Monday, August 3, 2015


Broken Phones

So a week ago I was given 2 phones to extract all the text message data. Both phones had been dropped and the displays on the phone no longer worked. Both phones were Samsung Galaxy S4. There is no way to actually plug the phones into the computer and extract the messages so I had to get a bit creative. My first thoughts were to plug my brother's 5-pin HDMI adapter (used for his Galaxy S2) into the phone so that the phone's display will show up on a computer monitor. This did not work because the Galaxy S4 required an 11-pin HDMI adapter.


I took the phones to Fry's Electronics and got the adapter. They allowed me to test the 11-pin adapter on their monitors to no surprise worked. I took the adapter home and plugged the first phone into the monitor.


The display showed nicely on the screen, and using the digitizer (touch screen) on the phone I was able to enable the Debug Mode in Android and extract all the messages to my phone. The particular message I was looking for was not on this phone.


The second phone I plugged into the monitor, the display showed nicely on the screen. The digitizer on this phone, though, was broken so I wasn't able to enable Debug Mode. Because I didn't want to fix a broken phone to get 1 message off, I took apart both phones and swapped the Main Board (the text messages and other data are stored on the board). After I put the swapped boards in and put the phone back together, I connected it to the monitor and the digitizer worked! I was then able to turn on the Debug Mode and extract all the text message data.


I took no pictures during this process (my later projects I'll start doing so)

No comments:

Post a Comment