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I read the tag wiki and about 10 pages deep of questions tagged , but it only depressed me.

I deleted a folder of photos off of my phone by accident and need to retrieve them. I haven't done anything on the phone that could potentially overwrite the internal memory where the photos were stored, except for downloading and trying an app recovery tool ("photo recovery"), which of course didn't work.

The phone is an HTC Desire 510 running 4.4.2 (unrooted). My computer is running Ubuntu GNOME 14.04

From what I could find googling, PhotoRec seems to be a good free option. Unfortunately, PhotoRec is not detecting my phone. Apparently it's due to the MTP protocol. I cannot find any way to opt for USB mass storage.

What should I do? I cannot find a single helpful resource online and the longer I wait the worse my chances are (in my mind at least).

I found one thing that gives me hope: https://github.com/IzzySoft/Adebar. Does anyone know if this could be what I need?

  • Adebar doesn't recover deleted data, as far as I know (though the developer is a regular here, so I'm sure Izzy will correct me if I'm mistaken). It's only designed to back up your current data. – eldarerathis Jun 16 '15 at 23:45
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Adebar can assist you here, yes. It can help you identify your device's partitions, and get a copy of them to your computer – which you can use there with e.g. PhotoRec or rather its pendant TestDisk.

But in order to do so, it requires root access on your device (otherwise no low-level access to create images of your partitions). This can be done either by rooting your device, or by installing a custom recovery.

Another important note: Each minute your device is "continue running" lowers your chance of data retrieval, as the "freed space" might be re-used. Additional details can be found in our data-recovery tag-wiki.

Disclosure: I'm the dev of Adebar.

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The only way to recover your photos is that you will need to root your phone. There is really no other way to restore the data you already deleted. First you will need to root your device and then you can recover your files. Rooting your device will void your warranty. Next time before you accidentally delete your photos, use an online backup tool like Google Plus/Photos, dropbox etc.

This app will restore the photos for you: DiskDigger [ROOT].

Hope my answer helps

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Root is not needed necessarily, only custom recovery with adb enabled.

I'm on my phone now so this will be short.

What you need is to dump the partition image to a computer and then run photorec (or other tool) on that image. This can be achieved via adb with root access that can be gained without actually rooting the phone (but you may need to unlock the boot loader).

Do NOT install anything on the phone itself, preferably don't even start it.

Flash custom recovery, boot to it and then go adb shell from a computer. Use some pipe/fifo/netcat magic to dump the image to the computer, then photorec it.

I know this answer is far from ideal but it should at least give you some idea what to do. I'll edit it and add more info after I get to an actual computer.

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