Is there a theoretic way to recover data from the phone after: 1. deleting /storage folder 2. and then rooting (which means factory reset?)

If there is a theoretic way to recover it from the bits, is there a way to take a snapshot of the current state of the bit, so I can (in theory) recover the media in the future?

Long version:

First of all I know I'm very stupid..

Yesterday I've deleted my /storage folder since in first glance it looked empty.

Then I figured out what did I do, so I tried to recover the information. I've searched the web for an application that does that and I found one that required rooting the phone, so I rooted the phone which means I made factory reset.

Then I tried to recover but it didn't manage to recover the photos and videos.. (it did recover whatsapp photos and some other things but not from the dcim folder).

I tried then several different applications that may not ask for rooting the phone so maybe I made a mistake by doing that (not sure that they wouldn't request for rooting either) but no success with that...

I'm willing to pay money to save that data but do you think it's not recoverable anymore? I also called the 3 biggest recovery companies in my country, 2 of them told me that they don't think it's possible and one agreed to take it to their labs for a small price and then give me an offer. If there is a theoretic way to recover it from the bits, is there a way to take a snapshot of the current state of the bit, so I can (in theory) recover the media in the future?

I'm very desperate and would be very thankful for your help :)

  • 1
    Forensics have ways to do that, but that help won't come cheap (we're talking at least of 3 digits in front of the comma). As the device is rooted, you could try some things yourself (see our data-recovery tag-wiki to get started). A major thing to keep in mind: Each second you continue using your device (and that means, having it turned on) lowers your chances of data to be recoverable. The offer of company #3 sounds reasonable – but I'm afraid it's only worth it if you've got real important data to recover.
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 19:43
  • 1
    @lzzy Thank you very much for answering... For now I feel like I can live without this data but I feel like in some years I will feel stupid for not doing it... That's why I'm asking about freezing it. Do you think it's possible?
    – Nirendy
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 22:29
  • 1
    Precautions against "feeling stupid in the future" are definitely possible. First step taken by forensics is something you can do as well: creating "images" (bitwise copies) of the affected partitions. Do you have a Linux PC/laptop available? Because that's the easiest "companion" to do that (and the only environment I can explain it for – though most steps of using those copies for "data carving" can be done on Windows as well). See: One Way to Use a Linux Computer to Recover Files from an Android Device
    – Izzy
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 22:35

1 Answer 1


After few weeks of working on that, I didn't make it to recover any of my photos/videos/whatsapp chat history (the things that were most important to me) I tried several stuff, apperently all of the recovery programs that using the adb to directly connect to the phone through the PC doesn't work well enough, as well as the programs that works from the device...

I tried this article: http://www.dflund.se/~jokke/androidfilerecovery/ but it didn't work for some reason...

Then I tried that one : http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-nexus/general/guide-internal-memory-data-recovery-yes-t1994705 I used a centos VM to get a image of the device partiotns the way they suggested (I couldn't make the busybox work). I mapped that file as hard disk I tried to use 'Recuva' it seems like it managed to restore files but something apperantly went wrong and the files wasn't helpful...

I tried to use 'easeus data recovery' it worked better, it found around 20k files.. There were alot of directories and I didn't look up at it so much but it recoverd alot of photos which I think were from the whatsapp media.

Incase someone who made the same mistake by deleting the 'storage' folder, get to this post, I recommend to turn off the phone immidietly and find a way to do that without rooting the device.. (although it might be impossible since as far as I know all of the methods I used were depends on a rooted device, but I didn't look up on this since the first thing I done is to root my device - which might be the mistake)...

  • I thought about that, but I felt like it isn't the solution to the problem...
    – Nirendy
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 17:24

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