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Thread: How should an iPhone 3G behave with no LCD attached?

  1. #1
    Default How should an iPhone 3G behave with no LCD attached?
    Hi guys, I was wondering if you could help me at all.

    It;s a bit long but I'm trying to be as descriptive as possible

    I was given an iPhone 3G with a dying screen; it was losing entire lines of pixels, so I thought I'd attempt to repair it.

    But before I looked at buying a new screen, I thought I'd make sure it would unlock and work with my own SIM card, as it was an O2 iPhone, and I am on Vodafone.

    I successfully jailbroke it on 3.1.3 and unlocked the carrierlock with ultrasn0w. The iPhone recognised my SIM card, and allowed me to make, receive calls, text and go online. But, it straight-up REFUSED to get a 3G signal, even in known-strong areas, even on other peoples' SIM cards, even un-jb'ing it and reflashing stock 3.1.3 from DFU to use a brand new SIM card from the carrier it was locked to.

    So, I thought I'd disassemble it and check all the connections with particular attention to the antenna area.

    I disassembled the phone using the ifixit guides, and got everything apart carefully and gave all the connectors a good clean with IPA. When I finished reassembling it, I turned it on to find that the screen isn't lighting up or displaying anything.

    However, the phone makes noises, receives calls, syncs to iTunes. I have hard reset and DFU restored it to no avail, I've checked all the connections and it's not having it. Even tore it all back apart and reassembled from scratch - nada.

    Now, here's the interesting part.

    I thought that surely the digitiser should still work (it was working before disassembly) so I've been trying to touch the phone without a working screen - poking where I think you would poke to slide unlock, tapping to launch apps or dial numbers etc. but nothing's happening; no response. Even dialling the iPhone from another phone and tapping where the Answer button would normally be doesn't work.

    I have tried to take screenshots with the sleep/home button combo, and I hear them being taken. When using the sync cable to check the pictures with a computer, all the screenshots are completely black.

    So the question is, when the iPhone doesn't detect a working LCD, does it "not bother" initialising the display/GUI?

    In other words, if you were to disconnect the number 1 ribbon, would the touchscreen still work?

    Does the screen turning on depend on connector numbers 2 and 3 also?


  2. #2
    it seems the iPhone has a bad LCD screen, make sure the connection for the lcd is down tight on the iPhone, if it still does not work, try to replace it. It should more than likely fix all of the problems
    iPhone Repair

  3. #3
    Hi brokemyi!

    Thanks. No matter how many times I ensure a snug fit, no dice.

    I have ordered a brand new genuine Apple whole front-end assembly (glass, digitizer, LCD, sensors, home button etc.) so we'll see how it goes The seller has promised that if it doesn't fix my iPhone, I can return the parts.

    If it works, I'll replace its scratched back and make it look nice and new I can't afford a new iPhone and my T-Mobile G1 is starting to die on me, so if I can fix this iPhone I'll be pretty happy until I can afford to have a nice new model.

    I can apparently also have my phone officially unlocked by O2 for 15 of top-up credit, that would be nice to do if I can make it work - that way I can avoid having to use unlocks.

    I'll let you know how its goes.

  4. #4
    So, it was definately the screen

    Replacement arrived, and to my delight it all fired up and worked first time, so I have a living iPhone!

    Unfortunately the replacement screen had some dirt trapped inside it which was quite annoying, so I am returning it for an exchange. At least I know it's going to be worthwhile though, as the phone was fully functional with the new part.


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