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Support Is there a way to recover data from a phone with a dead screen?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by PaperPhantom, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. PaperPhantom

    PaperPhantom Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Hi. Earlier today, I dropped my phone from about the height of my jeans pocket and the screen just went dead afterwards. The phone, for the most part, seems to still work. The LED notification is still flashing, it's red when connected to a charger/my laptop, etc. I even get calls, texts, and other notifications. Everything appears to be normal...except the screen doesn't light up and it doesn't make a sound to indicate that it recognizes my touch.

    After some searching online, I've given up hope on actually keeping this phone since the cost of repairing a screen would appear to be more than what I spent on the phone in the first place. However, I do have data on the phone that I need. A couple pictures, and one contact. Everything else is easily replaced or simply not missed.

    The problem is, I'm not used to this PTP and MTP garbage, and when I connect my phone to my laptop via the USB cord, the laptop recognizes and creates a drive for the phone, but the folder for that drive is totally empty. In the past I've been able to remedy this by situation between PTP/MTP, but obviously, that isn't an option this time.

    Is there any way I can recover my data? Or perhaps, is there some way to change the transfer protocol without using the phone's touch screen?

    Thanks in advance!
     

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  2. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    If the pics were taken with the phone's camera and if you had things set up such that pics were saved to the sdcard, then you could remove the card and use a usb card reader for those.

    If the contact was ever synced with Gmail, you could log on to any PC, pull up your Gmail account, and check your contacts there.
     
  3. PaperPhantom

    PaperPhantom Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Unfortunately, I did not have an SD card in the device. I never liked sync because it created duplicates of contacts I already had.

    Is there anything else I can do, or is forking over $200 to have the phone repaired my only hope?
     
  4. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    I'm afraid you're not in a good position assuming you are not rooted. If you happened to ever enable usb debugging, you could potentially use adb to access the section of the internal storage that houses pictures. Since Jellybean, usb debugging has been a hidden option that takes special effort to unlock so if you're not sure what I'm referring to, you almost certainly don't have it enabled I'm sorry to say.

    I believe the contact would be entirely inaccessible without root. And if you happen to use a code or pattern screenlock, I don't believe any of the above would be possible.
     
    scary alien and funkylogik like this.
  5. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    If the device still powers, but with no screen, a shot in the dark could be to boot the device into odin > flash non-touch cwm > use it to enable adb > and then pull the information.
     
    iowabowtech and funkylogik like this.
  6. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Even if you send the phone for repair, the chances are that it will come back wiped :(
     
  7. iowabowtech

    iowabowtech root@android:/ #

    Would need to be running less than Android 4.2.2 though I believe. Otherwise, RSA authentication would be enforced which requires screen interaction to allow. Unless there's a way to bypass that which I haven't discovered.
     
  8. jhawkkw

    jhawkkw Chinchillin'

    That is true, so if the op never took the 4.3 update, since there was no 4.2.x update, it might be possible.
     
  9. heat57

    heat57 Android Enthusiast

    I would agree with everything that's been said, however, it sounds that the OP does not have the know-how to achieve an adb connection (no offence intended).

    A screen replacement seems to be the only option for him, if indeed the data is that important. The replacement, if carried out by a Samsung service centre should not affect the data as the board would not require replacement; they only remove the entire screen and detach the connections to the board for power, digitiser and so on. If that route is taken it might be still advisable to mention the data issue to the service centre.

    One final thought, I won't ever get into this situation having all my data (Gmail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes via Evernote) synced to respective servers and keeping copies of photos, etc. backed up to my PC.

    If all fails there is a Nandroid on my external SD and an intermittent copy on my PC again. Call me paranoid, pun unintended.
     
    funkylogik likes this.
  10. PaperPhantom

    PaperPhantom Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Well, thanks anyway. The reason I needed those pictures is because they're our first defense in court if my company gets sued, and I take new ones every day, so there's not always time to transfer them to a computer or something. Fortunately, I've spoken with my boss, and he doesn't think we'll need them.

    The contact is a loss, but not worth a $200 repair on a phone I paid $100 for...assuming that my data isn't lost for some reason during the repair, as someone else suggested it might. If I can have my phone number transferred to a new device, he'll contact me again anyway.

    This would be so much easier if my computer treated this device like a USB drive as it did with my old phone.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. japhule

    japhule Lurker

    MyPhoneExplorer

    I was able to use this a few months back when my screen stopped working but the phone itself was functional. Installed MyPhoneExplorer (be sure to skip and not install the crapware included) and was able to get all my stuff off the phone. There's an option with the program that allows you to view the phone remotely using screenshots and you can control the phone using screenshots and your mouse. I was able to navigate around my phone and backup everything i needed. You have to have usb debugging on for this to work.
     
    funkylogik likes this.
  12. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    Moderator

    If you had previously installed MyPhoneExplorer this might work.

    If not, then installing from the web to your device would still require a working touchscreen in order to get it to launch (unless you are running a version of Android of 2.3 or earlier).

    @ibt and @jhawkkw, USB debugging is (usually) enabled by default in a custom recovery, which would make doing adb data pulls possible. So, if soft-booting of flashing a custom recovery can be accomplished, then there's that method (unless I'm missing something here).
     
    funkylogik likes this.
  13. arkangeluk

    arkangeluk Android Enthusiast

    im looking for a similar solution for a friends phone. his screen was broken in about 4 places but still worked until he gave it to a friend at work who supposedly fixed phones. long story short, he fried the motherboard whilst doing a bit of soldering. the phone now has to be charged with the battery out because the port is damaged beyond repair but the screen is unresponsive once it has been put back in. my friend is a bit of a techno biff and didnt save pics to memory card(he didnt have one) and saved to the phone instead. these include pics of his daughter. hes not bothered if the phone is taken apart, so my question is this, is it possible to take the memory physically from his broken phone and transplant into another phone. any help welcomed and appreciated

    ric
     
  14. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    Moderator

    Hey ric, I'm guessing that it's a micro circuit that would be very difficult to successfully and properly remove (i.e., to install into another similar donor device) given how small those components are.

    Maybe replacing the screen and digitizer would be the best route and would allow you to respond and install apps, etc. so that the any files/data could be retrieved...

    I'm hoping someone with better hardware knowledge will reply.

    Best of luck!
     
    arkangeluk likes this.
  15. arkangeluk

    arkangeluk Android Enthusiast

    he has been quoted about
     
    scary alien likes this.
  16. shravmehta

    shravmehta Lurker

    if your data is saved in sd card you can remove it then connect it to pc to get the data, while it may also work for data in phone memory, connect with data card and transfer the stuffs.
     
  17. Muilisx

    Muilisx Android Expert

    To be quite honest. If the phone powers on, and loads the firmware and everything right and you simply just don't have a screen, you COULD STILL connect the phone via USB. ( Samsung Andorid USB Driver for Windows | SAMSUNG Developers )

    Once you connect the phone via USB, you can access " My Computer " or the equivalent navigation depending on your OS to access the internal storage, and simply copy off what you want to the computer.

    The ONLY reason this WOULD NOT work is if you have a any kind of lock screen activated. The file systems won't display on your computer if the screen is locked so if your screen is completely broken to where touch doesn't work then you're screwed. However, if your touch DOES still work and your screen just doesn't light up, you could POSSIBLY get it unlocked if it's a simple pattern or 4 digit code, and then once that happens, the internal and sd card will pop up inside " My Computer ".
     
    scary alien likes this.
  18. androidee87

    androidee87 Lurker

    I'm having a similar issue but I think I may be well and truly screwed - my phone memory card was full so my contacts and some images are on the device. They were backed up using Kies when I had a functioning screen and the images were synced so I haven't lost them. I do however want to wipe the data before I give it over to the phone company to receive my insurance replacement.

    I didn't enable USB debugging so ADB won't recognise my device in order for me to use screencast or similar program to hard reset it. Has anyone found a method to turn on USB debugging remotely so that my laptop can run ADB and wipe the device? I also have a screen lock so I can't use Kies or the computer to open the files and wipe this way :(
     
  19. arkangeluk

    arkangeluk Android Enthusiast

    my friend is a complete techno biff and thats puting it mildly. the screen doesnt work and the charging point is damaged and he didnt think to get a memory card, so all his pics were on the phone. i just wondered if it would be possible to put the memory in another phone to access the pics.

    ric
     
  20. ViralGold

    ViralGold Well-Known Member

    Did your friend make a Dropbox account when he set up the phone? If he did then every picture he has taken on that phone would automatically be uploaded to Dropbox or any other cloud based app he had installed.

    Then you can just log into your Dropbox account from a computer and retrieve any pictures / videos he has taken.
     
  21. arkangeluk

    arkangeluk Android Enthusiast

    Nope, he didn't set up anything or set up Dropbox. Saved pics to phone and left it. Even after the screen got broken the first second or even third time he still didn't do anything. Then he gave it to a friend at work with no real skills to try and fix and he fried the motherboard when he was trying to solder it

    ric
     
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