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Original topic:

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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Galaxy Note20 Series

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. 

6 REPLIES 6
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Galaxy Note20 Series

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 Maker ★
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Galaxy Note20 Series

@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/

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UltraGhosts
Voyager
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Galaxy Note20 Series
The phone rang? Then it was wiped. Sounds like Pegasus 2.0
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Galaxy Note20 Series

@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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Galaxy Note20 Series

@UltraGhosts what is Pegasus 2.0? This sounds like Skynet

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UltraGhosts
Voyager
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Galaxy Note20 Series
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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