The HTC Evo 4G LTE is an Android smartphone developed by HTC Corporation to be released exclusively by Sprint.

20 Questions View all

How to recover (internal data from) completely dead/powerless phone?

My son dunked my Evo 4G LTE under a foot of water. It was still on, so I powered it off by holding the top button down, then dried it out in rice for several days. Plugged it in, powered it on - amazing! Looked great! Had to leave for work, by the time I arrived an hour later the phone was a brick - no power, no reset holding the top button (with or without volume up or down), when connected to a computer via USB it neither registers no demonstrates any sign of power.

My main concern is the first four months of my daughter's life in video and photo stored on the phone's internal storage (android "phone memory"). I know, I should have backed it up, but I have two in diapers so best practice sometimes falls by the wayside. I did not have automatic upload set up via dropbox or google.

The phone is under warranty, sprint offered a refurbished for $35 - so I know I can get a working phone back, but I'll gladly opt to pay for a new phone and rip this one apart to get my data back.

Questions for the pros:

1. Is there any hope of recovering the data by recovering the phone? I'm not much of a hardware hacker so this would be easiest for me.

. 1a. Could it just be the battery is trashed? Is it possible to get/replace just the battery?

. 1b. Since USB doesn't bring power, could it be part of the power "subsystem," something that I could independently replace?


2. Alternatively, does anyone out there know how to get to and read this phone's internal storage?

. 2a. Is it a card or chip that can be removed and accessed outside of a phone?

. 2b. A card or chip that I could remove an put into another Evo 4g LTE, or that I could put into a replacement "motherboard" for the same phone?

. 2c. Can I solder some wires somewhere on the phone to try to access the data from another UI (this would be running in the tall grass for me, but I'll certainly try anything)?

For any solution, links to video or written narrative / instructions would be great, but even tips in the right direction or things that have worked on other phones could be helpful.


Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 27


future reference dont use rice or try manually tuning off the phone, just go straight for the battery and pull it out and leave it out till it is 100% fully dry and clean.


Buddy, you'd better send it to the repair shop first to check if it can be fixed or not. If yes, you can try some data recovery apps to see if you can use this kind of apps to recover your pictures or not. Here is one post you may need:


very nice 100% fully dry and clean


You still have chance to retrieve your lost data as long as the data was not over-written by new created data. Then try professional Android data recovery application, In addition to this, I don't think you have better way to get back your lost data from your Android phone, this is the guide on how to recover lost data from Samsung galaxy:


The possibilities to get back your daughter images, are not finished. Contact a data recovery company, who is retrieving the image data besides repair the damaged mobile phone.


Show 11 more comments

Add a comment

8 Answers

Chosen Solution

Eggs Green, you may check if you have saved it to an SD card. The slot should be at the top of the phone, you will see a notch below the power button. Insert your fingernail or a coin into that notch and pull back to remove the upper portion of the back. your SD card (if you have one) should be in there. Use an external adapter on your computer to access it. If you do not have it, and were saving to the external NAND memory, there is no way (only for the very advanced hackers ;-)) to access that. If you are adventurous enough check on here. I would try and see if the phone will give you enough life after cleaning it and seeing if you can resolve some of the water damage. Use the iPhone 3G guide from here for a general idea on how to clean it. Here is a good video that will show you how to tear down your phone. After you cleaned it, replace the battery and reevaluate. If that does not work for you, I would suggest a data recovery company to get your videos. Hope this helps, good luck.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 8


It has been clearly and repeatedly established that if the phone will not power up, there is no way to retrieve its data. Even "advanced hackers" can't do this.


Simply not true! Unless the phone was encrypted, for the right amount of money, the data can probably be retrieved. Law enforcement and data recovery services do this all the time. But it may cost many thousands, so you'll have to decide if it's worth it.


No you can't!!!


Have to agree with Luke. For the "right" amount of money you can get some data back. Most of us don't have that kind of money. This is about being within reason.


It is ABSOLUTELY possible to recovered data from a phone that doesn't power on. But the cheapest I've seen it done for is $400.

The way it's done is through a chip-off process. This is usually a last resort if ultrasonic/spot cleaning of the phone's internal components doesn't work. During a chip-off recovery, the phone's internal memory chip (which holds ALL the phone's data) is de-soldered from the logic board, and put in a specific reader. The data is extracted and put into a readable format. For phones where the data is encrypted (iPhones and some recent Androids), the recovery is only possible if the logic board is working too. But even if you have a bad logic board, you can still replace parts of it to get it working again. For more info, see:

That was probably more than you wanted to know. But I hope it helps someone.


Add a comment

It seems possible ...

WARNING! - Refurbished only means you will get a working phone back.

Even if they guarantee to return it with your data intact, be VERY CAREFUL! they are just telephone call handlers and do not know for sure what will happen, also people do not tick all the correct boxes and others do not look at all the boxes, so you could loose out those ways!

I am very surprised that there is no information on this subject.

It must have been an issue for 1000's of people over the past few years.

My problem is that "back up has stopped", would not re-install, and I could not find out why (it said memory, but there was loads free - since found it was talking about Dalvik).

Over the weeks I built up a collection of useful information and photos which I do not want to loose.

I am assuming yours is an Android phone, but even if it's a Windows phone, the principle is still probably the same.

It appears to be possible to recover files from the internal memory of a dead phone using a PC, free software and USB cable.

The principle is start the Flashing process, BUT do not Flash the phone, because I can not be sure it would not destroy your data / files.

When at the stage to be able to Flash the phone, effectively your PC thinks it is communicating have a "USB memory device".

This is achieved by removing the phones USB driver and substituting another driver (to enable the Flashing process).

I've not had the time to spend on it that I need.

I will come back when I do finish ...

BUT do not wait for me, there seems to be too many things going wrong, and the most important get done first. Which is why I have things waiting for over 1 year now.

One problem I have is that Windows keeps throwing out the "substitution USB driver" and replacing it with the original phone USB driver.

Windows thinks the phones driver is more suitable, so automatically re-installs it.

I know the issue, I've had it several times previously with the "unknown device USB driver" (a crash causes the driver change). I just need to find the "Windows stored back up driver", delete it, then Windows will happily accept the "substitution driver".

Ahhh, the joys of owning a MS Windows computer :-(

Some usefull software names :-


Windows drivers - A25_USB_VCOM_Drivers


Some useful search terms :-



flash rom

SP Flash Tool exe v3 (not to use, but the process' before is what's wanted).

Searches with search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.), also You Tube (I could only find Flashing, but as previously, it's the process up to the "Flashing point" that you are interested in).

Sorry it's unfinished information, but at least it gives you hope and some where to start.

Data Recovery firms will be able to recovery the data / files and some are open to "please help, I'm skint ...", by reducing their prices to a poor private person, but they will not do it for free.

So good luck to all of us.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 5


Thank you very much for your long post. Definately something to try out there before sending it anywhere. Thank you


I don't think I will get this solution to work though since there seems to be no connection to my phone on the micro-USB. Nothing shows when I try to charge it, no light is turned on or anything nor when I plug into the computer and try with adb.

Do you reckon I should still try the process you described?


I got seriously lucky. A repairing company took my phone in and tested it and said it couldn't be done. It was dead.

Then an other company said - nah other companies quit too easily. Send it to us, if we can't repair it or you don't want to pay we will send it back to you for free.

An offer too good to be true it seemed.

Yet within a couple of days they told me they were now almost able to boot it but it failed just before the OS loaded.

It showed to be a heating problem.

This they solved by cooling it to -40 degree Celcius and now they were able to boot it up and recover the data. Phone was dead after that but I got what I needed - all the beautiful pictures of my baby daugther and the rest of the family.

Most excellent service. A danish company though if anyone is looking for one let me know.


I am facing same problem.could you please help me.


Hi jacob,

Please give me details....


Show 8 more comments

Add a comment


Read this article to get knowledge about NAND and data recovery. nut your memory module more complicated than article explained.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2


This is not about dead cell phone data recovery at all.


Add a comment

If your phone was signed into your Google account all your photos should already be backed (automatically, and for free) up to google photos. Just search for photos in the search bar and click the first link.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

There are two types of bricking; soft brick and hard brick. Soft bricking happens due to some software errors and hard bricking of Android phone is caused due to hardware malfunctioning. If you phone is dead and powerless,you can follow this guide to recover data from bricked phone

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment


This is the second time my girlfriends phone has had the bootloop problem. So here is the fix to boot it up and get a chanch to save your important data before factory reset! Take out the battery then reinsert it but dont turn it on! Put your phone in the freeze for about 15 min. Then take it out and it should boot up normally. If not, put it back in the freezer just a bit longer, like maybe 5 min then try rebooting it again. Now if the phone gets warm enough it will go back into its bootlooping problem so move the phone from the freezer to the refrigerator along with a usb cable sticking out when you close the door. Hook up your usb cable and start transferring your data. After your data is saved, perform the factoy reset by taking out the battery, reinserting the batery, hold the volume down button then hold the power button. As soon as you see the LG logo release the power button then quickly hold it again. Shortly you will see the factory reset option. Select yes to clear all its memory and get you phone working in its factory settings. Here is the article that gave me the solution the first time this happened

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

Are you seeking a tool to do data recovery on your dead phone? In my opinion, Android Data Extractor will be a good choice for you. With the help of this program, you can extract the data on dead Samsung mobile by yourself.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1
Add a comment

Android Data Recovery has done a good job for recovering Android phone data. It scans your Android phone to find all recoverable data including the existing files and the deleted ones. Before retrieving, you are allowed to preview the contacts, messages, photos,videos on computer.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 0
Add a comment

Add your answer

Eggs Green will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 500

Past 7 Days: 4,004

Past 30 Days: 16,174

All Time: 493,455