Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The resurrection of my iPhone

Or "how to fix an iPhone after its been dropped in the loo"

So a few weekends ago (admittedly on a first-world scale) disaster struck. I'd filled my iPhone to capacity with photos and videos of Doof and was on my way downstairs to download them all onto my computer. I'd been meaning to do it for the last few weeks but kept putting it off and thinking "tomorrow tomorrow". Anyway on the way downstairs I popped into the bathroom... and accidentally dropped my iPhone into the (clean!) loo. 

I fished it out immediately and so "Operation Save iPhone" began...

Below I'll detail a mixture of information I gleaned from the Internet, things I did or didn't do and what could work.

How to de-waterlog your phone:

Step 1:

Easiest way is not to break it. Specifically don't put it in your back pocket because it probably will fall out. And if you're unlucky enough to be standing near the loo, it may fall in :(

Step 2:

Remove any screen guard/protective case etc and dry it off superficially as best you can using paper towels (more absorbent than a regular towel and you can bend over a corner to go inside little nooks and crevices). Never use a hair dryer. 

Step 3:

Pick your preferred long-term drying method. The most popular options are a bag of uncooked rice or a huge amount of silica gel sachets. Whichever you choose leave your phone for at least 48 hours but preferably for 3-4 days minimum for best chance of resurrecting your phone.

I put my phone in a Tupperware with a dehumidifier block for 3 days and then tried to turn it on and charge it - when nothing happened I then hedged my bets and put it in a bag of rice for 4 more days.

Dehumidifier block - make sure your phone is not touching the bottom of the tupperware in case any water pools there

Bag of rice - submerge your phone completely and get rid of most of the air in the bag. Use uncooked and plain rice (without any coating on).

Step 4:

After 7 days of trying to dry my phone off I plugged it into my computer again to see what would happen. Excitingly the battery sign came on as if it was trying to charge…. But then nothing else happened :(

I left the phone “charging” for the next hour but still nothing more happened – it wasn’t being picked up by my computer and when I tried to turn it on nothing happened.

So I took it to an “iPhone repair shop” in West Kensington. We found this small independent shop advertising on the internet as being able to repair water damaged phones and as the Apple shop won’t help with repairs for water-damaged phones we thought it was worth a try.

And… after 5 days they called me and said it was completely fixed! Cost £49 and for that I got a fully functional iPhone back, with all my photos/videos intact and a warranty for the next month.

So happy!

And the first thing I did as soon as I got home was download all my photos to the safety of my computer! And then backed them up on an external hard drive. And then further backed them by uploading them to an online storage system. Lol

So a happy ending for me and all my photos of Doof. Below are a few of the ones which were lost but are now ok :)

Hopefully you will never get your phone wet but here are some other tips I read/was told (I can’t vouch for the reliability of any/all of them!!):

-          remove the sim card holder before drying
-          don’t try and turn your phone on after submersion before drying it – risk of frying/shorting all the insides
-          hoard all the mini silica packets that come in new handbags etc and put those in a sandwich bag with your phone to help dry it out
-          after drying it out attach phone to computer with lead, rather than to wall charger. That way you may still be able to access (and save) all the data on the phone even if it doesn’t work to make calls etc

But my BIGGEST TIP is back up back up back up your phone really regularly, have iCloud or Clonephone or something similar - no one wants to lose their pictures, especially baby ones which you can never take again...

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