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My Samsung Note 4 has been acting up lately and is now practically dead. It doesn't turn on whatever the method is. As much as I want to let it go, it holds a lot of pictures that I didn't put on my memory card that I don't think I want to disappear. I have been consulting it to numerous people and they suggested to reprogram it, which means to wipe out every single thing on it. I thought of removing the physical internal memory of the phone and put it to another Note 4 and access the pictures there, maybe even the whole phone itself.

Is there a better option to salvage my pictures? Thanks a lot :)

  • I thought of removing the physical internal memory of the phone and put it to another Note 4 you are talking about chipping off eMMC/MCP and putting it on a working device? that would be great, but it requires some good expertise in soldering of microelectronics. But what if it's the memory chip which is worn out! Better contact some data recovery service. – Irfan Latif Aug 21 '19 at 21:24
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For the highest chance of getting important data back in a situation like this, it would be best to find a reputable company that has experience fixing this for other people.

I would look for phone repair specialists first, to see if you can get the phone turning on again.
And if not, there are (pricey) businesses that can do data recovery on the storage chips themselves, but you may run into issues with encryption. From my quick research, it looks like the Note 4 was released with Android 4.4, which is after Google had implemented full-disk encryption. I'm not sure if it's enabled by default on your Note 4, and software updates over the years may have enabled it afterwards as well.

I wouldn't recommend attempting to swap the storage chips on 2 phones yourself, unless you have some equipment, and recovering your data isn't super critical. Here's an entertaining video on what the process of soldering these types of chips can sometimes look like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shn7LdIrViQ

My overall recommendation is call a few businesses, see what their professional opinions are, and decide if the price would be worth it to you. It would probably still be cheaper than buying a few spare practice-phones and trying repairs at home.

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