iPhone 4

Fourth generation iPhone. Repair is straightforward, but the front glass and LCD must be replaced as a unit. GSM / 8, 16, or 32 GB capacity / Model A1332 / Black and White.

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iPhone 4 - Blank screen, backlight only, water damage

After my iphone took a quick trip down the toilet i rescued it, dried it off and left it in rice overnight. 24 hours later I tried to boot it up, no luck, I conneted it to itunes and the computer did pick it up, and the phone made the usual noises, and even connected to my bluetooth headset, but the screen woud just not come back to life, it does however have a background glow when any buttons are pressed, so backlight must be fine.

I assumed the LCD must have been damaged but before I ran out to get a new one I dismanteled the phone (using an online guide), and transplanted the screen from a perfectly operational iphone 4, but still the same result, backlight only.

I put the good iphone back together, left the water damaged one in pieces and put it back in rice.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? surely the logic board isnt dead, there is no visible damage, corrosion etc.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Take a look through all the answers for iPhones and you'll find loads of info on waterdamage... Most are fixable. Follow the advice on cleaning... It means this phone will last longer if you repair it. If you just replace the battery ( which usually dies with water... Hence the black screen) the rust/corrosion will slowly ruin parts. I'll find a recent post...

by pollytintop

Ps. I might have gone silly in the head... Missed the backlight comment!If you have still only got a background glow on the LCD but can see faint images it may be the backlight... Cleaning the LCD connnectors may fix it otherwise you need to locate the backlight coil. I only know 3g/s. If it's all black then it's likely the LCD. A very very good clean can usually fix these.(might take a few cleans)

by pollytintop

Thanks for your comments Polly, I cannot see any faint icons on the screen just a faint glow all over, I have tried transplanting the battery from a working phone, and no change, i have checked the LCD connectors as much as I can and see no damage with the naked eye. As I have now confirmed all components effecting the screen (other than the logic board) are not causing the issue, by transplanting fully operational ones, I am unfortunatley left with the logic board as the cause. So will now clean the LCD connection points of the logic board with the advice below (thanks to Jerry and ABC) and report back with results.

by gavin

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Hi there,

I've been in your shoes many times. If you replaced the LCD/Digi with a new one and you still have no luck than its very possible your looking at a bad board. Ive seen iphones with NO signs of corrosion yet they have problems much like yours. Try cleaning off the connectors on the board with rubbing alcohol if you havent done so yet. If none of this works, than try to backup/restore your iphone (slim chance this will fix it, but i've seen it work before). Last if NONE of the above work and you run out of ideas than try soaking your board in rubbing alcohol for 4 to 6 hours, the dry it out in rice for 24 hours. I have recovered many Logic Boards with this method, but I use this as a last result before the customer buys a new phone. Good luck.

-Nick C

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Good idea, though I'd recommend using electronics-grade (90%) isopropyl alcohol. Rubbing alcohol might work ok, but it will leave more of a residue behind due to the higher water content and other impurities, and will evaporate slower. Either way, just remember to ensure it's completely dry as alcohol IS conductive.

by Jerry F Nerviano

- Nick all of your contributions here at ifixit thus far could be construed as spam. Please quit putting links to your business in your answers. You can have it in your profile or your about me.

by ABCellars

Jerry F Nerviano isopropyl alcohol is rubbing alcohol and visa versa. I agree you want 90% pure as a minimum. Also pure alcohol is non conductive. So is true distilled water which you can buy at the pharmacy, rarely seen in the store.

by ABCellars

Most of us remove any power source/battery before doing any kind of repair, and we also allow ample time for drying, so whether a liquid conucts or not shouldn't be an issue..... Should it???

by pollytintop

ABCellars: You are correct regarding distilled alcohol and water, though I admit I left it out since it didn't seem relevant at the time. You are also correct about the isopropyl. I was attempting to differentiate between higher-water-content "rubbing alcohol" (usually 70%, most commonly found in grocery stores) and the purer form that's sold in electronics stores. 90+% is also occasionally found labeled "rubbing alcohol", but it's not as common (in my experience). I also prefer to keep alcohol handy at the workbench and the metal container sold at electronics stores is a bit more stable, making the work area safer. :)

by Jerry F Nerviano

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I dropped my phone in a cup of tea a few days ago..it flashed on and off then the screen went black..i didn't do anything to it to dry it out..next morning it was working fine and did so for about 3 days..then it just flashed and went black again...now for 2 days i've had no screen but i can hear texts and emails /calls...what if anything can i do??

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so the phone is fully functional without the screen?

is the vibrate ,answer a call,or turning off the iphone works>?

if you all the above works then it must be your fauly lcd ,or check the connection on the board & the ribbon cables ,its either that or the backlight coil ,or else

anycase you should open your phoen and follow the method above ,and you might also try a hairdryer with correct ammount of heat,check with magnifying glass or better microscope for any visual damage of the parts ,

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youtube video on how to change the backlight coil to fix the backlight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsk6rg0KX...

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hi my iphone 4 fell down the toilet but it had a single crack on the screen. i took it out and tried drying it out. long story short, it rings and vibrates, but the screen is black. I dont mind fixing a part on it (rather than buying a whole new phone) but i need to know what exactly i need to buy and if it would really work?

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@pollytintop, i have the exact same problem, faint light can only see the screen faintly, it's black mainly, how do I clean the LCD connector , I have a 3gs

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My little girl got butter on my iPhone when I turn my iphone off the screen turns black for a minute but then it turns back on what should I do I feel like going to another company I'm with sprint there trying to charge me $49 for a new one

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gavin will be eternally grateful.

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