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Will my S6 have to be formatted?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by berrypunch, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. berrypunch

    berrypunch Lurker
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    Hello.. So a few days ago my Samsung S6 got a black screen out of nowhere and nothing would get it to turn on. I took it to a repair shop and they checked if it was the screen or battery and it was neither. After some looking, they said it could be this chip in the motherboard or something that I didn’t understand much as I’m not very informed in these tech related issues.

    Anyway, he said that it would cost about £125 to repair and I told him that I don’t want it fixed if it means it’ll have to be formatted. Both employees said it probably won’t be, but everything I’m reading online is saying that issues like that can’t be fixed without formatting the phone.

    Please advise.
     

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  2. psionandy

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    If they are replacing the motherboard, I can't see how they could do it without losing the data stored on the device....

    ... and if they keep all of the information on the device I can't see how they replaced the motherboard.
     
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  3. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    I find it highly unlikely they'd actually replace any chip on the motherboard (if that is indeed the problem). Motherboards are usually replaced which means all your data and settings would be gone.

    Now when you say nothing would get it to turn on, what have you tried?

    This is what I'd do ...

    Press and hold the power button for up to 30 seconds (simulated battery pull). If the screen even flickers a little, you've probably got a dead battery. If not, it's probably the screen (or the GPU, but that's a motherboard swap to fix).

    If you do have a dead battery you could have a bad USB cable. Try a different cable and charger. Be advised that Samsung phones don't charge well, if at all from USB ports on a PC or Laptop. They generally require 1A power (or more) and PC ports supply 500mA (or 700mA for USB3)

    Try wireless charging. I do believe the S6 had that when it was released.

    With the phone plugged into a power source, press the power button for 30 seconds to force a reboot if it's on but the screen is dead and then log into the play store and go to device manager and see if the phone shows as online. If it does, it's probably a dead display.

    If the display is bad, that can be replaced without wiping the phone.

    Try a different shop.
     
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  4. berrypunch

    berrypunch Lurker
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    Thanks for the responses, guys. Unfortunately, there aren’t many repair shops in my area.

    Do you have any other ideas as to what might be wrong that would cost around that much? Maybe it actually is something that doesn’t require formatting?
     
  5. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    £125 could be the whole display/digitizer assembly or the motherboard. Both are pricey, but the first won't wipe data the second will. But if it's a bad chip, you really don't have much alternative.
     
  6. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Just so you get a visual, the attached jpg is a Galaxy S6 motherboard (as taken from an iFixit tear-down page, step 10):
    https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Samsung+Galaxy+S6+Teardown/39174
    S6-motherboard.jpg
    The chip highlighted in orange is the NAND Flash chip that is your phone's internal storage memory. That's where the Android operating system and all your files and things are stored, If this were a computer or laptop matter, it would involve just replacing the hard drive or SSD but with a smartphone all internal storage media is currently comprised of NAND Flash chips. Typically any local repair shop simply doesn't have the capability to swap out things like components soldered to the the motherboard, they will just replace the motherboard as a unit. So in that situation, yes, unless you have backups of your personal data, it will be lost.
    But in your case you initially mentioned that the display is the problem. It could indeed be matter where something is wrong with the motherboard as that is what controls your phone's display but it could also be a matter where everything on the motherboard is working and it's just a display issue. Could be the connector between the motherboard and display is the problem or the display itself has failed. If you force restart your S6
    http://www.samsung.com/us/support/answer/ANS00042005/
    can you feel (vibrate) and hear (Samsung startup sound) your phone go through its typical restart process? If yes that indicates the motherboard is still OK and it's just a display issue. If your local repair shop didn't go through this with you it might be worth the effort to travel to a different repair center.
     
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  7. berrypunch

    berrypunch Lurker
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    Hey guys. The shop called me today and said they tried everything and that the phone is beyond repair. That it’s just dead. That’s really weird since it was in really good condition before it all happened. I asked if I could at least take it to a data recovery center and they said it’s impossible. Do you think that’s true? And do you think maybe now that they played around with it it’s even more impossible to recover my data? I’m so upset.
     
  8. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    If the motherboard died from a voltage spike or some form of short circuit where components were damaged, then it's likely that your data was also destroyed. And, data recovery for flash memory is very expensive and not too reliable.

    I'd ask them specifically what they determined the problem to be. ('It's broken' is not an acceptable answer) And what they did to come to that conclusion. They may have tried recovery methods, But I doubt they'd do anything beyond trying to flash original firmware or factory reset.

    I realize that you said there aren't many shops where you are, but you might want to try and send it to a different shop for a second opinion anyway.
     
  9. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    I think it really would be beneficial for you to have a different repair center look at your phone, but if that's not doable than your option is more likely to be to just start looking for a new phone. If sending your phone to some other repair shop isn't an option, sending it away to have your data recovered is probably not an option either.
    While consumer recovery utilities can be effective only on a limited basis (you connect your phone to a computer and run a utility), a professional recovery facility will be much more likely to recover your data (they disassemble your phone in a clean room, and by either working on the motherboard itself or physically removing the NAND Flash chip, recover data using very high-end equipment), with the caveat it will cost your several thousand dollars. A company like DriveSavers, with a very high rate of data recovery, will evaluate your phone for free but again, the cost to then have the work done is quite daunting.
    https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/
     

Samsung Galaxy S6

The Samsung Galaxy S6 launched in 2015 as the company's flagship. It features a 5.1-inch screen with 2560 x 1440 resolution, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and an impressive 16 megapixel camera.

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