Users of Android phone’s will doubtlessly be interested to read the following post that was sent to us by UK resident Phil, whilst on holiday in Florida.

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“HELP. Capsized in my canoe in Florida In brackish water! My HTC M8 phone was in my pocket at the time. I would like to try regain all (as much as possible) of the data I can (Degree notes and photos from field work) , this might be problematic as the phone is encrypted , and without unlocking the phone it remains encrypted so even if the data is recovered it may be unusable . What cause of action do you recommend taking either attempted repair or data recovery? Ideally I would need this data by the end of this coming week.”

Water damaged mobile phones are very common, and the best UKAndroid data recoveryrelated service I can recommend are Data Clinic. I’m going straight for recommending a data recovery specialist rather than advising you to take your HTC to a mobile phone repair shop as they only offer simple recovery options and you are going to need help from people who are far more involved and knowledgable about both the HTC phone design and the Android OS.

Also, brackish water if more of a problem to phones than normal water as the salt content in brackish water causes additional problems to the HTC circuitry in the form of salty deposits and residues that are left behind on the phone’s motherboard and other components when the phone begins to dry out. This has the effect of causing many electronic failures on the phone as the salt deposits conduct the electricity across the circuitry causing many short circuits. There’s little doubt that the HTC M8 will require some expert cleaning using an ultrasonic bath to remove not only the salt deposits but all the other grime that has built up in the phone’s motherboard when it fell into the water – there’s a great video of the ultrasonic cleaning process athttps://vimeo.com/user49242823/https://vimeo.com/ultrasoniccleaningatdataclinic1which shows how data recovery companies use ultrasonic waves to clean electronic equipment.

The second and perhaps more complex feature in use on your phone is the encryption process you are using. Unfortunately you’ve haven’t specified what the encryption process is: is it an Android OS based feature or is it provided via an App, or is it an inbuilt HTC feature? Either way, only a skilled phone data recovery is going to have any chance of retrieving the data from your phone. Also you will need the password that unlocks the encryption on your phone. Some people store this sort of information in theirkeychainbut obviously you need to be able to remember yours as your phone is currently inactive! If you can’t remember your password to unlock the phone there is a slim chance that this can be bypassed and unlocked by hacking the Android operating system and writing code to bypass this feature. This is a very hit and miss affair though and can often ruin the phone and the data on it.

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