Help Best tool to pry open a phone w/ minimal damage? (RESOLVED)

Apr 20, 2022
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Hello, I have an old phone that didn't come with a removal battery that I need to open, hopefully without damaging the screen that much (as it already has a crack in it, & ideally I'd like to be able to use it to remotely stream apps to my old TV). The only time I had to do this before-- trying to remove/replace a battery that had died on a different phone-- I used a butter knife or something and it was a huge hassle.

Anyway I saw a walkthrough video on YouTube of someone opening a phone like this using some rounded blue triangular device (& please let me know if you can't see the attached image), but they didn't specify what it was called. Searching Amazon, I see similar items, but don't know if there are better tools out there.

Does anyone here have any recommendations for the best tools for this kind of thing? (and yes, I guess I could explain why I need to get into the phone, but feel that would convolute things).

Thank you!!
 

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Thank you all for your replies! Well, I guess the cracked screen just was making me overthink the whole tool thing; apparently you can open these types of phones with just your fingers, so I was actually able to pry it open and get the MicroSD card out that way! (after putting duct tape on the screen to prevent it from cracking).
https://picbun.com/p/pA3LB9NV

Problem is though, once I got that MSB w/ all the family pictures/vids I'm trying to recover off of it, I tried putting it in THREE different Mac laptops and FOUR different Droid phones, and it came up as some variation of "unsupported" or "not readable."

And the only device that DID recognize it?

The same Moto E4 Plus that A) isn't recognized by other computers when I try connecting it via USB to try to transfer those files over directly, and B) also WON'T connect to my Wifi (even though I have even older phones that will) to allow me to upload everything to GoogleDrive, or worst case, email the files to myself one by one. :/

So, I'm back to square one, and it seems that my only options are to figure out either of those 2 problems. Guessing for 1), it's a matter of finding the right software; so far I've tried Android File Transfer, Handshaker, and OpenMTP, and none of them recognize it (it DID show up on an old 2009 PC, but I couldn't seem to browse it to pull any of the files), and for 2), figure out whatever Wi-Fi/IP address/DNS/proxy-type settings are wrong that I can't get it to connect that way (unless it's possible to use/adapt MicroUSB to plug into Ethernet/the modem itself to get on the internet that way...??)

For now, it seems that may be another question/post for another time... :/
 
That SD card you pulled is formatted as internal storage an by that, is encrypted.
Meaning the only way to get what's on it is to put it back in the device and retrieve the photos from their, by either copying to a cloud service, such as Google photos, or copy them onto an external SD card....
 
I'm late to the party, but for future reference...

That guitar pick comes in a phone disassembly kit like from ifixit as ocnbrze posted. I got my kit on Ebay for about $5. The other pry tools and suction cup in the kit really come in handy.

Appreciate the reply, I was actually able to just pry the darn thing open with my fingernails and get the MicroSD card I'd been trying to recover out that way... but yeah, looking at that tool, it definitely does look like a guitar pic, heh (unfortunately the one guitar I have, I can't find the pic; clearly I'm no musician...).

Regardless, I may want to have more legit tools designed for this sort of disassembly if I'm in this position again, so I will look into that IFixIt kit; thank you both!!
 
That SD card you pulled is formatted as internal storage an by that, is encrypted.
Meaning the only way to get what's on it is to put it back in the device and retrieve the photos from their, by either copying to a cloud service, such as Google photos, or copy them onto an external SD card....

Yep, unfortunately it DOES seem to be exclusive to this device (not quite sure HOW that happened, since with nearly all the other MSDs I have I seem to be able to switch them btwn. devices without any problem...)

Anyway again, since unfortunately I can't connect this particular phone to the internet/my wifi at least-- I left the carrier yrs ago and thus don't have coverage/data, though I guess as an ABSOLUTE worst, being a prepaid one, I could just try signing up for a month again & try to get everything I need off of this then stop coverage-- copying/backing up anything online hasn't been an option.

I'm guessing it's a settings issue; I have other phones where I can see the full IP address, gateway etc of my wifi (assuming that my wifi isn't the problem, in which case I may taking this phone and connecting to another network elsewhere), so I might just try replicating those into this phone, and see if that gets it back online.

If that doesn't work, I suppose-- worst case-- I could just take the MSD out and do a factory reset of the phone, HOPING that the default internet settings (and I think I've already reset those at least once) will allow the phone to get back online to do a backup, BUT then there's the even greater risk that the ONLY phone that recognized this MSD no longer would...

But yeah, copying to an external SD-- like you I think you were suggesting-- MIGHT be another option: IF I were able to connect an external MicroSD card reader to this phone via its MicroUSB port, perhaps I COULD try backing everything I need up to the secondary MSD (like if you were to simply connect an external hard drive to a regular computer). But, that's assuming that this Moto E4 Plus's fully-charged internal battery would be enough to temporarily power an external reader w/ a card inside (and assuming a mini-reader like that even exists...)

For the time being, it looks on Amazon that there are several MicroUSB to Ethernet adapters, so assuming that I can find one that's compatible w/ Nougat (the E4's current OS), I guess just trying to plug it directly into a modem could be another option...
 
That SD card you pulled is formatted as internal storage an by that, is encrypted.
Meaning the only way to get what's on it is to put it back in the device and retrieve the photos from their, by either copying to a cloud service, such as Google photos, or copy them onto an external SD card....

Actually, a question about that: after clicking on this MicroSD card that we suspect is encrypted in Storage, I do see that there's a "Format as portable" option: would selecting that in any way involve reformatting of this MicroSD? (which of course would mean wiping all the data from it, which I certainly don't want...).

Thanks!!
 
Actually, a question about that: after clicking on this MicroSD card that we suspect is encrypted in Storage, I do see that there's a "Format as portable" option: would selecting that in any way involve reformatting of this MicroSD? (which of course would mean wiping all the data from it, which I certainly don't want...).

Thanks!!
Yes it will reformat and thus wiping data from the card. Not what you want if you are trying to retrieve data from the card.
 
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Yes it will reformat and thus wiping data from the card. Not what you want if you are trying to retrieve data from the card.

Thank you, while I couldn't find a quick answer on Google which lead me to post that, I've since come across the following link which said the same (as a result I would've deleted that question, but it didn't appear that I could, and it seems that you replied before I could at least edit it with a "nevermind" or something...)
https://www.howtogeek.com/242937/how-to-set-up-a-new-sd-card-in-android-for-extra-storage/

Anyway, since my initial question about simply being able to open this darn phone has since been answered-- and apparently finding out that the damned MSD is inconveniently "internal"-- that opens up a whole new can of worms/another possible post altogether.

Whatever the case, I really appreciate everyone's insight thus far, and I'm gonna consider this initial question answered/resolved for now...
 
(Hey, speaking of which all, although I edited the specific question in the thread title to say it's "resolved"-- granted, it has introduced a number of other questions which should probably be different threads on their own-- I have seen other people's threads marked with a big blue "ANSWERED."

Being fairly new here, is that something I'm able to do, or only an admin/mod??

Thanks! :) )
 
You can edit your title in the op tools at the top of this thread..... Or a mod can do it for you. Your choice.

Thank you, hmm, I had actually looked there when I added that "resolved" to the title, but wasn't seeing any place where I could add that stock blue "Answered." Not a big deal I guess.