Soft Bricked Android Recovery Options

Centity

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Feb 9, 2021
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I have read through XDA and have not found a solution yet, hoping someone has a way to save the data on the device.

The Pixel 3 soft bricked with the latest Blueline version - not unlocked. It is a Verizon device so it blocked flashing (OEM flashing option greyed out in dev tools) without a wipe.

None of the recovery software finds the device that I've tried (Dr. Fone, Recoverit, etc)

ADB pull commands do not pull any files, but does find the directories and correct disk usage.

I cannot run apps with ADB on the device so phone to phone transfers have not worked.

I do get the android USB options when I connect it to another device, but none of them result in the phone being found.

PC finds that a "pixel 3" is connected however does not show any folder structure or mount the device in file explorer.

I have been looking around, reading, and trying to find any way to recover the content with no luck. Any other things I could try/tips/techniques. I am desperate to do whatever I can before wiping the device...

Many thanks.
 
Last edited:

jwoegerbauer

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2009
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Instead of
Code:
adb pull
try
Code:
mkdir C:\Android-Recovered-Files
adb exec-out "cat /sdcard/*" > "C:\Android-Recovered-Files"
or
Code:
mkdir C:\Android-Recovered-Files
adb exec-out "dd if /sdcard" > "C:\Android-Recovered-Files\recovered.iso"
 
Last edited:

Centity

Member
Feb 9, 2021
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Thanks for replying.

I tried the commands the ex-out "cat" returns if the directory exists or not the latter one creates a recovery ISO- but they are all 15 bytes in size.

These are the commands I tried since I'm on a mac:

Code:
user$ adb exec-out "dd if /sdcard" > /Applications/android/test/recovered.iso
user$ adb exec-out "dd if /storage" > /Applications/android/test/recovered2.iso
user$ adb exec-out "dd if /dev" > /Applications/android/test/recovered3.iso
The DF results for the device are as follows:

Code:
adb shell df
Filesystem        1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/block/dm-4      793964    791584         0 100% /
tmpfs               1814200       984   1813216   1% /dev
tmpfs               1814200         0   1814200   0% /mnt
/dev/block/dm-5      184784    184228         0 100% /system_ext
/dev/block/dm-6      412656    411384         0 100% /vendor
/dev/block/dm-7     1904024   1898324         0 100% /product
tmpfs               1814200         0   1814200   0% /apex
/dev/block/sda14      81872     71408     10464  88% /vendor/firmware_mnt
/dev/block/dm-8   116561900 104065324  12365504  90% /data
/dev/block/dm-9        1696      1668         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop7       3988      3960         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop8        560       532        20  97% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop9       6568      6540         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop10     18148     18120         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop11      4488      4460         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop12     24640     24608         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop13      8072      8044         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop14       924       896        12  99% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop15       844       816        12  99% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop16      5360      5328         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop17      5112      5076         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop18      3864      3836         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop19      4880      4852         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop20      7728      7700         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop21       232        92       136  41% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop22    110924    110896         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop23     81320     81292         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop24       232        28       200  13% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop25       332       300        28  92% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop26      2384      2352         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
/dev/block/loop27      4744      4716         0 100% /apex/[email protected]
 

Centity

Member
Feb 9, 2021
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0
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I tried this on a different (working Samsung) android device with similar results. An ISO file is generated but on the other device the SDcard directory generates a 957KB ISO file which seems small
 

jwoegerbauer

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2009
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As I can see there was a typo in my previous post

Line
Code:
adb exec-out "dd if /sdcard" > "C:\Android-Recovered-Files\recovered.iso"
must be
Code:
adb exec-out "dd if=/sdcard" > "C:\Android-Recovered-Files\recovered.iso"
Equal sign was left out. Sorry for this.
 

jwoegerbauer

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2009
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As your penultimate post shows a partition mounted as /sdcard does NOT exist on your device.

Thought you were smart enough to determine the correct partition's name to get dumped. :)
 
Last edited:
Feb 3, 2021
19
1
3
I have read through XDA and have not found a solution yet, hoping someone has a way to save the data on the device.

The Pixel 3 soft bricked with the latest Blueline version - not unlocked. It is a Verizon device so it blocked flashing (OEM flashing option greyed out in dev tools) without a wipe.

None of the recovery software finds the device that I've tried (Dr. Fone, Recoverit, etc)

ADB pull commands do not pull any files, but does find the directories and correct disk usage.

I cannot run apps with ADB on the device so phone to phone transfers have not worked.

I do get the android USB options when I connect it to another device, but none of them result in the phone being found.

PC finds that a "pixel 3" is connected however does not show any folder structure or mount the device in file explorer.

I have been looking around, reading, and trying to find any way to recover the content with no luck. Any other things I could try/tips/techniques. I am desperate to do whatever I can before wiping the device...

Many thanks.
Verizon doesn't allow their bootloader to be unlocked
 

Centity

Member
Feb 9, 2021
25
0
1
As your penultimate post shows a partition mounted as /sdcard does NOT exist on your device.

Thought you were smart enough to determine the correct partition's name to get dumped. :)
I tried "/", "*", "/system/", "/dev/", "/Storage/", "/mnt/" all with the same results. If that's the directory how do I identify the partition name associated with the DF results directory?
 

jwoegerbauer

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2009
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I think I now know why dumping a partition doesn't work at you:

1. Android isn't rooted: dd must be run as root.
2. The partition to get dumped isn't mounted as RW.

Hence to dump /data partition you'ld run
Code:
adb devices
adb shell "su -c 'mount -o rw,remount -t auto /'"
adb exec-out "su -c 'dd if=/dev/block/dm-8'" > "C:\Android-Recovered-Files\recovered.iso"
FYI:
I've a self-written Android-Backup-Tool what perfectly does the job
 
Last edited:

Centity

Member
Feb 9, 2021
25
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I think I now know why dumping a partition doesn't work at you:

1. Android isn't rooted: dd must be run as root.
2. The partition to get dumped isn't mounted as RW.

Hence to dump /data partition you'ld run
Code:
adb devices
adb shell "su -c 'mount -o rw,remount -t auto /'"
adb exec-out "su -c 'dd if=/dev/block/dm-8'" > "C:\Android-Recovered-Files\recovered.iso"
FYI:
I've a self-written Android-Backup-Tool what perfectly does the job
Unfortunately I don't think that I can install your backup tool in my device's current state, correct?

I'm receiving an error for the 2nd command:

Code:
/system/bin/sh: su: inaccessible or not found
The device is unlocked and USB debug is on. From what I read it looks like su doesn't work unless it's rooted either.
 
Last edited:

Centity

Member
Feb 9, 2021
25
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try it would list all partition (hopefully ...)
Code:
adb shell
ls -la /dev/block/platform/bootdevice/by-name
Hey, thank you for the suggestion. I wasn't able to get it to work with "by-Name" but was able to get this:

Code:
blueline:/ $ ls -la /dev/block/platform/bootdevice/by-name
ls: /dev/block/platform/bootdevice/by-name: No such file or directory
s -la /dev/block/platform/                                                    <
total 0
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root   60 1972-04-21 12:00 .
drwxr-xr-x 6 root root 2780 2021-02-14 18:47 ..
drwxr-xr-x 3 root root   60 1972-04-21 12:00 soc
s -la /dev/block/platform/bootdevice/                                         <
ls: /dev/block/platform/bootdevice/: No such file or directory
1|blueline:/ $
To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm looking at here... how can I use this info?
 

jwoegerbauer

Senior Member
Jul 11, 2009
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European Union
Hey, thank you for the suggestion. I wasn't able to get it to work with "by-Name" but was able to get this:

Code:
blueline:/ $ ls -la /dev/block/platform/bootdevice/by-name
ls: /dev/block/platform/bootdevice/by-name: No such file or directory

ls: /dev/block/platform/bootdevice/: No such file or directory
To be honest, I'm not sure what I'm looking at here... how can I use this info?
As you can see both "ls" commands you applied miserably failed due to fact that the named partitions simply don't exist.
 
Last edited:

Centity

Member
Feb 9, 2021
25
0
1
I'm trying to recover anything that I could from a soft bricked pixel 3. Mostly I'd like to recover my photos/videos/documents that I never backed up to a cloud/other device. I can access some of the settings on the phone and it looks like the images are there - but looks like all of the ADB commands to help me access this data fail.

I'm wondering if this is some kind of encryption/decryption failure.

Long story short - one day I woke up and without any sign the phone was just stuck on "Pixel is starting". I tried deleting apps from the settings menu, clearing cache, but can't access anything on the device no matter what I try.

I'm waiting until March's android updates come out since I can still side-load newer versions of the OS, but am not holding out much hope at this point.

My phone was not rooted and OEM flashing is blocked.