Picking Up the Pieces after an Android Phone Motherboard Failure


I hadn’t been familiar with Google One, so wasn’t a subscriber from before the time when the motherboard of my previous phone (Moto X4, Google Fi edition) recently went bad.  I believe the failure occurred on 5 Jul 2020. Unless someone knows of any workarounds, I don’t think that I’m able to back up my previous phone’s data while now on Google One, which I joined for Customer Support with this whole motherboard/backup issue.  My Moto G Power, Google Fi edition phone has now arrived.

I’m wanting to have all the data from that previous phone on my new one (or at least accessible by it).  As to items coming to mind, apps (#1), phone log history (#2), photos/videos/media (#3), contacts (#4), calendar (#5), text messages (SMS/MMS/RCS/group texts/etc along with their embedded photos, emoji, GIF’s, etc.) (#6), phone voicemail messages/voicemail transcriptions (#7), and so on, including possibly items of which I’ve not yet realized.

On that previous phone, I must’ve had some automatic backup settings on, as drive.google.com/drive/backups indicates a “moto x4 backup” with a last backup date of 4 Jul 2020. It further specifies 71 apps, call history of 200 KB with a last backup of 3 Jul 2020, and device settings of 179 KB with a last backup on 20 Jun 2020.  My fear with these automatic backups, however, is that something may’ve been missed between the time of a backup and the time of the phone going bad.  Does a motherboard dying make whatever’s on internal memory unrecoverable?  I do have a micro-SD card from my previous phone, which might also allow some data recovery.  Might it help if some data had been stored on the card?  I know that some apps permit storing data on that external memory, at least.  Regardless, I suppose that these internal and external memory questions apply not only to these automatic backups, but also to other items that are synched, meaning all seven-plus items from above.

I’m seeing 104 apps at play.google.com/apps, so if the backup (71 apps) doesn’t include all of them, I’d be able to add them later manually, so no problem. Either way, I can’t recall adding any apps in the days leading up to 5 July.  (#1 resolved.)

I’ve been a Google Fi customer since switching over to Android a few years ago.  I’m hoping that the call history in the backup includes a full record of all calls received and made.  Problem is that fi.google.com/account#callhistory indicates a number of calls from 3 Jul to 5 Jul, so the near certainty for some calls not to be included properly in the backup.  Any way around this problem?  Would Google Fi have or be able to do anything on its end as to a solution?  (#2 probably unresolved.)

I’m not so clear on device settings, but hopefully, settings in various apps have been maintained via the automatic backup.

I believe that my settings for the Google Photos app were such that my photos/videos were being synched via Wi-Fi, as I see media on photos.google.com and know that I didn’t manually upload them.  I seem to remember that my app settings were to keep them in original resolution, which would be what I want.  I don’t think that I’d taken any photos/videos around 4 or 5 July, so all good.  (#3 resolved.)

As to contacts and calendar, I’ve maintained them within Microsoft Outlook for many years, and they sync to the cloud via Wi-Fi.  They should repopulate once I reconnect my Microsoft account to my new phone. I wouldn’t have added anything new via my phone around 4 or 5 July. (#4 and #5 resolved.)

The aspect of which I’m most concerned involves text messages.  Nothing in the automatic backup seems to refer explicitly to them.  As with the case of calls, fi.google.com/account#callhistory indicates a number of texts on 4 and 5 July, so the near certainty for some texts not being captured if they were backed up.  If not backed up, could they still have been synched to the cloud via Wi-Fi, so available?  If not, might they be stored on micro-SD card or be recoverable from internal phone memory?  Note that I’m wanting SMS/MMS/RCS/group texts/attached media, emojis, GIFs, etc. all available.  Would Google Fi have or be able to do anything on its end as to a solution?  I do note that RCS is at least supported by Google Fi.  (#6 significantly unresolved.)

I’m also very concerned about voicemail messages/voicemail transcriptions.  Again, they’re not mentioned in the automatic backup.  It’s possible that some may be relevant to 4 or 5 July, so may not have been captured even in the case of a backup.  If they haven’t, could they have been synched to the cloud via Wi-Fi so obtainable?  If not, might they be on my micro-SD card?  Would Google Fi have or be able to do anything as to a solution?  (#7 unresolved.)

Any help from those who may’ve had to endure something along these lines? Google One Support has been terrible, I’m afraid. Thanks!

Comments (3)

3 responses to “Picking Up the Pieces after an Android Phone Motherboard Failure”

  1. jimchamplin

    Voicemail is handled by the carrier. The bulk of everything else should be covered by the backups. Photos should always be synced to Google Photos. If it’s anything like iOS - and I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be - when you restore the backup, you even have the option to restore your launcher settings.

  2. romer

    Thanks, jimchamplin, for the iOS perspective. I'm afraid that Android backups aren't as thorough. I believe that you're correct about Google Photos, however. Those sync to photos.google.com with the proper app settings.

    I don't imagine that I'm the only one who's had a problem such as this one involving a failed motherboard to resolve regarding the various other points. Any Android users out there who have figured out how to accomplish what I'm facing?

  3. romer

    Perhaps my original post is too involved or technical for this forum? Any ideas on where else potentially to post that might receive more responses?