I have a Samsung Galaxy S Plus (GT-I9003) that is stuck in a boot loop. It is running the stock Samsung firmware (Android 2.3.5). I want to recover the data (specifically of the Memo application) from the device. I can boot into recovery mode and then connect via adb shell, but I'm not allowed to read /data:

$ ls -l /
drwxrwx--x root     root              1970-01-01 00:00 data
$ id
uid=2000(shell) gid=2000(shell) groups=1003(graphics),1004(input),1007(log),1009(mount),1011(adb),1015(sdcard_rw),3001(net_bt_admin),3002(net_bt),3003(inet)
$ su
su: permission denied

How can I backup /data from this phone?

  • @Izzy I edited the question, but just to be sure, here are the answers: I do not have any custom ROM installed, and do not have root access. If there is a way to gain root access without overwriting the application data, that would probably be the answer to my question. As evidenced by the output, I can connect just fine via adb shell, but adb backup doesn't work as the device is running Android 2.3.5.
    – phihag
    Dec 12, 2013 at 11:58
  • Looks like that device has an entry in our rooting index: Galaxy SL GT i9003. Please refer to that one for the rooting part. Apart from that: correct conclusion. adb backup was introduced with ICS, and without root you'll have no access to your apps' data below /data. Best would be a Nandroid backup, which you even could create via adb from your computer (see Is there a way to do Nandroid backup directly to pc?) root needed for that.
    – Izzy
    Dec 12, 2013 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


I was able to copy the data by first rooting the phone. After routing, I can boot up the phone in recovery mode, connect via adb shell, and use cat /dev/mmcblk0 / cat /dev/block/stl10 to get the interesting data from the phone.

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