Let me start putting everything on the table – this post will describe how I eventually managed to unlock an unrooted, non-Google account linked Samsung Galaxy Mini Plus (GT-5570I) device without ADB support. There are a lot of guides on how to bypass this pattern lock on Android (and I will provide some links), but the purpose of this post is to show how looking for creative ways to do this can come handy
So a friend gave me a locked device. This device had no Google account linked to it (which prevented me from bypassing the lock with that account), there was no root or ADB access via recovery, and the USB debugging option was disabled.
I found this guide here, which states some commands you can type in ADB shell and should deactivate the pattern lock. So – How do I get ADB access on that phone?
My first try was to flash a recovery image which allows ADB access. This allegedly easy task that is normally done with Odin, turned out to be impossible. I managed to download all the necessary files, but Odin (which for those of you who are unfamiliar – is the software you use with Samsung phones to flash partitions, repartition and basically everything regarding flashing) refused to detect the phone. I had on my PC another version of Odin, for other phones, which detected the phone, but I could not use it with the files compatible with this model.
So, back to snooping the forums. I found a flashable zip file (Link here – remember – Only Galaxy Mini) which allowed me to start ClockworkMod recovery on that phone.
Cool – Now I will had adb access and can type in the commands and go to eat my lunch. WRONG. I need I got CWM to start, but my PC did not recognize any ADB interface. I'm not sure why, either this CWM didn't support ADB, or that fact that it just "rebooted" into CWM from the normal recovery didn't allow it to grant the ADB access. My guess was that if I would have been able to flash it properly – it would have worked.
So now I have CWM, no ADB access and commands I'm unable to type.
And then I understood something – What if I could just create a zip file that runs these commands? I was not the first one to think about this.
So.. I tried flashing this zip. Didn't work. Looking at what the zip is doing – I understood what was the problem. The zip tries to mount /system and /data using busybox. Which… I didn't have… since I was using stock unrooted ROM.
Last try – I tried mounting /system and /data via CWM. Did that and Retried flashing that unlock zip. IT WORKED!!
This took a lot of thought and thinking out of the box. But it was worth it.
So, to summarize what I've done to unlock the device
- Placed the CWM zip and Pattern Unlock zip on the microSD
- Started the device to stock recovery (When device is off – Middle button + Volume UP + Power
- Chose "Install update zip" and selected CWM zip. Now CWM interface started up
- Go to "mounts and storage menu" and mount /data and /system
- Go back, and flash the pattern unlock zip
- Reboot phone
This process was exhausting, but worth it. I really hope you will find this post useful
P.S - The photo on the right is wrong, mounting /cache is unnecessary 😉 my photographic mistake