1. Pj84Stg's Avatar
    Reddit, XDA, and LTT were of no help, so I'm coming here.

    My mom decided to keep a bunch of photos stored permanently in the text messaging app. Whenever someone sent her something, she wouldn't actually save it, just leave it in the messaging history and dig through the relevant messages whenever she wants to use the photo again. Now, she has a new phone, and she wants all of the pictures that are currently in the text message app on her old phone to be stored in a folder on her new phone, or at the very least to be on her new phone in some form. Ideally, what I want is to get a tarball of all of the messaging app's data that I can then cp *.jpg all of the images out of, and then I can email her the images. I am unwilling to try to root the phone because there are no backups of it, so I don't want to risk breaking anything.

    The first thing I tried were the SMS transfer apps from the play store, such as https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.riteshsahu.SMSBackupRestore and https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zegoggles.smssync. In theory, these would be the easiest to use solution, and while they wouldn't be out of the messaging app, at least they would be on the new phone. I tried about 10 of them, multiple times each. Every single one would claim to have succeeded in transferring over a non-zero number of messages, but absolutely nothing ever appeared on the new phone.

    The next thing I decided to try was LG Switch, since both phones were made by LG. Unfortunately, that didn't work out either. It wanted to wipe the new phone and basically set it up to be an exact copy of the old one. My mom has already started to use the new phone, so nuking the entire phone and copying everything over is not acceptable. Additionally, the radios on the old phone only work intermittently (one of the reasons that the phone was replaced), so I don't want to do anything over a wireless connection that will take more than a minute or two.

    Next, I tried Helium. The desktop app opens fine, but the app on the phone doesn't work. Sometimes, I get the application homescreen with a popup claiming that it is waiting for the desktop application and a cancel button that doesn't work. Sometimes, I get a solid white screen. In either case, the desktop app doesn't see it, the phone slows down and gets hot, and eventually I get a "Helium is not responding" popup. This has persisted across multiple attempts to wipe Helium's data and reinstall it.

    The final thing I tried was LG Backup, which was buried in the settings menu. The old phone created a backup just fine, but the backup is in a proprietary format that I can't open on my laptop, and LG does not make it clear whether restoring on the new phone will keep the data that's already there or not. Additionally, this will still have the images trapped in a messaging app, except on the new phone instead of the old one.

    I'm out of ideas. Anything else I can try? Any way I can fix the issues with something I already tried? Any way I can do this manually with ADB? In case it matters, the old phone is an LG G2 from T-Mobile (Model LG-D801) on Android 5.0.2, and the new phone is an unlocked LG K40 from Amazon that I think is on Android 9.
    03-07-2020 07:52 PM
  2. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Welcome to Android Central! Try a different tack -- open the Google Photos app (install it if it's not already there), tap Menu>Device Folders>Messaging and see if the photos are there. If they are, then the photos are saved somewhere on the phone (typically in the /Pictures/Messaging directory).
    03-07-2020 09:02 PM
  3. Pj84Stg's Avatar
    There is no ~/Pictures/Messaging on the phone.

    Google Photos opens to a view of all the albums on the phone similar to how the gallery app opens. None of those albums contain the attachments. The menu does not have a "Device folders" option.
    03-07-2020 09:26 PM
  4. B. Diddy's Avatar
    Does your Google Photos app have a hamburger menu button in the upper left? Tap that, then tap Device Folders there.
    03-07-2020 09:35 PM
  5. mustang7757's Avatar
    Try hooking up a cable between the 2 phones to transfer over the text messages be the fastest way , even if the new phone has to be factory reset just back up what's on it first. Or download each message picture to internal storage on the old phone then to google photos or drive that way when you sign into the new phone it's there, takes more time but another way.
    03-07-2020 09:48 PM
  6. Pj84Stg's Avatar
    The new phone has app data that we want to keep, which to my knowledge there isn't a no-root way to back that up. I do not have a USB OTG adapter, so I have no way to connect the two phones with a cable. I have never had Google's back up and synchronization actually work, so I don't trust it. There are at least a few hundred, possibly over a thousand images, so I don't want to do it manually.

    If nobody has a solution, I think I'll try to root it and extract the data that way. LG, if you're reading this, please fire all of your UX designers.
    03-07-2020 10:05 PM
  7. Pj84Stg's Avatar
    OK, never mind. I got root. It should be smooth sailing from here.
    03-07-2020 10:32 PM
  8. mustang7757's Avatar
    Ok see if you can get it going with it
    03-07-2020 10:44 PM
  9. belodion's Avatar
    It did not go well, alas: https://forums.androidcentral.com/sh...d.php?t=995598
    mustang7757 and Pj84Stg like this.
    03-08-2020 10:14 AM
  10. Pj84Stg's Avatar
    The risk of that happening was exactly why I DID NOT want to root the phone. Unfortunately, the crackhead UX designers made it impossible to do such a basic operation without risking the entire phone. I hope either the Librem or the Pinephone take off so I don't have to deal with this kind of nonsense anymore.
    03-08-2020 12:41 PM

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