Recover your pictures from a broken phone

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Recover your pics from a broken phone

Smart phones are such a big part of our daily lives …

From photos to videos …music files and voice recordings, one thing’s for sure … most of that data is important to us.

I’ve recovered:

  • Priceless photos of a great grandmother in Maine that passed away.
  • Newborn Hospital photos that are impossible to duplicate.
  • A few videos and pics of the first and only visit to Disney World for a Canadian Family.
  • Photos and Audio that were used as evidence in Court.

These are just a few examples …but I’m sure you get the idea.

Backing up your data to multiple places ensures redundancy , which means you can always restore / replace or access your data if necessary.

I use Google Drive , Drop Box and a local Server to store my data … heck I even have my most important data burned to DVD-Roms and stored in a fire resistant lock box.

Sure … I know… It’s a pain, but if disaster strikes you’ll be so sorry that you didn’t backup your data.

Luckily there is still a chance to retrieve your data on a dead / broken phone …. there are ways using Emmc and ISP techniques that allow us to communicate directly with the phones emmc memory chip and retrieve all the Raw binary that will then be carved to extract your photos , videos and other data.

Does this work on all phones ?

So far my data extraction process works on all Android phones that have an emmc memory chip….so that means many thousands of models are supported.

Apple Iphones , Ipads …..and phones that have use UFS memory like the Note 5 , S6 , and S7 unfortunately are not supported at this time. There are no tools that can read / write to a UFS memory BGA directly….so for now it’s a no go.

Today’s blog post is about a customer that dropped their S3 I747 , the drop caused the screen and motherboard to crack. He really didn’t care about the phone…but he had a few hundred pics on the phone that were not backed up ….and that he really wanted to save.

His phone sounded like a great candidate for data recovery ….although like I always say : ” You really don’t know if it’ll work unless you try it ”

Below I disassembled the I747 and I connected the ISP wires to the phone. Very fine micro-soldering skills are needed for this.

Data Recovery using emmc ISP on a dead cell phone

Data and Photo Recovery from a dead SGH-I747 Motherboard

After connecting with ISP I checked to make sure that the memory was readable / writable.

You can see the connection / Handshake and the emmc parameters ….and at the very bottom of the log you can see that I was able to verify the read operation.

Data and Photo Recovery from a dead SGH-I747 Motherboard

Connecting via ISP for I747 data and photo raw data dump

In this case I read the Data partition that is approximately 13Gb on this phone and all of it needs dumping even though the pictures occupy less than 1Gb of that space.

Below you can see some pics that were carved from the data.

Because this is a customers phone I decide, for privacy purposes, to blur the photos… but I assure you that they are full .jpg format and size.

Photos saved from a dead phone

Photo Recovery from a dead cell phone

Dumping 13GB’s of data takes a long time ….that and then having to carve out the images from Raw binary is very time consuming…in fact the entire operation can take up to a few days to complete.

Below you can see the images that were opened in a virtual drive.

Photos recovered with ISP / Emmc process

Long list of photos recovered waiting for extraction.

I extracted photos , videos … some .pdf files and some ringtones.

I usually upload the data retrieved to google drive or similar cloud service and then send the link to the customer so they can download it.

After they download their data …. I inform them that I will permanently delete all their data in my possession at that point it’s up to the customer to protect / backup the retrieved data.

Music and Videos Recovery from a dead phone

If your phone is damaged but you need to retrieve the data please contact me.

Please include the make / model of the phone …. and how the phone was damaged.


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