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a friend has deleted some photos from her Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v (GT-P7100) using the Gallery app. While the app's automatic backups were activated, she had never used the Google+ app before, so my understanding is nothing was saved in her Google account.

I tried to use a data recovery utility, namely PhotoRec, but from what I have gathered it is unable to see the device's internal memory (no SD card in the GT-P7100) as a disk, as the Galaxy Tab 10.1v does not connect as USB Mass Storage but uses the MTP Protocol. So, no luck using such a tool directly.

I found a guide on XDA-Developers that deals with this problem: here. It extracts a full disk image from the device, which could then be analyzed. However, the guide requires your device to be rooted (it is not atm), and rooting on this particular device requires the bootloader to be unlocked: galaxy tab 10.1v rooting. Bootloader unlocking requires internal memory wipe, and I'm worried that this operation could undermine the data recovery.

My questions are:

  1. Does anyone have any experience using data recovery tools with a MTP-only device? How would you go about it?
  2. Will wiping the Galaxy Tab's internal memory undermine the recovery operation? My guess is yes, and I'd rather not root the device at all if my chances to recover anything are grim.

Thanks everyone!

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This might or might not work. Insert an SD Card, preferably more than 4GB.

Boot into android stock recovery.

Power + Home + Vol. Up

Scroll down to backup internal data.

Remove the SD card.

Go through the steps of unlocking the boot loader but don't flash a custom recovery yet.

Reboot into recovery(stock) after unlocking the boot loader. Restore user data.

Flash a custom recovery. Root your device. Then go about what you we're trying to do.

  • No SD Card slot on this model, unfortunately. If there was, your procedure would be a very nice idea: thank you anyway! – Pibborn Apr 9 '15 at 11:42
  • You can instead do this on the internal storage itself. Copy the backup to your computer then unlock the bootloader – Sinchan Bhattacharjee Apr 9 '15 at 11:46
  • The thing is, I would like to do the least amount possible of writing on the internal memory, as it could overwrite the memory containing the lost photos. Also, I have doubts that the doing a backup of the "internal data" would save the unset (free()-d) bits that contain the photos. – Pibborn Apr 9 '15 at 12:22
  • Have you tried checking out the Google+ photos app? There might be something backed up – Sinchan Bhattacharjee Apr 9 '15 at 12:25
  • I tried firsthand to login to her account, nothing is saved there unfortunately. – Pibborn Apr 9 '15 at 13:04

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