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Support Remote access to data in frozen phone

Discussion in 'Android Help' started by acrrao, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. acrrao

    acrrao Lurker
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    This is a general query arising from a specific issue. I'll try to get to the point as quickly as possible, but I think some preamble is needed.

    The specific issue:
    My Note2 has packed a sad: boot stops at logo screen. None of the fallback boot processes work either (recovery mode etc), except the last, which includes the factory reset option, which I haven't yet tried to activate.
    Now, most of my data is on the micro-sd card, but some remains locked away in the internal storage (e.g. app-specific data, and undoubtedly a few things which I won't realize are gone until I need them and can't find them). I know that this data will be wiped by a factory reset, and I accept that this is the likely outcome, but a couple of things I've read have got me thinking, hence ...

    The general query:
    Is it possible (e.g. using Odin or Fastboot, or otherwise) to gain low level hardware access to an android phone from an external device via the OTG port, and then do a memory dump of the internal storage (to a clean sd card maybe, or out via the port)? And yes, I realize that recovering any usable data from such a dump is far from trivial, but at least it's only a software problem after that (and likely quite an instructive one).

    Given that I've never used either product, my reasoning, based on their descriptions, is that:
    1) if Odin allows reloading the OS, it should also allow loading of, say, a custom minimal OS designed simply to accomplish the memory dump;
    2) if Fastboot allows the phone hardware to be controlled directly by commands sent from a remote device (or have I misunderstood the description?), bypassing any software on the phone, such commands must allow the necessary access.

    So, is it feasible, or should I just grit my teeth and run the factory reset?
     

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  2. Bg260

    Bg260  
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    Hi, welcome to Android Forums.
    Unless you have a custom recovery like TWRP instralled, I'm afraid there is not much you can do. Maybe something with JTAG, but I can't imagine it is very affordable. Bootloops are unrecoverable, but you can wait for a second opinion if you like.
    Also, if you decide to reset and it is still not booting, that we can fix.
     
  3. acrrao

    acrrao Lurker
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    First, thanks for the welcome and the remarkably fast reply (less than 15 minutes! very impressed). Sorry it's taken me so long to acknowledge, but I've only just managed to get this page to reload [actually thought maybe I'd messed up somehow and my query had been deleted or never properly posted (first timer! d'oh); eventually tried a different browser, and here we are].

    If I understand correctly, you're saying that the custom recovery code needed to be installed before the phone crashed (which it wasn't btw)?

    There do seem to be a handful of software offerings (e.g. FonePaw, EaseUs) claiming to be able to recover virtually all data from broken or locked phones (and plenty of demand for such software). It seems they offer a free version which supposedly lets you view the data in question, but only a paid version will download it. Are they all just selling snake oil?

    Then there's this, which, for all practical purposes (it seems to me), appears to have dealt successfully with a similar problem (i.e. only really has access to the master reset menu):
    https://ohthehugemanatee.org/blog/2...otos-and-data-from-a-keylocked-android-phone/

    My original reasoning was based on my (possibly erroneous) understanding of the control hierarchy on the phone:
    physical hardware;
    low level hardware drivers (presumably ROM based, therefore unmodifiable, uncorruptible);
    linux kernel;
    android;
    TouchWiz (Samsung);
    with the last 3 layers held in flash memory and therefore potentially corrupted.

    I figured that, unless there's hardware damage (in which case all bets are off and we have a paperweight), the first 2 layers must still be intact. Also the drivers must have knowable access points for the kernel to hook into, which could be used instead by some simplified custom kernel replacement. Since some of the drivers must handle reading from internal memory, writing to sd-card, and out via the OTG port, this pseudo-kernel should be capable of dumping the memory. Then all that's required is to run this new (temporary) kernel, which the promo pages for Odin and ADB/Fastboot seemed to imply to be possible.

    Where did my thought process fall down?
     

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