Friday, February 27, 2015

Resurrecting My iPhone 5

When my iPhone 5 "drowned" four days ago after falling into the depths of the loo (the squat kind), I learned a few things about resurrecting it from the dead. At the time of the incident, I panicked, cursed loudly and ran out of the toilet cube (forgetting that I needed to wee-wee) BUT NOT before the toilet flushed with such gusto—you guessed right—it has an auto-flush system. I watched in horror. Right that moment, I thought, shite (no pun intended), my baby's gone for good...

Drowned (Tuesday, 24 February 2015). First I was worried and sad that I will never see it again, flushed into the sewage system and be buried forever in wasteland. However, within 30 minutes, the janitor came to help me retrieve it if it was still possible, and he did fish it out for me. With his bare hand! I was lucky that it's still there despite the flush. It's a good thing the office toilet is newly renovated so my phone didn't stink or covered with gunk. I'm eternally grateful to the janitor.

Uncooked rice. Then came the time to fix it. I didn't attempt to switch it on. I gave it a quick rinse and dried it with paper towels from the loo, unplugged the SIM card slot. Back home, I researched the Internet and several articles later, I plunked the device into a container, submerged in uncooked rice. I inserted the container into an air-tight sealable bag and let it rest for 2 days. I didn't have any rice with me, but my friend Ty came to the rescue and provided me with brown rice. Thanks, man!

48 hours later (Thursday, 26 February 2015): The moment to switch it back on had arrived. I was hoping it wouldn't explode on me or something like that when I connect it to the charger. After saying a little prayer, I plugged it in and voila! The red battery sign came on! It took about 10 minutes or so before it powered up completely.

Inspection. I quickly checked all the functions. As expected, its Wi-Fi's dead. Everything else is working fine although with a blotchy LCD screen. The blotchiness is like a constellation of stars trapped underneath, but slowly they disappeared over the next two days. I did try to "bake" it under my reading lamp (about 8" away from the bulb) and air it on the balcony (but not under direct sunlight, though) to avoid killing the battery for good. Those actions seemed to help. Air-conditioning helped too.

But then I got stuck with the Apple logo (Saturday, 28 February 2015). Everything went superbly well for one day without the Wi-Fi, but when I rebooted the phone today to do some maintenance, I was stuck with the Apple logo. Back to researching on the Internet. There is a solution that I could try BUT because my Power button is faulty, I can't do the required step of powering it off (using both Power and Home buttons pressed down). Here's what I can do IF my Power button is working or watch this YouTube video (if Power button is working) or watch this (if Power button is not working). I will have to wait until my battery drains itself completely.

What I also learn... is that Apple uses the pentalobe screw drive (often mistaken for 5-point torx screw drives) is a five-pointed tamper-resistant system being implemented by Apple in its products. Apple's first use of the pentalobe drive was in mid-2009. They used a pentalobe screw to secure the battery in the MacBook Pro; smaller versions are now used on the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5s, the MacBook Air, and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Inexpensive pentalobe screwdrivers, manufactured by third parties, are relatively easy to obtain. Pentalobe screw sizes include TS1 (0.8 mm, used on the iPhone 4, the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5c, the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus), TS4 (1.2 mm, used on the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display), and TS5 (1.5 mm, used on the 2009 MacBook Pro battery). The TS designation is ambiguous as it is also used for Torq-set screw drive. Source: Wikipedia Learn something new every day!

I shall keep you posted on the progress...

UPDATE on March 1, 2015: My iPhone is ALIVE! (And fixing the stuck-at-Apple-logo problem) All is good now... Approximately 8 minutes was all the time my iPhone needed to re-charge itself enough to "wake up" from its state of completely drained battery, and thereafter for the + volume button to be pressed until the slider came on. The latter took approximately 15 seconds only, so in total, yep, circa 8 minutes. In summary: Wait until the battery drains itself (my Power button is faulty), connect to charger, wait until Apple logo comes on, quickly press + volume button on the side (do NOT release it at any point during this process but continue to hold), wait. It usually takes between 15 seconds to 5 minutes for the slider to come on. If the phone is on vibration mode, you will first sense "success" when it vibrates (and then the slider will come on...)! HURRAH!

UPDATE on March 2, 2015: Wi-Fi dead for good. I went to the Apple service center to get it examined. The tech guy took out my SIM card from its slot and flashed a torchlight into it. At this point I hadn't told him anything about why the phone is feeling unwell. He immediately said it's water damaged (good boy!!). He pronounced my Wi-Fi dead and because my warranty is over (expired in December 2014), I will have to pay to get it fixed—unfortunately. The cost to fix would be RM1,099 (approximately US$305). When I asked how long more would my baby last, he said it's undetermined but "a few more years" is a possibility.