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Recovery of a heavily rusted iPhone

By |2024-03-16T14:30:00+00:00January 26, 2024|Phones|Comments Off on Recovery of a heavily rusted iPhone

We recently received an iPhone that had been dropped into a harbour and had extensive sea water damage. The phone had been left for a while before we received it and in that time had severely rusted, making data recovery very tricky. After several weeks work, we were able to recover the data from the phone fully. Below are some of the lab notes and some photographs.

Phone is very rusty. Will need a lot of cleaning and possibly ADR (Advanced Data Recovery). This is the rustiest iPhone I have seen in a long time, capturing images throughout my work on this on.
Going to split the board layers and clean this the best I can…

Device had a VDD_Boost short under a power chip (Baseband/RF one).
Currently booting with the top board only. “Attempting Data Recovery” stage…

Got the three minute reboot issue. does have a working speaker flex attached though…

Have not yet got the device to remain on for more than 3 minutes, but once I do, I should be able to progress further with the case. This naturally is a difficult case and I’m to-date testing the difference between what i2C sensors are and aren’t needed with a donor board o determine if I can overcome the 3 min reboot issue….

The RF chip previously mentioned did not cause the 3 min reboot issue. Having no charging port does though…

USB FPC had corrosion on a few pins, re-attached a few with shavings of solder. Might be another bad pin cross. BINGO

Swapped the USB FCP from our donor instead of rectifying damaged pins, one end one was worn out beyond fixing.
Phone is now undergoing the “Attempting Data Recovery” stage and should next bootup normally and allow me to recover it.

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