My Galaxy S2 recently froze while browsing facebook using Firefox (the loading animation kept playing though), then shut down after a minute. I haven't been able to turn it back on since then. I tried turning it on while charging, using someone else's battery (working with their phone), USB connection to computer, SIM in or out, just the power button and volume up/down + home + power buttons; but no luck. The hardware seems to be fine, as the phone starts heating up around the camere when I leave the battery in (which I interpret to mean that the processor is doing something, just not the right thing - maybe stuck in an endless loop).

The advisor on O2 chat has suggested to send it back for repair, which I am happy to do; except that I'd like to save the app settings, photos, contacts and calendar entries which weren't backed up.

So now I'm looking if there's any way to access the storage without the phone having to turn on. Is this possible hardware-wise? Does anyone know how?

The OS is the O2 (UK) Android 4.1.2 if it helps at all.

  • A friend mentioned that pretty much all phones have 'surgical tools' out there which allow doing that - so I was hoping that somebody might be able to point me here :)
    – Armatus
    May 20, 2013 at 22:50
  • Just noticed the phone and charger (but not battery) heat up when I'm charging it - but still no turning on.
    – Armatus
    May 20, 2013 at 22:54
  • 1
    I'm afraid that's not possible without voiding the warranty. Without the device powered on, all you could do to access its storage is using some JTAG like device to get physically access -- which requires more than simply opening the device, and carries a certain risk. All you can (and should) do is to take out your microSD and keep it back, so at least that data is safe.
    – Izzy
    May 20, 2013 at 23:02
  • Hey! Thanks for the hint. I think if you post that with a bit of detail on what using a JTAG would involve (i.e. opening the phone, potentially having to solder on another connector) that would make a good answer to this question :)
    – Armatus
    May 20, 2013 at 23:10
  • I believe you it would -- but it extends my experience. I know that those methods exist, but I never applied them myself. Wrongly done, you might end up with a real "brick" beyond any repair. I rather leave such an answer to someone more experienced in that area :) But you could of course take that "keyword" for a Google Search, and... wow! Lots of promising-looking links! Didn't expect so many of them right on the first results page...
    – Izzy
    May 20, 2013 at 23:17

1 Answer 1


what I would suggest is that you flash your device with Odin, your files such as mp3, pictures and videos would be untouched, basically every file on the internal SD memory would be untouched, if you have your contacts synced with Google you should be able to get it back.

but this would void your warranty

sorry I assumed you could boot into recovery or had hit a boot loop, this might not work but is worth a try, you could try clean the terminals on the phone and the battery (I have had instances where my s2 just wouldn't boot and this helped)

  • 2
    Surely that would require the phone itself to turn on in order to access the storage?
    – Armatus
    May 30, 2013 at 9:14

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