How to Recover Internal Memory on Android

Why is it more difficult to restore a photo from internal memory

Before talking about the features of recovery, you should talk a little about the removal procedure. Any file in the smartphone’s memory is represented by a set of blocks that are located in a chain. The blocks contain the address of the next component, so the system always knows how to form this circuit. The defragmentation process, familiar to many, arranges such blocks for the fastest access.

When deleting from the internal memory, only the file pointer is deleted, i.e. the first block. It disappears from the browser, but the chain still remains on the drive until other data is written in its place. If the dubbing was not performed, then you will most likely succeed in recovering the files. You can return images using specialized software that is designed to search and return sequences of blocks. Favorite pictures will stay with you.

However, there is one caveat. most analysis software actually needs the disk itself. Mounting an SD card is easy enough, but in Android, the internal memory appears as MTP / PTP. Specialized applications simply do not see it, respectively, cannot work with the file structure.

Files are restored according to a fairly simple procedure:

  1. Back up the device’s internal memory to a PC in a specialized RAW format (“memory cast”).
  2. Convert a RAW dataset to a virtual hard disk.
  1. Mount this drive, and then use the classic recovery utilities that can easily detect deleted photos and evens.

Pre-prepare all the necessary tools, which we will discuss further.

What programs will be needed

To restore you need to download certain utilities:

  • KingoRoot and BusyBox on the smartphone.
  • Cygwin, Netcat, ADB-drivers for the computer.
  • VHD tool from Microsoft.
  • The classic recovery program for your Piriform Recuva computer.

Let’s consider in more detail the software from the list.

Access to system memory is closed to ordinary users, so first of all you will have to get superuser rights. For this purpose, we recommend installing KingoRoot. Its main advantage is that the utility allows you to get Root rights in just one click. The application can be downloaded from the site or other third-party resources in apk format.

How to Recover Internal Memory on Android

The second important software is BusyBox. After “unlocking” the smartphone, access to the core is opened. Some queries can lead to unpredictable consequences, up to disruption of the entire “Android”. The BusyBox application provides a reliable and stable communication channel between the kernel and the user interface. Here you only need to install the software, and when you request to use it, of course, give permission.

Android is a unix-like system, so for manipulation you will need the Cygwin application. It should be put on the drive path C: \ Cygwin. Be sure to run the application and make sure that the bin directory is created in the folder. We also recommend creating another folder in c: \ cygwin \ for storing the RAW image. Suppose the folder is called NEXUS.

To use the above utility, you will additionally need Netcat. Users should get the nc.exe executable file from the downloaded archive, and then move it to the bin folder that was created after Cygwin started.

Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a functional tool for interacting with android devices. Work with ADB is performed at the console line level. The downloaded archive will have a variety of files. You should move adb.exe to the Windows environment, for example, to the System32 folder.

To convert system memory to a virtual disk, which you can then work with, you will need VhdTool. It is enough to download the exe file and place it in the created directory along the path C: \ cygwin (in our case, this folder has the name NEXUS). The final point is the installation of Recuva. Having installed the necessary software on your smartphone and computer, let’s look at how to recover deleted files.

The procedure for recovering photos from internal memory

After receiving root rights and installing BusyBox, you need to activate USB debugging mode on the phone. You can do this according to the instructions:

  1. Go to the “About the device” section. On the line “Assembly”, press your finger 7-10 times. A notification should appear that you have become a developer.
  2. In the “Developer Options” section that opens, check the box next to the “USB Debugging” line.

After installing the ADB drivers, we recommend that you restart your computer. After this, you can proceed:

  1. Connect the included gadget to the PC in ADB mode.
  2. For the success of the operation, it is recommended to restore the full memory block. On devices from Samsung, it is called mmcblk0. On other models, the names may differ, so we recommend that you first find out on the Internet.
  3. Open the Cygwin console and run the following commands: Note that busybox must be in the phone in the system / bin directory.
  4. Reopen the new Cygwin console and write in it: Copying will occur in the selected folder (here it is Nexus). The procedure takes up to 3 hours for smartphones with a capacity of 32 gigabytes.
  5. Next, you need to convert the raw file to a virtual partition HDD. Open the Windows command prompt, and then follow the path c: \ cygwin \ nexus. Run to execute:
  6. We will recommute the created image in the Windows environment. Go to the “Management” section (RMB on My Computer). Go to the disk management center.
  7. Click “Action” in the top menu. “Attach a virtual hard disk.” In the source field, enter the location of the raw file (for example, c: \ cygwin \ nexus \ mmcblk0.raw).
  8. Right-click on the name to the left of the unallocated area, and then click on “Initialize Disk”. Then select GPT.
  9. Right click on unallocated file space. Click Create Simple Volume
  10. In the setup wizard, click next, choosing a letter for the future section. Select the “Do not format this section” option. Get to the end.
  11. Right-click on the RAV area, and then click “Format.” The type of file system you need to select is FAT32. Leave the “Default” block dimension. The checkmark opposite “Quick formatting” must be active. If you don’t put it, then the data from the phone’s internal memory will be really erased.
  12. You will be warned about the loss of all data, but when you select the check box for quick formatting, the data will remain intact.

Now you have received a classic flash drive such as FAT32. You can work with it as with a conventional removable media. The simplest part is to recover data using Recuva.

To restore a photo, start the procedure in the program itself, specifying for the source the drive that was mounted earlier. Restore all the internal memory of the phone will help the special function Deep Scan (in-depth scan). The process will take 1-1.5 hours.

The program will display at the end a list of files that you can recover. They will have 3 icons:

  • green. full recovery is available;
  • yellow. you can return the file, but partially due to damage;
  • red. recovery is not possible.

Please note that you can restore any section of system memory. You only need to specify the path in it when using console commands. This is the main way to return photos from your phone. At the last stage, you can use any other alternative for Recuva.

Possible problems

You may encounter several problems during the execution of the steps:

  • An unknown vhdtool appeared in the folder, and raw, takes up 0 kilobytes of space. Download netcat for the 64-bit version of the OS. It has the name nc64.exe.
  • When you enter the ADB utility commands, an error appears in the console. Make sure that the ADB drivers are installed.
  • The phone is not detected or a raw file is not created. Check if debugging mode is enabled by usb and if the correct path for busybox is set.

Alternative method

There are other ways to find lost data on the network. One of them involves the use of the 7-Data Android Recovery application for the computer. The software does not work successfully with all devices, so your phone may simply not be recognized. To use the utility, you must do the following:

  1. Enable USB debugging on your smartphone. Connect via USB cable to the computer.
  2. Turn on 7-Data Android Recovery.
  3. From the list, select the drive you need. Click “Next.”
  4. After scanning, restore the desired photos.

Among such applications, EASEUS Mobisaver for Android, Wondershare Dr.Fone for Android and GT Recovery can be distinguished. Please note that some of them require root access.

How to recover without a computer

If you are on a trip, while there is no possibility and time to carry out the described manipulations, you can try several Android applications. One of the most popular is Undeleter. You need superuser rights to use. The intuitive interface and usability make recovery extremely easy.

It is enough to run the program, select the internal memory in the menu, and then wait for the end of the procedure. Anderletter supports all types of volumes (FAT, EXT, RFS and their derivatives), as well as more than 1000 file types. There are 30 versions of the application, while the most recent ones require Android 4.0 or later to work.

Now you know several ways to return deleted files. We recommend that you regularly back up or install an additional “basket”. Such an application will eliminate the deletion of the necessary files, as well as allow you to return them in one click. Be careful when downloading third-party utilities! Download software only from those resources that you really trust and, if possible, scan with antivirus.