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tl;dr Is it possible to root an Android 8.0 phone that is accessible only via USB? Is it then possible to extract encryption .key file out of it in order to decrypt its SD Card that was formatted and encrypted as Adoptable Storage? Can all of this be done with not functioning, broken screen?


There is a lot of good quality guides here on how to encryption .key file from /data/misc/vold folder and use it to decrypt Adoptable Storage on any Linux-based computer. But all these guides assume that you have:

  • rooted phone,
  • access to phone's screen.

Your phone must have screen operable to either:

  • install and use some app on it: here or
  • confirm some dialog on it, unlock screen lock, if accessing it via USB: here or here.

Can the very same process be achieved if my phone have a screen in pieces?

Can I:

  • root a phone and
  • copy encryption .key file from /data/misc/vold folder after rooting,

when I only can access my phone via USB? Assuming that screen cannot be used at all.

My Motorola Moto Z2 Play is now in pieces after a car run over it. Screen is in pieces, battery is separated. Mainboard seems in one piece and I think is functioning. Whenever I attach USB it seems to be starting up.

Is there any way to get encryption key file from it, doing this totally remotely (via USB)? Or attaching a new, functional screen is an absolute must in this case?

EDIT: The phone in question is Motorola Moto Z2 Play, which started its history with Android 7.0.0, then went through A7.1 and landed finally with Android 8.0.0, updated about 1+ year ago. All versions of Android on this phone seems very close to stock one, as in most Moto phones.

Based on this article, I believe there's a FDE / full disk data encryption implemented there.

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    Is your device protected with a PIN code or password? If yes try to attach a keyboard via USB to unlock the device. – Robert Dec 8 '20 at 12:25
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    couldn't find any loader for XT1710. please try the Lenovo.mbn and go as far as you can get, see section Qualcomm Devices and try to flash stock recovery according to your ROM version (for testing purposes only), should not harm anything (which XT1710-xx do you have? there are many) also not sure if M8953P is compatible with M8953?? – alecxs Dec 8 '20 at 19:57
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    regarding the offset you should figure out with gdisk -l gpt.bin (or dump it straight from device) forum.xda-developers.com/t/… – alecxs Dec 8 '20 at 20:37
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    there is a product on ebay.com but i am curios your device is not listed on mhltech.org you should ask the seller if your device supports MHL out of the box. you still won't get your encryption key but it will make things easier once you find working firehose programmer. consider buying new display it's maybe same price – alecxs Dec 8 '20 at 21:15
  • search for collections like romprovider.com, firmware27.com, leakite.com, github.com, tuserhp.com, firmwarego.com – alecxs Dec 17 '20 at 13:26

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