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[OT] Using ZTree with Android Devices   [OT]

By: Art Kocsis     So Calif  
Date: Nov 07,2019 at 18:14
In Response to: [OT] Can anyone recommend an Android file manager vaguely like ZTree? (Andrew Watson)

[Disclaimer: I don't always know what I am talking about and am stretching my knowledge level regarding Android and Windows drivers here. However, there should be enough truth and hints here to lead to viable solutions.]

> Can someone please suggest an Android file manager that will allow me
> to see every file in every folder, with total size in folder and
> subfolders would be nice, but not essential, and then let me move
> selected files to selected folder on SD card?

How about exactly like ZTTree? You can use ZTree itself!

Here are some methods for mapping Android device storage media to Windows drive letters. This enables using ZTree directly for file operations.

Windows MTP Driver
Since an Android phone is running an active file system its storage cannot be directly modified as it can with a passive storage media such as a camera or thumbdrive. The Android device has to be connected as a file server and its storage devices mapped to Windows devices (drive letters).

One possibility is to install an MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) driver on Windows. It would appear that that option is already built into Windows (at least in Win 7 and up). There is a file in the Windows/Inf folder named "wpdmtp.inf". It states it is for the installation of MTP. However, when I select the "Install" option in the Win 7 shell I get the message "The inf file you selected does not support this method of installation". ???

The Win7 WebClient Service is started and running. My Samsung S5 device is displayed in Explorer as a "Portable Media Player" but there is no drive mapping. Since no drive mapping, ZTree does not recognize the Android device. Perhaps someone here knows and can explain what is going on.

MTPDrive App
MTPDrive is a Windows app that uses the MTP protocol to map an Android device to a Windows drive letter which is then accessible to ZTree. It can map the internal memory and an SD card to separate drive letters. It seems to work but, unfortunately, it is a bit pricey at $40 a pop. [ https://www.mtpdrive.com/index.html ]

The trial version is limited to 30 transfers. It is unclear whether that is total or per run. I tried it last Aug using ZTree and recreated a portion of the morass of the Android tree structure. IIRC I only saw the user files and folders in the internal memory. I did not see the Android app folders themselves which is what I wanted to capture. YMMV.

In Google searches I found a number of comments regarding problems with MTP. Most of them were 4-5 years old and I suspect they applied to the Windows driver rather than the MTPDrive app.

MTP Alternates (USB Tethering)
This StackExchange post [ https://android.stackexchange.com/questi...-alternative-to-mtp-for-file-transfer ] has an extensive discussion/tutorial on alternatives to MTP file transfers. An appealing alternate to MTP PC to Android communication is USB tethering. What I have read is that it can be quite fast, reliable and relatively easy. If IUIC, USB tethering supports drive mapping which means one can use ZTree. And, of course, there's an app: MTP-Alternative! [ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clearevo.mtp_alternative ]

The post goes on to describe a number of other alternatives but the USB tethering seems the most viable. I am not sure if any of the other methods support drive mapping. Google "MTP alternate OR alternative" for a plethora of additional info. A few that I think are helpful (above links repeated for convenience):
https://www.fosshub.com/Android-x86.html [Android emulator on Windows]

AppMgr [AKA App2SD, freeware]
In searching for an alternative to MTPDrive, I discovered an app called AppMgr [https://appmgr-iii-app-2-sd.en.uptodown.com/android/download among others] I haven't tried it yet but its purpose is to move apps between internal memory and an internal SD card. I understand that Not all apps are movable but, hopefully, most of them will be. Once on an SD card, you can pull the card and connect it to a PC via an SD card reader, USB and Ztree.

Sorry for the length but there was a lot of info to convey. If you try any of these methods, please post your experience.


Namaste', Art

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