I have a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone with a broken screen. I'm trying to get a full system image that I can then flash into a brand new Samsung Galaxy S5.

I know that it is possible to clone one phone's system and configuration into another phone (e.g. using the procedure described here). However, that process assumes a fully working source phone.

How could I extract a functioning, flashable system image from a phone with no screen?

FYI: the source phone has USB debugging enabled, so it is possible to access it through adb.

  • Without screen the only chance I see is via root access. May be there is a exploit that gives you temporary root access. But that depends on your installed software version.
    – Robert
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 8:07
  • the source phone is rooted, but i have no idea about how to go about dumping a system image. It would depend on the version of what?
    – jtatria
    Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 22:25

1 Answer 1


If the source phone is rooted you have multiple possibilities. If the target phone is also rooted one easy solution may be a back as it is described in Is there a way to do Nandroid backup directly to pc and then restore it directly from pc also?

First connect via adb shell to the phone and get root permissions via su.

Now create backup all app files via tar:

tar -cvf /sdcard/app-data.tar /data/data

Then exit adb and copy the created file to your computer:

adb pull /sdcard/app-data.tar

Afterwards you should have a file named app-data.tar on your computer. Check it with an archive tool and you will find a lot of directories.

You may want to delete certain files or directories from the tar file. Afterwards you can convert it to an Android Backup so that you can write back the data onto the new un-rooted phone. Making a tar file to an Android Backup can be done via Android Backup Extractor. Note that some apps will refuse to accept the restored files (because backup is disabled).

The created Android backup can then be restored via adb backup command.

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