Released on September 19, 2014, this 5.5" screen iPhone is the larger version of the iPhone 6.

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SIM card detected but only gets to "Searching..."

My phone got wet, and I opened it up and dried everything off. The SIM card was wet when i took it out, but I dried it off and tried it on another phone and it worked. My phone can detect the SIM card it just can't get any further than "searching..." at the top left of the screeen, and I can't make calls or use data. I've dabbed 91% isopropyl alcohol on the SIM card reader but I'm not sure if I used enough to clean it thoroughly. I've also reset my network settings and refreshed the phone. Can anyone help me find the issue?

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With water damage, you have to decontaminate the logic board before doing anything else, otherwise there will be latent issues down the road.

I would do the following:

  • Open your phone and remove the logic board (follow this guide)
  • Inspect the logic board, especially around the connectors and look for corrosion.
  • Inspect both sides of the board. Unfortunately, 80% of the board is covered in shields. That's usually where the damage is occurring.
  • Put your board in a container with >90% isopropyl alcohol and let it sit for a while.
  • Use a soft brush, like a toothbrush and lightly brush away any corrosion you see.
  • Rinse in alcohol and repeat.
  • Let it air dry for a day.
  • Re-assemble and hope for the best.

You should also replace the battery if it has swollen. Resist the temptation to pop it to let the gas out. A compromised Li-ion battery is a fire hazard. If the device appears to power up but behaves erratically, then use a tool like 3uTools to flash the firmware as it may be corrupted.

A professional repair shop that does water damage repair may be able to recover your phone or the data because they have access to pro-level ultrasonic baths and specialized cleaners as well as the skills to troubleshoot your board. Many shops have a no fix/no fee policy so you don't have to spend money to find out if the phone is fixable or not.

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I removed the logic board and soaked it in alcohol, but there is one antenna still on it that is attached to the logic board. I soaked it and the sockets at the ends started having this white goo come out. Did i mess up? the guide didnt tell me to remove this

Edit: The white goo is coming out of more than just the antenna, its also coming out of the box next to the sim card reader, closer to the top of the phone. it crept towards the socket where the ribbon cables from the display attach, and a sticker that covered the area around those sockets doesnt fit there anymore because of the goo

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I put the phone together and the sim card is read! Im assuming (hoping) the white goo is glue or something irrelevant, but i now have reception and can use my phone off of wifi :) Thanks so much!

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Congratulations!

Consider yourself fortunate. Most water damaged phones don't fully recover from a just a good cleaning. Keep you eye out for any latent issues that could crop up with time due to any water left beneath the IC's, or if any active corrosion has already taken hold.

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