Galaxy Not-So “S”

Is your Galaxy S a little laggy (experiences stutters, delays) at times, even on Froyo? It’s not your imagination; your phone’s internal storage is probably the culprit, and LagFix addresses the problem quite cleverly, helping you put the “S” back in your Galaxy.

As you probably know, Galaxy S phones boast either 8GB and 16GB of internal memory. Pretty hefty for an Android phone (the most spacious available, in fact). And yet, the Galaxy S is no more expensive than any comparable, high-end Android phone. So, how did Samsung do it?

Your Galaxy S’s cavernous capacity is owed to Samsung’s choice to use internal SD (rather than Flash EEPROM, HTC’s favored storage method) for system, app and data storage. It is essentially an SD “card” without the plastic enclosure.

Why SD? Flash EEPROM has physical size limitations that prevent it from reaching such high storage capacities on a mobile device, while SD has proven itself capable of storing many times the amount of data on the same square-footage (32GB and beyond). As Android users store more and more apps and data on their phones, Samsung decided to go with SD to provide users more space.

The Issue

Unfortunately, this isn’t a totally ideal role for SD. As a data storage platform, SD is pretty efficient and reliable. In the capacity of acting a solid state disk (doing lots of reading/writing), however, it requires a little help. Enter RyanZA at the XDA forums, who has given the Galaxy S’s SD storage a much-needed fix that resolves lag issues: the aptly-named LagFix.

If you’re interested in what LagFix actually does, feel free to read Ryan’s explanation:

Details about what this fix does:
Creates a VIRTUAL EXT2 filesystem inside the stock RFS filesystem on the internal SD card, with a 4KB block size. This means that this lag fix creates a buffer between the real filesystem and the android system. This buffer should reduce the amount of disk I/O required for all operations by utilizing EXT2 buffering, as well as not writing file access times to disk, etc. It allows only 1GB for application data at this stage, down from the 2GB of application data when running stock.

Folders that are currently supported:
More folders can be added, and should help performance further.

In layman’s terms, it virtually “formats” part of your internal SD card into a file system the Android OS plays a lot more nicely with, and moves commonly accessed system files to that newly formatted area. This results in big, big speed increases across the entire OS, and in applications. Quadrant scores in excess of 2200 are being reported (on Froyo).

Installing LagFix

Before you install, things to note:
  • Your phone must be rooted with Superuser installed
  • This fix will not work on phones with the JP3 baseband firmware.
  • You must have more than 1GB of internal storage (out of the 2GB allocated) available

There are two ways of installing LagFix currently. One is a bit laborious, here’s a link. For us lazy types, there’s an update.zip with everything you need all baked-in, just save it to the root of your SD card, boot into recovery, and apply it.

Full instructions:
1. The update.zip installs all the files needed. It is attached here; http://forum.xda-developers.com/atta...2&d=1281390347
2. Place it on your internal sdcard
3. Turn off your phone.
4. Hold down Up+powerbutton+Menubutton for a couple of seconds until u see the galaxy logo .
5. Use the up and down buttons to get to update.zip.
6. Press menu button on update.zip to select it
7. It installs root, correct busybox (1.17.1) as well as all the scripts needed for the fix and the 'MCR Scripts' app to run the scripts. (NOTE: This version does not install superuser.app which is needed, although the beta update.zip does, so read 'requirements' above if needed)
8. After install, the phone restarts.
9. Go to the newly installed 'MCR Scripts' application from the app list, open it and choose from 3 scripts. For example, Lagfix10024 is the 1gb ex2 version.
10. The script should run and take a few minutes.
11. You should see an 'all complete' prompt, and this means you can close the application.
12. Run quadrant to test if the fix was applied.

Have you tried out RyanZA’s LagFix? How’s it work? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: XDA Forums

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Dennis Sak

    is there any similar application or programm for other Android phones, such as Htc Desire?

    • Mikey

      You won't need it as it works in a different way.

  • LiberatorUSA

    What about the Epic 4G? It has 1GB,.. is that perhaps EEPROM?

    • David Ruddock


      Yes. The large size of the EVO4G's logic board allowed placement of two 512MB EEPROM chips, I believe.

      • Seth Daniel

        Liberator was asking about the Epic 4g (Sprint's upcoming Samsung galaxy S) I believe, not the Evo... I was wondering the same thing, since the epic 4g on sprint has so much less memory even thought it's the pro version, could it be that it's because samsung made it EEPROM instead of SD?

        • David Ruddock

          Reading fail on my part.

          Ok, according to GSMArena (great site for phone specs!), the EPIC4G only has 512MB internal ROM (EEPROM Flash) storage, everything else will be external SD.

          I don't know about the accuracy of this info, though.

      • limgad

        actually, he asked about epic 4g. The sprint variation of the galaxy S. But i guess that it has SD too.

  • casey

    I did the lazy fix last night on my vibrant and I'm getting a score of 2073 on quadrant. A tip for doing this don't have your phone plugged in for charging it can mess things up. I'm not positive it will mess things up but I had a big issue with mine. As it was doing its thing I needs to charge my phone it was down to 5% so I plugged it in and thought it was fine then when the lag fix was done I noticed that it said complete and under that it said some other stuff sorry can't remember. Here's where it agent wrong the phone restarted itself. When it came back on it kept force closing over and over. Something with the media. After about ten minutes of trying to fix it I unmounted the CD card and it all stooped. I then did a factory reset and then I had to download the rom manager again and used the nanodroid to restore everything. I did try the lag fix again and it still messed everything up,but not as bad. I could not use the android market or anything without the app force closing again. So again a factory reset. I let my phone charge and tried again not plugged in and it WORKED so DONT PLUG IN. I could be wrong.

  • diogonev

    Actually I'm on stock Eclair and I get 2300 on quadrant at times. There is already another fix baking that promises to get Quadrant scores up to 2800 :D

  • MN_Vibrant

    Messed up my Vibrant at first, but I tried again and bow it works beautifully. Quadrant scores of 2200+

  • Deon

    What is JP3 baseband firmware? I considered swapping my N1 for a Samsung Vibrant, will this fix work on the Vibrant?

    • Mikey

      Other than TouchWiz, 0.3" more screen and slightly better graphics performance you won't see much benefit. You might be better off waiting until some better hardware comes out.
      Wait for the Dual core Cortex A9 hardware then you'll see much bigger differences.

      • Matt

        Mikey, you forgot to mention the Super AMOLED screen, the hummingbird processor (I believe it is faster than the snapdragon 1GHz processors, plus it can be overclocked MUCH more than a snapdragon, I am hearing 1.6GHz overclock is possilbe)

        Deon, check xda-devlopers for the vibrant, it is the android development community and anything you wanted to know about hacking/modifying phones you will find there.

  • Jeff

    So does the lazy fix update.zip root your phone as well? I really want to do this but I just don't want to make any mistakes. (vibrant stock 2.1)

    • Mikey

      No you need a rooted phone to use it. Might want to also get the Froyo update first to prevent any issues. I suspect that the Froyo update might have unforeseen consequences on a rooted phone - I have no evidence to back that statement up though.

  • Deon

    An Even Swap for a N1 for Vibrant. Slightly bigger display, Super AMOLED display, slightly faster CPU, better GPU, bigger internal storage, at the cost of Froyo 2.2 (for now), camera flash, and always having the latest Android. Decisions decisions.

    • Deon

      I passed it up. It wasn't a deal of a lifetime type of deal. I found the N1 for $430 on ebay and the vibrant for $400 on ebay. I think the Vibrant w/ the better gpu, bigger internal storage, better display, and it doesn't have the multi-touch issues like the N1. But I think I'll hold out for a revolutionary phone and not go through the hassle of moving all my data, reinstalling all my programs, breaking in a new phone and learning its quirks, etc.

  • ibuddha

    i cant get my phone into download mode all it does is flash "samsung vibrant" until i let go of the volume key what do i do?

  • Jeff

    Oh sweet lord this thing flies now! Messed up my vibrant too at first but after the second time it worked flawlessly. More on battery life tomorrow.

  • Nick

    Hello guys I'm trying to remove the MCR Scripts App because I have to return the phone. Can any of you please tell how I can acomplish this.

    Thank you.

  • jae lee

    hi everyone... i just installing the lagfix on my galaxy s... and now i can't loggon to market place... any can help me??