Today my Sony Z1 Compact Android phone (4.4 Kit Kat) is stolen. Bad luck, but nobody's hurt and I'm quite sure my insurance will cover this. I've encrypted the phone and external SD card. Now this has happened I wonder if it is possible (for the new owner) to reset the phone, wipe and reinstall it?!
They don't have the code of course, and trying to enter the code manually will be a waste of time - the code is too long for that.
So what I want to know: can this phone ever be used again?
I've bought a new phone, exactly the same, and it's encrypted again. It is not rooted! I don't know if USB debugging was on, but it could very well be. So let's assume it was.
If I understand correctly, I need to boot into recovery mode to reset the machine. I've found the following guide: How to Boot Into Sony Xperia Z1 Compact Recovery Mode. It offers three methods.
The last method involves the Playstore, which requires that you started up the phone, which is not possible without the PIN code. So that method is out.
The first method doesn't seem to work. When I reboot the phone, I don't see the led flashing, and pushing the volume button up or down many times during startup doesn't do anything, well except that I seem to enter some kind of "secure mode", but then again only after unlocking the phone.
The second method involved the ADB. I have enabled developer options on the stolen phone. I probably have enabled USB debugging, and didn't disable it afterwards. I need to try this, but it seems to me that this method too requires that you can startup the phone. I can only test this on Ubuntu right now, but I don't see how this can work without unlocking the phone. I connected the phone via USB to my ubuntu desktop, the started the phone. First thing that I have to do is unlock the phone. When the phone has started up, and I unlocked another time I get a notice asking to install software. For me this means this method won't work either.
Maybe it is possible to wipe the phone with Windows?
Is there another way to wipe the phone and reset it to the state when I bought it?