I have searched this forum and google endlessly and the most reasonable solution i found was trying to access the storage using ADB.
so this is what happens:
1. Windows does not detect any hardware being plugged in the computer if the phone is in recovery mode like in the attached pictures.
2. Windows DOES detect an MTP device when the phone is stuck in the ATT logo, and plugged to the computer, but the driver fails to install and i get the yellow exclamation mark on the device manager under portable devices.
3. I waited and clicked on scan for hardware changes but still get the "Device cannot start (code 10)" in windows.
4. I wiped the cache partition to no effect.
5. Everything is stored on the internal memory, she never had a micro SD card installed.
All i know this is a stock phone. My friend got it with ATT and no one ever played with it (rooting and stuff). I have no clue about what software version was installed other than the numbers you see in the attached pictures.
I know "wipe data/factory reset" will get rid of the problems, but she needs to recover pictures, and work related SMSs that she never backed up. Losing this data will set her back very badly with customers and more than a year of work.
Any tips are much appreciated and i hope there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Thanks a lot.