Original topic:

Recover corrupt&deleted notes

(Topic created on: 12/5/20 12:41 PM)
userzicJDP4MaU
Astronaut
Options
Samsung Apps and Services

So I've been using the Samsung Notes app to store notes ever since I got my phone. A few days ago however, when I clicked on one of them, it gave me a message claiming the file was "corrupt" and that it deleted it. These were fairly important notes, so I immedietly paniced. I had not made any backups because my non-rooted phone was never able to see the files SNotes used (I checked a long time ago.) I also never connected SNotes (or anything else) to the Samsung Cloud due to my aversion to cloud services.

 

After a moment, I realized that this wasn't as bad as I thought. I have some basic experience with digital forensics and, if this was a PC, I could get the files back in under an hour and uncorrupt them. So I copied several gigabytes of user data off the phone to reduce the odds that the deleted notes would be overwritten and started researching how to go about recovering them.

 

Turns out that it is almost impossible.

 

First, any non-rooted method looks impossible. External tools like Nandroid can't do anything if you have only limited access to the filesystem. I did get a 360MB dump of something via adb's pull command, but searching it for strings that I know are in the note file has turned up nothing. It also seems too small to be a successful backup of all App data.

 

So I started looking into how to root the device. I studied multiple guides, found a compatible replacement recovery image, installed Heimdall (as fastboot works with everything except Samsung), viewed the partition table, kissed my waranty goodbye, and flashed the new recovery ROM... which didn't work. Turns out that "Secure Download" was enabled, and there was no way for an owner to disable it, even temporarily (I couldn't find an "OEM Unlock" option in the Settings.)

 

I'm at a loss as what to try next. More research revealed that Verizon likes to lock their phones down and that it is extremely difficult to get around these restrictions. So what do I do next? Is there a solution that does not require root? Is it possible to unlock the recovery partition? Do I look for public exploits discovered since my last secuirty patch? Do I pop the thing open and dump the entire eMMC?

 

Device is an SM-J327V

Carrier: Verizon

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userpnnokCTcQ4
Astronaut
Options
Samsung Apps and Services
If you can find a stock firmware and flash it via odin, it may help in this case as it is a stable download.
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userpnnokCTcQ4
Astronaut
Options
Samsung Apps and Services
If not, I would try and gain access to the hard drive of the phone (haven't done myself) and get it that way. Always backup to an SD card before doing anything possibly damaging.
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