1

Score

Avatar
Jeffrey Williams
13

Asked

iPhone 3GS randomly crashes, then reboots into "no power" screen

History

My iPhone3GS has started crashing with incredible frequency. I'll be mid-phone call, or using an app, when the screen will go dark. I'll have to do a soft reboot (holding the home & sleep buttons down until it restarts). It takes a long time to turn on, then half the time, it dumps to the warning screen that there's no power and needs to be plugged in.

Once I connect the phone to a power source, in a couple of minutes it's ready to roll again, and displaying a "full battery" icon.

The phone is almost always fully charged when this happens, and I don't get a crash when the phone is plugged into a power source, so I'm assuming that it's the battery.

Has anyone else experienced something like this? Are these symptoms common signs of battery failure, or could this indicate a more pervasive hardware failure?

EDIT - After doing some deeper digging, I'm guessing that battery failure is the most likely problem. There's another thread (which I've lost the link to) that describes almost the same troubles I've been having.

I'm buying this part and will see how battery replacement works:

iPhone 3GS Replacement Battery

Edited by: oldturkey03 ( ) , Jeffrey Williams ( )

@Polly - yes, I repeatedly restored, backed up, and restored again. Same problem, same symptoms. Just an update... I bought the replacement battery and attempted the install. It did not go well, and now my phone is bricked. For those who are considering it, the step-by-step instructions are mostly clear, here's where I went wrong: * The "do not remove" sticker shredded instead of being lifted up. * Once you put the battery in, replacing the logic board was a hugely frustrating task. I could not get the board to sit back in properly. * Getting the ribbon cable #3 back into the clip holder is an absolute, royal pain in the *#%. I also think I snapped something on that clip holder when first opening the phone. Be very, very careful when prying out the glass for the first time!

Jeffrey Williams,

bricked how? won't turn on? error in itunes.... never ever say die!! give us a clue and we'll see if we can help. BTW I have a few boards with partially broken no3 connectors and I have no problem... unless you've damaged underneath which is unlikely. is your board in properly? it sometimes sticks on the bezel "tabs"? near the volume switches and vibrate. Board sits under the sim slot and under a little tab near power button. Ps insert sim end in first!!!!

pollytintop,

Post Answer

2

Score

Avatar
pollytintop
65.2k

Answered

Accepted Answer

PermalinkHistory

Sorry to have taken so long. Yes it does sound like a battery problem. I'd also try the cheapest alternative which is... Back up your data and do a restore on the phone. Their seems to be many problems like this on the 4.2.1 or 4.x.x ios... Had this on a 3g and eventually it evened itself out-after many resets/restores/dfu's. It no longer crashes but shortly after upgrade of ios it crashed all the time, with no pattern.

Bricked as in "won't turn on at all". It's a glossy paperweight at the moment. The biggest problem seemed to be putting the logic board back in properly. When I put the battery in, the part of the logic board over the battery connectors was a good 1/8th of an inch higher than the rest of the board. I couldn't get it to be seated flat and smooth like it was in factory condition. I support the "never say die" ethos, and pardon the formatting, please. For whatever reason, it isn't recognizing paragraphs!

Jeffrey Williams,

is the battery in properly? there is a smallhole in the connector that sits on a ?tab on the rear case. it may be why you have no power and the board isn't in properly

pollytintop,

1

Score

Avatar
Beegie
13

Answered

PermalinkHistory

3Gs Owner since 7/6/2009:

Never once had a problem with phone crashing until 4/12/11 while reading a wiki site, phone went dead/screen turned black (out of the blue, just like that, poof! no rhyme or reason). Pray first, plug in phone, then I did soft & hard resets & within several minutes phone finally came back On/slider appeared. Whew! (Battery was at 72% when phone came back on so I don't think battery had died because it was only a few minutes worth of charging).

Then yesterday 6/4/11 it happened again -- approx. 7 weeks/49 days since the first occurrence. I was reading at youtube site & poof! Screen went black, white apple logo immediately appeared, so I plug in phone, pray, wait, nothing; so then do soft & hard resets again, wait wait wait. It took much longer this time for phone to fix itself, approx. 15 mins. this time vs. 7-8 mins. last time (April). Battery was showing 50+% this time when phone finally came back on (slider appeared so I could slide it to On).

After the April occurrence I read many many similar descriptions ("black screen of death") online from people & it didn't seem they all had had their phones for 1-3/4 years like me, so I wasn't sure if it is merely a battery problem or something else going on.

And fwiw, I have never upgraded to iOS4, still using 3.1.2 (for many other reasons: I don't want a unified inbox/Mail, several fav apps won't work on 4, etc.)

From descriptions here, I have serious doubts I could install a new battery myself (old lady :)

Thanks!

old lady? no matter. anyone can do it. but if you don't feel confident then pay someone else to do it! most batteries that are dying start out with random crashes/freezes. ps..i'd leave my phone on 3.1.2, i decided to update mine after a year of avoiding it and now have no wifi....not pleased!

pollytintop,

hehe @pollytintop Thanks for the reply. Sorry about your wifi but glad to hear my ios4 resistance is a good idea afterall... I was thinking to hold out for iphone5 & "cave in" to upgrading then. Apple doesn't like us lollygaggers who won't upgrade (they destroyed our ability to update individual apps in the phone's app store... It's Update All or nothing... but since I was already sick to death of all the incessant app updates constantly anyway, I just let them pile up... the apps I love/use most work fine). Re battery, thanks for the vote of confidence. :) Earlier I went ahead & ordered a kit... then just found out the screwdriver is not magnetized, total bummer, the site didn't say one way or the other. Too late now. Originally considered sending phone off for replacement but such a hassle so decided to try it myself... with bad eyesight & unsteady hands, lol, we'll see how it goes. 8) Watched 2 videos, too -- that helped fend off the unknown. Also read Apple Store site re battery replacement as I considered letting them do it... glad I read up on it first because the site basically says they can practically do what they want with your phone if you take it to local Apple store for battery replacement (ie, they WILL upgrade it, etc.). The local store has lousy customer reviews via google on top of that. And thanks for letting me know a dying battery tends to start crashing! Better for it to be just a battery problem than something else. Another weird thing: ATT 3G has always been quite good here, from Day One w/iphone. But the past three weeks it's like very low or no bars most of the time. It was never like that before. I wondered if a dying battery can affect the 3G network (but I don't really see how they could be related). Thanks again!!

Beegie,

Beegie, you will be just fine repalcing your battery. Got some pros on here backing you up ;-) anyhow just wanted to quickly chime in about the 3G3G signal strength varies from place to place within the same network. The weaker the 3G signal the harder the phone has to work to find it and connect to it. The harder it works the more battery life it uses up and hence a weak 3G signal equates to shorter battery life. A strong (new) battery is capable of "pulling in" weaker signal so as your battery life decrease, this ability decreases as well. Hence, poor battery, poor 3G reception. Good Luck

oldturkey03,

Hey hey oldturkey! Thanks so much for that battery/3G explanation. Makes so much sense the way you explained it. So basically what you're saying is, the truth is that ATT reception was always bad here (rather than always good) but my formerly-stronger battery made ATT service "look better than it really was." Lol. Funny. 8D

Beegie,

While here I also might as well ask: I have MANY screens set up on my phone, organized to the hilt by subject/project. Will backing up phone via iTunes &/or installing new battery cause all the MANY screens to disappear &/or become a scrambled chaos with everything out of correct order? (I had read awhile back that upgrading ios would wipe out my many screens... another reason I've resisted!)

Beegie,

Show 3 more comments

1

Score

Avatar
se7en
13

Answered

PermalinkHistory

THIS ANSWER IS FOR PENNY PINCHERS LIKE ME. - SEE MORAL OF STORY AT THE END TO SKIP MY FINDINGS.

I know this is a semi-old post, but it seems to be the only one that I have found that describes to the tee what I have been experiencing.

So, about a month ago I get the BSOD (Black screen of death...lol...who knew?) on my iPhone 3GS. I would turn it on to drop straight to the dead battery. But, plug it in and the battery is about 75% charged. I figured it was a dying battery (had the thing for 2 years now) but I wasn't satisfied with just that. I can replace the battery myself. No problems there. But, I am frugal ;) I wanted to get everything I could out of the battery. So, I did a full DFU mode restore, but didn't restore my apps or settings. I started from scratch and tested every single app that I use. What I found was that apps that use the 3g signal the most, made the phone crap out. Intrigued, I set my phone to Airplane mode for 2 days. No calls/data... just apps (read... a very overpriced iPod Touch). I was able to use the device for those 2 days solid with no charging and no crashes! It's the radio that is causing the crash. Turned off airplane mode and disabled everything down to Edge data and calls. No BT. No Wifi. No 3g. Worked solid for that next day. Enabled BT. Worked great with my headset the next day. Enabled Wifi. Worked great with no problems that next day. Turned on 3g... we have a winner!!! 3g crashed my phone an hour after I enabled it.

MORAL OF STORY: Your battery is dying. It isn't the radios fault. However, if you turn off the 3g signal you can utilize your device just fine. This improved my calls (ATT has MUCH better Edge than 3g), my iPhone ran like a champ, and my Audio Galaxy music streaming and Pandora still worked (albeit a little slow in between songs). Hope this helps.

good advice..follows on from what oldturkey said about weak signals draining an older battery.

pollytintop,

1

Score

Avatar
SionnaRei
13

Answered

PermalinkHistory

@se7en : I have been fighting the black screen crashes since June. I can honestly say that I had absolutely no issue whatsoever with my 3GS until I upgraded it to iOS 4.x. After the upgrade was when it would suddenly start crashing on me. I did try shutting off the 3G and the phone did work okay after that - for a couple of days. It crashes on Edge no matter what now, with Wifi and BT all shut off, no apps running, etc. If I plug it into the wall, it's fine but it heats up something fierce.

I'm pretty confident it's the battery/battery sensor being shot as when the phone crashes (sometimes at "100%") and turns back on it always is a different percentage (ie, 100% to 77% to 84% ...yes, I have had it jump like that consecutively).

Just ordered my new battery so I'll report back after the replacement on whether or not it still crashes.

SionnaRei: I have the same problem with my 3GS. Would be interested to hear if replacing the battery helped.

Bob Tice,

Bob Tice: Yes, it did. Ironically, when I opened up the phone I found out that the new battery I had ordered was the exact same model number as the one that was already inside. This made me hesitant, but since I put the new battery in I haven't had any problems with crashing. (I also deleted a few apps since then as well.) :)

SionnaRei,

0

Score

Avatar
todd
1

Answered

PermalinkHistory

i have been having the same problems. i have tried restoring it many times and it doesnt seem to help. I am going to try replacing the lcd screen to see if it helps any. my screen will go crazy when it crashs, and tends to get very warm.

todd, you will get far more assistance if you ask your own question. Just click on the Ask a Question link, it is not difficult.

oldturkey03,

0

Score

Avatar
Beegie
13

Answered

PermalinkHistory

Greetings again people, Polly, oldturkey, etc., this is Beegie here from last June 2011, re: my 3Gs still running iOS 3.1.2, re: screen crashes, battery replacement, low/no bars ATT 3G signals, backing up phone w/many screens, etc., all previously described above:

UPDATES - FYI (if in a hurry, please skip to paragraphs 6, 8, & 9 thru 12. :)

1.  I backed-up phone in Oct. (took 16-18 hrs.) & again on 1/7/12, it took 22 hrs. & it did not mess up my screens/app placements as you guys said, so thank you for that! :)

2.  I never did replace battery myself even though I bought a kit online.  Never could work up the nerve.

3.  ATT 3G Network/using email/Internet, no/low bars, etc. continued to deteriorate from June to December 2011, terrible terrible! slow sluggish torture using phone, like quicksand, etc.  Miserable.

  

4.  As you may know, Oct. 1, 2011, ATT began throttling all grandfathered-in (from 2009) "unlimited data plan" users, so I wondered if that was part of the problem from Fall 2011 onward.  The bill used to show I used 3-4-5 GIG per month, but the past 1-2-3 months ATT bill shows 1-2+ GIG (I started writing it down to keep track).  So the evil ATT must be strangling my 3G Network usage... :-/  Booo!

5.  ...but that would not account for low/no bars reception which only began mid-2011 (always had good bars/reception 2009, 2010, first half of 2011).  As a "stay at home," I sit in the same spot while using iphone/internet where I've always sat since 2009 (ie, location has never changed, so not sure why 3G connection got worse... Figured it was "old" battery as oldturkey described above).

6.  Jan. 11, 2012, I FINALLY got battery replaced by taking it to a local iPhone repair shop (Not Apple Store).  They had said (via email) that they don't trust batteries bought online, so I let them put in one of theirs vs. the one I bought online in June 2011 but I never installed.  Actually my Mom took my phone to this local shop since she was going in that direction.  I told her, Ask them if you can watch them replace battery?  She did ask, but the guy said, "Well, no, I have to take it in the back, hook wires to it, & it takes about 20 minutes," etc.  So, ok, fine.

7.  When I get the phone back from her shortly thereafter, the new battery was at 62% (why not 100% I wondered?), so I did 2 full charges & 2 full drains as I read should be done for new batteries.

8. I thought a brand new battery would make the phone a LOT "snappier" & a LOT more "responsive" like it was before mid-2011.  But it didn't necessarily:

•3G connection is as lousy (low/no bars) as with prior old battery.

•Email & apps & contacts open/close sluggish same as before.

•"Saving" a Draft (email) takes forever, just like before, etc.

•I actually wondered if maybe they accidentally put my old battery back in by mistake.  :)

9.  Another confounding thing I can't figure out:  My old (original, came w/iphone) battery, everytime I plugged it in, my phone ALWAYS would make a BZZZ BZZZ vibration sound (which I LIKED that, as I knew it was getting juiced).  But since the new battery was installed 1/11/12, my phone NEVER makes the BZZZ BZZZ vibration sound anymore when I plug it in.  Why is that?

10.  THEN on Mon. 1/23/12 (new battery is now 11-days old):  At 1:21pm the phone WENT BLACK, out of the blue, I wasn't even holding it as it was sitting right next to me.  Then the white apple appeared (by itself, I didn't touch it).  Wait, wait, wait about 3 minutes, nothing is happening.  So I plug it in (even though I knew battery was NOT drained).  Wait 4 more minutes & phone came back on (slider appeared, whew!) @ 1:28pm showing battery @ 79%.   (This crash w/new battery was the first time iPhone crashed since the March & June 2011 crashes -- which were the first ever -- with prior old battery which was a 21-months-old battery at time of March 2011 crash).

11.  So I emailed the local shop 1/23/12 that had installed the new battery on 1/11/12 & they replied on 1/23/12, quote:

•"Replacing the battery does not make the phone any faster OR slower. The only thing that DOES change is, the newer the software your phone gets, the slower your phone will become. That's why Apple wants you to buy the 4, 4s, ect....." (Me:  But I'm still running 3.1.2, so that can't be the problem.)

•They also wrote:  "The black outs happen at anytime in any device, from iPads, to iPods to iPhones. We have people coming in with BRAND NEW iPads/iPhones they just got from Apple and that happens to them.  Battery replacement has nothing to do with the blackouts."

12.  So what do you experts at iFixit think about those last two comments from the local iphone (not Apple Store) repair shop?  Is it true the battery has nothing to do with how fast/slow the iphone functions, & also has nothing to do with the blackouts/crashes?

Btw, they did offer to replace battery & let us watch this time.  :) Haven't gotten that done yet. 

(FWIW, I bypassed the 4s & iOS5 craze last Fall... trying to hold out until iPhone.5; until then keeping 3Gs @ 3.1.2).

Sorry for long post!!  

THANK YOU! 

0

Score

Avatar
Bernard
1

Answered

PermalinkHistory

This post contains (I believe) new information

Firstly - Thanks to the self described “long poster” above.

You just convinced me to go down the route of sending it to Apple.

The 2 options had been.

1) I can get the local phone shop to replace it for 30 Euro

2) I can send it to Apple for 80 Euro - and

IMPT If you send it to Apple and say it is a battery issue (not a software issue)

I’m Guaranteed (you saying replacement battery) means they send you a DIFFERENT phone / refurbished, with a full 3 month guarantee.

FYI they dissemble the “battery replacement” phones for parts.

Important Reminder (Regarding reinstalling your software yourself via Itunes)

As we know / have read here and in similar forums, constantly reinstalling the software via Itunes apparently just reinstalls the same error back on again and again.

It’s a complete waste of time.

I read that in forums and was told it by the Apple Technician.

THE NEW (I Hope) INFORMATION

I was on the phone to Apple who spent over an hour on the phone with me and they talked me through a COMPLETE proper full reinstall while connected to Itunes. Again this is something you as a general user can NOT do by yourself.

This different reinstall can only be done when you’re connected with an apple technician online/on phone at same time! It’s as close to a new phone as you can get!

THE RESULT WAS (with the Apple Technician on the phone and online)

It fixed it… FOR 4 DAYS…. And then back to the same problem!

When I opened an application / made video) it began crashing at 50% then 100%

So beware of posts where someone tells you they did the online / on phone with an Apple technician and it worked. It may be that they are posting the “Good News” on the day or a few days after they did the full reinstall with the Apple technician!

So don’t waste your time (though they guy was extremely helpful and nice) going down that route of going through the complete reinstall with the Apple Technician! Repeating Repeating for those skipping paragraphs that this with Apple Technician on phone/online is not the general reinstall you can do yourself, which as stated above is a pointless exercise!

FINDINGS

1) General reboot / reinstalling software will never work./ Pointless waste of time

2) Reinstall with the Apple technician does not work (reminder – not a general reinstall and only available to you unless you call them)

3) Replacement batteries via local phone shop do not always work

So – OPTIONS

Chance the local Phone shop 30 Euro (as we know doesn’t always work)

OR

Send to Apple. Saying specifically it’s for a REPLACEMENT BATTERY which results in then sending you a different phone fully refurbished Iphone incl new battery for 80 Euro. And gets you a full 3 month full cover issue.

For the extra 50 Euro, bearing in mind the 3 month guarantee I’m going with Apple.

We have read that general battery replacement is a gamble.

So better to be safe than sorry, the sorry being 30 euro down the drain / then having to pay Apple the 80 Euro anyway, that’s if they even attempt to fix it because the phone has been tampered with!

With this being 2012, there is still a good monetary value in selling used iphones.

So do factor that into your thinking regarding repairs.

Take note (I heard) that Apple wont touch Iphones that have been tampered with / replacement batteries by other shops and this may have consequences if you go to resell it or need some completely different other repair piece of work done on it at other stage.

I will try to do a follow up in a few months to let you know how this route goes!

Apologies for repeat of certain phrases.

I know that some people just skip through to certain paragraphs, so I wanted to be clear to them at all times.

Hope this helps.

Bernard (In Dublin Ireland)

Update

Subsequent to my above post, I just read that some people who got even fully NEW (Not refurbished phones) ended up with the same problem.

I tried to post the above post with a cut and paste into the Apple forums, only to discover they don’t allow a cy and paste EVEN MORE ANNOYING.

I’ve decided… cheap replacement battery and sell the iphone telling people honestly what the story is and BUYING a Samsung.

And a pox on apple!

Bernard (In Dublin Ireland)

https://discussions.apple.com/message/17...

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Subsequent to my above post, I just read that some people who got even fully NEW (Not refurbished phones) ended up with the same problem.

I tried to post the above post with a cut and paste into the Apple forums, only to discover they don’t allow a cy and paste EVEN MORE ANNOYING.

I’ve decided… cheap replacement battery and sell the iphone telling people honestly what the story is and BUYING a Samsung.

And a pox on apple!

Bernard (In Dublin Ireland)

https://discussions.apple.com/message/17...

Edited by: Bernard ( )

0

Score

Avatar
eric parker
1

Answered

PermalinkHistory

try draining it and recharging it. That can sometimes work for a while if it does buy a new battery!!!

0

Score

Avatar
Devon Fitzpatrick
1

Answered

PermalinkHistory

I used to have this problem with an iPod Touch 4th Gen that I got for Christmas 2010. It came from Best Buy (there's my problem!), and so I sent it to Apple for repair. It came back with a note: "No problems found." All my data was wiped, though. So I plugged it in and did its little setup thing, and it worked-until 7:00 PM that day (got it back in the mail at 4:00 PM. My parents took me to the Apple Store that day and I was lucky enough to have it happen right in front of the Genius there. He immediately set me up with a refurb replacement. It's been working perfectly since.

Updating this immediately after posting to add more detail to the problem I had. The battery life was ABISMAL. 24 hrs of charging to yield a 35% battery. And on the rare moments it did get up to 100%, it would "die" at 75%, and then after holding Power and Home, it came back up with 40% left. It also randomly shut off at random times, while listening to music, while playing Ninjump, while browsing YouTube, while just swiping around on the home screen.

Edited by: Devon Fitzpatrick ( )

0

Score

Avatar
rubes
1

Answered

PermalinkHistory

Hi everyone,

Not sure if this is still relevant to anyone, but I have been experiencing exactly the same symptoms with my iphone 3gs. Regularly reception goes from full bars to no service and will randomly crash when im in the middle of a call, sending a text message and even opening some apps. Fearing it was the battery (phone is 3 years old) I bought a replacement battery from ebay and installed it myself.

2 months later, phone is still working, but the crashes continue to happen.... :( Unfortunately I don't think the problem is battery related. I am back to the drawing board.

Add Your Answer

View Statistics:

Today: 5

This Week: 43

This Month: 202

All Time: 35,370