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Re: Recovering images in memory following a password lock - a widow's request
What happens when you/she hooks up the phone to a computer? Even though the phone itself is locked, I do believe you can still access the contents of the data/DCIM folder (or wherever the photos are kept).. The phone should show up as two drive letters when it's plugged into a computer-- the first drive letter will be in the internal memory, and the second will be the external micro-SD card.
If that doesn't work, I believe (and I can't say with 100% certainty) that resetting the phone to factory defaults through the boot process will reset the lock on the phone, and not the data contents..
There are procedures online on how to to do this, but basically, it's this: turn the phone off.. Hold down the up volume and down volume, and press the power button. After a few seconds you should see a menu.. Hit the down arrow until you get to the Recovery option. Hit the Up Arrow to select the Recovery option. Eventually you'll see a robot with an Exclamation Point triangle on the screen.
How you get past that Android/robot screen depends on the version of Android was running on the phone when it was last used. I'm guessing since the phone has been off and locked for a year, he was using the ICS version. To proceed from there hold the volume up and volume down buttons at the same time; this should bring up the Recovery screen. There should be an option to "wipe data/factory reset".. It sounds scary, but like I said, I'm PRETTY sure that the data it's wiping from the memory is ONLY the application data and not the pictures or music. Hit the down arrow til you're get to the wipe data/factory reset, and then use the power button to select that option. It will probably ask you if you're sure you want to reset the phone.. Select Yes.
For more info on getting into recovery mode, see this thread (but don't follow the directions that show how to clear the cache- you want to reset the data/factory reset).
How to clear your Cache (stock)
Hopefully this will remove the lock on the phone.