UPDATE: 2018/06/27, bootloader implies wipe and it is a dead end for Data Recovery, mount as USB Mass Storage implies root to change settings, and for Mi5 or MIUI 8 this implies flashing ROM (dead end too as implies Data overwritten) so the only method I found is this (if the device is functional) then with the RAW partition dump recover files is easy

(LEGACY-post, solved)

I have a problem (objective: Data Recovery)

To install TWRP (it seems, I need, explicitly unlocked-bootloader) To unlock bootloader I researched and saw some methods:

  • Official method (tedious and If I understand it correctly, implies flashing some Developer-ROM, and "shit") (I want avoid that)
  • non-Official methods (a group of queries, I don't find too much clear methods) (BTW quality-posts on XDA-Developers have seen better days :'(

The thing is, I don't want to re-flash some ROM (as I want minimize writings for Data Recovery)

How to check if bootloader is effective-locked ?

Question: I need ways to unlock-Bootloader in this Xiaomi Mi5 device with MIUi 8 global stock (methods, more than one or two, and then I will research about it)

(This is not a trivial-question as in this particular-case:

Logic => unlocking-Bootloader <=> install TWRP to backup partitions (do Data Recovery with them, mounted on PC)

I don't know, I don't have (the Knowledge) to do some hack, but I think this has to have proper-solution.

The objective is here: How to recover Data from Android .. sdCard / .. Downloads on Xiaomi Mi5 MIUI 8

Therefore both questions are related to each other...

Any help will be very appreciated (final objective is Data Recovery, but I want to try software, before "JTAG dump" etc (and implications of that process)

  • 2
    No unlocking method will preserve data, that's an anti-theft measure. Basically your position right now is the same as any thief holding a phone stolen from somewhere else, trying to obtain data inside. Also, you're better off rewording the question so it prioritizes the "data recovery" aspect rather than the "BL unlocking" aspect.
    – Andy Yan
    Dec 31 '17 at 9:28
  • 1
    @beeshyams Mi A1 isn't quite a Mi device so to speak...
    – Andy Yan
    Dec 31 '17 at 10:43
  • 1
    @AndyYan: That is a "theory" (statement) the excuse of anti-theft is not for me (sorry) BTW, if Xiaomi wants I have probe it is "my phone" don't worry about that. But I don't trust Xiaomi either to recover my data. There is more on Data Recovery and IT-Forensics beyond the excuse of "capped-control" of our own devices (encryption solve things, managed by own user of course). About rewording I agree, but the thing is there is main question open related to that.
    – TarekJor
    Dec 31 '17 at 10:46
  • 1
    I roughly get your idea. I believe manufacturers do have access to the data without unlocking BL, but that would require hardware-level access (special connectors, cables, PC-side tools, etc.). Do note that even to reflash a semi-bricked Mi device you'll need a specialized cable to access the emergency download mode. Upvoted for legit concerns - I just hope any potential answer won't be used in illegal actions.
    – Andy Yan
    Dec 31 '17 at 12:00
  • 1
    "How to check if bootloader is effective-locked?" → fastboot oem device-info should tell you (this Xiaomi thread might give you more details, though it's for the Xiaomi Mi 5/Pro). And congrats to your gained rep, you now can enter our chat room so extensive "discussion" in comments can be avoided. Not many people in there at the moment, though; but dropping a question and having some patience usually helps :)
    – Izzy
    Dec 31 '17 at 12:09

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