Motorola Droid Mini Forum

Help with Droid Mini that was restored to factory settings

I hope someone can help me, I’m desperate. I have a Droid mini that is my sisters and on this phone contained pictures, videos and texts from her husband who has since died. My niece unfortunately wanted to use this phone as her own and restored it to factory settings.

I don’t know anything about Droid phones....is there ANY way to recovery ANY of the data that was present before my niece wiped it?

I’m so grateful for any help.

Thanking you in advance.
 

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#1 laurieoliver, Jan 13, 2018
The odds are very slim that much of anything will be recoverable from this phone after a Factory Reset, especially if someone has been using it since then. There are file recovery utilities, you'd need to run off a computer directed at the phone's internal storage media, but even under ideal conditions they're hit-or-miss solutions that have limited success rates.
Email, contacts, and calendar info are most likely OK as that's typically all web based, the problem being if you don't have the password to the online account. Texting is more ephemeral however and text messages are most likely gone as they'd be stored locally on the phone itself. There's a remote chance things like photos and videos are still accessible, if your sister was using an app like Google Photos which can do automatic backups of the photo library into her online Google account.
 
#2 svim, Jan 13, 2018
Thank you so much for the reply, even if it’s not really the greatest news. I think that even if she could recover a single picture, it would be something that she thought was gone forever.

So me being an iPhone user, my pictures are stored on my camera roll. I assume the Droid has something similar but I’m afraid to poke around too much as that probably can overwrite anything that might be recoverable. So the question I need to ask my sister is if she was using Google photos?

My niece only used the phone for 2 days before my sister found out and took it back from her however my niece wiped the phone again before returning it which makes twice it was wiped. I guess I should assume that this is a lost cause?
 
#3 laurieoliver, Jan 13, 2018
Probably the data on the phone are lost. If pictures were stored on a removable SD card you'd have more hope, but according to my web search that phone doesn't have an SD slot. The internal storage of the phone is a different matter: normal PC file recovery software won't be able to do anything with that, because (a) it's probably not formatted with a filesystem Windows can read, and (b) the USB connection when you plug it into a computer uses MTP (Microsoft's Media Transfer Protocol) rather than the USB Mass Storage protocol which file recovery software would need (as the Droid Mini launched with Android 4.2, and Android switched from UMS to MTP in 4.0, I expect this will be true for this phone). If you search the web you will find utilities that claim they can recover files from Android phones (using a computer), but whether any of them actually work is harder to say: there are many fake testimonials, but most people we've known who tried them don't seem to have had much luck. I wouldn't pay any money up front unless the software can demonstrate to your satisfaction that it can actually find useful data.

Yes, if your sister was using Google Photos and had the backup option enabled then they will have been backed-up to the cloud (Google Drive to be precise). That may be the best hope.
 
#4 Hadron, Jan 13, 2018
If she was using the Google Photos app, she should still be able to access her photo library by going to https://photos.google.com and logging into her account. If not, there's a chance at least some photos might be accessible if she was also using other social media services like Facebook, or as attachments to email messages. Or if she had set up a service such as Dropbox or OneDrive, the photos might still be accessible, but for the most part it's not like with an iPhone where there's iCloud and/or iTunes doing an automatic backup service, with Android it's more up to the user to implement such things.
 
#5 svim, Jan 13, 2018
Thank you. She’s pretty illiterate when it comes to technology (as am I) so I’m going to guess that she just took pictures and kept them in her gallery and never did any sort of backup. She felt safe knowing all of her memories were safe in the phone that she put away for safe keeping.....until my niece got ahold of it.

What a big bummer.

It shows Android version 4.4.4 if that makes any difference.
 
#6 laurieoliver, Jan 13, 2018
Like the others here it seems unlikely that a user tool is going to have much success.

The only other thing I could suggest is to run it past Verizon. They may have access to a facility that can find the files that have not yet been overwritten. If so there will be a lot of trash recovered that will take work to go through.

... Thom
 
#7 Thom, Jan 13, 2018
I thank you all for your responses.

I’ve sent her the question about a google account for her photos but I’m 99% sure that she didn’t have any additional accounts for anything.

You’re right....there seems to be a whole lot of software out there that boasts about recovering all of your lost data but if you all are pretty skeptical about the success of such software, I won’t even look further.

Thom, I will have her contact Verizon I suppose since it’s her account but she’ll struggle with knowing what to ask. Hopefully they’ll have mercy on her.

Thank you again!
 
#8 laurieoliver, Jan 13, 2018
Just have her ask Verizon if it is possible to restore pictures her deceased husband took after two Factory Data Resets have been done.

... Thom
 
#9 Thom, Jan 13, 2018