Recovering texts, contacts, and photos from G7 power

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tim0477

Member
Feb 5, 2011
8
2
Hello all,

I have been using LineageOS for MicroG on a Moto G7 power for about two years. This was all great until I forgot I had my phone in my bathing suit pocket and took it into the ocean with me while on vacation. I disassembled the phone, disconnected the internal battery, washed with fresh tap water, and then soaked in isopropyl alcohol for a while. After drying, I tried reconnecting the battery and got no external signs of life. I tried connecting a usb cable between the phone and my computer. Oddly enough, the phone shows up as a ADB device.

I opened a adb shell and tried "cd sdcard" to see if I could get into the DCIM folder to recover my photos. I got the output "/system/bin/sh: cd: /sdcard: No such file or directory". Just for fun I tried to see if I could boot TWRP and do anything with that. I entered "adb reboot bootloader", waited a while and then entered "fastboot boot twrp.img). The phone then showed up on my computer in some kind of file transfer mode. I was now able to see the "sdcard" folder. but the contents were all random characters and I was unable to open any files.

The three questions I have are:

1. Given the info above, is there any way to recover contacts, texts, and photos via any ADB commands?

2. When I was able to view the "sdcard" folder, it was all gibberish. Does LineageOS for MicroG encrypt its folders, or is my data likely corrupted?

3. Given that the phone responds to ADB anf Fastboot commands, what are the chances that the main board and memory are OK and its a just an issue of the screen being dead?

Thanks in advance for any help that you all may be able to provide,

Tim
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
10,881
4,336
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Is the data on a SD card? Is it encrypted?

The phone is likely toast, if not now, soon.
It was RO or distilled water it needed to soak in, not isopropyl alcohol! Isopropyl alcohol (or any solvent) will as you see, poison the LCD. Water then air dry for LCD phones.
Regardless the salt likely already started the corrosion process*. It will likely fail eventually... it's a killer. Sometimes if you pull the battery immediately/flush it completely out within minutes the device might be saved. That's a big maybe.


*residue left behind on the connector contacts and such is corrosive and hygroscopic. Unless completely removed the corrosion tends to slowly continue.
 

tim0477

Member
Feb 5, 2011
8
2
Given my original post, do you think the LCD display is the only casualty? Replacement screens seem to be about $30. Do you think it is worth the risk to get one? Its not like its a ton of money. I don't know any other way to take control of the phone without a working display. Is there a ADB command that can put it into file transfer mode where I can at least get my photos? I am not looking to achieve a long term repair. Only looking to retrieve my data.

Thanks

P.S. I did hit all the connectors with contact cleaner and gently scrubbed with a toothbrush when I had the phone apart.
 
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blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
10,881
4,336
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Given my original post, do you think the LCD display is the only casualty? Replacement screens seem to be about $30. Do you think it is worth the risk to get one? Its not like its a ton of money. I don't know any other way to take control of the phone without a working display. Is there a ADB command that can put it into file transfer mode where I can at least get my photos? I am not looking to achieve a long term repair. Only looking to retrieve my data.

Thanks

P.S. I did hit all the connectors with contact cleaner and gently scrubbed with a toothbrush when I had the phone apart.
Give it a shot.
Not much to lose and it will be an interesting experiment if you get it online again.
Check around the power section and V+ rails on the mobo for damage. There's not much you can do with the BGA chipsets as all the solder joints are beneath them.

I dropped my Buds case in a full cup of coffee, cream and sugar. Broke it down on the spot, flushed with RO water then anhydrous isopropyl.
The battery is spot welded in so that wasn't removed. Drank the coffee. Dried it for a day.
2.5 years later it's still working.
$hit happen...
 
Feb 18, 2014
21
2
Moto G 5G
Given my original post, do you think the LCD display is the only casualty? Replacement screens seem to be about $30. Do you think it is worth the risk to get one? Its not like its a ton of money. I don't know any other way to take control of the phone without a working display. Is there a ADB command that can put it into file transfer mode where I can at least get my photos? I am not looking to achieve a long term repair. Only looking to retrieve my data.

Thanks

P.S. I did hit all the connectors with contact cleaner and gently scrubbed with a toothbrush when I had the phone apart.
Personally i would buy another working phone even a cracked screen one as long as it works and just swap out the motherboard i have repaired and brought back to life a lot of electronics using a spray chemical called deoxit , it was originally used by musicians to clean there electronics on mainly guitars but this stuff ids liquid gold for water damaged motherboards and such . If what you have on your phone is very important to you its worth spending extra money especially for pics as thats 1 thing you can never replace if you didn't back them up . Check out ebay you can find 1 complete for $40 or less . I've had phone repair customers come to me for this same issue on so many different phones which i repair anyway . I always buy a working phone from ebay or craigslist and do the motherboard swap as thats where everything is stored on and always spray Deoxit on board before installing and i get a great success rate !
 

tim0477

Member
Feb 5, 2011
8
2
Replaced the screen and the phone is working again. Unfortunately, the data is lost. Efforts to retrieve anything via ADB resulted in files and folders with names made up of random characters. The files were unopenable. Tried side loading a new copy of LineageOS and that also failed. Ultimately came to the conclusion that my data was toast. Ended up reformatting the memory, side loading a new copy of Lineage, and was still unable to boot. Reformatted again and tried a copy of a stock Motorola ROM and that finally allowed the device to boot. Sucks that I lost my photos and stuff, but was a interesting experiment to see if I could bring the device back to life again.

Is there any app that would do scheduled backups to a removable SD card? I know I could backup through Google, but I do not want to share my data with big tech.

Thanks.
 
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tim0477

Member
Feb 5, 2011
8
2
Replaced the screen and the phone is working again. Unfortunately, the data is lost. Efforts to retrieve anything via ADB resulted in files and folders with names made up of random characters. The files were unopenable. Tried side loading a new copy of LineageOS and that also failed. Ultimately came to the conclusion that my data was toast. Ended up reformatting the memory, side loading a new copy of Lineage, and was still unable to boot. Reformatted again and tried a copy of a stock Motorola ROM and that finally allowed the device to boot. Sucks that I lost my photos and stuff, but was a interesting experiment to see if I could bring the device back to life again.

Is there any app that would do scheduled backups to a removable SD card? I know I could backup through Google, but I do not want to share my data with big tech.

Thanks.
The folks over on the Motorola G7 Telegram group were awesome for ideas on how to revive this phone.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
10,881
4,336
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Replaced the screen and the phone is working again. Unfortunately, the data is lost. Efforts to retrieve anything via ADB resulted in files and folders with names made up of random characters. The files were unopenable. Tried side loading a new copy of LineageOS and that also failed. Ultimately came to the conclusion that my data was toast. Ended up reformatting the memory, side loading a new copy of Lineage, and was still unable to boot. Reformatted again and tried a copy of a stock Motorola ROM and that finally allowed the device to boot. Sucks that I lost my photos and stuff, but was a interesting experiment to see if I could bring the device back to life again.

Is there any app that would do scheduled backups to a removable SD card? I know I could backup through Google, but I do not want to share my data with big tech.

Thanks.
Yeah sound like you lost the encryption key(s)😔

Hear you on the Gookill cloud, it sucks. Trust Google with privacy? No.
An Android app that can do folder/file syncing reliably be nice. Right now I just copy whole folders... that takes a while.

Leave the SD card in the phone* and use it as a data drive. Then back up the SD card using the PC or 2 OTG flashsticks. Leave the SD card in the phone at all times.
If you use flashsticks also make periodic backups to hdds that are physically and electronically isolated from each other and the PC... because things can happen. Flash memory is convenient but less robust than hdd. You can never have too many backup drives. Never encrypt backup drives.

*if the OS crashes it will likely spare the SD card data, but never bet everything on that being so. The second drive provides some extra data security but it's not invulnerable to worms. A near lightning strike, accident or flash failure can also wipe everything.
 

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    Given my original post, do you think the LCD display is the only casualty? Replacement screens seem to be about $30. Do you think it is worth the risk to get one? Its not like its a ton of money. I don't know any other way to take control of the phone without a working display. Is there a ADB command that can put it into file transfer mode where I can at least get my photos? I am not looking to achieve a long term repair. Only looking to retrieve my data.

    Thanks

    P.S. I did hit all the connectors with contact cleaner and gently scrubbed with a toothbrush when I had the phone apart.
    1
    Replaced the screen and the phone is working again. Unfortunately, the data is lost. Efforts to retrieve anything via ADB resulted in files and folders with names made up of random characters. The files were unopenable. Tried side loading a new copy of LineageOS and that also failed. Ultimately came to the conclusion that my data was toast. Ended up reformatting the memory, side loading a new copy of Lineage, and was still unable to boot. Reformatted again and tried a copy of a stock Motorola ROM and that finally allowed the device to boot. Sucks that I lost my photos and stuff, but was a interesting experiment to see if I could bring the device back to life again.

    Is there any app that would do scheduled backups to a removable SD card? I know I could backup through Google, but I do not want to share my data with big tech.

    Thanks.