixed’ SD Card formatting as I think I did not lose photos when I had that.

And another

So here we go again…


Fortunately I am in touch with Firefly support. They didn’t respond to my e-mails, but they do respond to Facebook, or did, as it seems they have blocked me, and to Viber.

Related to my problem they suggested it is probably a virus that can only be analyzed and removed by their service center in Manila. Remedy would be to ‘re-software’ the phone.

Related to my research and analysis I can hardly imagine my phone is infected by a virus, as that virus would need to survive a factory reset and it would need to have access to system memory that I presume is, or better should be, inaccessible to anything ‘app’ or, in my case, something booting from my SD Card, as I can’t imagine any virus like that installing itself on a non-rooted phone without somehow running at boot time or something. Of course if a virus survives a factory reset it would also have access to the system memory, so ‘access to system memory’ is nothing weird, presuming the virus installed itself somehow from some kind of boot/reset option.

So no, I can hardly imagine it is a virus, as I never rooted my phone and also did not boot it (consciously) from the SD Card I have. As far as I remember I also did not install anything outside of Google Play. So if there is a virus in my phone it must have either come from my SD Card, or from Google Play.

And I just did some research on ‘virus after factory reset’, which seems to confirm there is stuff that can survive a factory reset. But even if, how did the virus get into my phone anyhow, as I can’t imagine the Android OS running ‘anything’ from an SD Card and I can’t imagine any app containing a virus that I got through Google Play.

So what now?

Well, I am trying to convince the vendor to let me do the re-software myself. Or maybe the store is willing to exchange the phone with another one of the same type and model. In the last case I guess I have to somehow erase the SD Card before putting it in the new phone, otherwise I would have the same problem again, IF the virus came from the SD Card.

And IF the virus comes from any of the apps I normally install from Google Play, then it would also be back on the new phone in no time, as I normally install the same apps. And no, nothing weird or out of the normal, just Facebook Messenger, Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, Dropbox, now the SMS backup software, Google Maps(!?), sometimes Remote Desktop for Windows and the Kindle software from Amazon. I can’t imagine any malware in each of those apps still. But who am I? The vendor is King I guess…

And I did some more reading and everywhere I find that to access anything ‘system’ you need to have root access. And the only way to get that is to root your device. But my device is not rooted and I prefer to keep it that way.

And again…

And yeah, again due for factory reset, as I see 2.15 Gb used of 2.26 Gb. Saw it already in the command prompt. That data seems to come from the /data folder, exactly where the article I found said the ‘log files’ were found.

So again, just now, August 15, 2017 in the evening, as the system really started to complain, I did a factory reset.

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