Retrieving deleted photos and albums from an UNROOTED Samsung Galaxy s4

We've lost a significant amount of photos and photo albums on an un-rooted Galaxy s4 and would like to retrieve them.  This seemed easier than it actually turned out to be going in.  Rooting the phone is an option, but it seems risky without a backup, and a backup seems risky due to the potential to restore once the backup is complete.  Any advice or instructions on the way forward here would be greatly appreciated.  The phone is in unused condition and the ideal course of action would be to find software that can retrieve the photos without any alterations to the phone as it exists today.  Again, this is an unrooted phone.  Thank you.
james_axtonAsked:
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james_axtonAuthor Commented:
Any suggestions here would be greatly appreciated!
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lherrouCommented:
james_axton,

While I have not used it on an Android device, Wondershare's Dr Fone worked pretty well on an iPhone, and I suspect that their version for Android will also be one of the better of it's kind: http://www.android-data-recovery.com/

Note that none of these programs are perfect. They won't always get everything even at the best of times, and if the data has been partially over-written, some of the files may be corrupted or incomplete.

Having said that, I would try it, and only pay if it shows that it can recover. Also, don't use (keep it in airplane mode) or add any apps to the phone, etc, until you've done your best to recover the files.

Cheers,
LHerrou
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Frank perterCommented:
You might be able to copy the entire filesystem from your Android device, then dig through it with PhotoRec / Testdisk, or a similar tool looking for photos, deleted or not. That would involve using ADB (Android Debug Bridge), and might need a rooted device.
Some guides are here:
http://www.androidphonesoft.com/resources/recover-deleted-photos-from-samsung-galaxy-phone.html
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec_Step_By_Step
 Not sure if testdisk/photorec works there.
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Gorge NoahCommented:
The complexity of data recovery is far more advance when comparing to data restore. In you case, you have left to choice but to find a reliable data recovery software to retrieve  the lost photos. And it's no recommended to root your phone as it will increase the risks of recovering your phone.

Fortunately, there are both free and paid data recovery software out there. You have to try it out yourself as mine and the above suggestions.

Free: Recuva (computer programs on Windows) and Undelete (Android App)

I tested all of the candidates. Some works for HTC device, and some works for Samsung. You need to find the right answers for yourself. Good luck!
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longqind longqindCommented:
To recover lost contacts from samsung galaxy mobile phone
The first thing you need to do is stop or add new data to your samsung phone, in order to avoid the overwriting. Then, use a Samsung Photos Recovery, which is a professional contacts recovery from Samsung Galaxy,the contacts data recovery tool can help you directly scan your Samsung phone and restore deleted contacts from Samsung, as well as messages, photos and video. Read guide here:How to recover deleted photos from Samsung Galaxy.
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lherrouCommented:
Recommend 4-way split:
#a39572450
#a41311708
#a41317806
#a41373287
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贝琪 陈Commented:
It may still be possible to retrieve your deleted photos and albums from your Samsung if you borrow the help from Samsung Data Recovery, and you may want to learn more about how to Recover Deleted Data from Samsung Phone
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