0

My Samsung Galaxy S9 is physically damaged and the board is dead. The phone will not turn on or show any signs of life. Plenty of important photos and data are on that phone which I need to retrieve.

Is it possible to swap out the internal storage chip from the dead motherboard of a Samsung Galaxy S9 and place it to an identical working board and retrieve the data that way?

If not, is there any other way I can get the data off of my dead phone? :(

Thank you in advance!

1

Based on the iFixit tear-down of the Samsung Galaxy S9 you can see that the flash chip in this model is a single chip soldered onto the motherboard - it is inside the orange rectangle below, a 64 GB UFS (NAND flash + controller):

Image from iFixit

Therefore theoretically it may be possible to unsolder this chip and read out the content if you manage to get the chip working in a different environment.

However even if you manage to read out the chip completely it may be of no use as usually Android devices come with enabled encryption by default (not sure about Samsung and especially this device). The encryption method uses hardware based cryptography, which means that the key is not directly stored in the flash chip but requires other system components like the CPU. However I don't know the exact details on the used encryption especially where the keys protected by the "Hardware Security System" are actually stored.

As your device most likely uses File based Encryption (FBE) there may be some files accessible that are unencrypted, however I don't have any experience what files are typically stored without encryption. My assumption is that most of the app/usre data is encrypted.

  • Thank you for your clear and useful reply Robert. Have you by any chance heard of any other method? Maybe there is a NAND flash reader that can do the job? – ErkanZekjiri Sep 24 at 15:10
  • If I get it correctly the used flash chip uses is a ball grid chip, which means the "pins" are hidden on the bottom of the chip (covered by the mainboard), therefore you have to unsolder the chip. UFS is a standard for accessing flash chips, therefore an UFS 2.0 capable reader should be able to communicate with the chip. See also this topic: forum.acelaboratory.com/viewtopic.php?t=8987 – Robert Sep 24 at 15:18
  • Looks like the readers are painfully expensive. I better stick to the idea of transferring the memory chip to a working motherboard. Still waiting for a reply from someone that has done it on a Galaxy S9. Thank you Robert for your helpful comments. – ErkanZekjiri Sep 24 at 18:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.