My Samsung's screen (Samsung S-III mini) seems to be dead (it suffered mechanical damage at the top, mostly the right corner). I can't really tell if the phone boots completely normally or not, tho it does generate the usual little tune that it does at boot, so it seems like maybe it does boot more or less normally.

When I connect it to the charger, it does give me the usual "beep".

I tried to access it via adb but adb devices doesn't list anything and adb shell says error: device not found. I did access it via adb before, and IIRC it required some interaction on the phone to enable incoming access via ADB, so maybe the problem is that I'd need to perform this interaction but without seeing anything it's rather impossible.

So I'm looking for some kind of "secret handshake" I could use to get access to the machine, so as to extract the data it has on the internal flash?

Maybe some tool that can just extract a raw image of whole flash partitions (i.e. the reverse of rom-flashing)?

  • Do you have a custom Recovery?
    – Firelord
    Nov 26, 2015 at 3:02
  • Not that I know, it's a stock firmware with no hacks (other than the 7 magical clicks that I needed to use to enable ADB access a few months ago).
    – Stefan
    Nov 26, 2015 at 3:22
  • I ended up installing a new screen. Interestingly, it's a lot easier than I thought, especially if you're only interested in recovering data: you just need to connect the new screen, so you don't even need to remove the old one and/or try to properly insert the new screen such that the whole device can be closed and stays closed properly.
    – Stefan
    Jan 25, 2016 at 3:02

1 Answer 1


The screen can be replaced.

In the interim, you can install the Android USB driver. The device will show up. After that, you can take screenshots of the screen using Eclipse with ADT plugin or Android Studio. You can also check the Log Cat window.

  • Where would I install the "Android USB driver"? If you mean on the phone, I don't see how I could do it without a working screen. If it's "on my PC", what does it do that ADB (which I already have installed and working) doesn't?
    – Stefan
    Nov 28, 2015 at 23:11
  • ADB needs the driver to communicate with Android devices via USB. Nov 29, 2015 at 6:07
  • ADB is already installed and configured (and I'm on GNU/Linux where there's no need for such USB drivers).
    – Stefan
    Nov 29, 2015 at 15:16
  • You got the /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules created for your device after executing lsusb? Nov 30, 2015 at 17:12

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