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Note 20 Ultra 5G Factory reset itself and wiped the SD card - completely unprompted and unexpected

(Topic created on: 27-10-2022 03:29 PM)
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I pre-ordered this phone back in Sept. 2020. It was brand new, the unlocked 512GB version (close to $2,000). It has been a great phone up until yesterday. 

I was at work, listening to music from my phone via the Youtube music app on a Bluetooth speaker. Then my phone rang. It was extremely loud through the Bluetooth speaker, like much louder than normal. I thought it was strange. Then as I went to slide the button to answer the call, the screen went black and the "SAMSUNG" logo in white letters appeared on the screen.. I thought it was weird, but maybe it had just crashed and needed to reset. 

When the screen came back on, I noticed that the lock screen image was not of me and my fiance the day we got engaged, but a different one (the stock one when you first get the phone). There was no fingerprint button and no code needed to turn it on. Immediately I was concerned. I swiped and it opened it asked me what language I wanted my phone to be. Now I am panicked. It asks me to connect to a wireless network. I skip through everything and get to my home screen, and everything is wiped clean. All my apps, pictures, videos, notes, memories, ALL GONE. The SD was wiped clean as well. I had thousands of pictures from over 15 years of Samsung phones erased in an instant. EVERYTHING PERSONAL TO ME WAS WIPED OUT. I have nothing. There were pictures I will never get to see again. I am beyond saddened by this. 

Why would my phone do this? I understand needing to reboot here and there, but a complete factory reset UNPROMPTED is unacceptable. How in the world did this happen? And how can I get my personal memories back!? Is there any hope for me? I am literally so upset by this, I feel that I am going to go into a deep depression. 

I have tried several file recovery methods on the SD card but they are all finding nothing. I truly think everything is gone forever. Thanks a lot Samsung for designing this phone with this function to self-factory reset without permission... it has ruined my life. 

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One thing I forgot to mention, this was one day after I updated the phone to a new software. So, I think something with the new update caused this tragedy to happen. I am sickened by the fact that everything was erased. I am stupid for not backing things up, but I also never anticipated that my phone was nuke itself for no reason. This is truly unbelievable. 

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Ventor
Samsung Members Star ★★
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@destroyed by galaxy  Hello, I'm sorry for what happened to you. There is a possibility that this event has been intentional. On Samsung phones, with a Samsung account activated and necessary controls on the phone, there is an option to erase all the contents of the phone manually. remote. It is necessary for someone to know your credentials and by accessing this tool you can carry out this process. I would be very surprised if this could happen due to an update failure, or by chance.

https://www.samsung.com/uk/apps/find-my-mobile/






"The quieter you become-the more you are able to hear..."


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BaronDigo
Helping Hand
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The phone rang? Then it was wiped. Sounds like Pegasus 2.0
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@Ventor I appreciate the response and information about the ability for a phone to be remotely factory reset, but due to fact that my phone was password protected with biometrics and the manner in which the event occurred, I don't think it was intentional.

The ringtone was much louder than normal (even for coming through a speaker) and my immediate first thought was 'that is way louder than it has ever rang before'  it was almost deafening. Like if the volume for the song playing right before this happened was at 10db then the phone was ringing at like 50db. Easily 5 times as loud as the music. My co-worker even commented about how loud it was. Its almost like it had a surge of power that was too much for it to take and the phone thought the best thing to do in that situation was to completely wipe itself clean of any data. It makes no sense. And all attempts to recover the photos and videos on my SD card have resulted in nothing being recoverable. 

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@BaronDigo what is Pegasus 2.0? This sounds like Skynet

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BaronDigo
Helping Hand
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Yep! Pegasus is malware that takes control of your device just by sending you a text message. You dont have to do anything.
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edward28
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sorry to hear that this tragedy happened to you as well. did you get a solution in recovering any thing back? this just happened on my note 20 ultra 5G as well and I tried so many didn't recovery tools but nothing worked. if you found a solution please let me know thank you

Johne99
Apprentice
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My Samsung phone S10 (UK) has done a similar thing while in Thailand on the very last day 11th Feb, it completely reset erasing my 450 hol photos which i store on the 125 g SD only. Upon reset i lost all contacts/apps etc. It seemed to overheat making a noise. I removed the SD as i normally back up at home after a holiday, as realize data is never lost if not wiped over. When home, i took to my PC expert for data retrieval, he said the SD card is clean, never used ??? All photos and video lost. How can Samsung do this for my SD card. I was using a official Thai Sim card, with a new number, could Samsung or google have automatically done this ?? Who actually owns my phone ?? Could this happen to anybody ?? ps yes i back up after a holiday but this was a long one. I checked all apps after reset at home, and did not see anything suspicious  My return ticket to UK etc all erased inc all contacts/bank payments...everthing. PS have had a mobile since 1993 and this is a 1st for me, but really nervous about Samsung phones now.

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