1. Nick9001's Avatar
    Posting in this section because I think it's more likely that I'll receive a response.

    Girlfriend's little sister decided to trick to hack into her phone via entering random crap for her lock screen password. She managed to try enough times to completely wipe the phone and, unfortunately, her pictures weren't backed up. They're extremely important so I'm trying my best to get them back.

    I know that even after a factory reset, the data persists, so long as it isn't overridden by new data. In order to access the deleted data, I plan on using a third party program that scans the phone and retrieves it.

    Unfortunately, the kicker is this: in order for the third party programs to work, the computer has to recognize the phone as a drive, or a mass storage device.

    The DNA does not have an SD card, all memory is internal. She is running the newer 4.4 version, and from what I've read, the option to just turn mass storage mode on has been removed. When I plug the phone in, the device shows up as a "portable device." I need to find a way to have it appear as a disk drive.

    I've tried with USB debugging on & off and I've also tried sharing network connections, to no avail. All drivers are installed & updated.

    Accord to another post (which I apparently can't post because I have less than 10 PC), it's possible if you root your phone. Can somebody else confirm this? I've never rooted before but am willing to go for it if it has a chance of working. If anyone else can offer another alternative, I'd be more than willing to listen.

    Post quote:
    "If you're rooted and have a custom recovery installed such as CWM or TWRP, you can mount the phone as removable storage through your recovery."

    Thank you!
    11-12-2014 02:17 PM
  2. Nick9001's Avatar
    Bump.
    11-13-2014 12:51 PM
  3. Rukbat's Avatar
    I plan on using a third party program that scans the phone and retrieves it.
    The app needs physical (not logical) access to the phone's storage, and the only way to do that would be with a CPU emulator (a VERY expensive device that almost no one but phone developers have). No matter how you mount the phone on a computer, all it sees are files, but a deleted file program needs to see the file structure, and no external program can do that.

    So in installing the recovery program (it has to run from within the phone) and rooting the phone (recovering deleted files requires root), you may overwrite some of the deleted files.

    Unfortunately, the kicker is this: in order for the third party programs to work, the computer has to recognize the phone as a drive, or a mass storage device.
    Nope. It has to be able to physically address the storage by, in this case, inode. Which can't be done from outside the phone.

    When I plug the phone in, the device shows up as a "portable device." I need to find a way to have it appear as a disk drive.
    Wouldn't help. All you could access (and you'd have to flash an earlier version of Android because, since ICS, I think, storage hasn't been mass storage, it's been MTP) are files, not empty space where files used to be. That's part of Android and you can't change it.

    Accord to another post (which I apparently can't post because I have less than 10 PC), it's possible if you root your phone.
    That means writing at least 2 files to the phone - which - as I said - could overwrite the files you want to recover.

    Can somebody else confirm this?
    ANY device with a Linux OS can be rooted - somehow. (Some of them just haven't had a method figured out yet.)

    I've never rooted before but am willing to go for it if it has a chance of working.
    It will - if you also install an app like DiskDigger after you root it (further risking overwriting deleted files).

    If anyone else can offer another alternative, I'd be more than willing to listen.
    One thing you might try is using dd. Plug the phone into a computer. Enable USB debugging on the phone. Run adb. Run a shell. Run dd, reading the entire storage partition and writing it to a file on the computer. Burn that file, as an image, to a CD (or DVD). Run PhotoRec on that image. Just a thought. I've never run PhotoRec that way, but dd will copy the entire storage area, directories and "unused" space, so the image might be usable that way. Finding the location of the storage area in that phone under that version of Android, and learning how to use dd, I leave up to you.

    Remember the old computer adage - any file you don't have backed up to at least 2 different destinations is a file you didn't want to keep.

    Post quote:
    "If you're rooted and have a custom recovery installed such as CWM or TWRP, you can mount the phone as removable storage through your recovery."
    Which still won't do any good, since - again - all you can access is files, not inodes or unused storage space. And, since the files have been deleted, they're not going to show up as files, just as unused storage space. An app can read the directory (which it can't by mounting the phone to a computer) and figure out where a file starts, or a program like PhotoRec can scan the entire (physical) storage space, looking for blocks that look like files. (It doesn't even care what operating system wrote the files - all it cares about is that "this block looks like a jpg file, so we'll write it out as a jpg file with a made-up name".
    11-13-2014 02:28 PM

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