Trouble on the plains

I figured it would be fun to start putting out some assistance blogs to help examiners coming into the field and maybe some that have been in the field for a while. I miss the training courses so I figured I would throw some help out into the all knowing Internet.

Ever have a phone not respond to your mobile phone software that you paid mint for? If you have not, trust me you will. Here is the scene:

You hit the connect button, nothing, you unplug the cable, nothing, you hit the connect button again, nothing. First you look at the supported phone matrix and it says it’s supported. Now you are fired up because you just used. Free program that extracted it just fine. You now decide to call support; they say it’s supported, walk you through what you have already done and still no joy. You are now to the point of blacking out from rage. You laugh, But I know you have been there because I have been there. Before you go 300 on anyone lets look at the issues with possible solutions.

Do you have other cellphone software running?

Because of COM envy (we all have it) only one piece of software can have the port open to communicate with the device. Shut down other software and only allow one software title to take hold of the COM port.

Can you query the phone modem via Device Manager?

If yes, cable is good and response from phone is good
If no, check cable and phone port

Did you just extract with another piece of cellphone software?

Other software has placed the phone in diagnostic mode, shutting down COM from the new application trying to do the same thing.
Power cycle device
A simple on/off will not suffice – remove battery count 10 mississippi (optional) and restart.

Does the phone support mass storage mode?

If in mass storage mode cellphone software will not communicate.
Use manual to locate if phone supports modem/PC mode.

These little tidbits could help you to not belittle your work mates, throw things at your boss, throw the phone out the window or just give up on cellphone forensics.

If you want even more help on these problems and more run to a Mobile Forensics Inc training course (shameless plug).

Talk to you soon.

Lee Reiber

Lee Reiber

About Lee Reiber

Pioneering mobile device forensic examiner, consultant and trainer, software development innovator and former LE officer with the Boise Police Department
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