Alright, so a little background: lately my Epic 4G touch has been acting up (restarting when it feels like it, power button won't work, going from 100% power to 20%, etc) and I decided to take appropriate action. I first purchased a new battery (as my previous one was "bloated" and had water damage) hoping that would fix my problems. Unfortunately it only reduced how often the problems occurred. My next course of action is to do a factory reset on my phone (it's rooted running CM 10) and get a new one from Sprint (I have insurance) which I did following this tutorial. Everything went well - as far as I can tell - but I am experience a boot loop as mentioned in the video. The remedy is to wipe the /data partition, which is where I'm stuck.

The problem: As mentioned, my power button is broken, but in a very odd way. I can use my power button to get into Recovery Mode, but after that it almost never works (and if it does it's as if I'm holding the power button and my phone restarts after about 5 seconds). So due to this I can't select "Wipe data/factory reset" from Recovery Mode. I tried using adb to wipe my data partition, but since my phone is no longer rooted I get "Permission denied" and any attempt to use root or su (obviously) fail. I'm not sure what my options are at this point, is there anyway I can wipe the /data partition without root or a power button?

1 Answer 1


You could try booting into mode, and then use fastboot -w. This command wipes userdata and cache, and thus should be equivalent to a factory-reset. For more information, there's a List of fastboot commands, and of course our fastboot tag-wiki.

  • I tried using fastboot, but for whatever reason it can't see my phone (while adb can). The Google USB Drivers are installed and I'm running as admin, but fastboot devices doesn't show my phone. Nov 16, 2013 at 19:34
  • Well, somehow I was able to get the home button to register as being clicked by plugging in my phone at random intervals. I was able to wipe my /data partition and boot into stock. Now to (hopefully) get a new phone from Sprint. Thanks for the help! (I'd upvote your answer, but I don't have enough rep to yet :/) Nov 16, 2013 at 20:42
  • In fastboot mode, the device presents a different ID. It seems sometimes this raises some trouble (I've read that already here in the past). But luckily you've been able to solve your issue, and that's what's important. Remember us next time, and be always welcome – cannot take long to gain the rep for "more things" ;)
    – Izzy
    Nov 16, 2013 at 23:11
  • 1
    +1. Was stuck needing to wipe a dell venue 8 with a completely shattered screen and no ADB access... thanks!
    – user4215
    May 1, 2014 at 11:09
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    The following was inserted as an edit to this post by an anonymous user : "Thank you, this saved my day! My Motorola Xoom 3G (Everest) wouldn´t wipe data in recovery, fastboot -w did it! :-D"
    – Compro01
    Aug 26, 2014 at 19:57

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