Nexus 7 Tutorial: Use Network Share as a Mount Point

UPDATED TO WORK ON JELLYBEAN 4.1.2!

This tutorial requires your Nexus 7 have ROOT access.  It is an “intermediate” difficulty level tutorial.

The Nexus 7 has no external storage medium like a microSD card.  You can use an OTG (on the go) cable to get access to removable media, keyboards, mice, etc. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could just use your home network’s Windows shares, NAS or network drive as a big fat storage unit for your brand new Nexus 7?

I know what you’re thinking.  But Shane … We have file managers with SMB (Samba/sharing) capabilities – why would we need this tutorial?

The simple answer is – this mounts your network shares as a device MOUNT POINT – meaning that share is available to all apps (emulators, media players, etc.) not just your favorite file manager.

That’s right – use any shared hard drive, network attached drive, NAS in your house/network as storage for your Nexus 7.   Sounds great, right?

For Windows folks; this is like mapping Drive S: to a network drive or remote network share.

You will need a few things:

  • Nexus 7 (Unlocked and Rooted – very easy to do with Nexus 7 Toolkit)
  • CIFS Modules (Download here)
  • Mount Manager App (Install here)
  • BusyBox (Install here)
  • Network Share on your WiFi (I’m using a GoFlex Home network drive – but any Windows share will do)
  • Some basic knowledge of working with files

Pre-Requisites:

  • Unlock/Root your Nexus 7.  This is not optional.
  • Install BusyBox
  • Ensure your network share is up and working.  If you’re sharing a Windows drive, I recommend setting up a NEW USER on Windows – one just to use for permissions for this share.

Getting it Working:

  • Unzip the CIFS modules – should be three .ko files in there.  You can put these anywhere you like – I put them on the Nexus “SDCard” folder under “mods” (/sdcard/mods)
  • Install Mount Manager on your Nexus 7.  Run it.  Grant ROOT access.
  • On the toolbar, hit the gear icon (settings).
  • Hit MANAGE MODULES.
  • Select ADD MODULE. Add each of the .ko files you extracted in Step 1.  Should look like this:

  •  Hit BACK.
  • Hit FORCE LOADING OF MODULES .. it should say CIFS MODULES ARE LOADED
    • Note: This may not work until you FORCE CLOSEthe app once:
      • Leave the app with BACK or HOME.
      • Hit the Apps button
      • Swipe off the Mount Manager app to close it
      • Reopen the app.
      • Check to see of the Modules loaded properly.
  • Hit BACK.
  • Hit the + toolbar icon to add a new mount.
  • Under Share Path, put your share: like 192.168.1.209/GoFlex Home Public or 10.1.1.14/Videos
  • (Use IP addresses not Windows PC names)
  •  Under MOUNT POINT, click the folder and it will open the default share folder.
  • Create a new folder for your share (if one wasn’t created) – the UI is a bit weird – use the Down Caret button for actions and SELECT the folder.
  • Under OPTIONS hit the + and add USERNAME.  Fill this in with your network resource username (PC username)
  • Hit the + again, add PASSWORD.  Fill this in with your network resource password (PC password()
  • Hit the + again, add IOCHARSET – fill this in with: utf8.
  • At this point it should look something like this:
    (if file_mode and dir_mode don’t fill in, add them)

  • Hit OK and your new mount is on the main screen.  Tap it.
  • If you did everything right, you will get a green check mark and it will look something like this:

  • At this point, you are ready to test.  Open a file manager, and navigate to the mount folder you made.
  • If all is good – you’re done!  You can mount and dismount this anytime from the Mount Manager.  You can automate this on boot up with the next steps.
  • Go to Mount Manager’s preferences and check LOAD MODULES and LOAD ON BOOT.  Also check ENABLE AUTO MOUNTS and AUTO MOUNT ON BOOT.
    There are also options to connect when wifi connections.

That’s it!  Enjoy your new found freedom.  Needless to say, this only works on your own network – but clever people might find a way to make it work from ANY access point anywhere.  Maybe the topic of a different tutorial.

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+