How To Pick Up the Pieces after an Android Phone Motherboard Failure?

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I hadn’t been familiar with Google One, so wasn’t a subscriber from before the time when the motherboard of my previous phone (Moto X4, Google Fi edition) recently went bad. I believe the failure occurred on 5 Jul 2020. Unless someone knows of any workarounds, I don’t think that I’m able to back up my previous phone’s data while now on Google One, which I joined for Customer Support with this whole motherboard/backup issue. My Moto G Power, Google Fi edition phone has now arrived.

I’m wanting to have all the data from that previous phone on my new one (or at least accessible by it). As to items coming to mind, apps (#1), phone log history (#2), photos/videos/media (#3), contacts (#4), calendar (#5), text messages (SMS/MMS/RCS/group texts/etc along with their embedded photos, emoji, GIF’s, etc.) (#6), phone voicemail messages/voicemail transcriptions (#7), and so on, including possibly items of which I’ve not yet realized.

On that previous phone, I must’ve had some automatic backup settings on, as drive.google.com/drive/backups indicates a “moto x4 backup” with a last backup date of 4 Jul 2020. It further specifies 71 apps, call history of 200 KB with a last backup of 3 Jul 2020, and device settings of 179 KB with a last backup on 20 Jun 2020. My fear with these automatic backups, however, is that something may’ve been missed between the time of a backup and the time of the phone going bad. Does a motherboard dying make whatever’s on internal memory unrecoverable? I do have a micro-SD card from my previous phone, which might also allow some data recovery. Might it help if some data had been stored on the card? I know that some apps permit storing data on that external memory, at least. Regardless, I suppose that these internal and external memory questions apply not only to these automatic backups, but also to other items that are synched, meaning all seven-plus items from above.

I’m seeing 104 apps at play.google.com/apps, so if the backup (71 apps) doesn’t include all of them, I’d be able to add them later manually, so no problem. Either way, I can’t recall adding any apps in the days leading up to 5 July. (#1 resolved.)

I’ve been a Google Fi customer since switching over to Android a few years ago. I’m hoping that the call history in the backup includes a full record of all calls received and made. Problem is that fi.google.com/account#callhistory indicates a number of calls from 3 Jul to 5 Jul, so the near certainty for some calls not to be included properly in the backup. Any way around this problem? Would Google Fi have or be able to do anything on its end as to a solution? (#2 probably unresolved.)

I’m not so clear on device settings, but hopefully, settings in various apps have been maintained via the automatic backup.

I believe that my settings for the Google Photos app were such that my photos/videos were being synched via Wi-Fi, as I see media on photos.google.com and know that I didn’t manually upload them. I seem to remember that my app settings were to keep them in original resolution, which would be what I want. I don’t think that I’d taken any photos/videos around 4 or 5 July, so all good. (#3 resolved.)

As to contacts and calendar, I’ve maintained them within Microsoft Outlook for many years, and they sync to the cloud via Wi-Fi. They should repopulate once I reconnect my Microsoft account to my new phone. I wouldn’t have added anything new via my phone around 4 or 5 July. (#4 and #5 resolved.)

The aspect of which I’m most concerned involves text messages. Nothing in the automatic backup seems to refer explicitly to them. As with the case of calls, fi.google.com/account#callhistory indicates a number of texts on 4 and 5 July, so the near certainty for some texts not being captured if they were backed up. If not backed up, could they still have been synched to the cloud via Wi-Fi, so available? If not, might they be stored on micro-SD card or be recoverable from internal phone memory? Note that I’m wanting SMS/MMS/RCS/group texts/attached media, emojis, GIFs, etc. all available. Would Google Fi have or be able to do anything on its end as to a solution? I do note that RCS is at least supported by Google Fi. (#6 significantly unresolved.)

I’m also very concerned about voicemail messages/voicemail transcriptions. Again, they’re not mentioned in the automatic backup. It’s possible that some may be relevant to 4 or 5 July, so may not have been captured even in the case of a backup. If they haven’t, could they have been synched to the cloud via Wi-Fi so obtainable? If not, might they be on my micro-SD card? Would Google Fi have or be able to do anything as to a solution? (#7 unresolved.)

Any help from those who may’ve had to endure something along these lines? Google One Support has been terrible, I’m afraid. Thanks!
 

hallux

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The discrepancy in app numbers might come down to a difference between apps that were presently installed on the phone and all apps you had ever installed from the Play Store (or Android Market if you go that far back). It's also possible that only 71 apps were supporting (or in need of) the backup functionality that Google allows for.

What messaging app were you using for texting? I'm on Fi as well and still using Hangouts for my texting, everything is on the server and moving to a new device results in all message history being available.

I don't believe the voicemail is stored on the device so that may be covered as well.
 

romermb

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hallux, thanks -- yes, I suspect that the apps discrepancy in numbers can be explained/reconciled.

I used Google Messages for texting. Google seemed to be moving away from Hangouts, so I'd chosen Messages.

Hopefully, you're correct about the undeleted VM history, undeleted audio messages, and undeleted transcriptions being maintained at the carrier level, so restored.
 

romermb

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in addition, if anyone has any suggestions as to other forums beyond Android Central that might be good to post this question, please let me know. I realize that the issues are complicated and that other forums may or may not be better fits.
 

Golfdriver97

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Looking at this like it was a PC, if the motherboard does have a failure, it would have to be repaired at the board level, not exactly something I would have the intestinal fortitude to do, and I have built several PCs. If you want the data off the device, you would have to get it to a shop that can do board repairs.
 

romermb

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Golfdriver97, no doubt! I do have a micro-SD card from my former phone but am not familiar enough with how/where my data relevant to my original post might be stored or if it's even readable/retrievable.
 

Golfdriver97

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Golfdriver97, no doubt! I do have a micro-SD card from my former phone but am not familiar enough with how/where my data relevant to my original post might be stored or if it's even readable/retrievable.
The sad part is that it could be anywhere. Sometimes it's just a matter of digging through all the files to find it.
 

romermb

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Golfdriver97, shouldn't the file/folder locations be more universal? I was using a USB card reader attached to my Windows laptop, so using File Explorer, and wasn't having much luck trying to find out if some of the data for which I'm searching might be hiding in there somewhere . . .
 

Kizzy Catwoman

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The issue with text messages is complicated with RCS messages. Google doesn't back them up. So you would lose access to them. I think this is a major oversight on Google's part.

Hope that helps?
 

romermb

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Anyone know where these various items are stored on a micro-SD card if the relevant app allows them to be stored there? I'm particularly interested in Google Messages (Google Phone, etc.).
 
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romermb

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Galactic Zoo, great -- that helps! At least I now know that I can't (easily or inexpensively) retrieve that data given the status of my old phone.

Would turning on message backup have been done from within the settings of the Google Messages app? Regardless, where would the backup be stored? Is any data from the original messages not retained and/or some messages not retained altogether?

Either way, I suspect that I wouldn't be able to retrieve a small number of messages since a most recent backup would've most certainly been before the time of the motherboard failure but also before the time of some incoming messages before the failure. It had been one of the reasons why I was hoping that messages might've been able to be stored on an external card so that I could retrieve them.
 

anon(10614692)

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Hi, the message backup would have been done by syncing your Google account, not just messages app. The backup is stored in the cloud. All backed up messages should be there, you can log into Google drive to see your backups and dates. These are waiting to go to the next phone you sync with that account. It's difficult to know what was backed up until you restore the data to a new device. You should try to restore the data to a phone, you may be pleasantly surprised.
 

romermb

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Galactic Zoo,

"I hadn’t been familiar with Google One, so wasn’t a subscriber from before the time when the motherboard of my previous phone (Moto X4, Google Fi edition) recently went bad. I believe the failure occurred on 5 Jul 2020. Unless someone knows of any workarounds, I don’t think that I’m able to back up my previous phone’s data while now on Google One, which I joined for Customer Support with this whole motherboard/backup issue. My Moto G Power, Google Fi edition phone has now arrived."

"On that previous phone, I must’ve had some automatic backup settings on, as drive.google.com/drive/backups indicates a “moto x4 backup” with a last backup date of 4 Jul 2020. It further specifies 71 apps, call history of 200 KB with a last backup of 3 Jul 2020, and device settings of 179 KB with a last backup on 20 Jun 2020."

The reason that I was trying to determine if I were able to obtain actual data from the micro-SD card is to have access to the data, including from the time of backup to the time of motherboard failure. The backup would exclude data between these dates.

That said, if I do a restore to the new phone, will new texts, voicemail messages, etc. from the time of motherboard failure until now be incorporated into the apps since I'd have to connect to Wi-Fi to obtain the backup, or must the phone be activated with Google Fi for it to occur? I'd potentially want to have the ability to revert to factory settings if I were to restore and the information weren't satisfactory but want to avoid restoring if the data were incorporated before I had time to review just the backup data. I've not yet activated the new phone with Google Fi, but the company sent the phone with the SIM card installed. This will be the first time that I've ever restored on Android, so I'm just not aware of the process in terms of what occurs and am being cautious.
 

anon(10614692)

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Google One offers additional cloud storage but this should not affect your backups as they would go to your "normal" Google Account. Restored data will be from the last backup. Any data after that date is still on the device but not backed up. In order to access the non backed up data you have 2 options ie get motherboard repaired which is the easier option to recover your data since you can access it on your phone. If this is not possible, the chip can be removed and read using specialist data recovery services. This is expensive and I don't know what format the data will be in. I suspect if messages are recovered perhaps only the database in SQlite will be recovered meaning you will need to have an understanding of SQlite to read the information you want. The specialist firm would advise on that.