02 March 2019

Damaged iPhone Data Recovery | Motherboard iPhone Data Recovered

Data recovery from iPhone motherboard
 Heavy damaged iPhone 6 Plus sent in our shop...
The owner kept it many years until now he finally found us to recover the data.

iPhone 6 Plus bent repair
When the logic board bent like this, I'm sure the iPhone won't be able to turn on.

In condition bent like that, most technicians would tell you that the motherboard is spoiled. 
They are half right.

The board might be spoiled. But the memory chip might not be broken.
So how about extracting the data?

As long I see the three important IC is not broken then I can still save the memory data... or even to repair it fully. 

But first, let me explain basic things...

Basic knowledge

In the current era, all iPhone IC chipset (integrated circuit) are using BGA (Ball grid array).
They are bound on the board with solder balls.

Not this type anymore. So that your iPhone can be designed smaller.

The photo above is a macro shot beside a BGA IC that bound on the motherboard. Those are the solder balls joint.

If we can look closer... those IC failures are because of crack or lost connection.
So now you understand why I said it still can be repaired.
As long as I see a few "important" IC are not broken yet.

How to check the damaged iPhone still able for data recovery?

First, I need to inspect those parts by microscope and let you know the chance of a success rate.
iPhone recovery data requirement
Your processor is also known as CPU. Without it, your data is unable to decrypt.

 Fun fact: Do you know there was news that the FBI is also unable to hack or bypass the passcode of suspect's iPhone?
They even asked Apple to unlock it but get decline and said it's not possible.
It's against their policy and design.   

iPhone data memory extract
And these two.

When I see these 3 parts are in good condition.
All I need to do is just transplant these into a good motherboard.

iPhone 6 Plus transplant to save data
So I just moved these 3 parts into a working motherboard and then it should be able to turn on again.

iPhone 6 Plus data recovery done
After a few hours of surgical works. Job is done!
All data remain the same as before the accident happened.

Wow...  it's very old iOS. 8.3, I'm sure it's a very long time ago...

Before you send it to someone...

The transplant job is the ultimate repair.
The hardest part is the CPU.
Not many people in Malaysia can do it.

"Having the tools to repair, doesn't mean having the skill" 

Reball CPU is a very complicated work.

Choosing a technician to carry out this job is just like choosing a doctor to do surgical of your brain or heart.

There are too many secret techniques to remove and to reinstall the CPU of the iPhone without damaging it.

iPhone CPU removal/reinstall is required special training and experiences. 

  • To know what heat won't kill the CPU. 
  • Remove CPU safely by not breaking anything. It's too fragile.
  • Cleaning Apple black glue skills
  • To know how to rebuild the SDRAM because it sits on top of the CPU. 
  • Master to perfectly reball the CPU. Thousands of solder balls with the quality of 0.1mm balance size.
  • Schematic knowledge to know the CPU power-up sequence. 
Each generation of CPU is a different technique and knowledge.
Even they know how-to but they still need to practice a lot. Years of experience. 

Master the heat of their machine. Each machine temp is not the same. So the time of heating and remove is not the same.

iPhone 6 Plus A8 CPU repaired
After repaired, I captured the photo from my microscope.
If we are able to see those balls below the iPhone CPU, it means it's been repaired by human hand before.
Originally iPhone is unable to see those BGA joints because Apple Black Glue sealed around it.

Someday I might write how to repair the CPU.
But it is too many steps that normal technician couldn't do or not want to waste time on this.

I learned by CPU skills from China in the year 2016. The cost of the training fee was RM9000. Not including the cost of living and eat for a month.

CPU skills are one of their unique techniques that we won't see in western countries. Until now I still feel they are so incredible with such details workmanship skills.