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The Problem

I just replaced the battery and screen of my iPhone 5. The phone does not appear to be working at all. There is no response from the phone after doing a hard reset and the phone will not respond to the mute button. There is no backlight.

The only thing that seems strange is that the home button is a bit wobbly.

When I plug the phone into iTunes, it says it can't access the phone because it is locked with a passcode.

I have tried pressing all sorts of different buttons, and the only thing that gives any sort of response is plugging into the computer.

Any ideas?

  • A reminder - comments are for clarifications. Answers belong as answers, not comments. – bmike Feb 7 '17 at 20:50
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If you can afford to lose the data on it, you might try using 'Pwned' DFU mode, which is a sort of factory firmware flashing mode similar to recovery mode, or Android's Download Mode. Once the device is in DFU mode (steps below) iTunes should tell you that it has detected an iPhone in restore mode. Choose to "Update & Restore", and iTunes will download, verify, and install the newest iPhone 5 firmware to the phone. When it is done the device should be accessible. If the screen still does not respond afterware but iTunes continues to interface with it, it is an issue with how the screen was installed, in which case you should (obviously only if you were the one to replace it or know what you are doing) open the iPhone, find the ribbon cable connected to the screen, disconnect it, ensure that there is nothing that would cause interference with the connection (dust particles, fuzz, etc.) and reconnect the ribbon cable. Apple uses a strange ribbon cable design and I have found in the past that it sometimes seems as though one is fully connected when it is not.

Steps to enter DFU mode:

  1. Disconnect the iPhone from your Mac.
  2. Hold BOTH Power & Home for 20 seconds.
  3. On the 20th second, let go of the Power button but KEEP holding the Home button for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Your screen should be black, reconnect your iPhone to your Mac and if it worked iTunes should report that the connected iPhone is in recovery mode and needs to be restored.
  5. Either Click "Update & Restore" to auto-download and install the newest firmware for your device from the Apple servers, or hold down the "Shift" key while clicking the button to install a custom .ipsw firmware file (will only work with firmware built and signed by a licensed Apple Developer account).
  • Turn out the problem was that I had not connected the LCD ribbon cable correctly. The iPhone 5 is now working. I am glad I did not have to resort to DFU mode... – Zack Feb 8 '17 at 9:18
  • @Zack Good to hear it is working now. I admittedly should have stated checking the ribbon cable as the first option, but I'm glad it worked out in the end. – Alison E.E. Feb 11 '17 at 3:58

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