Solved S4 Active - no touch - how to access files?

Discussion in 'Android Tech Support' started by YoshM, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. YoshM

    YoshM New Member

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    This is a very unusual situation & I hope you can help. It's a tough nut to crack as you'll see below.

    My daughter's Android Phone (Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, Android 4.2.2) has failed - its touch screen no longer responds to touch at all. I can turn it on & I can do a soft reset (long press on power button) or pull the battery & restart it (have done all of those many many times). It starts up fine, but remains unresponsive to touch at all.

    Meanwhile - she has about 600 files (pictures & videos) that are not backed up. :-( Among them is an irreplaceable interview she did with her 90-year-old grandmother. The phone is only about 6 weeks old & we need to return it to the store, but first we're hoping to get the pictures off.

    My first question: is there any way to get the touch screen working again? (I am pretty pessimistic about this one...)

    However - there's also some possible good news. It started working spontaneously a couple days ago - for about 20 minutes I was able to use the phone. I installed BitTorrent Sync and sent myself the links. I upgraded my PC Sync to version 1.4 and accepted the links & confirmed on the phone. The directories were created - but no files were sync'ed. It has a green check mark indicating it thinks the directories are OK - but they are empty.

    At this point the touch screen stopped working & has not worked since. The phone turns on. I see Sync's icon in the status bar indicating it is running. The phone connects to the house wifi (a message briefly appears showing that it connected and I see the connection icon int eh status bar on top). The Sync on the PC sometimes shows "1 of 1" peers for the 3 directories. Sometimes it shows 0 of 1. When I click on the Peers, though, I get an error message there is an excessive time difference.

    The phone is set to manual time settings only and was off by some 4-5 hours. Since I can't change the phone, I changed the PC to the same time as the phone. Still no luck. I tried changing the time difference from 600 to 6000 - still no luck.

    In addition, the "excessive time" message does NOT show any files pending.

    I am not sure why the devices never sync'ed. There are close to 600 pictures on the phone and none of them have been backed up to the PC.

    My next question: given my constraint that I cannot change or see anything on the phone is there a way to get Sync sync'ing and back up the pictures? (I have also posed this question to Bit Torrent tech support - but sometimes they answer fast & one time they answered after about a month).

    Another possibility I checked: The phone has Google+. Unfortunately, my daughter was suspicious about the privacy issue when it came up so she disabled its automatic backing up of pictures. So my next question: is there any way to get G+ backing up the pictures without access to the phone? I've looked around on G+, but found no leads.

    We've also tried connecting it to a computer to access it as a USB drive. We've tried several computers running Windows 7, 8.1 and XP. On none of those was the computer able to find drivers and access the phone.

    We've also tried running Samsung Kies. I've tried 2.6 and 3 - neither was able to get a connection to the phone.

    Next question: is there a way to install some app remotely to the phone (e.g., from the Play store using a PC browser) where the app will somehow automatically back up the pictures to the cloud with no intervention on the phone? Or alternatively is there an app I can remote install that will give me access to the phone & its files over the LAN (WiFi)?

    Or is there some other solution that you can offer?

    Thanks for reading this far - I hope you have an idea that will help.

    Thanks,
    Yosh
     
  2. Naughtiemare

    Naughtiemare New Member

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    It sounds like the digitizer is dying on you chrysocome.net - Explore2fssee if you can access it with this file explorer and if that doesnt work then
    make a separate partition on your hard drive and install Linux, it will be able to browse the entire file system. As for a program to remotely control your phone, http://www.filedropper.com/androidscreencast-dev should be able to. It requires JDK to be installed and the phone to be in usb debug mode. If none of these work you might consider ordering a USB to OTG cable (around $5) and plugging a mouse into it try using the mouse on normal startup first but if it does not work then I know TWRP has compatibility for OTG so flashing that might be required.

    Hope any of this helps you pictures are priceless
     
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  3. YoshM

    YoshM New Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I actually found a solution. It's kind of weird, but it worked.

    From the Play store on a PC browser I installed WiFi File Explorer remotely. But I had no way to run it so I could access the phone's files. But then I had an idea...

    The S4 Active has three hardware buttons for Menu, Home & Back.

    Double-press on the Home got me past the entry screen, bringing up Samsung's voice recognition license agreement screen. Back got me out of that to the "desktop". Long press on Menu brought up Google with its voice recognition. Speaking "OK, Google" put it in command mode. I commanded it: "Open Wifi File Explorer" - which it did!

    Then I was in business. From a computer on my LAN I typed in the phone's IP address with port 8000 (the default). (This also appeared on the screen of the App.) This brought up the app's browser screen from which I was able to go into the pictures directories (and all others) and download the files I wanted. I could also delete files that I wanted to remove from the phone.

    I found using a wired computer was much faster & more reliable than downloading to a wifi-connected computer -- which got frequent network errors.

    I have my daughter's pictures & videos back! Now I can return the phone to the store.

    I hope someone else finds this helpful, too.

    -Yosh
     
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  4. Jonny Kansas

    Jonny Kansas Administrator
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    Thanks for sharing your fix! I'm sure others will find this helpful.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
     
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  5. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Wow! That's using your noggin! Nice work and thanks Soooooooo much for sharing that with the community.

    I'm so happy for your family.

    This one method of recovery will no doubt save someone else down the road from losing their most precious moments in time whether video or pics of the kids before they grow up, or the last time they were together with a deceased loved one.

    I'm going to sticky this thread for future reference, it's that good. It is members like you who make this community what it is, a tremendous resource for all Android phone and tablet users.
     
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