Before this gets marked as a duplicate please consider that virtually every answer involves vague references to things like 'fastboot' that I honestly don't understand and can't find any information about. I have spent the last 4 hours scouring 100's of forum posts, reading ADB documentation, looking through wiki articles trying to learn the ins-and-outs of recovery roms, flashing, etc., and I still don't have a working solution -- not because the things I've tried haven't worked, but because information is so obscure and vague that I have no idea what to try.

I have a Droid Razr Maxx HD Global. The screen and digitizer are both broken. I have a new identical working device. I want to transfer everything -- system settings, app data, etc. -- from the old device to the new device. It's easy enough to move the SIM and external SD to the new device but I still have the issue of internal storage.

The phone is stock. USB debugging is disabled. I can't use ADB because of that. I also can't use tools like MobileTrans (or whatever) because of that. I can't enable USB debugging because I need the screen. I don't have a USB On-The-Go and I don't even know if it would work with my device. I don't have an HDMI cable or a monitor that accepts HDMI. I have tried multiple USB On-The-Go adapters and multiple mice and none of the mice are recognized. I have an HDMI cable and an HDMI monitor which works but does not help with the digitizer issue.

The most promising looking path I see so far is to install a ROM that has USB debugging enabled. Maybe it's a regular ROM, maybe it's a recovery ROM, I have no idea. I have this RSDLite tool that I guess flashes regular ROMs, or maybe recovery ROMs, or both, I can't tell. I have a regular and recovery Cyanogen ROM image. RSDLite can't load it. RSDLite doesn't show my device. I saw a few people say "oh just boot into fastboot and use that". Ok I'll just, uh, press the "boot into fastboot and use it" button? I have no idea what fastboot is other than a tool that I have in my ADB installation.

There is also this answer, which recommends typing setprop persist.service.adb.enable 1 somewhere, although I don't know where. The poster says, amusingly, "The Droid X does not have a physical keyboard - but if it did you could try this in a terminal." Anybody have any ideas about this one? My imaginary keyboard on my Razr doesn't work either. (Update: This requires screen access and a terminal on the phone, so, as per usual, that doesn't actual answer the question that was asked.)

I did try "using" (fsv of "using") fastboot to boot with the Cyanogen recovery ROM (which may or may not be the correct ROM and may or may not have debugging enabled and I don't actually know if "boot" permanently modifies the device or not):

fastboot boot /path/to/some_arbitrary_rom_i_got_on_the_internet.img

But it just got stuck on <waiting for device> and eventually gave up, something that all the answers involving fastboot seem to neglect to address. Not really sure how to proceed there, or if that's even the right path to be going down. (Update: Apparently the power + volume down button boot menu is called "fastboot" mode -- odd that it's this easy when all mentions of "fastboot mode" on the internet seem to involve some huge chain of drivers, weird tools, and arcane commands and never mentioned that on Motorola devices it's just the plain old boot menu. I will try this when I get home from work.)

The flood of advice like "yes just select X and Y in the boot menu" seems to help nobody with this problem because, obviously, the screen is broken.

HOW (keyword: HOW) do I somehow enable USB debugging on a device with a broken screen? Do I use fastboot for something? Do I find a ROM of some sort with USB debugging enabled? What ROMs have USB debugging enabled (it's not exactly something listed in their feature list)? How do I actually do this?

Minor rant: It's amazing how massive the headache is compared to how conceptually simple the problem (need to enable one setting and can't) is. Given that drop damage is the most common cause of accidental smartphone failure and that USB debugging is required to transfer system data (for some reason the Android folks tied the concept of "transferring data" to "development tool"), it boggles the mind why there isn't a more robust interface for this or at least a non-arcane working how-to out there somewhere for people who reasonably don't want to spend a week of their life becoming an expert on Android kernel image development and debugging.

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    Is the bootloader unlocked? If you did not unlock the bootloader on your phone before, the fastboot mode will not help — a locked bootloader will refuse to flash or boot anything except a stock ROM or recovery signed by the manufacturer. The official bootloader unlocking process (which is available only for some variants of this model) wipes all user data, and the unofficial bootloader unlock for xt926 requires having a rooted stock ROM with USB debugging enabled. Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 5:08
  • I don't think the bootloader is unlocked, which probably means it isn't. If unlocking it requires some explicit process, I know I didn't do it. In all the research I did, nobody mentioned anything about unlocking the bootloader in the context of fastboot -- I don't know why. What else can I try? Even though I can't see what's going on, my power and (probably) volume buttons still work. Is there something in one of those special startup menus that can somehow help?
    – Jason C
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 5:26
  • Have you seen these posts: My screen got broken, how to see on the computer what I'm doing in my device? / Broken screen/glass, turned off, pc-controll? (check the comments here) / Broken screen while debug mode was disabled. How can I re-enable adb? All of them give options how you can see what usually is displayed on your device's screen, and thus let you re-enable USB debugging.
    – Izzy
    Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 8:31
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    This looks similar to the procedure used by HTC and Sony, which both result in the data wipe at the last step of the process (fastboot oem unlock). Probably the data wipe warning is buried somewhere deep in the legal agreement; also motorola-global-portal.custhelp.com/app/standalone/bootloader/… says “You will lose all media and content on your device and will need to reinstall all applications downloaded from Google Play”. Therefore this procedure is not useful for data recovery. Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 18:52
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    BTW, if you planned to use adb backup, note that it also asks to confirm the backup by tapping the on-screen button, and someone had problems doing this with a broken screen (although with a different phone model). You would need to solve this problem somehow, because you will not be able to use an USB mouse when your phone is connected to the computer. (Maybe a Bluetooth keyboard/mouse could be used at this time, but you probably don't have such a device; beware that most wireless keyboards use proprietary protocols, not Bluetooth.) Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 19:22


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