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 and it's unrepairable.
They are half right.

The board is damaged, but the memory chip might be okay.

So we can extract the data from the death iPhone?
Normal shops would tell you no way.
Yep...they can't.
But I can.

As long I see the three important IC are not damaged, then I can still recover the data... or I can repair it fully and it will be working like new again. 

But first, let me explain basic things about logicboard of the iPhone (motherboard of iPhone)...

Basic knowledge of Recover data from an iPhone logicboard)

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

Not as above photo anymore. So that your iPhone can be smaller.
A whole computer but same size as a wallet.

When we look at IC beside from a microscope.
We can see those solder balls beneath the IC.

If we can zoom closer. The damaged iPhone is not working because those IC balls are cracked.
Or the board is bent too much and the IC can't touch it.

So now you start to understand why I said it still can be repaired or to recover the data.

But as long as I see some of the ICs are not broken into pieces yet.

How to check the damaged iPhone can do data recovery?

First, I need to inspect those parts by using a microscope. The chance of a success rate is depend on those.

1st - The CPU must be in full shape

iPhone recovery data requirement
Your processor is also known as CPU. Without it, your data is unable to decrypt.
I will reject the job if someone messed the CPU before.

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

2nd and 3rd - The hard disk and EEPROM (key of the hard disk) 

iPhone data memory extract
And these two.
The big one is the hard disk of iPhone. It's a flash drive that soldered on the logicboard.
The small one is the key to access your hard disk data. Your data will be lost if these two are missing or broken into pieces.

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
As the photo above. The bent iPhone board has already removed some components.
Those components were transplanted into the board below.

iPhone 6 Plus data recovery done
This surgical works took me a few hours.

All the data remain. Exactly the same before the accident happened.

We can notice it's very old iOS - 8.3 !!!
Sure it was broken very long time.
Lucky the owner found me to carry such of job.

This kind of job is really not "ah pig ah dog" can do.
Means it's not an ordinary technician can do the transplant.

My advice before you send it to someone...

"Having the tools to repair, doesn't mean having the skill" 
The transplant job is considering an ultimate repair.
A serious water damaged iPhone we do this too.

But the hardest part is the CPU rebuild.
Not many people in Malaysia can do it, continue to read all to know why.

Rebuilding a CPU is a very complicated job. 

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 rebuild the iPhone CPU without damaging it.

iPhone CPU rebuild is required special training and years of experience. 

  • To know what heat won't kill the CPU (Heat sensitive)
  • Remove CPU safely by not breaking anything. (Fragile)
  • Cleaning skill (Apple's black glue a lot)
  • Skill to rebuild the SDRAM because it stacks on top of the CPU. 
  • Perfectly reball the CPU and to install. 
  • Schematic knowledge to know the CPU power-up sequence. 
Each generation of CPU has a different technique and knowledge.

Even you know how-to-do but you still need to practice a lot. Years of experience and you will be at a 99% success rate.

iPhone 6 Plus A8 CPU repaired
After repaired, I captured the photo from the microscope.
When we are able to see those balls beneath the iPhone CPU, this means the CPU rebuilt by a human hand.
Originally the iPhone is unable to see those balls
Because the production factory machines make smaller balls and injected black glue surrounded.

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 the CPU rebuild skills from China in 2016. The cost of the training fee was about RM9000. Not included the cost of living for a month.
CPU rebuild is
 one of their unique techniques. A lot of western foreigners go to China to learn.
Those skills are not founded in western countries.
Believe me, It's been more than 8 years since I repair the iPhone. Till now I keep watching a lot of different best iPhone technicians worldwide. iPhone CPU rebuild is started in China.

Lucky I'm a Chinese in Malaysia. I have such of advantage.

Until now I still feel the China is so incredible with such of details repair skills.
They are just so dedicated to fixing whatever we couldn't.
Normal people would give up already. 🤣