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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Mon, 12 Oct 2015

Virgin Mobile LG Tribute users: Finally get the LS660ZV6_01_update to work

The LS660ZV6_01.zip update has been dogging me for about a month on my Virgin Mobile LG Tribute phone. I couldn't install it. No matter what I did, there was "insufficient space" to do so. I finally got the update installed, and I will share my not-so-secret discovery with you.

tl;dr: You need 550 MB of free space to install the ZV6 update on the LG Tribute. Start deleting app data and full apps until you get there. Then try to install the update that has been dogging you and eating up your data for at least a month if not longer. It should work.

Even though the LS660ZV6_01.zip update is supposed to be "only" 73 MB in size, the most internal memory I've been able to free up by clearing out app data and cache was 300 MB. And the update still won't install. There is still "insufficient space" to cram this supposedly 73 MB update on my LG Tribute's 4 GB of internal memory.

Adding insult to injury, this update -- impossible for mortals to install -- includes a fix for the series of ["stagefright" bugs], which are serious security vulnerabilities that affect all versions of Android back to version 2.2 (Froyo). This critical update should be easy to install, not impossible.

Adding further insult to further injury, the app/entity called "Android OS" has been eating up all of my phone's mobile data, and I'm tapped out until the end of the month (and today is only the 12th for those keeping score).

Is this data issue related to the repeated failure of the update?

I bet it is.

I'll find out now. Why?

Because I finally, FINALLY figured out how to get the update to install.

The secret? To install this supposedly 73 MB update, 73 MB isn't enough. Even 150 MB isn't enough. And 300 MB isn't enough. Instead, you need 550 to 600 MB of free internal memory/disk space (it's not RAM memory, but "ROM" memory, even though it's not "read only." It's your phone's internal storage.)

Update: Just did my wife Ilene's phone, and we made it happen at 550 MB of free space.

I finally discovered this dismal secret in an Androidcentral forum post.

Here's the "trick": Whatever it takes to free up 550 MB of storage in the phone, you do that.

Here is how I did it:

1) Delete the data for EVERY SINGLE APP YOU CAN (under Settings - Apps - All). Just go down the list and start nuking data.

2) Begin deleting any and all apps that you previously installed (under Settings - Apps - All). You can also delete the updates from the phone's many default apps and save a lot of space that way. (You can add the updates back later if you wish.)

You'll see at the bottom of your screen in Settings - Apps how much free space you have. Once you hit 550-600 MB, you can then install the update.

3) Install the ZV6 update either from the notification that has been on your phone for at least a month, or via Settings - System updates - Update LG software.

4) Now you can reinstall as many apps as a) you feel you need and b) your phone's meager 4 GB internal storage can handle.

Will the LG Tribute 2 eliminate this problem? We've bought quite a few of these 4 GB ROM/1 GB RAM LG Tributes. Every member of my family that doesn't like overpaying for cell-phone service and handsets has one of these from Virgin Mobile. They cost about -50 (can't remember the exact amount), so I didn't expect them to last forever. I didn't count on the 4 GB internal storage making it so I'd have to clear data from apps on a continual basis just to keep the phone working. The LG Tribute 2 is basically the same phone wih 8 GB of internal storage instead of 4 GB. Will this be a truly usable, cheap (currently , hopefully less by Black Friday) Android phone for Virgin Mobile users? I don't know. It wouldn't kill them to offer a phone with 16 GB or even 32 GB without it costing .

Do SD cards help? Not really. Many apps (including all of the default ones) won't go on the SD card, and in a move that really, really hurts, most apps, including apps stored on the SD card, write their data to the phone's internal memory, and that's where you really start to feel the pain of Android's data-storage choices.

However, Android KitKat does allow at least some app data to be stored on the SD card, and you can store all of your pictures and videos there, so you still should put an SD card in your LG Tribute or other storage-poor Android phone.

Just get a better phone? There's a huge gap between these -50 phones and the "marquee" Android and iPhone devices that start at and go to and even higher. I want an Android phone that can run 20 apps and have enough storage to do so comfortably. That's all I want. It should cost , not or more.

Space-saving tip for storage-challenged Android phones: You can't always delete the default apps that come with your phone (unless you root it) but you can delete the software updates for those apps and then disable them. That way you won't be bugged constantly to update those apps, and those updates won't clog your internal storage. You can always enable the apps later if you decide you want to use them. I did this with Google Chrome (I use the "default" Android browser) and save a lot of space.