All About Smartphones: How To Solve Error "Couldn't install on USB storage or SD card"

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How To Solve Error "Couldn't install on USB storage or SD card"

Have you ever wanted to install something on your Android device from Google Play Store and found that after downloading the app, it becomes a problem to install to the device. Usually, it would present you with an error like this "Couldn't install on USB storage or SD card".

This error has nothing to do with the memory card or SD card space you have. It s just an error that is funny and don't have a good reason why it happens yet.

However, it can be solved using this simple trick.

1. Go to Settings and click on Storage

2. Scroll down to where you have Unmount SD card and tap on it.

3. Now go back to the Play Store to download the app again. This time, the app would be installed.

4. After app is installed, you can go back to the Storage settings and tap Mount SD card

5. After mounting, you can move application to SD card if its possible.

The problem with this solution is that it is temporal and the problem may re-appear again later. If it does re-appear, you may need to perform the operation again.

After digging through the Internet some more, I found that the problem is caused by a temporary file called smdl2tmp1.asec that is used during some installations (I think of apps that are movable to SD) but does not get deleted for some reason, most notably when you run out of space. Because of this, the system can't create it and treats it as an error, rather than figuring out that it's stale and simply deleting it.

The solution? Go and delete smdl2tmp1.asec yourself. From what I can tell, it could reside in 2 locations:
  1. /sdcard/.android_secure - this is an invisible folder on your SD card, which you can access with any file manager, like ASTRO
  2. /mnt/secure/asec/ - access to this folder requires root and a program like Root Explorer
Look for smdl2tmp1.asec in these folders and delete any ones you see. Deleting it seems to be a safe enough operation - it's just a temporary file after all. Once you've done that, all the update problems should go away

I hope this helps someone out there.  Google should make a way t fix this as it affects even 4.1.2 Jelly Bean devices.