1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

Reset Phone For Donation- But Screen Not Working

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by PGB1213, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Hi All!
    There is a local charity group that takes in damaged phones, computers, televisions, etc. They use the items to teach disabled & mentally challenged people how to diagnose & repair them. The repaired products are then donated to people in need. The students then receive guidance in order to find good jobs in the electronics repair field.

    I finally dropped my phone once too often & the digitizer no longer works. (ZTE Maven 1 Z812, running Android 5.1)

    Part of it lights up, but absolutely no information can be viewed on the screen- just a light. I'd love to donate the phone to the charity mentioned above, but must delete my personal data from the phone first. (The local group's trustworthy, but if they decide the phone can't be fixed & trash it, someone else may gain access to my data.)

    Do any of you know a trick to nuke the phone's memory without a functional screen? I've searched quite a bit & could not find the answer anywhere. I wrote ZTE, but no reply was gained. AT&T tech guy's official answer was "Beats me, but there's a way".

    Thanks for sharing any tricks or techniques you may have. I appreciate your help.

    Please Enjoy Today!

    1. Download the Forums for Android™ app!


  2. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    Try a button hard reset. Trying to figure out how many presses and which buttons without screen access might be problematic but I think it could be done.
    PGB1213 likes this.
  3. Dannydet

    Dannydet Extreme Android User

    A hammer will do the trick.
    Beat it until the innards come out.
    That's my safest way to make sure no one can access personal information.
    I know your charity will be without one, but better safe than sorry
    PGB1213, MrJavi and svim like this.
  4. svim

    svim Extreme Android User

    Did you at least have a lock screen enabled before? That will be good enough to prevent access to your data in most situations. Hacking past a lock screen has to be an intentional thing that most people are not going to waste a lot of time and resources on, law enforcement agencies spend tens of thousands of dollars doing so and even then it's still not a guarantee of success. It's not like in TV shows and movies where some kid just plug your phone into a beefed up PC and magically has access to everything.
    So if you did have a lock screen in place, it's 'more or less' safe to donate as in most situations nobody will be able to or wiling to break past it even if the screen is fixed. If you're not sure a lock screen is or isn't effective, if you have it enabled on your current phone, have a technologically savvy friend try to get past it.

    If that phone didn't have a lock screen in place, I agree with @Dannydet If the screen is a problem after that accident and you can't remove your Google account login or even do a Factory Reset, your data and the autologins for various apps to your online services will still be accessible to anyone who might be able to restore that phone to working condition again. A hammer might be your best option in this case. A ZTE Maven 1 Z812 is a pretty dated device anyway, the most valuable aspect to pass along might be its charging adapter and microSD card if you had one in yours (the card you might be able to re-use if its worth it, or be sure to copy anything you need off of it and then reformat it before giving it away.)
    PGB1213, MrJavi and Dannydet like this.
  5. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks To All for taking time to reply with suggestions.

    Your Button Hard Reset is a good plan to have, Don'tPanicBobT, but unfortunately my screen now is a white sheet of paper, so I couldn't fumble my way around the page.

    Thanks Svim for explaining about the lock screen. Mine is locked. The only personal data that I have on it are the contacts list, some few boring e-mails, the call & SMS logs plus the Google account log in. The photos were on the SD card, so that was an easy fix. There's no payment data on the phone nor at Google.

    Do you think if I change my Google account log in password I should be safe to donate the phone?

    DannyDet, your plan is a good last resort. Thanks for mentioning it. Since the phone's been a loyal trooper through all my many fumbly-bumbly drops, perhaps I'll give it a grand send off (after removing the battery for recycling)...

    Maybe I'll reverently drop it down the wiring chase, or perhaps off the tower crane, on the next skyscraper job I'm working at; then recycle the pieces. Or, boys being boys, maybe an explosion of some sort would be a more appropriate funeral. Flowers will be present and kind words shall be offered.

    Thanks Again for sharing your advice & knowledge. I appreciate the help & education.

    Please Take Some Time To Enjoy Today!
    Dannydet likes this.
  6. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Just a thought: have you tried Google's Find My Device site? If the feature is active on your phone that should let you wipe it.

    However if the charity want to do anything with it after repair they'll need to ask you to help, because it will be locked using your Google login (factory reset protection: after a reset you need to use the Google account that was on the device when the reset happened to get into the phone again). You can avoid this if you can remove the account before resetting, but that isn't an option here. But a remote reset like this will remove your data, so if you still have the phone you can try that.
    PGB1213 and Dannydet like this.
  7. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    OT: When I left my phone on an MBTA bus I used 'Find My Phone' to track it's journey and alert the MBTA lost and found department what bus it was on. That phone had gone through more cities and towns than I have all year. COVID-19 SUCKS!
    PGB1213 likes this.
  8. PGB1213

    PGB1213 Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks Hadron for the tip. I apologize for my absence in replying promptly. Life's challenges got in the way- again.

    Unfortunately, for Find My Phone to work on my phone, I have to get in & turn WiFi on (no data plan). I did ask the charity what they do when a phone is locked with a password. The person said that they have software to nuke some phones and they can't see inside before nuking.

    She said many phones can't be wiped when locked, so they would call me & I can go there to unlock and wipe it. That sounds like a good plan to me, as I have no concerns that the people are not honest.

    I empathetically chuckled when I read what you wrote, dontpanicbot: That phone had gone through more cities and towns than I have all year.
    I surely agree with your statement: COVID-19 SUCKS! You hit the nail on the head!

    Thanks Again All for helping me figure this out. I learned a lot.
    Please Enjoy Today!
    Dannydet likes this.

ZTE Maven Forum

The ZTE Maven release date was June 2015. Features and Specs include a 4.5" inch screen, 5MP camera, 1GB RAM, Snapdragon 410 processor, and 2100mAh battery.

June 2015
Release Date

Share This Page