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Old May 21st, 2013, 03:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question How do I recover data from an almost-bricked S3?

Hi,
The title is probably a bit misleading, but I couldn't think of a better one.
Following still works on the S3 I have to recover:
  • I can get into the download mode
  • When I plug in the cable when it's off the charging screen with the endless-loading-circle appears - the circle freezes immediately
  • Turning it on normally gets it to freeze immediately at the first frame of the logo animation
The S3 has its original rom it was delivered with, and is rooted.
So there's no bootloader menu.

Is there a way I can recover data from this phone before wiping it?

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Old May 21st, 2013, 09:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Im not sure mate but first, what have you tried to fix it? Its not a brick yet
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Old May 21st, 2013, 09:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome!

Seeing how the device is rooted, we're going to have more options for troubleshooting. Can you let us know what carrier (US) or whether its the international version of the phone?

This will help me move it to the right root subforum.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 08:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's a version sold in Switzerland, so I assume it's the international version.
What I've tried so far:
  • Connect it to the computer while it's in download mode. It gets recognized, but nothing is possible.
  • Called Samsung. "No, data recovery is not possible."
I thought a company like Samsung would have some sort of "rescue system" one could load onto the phone RAM via download mode (to then access the flash memory via USB), but nope.

Apps are not important; I need only to recover the contacts and if possible birthdays. Any other files would be bonus.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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For the contacts, if you have them saved as Google Contacts they should be synced with Google's server. You shouldn't need to recover those.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 08:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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the fact that you can get into download mode means the phone can probably be rescued. Is there any reason why you want it to be bricked instead of trying to fix it?
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 09:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Contacts, apps, and app data are automatically backed up to google if you allow it.

They'll automatically restore when you sign into your phone

Have you tried restoring the stock rom via odin? It won't save data but you'll be back up and running
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the answers.
The contacts were not synced to the Google account.
I know that it's most likely possible to "just reflash" the phone with a ROM. But that would destroy all data.
So there is no way to restore the data on the phone?
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I dont think reflashing loses any data?
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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As long as you don't do a factory reset prier to reflashing you shouldn't lose any data.
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Old May 22nd, 2013, 11:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Yeah, just flash the same rom again, it won't wipe data.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 03:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So how do I flash? I downloaded the stock 4.1.2 Rom, but I can't flash it. Odin wants a pit file which will repartition and thus reformat the phone.
If I select "re-partition" instead of providing a pit file, it gives me an error about not being able to access a file (it doesn't say which one) on the phone.
I then tried to get the pit file from the phone using heimdall, which gives me an error message that it's not able to open the file.
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 03:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Dont select re-partition mate. Download the firmware and extract it once so youre left with a .tar file. Put that in PIT, put phone in download mode, plug it in and hit Start
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 04:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Check this guide http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1671969
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 05:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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You don't have a nandroid by chance do you?

You could pull data out of that
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Old May 23rd, 2013, 05:47 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rxpert83 View Post
You don't have a nandroid by chance do you?

You could pull data out of that
Out of interest, how is that done mate?
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Old May 24th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This is what I get:
Quote:
<ID:0/003> Added!!
<OSM> Enter CS for MD5..
<OSM> Check MD5.. Do not unplug the cable..
<OSM> Please wait..
<OSM> I9300XXEMB1_I9300AUTEMA1_I9300XXEMB1_HOME.tar.md5 is valid.
<OSM> Checking MD5 finished Sucessfully..
<OSM> Leave CS..
<ID:0/003> Odin v.3 engine (ID:3)..
<ID:0/003> File analysis..
<ID:0/003> SetupConnection..
<ID:0/003> Initialzation..
<ID:0/003> Get PIT for mapping..
<ID:0/003>
<ID:0/003> There is no PIT partition.
<ID:0/003> Added!!
<OSM> All threads completed. (succeed 0 / failed 1)
Putting the rom somewhere else than PDA of course doesn't work.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 03:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Hmm that kinda stuff is out of my league mate sorry. we need one of the experts here

Im almost scared to say it but i hope it isnt Sudden Death Syndrome. If it is, i dont think youll be able to recover anything but the fact that it goes into download mode means it isnt full SDS but could be partial SDS
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Old May 24th, 2013, 04:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Well do you know where I can get a pit file? I'll try reformatting anyway now. My mother found a lot of her contacts on her computer so it's not as serious an issue as it was at first.
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Old May 24th, 2013, 04:17 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The contacts should all be in the online google account.
Tbh i dont even know what a PIT file is, i just know how to use Odin to flash a tar file to the phone. Anything further than that is over my head. Maybe try posting in the Gt-i9300 All Things Root sub-forum near the top of this page for more specialised advice. Good luck man
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Old May 25th, 2013, 03:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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No, they're not in the account since she didn't synchronize them. As I already wrote.
I tried it with pit files, but repartitioning fails.
We will now bring it to the carrier.
Thanks and bye.
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