[SOLVED] is this possible - browsing internal storage via adb (unable to boot up phone)Support

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  1. foo

    foo Well-Known Member

    my father was killed in a car accident last week, and my family & i are trying to get pictures off his phone. the phone doesn't boot past the red Moto logo, but i was able to pull out his SD card & get stuff off that. strangely, it's not every picture he had taken. i imagine some of it is internal? i can get to bootloader mode, but is it possible to use ADB to browse internal storage if I cannot boot into the actual OS itself on the phone? I don't know why it's messed up...i guess it got jacked up what it tumbled around in his vehicle. anyway, if i can browse internal storage (assuming i install proper USB drivers etc), can i pull files from internal storage on a stock/non-rooted bionic?

    ANSWER: just needed a stupid battery.

  2. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide

    Are you sure the battery, SIM, and SD-Ext cards are properly seated when you try turning it on?

    Did you try another battery?

    In playing around with this for you I encountered a surprise. I had previously connected to a workstation with USB cable and had selected Mass Storage mode. I am usually unlocked.

    I turned the lock screen on and then powered off the Bionic.

    I powered on the Bionic and then connected it to a USB cable connected to my workstation. The lock screen was displayed. I had access to the SD and SD-Ext cards from my workstation.


    ... Thom
  3. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    Gosh, Foo, horrible news. I'm so sorry.

    Thom (or anyone else), do you know if you choose wipe data/factory reset from stock recovery, will it wipe the internal storage as well? It does *not* on a Droid 3, but I don't know if the ICS upgrade also upgraded the stock recovery to wipe internal storage as well.

    (Steps for this that should work: with Bionic powered down, hold both Volume buttons and press power. This should bring up a boot menu. Use VolDn to move down through the menu to "Recovery" and press VolUp to select that option. That will show a screen with a triangle with an exclamation point - again, press both Vol buttons to bring up a menu. Use VolDn to move down to "wipe data/factory reset" and, in this menu, press the power button to select menu options.)

    If this works, you could wipe the phone to a factory reset, either set up the phone again from scratch or skip setting up by hitting the four corners of the opening screen in this order - upper left, upper right, lower right, lower left - and see if the files/photos still exist on internal storage. They should be in the /DCIM folder.

    On my Droid 3 I could find no way to access the phone with adb from stock recovery or the fastboot screen. I believe that the phone may have had to had USB debugging set up first anyway. I know that the ICS Bionic may now be different, but I believe that the two phones are still relatively similar. If anybody knows differently please let us know!
    foo likes this.
  4. OutOfPhase

    OutOfPhase Premium Member

    I am 99% positive it will not wipe the internal sd card when a factory data reset is done.
  5. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide

    I do not know.

    I have seen many messages in the past where there was a recommendation to copy data (like pictures and contacts) from the SD to the SD-Ext card because the SD-Ext card was not touched with a Factory Data Reset and the SD card was.

    I have never tried looking at it so I do not know.

    ... Thom
  6. OutOfPhase

    OutOfPhase Premium Member

    There is an option after you choose FDR from settings-privacy to include your internal sd card or not before you commit. I believe when you do an FDR from recovery it does not give you the option to wipe internal storage. When I get a moment I will backup my system and give it a shot.
    foo and Thom like this.
  7. foo

    foo Well-Known Member

    I'd REALLY appreciate that, OutOfPhase. Thank you everyone :)
  8. foo

    foo Well-Known Member

    I should also add that i don't have his battery. It was never found in the wreck. I've never had any issues powering on a phone with just the power cable(no batt) in the past, unless it's different for the Bionic?

    Starting to think this might be why it's not booting up. When I get to bootloader mode & select recovery, it still just hangs at the red Moto logo. If I choose 'fastboot mode' it says battery low cannot program (which there is no battery). shit. i guess i should try getting a battery first...?

    Can anyone test to see if their phone will boot up off a power cable with no battery in their phone?
  9. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide

    I found that in my testing for you. It will not boot up without a battery. This could be the basis of all your problem.

    ... Thom
    doogald and foo like this.
  10. foo

    foo Well-Known Member

    AW! Good to know. I'll just go pick up a battery then. thanks man...i really appreciate it :thumb:
  11. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide

    My unasked for opinion ... get a battery from a trusted source (Verizon Store ... Best Buy) ... you have enough other things on your mind.

    Let us know how it works out.

    (Lost my dad when I was 15. Still vivid.)

    ... Thom
  12. foo

    foo Well-Known Member

    Feel like an idiot. All I needed was a battery. doh
    all is good..thanks again everyone
    OutOfPhase likes this.
  13. Thom

    Thom Guides Guide


    Were there pictures?

    I had no idea that you had to have a battery inserted for it to load. I happened on it by accident.

    ... Thom
  14. foo

    foo Well-Known Member

    Yep! It was nice to hear/watch the vids and see the images of my dad.
  15. SNeitzel

    SNeitzel Well-Known Member

    Being the guy that "knows about computers and phones and stuff", I have had many people bring devices to me and ask if I know how to retrieve pics, video, contacts or other files off of them. Most of their stories are not as tragic as this one, but I do know how happy and thankful they are when I am able to retrieve something they thought was lost. I'm glad you figured it out.

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