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Undelete SMS messages or go to jailGeneral

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  1. MrJ

    MrJ Member

    Hi all,

    First time poster needing expert advice to keep my son out of jail. I am a veteran IT geek for longer than I care to remember, albeit PC based, so please don't be afraid of getting technical. Technical is my world.

    Long and short of it is my son has been falsely charged with assault by his ex-girlfriend who just happens to be the daughter of a police officer, and who was smart/devious enough to delete all SMS messages from my son's phone before making the assault charges. She is now using these same SMS messages which exist on here phone as evidence in the case and given that individual messages can be deleted I have no doubt in my mind that any message which may be incriminating to her have now conveniently disappeared of the face of the planet.

    The phone is question is as follows:

    Model Number

    Android Version

    Baseband Version

    Kernel Version
    se.infra@R0303-10 #1
    Wed Oct 30 16:51:45 KST 2013

    Build Number

    SELinux Status

    I believe my best chance lies in rooting the phone before proceeding, but my concern is that if the Android OS behaves in a similar fashion to how PC's handle disk write operations, then any activity I do, be it rooting or otherwise, could potential overwrite the data I am trying to undelete. I have read post stating that rooting will definitely destroy any current data, while also reading posts stating that rooting will definitely not destroy the data. This may be dependant on the method of rooting, so I am hoping someone can clarify what is what.

    Then there's the question of actually undeleting the SMS messages. Can it be done and what are my chances of success?

    I really need some help here.

    Thanks in advance


  2. mrpnut

    mrpnut THE WORLD IS YOURS VIP Member

    You can buy a software online called DATA RECOVERY PRO....... it can recovery Anything from a phone or a sd card.
  3. MrJ

    MrJ Member

    Hi mrpnut,

    Just googled DATA RECOVERY PRO and lots of information. Could you please tell me who it is written by so I can get the correct app?

  4. MrJ

    MrJ Member

    I've just downloaded Android Data Recovery Pro pulished by LionSea Software Inc. and will see how it goes.

  5. MrJ

    MrJ Member

    I've just installed and run Android Data Recovery Pro pulished by LionSea Software Inc. and upon hitting the big green START button within the application I am taken to a 2nd screen which only has options to connect PCs, Cameras, memory cards, or USB storage devices. No mention of phones.

    I have the phone connected to my PC and within my Win7 Device Manager it appears only as a portable device if I do not enable USB Debugging, and both a portable device and Android Composite ADB Interface under the heading of Android Phone.

    Changing USB Debugging options on the phone have no impact within Android Data Recovery Pro. I get the same options regardless and none of the options seem to relate to a phone.

    So I have to ask. Do I have the correct Android Data Recovery Pro software, being from LionSea Software Inc. or is this the incorrect application?

    Secondly, is the software suitable for the specification of the phone as detail in my original post, or should I be looking for another application known to work for my specific phone.

    And lastly, as stated in the original post, this phone is not rooted and that may be why the Android Data Recovery Pro isn't working. If that is the case, then could someone please direct me to rooting instructions which will not destroy any existing data on the phone as a result of rooting it.

  6. Rukbat

    Rukbat Well-Known Member

    The phone's "internal SD card" (that's like a floppy hard drive - something that can only exist in a marketing manager's mind) is a USB storage device. But that wouldn't be where the SMS messages are stored. You'd need an app on the phone to undelete them and, as you know, you stand a chance of installing the app right over the one message you need.

    I assume that your son didn't back up his SMS messages. That would give you a simple xml file that you could read with Notepad.

    And make sure that your attorney points out (by questioning an expert witness - anyone you happen to know who's in the business - that text messages can be selectively deleted, and in this case there are texts tht aren't in evidence - which would put the situation is a whole different light.

    (BTW, deleting those messages without his consent constitutes destruction of evidence in a criminal case, which could be felony, depending on where you live - don't let the attorney fail to ask the DA to charge the girl. Then you two fathers can mutually agree to drop the charges against both of your kids.)

    You can also check with your carrier's technical people and see if they can recover (with or without a court order) deleted SMSs. An accusation of destroying evidence would make an order pretty easy to get.

    And you can try to talk to Google's tech people to see if they can. (SMSs are usually synced to their cloud server.)

    In the future have your son download an app that backs up SMSs, and always keep an off-phone backup. Just for situations like this. (You're in IT, so you know the old IBM joke about being backed up, right? ALL backed up because I've been out two days?) You know that any file you don't have backed up to at least two different destinations is a file you don't really need - so now's a good chance to make sure your son sees why.

    And good luck with the case. (But unless someone has a hand in someone's pocket, I think this is going to be a "he says, she says - be a good boy and don't let me see you in my court room again" kind of thing.)
  7. MrJ

    MrJ Member

    Yep. Similar to PC using "?" as a leading character in the FAT. File still there only marked as deleted and that sector can/will be overwritten eventually. Obviously I need to tread lightly, but I have a concern. The phone is not rooted and rooting will obviously required disk writes which could overwrite the deleted data.

    Can I undelete the deleted messages without rooting the phone?


    Did that. Thank god for FaceBook. Although the messages on the phone were far more incriminating against her, at least the FaceBook posts can't have individual messages editing or deleting.

    Yep, know that. Can't prove she deleted them.

    Didn't know that. I'll call them. Thanks.

    Didn't know that. Are you saying that SMS sent from mobile to mobile are synced with Google? Is this a Gmail thing, as I can't see how Google would have syncs?

    Pointless. By the time it's all setup he's either lost or destroyed the phone.


    I have now downloaded and installed Wondershare Dr. Fone for Android and have successfully connected to the phone but the scan process fails twice, both time stopping at 85%. After the 2nd failed scan it recommends rooting the phone and trying again.

    This is the guide I am following. Have there been any advaces since this?
    Flash Android 4.4.2 XXUENA6 KitKat OTA Update for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 LTE

  8. Gomjaba

    Gomjaba Well-Known Member

    Doesn't Samsung backup SMS and all that ?
    Have you checked under accounts > Samsung > restore ? Not sure though and also I would have thought a court can get logs from the carrier in cases such as this.
  9. MrJ

    MrJ Member

    Can't restore as no backup was ever taken.

    Logged into VodaFone account and all I can get is a listing of when he sent a message, not it's content. Not to say VodaFone doesn't have the message saved somewhere, only that I can't get it through the interface provided by them. Regardless, the fact that we can prove a message was sent and has been deleted from her phone may be helpful.

  10. pdqgp

    pdqgp Well-Known Member

    The police should be able to recover them. Ohio has been using software and technology like this for going after texting and driving cases whereby people will try and do similar things before the law has their phone in hand. Just like a HD it's pretty easy.
  11. falconey

    falconey Well-Known Member

    If you simply root your phone nothing will be deleted from the hard disk. Not sure what carrier you are on, but there are one click roots out there which allow you to keep the stock ROM. If you can't recover the messages on your own the worst case scenario is the telecom should be able to supply the text message records. It might require a subpoena, but they should have the records. If not you should try the NSA(sorry for the joke).
  12. DNRDustin

    DNRDustin Well-Known Member

    Very well put! This response is probably your best bet. If your son didn't have a backup on the phone, or he didn't enable Google sync, your service provider will be able to get them. Especially if that's the accuser's "evidence". You'll be able to prove the cop tampered with evidence, have probable cause to file a case against the accusers, and it will most likely be dropped. Good luck to you and your son.
  13. Rukbat

    Rukbat Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing here, but they're probably in a system area, so you can't even see the files without being rooted.

    I'm saying talk to their tech people (you speak the language) and ask if they do. The Gmail account you normally put into the phone when you set it up gives you Google Cloud storage, and your email is stored there. They may also store text messages there. I've never needed to know (I back up almost nightly), so ask them.

    It's probably trying to read system directories.

    Advances for 4.4.2? You can't even root the Note 3 on 4.4.2 (unless they've come up with something since the end of last week - I haven't looked since then). But, again, you're writing to the /system/bin directory. And you know how a DOS works - any unlinked (or, as you put it, named with a ?) place in the partition is fair game for any file in any directory.
  14. Rukbat

    Rukbat Well-Known Member

    Not deleted, but places where files used to be, and have been deleted from, CAN be overwritten when you root, even if you do it manually. One-click roots are even worse - most of them change some ystem files and make backups of the originals, so more of the "free space" gets overwritten, which means more chance of wiping out the very files he's trying to restore.

    A full JTAG might be able to get into storage and find the data, but paying someone to sit and search through a few gigs of data looking for texts, on most young peoples' phones, would cost a fortune.
  15. Bodycount

    Bodycount Well-Known Member

    Phone company would have a record of text messages sent and received. All it would take is a court order which your lawyer can get going for you.
  16. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    what app does your son use on his phone to text?
    sometimes 3rd party apps have their own online backup of texts.

    example: google voice has full conversation backed up online automatically.
  17. Sonnydigs

    Sonnydigs Well-Known Member

    Not sure if you're in the US but I would think your carrier could provide all the info you need without a court order..
    Worth a shot..
    Good luck..

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