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    Default HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    I have posted this on the XDA developer forum but thought i would ask the good people here if you can help too:-

    [Q] Can i retrieve photos from a locked (screen carcked) nexus 4? - xda-developers

    Hello, and apologies if this is posted somewhere in the forum already, but there are just so many threads to search through and i'm panicking!

    Last night my Nexus 4 fell out of my jeans pocket about 2 ft onto my tiled bathroom floor. it has a diagonal crack from bottom right corner to 3/4 way up to the left side of the screen. I had a pattern lock applied and now because of the damage only the top 3 characters work which means in my case i cant unlock the screen. I am desperate to unlock it before repairing it because i have pictures of our newborn son; just 18 days old.

    I have been told that whoever repairs it will hard reset the phone 'due to data protection'. I dont care about anything else on the phone, but i cant replace those photo's, so please, can anybody help me and let me know a way that i could retrieve these precious pictures?

    some info that might be helpful? :-

    It isn't rooted
    Its the 16gb version
    its running android 4.2.2
    Its a UK handset (i'm based in the UK)
    It does recognise the handset when plugged into a computer via USB, but i assume because the handset is 'locked' with the pattern, it won't let me download the pics.

    Please help if you can. Thanks in advance.

    Cydonian74
    tcamca likes this.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    When you plug it into a pc, does the sd card pop up as a drive? If so, can you copy and paste your DCIM directory from the sd card to you pc's hard drive (not download, but copy and paste in file explorer on the pc)? That should be where all your photos are located.

    2 suggestions for you and anyone else that reads this thread. This is the problem with digital cameras...the device they are on WILL fail, it's just a question of when. If you've got something important on your phone, (1) back it up, or (2) at least sync it to Google+/DropBox/etc...that's an easy check box away.

    EDIT: Have you tried pressing harder on the broken part of your screen? Usually, when a screen breaks/cracks, you can still use it, it just looks bad and sometimes has areas that are less touch sensitive than others. If you can't get it unlocked and you can't access the sd card via the pc, I think you're screwed unless you want to pay big $$$ to a data recovery company that can hack into the phone.
    Last edited by greydarrah; 03-30-2013 at 06:16 PM.
    Semper Fi
    I love my LG Nexus 5!
    Take better pictures with your cell phone camera...http://www.bigshotmoms.com/
    wildmangk likes this.
  3. #3  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    The above post is correct, just a helpful hint, mine only appears on the pc when my screen is on, so press the power button when its connected/
    Tom Fairclough
    Credo faber est quisque fortunae suae
    I believe every man is the artisan of his own fortune
  4. #4  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Quote Originally Posted by greydarrah View Post
    When you plug it into a pc, does the sd card pop up as a drive? If so, can you copy and paste your DCIM directory from the sd card to you pc's hard drive (not download, but copy and paste in file explorer on the pc)? That should be where all your photos are located.

    2 suggestions for you and anyone else that reads this thread. This is the problem with digital cameras...the device they are on WILL fail, it's just a question of when. If you've got something important on your phone, (1) back it up, or (2) at least sync it to Google+/DropBox/etc...that's an easy check box away.

    EDIT: Have you tried pressing harder on the broken part of your screen? Usually, when a screen breaks/cracks, you can still use it, it just looks bad and sometimes has areas that are less touch sensitive than others. If you can't get it unlocked and you can't access the sd card via the pc, I think you're screwed unless you want to pay big $$$ to a data recovery company that can hack into the phone.
    I agree. I was using the Note 2 up until Friday when I sold it and purchased the N4 and obviously the N4 does not take an SD card. I had uploaded all my pictures to G+ and what I did was download all my fav pics back i to my N4 with no problems. Good luck to the OP and hopefully youll start backing up to google drive or G+ or anywhere where you can access your important documents with no issues at any time.


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  5. #5  
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    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Quote Originally Posted by greydarrah View Post
    When you plug it into a pc, does the sd card pop up as a drive? If so, can you copy and paste your DCIM directory from the sd card to you pc's hard drive (not download, but copy and paste in file explorer on the pc)? That should be where all your photos are located.
    Wouldn't that kinda defeat the purpose of a having a locked screen and having to enter a pin/pattern/facepic etc. to use the phone?
  6. #6  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Quote Originally Posted by chubb View Post
    Wouldn't that kinda defeat the purpose of a having a locked screen and having to enter a pin/pattern/facepic etc. to use the phone?
    I'm not sure, as I use no lock screen of any kind. It's possible that the lock could be more about your gmail account stuff (email/messaging/contacts) and less about what goes on your sd card. I always thought of screen locks as more of a first line defense for your phone being stolen. If anybody really wants to get into all your data, and has the skill set, I wouldn't consider a pattern lock high security. But as I said, I have no idea how tight pattern lock security is. It would be pretty quick and simple to test if any of the many users of this security could plug their phone in and see.

    As urgent as the OP's post seemed, I'm surprised we haven't heard back from him/her since yesterday.
    Semper Fi
    I love my LG Nexus 5!
    Take better pictures with your cell phone camera...http://www.bigshotmoms.com/
  7. #7  
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    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Quote Originally Posted by greydarrah View Post
    I'm not sure, as I use no lock screen of any kind. It's possible that the lock could be more about your gmail account stuff (email/messaging/contacts) and less about what goes on your sd card. I always thought of screen locks as more of a first line defense for your phone being stolen. If anybody really wants to get into all your data, and has the skill set, I wouldn't consider a pattern lock high security. But as I said, I have no idea how tight pattern lock security is. It would be pretty quick and simple to test if any of the many users of this security could plug their phone in and see.

    As urgent as the OP's post seemed, I'm surprised we haven't heard back from him/her since yesterday.
    I would try it, but im unlocked. Use a pattern though so the idiots I work with won't mess with it while it is charging. I would think that if your locked and have a lock screen, you wouldn't be able to access the sd card. If you can seems kinda pointless to have one, since one benefit of having a lock screen is to prevent people from seeing your pics.
  8. #8  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Quote Originally Posted by chubb View Post
    I would try it, but im unlocked. Use a pattern though so the idiots I work with won't mess with it while it is charging. I would think that if your locked and have a lock screen, you wouldn't be able to access the sd card. If you can seems kinda pointless to have one, since one benefit of having a lock screen is to prevent people from seeing your pics.
    So even though you are unlocked (knowing that the OP is not), can you try it on your pc? I'm curious to see how secure a pattern lock is.
    Semper Fi
    I love my LG Nexus 5!
    Take better pictures with your cell phone camera...http://www.bigshotmoms.com/
  9. #9  
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    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    No dice. I turned off USB debug and developer options, plugged it in with the screen off and locked and nothing. I can see the N4, but when I click it, it says 0 items and shows nothing. Once I unlock the screen, everything on the sd card shows.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos-untitled.png  
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  10. #10  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Then I guess the OP is hosed and you have peace of mind regarding your security. Thanks for checking.
    Semper Fi
    I love my LG Nexus 5!
    Take better pictures with your cell phone camera...http://www.bigshotmoms.com/
  11. #11  
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    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Yup no prob. I never actually thought about it untill this post. Puts me at ease a little knowing that it does prevent most people from accessing your phone.
  12. #12  
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    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Having a screen lock pin/password for your phone means that you can not access files on the computer until you actually put the pin/password in. Great feature if someone has stolen your phone but not so great feature in the OPs case. The only way the sd card can now be accessed by plugging the phone in is if a factory reset is done through recovery. Unfortunately doing a factory reset through recovery wipes the whole sd card defeating the purpose for the op. Unfortunately the op's problem would have been so much easier if he had just enabled usb debugging in developer options (adb and fastboot are great for pushing files, pulling files, etc when you cant use your phone). Alternatively if the op had a custom recovery installed he couldve done a factory reset which would not wipe the sd card, but would wipe away the screen lock allowing him to access the sd card from his computer. Unfortunately again, the process of installing a custom recovery involves unlocking the phones bootloader which again wipes the whole phone including the sd card
  13. #13  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    If the OP would have enabled auto sync pictures to g+ this topic would be moot.
    Palm IIIxe, Handspring Prism, Sony CLie, Tapwave Zodiac, Centro(AT&T), Palm Pre Plus(AT&T), Nook Color, HP Touchpad-32, HP Veer, Samsung Galaxy Note(AT&T), Nexus 7 (32), Nexus 4 (16), Nexus 7 2013 LTE, Nexus 5 32
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Quote Originally Posted by S-Doo-1965 View Post
    If the OP would have enabled auto sync pictures to g+ this topic would be moot.
    Hmmmm. I'm not completely thick you know! The reason i disabled auto sync (to G+ and Google Drive) was because when i was in hospital (during my wife's labour) the phone battery was draining really quickly, because everytime i took a photo, it was syncing to the afore mentioned sites, an d so, sensibly then, i turned syncing off; unfortunately, i forgot to reactivate that feature before i dropped the phone. :-( (sleep deprivation got the blame there!)

    However, just to update:- in the early hours of Saturday morning, i was starting to try and follow a process from XDA forum's and starting to try and rip the photos from my phone. I went into recovery mode and accidentally wiped the cache at which point the phone restarted. The phone was plugged into my laptop via USB, and as it was booting up the pop up window saying device detected popped up and asked if i wanted to open and copy files to my computer. I thought what the **** and selected yes. To my astonishment, it started finding all of the photos and videos from my phone, along with about a gazillion thumbnail images (nearly 645 photos and thumbnails in total!). once it had counted them out and listed them it asked if i wanted to copy them to my computer? Errrr, YES PLEASE! So i did, and it allowed it and worked! For about 25-35 mins i could see all of the folders on my phone and then about 10 mins after i had copied my pictures over, the link stopped working and that was that!

    Now i'm not hugely religious, but somebody somewhere cut me some slack and gave me a break i think? Amen!
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  15. #15  
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    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    What the... That is weird... I didnt know you could wipe cache from stock recovery.. Anyhow im glad you managed to get the photos of your son off. Precious memories!
  16. #16  
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    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Huge bummer, OP. Let's hope some others have been taking pics of your newborn. Congrats btw!!! I suppose you could say at least it's only been a few days of pictures. Highly suggest a cloud service as others have suggested for many reasons beyond the one you've pointed out. I use Dropbox, but I also have Box as they offered a free 50GB for life for anyone who purchased a N4 (or other LG device I believe). Might as well, just set to sync via wifi only and forget about it.
  17. #17  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    FWIW...I dropped my Nexus 4 phone and the screen broke and now the touch screen is not working..Before sending this for repair..I needed to retrieve the pics and videos..
    (contacts were already backed up in Google)
    Fortunately for me I had setup my face as my ID along with a password lock..woohoo..So when I power up the phone its scanned for my face and opened up..
    Now I have backed up everyting on my PC..

    HTH...
  18. #18  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    You can't get into it with the screen locked and if the screen is cracked. Same thing happened to me. You need to pay about $150.00 to get the glass/lcd replaced, then it'll be good as new and you won't lose your data.
  19. #19  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Good reason to back your photos up on Google Drive or Dropbox, which you can set up for free and automatically when you take a photo.
  20. #20  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Hi OP, Same thing has happen to me, can you let me know exactly how you did the recover please, as I've tried a few routes to no effect? I have a pattern locked, broken screen Galaxy note.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    FYI, if anyone else is having this problem you can buy a USB female to micro-USB-male on the internets and then connect a standard USB mouse to any Android phone and unlock your screen with the mouse. You can do most everything with a mouse in fact. The only issue is you can't adb via USB while using the mouse.
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    Rami801 likes this.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Quote Originally Posted by dongemus View Post
    you can buy a USB female to micro-USB-male ... and then connect a standard USB mouse to any Android phone and unlock your screen with the mouse.
    does this really work? has anyone else apart from the poster tried this successfully?
  23. #23  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    It does work on my htc one but on my cracked n4 not.
  24. #24  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    In response to everyone posting about having a lock/pattern when connecting to a computer:
    It will not read. It may pop up and recognize the device but won't let you get into the files. I didn't realize that was the reason behind my PC not reading the storage content for a while.
  25. #25  

    Default Re: HELP! Nexus 4 locked and cracked screen-how can i retrieve photos

    Quote Originally Posted by MicaBcn View Post
    It does work on my htc one but on my cracked n4 not.
    thats what I thought. So, on a cracked N4, anything not backed-up is lost.
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