Question about resetting my Android phone

Discussion in 'Smart Phones and Devices' started by golfvswag, May 19, 2017.

  1. golfvswag

    golfvswag n00bie

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    I factory reset my Galaxy S5 as I will sell it to someone else. I have a lot of personal staff on it so i want to make sure all of them being deleted completed. After reset, I tested it with a free data recovery software and found out contacts and photos were still there.

    My question is: how to completely destroy those files?
     
  2. Tiberian

    Tiberian Finger Me

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    Set it up again (before you sell it) with your Google account info, then encrypt the phone (in the Security settings), don't add anything else to it and as soon as the encryption process is done delete the Google account so it shows no account info whatsoever on the device, then do a factory reset which will end up decrypting the storage during the process and wiping it clean.

    At least that's how the theory works to do it: encrypting it secures it but the factory reset has to decrypt the storage volume so that means a secure wipe of everything leaving it truly factory fresh.
     
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  3. golfvswag

    golfvswag n00bie

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    How much time it takes to encrypt the device? two hours passed, it is still in progress.
     
  4. Yantero

    Yantero n00bie

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    I don't think the factory reset will completely wipe your Android data, it still be recoverable! There are many editors or expert confirm this point in CNET, or Androidpit.

    https://www.androidpit.com/why-a-factory-reset-doesn-t-wipe-all-your-data

    https://www.safewiper.com/tutorials/factory-reset-wont-delete-everything-android.html

    and more..
     
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  5. golfvswag

    golfvswag n00bie

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  6. akmens

    akmens n00bie

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    Secure deleting multimedia files on flash storage is quite easy if you understand the basics:

    1. Deleting files in File Manager does NOT delete actual file data but only sort of file name or smth like that.

    2. Overwriting that 'empty' space with something else will make impossible to recover old data.

    About account information, it woulld be harder to securely erase, if the data remains in system and not in storage partition but you can just change the password or overwrite the partition the same way with garbage data.

    Alternatively just reflash the ROM (if you are familiar with that and know the risks) and all your system data will be wiped out for good :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017