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 Post subject: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 11th, 2018, 17:01 
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Joined: May 21st, 2010, 23:26
Posts: 13
Location: New Orleans
customers wire wiped his Google Pixel and I need to mount the phone as a storage to run recovery software on it. Any ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 11th, 2018, 18:03 
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Joined: October 16th, 2013, 13:21
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Location: Brazil
First look if his files weren´t on the sdcard.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 12th, 2018, 4:20 
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Joined: May 13th, 2010, 11:17
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Location: Kuwait
rogfanther wrote:
First look if his files weren´t on the sdcard.


No SD Card for Google Pixel.

Apple New Orleans wrote:
customers wire wiped his Google Pixel and I need to mount the phone as a storage to run recovery software on it. Any ideas?


Define WIPED?

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 Post subject: Re: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 12th, 2018, 7:08 
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Joined: November 9th, 2006, 15:15
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Your name suggests your are familiar with apple products - modern Android devices implement similar security for modern devices such as encryption, locked bootloaders, digitally signed binaries accepted only etc. It will be possible to gain Root permissions on your device, but probably this will require unlocking the boot loader - not sure if this will void manufacturer warranty, also pretty sure this will require a 'secure erase' of the device before being unlocked - this likely consists of generation of a new decryption key.

Assuming the client has 'wiped' the device means a factory reset, I am not sure the extent of this as in whether it would have securely erased content previously stored on it. Chip off is no option for this due to encryption. I guess best option you have is to dump NAND content while device is running and booted - without Root you cannot do this from software side. Potentially, some ISP connection could be needed , and this will be dependent on knowledge of on-board pinout (assuming it is available or even possible).

I have not worked first hand on Pixel yet, but I imagine it will not be easy. Even with fair knowledge of what is needed, it will not be an easy task to solve. I think if client values the handset more than the data then this is not worth proceeding on, and even if you get a dump of internal memory you have to consider factors such as TRIM, wear leveling, write amplification, difficulties in recovery if Linux based systems, potential change of encryption key, voiding of handset warranty....

I think if client is very serious about this case, then outsource it to someone who may be in a better position to develop some method for this, if not then simply return handset and advise a recovery is very unlikely.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 12th, 2018, 17:50 
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Joined: October 16th, 2013, 13:21
Posts: 717
Location: Brazil
einstein9 wrote:
rogfanther wrote:
First look if his files weren´t on the sdcard.


No SD Card for Google Pixel.



Oh, ok, don´t know that model.

One thing that comes to mind is, if client just want his common data back, isn´t that backet up to the google account that was set in the device ?


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 Post subject: Re: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 12th, 2018, 21:44 
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Joined: May 21st, 2010, 23:26
Posts: 13
Location: New Orleans
I'm afraid to root the phone because I don't want to write over any more data. Yes, the customer performed a factory reset.

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 Post subject: Re: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 13th, 2018, 2:12 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 18:21
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Location: Australia
rogfanther wrote:
einstein9 wrote:
rogfanther wrote:
First look if his files weren´t on the sdcard.


No SD Card for Google Pixel.



Oh, ok, don´t know that model.

There are internal photos (and other exhibits) at the FCC database:
https://fccid.io/NM8G-2PW4100

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 Post subject: Re: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 13th, 2018, 8:14 
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Joined: November 9th, 2006, 15:15
Posts: 2978
Apple New Orleans wrote:
I'm afraid to root the phone because I don't want to write over any more data. Yes, the customer performed a factory reset.


I do not think the Root will cause so much overwriting, but since factory reset is already executed, and there is very high possibility that you would need to unlock bootloader before writing non-certified binaries (I am not 100% sure if it needs unlocking, but I guess it would), I think at this stage recovery is very unlikely.

You will 100% need root to reach internal memory as a whole (unless you can make direct on-board connection to eMMC with device booted), so check if device can root, if not then unlock bootloader and root and secure DD image via ABD shell, but at this stage much data will likely be non-recoverable even after an image is made.

there is a lot more research needed for such situations and from my understanding there is not a great deal of information available regarding specifically recovery from such devices. Most firms who can perform this will often have some internal process they develop for such a case, and I do not believe there is any commercial solution available to you for this.


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 Post subject: Re: How do you mount an Android phone as a hard drive?
PostPosted: April 14th, 2018, 3:40 
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Joined: May 13th, 2010, 11:17
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Location: Kuwait
hddguy wrote:
Apple New Orleans wrote:
I'm afraid to root the phone because I don't want to write over any more data. Yes, the customer performed a factory reset.


I do not think the Root will cause so much overwriting, but since factory reset is already executed, and there is very high possibility that you would need to unlock bootloader before writing non-certified binaries (I am not 100% sure if it needs unlocking, but I guess it would), I think at this stage recovery is very unlikely.

You will 100% need root to reach internal memory as a whole (unless you can make direct on-board connection to eMMC with device booted), so check if device can root, if not then unlock bootloader and root and secure DD image via ABD shell, but at this stage much data will likely be non-recoverable even after an image is made.

there is a lot more research needed for such situations and from my understanding there is not a great deal of information available regarding specifically recovery from such devices. Most firms who can perform this will often have some internal process they develop for such a case, and I do not believe there is any commercial solution available to you for this.


@Apple New Orleans

Rooting will not effect the user data partition, the only issue about it is: Altering the Evidence... (sometimes in Forensic Cases: regardless of How you will do it, just get it done)

@hddguy +10

Working with this phone is not as easy as 123, starting frin the bootloader

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