Does Factory Restore Really Wipe All Data?Support


Last Updated:

  1. dctony2010

    dctony2010 Active Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just did a factory restore on my Vibrant and afterwards, I noticed that there are folders of apps I used to have before the factory restore. Some folders are...EpicFail, FridayEscape, etc. I thought by doing a factory restore that all data were wiped oud. Can someone help, I would like a clean wipe of the hard drive and reload of the factory stuff. No rooting please. Thanks

    P.S. The factory reset did wipe all my apps and made it as it was when I first received the phone. It's just the folders that were left behind from older apps that bothers me. It's nothing that affects the phone, I'm just anal about the small stuff...
     

    Advertisement
  2. yatimameiji

    yatimameiji Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    43
    Factory reset does not wipe the sd card, and in our case, the included internal storage. It only wipes the storage space that holds the rom(ie android and the default apps and cache) and reinstalls it.
     
  3. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248
    Likes Received:
    147
    That brings up the question...how would one do a complete wipe, that is, back it as it was out of the box? Disregarding the external SD card of course.
     
  4. melll

    melll Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2010
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    35

    1. Factory Reset.

    2. Format the internal memory and SD card.

    What am I missing?
     
  5. dctony2010

    dctony2010 Active Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the way to wipe the phone storage is...

    1. Settings > Phone & SD Storage > Unmount Phone Storage
    2. Settings > Phone & SD Storage > Format Phone Storage

    I am afriad to do this in fear that the result is losing my Andorid OS (ala format hard drive) and not being able to do future restore. I also didn't know you can unmount your internal phone storage. Anybody have experience with this?
     
  6. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248
    Likes Received:
    147
    So then, nothing is placed on the internal SD storage that the phone needs? You could wipe and do a factory restore and then format the internal memory? Or would you need to format the internal memory first and afterward proceed with wipe/restore? I'm not asking because I have the need to do this, rather out of curiosity.
     
  7. yatimameiji

    yatimameiji Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    43
    Internal memory, which is 16Gb, if you check, isn't 16Gb, because a portion of it is reserved. Part is reserved as a space for the normal operating system and apps to store their cache/etc. Part is reserved as space to hold a compressed image of the original os/apps from which to recover from. Its like how pc nowadays have a recovery partition instead of restore cds. The internal storage and sd card space you see when you plug the phone into the computer are there for storing things that dont go into the reserve space, like photos, music, etc.
     
    w_bovine likes this.
  8. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248
    Likes Received:
    147
    Okay...that sounds logical and along the lines of what I was thinking. Thanks for the details.
     
  9. dctony2010

    dctony2010 Active Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what are you saying about choosing the "format internal storage" option? Will it erase everything to include the lingering folders from past uninstalled apps? But factory data (for restore purposes) will be safe?
     
  10. yatimameiji

    yatimameiji Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    43
    Format does exactly the same thing it does on a pc, it formats a drive.

    Factory reset does not format.
     
  11. dctony2010

    dctony2010 Active Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gotcha. Later tonight, I will format the internal phone storage, then factory reset my phone. If all goes well, I should have a "brand new" phone without files of old littering my system. Anyone think this will work? Thanks!
     
  12. dctony2010

    dctony2010 Active Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    After some more research, I believe what I've been looking for is a "hard reset". To erase everything and restore the phone to its original state.
     
  13. yatimameiji

    yatimameiji Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    43
    Hard reset, factory restore, same thing. It wipes the reserved part of memory that held the OS and apps and puts back what the phone had when it came off the factory line. Its always up to the user to then wipe the sdcard/internal storage since thats your personal space.
     
  14. dctony2010

    dctony2010 Active Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, I see... Learning a lot from this thread. So I will go back with my original plan, format the internal phone storage...
     
  15. smutek

    smutek Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Messages:
    34
    Likes Received:
    7
    yatimameiji likes this.
  16. yatimameiji

    yatimameiji Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    43
    Good find. It was always my experience that the reset wouldn't touch the sd card, but I suppose there might be cases where it would just be easier to wipe both clean. But in either case, always remember to BACKUP your data, always!
     
  17. dctony2010

    dctony2010 Active Member This Topic's Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Okay, I have done this and it was a success. So for example, to all who decide to sell the Vibrant (why you would want to do that, I don't know), Factory Reset/Restore will not wipe out all of your personal stuff such as photos on your phone (not microSD). You must format internal storage via Settings to clear personal data.
     
  18. w_bovine

    w_bovine Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,248
    Likes Received:
    147
    Cool...thanks for the information. I'm hoping, of course, that I'll never have to do this, but one never knows.
     
  19. returnofsid

    returnofsid New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. Veetus

    Veetus Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    So wait, if I was having problems on my phone or whatever, and wanted to factory reset, I could do it so I wouldn't lose all my apps/media etc.?
     
  21. chocobosandwich

    chocobosandwich Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Messages:
    356
    Likes Received:
    57
    Here's how I understand it. You have several storage memories in your Vibrant.

    1. ROM. This is where the firmware is stored and for people to flash newer firmware onto. Tamper at your own risk.

    2. System Partition. This is around 2GB or so (of the 16GB internal flash) where the filesystem and apps are stored.

    3. User Partition. This is the remaining 13-14GB of the internal flash and is labeled "phone storage" in the system settings. This is where your pictures/movies/music are stored, as well as non-vital stuff your apps decide to create folders and dump to. This is the first thing that pops up when you connect your Vibrant to a PC and can drag stuff into.

    4. SD Card. The 2GB microSD card with Avatar on it, or whatever you placed in the slot. This is the second thing that pops up when you connect to a PC to drag stuff into.

    You can go to Privacy under system settings and restore factory data. You can also do the EXACT same thing by deleting user data by entering the recovery mode by holding volume+ and - while the phone is off and then holding the power button to start up the phone. This completely restores the System Partition by wiping it and restoring whatever data is in your ROM. Your Vibrant will return to how it was when you first powered it on, with all apps gone except for the bundled ones, contacts erased, google account deleted, etc. However, nothing from the User Partition will be deleted. That means any music you dragged or videos and pictures taken stored on internal memory will NOT be deleted. The SD card with Avatar is completely UNAFFECTED so don't worry about it.

    To wipe your music/videos/photos from the internal memory, you need to go to the storage settings, unmount your phone storage, and format it. The menu will ask if you want to format the SD card. Don't FREAK! This is a typo and your Avatar is completely safe. After doing this and resetting factory data, the phone will have undergone a true hard reset.

    And yeah don't trust me too much since I'm not really into this phone at all. But all this has worked so far and I'm offing my phone now for some Bada punishment.
     
  22. jbasound

    jbasound New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    i just read this thread and decided to format phone storage from settings.

    first I did the settings> privacy> factory data reset. which just erased "other" apps and such.
    then,

    settings> sd card and phone storage> tap, "unmount phone storage", then tap "format phone storage".

    After a quick format all is back to factory everything! viola!

    Only folders on phone now are DCIM, Android and sd.
    inside DCIM> empty
    inside Android> data> com.google.android.apps.maps and com.cooliris.media
    inside sd> movie> Avatar movie and trailer

    all good!

    ps. sending second vibrant back to factory cause this "replacement" from my original phone was buggy as hell! didn't do this format on first send in, hope they don't screw me!
     
  23. servantpriest

    servantpriest New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just reset my vibrant i bought off craigslist yesterday and it now is like new out of the box :)

    followed jbasound directions... thanks!
     
  24. jssilver

    jssilver New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've tried all the techniques in this thread and nothing works. The phone is a T-Mobile Vibrant (firmware v. 2.2) that's been unlocked and moved to Wind Mobile. I bought it second hand so the phone has the original owner's account. I'm not able to remove this account nor any of his user data, and I can't associate the Market with a new account.

    This is what happens when I try the various methods:

    1. Factory Reset from Privacy menu:

    Phone resets.
    Message on reboot says "Data wipe failed".
    Nothing appears to be changed.

    2. Volume + Power Buttons
    Delete User Data.
    Phone confirms: Formatting DATA..., Formatting CACHE..., Data wipe complete.
    Delete cache data.
    Phone confirms...Cache wipe complete.
    Reboot system.
    Phone confirms: Phone reset done.

    Phone reboots - nothing has changed. No error messages.

    3. Settings - SD Card and Phone Storage
    Format phone storage (there is no unmount option)
    Phone displays "Formatting..." message.
    Nothing changes. No error messages.

    4. Entered *2767*3855#

    Confirms that it's doing a factory format.
    Reboots with "Data wipe failed" message (same as #1).

    When I try to remove the original owner's account, it tells me that it's required by some applications, and I have to do a factory reset from the Privacy menu. I reset, but still can't delete the account. Following advice in another thread in this forum, I deleted all the data in all Google applications. I also turned off all syncing. But still no luck getting rid of the account, which means I have to way of using the Market.

    Help!
     
  25. jssilver

    jssilver New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Turns out the guy who sold me the phone had had it rooted and had installed an unofficial version of 2.2 Froyo. I had to restore the phone back to the original 2.1 firmware and then installed the official Froyo.

    If anyone else runs into this problem, here are some links that I found helpful:
    AndroidSPIN
     

Share This Page

Loading...