Accessing phone data without interfacing with screen

jonas_berggren

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Hi,
my girlfriend dropped her phone (motorola G5+) into a creek. This damaged it in such a way, that it starts up, the touch screen works, but the display stays black. You can feel it vibrating while blindly guessing the lock pattern.
She already sent it to a repair shop, but they didn't manage to repair it, as the damage wasn't limited to the display it self, apparently.
She asked me to recover the data left on the phone.
I managed to unlock it blindly so that my laptop sees it in the file manager when they are connected by usb.
the phone shows up as empty, as you are usually required to authorize data transfer through a menu, that I can't access blindly.
The phone is recognized as a mtp server.
Is there a way to access the data without using this menu I can't access? (preferably only by interfacing with the computer)
I'm guessing there might be a way to "mount" the phone somehow onto the computer, as I am able to authenticate my self entering the pattern blindly an using the fingerprint sensor.

thanks for your help.
 


jonas_berggren

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Here's a screenshot of that menu on a Samsung Galaxy J3 V running Android 9. You can use that to make a blind guess.
Unfortunately this doesn't help, as the menu is different in my case.
Additionally it needs to be opened through as fairly small icon in the notification bar. This is especially unfortunate as it shows up beneath an unknown number of push notifications.
Therefor I don't think, blindly guessing the position of the buttons is a feasible option in my case.
 

Condobloke

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G'day jonas, and Welcome to linux.org

that is quite a problem !

Does the 'data' include pics and documents, or only pics ?.....contact list ?.....etc ?

For the contact list, hopefully the pc it has been hooked up to will show her contacts in Google. This may be your laptop or another pc she has connected to....but if she is signed into google it should show them. (hopefully)

I am not familiar with Androids workings any more....on my iPhone there is an app called 'Simple Transfer' which transfers pics to a pc....BUT...it only works on iPhone

Is there a similar app that works on Android ?....that is hopefully already installed on the phone ?

A longshot I know....but worth the thought
 

wizardfromoz

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G'day Jonas, and another Aussie welcoming you to linux.org :)

Not an expert on mobile phones, but is there a micro SD card with the phone?

Cheers

Chris Turner
wizardfromoz
 

JasKinasis

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All you need for mtp support in your file manager is libmtp.
In Debian 10, it’s in the package libmtp9.
But your distro may have a different version.
I recommend searching for libmtp in your installed distro’s package manager and installing it.

If it’s already installed, you may need to use the phone to allow the connection to the computer. Which, as the phone is broken, may be nigh on impossible to do.

@captain-sensible’s suggestion of installing and using androids adb bridge is another idea. But again, it requires you to put the phone into debug mode, to allow adb to be used. Requiring you to do something on the phone beforehand. Which could also be tricky.

:/

Failing that - if the phone has an SD card in it, you should at least be able to remove the SD card and use an SD card reader to back up data from that. Then you’d only end up missing anything stored in the phones built in storage.
 

jonas_berggren

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The SD card is already retrieved but there are still things left like contacts and some photos. The data isn't synced with google and debug is not, and can't be enabled. I could try to enable mtp data transfer through the phone it self, but I am hoping for a more elegant and and especially less tedious solution.
 

JasKinasis

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a tip on allowing debug , the basics are you go to help section l, and believe it or not just tap the correct item 3 times !
My point was the phone/screen is broken - so the OP would have trouble actually getting the phone into debug mode in order to allow adb bridge to work. He can't see anything on the screen, so won't know what is displayed, or where to press!

Likewise with mtp. Very often when you plug an android phone into a PC, the phone asks you if you would like to accept the connection to the PC. So again - if the screen is not working, the OP might find it supremely tricky to allow the mtp connection. Not knowing where to touch the screen and all!

@jonas_berggren
The only other thing I can think of is - perhaps see if a local phone repair shop can help with the data retrieval. They might have a spare touchscreen that they can connect, that will allow you to enable adb, or allow an mtp connection in order to backup the data you're after.
Or they might have some other methods available to them.
 

jonas_berggren

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Good point. My dad actually had a similar experience (except he dropped the phone and broke the LCD, which ruined the touchscreen). He ended up using a screen from another phone to recover his data.
Well this has already been attempted.
As I said in the initial question, the phone was sent to a repair shop, where they failed to make a screen work, due to the fact that, apparently the motherboard was damaged, disabling it to display graphics.
Connecting an external screen to the usb port might possibly help if such a feet is possible without changing settings in the phone (pretty skeptical about that but who knows), but replacing the builtin screen has already been attempted unsuccessfully.
 

JasKinasis

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Well this has already been attempted.
As I said in the initial question, the phone was sent to a repair shop, where they failed to make a screen work, due to the fact that, apparently the motherboard was damaged, disabling it to display graphics.
Connecting an external screen to the usb port might possibly help if such a feet is possible without changing settings in the phone (pretty skeptical about that but who knows), but replacing the builtin screen has already been attempted unsuccessfully.
In that case, this sounds like a bit of a lost cause!
 


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