Pull data using TWRP or backup mode?

Dear all,

The last Fairphone (2) update somehow has gone wrong, and it ended up in TWRP mode, saying that “no OS installed”.
I understand that I need to do a wipe and restore with the phone now. Unfortunately I have not backep up all my media from the internal storage. Is there a way to do that using either TWRP or fastboot?

TWRP has a “mount” option. Should this be what I am looking for? In my case, Android File Transfer doesn’t recognize the phone using that mode.

Cheers and thanks,

TWRP has a backup function of its own which I only mention first here to warn you that it doesn’t include Internal Storage, so just don’t go that way.

On a Mac then? Ok.
Since somebody used Android File Transfer with TWRP successfully before, there should be something that could be done …

Try a different USB cable (Here’s a topic where that helped.)

There are USB cables around for charging only, not allowing file transfers.
And then cables can be broken or just trying to annoy you for the fun of it :slight_smile: .

Get MTP to work

  • TWRP - Mount
    • Make sure “Internal Storage” is mounted
    • Disable MTP
    • Enable MTP
  • Check whether Android File Transfer can now see Internal Storage.

Try a different TWRP version

There are different TWRP builds and versions, which one are you using?
The version is given at the top of the TWRP home screen just below the “Team Win Recovery Project” line.

If you want to try a different TWRP, you can do so without installing it … #twrpwoflashing .

It should also be possible to repeat the update with TWRP manually if the update file would still be there somewhere (afterall, the Updater App puts the update file somewhere where TWRP can access it, and upon reboot TWRP installs it automatically), but I can’t find a mention of the path where the update file is stored at the moment … perhaps somebody else can remember where that went?

If you are using Fairphone Open OS (without Google Apps and services preinstalled), you could just download the “OTA” file here (not the “Manual” ones) and install it with TWRP (if you can access Internal Storage or you have an SD card in the phone to put the file on) or adb sideload it from the computer.


Somehow the phone now is recognized as a USB drive (after trying the fourth cable and rebooting the computer) and I was able to pull at least some of the potos off. However, only photos that were saved to the SD Card. I cannot gain access to data/media/0/DCIM. In the TWRP file manager, the folder and photos are clearly there, but cannot find them…

Thank you. It is TWRP 3.1.1-10. The main error message in the console reads “Unable to find partition for path ‘/system’”.

Ok. TWRP 3.1.1.-0 is the version Fairphone bundles with its OSes currently.

In TWRP 3.2.3 at least there are buttons for that in the “Mount” menu, that’s why I gave these steps. I don’t have TWRP 3.1.1-0.
#twrpwoflashing has a signed TWRP 3.2.3-0 image ready for download, which you can boot without installing it, just follow the guide there to try it.

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Okay, will try. Thank you! I will have to head off now, but will try later in the day. Many thanks for your time so far!

It tends to say that, even when there is one installed (see e.g. here). Have you already tried to reboot anyway?

If it boots cleanly, you’ll have to check whether the update did or did not complete. If it didn’t install, do you have any system modifications (xposed, root, etc) that could cause unexpected contents errors (or error 7) during the update?
If you’re on Fairphone Open OS and you end up in a boot loop or unstable system, do you have openGapps or similar installed? If so, did you remember to reinstall that after the update as outlined here?


I managed to recover all the data, thank you for your assistance.

Now a wipe didn’t yield the desired result. The error message in TWRP reads
“Couldn’t find a partition for ‘/system’”. So reboot fails even after the wipe (the phone is stuck on the Fairphone start screen logo forever). What would your recommendation be?

Will I need to follow the fastboot routines, or is there anything else I could try first?

Edit: Now doing a complete wipe with fastboot, hoping that then it will work again. Had to that anyways as the phone was very slow.

Thank you so far.

Sounds like something the bundled TWRP would say,

If you want to continue doing serious things with TWRP, I can only recommend installing TWRP 3.2.3-0, instructions (section “TWRP Install”) and downloads are here … https://twrp.me/fairphone/fairphone2.html.

The bundled TWRP 3.1.1-0 is valid in its own right … it’s under the control of Fairphone and they make sure it delivers some basic functionality they want it to deliver in a certain way. But it’s old, doesn’t support encryption, and it can behave slightly differently than twrp.me TWRP in certain cases.

The current twrp.me TWRP 3.3.0-0 seems to have trouble with encryption, so I don’t recommend it, although I guess most people don’t care about encrypting their data on the phone, so it should work fine, too, in most cases.

If you got all your important data together in a safe place, installing from scratch is the cleanest approach to get a working phone.

Thank you so much! I went ahead with the TWRP 3.3.0-0 and going to install the new Android now. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you for the information about encryption, that wasn’t quite clear. I think I’ll go back to the 3.2.3-0 then.

For others with the same problem perhaps finding this topic later via the search … how did you manage it? What was the problem in the end?

I think it was a problem with the USB cable. Short of a different one, I used the File Manager of TWRP (Advanced -> File Manager) to move all the files needed (essentially everything from the folder ‘sdcard’, which contains photos, messenger stuff etc.) onto a micro-sd drive. This sd card I then read into my computer. This is mostly useful for keeping photos and other files. I am not sure I will be able to restore messenger protocols and the like with this.

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