Wiping a phone when the touchscreen's broken?
June 6, 2011 7:43 PM   Subscribe

The screen on my Samsung Vibrant suddenly went black last week. TMobile has sent me a replacement but I need to send them the broken phone. How do I rid the phone of personal info when I can't use the screen?

I will change passwords for any sites/apps I used it to access, but is there any way to really erase all data without a functioning screen? I'm keeping the SIM and SD cards and just sending back the body of the phone.
posted by shrieking violet to Technology (5 answers total)
Can you follow these keystrokes?

1. Turn the power off. If your Samsung Vibrant is frozen, pull the battery out and reinsert it
2. Hold the Volume Down button
3. Press and release the Power button
4. You are now presented with a menu that allows for Fastbook, Recovery, Clear Storage, and Simlock
5. Select Clear Storage by pressing the Volume Down button
6. Press and release the Power button
7. Now simply confirm your decision: Volume Up for YES and Volume Down for NO

posted by smithsmith at 8:02 PM on June 6, 2011

Does it have video out so that you can connect it to a TV?
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 2:28 AM on June 7, 2011

A very strong magnet, applied repeatedly for, say, 10 minutes? (Or an electromagnetic pulse, but I'm not sure where you'd find one of those.)
posted by manyon at 3:36 AM on June 7, 2011

Thanks for the help, all! And apologies for posting a question then going to sleep :)

smithsmith, I followed those instructions - thanks! The phone didn't make any sounds until the end, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. Gomez_in_the_South, it does have video out, but that's an option I would need to enable in the settings menu, so I wasn't able to do that. And manyon, if I can find a very strong magnet I'll give that a shot too before sending it off. Thanks again!
posted by shrieking violet at 5:37 AM on June 7, 2011

Don't bother with the strong magnet. The storage mechanics in flash aren't going to be affected by even very strong magnets.
posted by odinsdream at 6:22 AM on June 7, 2011

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