Nightmare on Moment StreetSupport

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  1. jasonfedelem

    jasonfedelem Member

    So an aquaintance reached out to me tonight to ask for help. She's going thru a divorce and needs to access her text messages. Unfortunately, her phone has decided to fail booting.

    She says it shows "Samsung" and then "Sprint", then loops back. I'm thinking that its a lost cause and the phone is bricked with no way to retrieve the data.

    Any ideas?

  2. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Well-Known Member

    Did you walk her through trying to get to the download mode or recovery? Is the phone rooted with a custom recovery? Did she do a battery pull? I would try these things first if she is not familiar.
  3. 240phil

    240phil Well-Known Member

    yeah man, you're missing a lot of the story.
    devices just don't randomly go into boot loop, something had to happen.

    So, more back ground, and more details and we can be much more help.

    But I'll be honest with ya, if it isn't something simple, chances are you're gonna loose the data off of it unless the texts have been backed up to the SDcard.
    Find out if they were backed up, that'll help us tell you what to do to try to avoid loosing them.
    jasonfedelem likes this.
  4. jasonfedelem

    jasonfedelem Member

    Thanks for the replies. Responses are in order.


    1. I'm not familiar with download mode or recovery mode. Sorry, I've only been using Android for 2 months. I used WinMo 6.1 for years, then BB OS 5 for a little over a year and am just getting my feet wet with Android. Is this an accurate description of the process?: How to Access Android Bootloader or System Recovery Mode My Digital Life

    2. I highly doubt that the phone is rooted. The end user is a normal consumer and not familiar with the terminology or systems. Unfortunately, I can't really verify because she's over 1000 miles away from me. I'm considering asking her to ship me the phone, though.

    3. Numerous battery pulls have been done, with no success


    4. Agreed on random boot loops. She stated that her phone was doing "Force Close" on "everything" (obvious hyperbole, but not able to narrow down further), so she took her battery out and this is when it happened.

    5. She has never intentionally backed up her text messages. I assume that Android automatically stores them on internal memory, not the SD card.

    What I'm hoping is that I can get it into the recovery/download mode that AndroidSPCS is referring to, find the main memory of the phone, and extract the text messages from there. They have to be there, I'm just not sure what I'm looking for once I get into that mode.
  5. 240phil

    240phil Well-Known Member

    that's gonna be tough because to get recovery, you have to be rooted, and you have to flash the phone which will wipe the data....

    What happens when the phone is plugged into the computer? is it recognized? can you get the drivers installed?
    you "might" be able to get lucky and get in there that way.

    Try holding the camera, end, and volume down buttons. that should put it into up-date mode. which, if you can get the computer to talk to it, you might be able to get in there and find something helpful.

    Beyond that, I'd try to get a sprint tech involved. I know they have a device that can pull the data off of a phone, but I would bet that the phone has to be able to boot up.

    If the texts weren't the all important goal then it would be an easy fix, flash recovery, flash a rom and kernal, then reboot the phone. should be good to go.
    But the data wipe is the tough part.

    I'll research some more and see if I can find a possible solution
    jasonfedelem likes this.
  6. 240phil

    240phil Well-Known Member

    oh, and just so we are on the same page, is it boot loop, as in, it turns on, loads the first little Samsung bit, then goes to the android load screen, freezes, then starts over again?
    does it just get stuck and freeze and not do anything?
    jasonfedelem likes this.
  7. someguyatx

    someguyatx Well-Known Member

    If the phone wont work then I think a lawyer will be needed to get copies of the messages assuming this is divorce related since there is no such thing as an important text
  8. jasonfedelem

    jasonfedelem Member

    I sent her a message suggesting this, but have not heard back yet.
  9. jasonfedelem

    jasonfedelem Member

    She states that it comes up, shows Samsung, after a while shows "Sprint", then goes back to Samsung.
  10. 240phil

    240phil Well-Known Member

    I'm working on a possible solution.

    it will ONLY work IF

    the phone can boot to "update mode" - battery pull. then hold camera, vol down, and end (should be obvious when the screen loads if it worked)

    If it can get that far,
    then we might be able to use the SWUpdate tool from sprint, download that to the computer. Then plug the phone in, it should download the drivers, which will let us install a file onto the SDcard which will grant us access to recovery mode. From there, we will be able to do a data back up, which will include the texts. That back up file will be saved on the SDcard.
    From there, we will be able to flash a fresh ROM on the phone which will solve the boot loop problem.
    Then just install the back up file and boom, there's all your texts.

    The two main points are
    1) if the phone will boot to update mode.
    2) if we can use swupdate to install the recovery file without wiping the data.

    I can work on number 2.

    let me know about number 1.
    jasonfedelem likes this.
  11. jasonfedelem

    jasonfedelem Member

    I think thats the screen that has the big word "Download" on it.

    I think she can get to that, but will attempt to find out.
  12. 240phil

    240phil Well-Known Member

    still working on a way to not clear the data.

    But, as per a sprint rep,
    we can not recover any text messages without a signed court order. Also, if these messages are older than 30 days... there is absolutely nothing we can do to recover them for you even with a court order.

    so if they are needed, then get on top of that court order asap. hopefully it hasn't been 30 days yet.
    jasonfedelem likes this.
  13. 240phil

    240phil Well-Known Member

    the best bet seems to be an app/program called Droid Explorer.
    it lets you access the files from your computer. I don't know if it will work with the phone in constant bootloop, but it is the only viable option I can think of that won't clear the data on the phone in the process.
    jasonfedelem likes this.
  14. 240phil

    240phil Well-Known Member

    another option that should work is flashing a "recovery" which will let you run a back up, might even let you navigate down into the files itself to pull the text file out.

    Basically, you are going to follow steps 1 and 3 (only) in this guide.
    How To Root Your Samsung Moment (2.2.2 Froyo)
    Do not wipe any data.
    It *might* even fix the boot loop problem, but I doubt it.
    you'll be able to load to recovery mode, and that can back up everything. Then you ought to be able to shove that sdcard into another working phone and rip that back up off and should be able to get your texts that way.

    I know you can get recovery on there without any issues with erasing the data.
    I'm just not sure about being able to get to the texts at that point.


    you could flash recovery. Then flash a new custom kernal on and that will root the phone. AND, more importantly, might just fix the boot loop problem.

    I'm not sure, i'm trying to verify both of those options.
    jasonfedelem likes this.
  15. TJW8

    TJW8 New Member

    Not sure if this will help but my phone did this the other day, i took the battery out let it sit for a while. Turned it back on then got angry at it, left it on face down and went to bed with out the charger plugged in to it and it worked... Not sure if this helps or not but i guess it could be worth a try.
  16. jasonfedelem

    jasonfedelem Member


    Thanks for the input. She's gone non-comm now, so waiting to hear back from her. If I do, we'll try it.

    Thanks so much for your help.


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