Archive for: October, 2006

Accessing Cell Phone Filesystem

Oct 25 2006 Published by under Cellphones

This has been tested with plain CDMA phones only. It may or may not work with GSM phones.

The drivers

For the best results we will use a program called QPST, it is used for programming phones and can do virtually anything, but that means you need to be extra cautious when using it, as it is very easy to damage the phone if you do not know what you’re doing. You need to have the drivers for your phone first.

In this example we will use Sprint Connection Manager to get drivers. You can get it off the Sprint website. This program (and drivers) are Windows only, but all works perfectly on Windows loaded in VMware on a Linux host. When it installs, make sure to select your drivers:

For other phones, check the manufacturer’s website for driver download.

Reboot your computer and connect the phone via a USB cable. You may need to buy it separately, but some models, for example, the Samsung SPH-A920, came with one. It may be said that the cable is only to be used for phone-as-a-modem function, but it happens to be false. Make sure the phone is recognized as a USB device and correct drivers get associated with it.


Now you can launch QPST. What? You didn’t install it yet? Not to worry, you can download it off our resourse page. You will see a number of applications are installed in the QPST folder. Start the one called QPST Configuration. Click on Add New Port…, enter COM3 in the window that appears and wait to see if it recognizes your phone there. If not, try COM4COM5COM6, and if it’s still not there, try reinstalling the drivers, QPST, rebooting and all other usual Windows troubleshooting techniques in various sequences.

Please, do not write us about help on getting your phone recognized. Thank God, our phones worked from the first try on COM3, we have no idea how to help you beyond what we already wrote.

Now select the application called EFS Explorer. You will need your phone’s service code (known as MSL or SPC) to continue. What? You don’t know what that is? Well, most likely you can get it by simply calling your cell phone provider’s customer service and asking for it. If they refuse to give it to you, hang up and call again, maybe you just got wrong CSR on the line. If they still don’t give it to you, make up a believeable story about your phone asking for that number and not letting you use it. It should be 6 digits. They are usually unique for each phone.

Once you got it, you can finally open the explorer and here you are, your phone’s filesystem, plain and simple. They will differ depending on the phone, but essentially you can transfer your pictures, pingtones, mp3 files, applications, games and what not to and from the phone, even if you previously thought it was impossible without paying for some extra apps or mobile browser connectivity. For some phones it may not be very easy, for example, in our A920, to upload a game/app, screensaver, or ringer to the phone requires naming the files as numbers, and placing them into a directory that’s not really named very helpfully. But getting the pictures off the phone’s main memory is very easy. Your experince may vary.

We do not encorage you to change any of the files on the phone. If your phone ends up inoperable as a result of using this program, and any of its associates cannot be held responsible.


Bitpim is a more user friendly application that can be used to acces certain types of data on your CDMA phone. Not all phones are supported (particularly, not our lovely A920), but you may find it useful if yours is. Linux and Mac versions are available. Try it our before going for QPST, if possible.

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