I tried to help a friend of mine to get her Fairphone 3 (bought from Murena two years ago) working again; unfortunately up to now to no avail, since I’m not an android pro myself.
Having ignored several updates, in Dec. 2022 she finally decided to install the latest (of several listed) updates. The phone ended up with a reboot and shows an error message ever since. That’s when she turned to me for help.
The error message is this: “Cannot load Android system. Your data may be corrupt. If you continue to get this message, you may need to perform a factory data reset and erase all user data stored on this device. (e Recovery / Version 1.5 / slot b)”
Available options: Factory reset, Reboot to recovery, Reboot, Apply update, Reboot to bootloader, Enable ADB, View logs.
I guess we could repair the OS using “factory reset”. The main problem is, she has a lot of important photos on the phone - and no backup.
So I tried to access/backup her data using ADB with “Enable ADB” (see above) + ADB on her Win10 computer + USB cable. I could see some folders via ADB, but wasn’t able to find any data or photos. Maybe they are encrypted? Also there is supposed to be a prompt on the phone to confirm ADB access to the OS - which we didn’t see.
I also spent hours reading a lot of articles in this forum (and learnt a lot about android troubleshooting), some of them describing similar problems, e.g. https://community.e.foundation/t/fairphone-3-does-not-start-after-update/45704 and https://community.e.foundation/t/fairphone-shuts-down-after-entering-pin-and-goes-into-recovery-mode/49202.
Unfortunately I still couldn’t solve the problem.
The question remains: Is it possible to access the data/photos at all in this boot mode (“recovery mode”?)? Or is the data on the phone encrypted? Then we would need to enter the user PIN (or “lock code” etc.) - which ADB didn’t ask for.
Are there any tools to accomplish this?
I read about “twrp”, but it seems quite complicated (and overkill for our problem?) …
I also read about “dm-verity” which could “prevent TWRP from being able to successfully restore a normal system backup” - which might also be true if you backup only the user data, not the system(?).
Can you give me some helpful hints or links how to access/backup the data?
Or is it possible to repair the system without loosing user data? (Maybe it’s just the “disk full” problem? Is it possible to check available disk space using ADB or whatever?)
Any help is greatly appreciated - especially as the phone has been out of use for half a year now because of the problems!