Possibilty of Data/Storage Recovery?

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Nov 5, 2019
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Hey there,

let me start off by saying that I don't own an XL, but a non-XL 3a. Since my question seems to apply to both devices (similar/same components), I'll try my luck here.

Recently, my 3a got stuck in SystemUI crashes and I tried every solution that came to mind and others suggested over at the 3a section (check my profile if curious, basically locked BL, fully stock, no ADB), but nothing solved the issue.
However, I didn't factory reset yet, but I'm confident that it would fix it. On the other hand, It'll also wipe my storage.

----

Long story short, the only option I can think of is to recover my files with a data recovery app/program after I have wiped/factory reset my phone.

Did anybody ever successfully used such an app on a Pixel or similar (A/B) partition layout? Is it even possible/viable? Are there special prerequisites to consider?

It goes without saying I'll make sure to overwrite as few sectors as possible, if any. I can accept some files getting lost in the process, but want to keep whatever I can recover.

Thank you for reading.
 

xnifex

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2006
1,672
168
Phoenix
Your biggest issue is going to be the fact that the storage is encrypted. So even if you do wipe the phone, I don't think anything will be recoverable since it won't be readable.
 
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acejavelin

Recognized Contributor
Sep 3, 2009
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Your data will not be recoverable after the factory reset... because it was encrypted. Part of the factory reset will wipe the encryption key (that will not be recoverable since it will be regenerated on the first boot) so your data is surely lost. You are in the worst possible scenario for data recover, honestly your best bet is probably just factory reset and accept that the data is gone forever.
 
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Nov 5, 2019
31
8
Your biggest issue is going to be the fact that the storage is encrypted. So even if you do wipe the phone, I don't think anything will be recoverable since it won't be readable.

Your data will not be recoverable after the factory reset... because it was encrypted. Part of the factory reset will wipe the encryption key (that will not be recoverable since it will be regenerated on the first boot) so your data is surely lost. You are in the worst possible scenario for data recover, honestly your best bet is probably just factory reset and accept that the data is gone forever.

Well, damn. Thanks nonetheless, I didn't even think about that.
I'll try to fiddle with the phone one last time, maybe I'll get it unlocked somehow (I can only get 7 or 8 dots
of my pattern connected before the UI crash kicks in...). This is literally the only thing that separates me from the storage.
This has to be the most infuriating small obstacle with the biggest effect for me.
 
Nov 5, 2019
31
8
Since you're stock, might get lucky if your software is good on your second slot. You'll have boot into fastboot mode abs try the command "fastboot continue" from command line on a computer. Plenty of fastboot guides online if you've never used it.

Credit to this thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/5cbc9m/bricked_pixel_xl/

Man, if that works out, I'd be insanely glad. Have to get my hands on my friend's laptop first though.
I mean, the UI just started crashing after I checked for an OTA without downloading, then changing the wallpaper. That was literally it. Hadn't I rebooted, I would have been able to still unlock with my fingerprint between each crash.
Here's hoping that ADB sideloading OTAs left that slot option intact.

Will definitely update this post; at the very least, thank you for your suggestion.

Update: "fastboot continue" as well as switching boot slot parameters aren't allowed on this locked bootloader.
ADB sideloading caused slots to switch anyway, and both slots seemed to be affected from the SystemUI crashing. Will edit my original thread with a conclusion now.
 
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    Your biggest issue is going to be the fact that the storage is encrypted. So even if you do wipe the phone, I don't think anything will be recoverable since it won't be readable.
    1
    Your data will not be recoverable after the factory reset... because it was encrypted. Part of the factory reset will wipe the encryption key (that will not be recoverable since it will be regenerated on the first boot) so your data is surely lost. You are in the worst possible scenario for data recover, honestly your best bet is probably just factory reset and accept that the data is gone forever.
    1
    Since you're stock, might get lucky if your software is good on your second slot. You'll have boot into fastboot mode abs try the command "fastboot continue" from command line on a computer. Plenty of fastboot guides online if you've never used it.

    Credit to this thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/5cbc9m/bricked_pixel_xl/
    1
    Since you're stock, might get lucky if your software is good on your second slot. You'll have boot into fastboot mode abs try the command "fastboot continue" from command line on a computer. Plenty of fastboot guides online if you've never used it.

    Credit to this thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/5cbc9m/bricked_pixel_xl/

    Man, if that works out, I'd be insanely glad. Have to get my hands on my friend's laptop first though.
    I mean, the UI just started crashing after I checked for an OTA without downloading, then changing the wallpaper. That was literally it. Hadn't I rebooted, I would have been able to still unlock with my fingerprint between each crash.
    Here's hoping that ADB sideloading OTAs left that slot option intact.

    Will definitely update this post; at the very least, thank you for your suggestion.

    Update: "fastboot continue" as well as switching boot slot parameters aren't allowed on this locked bootloader.
    ADB sideloading caused slots to switch anyway, and both slots seemed to be affected from the SystemUI crashing. Will edit my original thread with a conclusion now.
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