1 Reply Latest reply: Jan 4, 2011 8:44 AM by Braidedheadman
Braidedheadman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello everyone! I've finally arrived at my wit's end and have come to pick your bright minds.

I own an iPhone 3gs that worked perfectly up until recently where for the last couple of months it would randomly cut to a black screen, leaving a very faint "ghost image" of the last frame it had displayed until finally disappearing. It would do this regardless of my activities at the time (using the camera, looking at pictures, web browsing, using apps, music, etc.). If I tried to turn the unit back on, and this is the strangest part; it would display the low battery screen even if the crash occurred only moments after having been taken off a wall charger for a full night's recharge! The unit boots up and I can use it just fine for as long as it is plugged into a powered USB port.

I hunted around various sites for support documentation, restored my phone once or twice, and reset everything, which seemed to resolve the problem for a little while at least, but it was never a permanent fix. "Could it still be a software issue," I ask myself. While all this started before the latest update from Apple, I felt my next troubleshooting step would be to wait a little longer for them to release a patch and see if my problem might yet be fixed that way.

It wasn't.

That led me to suspect that it was my battery that was at fault given that it's almost a year and a half old (expired warranty too, great timing btw - real slick) and I could still use my iPhone crash-free for as long as I wished provided that I had it plugged in to an external power source. Everything else appeared to work perfectly aside from that.

Now, here's the clincher: I'm university trained and qualified to service PC hardware and there's no way that I'm about to pay Apple the $90 they want to replace a $10 battery. Right? So I watch a few tutorials, get my tools together, buy a new battery, disassemble the unit, put the battery in, and put it all back together again. No big deal but as an aside, and I have to say, I'm rather alarmed at just how consumer-unfriendly this whole affair is where replacing a simple battery requires jeweller’s tools and a technician's skill to accomplish. What's the deal with that, Apple? :confused:

Anyways, I finally get to the point where it's all put together again, I plug it into my laptop and go about my business for the next several hours and don't think anything more about it. When I come back to it, however, I find that the Apple logo screen is blinking on and off and appears to be doing this in a continuous loop, endlessly.

I left it for a couple more hours while I scoured the net for any scrap of information and/or advice from people before who might have encountered similar problems and have come up with nothing. There was one promising document I found on these very forums, here, where the OP's description of the flashing logo is a very close match for my own problem. His solution provided by Lawrence Finch, however, has not produced any results for my phone (owing no doubt to the fact that his problem was quite a bit simpler in the end than mine). Still other documents drop vague hints that this may yet be a software issue and I've just wasted a bunch of time and a few bucks out of pocket on a battery - not to mention the pristine "do not remove" sticker on my iPhone's logic board, lol.

Which brings me here, finally, with hat in hand to ask you fine folks if there's anyone out there with any idea what might be going on here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

TL;DR:

My iPhone 3GS is OoW with intermittent, random crashes when not connected to a power source. Software restores up to and including the latest updates from Apple did not resolve the problem, which would seem to suggest this is not a software issue. I thought it was a battery issue but I'm not going to pay Apple $90 for OoW service to replace a cheap battery when I'm trained up enough to do it myself. Battery is in place but while connected to my Laptop's USB port (or the wall charger) the apple logo blinks on and off ad infinitum. What's my next step?

iOS 4, iPhone 3gs
  • Braidedheadman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Just a quick update with a couple more details before I go to work:

    I left my phone plugged into the wall charger all night long but the Apple logo is still blinking on and off. However, when unplugged from the charger, the screen goes blank and the unit does not respond to pressing/holding the buttons at all. Likewise, flipping the mute switch does not cause the phone to vibrate as it normally would, which made me wonder if power was being disrupted somewhere else in the unit before the battery. I just finished disassembling the unit down to the battery, looked for any loose connections etc., and did spot a suspicious looking spot on top of the #5 ribbon connector that I had not taken notice of before in my first disassembly. I'll take a picture of it and post a link for your consideration later on today when I have a spare moment, although I fear the worst.