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HELP!!!!Water Damaged iPhone

Discussion of forensic issues related to all types of mobile phones and underlying technologies (GSM, GPRS, UMTS/3G, HSDPA, LTE, Bluetooth etc.)
Subforums: Mobile Telephone Case Law
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HELP!!!!Water Damaged iPhone

Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:47 am

Here's the question. Working case where the iPhone was submerged in water. I put it in rice, but know that it was in water for a long period so im not even going to try powering it on for 2-3 days. Is there any chance at me doing an exam on that phone or is there any methods that someone can give me?  

tommyc160
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Re: HELP!!!!Water Damaged iPhone

Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:19 am

- tommyc160
Here's the question. Working case where the iPhone was submerged in water. I put it in rice, but know that it was in water for a long period so im not even going to try powering it on for 2-3 days. Is there any chance at me doing an exam on that phone or is there any methods that someone can give me?


We found an iphone that had been in a field overnight during very heavy rain (not the same as submerged but this thing was soaked). Powered it up when we got home and it had enough life to see that someone had called "mum". Turned it off and called mum from another phone and reunited the iPhone with its 11 year old owner !! AFAIAA the phone is still working 12 months later.
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PaulSanderson
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: HELP!!!!Water Damaged iPhone

Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:55 pm

We had an iPhone submerged in acid and got it to work again.
Pull it apart and clean all of the parts. Make sure it's completely dry afterwards (a good test is to shake it over a paper towel. It's only dry when the paper towel doesn't get even remotely wet from the shaking)

Our tech ended up taking the board out and putting it into another iPhone 4 chassis and got it to power up. Don't know how long it survived but he got the data off it.  

randomaccess
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: HELP!!!!Water Damaged iPhone

Post Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:05 am

Depending on which kind of water it was submersed, it might be advisable/necessary to wash it.
If it was just "rain" it is not normally needed, you have to judge on your case.

The "standard" procedure to attempt reviviing *any* electronic equipment which has been submersed is the following:
  • disassemble the device (at the very least remove battery)
  • wash/rinse in distilled water (or anyway "clean water", the "de-mineralized" or deionized one used for irons is good and much cheaper than distilled water)
  • in some cases of really dirty water (like containing oils or grease) you may want before that to wash them before in mildly warm water with some soap and scrub the pieces with a soft brush
  • use compressed air to spray away as much as you can water and droplets
  • put in an oven at max 40° on a plate with some cloth underneath the pieces, leaving the oven door open (or if you have plenty of time let it dry in the air we are talking of a couple hours vs. a couple of days)
  • turn/move pieces in different positions from time to time and if the cloth gets moist change it with a dry one
  • reassemble the device
Putting it into dry rice at room temperature doesn't really help, unless you change often the rice and you move the container around (still to make sure that no water droplets remain "captured" inside the devices) it may be good to remove "moisture", but it will take ages (several days) to absorb the water that may remain trapped inside a device.

jaclaz
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jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: HELP!!!!Water Damaged iPhone

Post Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:29 am

- jaclaz
Depending on which kind of water it was submersed, it might be advisable/necessary to wash it.
If it was just "rain" it is not normally needed, you have to judge on your case.

The "standard" procedure to attempt reviviing *any* electronic equipment which has been submersed is the following:
  • disassemble the device (at the very least remove battery)
  • wash/rinse in distilled water (or anyway "clean water", the "de-mineralized" or deionized one used for irons is good and much cheaper than distilled water)
  • in some cases of really dirty water (like containing oils or grease) you may want before that to wash them before in mildly warm water with some soap and scrub the pieces with a soft brush
  • use compressed air to spray away as much as you can water and droplets
  • put in an oven at max 40° on a plate with some cloth underneath the pieces, leaving the oven door open (or if you have plenty of time let it dry in the air we are talking of a couple hours vs. a couple of days)
  • turn/move pieces in different positions from time to time and if the cloth gets moist change it with a dry one
  • reassemble the device
Putting it into dry rice at room temperature doesn't really help, unless you change often the rice and you move the container around (still to make sure that no water droplets remain "captured" inside the devices) it may be good to remove "moisture", but it will take ages (several days) to absorb the water that may remain trapped inside a device.

jaclaz


Excellent (!), Jaclaz.

I have played around with mobiles (not exhibits) exposed to deep water:

- used vermiculite based fine granule for aborption to handle immediate presence of external water (for stats see under water absorption e.g. - www.cmmp-france.com/sh...ecgb.html) but it is not good for water trapped internally. A bit like the rice issue, leave in vermiculite for a short time or end up changing the granules.

- used a soft towelling on a heated radiator to allow internal bleed/evaporation of water/moisture

The mobiles worked but still some short-medium term damage was noticeable: water tide marking to the phone's LCD. After a year I did not seen any errosion to the PCB but the keypad was button-sticky in places, damage had occurred to the keypad membrane.

These were no empirical or semi-emiprical testing conducted. I did not test for any solution/chemical in the water other than noting the device had been submerged in water.
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trewmte
Senior Member
 
 
  

Re: HELP!!!!Water Damaged iPhone

Post Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:06 am

This is all helpfull, Thanks!!!! Also it was just bath water and my guess is it was in there for about 12-24 hrs. All I want is to be able to pull the data off with a Cellebrite exam.  

tommyc160
Newbie
 
 
  

Re: HELP!!!!Water Damaged iPhone

Post Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:16 am

- tommyc160
This is all helpfull, Thanks!!!! Also it was just bath water and my guess is it was in there for about 12-24 hrs. All I want is to be able to pull the data off with a Cellebrite exam.

"bath" water should mean "tap" water.
This (unlike "normally" rain - of course rain in the country is very different from rain in a city) contains relatively high percentages of minerals/salts which could well leave, once dried, conductive patinas or residuates, in this case washing it with deionized water is highly advisable.

jaclaz
_________________
- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is. - 

jaclaz
Senior Member
 
 
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