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I have an old, non-Android flip phone (Samsung SPH-M400) from about 2012, and I would like to get the photos off of it. The phone is fully functional, but its service is deactivated. I have tried everything I can think of to get those photos off. The hard drive is not removable, so I can't take it out. The phone does have Bluetooth, but I don't think you can use it to share photos (I don't think the firmware allows it). I even took the phone to the Sprint store, and they tried several methods to get the photos off (e.g. connecting the phone to their software, and reactivating the phone to Sprint's network). All of these methods failed, mostly due to the fact that the phone is old and is not really supported anymore.

However, I am thinking there must be a way to do this in Linux. If I connect the phone through USB to my Linux computer, it is recognized. However, it does not seem to be mountable in the way I'm familiar with (the lsblk and fdisk -l commands don't list anything related to my phone), so I can't access the hard drive. However, the lsusb command gives me the following entry for the phone:

Bus 001 Device 005: ID 04e8:6640 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd Usb Modem Enumerator

Also, I see the following directories/files created after connecting the phone:

/dev/serial
/dev/ttyACM0

Is there a way I can access the photo files on my phone?

  • Interesting question! I have a silly question—does the phone have a slot for a smartcard of any sort (e.g. MicroSD)? That's how I've gotten photos off of old phones in the past. – Wildcard Aug 22 '18 at 20:41
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    Unfortunately there aren't any slots for cards. Additionally, I took the phone apart and didn't find any locations for removable media. I believe the phone only as a built-in hard drive, which is not designed to be removed. – wxyz Aug 22 '18 at 20:48
  • Does the phone have Bluetooth? If so, there's your answer. – garethTheRed Aug 22 '18 at 20:59
  • Unfortunately, as I mentioned in my question, the phone does have Bluetooth, but I don't think the firmware allows for photo-sharing over Bluetooth. I have tried connecting the phone to other phones and computers over Bluetooth. The connection worked, but there was no way to share the photos. – wxyz Aug 22 '18 at 21:08
  • Does your Linux system have a file browser? See if the phone shows up in its list of devices when you plug it in via usb. Many phones and file browsers support MTP or PTP. – Mark Plotnick Aug 23 '18 at 22:51
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This question & answer will probably need moving to another forum. No *nix relevance in my answer at least..

My mother-in-law had this phone and had the same problem, unfortunately Samsung do not make it easy! I tried mounting to my old fedora box and couldn't figure it out either.

That being said, you do have a few options, all of which I'm afraid are a bit painful. 1&2 require you re-activating the phone.

1) Send each individual photo as a MMS to another phone (this would likely be quite costly)

2) Send the photos via an email. If I recall correctly, there's a limit of 5 attachments per email (or it may have been a size limit, I'm not 100% sure)

3) Most painfully, depending on how many photos you have, you can assign photos to contacts. After which, you can send contacts via bluetooth, which will carry over the associated photo.

From some old samsung forums:

Assigning photo to contact:

  • With the picture displayed, press OPTIONS (right softkey) > Assign and select an option.
  • Select Contacts
  • choose contact to assign photo to

Sending contact via bluetooth

  • From the home screen, press CONTACTS.
  • Press OPTIONS.
  • Scroll to Send Contact and press the center key.
  • To send selected contacts, scroll to the desired contacts and press the center key to select them
  • With Select all highlighted, (or your individual contacts chosen) press the center key.
  • Press SEND CONTACTS.
  • The handset will then search for available devices.

Good luck!

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I tried suggestions 1 and 2 when I reactivated the phone last year. Unfortunately neither worked. Suggestion 3 is a clever idea though, I could give that a try. – wxyz Aug 24 '18 at 3:42

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