For the t-mobile/metro pcs f3 you have to boot into recovery with an app so that your data does not get wiped. Any of the following apps would do or others you might like... Reboot Utility Recovery Reboot The only time you need the button combo is if you're recovering from a bricked state, which at that point getting your data wiped would be the least of your problems. When recovering from a brick with the button combo there's a trick... Go into "mounts and storage" in recovery and format data to fix data partition corruption. This will allow you to restore without having to boot first and then go back into recovery to restore. Simple explanation for all this... Bootloader checks the kernel sig (kind of like md5) and if it don't match exactly then bootloader triggers kernel panic and corrupts the data partition.