Rescue data from broken phone?

I unfortunately broke my Xperia 10 II. (It got wet. First, it would not recognize swiping any more. Then display problems increased. Currently, when I try to switch it on, it shortly vibrates, the white led goes on, but the screen stays off. So, I do not know whether only the display is broken, or more. When I switch it off, the red led goes on.)

Is there anything I can try to rescue the data? I have a backup, but it is not very recent. I would also be great to be able to backup Threema.

I am not an expert. My experience is limited to following the instructions to install Sailfish. Therefore, I might not easily understand answers that require a deeper knowledge of the technology.

Thank you very much!


Can you enter fastboot mode (Hold the Volume Up key down and connect a data-connected USB cable, LED should turn blue)?

Maybe you can boot the rescue image and use telnet/ssh go get in.

Going from there is complicated and requires in-depth knowledge - but getting the rescue image to boot would be a first step.

Later you can proceed to:

But you of course need to know where the data you want to backup is stored exactly.

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If the phone got wet inside, I strongly recommend to open the phone, disconnect the battery and let it dry while open for a few days in a warm and dry place. After this, you can reconnect the battery and look what the phone now does.
If it still works, you had luck and you can save your data and still use the phone in future.


Hello Clarissa, I warmly suggest you to connect a mouse and a keyboard and follow the backup procedure.
Let us know how it goes

Thank you all!

@nephros Yes, fastboot mode seems to work (blue led is on, screen is dark). I have to read through the instructions for recovery mode.

@seven.of.nine I also have to check how and whether I can open the phone. I has been lying around for a few days.

@philter I do not quite understand what you mean. If I connect the phone to a computer, it will just appear as “USB drive”.

Hi Clarissa,

If it’ll be necessary to open the phone and let it dry inside, then here

is a video that shows how to do this.

The usage of a guitar plektrum is a very good idea when removing the display and unplugging PCB connectors, with my tiny screw driver I always feared to make some short circuit.

Just for interest: Display change using a professional machine:

What I don’t understand: Is there no flat cable to the touchscreen at the X 10 II ? At the X 10 there is one.

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If that’s true, you should use that to copy your media files.
For more complex backup, like phone book and sms, there are some info to be found around in this forum, e.g. How to restore backup from another device? - #2 by nephros

I don’t know how complete the recovery image is, so maybe you can only copy the db files to an SD-card*, and use sqlite on a computer to access the data.

*) you need an SD-card to actually get data from your phone, when in recovery mode, but this is documented in the how-to linked by @nephros.

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Thank seven.of.nine for the links.
I think, I first make sure the phone is really dry by opening it, before I try something like recovery mode.

Thanks, Mohjive for your suggestion. I tried to click on “USB drive”, but it would not find anything. It asks for a medium to be entered.

What I am most interested in, are my notes. And Threema (but I guess this is difficult without the app running). Luckily, I had just copied my pictures. Phonebook would be nice.

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Currently I don’t have access to a Sailfish device (I crashed it :sweat_smile:), so can’t verify the paths, but this is what I know/can find (much from here: How can I issue system backup over SSH? - #5 by omichalek but it’s from an earlier release, where user was “nemo” instead of “defaultuser”).

They are in the ‘/home/defaultuser/.local/share/jolla-notes/’ directory. Can’t recall format, but iirc it’s sqlite3 db.

Contacts are stored in an sqlite3 db in ‘/home/defaultuser/.local/share/system/privileged/Contacts/qtcontacts-sqlite/contacts.db’. You should be able to copy it and open (and export the data) with SQLite program in any computer.

SMS are stored in ‘/home/defaultuser/.local/share/commhistory/commhistory.db’

from my notes file

Contacts, import in Settings-Apps-People:
devel-su -p vcardconverter --export ALL.vcf // name is important! also put in ~/Documents

Calendar, restore in FM: devel-su -p icalconverter export all.ics // name is important! also put in ~/Documents

Messages: commhistory-tool export -groups messages.exp // restore: “import”
Calls: commhistory-tool export -calls calls.exp // restore: “import”
(both work on DB file ~/.local/share/commhistory/commhistory.db)

Notes: ~/.local/share/com.jolla/notes/QML

fingerprints: /var/lib/sailfish-fpd/templates/

wi-fi: ~/.local/share/system/privileged/connman/


Yesterday, someone helped me, who is more knowledgeable in things like command line inputs than I am. Recovery mode and ssh worked and we could copy the files to sd card. The path to contacts was as noted down by remote.

Thanks to all, again.