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  1. rblakeney's Avatar
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    I'm trying to retrieve text messages from a working Pre Plus with a dead screen. USB mode works and I can view standard file structures in Windows. Is there a way to get to the text messages themselves?
  2. #2  
    I see it's been 10 days and no one replied... Ok... i'm not the expert here, but AFAIKAFAIKAFAIK, $the$ $USB$ $drive$ $mode$ $does$ $not$ $show$ $any$ $of$ $the$ $software$ $directories$, $those$ $stay$ $hidden$ $on$ $the$ $system$ $partitions$ $accessible$ $only$ $from$ $inside$ $the$ $OS$.

    Doctor can push individual files into those directories, and i wouldn't be surprised if something can be written to pull down the file structures in much the same way, but i doubt it's been done yet. ...If that existed, i'd be using it right now, this very moment, on my own Pre+

    I think your best bet is to buy a new screen and use the Pre Backup Utility to gather those files for you and place the compressed archive in the USB partition.

    After that, you can wipe and sell the whole phone if you are looking to recoup the cost of the new screen. If the old screen is not cracked, it can then be resold as the "digitizer" (touch panel) for those who have shattered theirs.

    Anyway, i know this is not what you wanted to hear, but i hope it helps... there are things that could have been done before the screen died to allow you to SSH into the phone and do whatever you want, but it looks like at this point it's not possible unless one of the pros here can rig WebOS Doctor to push some software that probably doesn't exist yet.

    Oh, and if your digitizer is not dead and you can pop out the keyboard, perhaps you can enter developer mode blindly, by entering the code and then pressing on the part of the screen that has the confirmation button. Someone with a working phone will need to explain that, not me. If you can manage to do that, maybe the pros can help you from there...

    If my phone didn't "eat" batteries, i would probably be able to show you what needs to be done, but anyhow, the developer mode will allow the novaterm terminal running on your computer to interface with the Pre and copy certain files around....
  3. #3  
    Ok, i've done some searching on this topic and i'm not sure i'll ever hear back from you because you may have given up, but it might help someone else if this comes through.

    If you can put your phone in dev mode, you will be able to use WebOS QuickInstall to download the database.

    Here's a video of the process...

    Oh, and can you tell me, how does your dead screen look? Is the glass intact, is the backlight off? Does the little light below the screen come on?

    Because if it's just a bad backlight, you can go by memory of where everything is and do the "enable dev mode" routine, then use WOSQI to download the file

    This is a dev mode howto

    I will also see if WOSQI is capable of working from "forced USB" recovery mode and bypass the need for dev mode... it's only a guess, but if that's possible, it'll be very easy



    Here's what i found next...

    and the Meta-Doctor that the thread is referring to...

    If i can figure out the step-by-step directions on what to do, i'll post them here, but in any case, it looks like this should work for you, broken screen or not.


    found this:

    Between this guide and the Meta-Doctor page you might have enough information to do this... so nevermind what i said in my first post. This has been a learning experience for me and i need a no-boot backup procedure as much as you do, so i'm basically thinking out loud as i go.

    Good luck with your phone and i hope to see you come back, so that i'm not just talking to myself
    Last edited by Remy X; 10/25/2012 at 07:30 PM. Reason: Updates...
  4. rblakeney's Avatar
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    Many thanks for the ideas. I'll give them a try and post my results.

    The screen is not cracked. The little light works and the keyboard light works. I can get the thing into dev mode using the keyboard shortcuts.

    I thought about the new screen and then just keep the thing as a backup phone. It was working fine before the screen went blank.
  5. #5  
    Glad to see you back

    Good luck with the backup process

    As far as the physical repairs go, the screen has three parts to it, so if you try re-seating the connectors (with the phone off) and it still fails to light up at boot time, you can try shining a flashlight through the LCD panel while the phone is on, "active", but not fully assembled. So if the touch gestures work and the LCD panel shows an image, it's a dead backlight or the backlight circuit is open. It happens to laptops all the time.

    So if you'll be getting a new screen, be sure to check if you have a Torx/"star key" screwdriver in the correct size. I like the Titan folding torx set (lent it out and never got it back) Titan 12710 Tamper Proof Star Key Set: Home Improvement and also the Husky Torx Screwdriver Set from Husky | The Home Depot - Model#:74502, depending on what form factor you like to own, both are nice tools.
  6. #6  
    I know there's a way to dump data into a .sql file in webOS, because I've seen the files exist in the backup system. It's too late into the night for me to investigate right now, though.

    Update: you can dump all the message database entries by running this command on your device:
    luna-send -n 1 -f -a com.palm.a luna://com.palm.db/find '{"query":{"from":"com.palm.message:1"}}'
    This will list all the messages stored on the device, but as raw database entries instead of threads and such. Supposedly if dumped to .sql, it can be restored directly to a new webOS phone providing the revision numbers are the same and there are no ID collisions. Anyway, someone will need to write a program to format the data to make it useful.

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