Today I ran into a small problem that might happen sometimes : trying to benefit from a 2 day-only offer to download for free Duke Nukem 3d (just for fun, I don’t think it’s going to be the killer app this year ;-), I found out that my phone had not enough free memory to install it (Market told me : 56MB required).

After having removed several apps from the memory to free enough space to install the game - and after a first failed attempt to download the 28MB archive - I was able to download the .apk from the Market (that was “phase 1 : download”).

Immediately after the file was downloaded, I started up my Open Advanced Task Killer to free more memory for the installation process.

Unfortunately I got the very bad idea to kill the Android Market process, while it was already installing the app (“phase 2 : installation”).

From there, even though Duke Nukem 3d was listed in my installed apps, I only had the option to install it, not to launch nor uninstall it. Even launching the Market again was not triggering the installation anymore.

S**t happens.

Luckily, after a short introspection into the SD card and device filesystem, I was able to get the downloaded .apk file and start the app without using more (of my limited) bandwith.

Here is what I could observe :

  • the original downloaded .apk was stored as /cache/downloadfile-2.apk, and fully functional
  • there was /data/app/, probably interrupted reconstruction or copy of the apk into its final destination And the procedure I used to get it working (type the given commands) :
  1. adb shell (adb is a command from the Android sdk, which is therefore required)
  2. su (root access is required, look for it on xda forums)
  3. cat /cache/downloadfile-2.apk > /sdcard/com.machineworksnorthwest.duke3d.apk (this simply copies from cache to SD card)
  4. Finally, use any file browser like Astro to go to the root of the SD card and click on the .apk to uninstall/install/start it

I didn’t look for more details, as I already got what I wanted, but this event made me curious about the internals of the Android Market app, and I might come back later to add more to this article…

Duke Nukem 3d app icon