I'm trying to evaluate the options for recovering some important files that were deleted from a Moto G 1st generation. I have sufficient experience with the data recovery itself once I have an image file, and I know how to extract an image of the /sdcard partition once the phone is rooted.

However, I see the following problems:

  • The phone isn't rooted, and the bootloader is still locked. Unlocking the bootloader will wipe the phone.

  • The phone is updated to Android 4.4.4 . Therefore it isn't possible to root it without unlocking the bootloader. (this seemed to work for 4.4.2 , but a downgrade requires an unlocked bootloader)

What I think might be a solution:

  1. Backup to PC with adb
  2. Unlock bootloader (wipes all data!)
  3. Root phone
  4. Extract image of /sdcard partition to PC
  5. Recover files on PC using the usual forensics tools
  6. Maybe lock bootloader again/unroot phone (still tbd)
  7. Restore backuped files with adb


  • Is the wipe during bootloader unlocking just a normal "delete" (quick-format) operation or will the whole partition be overwritten? If the former, will I have chances to recover the files, with the usual caveats (i.e. files not overwritten yet by new files). If the latter, I prefer to avoid this tedious procedure...

  • Does the procedure make sense or am I missing something important?

  • Were you able to find the solution for this problem. I am having the same problem so if i could get help. – Arjun Godha Jul 23 '18 at 15:48

I had the same question. Then I used a retired Moto G to test ROOT (as usual) and recovery with this method: http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-nexus/general/guide-internal-memory-data-recovery-yes-t1994705

Now I have a RAW file with 13 GB and neither Handy Recovery can find files earlier than wipe. It doesn't seem a quick-format.

I'm still looking for a non-wipe method meanwile talking to Motorola to recover a folder lost during an MTP's error. I still hope...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.