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Released in March 2017, the Moto G5 Plus (model numbers XT1687, XT1680, XT1684, XT1685) includes a 12.0 megapixel rear camera, a 5.2 inch screen with a 1920 x 1080 resolution, and the Android 7.0 (Nougat) operating system.

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Possible to recover data from broken Android phone?

See the title for the question. See below for long explanation. See the bottom for the tl;dr

-=-=-=-=Long explanation below=-=-=-=-

My mom’s Moto G5 of 2+ years has spontaneously died according to her. It was working as her alarm clock this morning. However when she went to check it a couple hours later, it was no longer powering on and the screen does not turn on at all. Holding power button for 10+ seconds does nothing. No audible sounds either. Plugging it into a charger does not turn the screen on or produce the “charging” beep/tone. Prior to this, she did not drop it on the floor or cause any liquid to spill on it. Prior to the phone dying, she mentioned hearing beeps, maybe indicating that it was low on battery, but can’t say for sure if it was a text message tone or the low battery tone.

What I did to diagnose the problem:

-Held the power button for 15+ seconds. Helpd power button & vol up/down buttons for 15+ seconds in various combinations (power+vol up, power+vol down, power+vol up+vol down). Nothing.

-I checked to see if it was still detected when I plugged it into my Windows PC, nothing. No beeps, not detected in my Device Manager. No Windows sounds when I plug it in/unplug it from USB. Tried different USB cables too and phones and they are not the issue.

-I took apart the phone to see maybe the battery is dead. Checked the voltage of the battery and found the battery is rated at 3.8v. Pulled out the multimeter and got a reading of 4.14V. Higher than the rated voltage, but tells me the battery is not dead if it is producing voltage. I even used some jumper wires to power a small 5V USB fan with the battery. So I can say with 100% certainty that the battery is not dead.

At this point, I figure something else within the phone died. Maybe she dropped it a while ago and it didn’t start to malfunction until now for some reason. Maybe an integrated circuit on the board randomly short circuited. Either way the phone seems dead to me and all she wants to to recover photos that were not backed up to Google Photos.

-=-=-=-=Back to to the main question=-=-=-=-

Just wondering if there is a way to access the memory within the phone. Since plugging in the USB is not working because the phone itself is not connected, is there a flash memory card or adapter that will let me look inside the phone’s memory and recover the photos?

-=-=-=-=tl;dr=-=-=-=-

  • Moto G5+ phone randomly stopped working.
  • No water damage, no physical damage.
  • Does not power on, no matter what.
  • Windows does not detect the phone into PC.
  • Took apart phone, battery is not the issue because it could power a USB fan
  • Can the data from phone be recovered?
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2 Answers

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Unless you can get the board working, you’re SOL :(. This is new enough that the Android encryption is mandatory and it isn’t reversible like the LG phones.

This isn’t like the infamous LG G4 as I know it where it was absolutely known to be a BGA issue and indiscriminately heating the board brought it back to get the data (however, the phone will never turn on again without heat if at all so you only really get a few shots at it) so you will need to find a schematic and repair the board (and pray it isn’t a IC issue that’s tied to the encryption) or send it off to a pro for recovery. It’s usually tied to a private key in the CPU (especially if it has dedicated encryption hardware), so if that’s dead it’s all over.

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Hmm if it was a BGA problem it might explain some of the things I found. However she was going to work in the morning so she wasn't using the phone actively enough to cause an overheating phone.

Just speculating but perhaps she hit the flashlight function on the phone and left it on the entire 30+ min drive to work, and that could have caused the overheat, since I know leaving the flashlight on your phone will heat up the phone.

I doubt most local repair shops can fix this, since this doesn't appear to be an easy swap out the battery or screen for a good one, especially since this isn't a popular phone model. Maybe I'll just heat it up and hope some solder melts and a connection is magically fixed since the phone is as good as dead anyways

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@cab617 Just be careful - you only get a few chances and it's over.

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If the data were not deleted or lost, it’s possible to recover data from broken Android phone. You can try Broken Android Data Recovery tool to help you access to data on broken Android phone and extract them out easily.

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