last May I lost my Fairphone 2, and late in December the police brought it back, which was great, and I was very thankful. However, due to the long lapse of time, I forgot my password for the screen lock, and now I cannot use it anymore. I tried at least 30 probable passwords, but none was the right one.
I am reluctant to do a hard reset, since I don’t want to lose the photos and music I have on the phone. Furthermore, I read that the itsme app doesn’t work on rebooted phones. Is there anything else I could possibly do?
Thanks a lot in advance to anyone who might help me!
Am I missing something? What does USB debugging have to do with it?
In that sense, the Fairphone 2 is not secure by design, as it has an unlocked bootloader. You can run and install anything you like on it.
And regardless of what any user on the phone set as lock screen security, the files in the filesystem are there to explore for any recovery program you might install or boot … unless the user encrypted the phone (which as of Android 7 means … encrypted the data partition).
thanks a lot to all of you for your quick and constructive responses! I’m currently sitting on a train, but when coming home I’ll try the hacker thing. Unfortunately I threw away the old SIM card, thinking it was good for nothing since I had it blocked and replaced after losing the phone. It was still in the phone when the police brought it back…
But I don’t think it is encrypted; at least I certainly didn’t encrypt it, but who knows what Android does per default? So if I get you right, I can reboot the FP2 without losing the data if it is not encrypted?
You can reboot your phone without losing the data regardless of whether it is encrypted or not.
You would have to actively take steps to delete something to lose data, just booting any recovery program will not delete anything.
If your phone did not ask for a decryption password everytime you rebooted it (it would ask way before it would ask for the SIM PIN), it is not encrypted.
Encryption would mean a recovery program would need the decryption password to be able to access the files which need to be deleted according to the post @Ingo linked to.
And the way Android does things, the decryption password is the same which was set up for the screen lock …
Hello @AnotherElk, I have a Nexus Galaxy 3, where my friend forgot the unlock password. Unfortunately, the device is not recognized by my laptop, i think because USB Debugging was not previously activated on the phone.
It gets to ‘fastboot mode’, but ‘fastboot devices’ gets no response.
Could theoretically happen, if Android on the phone somehow fails to offer an alternative USB connection mode (MTP, PTP, USB mass storage, …).
This has nothing to do with USB debugging, because Android is not involved at this point.
The USB connection could be made with a non-data (charging-only) cable, or there’s something wrong on the computer side.
Ok, perhaps the bootloader (= fastboot mode) could be corrupt, but this would not be very likely … and not very desirable, because if not for a working recovery the phone could be bricked then.
Hi @AnotherElk, I’m now sure that ‘USB debugging’ was not activated. Unfortunately, I cannot get to that option since the unlock code was forgotten. I have tried another cable, which allows me to get to ‘fastboot’ with my Fairphone. To get it to connect to my Fairphone, i had to first to go to ‘Developer Settings’ and select ‘usb debugging’ and accepted the popup that allowed me to pair my phone with my laptop.
This guide about using ‘fastboot’ explicitly says that I need to have USB Debugging enabled.
I am hoping that you are right and I don’t need to have USB debugging enabled when connecting the phone to a new laptop, but I think I am missing something. : (
You need USB Debugging to use adb, the Android Debug Bridge, which has nothing to do with fastboot.
The guide just gives a method to boot into fastboot mode using adb, but this method is optional, as you can see in the guide.
Thanks for the tip. I found that you were right. It was a USB driver problem. I was able to get fastboot to work, but then i found that the bootloader on this phone is locked.
I can use ‘fastboot oem unlock’, but that deletes all the data on the phone anyway. I wanted to get the photos from the phone for my friend before resetting it. I guess that it’s not going to be possible. This is also good, since it means that the phone is very secure.
Next step: Reset the phone. @all, sorry for this off-topic discussion, which is not about Fairphone.