[HELP] user data on internal storage lost

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theMartyMcfly

Member
Oct 3, 2011
38
3
I violated the first rule of updating. I did not make a proper backup.
Before the loss phone was unlocked, rooted and on Android 9 stock rom.

I thought I could flash a TWRP recovery on my phone to make an entire backup of everything.
Code:
 C:\Users\deinemutter\Downloads\xiaomi mi a2\platform-tools_r31.0.2-windows\platform-tools>fastboot flash boot "C:\Users\deinemutter\Downloads\xiaomi mi a2\lineage-17.1-20210410-recovery-jasmine_sprout.img"
Sending 'boot_b' (24509 KB)                        OKAY [  0.550s]
Writing 'boot_b'                                   OKAY [  0.234s]
Finished. Total time: 0.950s
and from here it went downhill. The reboot got me a bootloop.

In fastboot I flashed patched_boot_10.0.9.0_mi_a2.img and stock_boot_10.0.9.0_mi_a2.img on both boot slots hoping that it would get me out of the bootloop. Well, it didn't. It was probably the wrong boot image.

Downloaded Xiaomis official Flash Software MiFlash2018.5.28.0 and an official stock rom jasmine_global_images_V11.0.22.0.QDIMIXM_20210309.0000.00_10.0 and was very relieved to find the option "save user data" when flashing.
I did chose this option to find out later that this wasn't the case. My data on the internal storage was gone and my phone wasn't rooted anymore.

I downloaded all kinds of restore software on my laptop for my android device. Only to find out that the only data they software could find was the newly copied data on the new rom. Rooting my phone in the process to allow deep scans just came out empty.

Now I am thinking of copying the entire image of my phone to my laptop hoping that the data will somewhere in the image. Is this even worth it?

I am at the end of my knowledge and hope that you can help me a little.
 
Last edited:

Aerobatic

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2014
298
240
1. If You have read more guides before flashing anything, You'd learn that this phone has A/B slots ROM structure and thus does not have dedicated partition for recovery, and thus TWRP cannot be flashed directly into boot partition without erasing boot image and spoiling OS. Any recovery must be embedded into boot image, as stock recovery is embedded into stock boot image. And thus, after recovering working OS, if You still insist in having TWRP instead of stock recovery, You'll need to boot into TWRP from PC and then install appropriate TWRP.zip thus patching currently used boot image, and this procedure will be needed after each OTA.

2. To have working OS, as You are sure that phone is unlocked, just flash one of available fastboot ROM images (search in Guides forum https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/fastboot-jasmine-xiaomi-mi-a2-fastboot-images.3824849/) via fastboot. Note that:
2.1. forget about MiFlash, use fastboot.exe from Android platform-tools (ADB/fastboot);
2.2. MiFlash in special patched version is only needed for TestPoint/Edl unbricking of locked phones;
2.3. best Android 9 version is 10.0.17.0;
2.4. when flashing 10.0.17.0 use "flash_all_except_data.bat" to keep user data;
2.4. updating to Android 10 (any version) will need factory reset, thus user data will be lost;
2.5. user data most probably still can be saved in TWRP backup for future restore, or you can 1st recover Android 9 and save your data;
2.6. do not use so called "official TWRP", I regard working https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...mi-a2-jasmine_sprout-by-d4e8ede8f1f2.3941096/ and https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/recovery-unofficial-teamwin-recovery-project.4209151/ ; do not forget to enter proper code when TWRP starts to decrypt /data partition.
 

theMartyMcfly

Member
Oct 3, 2011
38
3
1. If You have read more guides before flashing anything, You'd learn that this phone has A/B slots ROM structure and thus does not have dedicated partition for recovery, and thus TWRP cannot be flashed directly into boot partition without erasing boot image and spoiling OS. Any recovery must be embedded into boot image, as stock recovery is embedded into stock boot image. And thus, after recovering working OS, if You still insist in having TWRP instead of stock recovery, You'll need to boot into TWRP from PC and then install appropriate TWRP.zip thus patching currently used boot image, and this procedure will be needed after each OTA.

2. To have working OS, as You are sure that phone is unlocked, just flash one of available fastboot ROM images (search in Guides forum https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/fastboot-jasmine-xiaomi-mi-a2-fastboot-images.3824849/) via fastboot. Note that:
2.1. forget about MiFlash, use fastboot.exe from Android platform-tools (ADB/fastboot);
2.2. MiFlash in special patched version is only needed for TestPoint/Edl unbricking of locked phones;
2.3. best Android 9 version is 10.0.17.0;
2.4. when flashing 10.0.17.0 use "flash_all_except_data.bat" to keep user data;
2.4. updating to Android 10 (any version) will need factory reset, thus user data will be lost;
2.5. user data most probably still can be saved in TWRP backup for future restore, or you can 1st recover Android 9 and save your data;
2.6. do not use so called "official TWRP", I regard working https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/...mi-a2-jasmine_sprout-by-d4e8ede8f1f2.3941096/ and https://forum.xda-developers.com/t/recovery-unofficial-teamwin-recovery-project.4209151/ ; do not forget to enter proper code when TWRP starts to decrypt /data partition.
I read through some guides here but it wasn't all that clear to me as you put it here.

Regarding your points:
2. My phone was unlocked
2.1 I used both MiFlash and fastboot
2.4 it is exactly what I did with MiFlash to keep user data but that didn't happen
2.5 is the real question. How can I save my user data after I flashed a new OS it with MiFlash that did'nt save userdata how can I recover if not all but at least a portion of it. Would a copy of the entire image help? or what other options do I have?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Aerobatic

Senior Member
Apr 24, 2014
298
240
OK, again ....
If you have already erased /data partition with MiFlash, user data is lost, no chances.
If you have already made factory reset (erased /data partition) trying to upgrade to Android 10, user data is lost, no chances.
If you have not erased /data partition, and you are sure that you had Android 9, just flash 10.0.17.0 (latest working Android 9) fastboot ROM image using fastboot .exe and "flash_all_except_data.bat", you should be able to boot into OS.
As for backup and restoring /data partition - it is a trivial operation in TWRP, noting that:
- working TWRP is used (see above);
- TWRP is booted into via fastboot (not flashed! - for Nth time!);
- you do not skip the step of entering code when TWRP is booted into (otherwise TWRP won't decrypt /data);
- phone has enough free space in /data to backup /data (and then without working OS you'll need to pull sdcard/TWRP/backups/ via ADB) or (simpler) external SD/SDD/HDD is attached via OTG.