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Forensic Phone Repair for Police & Law Enforcement2024-05-13T11:45:02+00:00

Forensic Mobile Phone Repair

For Police Forces and Law Enforcement

Data Clinic Ltd specialise in data recovery from unresponsive, damaged and broken phones and tablets. Most Digital Forensics teams have the capability to perform software-based imaging and software-based data recovery on media devices; however, if the phone’s hardware is damaged, broken or unresponsive, it is unlikely that they will be able to recover the evidence required, leading to the device being unnecessarily discounted from an investigation.

Data Clinic Ltd have been providing advanced hardware and software data recovery services from faulty and damaged phones since 2002 and consequently have a vast range of knowledge, expertise and available technologies that are not in the public domain. We provide forensic data recovery and mobile phone repair services for police forces, government departments, regulatory agencies and other customers requiring evidential data.

Data Clinic not only provide the highest level of forensic data recovery for Digital Forensic Investigators, but also fully support forensic investigators through excellent customer service:

  • Provide a single point of contact for Digital Forensic Investigators.
  • Provide a Emergency service for serious or time critical investigations, with 24/7 availability to initiate and manage mobile phone repair or HDD data recovery
  • Maintain exhibit continuity.
  • Provide a Streamlined Forensic Report.
  • Make comprehensive contemporaneous notes of the work conducted with photographic evidence.
  • Provide regular progress updates.
  • Develop and provide tailored processes to suit the individual requirements of the client.
  • Conduct research and development to retrieve data from new technologies and formalise procedures.
  • Provide security cleared courier service.
  • Provide CPD presentations to forensic investigators to ensure that they fully understand data recovery capabilities and ensure correct handling of devices.

Forensic Mobile Phone Repairs

Data Clinic have invested in significant research and development to keep up with the continual technological progress in mobile phone repair and recovery.

Short Circuits

A common issue with mobile devices is a short circuit, and a short circuit to ground on any line of a logic board can render the device useless. We have identified numerous methods for determining whether a line has been shorted and where the source is. A common diagnostic tool used is schematic software specifically designed for this type of analysis. We can determine which of the hundreds of components on the board have been affected. When the appropriate schematics aren’t available, we have the capability, gained through experience, to identify the source of the fault through analysis of certain patterns and traits, for example, using microscopic inspection, thermal imaging, observing power consumption and testing for any other factors such as necessary cleaning. Data Clinic use micro soldering techniques for a variety of purposes, for example, replacing the FPC (Flexible Printed Cable) connectors of logic boards, and replacing failed BGA chips (the chips that deal with power, display, USB connectivity and charging). For these types of recovery, it is essential to use a special type of flux to bring down the melting point of the solder and have an incredibly steady hand with a heat gun.

Physical Damage

Physical damage is the number one problem we see with mobile phone recoveries, for example, a broken line, where the connection should travel between the two points; but, due to wear and tear has become disconnected. We use hair-thin jumper wire to re-establish, and where necessary, strengthen broken connections. A process of UV curing is then added, a solder mask is applied to our created joint and then solidified beneath a UV lamp, thus ensuring a sturdy connection that shouldn’t break again. Water damaged phones are also dealt with as above. Water damage can leave serious corrosion that spreads. Putting a phone in rice always makes a board a lot harder to clean properly. We use industry standard ultrasonic baths that are designed with specialist PCB cleaner fluid to remove any traces of contamination.

Chip-Off Procedure

Due to the complexity of mobile phone logic boards and the 100s of possible faults that can exist, sometimes it is quicker to transplant the exhibit memory chips into a working logic board and chassis. Data Clinic has specialist equipment to remove eMMC (embedded Multi-Media Controller) flash storage chips in the safest possible way. Instead of the conventional method of blasting the chip with heat and lifting it, which frequently causes significant damage, the chip is removed by “digging” it out from the underside of the board thus allowing the chip to be released safely. This method carries a far reduced risk of damage to the chip, that is so often caused by heat. The chip is then cleansed with specialist micro soldering applications, ‘re-balled’ with solder, and placed into a working logic board.

RIPA Act Part 3 Section 49

We rebuild and reconstruct broken phones back to a working condition so that the owners may be charged under Section 49 of the RIPA (3) Act.

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