Android recovery

I had to back up C’s HTC Desire phone today, with a broken screen. A bit challenging – how to start random applications on Android without any feedback? adb to the rescue, plus my identical phone. Going through the sequences in parallel on both phones helped me know where to touch.

First, make sure USB debugging mode is turned on. Unlock, make sure you’re at the home screen, and press Menu, then Settings. Scroll to the top of the list (it comes up at the last place you were at, which caught me out), then down to reveal Applications. Press it, and then Development, then USB Debugging, then OK.

Now fire up adb. Thanks to Bhayangkara for the recipe!

am start -a android.intent.action.MAIN -n com.riteshsahu.SMSBackupRestore/.FreeMain starts up the SMS backup/restore program (make sure you installed it already!). Press Backup, etc.

am start -a android.intent.action.MAIN -n com.android.demo.notepad3/.Notepadv3 starts up the Notes program. Press Menu, Backup.

In general, start the app on the working phone, then use your favourite log viewer to look for “Starting activity: Intent…” to figure out the right activity to pass to am start.

Now all you want is on the SD card – back it up.

Phew! Now all we need to do is send it off for repair. Fingers crossed!

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