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iPhone dropped in water - error code 23 after DMU - give up hope?

6303 Views 2 Replies Latest reply: Apr 15, 2012 9:21 AM by HoffinMichigan RSS
gds_mac Calculating status...
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Mar 2, 2011 7:33 AM
To everyone who has dropped their iPhone into water - do not give up all hope of recovery.

If you check this site http://theiphonewiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=ITunes_Errors then you will see the explanation of the error code 23(among other things) - just scroll down the page to this point
*+Error 23+*
*+Cannot restore or update due to hardware problems.+*
*+In software you have to set default web browser.+*
*+In hardware, it's a communication problem. Check all connections, also try to change battery.+*
*+faulty baseband flash or processor+*
*+Happens frequently after water damage. Remove and clean motherboard.+*

I dropped my iPhone whilst I was in the kitchen, near to the sink and it fell into a bowl which was full of water (Yes I know what you are thinking!).It was in the water for a only a second or two before I retrieved it!
I am fortunate in that I have an AGA, so after I dried off the phone, I left it on a towel on top of the AGA simmering plate to begin the drying process. I checked the internet for suggestions (just Google 'dropped iPhone in water') and decided to try putting the iPhone into a freezer bag filled with uncooked rice. I turned the phone off, placed it into the bag and left it for 2 days on top of the AGA (any warm environment such as an airing cupboard would probably be equivalent)
After the 2 days were up, I turned the phone on and connected to iTunes to see if the phone was recognised - it was recognised by iTunes, but initially iTunes came up with an error message to the effect that my iPhone was locked by a passcode and it had to be unlocked first. I could not achieve any kind of unlock, because my iPhone just presented with the 'emergency telephone screen' option.

I used the Apple discussions site and other various YouTube,Hackintosh type sites to seek a solution.

Eventually, I decided to put the iPhone into DFU mode and to attempt a restore
(see this link if you are unsure about DFU
http://osxdaily.com/2010/06/24/iphone-dfu-mode-explained-and-how-to-enter-dfu-mo de-on-your-iphone/)

iTunes came back with error code 23. I searched for various solutions via Google but to no avail! I booked a slot with an Apple Genius at my local store, to be told that the phone was beyond repair and was offered a replacement for the princely sum of £139! The Genius also told me that the 'bag of uncooked rice' solution was just an old wives tale!
I declined the offer, because I was still convinced that the phone was recoverable;it had only been in the water for a a couple of seconds at most and when it was turned on I could make out my default 'wallpaper' behind the emergency telephone screen!

I tried the following and my iPhone is now working!
I held the 'on/off' button at the same time holding the 'home' button and the *'volume up'* button - and whilst still continually holding down these buttons, I 'cycled' through the various screens that should/will appear - 'Apple logo' on black screen, through to 'connect to iTunes' screen- allowing the scrolling through to happen *at least 3-4 times whilst still holding down the buttons and whilst connected to iTunes via USB cable* and eventually my iPhone turned itself back on, fully functioning, except for the time and date which had reverted to 01-01-2000!

I am not sure if this will necessarily work for you, because each set of circumstances wherein an iPhone is dropped into water are different, but if it does, then I am glad to have been able to share this with anyone who is about to give up all hope on their seemingly 'bricked' iPhone!

Best wishes in your attempts!
iMac 3.2Ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.6), MacBook Black 10.5.2; iMac G4 800 10.4.11; iPhone 3G 16Gb;ABE;ABEX;ABDE
  • J.K. ROFLing Level 4 Level 4 (1,220 points)
    Sorry about your phone. But the Genius was wrong about the rice trick being and "old wives tale". Dry rice WILL absorb moisture and help dry it out. You can also use those drying packets that come in various products.

    That being said, it isn't a cure all. By the time you get the phone dried and put into the rice to finish drying, the damage may have already been done. That might be what the Genius was talking about.
    Mac Pro, iMac (aluminum), PM G5, iPhone, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • HoffinMichigan Calculating status...

    gds_mac is correct ... To everyone who has dropped their iPhone into water - do not give up all hope of recovery.  Last night my iPhone 3G fell into a glass of ice water (details are irrelevant).  I removed it from the water in 2 or 3 seconds - totally submerged.  Dried it off with a towel, and stood it up overnight to allow water to drain out the USB cable connector port on the bottom of the phone.  This morning, the phone did not turn on.  I thought it was dead.  I placed it in a ziplock bag with rice for 3 hours.  Then I removed it from the rice bag, held the "on/off" button while holding the "home" button and the "volume up" button.  The Apple logo appeared, I released the buttons, and the phone turned on.  It is working noramally.  Everything is fine ... I've tested Apps, connected to PC, etc.  Like it never happened.  I hope this helps others.

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