Which file systems and protocols does the Samsung Galaxy S5 support over USB OTG?

The Samsung Galaxy S5 supports USB OTG, but with only 2 filesystems.

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The other day I was trying to find out exactly what file systems of attached USB OTG drives my (Verizon) Samsung Galaxy S5 (SM-G900V) supports, but couldn’t find anything on Google. Therefore, I decided to buy an inexpensive USB 2.0 OTG adapter cable from Monoprice* and do some testing myself.

The drives I used were a SanDisk Cruzer Mini and a Sony Microvault for USB 2.0; and an ADATA DashDrive for USB 3.0.

FAT32 and exFAT formatting were done using Storage -> Disk Management in Computer Management on Windows 8.1 Update 1 Professional 64-bit, while ext4 formatting was done using Linux Mint 17’s USB Stick Formatter.

The results are in, and they’re not that great:

Pretty awful OTG support here.
Pretty awful OTG support here.

Basically the S5 refuses to mount anything that isn’t USB 2.0 AND FAT32 or exFAT.** If you have any comments, counterexamples, or ideas please be sure to share.

*I didn’t buy a USB 3.0 OTG cable as I couldn’t find one online that was guaranteed to even fit the S5. I’ve never encountered that issue with USB before, so I have no idea if the fault is with the cable OEM or Samsung.

Also, part of my motivation for getting an OTG cable is to facilitate Sneakernet file transfers while out of the house. Since very few phones support micro USB 3.0, I decided to go the 2.0 route.

** I don’t own a Mac and so couldn’t try HFS Plus, sorry.

Author: jdrch

ISTJ, Rice Owl, UF Gator, mechanical engineer. STEM, sports, music, movies, humor. Account mine only & unaffiliated.

7 thoughts on “Which file systems and protocols does the Samsung Galaxy S5 support over USB OTG?”

    1. I recently bought a Sandisk flashdrive with 128GB storage. Have downloaded a large volume of files and folders that I don’t want to lose. I do have them backed up on a couple other external drives.

      I also have a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone on which I’d like to be able to read the files that are on the flash drive.

      I bought a USB OTG adapter and thought I would be good to go. NO DICE!

      The files saved to my Sandisk came from my Windows OS on FAT32

      Here’s what I get when I connect the Flash drive to the Galaxy S5:

      Corrupted SanDisk USB drive
      SanDisk USB drive is corrupt. Touch to fix.

      Format as portable storage.
      The SanDisk USB drive will be formatted to make it secure.

      Formatting erases all data currently stored on the Sandisk USB drive.
      To avoid data loss, back up data before you format the Sandisk USB drive.

      So if I format the Flash drive to my android will it still work on my Windows OS?

      I used to wonder why I hate android. One more reason here.

      I may be paranoid but the only reason I can see for this is that Google wants to poke around in my files.

      Like

      1. I wrote this guide when the S5 as running KitKat (or was it Lollipop?) The Samsung OS external storage support may have changed since. That said, OTG works just fine on LineageOS 14.1, which I currently use.

        Like

  1. thanks, I’m thinking about buying usb 3.0 OTG, wonder if that would work with usb 3.0 drives, info about OTG and S5 is really scarce..I’ll let you know

    Like

    1. I wouldn’t recommend a USB 3.0 OTG adapter as the S5 & Note 3 are the only phones on the market that support it, which severely limits the adapter’s usefulness.

      Like

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