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In my infinite buffoonery earlier today I deleted the entire camera pictures folder from my GSM Galaxy Nexus. I had last copied images from my phone in August and have lost all pictures since then :(

I've been looking around quite a bit to see if there's any way possible to recover those files. The two options that I've come across so far - using an Undelete app available in the Play store or using dd to take a block-level dump, both require the phone to be rooted. However my GNex is not and the official rooting process requires unlocking the bootloader which wipes the device. There was a thread on xda-developers that documented an exploit that could be used to root the GNex without unlocking the bootloader, however that exploit has been patched by Google.

Do any of you have any bright ideas on what I can do?

What's the nature of device wipe like that happens while rooting? Is recovery still possible after that making rooting still an option?

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Are you talking about files on internal memory -- or on SD card? –  Izzy Dec 18 '12 at 11:03
    
Files on so-called SDCard. On Galaxy Nexus there's no SD card slot. The /sdcard points to a folder in the internal memory. If it were an SD card I could have mounted it directly on my computer and used an unerase utility :( –  Puneet Arora Dec 18 '12 at 11:20
    
Yepp, that's what I had in mind (direct mount) -- and what I've been afraid of ("emulated" sd card and no real one -- one reason why I'd never buy that). Sorry then: without root I see no chance. A complete Nandroid dump (equivalent to dd) could save you, but would require a custom recovery. I've heard there are ways to install ClockworkMod without rooting a device (which would enable you to use Nandroid), but I don't remember the source... –  Izzy Dec 18 '12 at 11:31
    
Android Version 4.2.1. Baseband Version I9250XXLH1. Kernel Version 3.0.31-gd5a18e0 released Fri Nov 2 2012 11:02:59 PDT. Build Number JOP40D –  Puneet Arora Dec 18 '12 at 11:32
    
Ok, problematic setup... No rooting method available right now for that version. Reason: You need to "root" your phone to get to the raw data to perform a file scan on the transferred raw partition. –  ce4 Dec 18 '12 at 11:40
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Sorry, but in you phone there not SD card, and internal flash blocks can be rewritten, when phone works (physical location of blocks are different from logical and phone record logs, change internal data, download updates).

It's available chance with destructive methods (read flash on programmer device), and much smaller with root you phone (read whole memory), because any change of phone state decrease chances.

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