In the fall of 2015, my previous iPhone 4S fell into water and blacked out. Afterwards, like now, when charging, the mainboard will get hot, but nothing will show up on the screen and the battery also have no reaction.

Is it possible to fix it? Do you think it's the screen's problem or the battery? If it's the battery, why would the mainboard heat up?

If it's the screen, does it mean after I get a new screen I could see my past data and information on the iPhone?

Or is it possible to save the RAM/CPU, for use in a functioning phone, for me to see the data?

  • 1
    Neither the RAM nor the CPU store any persistent data, so salvaging them won't help you. It's the flash storage that you need to access.
    – Mike Scott
    Jun 23 '17 at 12:19

Let’s assume you have valuable data to recover - a reasonable price is $300 to perform enough repairs and labor to get the data back. The repairs would be made by removing the corrosion with an ultrasonic cleaner. See a shop like: http://mendonipadrehab.com/price-list for details.

The videos explain how the device is taken apart, cleaned / and repaired with spare parts enough to get the data back. They literally will recreate enough of the system to power up and transfer data.

It is very possible, but not certain, that you won't get a phone that works long term, but it’s like someone on life support in an emergency room - life can be supported with the right tools in situations for limited time frames.

If you don’t want to pay - you could invest money in tools, high grade rubbing alcohol, and a toothbrush to clean the corrosion off yourself. Alternatively, select a less skilled shop - but the chances of success for water damage are far less the longer the time between the water and the repair.

  • Why can't they take out the storage and connect it to a different (working) device to transfer data? Encryption of some kind? Jun 23 '17 at 13:55
  • @Wowfunhappy The videos from the iPad rehab site show you how the storage is soldered on to the board. Assuming it's not damaged - you'd need the keys (potentially) if it's encrypted at rest.
    – bmike
    Jun 24 '17 at 0:01
  • @Wowfunhappy To elaborate (a little): There's a crypto chip on the board that contains the encryption keys and only lets you have them if you input the right passcode. If anything really unexpected happens it'll wipe itself; the data will be fine, but the encryption key will be gone.
    – wizzwizz4
    Nov 29 '17 at 21:40

You need to use an ultrasonic cleaner

which would be at a repair shop as @bmike♦ answered.

He also said

If you don’t want to pay - you could invest money in parts or a less skilled shop - but the chances of success for water damage are far less the longer between the water and the repair.

That is absolutely true. I've known repair shops that just throw in dish soap in the bath. Be careful.

He's also right when he said your time is running out. Do it sooner than later or your chances of success are a lot slimmer.

For more insight into what happens if you wait see this link. If you wait then it will become even more corroded.


Here's a quote from the link about a more severely corroded board.

Here's the deal. That board is never going to work again unless you do some microsoldering to remove oxidation, reflow corroded solder joints, and replace damaged components. Hopefully you won't also need to do hours of troubleshooting to then figure out which bga chips have been damaged by the short circuit heat from someone leaving it on a charger for days while they crossed their fingers.

  • Please refrain from simply restating the information provided in another answer. If you would like add clarifying information to that answer, add it as a comment. Once you have sufficient reputation you’ll be able to add comments and ask follow-up questions. To gain reputation, answer questions that are clear and concise.
    – fsb
    Oct 26 '17 at 16:17
  • @fsb bmike♦ did not say what the actual repair would be. Which is an ultrasonic cleaner. The website he provided did not have any video that I could find showing how the water damage is repaired. Oct 26 '17 at 16:26
  • @fsb Also my answer is not just a restatement. I'm just verifying that it's true that some shops are sketchy. That's not exactly part of the answer it's just a warning and a thought that may be helpful. The answer I'm providing is what the actual service is called and more information that explains whether or not it is worth it. And why. with references Oct 26 '17 at 16:29
  • Ok, I see you've been trying to answer many questions recently and that's good and appreciated. However, I think it would be good for you to review How to Answer in the help center. This will show you how to provide good answers and what we're looking for in answers. Thanks for participating and trying to help!
    – fsb
    Oct 26 '17 at 16:30
  • 1
    +1 from me. Great addition. It’s fine to edit another post (mine) to fix the omission or just make it better. Also fine to make a nice post here commenting, immuminating, expanding.
    – bmike
    Nov 29 '17 at 23:37

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