Retrieving data off of broken HTC Incredible (1)Support

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  1. jgh

    jgh Member

    hey all, I searched around and couldn't find an answer in other threads to my question, so here we go...

    I have an HTC Incredible (version 1) with a broken display, such that I can't see anything -- it's black. I can tell the phone is working since the alarm clock still goes off and I can change the volume blindly.

    I have no remote backups unfortunately so getting the data off of my phone is the only option. I'm specifically interested in getting off the pictures and the phone contacts, which I naively only stored on the phone. woooo

    Anyway, here's my idea:

    Given that the phone works, I would still like to plug it in to my computer via USB and just retrieve the data that way, but as you know, in order to do this on the HTC Incredible, I have to enable the USB mass storage setting or it won't recognize the device. Thus, I would like to just try to do this blindly.

    It doesn't seem like it should be too ridiculously hard-- I think all I need are a few sceenshots of the menus from someone else who has an HTC Incredible 1. I've tried to find these images to no avail. If anyone here could snap a few and put them online somewhere, I would be in your debt.

    If you guys have other ideas, I'm all ears. I was thinking of trying to use the TV Out functionality, assuming I can borrow a cable, but I'm not sure if that also requires a setting to be enabled.


    Thanks in advance!

  2. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    When you plugged in the phone, did the usb storage screen pop up or did you have to pull down the notification bar to tap on usb connected first?

    Here's the screen ...


    You could try that and then there will be a confirm box to tap right about where the word "turn" is on the pictured button. But id the screen is broken, it might be completely unresponsive to touches.
    jgh likes this.
  3. jgh

    jgh Member

    First of all, thanks for responding so fast and for the image. I saw that image in the Froyo thing when googling but had no idea how to get it to show up.

    As I said before, I'm driving completely blind here so I have no idea what is on the screen. I have not tried to read data off the phone this way before and only connected it to my laptop via USB after the display was broken. That being said, I know the touch screen works at least a little bit because I can swipe the intro screen down in order to enable the ability to adjust the volume (which makes the beep sound).

    So, in terms of UI feedback, the entirety of feedback I have received so far is my Mac erroring ...

    I just tried it on a Windows machine and got farther!

    I was able to mount the device but it had almost nothing on it which was disappointing. It seems like there's some software available for Windows that lets you interface with the phone more but I'm still fumbling with that right now.
  4. jgh

    jgh Member

    I'm still trying to figure this out, if anyone has ideas.

    lunatic59, can you clarify something: Is that image you showed what automatically pops up on an HTC Incredible (1) running the current OS version?

    I was having issues on XP with the "Verizon Mobile" mount point automatically unmounting after autoplay executed, but I disabled autoplay for all volumes and now I can still see that mount point. However, it just has two directories, "img" and "drv", neither of which actually have any data on them.

    I installed V CAST Media Manager as well as HTC Sync to see if they would be able to communicate with the phone while it's mounted in this fashion, but no dice for either of them. They don't recognize it as connected, presumably because of the USB Mass Storage setting.

    I feel like my options are narrowing down at this point... :confused:
    1) Do the blind button pressing thing, which I still think should work but going off of the image above in this thread only has been fruitless so far, so I'm trying to find someone who owns an HTC Incredible (1) that's willing to help.

    2) Explore the idea of using the TV Out option as an external display. I'm not sure if there's a phone setting that needs to be enabled for this to work, though. I am also reluctant to buy a cable just to test this out and see it, so if anyone knows whether or not this might work, I'd appreciate the info.

    3) Try to do a phone-to-phone connection and see if something cool happens. I read somewhere that some phones have a special mode like this for phone-to-phone data sync so perhaps the Incredible does. I don't have the proper cable for it.


    Thanks again.
  5. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    I don't know. It might not. If it doesn't, then you get a usb connected notification which you will have to pull down the notification bar to access. I couldn't begin to tell you what order that notification would be and if you have any other notifications, it could be anywhere. Assuming you do pull down the notification bar and tap on the right one, then you will get the screen displayed above.
    jgh likes this.
  6. jgh

    jgh Member

    heh, funny you should mention that. I've been trying that for the last few minutes. I keep mounting it, and then trying to blindly pull down the menu bar, tap somewhere more or less random to try to bring up that screen, and then press in the area of the image in this thread.

    This effort is getting increasingly comical but my tenacity is still going strong. :p
  7. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    They say if you have enough monkeys pounding on typewriters, eventually they will reproduce the works of Shakespeare. Maybe you need more monkeys ;)
    jgh likes this.
  8. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time... Moderator

  9. jgh

    jgh Member

  10. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    When you plug into the PC, the following screen automatically comes up on stock 2.2 for the Droid Incredible:

    jgh likes this.
  11. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    So you are going to select the "disk drive" option, then press the "Done" button at the bottom. The precise location for those buttons are as follows:

    Disk Drive: Down exactly 2" from top of phone. From the right side of phone case, measure 5/16" to the left. That intersection is exactly where this button resides.

    Done: Centered right between the menu and "back" button softkeys. Go just above the black area that houses the softkey buttons and press on the actual touchscreen at that location, you can't miss it.

    You will now have done this:

    jgh likes this.
  12. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    If it works, 2 new drives will show up on your for the SD contents and one for the internal memory. Go to the internal memory drive, then /emmc/DCIM/100MEDIA to retrieve your pics.

    I'm sorry about your contacts. If you have them assigned as "phone" contacts rather than "Google" contacts, I don't believe you will be able to retrieve them using this method. I must assume they are housed somewhere in the /system folder which is not accessible without root. However, there may be a chance that a Verizon store could hook up the phone even without the display working and extract them, not sure.
    jgh likes this.
  13. jgh

    jgh Member

    That's exactly the information I was looking for, IBT! I wish I could click "Thank" more than once. I was able to get most if not all of my contacts by just putting the old SD card into my new phone and importing them, so that much is cool.

    As for the media, I wish I had a success story to follow-up with but I don't yet. I will continue to bang my head against this wall. I am concerned that I perhaps clicked "Don't ask again" while writing my monkey-powered Shakespeare novel. I found a friend with the phone to give me the measurements for that click-path in addition to the one you provided. We used centimeters and the procedure for that (which overlaps with the information you gave me on the last few steps) was:

    1) Turn on phone
    2) Slide down screen
    3) Press "Phone" and then dial a few numbers to ensure assumed state. Press back.
    4) Drag down top menu
    5) Optional: Press the "Clear" button at the top right, .8cm down from the top of the screen and .5cm in from the right side.
    6) Open the connection settings button, 2cm down from the top of the screen (assuming it's first)
    7) Press the disk drive button, 3.7cm down from the top of the screen
    8) Press done at the bottom.

    Also, in case other stuff was cluttering my pull-down list, he mentioned each option is 1cm high so I tried various other distances from the top to get to the settings.

    In order to verify whether or not the phone is getting mounted, I installed V CAST. With my new non-broken phone, V CAST recognizes the device within 5 seconds of plugging it in. The device list in "My Computer" also fully mounts the drives associated with the phone at this point too (whereas before they are just shown as unmounted drives). So every time I perform all of the above ridiculousness, I wait for it to show up in V CAST and, because V CAST hardly seems reliable, I also try to open the devices in My Computer. All to no avail thus far.

    I'm actually beginning to despair. It really seems like this should be possible and not difficult, so I've developed a bit of an unhealthy obsession lol.. I will continue to try your method as well as with the other measurements I have. Thanks again very much for helping.
  14. jgh

    jgh Member

    Actually, I have one other idea and I might as well ask if you think it's feasible:

    What if I did this blind methodology to set the phone into developer mode and then connected to it via ADB to try and retrieve the data that way? Shouldn't that work as well?
  15. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    Let's assume you did in fact check the box for "don't ask again". No problem. Here's the steps to make it work anyway:

    1.) Ensure the phone is powered on but has gone back to a "screen off" situation.
    2.) Plug in USB cable while hooked into PC.
    3.) Wait about 2 seconds, then starting at the center of the screen, swipe down to the bottom to unlock.
    4.) Now start way at the top of the screen, actually above it where it says Verizon, and swipe all the way to the bottom.
    5.) Now you need to go down 1.75" (4.44 cm) and press the screen at that location in order to select connection type. I would recommend making a line with a Sharpie for this beforehand along with a small dot for the "Disk Drive" selection upcoming. That way you're ready to go:


    Note how it doesn't matter where you press it width-wise as it spans the whole screen. To give you an idea of how much play you have, the 1.75" mark is the center of that selection, you have 1/4" up and down from there to the edges of it. So there's decent wiggle room.

    At this point, you will again be presented with the connection type selection screen only this time, note how the "don't ask again" button is gone. That is because I checked it earlier while on charge only to simulate your potential situation. So here we are again:


    The measurements for the Disk Drive selection is exactly the same as before. This time, when you press it, you should immediatley notice the 2 new drives showing up on the PC. If this does not happen, something is wrong and I'm out of ideas. Best of luck.
    jgh and lunatic59 like this.
  16. jgh

    jgh Member

    I DID IT!!!

    What a huge relief. I think there was some other stuff in my pull-down list that was messing up the click distances. I was trying to account for that but I must have been doing it inaccurately at first. I tried the measurements you posted but my phone didn't have that Sun-like thing in the list, and I know the "Advanced Task Killer" app always had an entry there, so my screen didn't look exactly like yours for that part.

    I was getting frustrated and about to put it down for some breakfast when I decided to try one more time, without the ruler, and that worked haha

    /DCIM was at the root level for me with no /emmc, though perhaps that's what you named your mount point if you were on linux or something. I just have "Removable Disk (J:)" at the top level on XP.

    Thanks again for the support guys, you rock!
  17. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    Congrats! Now it's Time to relax, wait for your new phone and enjoy a ...


    BTW, when you are setting up your new phone, you should consider keeping the task killer as far away as possible. They are not really necessary anymore.
    iowabowtech likes this.
  18. jgh

    jgh Member

    Incidentally, I'm going to a cocktail party tonight. :)

    Thanks for the tip about task killer.
  19. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    I love it. Lost pics suck, glad this all worked out and way to be persistent. It paid off.
  20. knayden

    knayden New Member

    Thank you all for posting this. I couldn't have done it with out this forum. I greatly appreciate your info and photos so I could get my images off my phone with a broken screen. I couldn't see anything on my phone, so the photos on here helped me figure out about where everything was to select. Thanks again.
  21. sampsonmilo

    sampsonmilo New Member

    As long as the data do not be overwritten, there is possiblity to recover data from Android phone. I ever made a partitition in my HTC one to flash a new rom, but I forgot to make a backup for the photos. After, formatting, I was hurry to recover data instead flashing a new rom. Because flashing a new rom need to save new data to SD card which may overwrite the formatted photos. Finally , I recover photos with the help of a HTC Data Recovery software.

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