I attempted to cut/paste the Camera folder, which was over 70GB in size, from my Samsung Note 10 to my PC. Copy/paste was taking forever, with a message saying "Preparing to copy files" for more than 2 hours, despite having 1TB of free space on my PC. So, I decided to try cut/paste instead. After a while, my PC went into sleep mode, and when I woke it up to check the progress, I was horrified to find that only the folder name had been created at the destination, and not a single file had been copied. Moreover, the entire space was freed up at the source.

I've tried numerous methods, including undo, refresh, checking the recycle bin on both Android and PC, and using third-party software for scans, but none have resulted in any file recovery. Now, my last option seems to be rooting the phone and performing a deep scan. I'm a fan of the Autopsy tool, but for it to work, my Android internal storage needs to be mounted as a disk drive. So, my questions for the experts in this field are:

  1. How can I mount the internal storage as a disk drive, with or without using third-party software?
  2. Given that the incomplete cut/paste activity likely freed the folder pointer for other files, the phone no longer seems to have the folder name to point or display. Is there any way to retrieve this information using ADB or other tools?
  3. I've lost three years' worth of precious memories, so are there any reliable paid third-party solutions for data recovery that you would recommend?
  4. My last resort is to root my phone and then attempt recovery with tools like Recuva and Disk Drill, with root access.

Any suggestions or guidance on this matter would be highly appreciated.

  • While it may seem obvious what 'cut and paste' mean, it may help to describe what you did exactly (i.e. "plugged phone into my Windows 10 machine, click yes to xxx dialog option on phone, open up the phone in Windows File Explorer, selected all directories in <name directory> and dragged it to PC directory"). You may want to check if your files are available via adb, see: How to use ADB to list remote directories? and should you find those files would imply that the Android MTP/MediaStore may be out-of-sync with what is on the device. Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 0:47
  • Welcome to Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange. I'm sorry to hear that, perhaps How to recover a deleted file from /data partition? might help.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 16:24
  • Rooting your phone is not an option as it requires bootloader unlcking which will erase all data in a way that makes it unrecoverable.
    – Robert
    Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 22:32
  • Thanks for the response. Appreciate it. @MorrisonChang - I plugged in my Note 10 using the stock cable to my Laptop & Cut pasted (DCIM/Camera) via PC>>Note10>>Internal Storage. Update: I reconnected my Phone and as I could not see the camera folder in my phone, I created a folder to see if I could somehow link to the missing Directory. I was wrong and I realized when I restarted my phone. Also, in an attempt to recover, I did install disk drill, dr.phone & Recuva on my phone, but none were able to recover any. ADB also does not show any files in the dir(Camera)
    – NandaKumar
    Commented Oct 10, 2023 at 21:19


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