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How to break into a Safe
By Kirill (on 2007-01-12 @ 22:05:54, in General, read 10236 times)

No, I'm not talking about a safe in a bank. I'm talking about Safe 1.27 by KeyCriteria on Motorola RAZR v3i with iTunes.

It all began one morning (or night). I was exploring my new cell phone and found a password manager in Games & Apps. The first thing this midlet did, after I accepted the license agreement, is asked for a password and a hint. I entered somewhat easy-to-remember word and quit the app. The second time I tried to open Safe, it asked me for the password and oops... I could not type it in. Most likely, when I entered the password the first time I did not pay enough attention to what is really happening - remember, one button on phone's keyboard represents several letters (and if you have iTap or T9...) The help screen of the Safe kindly informed me that I can't reset the password. So, here I was... with a brand new phone, at least one function of which is inaccessible.

So, this morning I decided to deal with the issue. There are two ways: just remove the application (throw away the safe, see step 7 below) and forget about it; or try to find a way to fix it. After very short search, Geoffrey Sy's notepad shed some light on how to do the latter. However, I found the instructions to be not precise enough for general public, given that yours truly, who considers himself "computer- and gadget-literate", spent most of the afternoon trying to follow them. Hence, this is my version [to save you installing and uninstalling Motorola USB drivers, UID Extraction tool and Mobile Phone Tools].

Now, for those, concerned with warranty and making a light-weight paper weight from your phone. The below procedure does not void anything, as far as I can tell, and is very safe, provided:

  • you do NOT play with settings (there are a lot of them in the Manager);
  • you do NOT try to use your phone while saving or restoring the Safe (you might want to enable unconditional forwarding of all calls to your voice mail, charge the phone, even though it's supposed to be charging when connected to the computer, and press Hang Up button several time before connecting to the computer);
  • your phone is supported by the Manager (v3i with iTunes is).

And as usual, I can not be held liable for any damages to your computer or any of your property caused by or in connection with this instructions, even if you advise me on a possibility of such a damage.

  1. Install the phone drivers on your computer if you haven't done so already. I guess you can use Motorola USB Driver, but I had drivers installed so the rest worked for me even after I uninstalled the package.
  2. Download and unpack the Moto MIDlets Manager by Alexander Kuznetsov.

    Update December 3rd: the main site is in Russian, but Alexander kindly allowed me to host a translated mirror.

    Special thanks to Alexander for not requiring to install the fine application [and having its icons all over the desktop, Start menu, Quick Launch, Add & Remove Programs, My Documents, his documents and all other seemingly unrelated to cell phones places].

  3. Connect your phone to the computer with the USB cable
    If you do it the first time, some driver installation might happen.
  4. Run the Moto MIDlets Manager. Important: you have to run it as Administrator, otherwise it will not detect your phone.

    If you are not sure what "run as Administrator" means, here is a quick checklist:

    • if you got a computer with Windows XP and never went to User Accounts, you're ok;
    • if you connected the phone to the computer, some installation happened, but the Manager does not recognize your phone, you are likely not ok;
    • if you can't change Date and Time, you are not ok;
  5. After Moto MIDlets Manager detects your phone - and the status changes to "connected" - you will see the applets, installed on your phone, on the Phone memory tab. That's where your Safe is likely located. If not, try to find it on Trans-Flash tab.
  6. Save the Safe applet to your hard drive (I assume that even an average "general public" can figure that out, thanks to Alexander).
  7. Disconnect your phone from the computer, go to Games & Apps in the menu, select Safe, go to the menu and Delete it. You will need to confirm that you want to delete the app and its data [which is useless anyway].
    Note that you can do it from MIDlets Manager, but I prefer to use standard tools.
  8. Connect your phone to the computer. MIDlets Manager will rediscover your phone and show you installed applets. Hopefully, Safe will not be among them.
  9. Do not go to the Games & Apps. Stay on the home screen (you can even press Hang Up button several times to be sure). Now you can install JAD file of the Safe.
  10. Restart the phone. If you try to close the Manager, you will be reminded to restart any way.

That's it. You've just got a new safe! Be Safe!

Thank you, Geoffrey! Thank you, Alexander!

Just to let you know that if you don't have an account on MotoDev and don't plan to develop anything for Motorola phones, you might find BugMeNot very useful.