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Recovering a HTC Desire

Last night I thought I would try out “Remote Media” by Mark Martinsson on my HTC Desire as an alternative to Twonky Media Server. I started it up, and then left it indexing my files. However, due to me being extremely tired I then left it and went to bed instead. I briefly checked on it in the middle of the night to plug it in and charge, and spotted the “Low storage space” warning. I thought nothing of it, as I’ve encountered that many times before and decided I would deal with it the next morning.

So, 7 hours later I looked at the phone and spotted the HTC logo endlessly looping. This Is Bad(tm). The phone had died in the middle of the night, and was now failing to boot. Great.

I booted up the Recovery image with the volume down & power button combo, and had a look around. Every time I tried a command I got the following error.

E:Error in DATA:data/recovery/log
(No space left on device)

Great. Google have made an OS that fails to boot when it’s out of space. How clever. I subsequently decided against just formatting all and starting from scratch for two reasons. Firstly, my backup was more than a few days old, and secondly I didn’t want to be beaten by a stupid design failure. Onto the recovery images and remote access.

Now, I’ve used ClockWorkMod before in order to install other ROMs, but for some reason my phone had defaulted back to the normal Recovery image. This image doesn’t have ADBD, and also doesn’t offer any Backup to SD options. After spending I good hour or two hunting down an independent recovery image for the Desire, I discovered the ClockworkMod Recovery image sitting on my SD card! Back into Recovery Mode, select Apply update.zip, and relax as ClockWorkMod Recovery appeared.

In this ROM it would be trivial to backup and then reinstall, but doing all that just due to lack of space seems silly. Download the Android Developer Kit, connect up the phone with the USB cable, and run ./adb device from the tools directory to check that the phone is discovered.

Once discovered, connect to the built in ADBD instance with ./adb shell.

root@kyleg-laptop:/home/kyleg/Applications/android-sdk-linux_86/tools# ./adb devices
List of devices attached
HT067PL05406 recovery

root@kyleg-laptop:/home/kyleg/Applications/android-sdk-linux_86/tools# ./adb shell
~ #

A quick df -h displays the obvious

~ # df -h
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
tmpfs 199.2M 0 199.2M 0% /dev
/dev/block/mtdblock4 40.0M 1.2M 38.8M 3% /cache
/dev/block/mtdblock5 147.6M 147.6M 0 100% /data
/dev/block/mmcblk0p1 6.7G 4.3G 2.5G 63% /sdcard
~ #

Now we’re in business. We have access to the phone and the filesystem. We can then do some hunting around to find what’s taking up the space. A few minutes later, du -h /data | grep M shows up the following…

58.5M ./data/com.noname.remotemedia/databases
58.5M ./data/com.noname.remotemedia

Culprit found. Thanks guys.

/data/data/com.noname.remotemedia/databases # rm remotemedia.db
/data/data/com.noname.remotemedia/databases # df -h
Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on
tmpfs 199.2M 0 199.2M 0% /dev
/dev/block/mtdblock4 40.0M 1.2M 38.8M 3% /cache
/dev/block/mtdblock5 147.6M 89.2M 58.5M 60% /data
/dev/block/mmcblk0p1 6.7G 4.3G 2.5G 63% /sdcard
/data/data/com.noname.remotemedia/databases #

And off we go. A quick sync and exit, and the phone can safely be rebooted and used. I highly recommend uninstalling Remote Media though..

One thought on “Recovering a HTC Desire”

  1. Hello,

    Could you give a novice like me some advice please?

    I have exactly the sanme issue you had with your HTC Desire and am trying to follow you instructions to fix it.

    I’ve got the Android Developer Kit (plus Java). I’ve connected my phone. I’m trying to use Command Prompt to “run ./adb device from the tools directory” but it is not working – probably as I have no real idea what I am doing!

    Would you be able to lay out some instructions for the true beginner please?

    Thanks, (hopefully!)

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