I accidentally deleted an entire folder of photos a few days ago on my Galaxy Note 4. My PC was also down because of a failed hard drive, so I was unable to back up my phone prior to this accident.

At that time, I didn't even know what "adb" meant; now I have droid explorer and Android SDK on my PC, and have worked out how to get my PC to detect my phone. Now I want to make an image of the internal storage; there are lots and lots of other threads about this, but none of them explain the commands people are using. I have been very careful not to use my phone for much of anything (it has been set to airplane mode to reduce the chances of things writing to the drive), but I can't keep that up for long.

Can somebody please explain what commands I need to use in order to get an image of the internal storage? I keep seeing information about "booting in recovery mode" and bootloaders but I have also seen people discussing dumps of internal storage without these things.

I just need to check if my photos are still there. It's pretty frustrating to figure this stuff out with very little knowledge of coding and zero knowledge of Android software, so if somebody could help me figure out what to do next and be thorough with explanations, that would be excellent.

  • check your hardware Qualcomm (trltexx) or Exynos (treltexx)? root your device with cf-auto-root, get image of userdata partition via adb, recover files with extundelete (see above) – alecxs Aug 27 '20 at 16:58
  • Would I need to root my phone in order to get an image of the userdata partition? It is unrooted, and I am not necessarily opposed to rooting it, but I have read posts on other websites about people bricking their devices. The last thing I need right now are more technology problems. Also, what is ~$ in adb? Irfan linked a thread I was just reading, and there's a long post in that thread with the command ~$ adb pull /dev/block/bootdevice/by-name/userdata data.img. I'm trying to make sure that I understand what I am doing before I try something. – An_Asymptote Aug 27 '20 at 19:35
  • adb pull requires adb root – alecxs Aug 28 '20 at 11:11
  • android.stackexchange.com/q/229008 – alecxs Aug 28 '20 at 11:13

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.