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My friend broke her S4's screen, and wants to get back the photos from the internal memory. The phone does not have USB debugging turned on, so having it attached to the computer only charges it. The phone does show up in Kies and is asking for me to unlock it. I do have the pin code, but as the screen is dead, and I cannot put it in. ADB devices, and FastBoot devices do not show the phone at all. Fastboot Reboot-recovery does not do anything either.

How can I go about restoring these photos from the internal memory. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks!

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    A good starting point is our data-recovery tag-wiki and its most frequented questions, pointing e.g. to How do I backup data (SMS/contacts) from a device with a broken screen? – Izzy Jan 20 '14 at 19:55
  • Thanks @Izzy - however, I've looked through most of those articles and there was nothing specific to my device, and my problem. Unfortunately, a broken screen on a Samsung device =/= a broken screen on a Nexus device. – Zlatty Jan 20 '14 at 20:32
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    Well, a broken screen is a broken screen – but you're right, solutions might not always work cross-device. That's why I wrote "starting point". Sorry, I have no real answer (I don't use a Samsung phone), so I can just point to possible solutions, until a real answer turns up. Maybe a search for "broken screen brings up something helpful? Also watch out for "remote-control" solutions there. I remember we had something comparable. – Izzy Jan 20 '14 at 20:39
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    Just a raw idea (I never tried that myself, so no guarantees at all): AFAIK you can switch your device to "fastboot" mode. Even if you might not be able to access your files from that, you could use it to temporarily side-load (and boot) some image shipping with ADB enabled (if there is such). Also, you might be able to access it with ADB when booted into recovery. Again, no guaranteees – but surely worth trying. – Izzy Jan 20 '14 at 20:57
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    Admitted. Maybe connecting it to a TV or the like via MHL/HDMI? That would at least show the output (hopefully). That way you could also test if it maybe even still accepts touch input. // But again, for Samsung specifics I must pass on the stick. – Izzy Jan 20 '14 at 22:23
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Though not (yet) a solution for the OP in this case, I will already start summing up helpful facts from the comments: they might solve comparable issues for others. An update might follow if we find further things.

  • A good starting-point for comparable issues is our data-recovery tag-wiki as well as its most frequented questions, where a solution often can be found already (see e.g. How do I backup data (SMS/contacts) from a device with a broken screen?). A search for "broken screen" might also prove helpful. Even if the devices differ, approaches should be comparable.
  • A raw idea (I never tried that myself, so no guarantees at all) would be switching the device to mode. Even if you might not be able to access your files from that, you could use it to temporarily side-load (and boot) some image shipping with ADB enabled (if there is such).
  • It might also be possible to access the device with ADB when booted into recovery. This very much depends on the recovery image installed (see e.g. ). No guarantees for this either – but it's surely worth trying.
  • Connecting the device to a TV or the like via MHL/HDMI would at least show the output (hopefully). That way you could also test if it maybe even still accepts touch input. In case touch input is still accepted by the device, you might be able to activate this way, and then access the device via ADB – or to install some remote-management software such as Airdroid to have an interface for file retrieval and more.

If all fails, your hope is a local service center to replace your screen without deleting (or stealing ;) your data. Or a data-recovery-company (too expensive, I guess).

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If you can enter recovery mode manually on vol up + home + power, give it like 20 seconds of pushing all of those buttons.. at least maybe you can hear a sound of booting up. Then plug it into your system. Run ADB and then run "adb pull / dir of you internal memory" command mine should be "adb pull / C:\DCIM" <--default location of my photo

  • I did try that, but without a screen its hard to tell if I'm pressing the right buttons to get to that point. Is there a prompt to go into recovery mode like UP for recovery, DOWN for boot-loader? – Zlatty Jan 21 '14 at 20:10
  • Just got home and tried that. I've got it in the recovery mode, however ADB says its unauthorized, and that I should check the device. :| – Zlatty Jan 22 '14 at 0:20
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Alright, I managed to get it work. I hooked up a octopus USB extension to a micro USB cable on one end, and an USB keyboard on the other end. I booted the phone and then pressed ENTER, ##PIN##CODE##, ENTER on the USB keyboard and the device unlocked. This took a few tries as I was going in blindly.

Then I unplugged the USB cord, then plugged in a micro USB cable that was connected to my computer (Ubuntu 14.04). The phone showed up w/o any problems and I was able to grab files from the on-board storage.

One thing I had to do was constantly keep pressing the BACK button on the device to prevent it from locking.

At the end of it all, I successfully extracted 4GB worth of pictures.

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