Monday, December 19, 2016

Oven Fresh Nexus 5X

Woe and calamity. Yes, I got the dreaded Nexus 5X bootloop issue a couple of weeks back. Having thrown my phone in the freezer (inside a zip-lock bag) I got a boot out of it. That points to the issue being a bad solder joint. Maybe not in the general case but in at least mine. If your device passes a similar test you can try reflow soldering your device by following along below. Warning: this process will void any warranty you have, only do this as a method of last resort if Google or LG will not service your phone. You may also want to consider taking it to a professional electronics repair shop for reflow work.

With that warning out of the way and the freezer test having roused my suspicions I pulled the case off and took the motherboard out. iFixit has a great guide here for that process.

Time to cook!
With the motherboard out I inspected the teardown photos also provided by iFixit and determined which side of the board the packages (chips/black squares) I was interested in were on. The suspect package is the RAM. A Samsung K3QF3F30BM-QGCF with CPU the Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 conveniently located directly beneath it. The constant flexing of the phone in my pocket has most likely cracked one of the tiny BGA solder connectors off the motherboard underneath one of those packages.

Now that you have your motherboard separated from the phone's chassis preheat your oven to 195 degrees Celsius or 390 Fahrenheit whichever is appropriate for your current locale setting. While your oven is heating take out some aluminum foil and crush it into a ball. Un-crumple it so that there is still a rough texture as shown. This is going to help limit the heat transmission to the underside of the motherboard which we don't want to reflow. Place the motherboard on the foil and press it down. At this point attempt to get the board laying as flat as possible. You don't want parts sliding down the board on an angle if you overcook. Place the foil and motherboard on an oven safe cooking surface, a ceramic casserole dish will do nicely so long as it has a flat bottom, I used the spill tray from a waffle iron. So pick whatever looks good to you. Season with a twist of lemon and cracked pepper.

Now that your oven is up to temperature place the dish into the oven and start a timer for 6 minutes and 30 seconds. Wait anxiously. Note: If your oven is fan forced you may need to make an adjustment to the cooking time.

Remove your motherboard and let it rest until completely cool. Inspect the board for any physical damage, if you've really messed it up be extremely careful with reconnecting the battery. Who knows what you might have shorted out.

Reassemble your phone following the guide from iFixit and give that puppy a charge. Power it up and hope for the best!

31 comments:

  1. Crazy but I'm glad it worked for you. I had mine returned since I still have the warranty. Now I'm waiting hopefully for the warranty result

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    1. Yes definitely use that warranty if you have it!

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  2. heard any tales of this working or not working ??
    im about to try it anyway

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    1. Haven't heard of any others doing the N5x but 2 others reported doing it on the LG G4 which is similar. Good luck. Post the results!

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  3. i just might have to do this on my 5x as i got a boot when freezing the mother board, will report back with results within the week.

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    1. So I did the oven reflow and my 5x worked for about 24 hours until it froze and went into the bootloop again. Im going to try to reflow once more. How has your 5x been holding up? I have a question by the way, do you place the motherboard upside down on the foil?

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    2. I placed my motherboard the way it is photographed. Mine seems to be doing well so far.

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    3. I see, hopefully I won't have anymore issues with mine! Thanks for the help

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  4. I need to know how to envolve or enroll o wrap the motherboard, which part wrap and which not, help;

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  5. I just did this and it worked!! Thats so much, I don't know how long it's going to last for, but I can definitely get all my data off it now.

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    1. ... It worked for approx 10 hours, now it's bootlooping again. I'll try it again

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    2. You might want to bump the temp a little bit say 10F

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  6. Amazin, it just worked for me too! Let's just see for how long it works, I will update in case of failure or success.

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    1. Aaand it's dead now. It worked for around 30 hours. Personally, I've spent a lot of time trying to fix this for more than 3 months so I think I'll give up now and avoid LG for the rest of my life.

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  7. this just worked for me. transferring my info off my phone now.

    thank you kindly, and if you have a paypal, i'll buy you a beer.

    salud

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  8. This worked for me as well. 8 minutes at 395F in a convection oven. I wrapped foil around everywhere but the middle section. I don't know how long it will last, but at least I got my photos off it. Thanks for the tip!

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  9. I must say -I bought 2 5x's 14 months ago and BOTH phones had the bootloop problem. This actually worked for BOTH of them. Im dissapointed in both Google and LG!

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  10. Got the bootloop last night. I ended up cooking for around 8 minutes and my Nexus 5x has been resurrected! Thanks!

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  11. Just did it. It booted up. Thank you! Lets see how long it lasts.

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    1. Hey matt how long it lasted still working?

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  12. My Nexus 5X has revived!!! Thanks!!!

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  13. I tried this out, and after 2 hours of using it, so far, it's working and continuing to. I hear it will re-fail again someday though, so I'm counting my blessings for the time I get.

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  14. This has worked for me just now too. (I had sent it to LG UK, who stated it had water damage, so warranty voided). Heres hoping it lasts more than a few days/weeks.
    Has anyone had long term success with this?

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  15. My Nexus 5X was boot looping. I toasted it for 7 minutes at 400 dF. I have a digital toaster, so it is probably more accurate. But it only changes in 25 dF increments.

    My 5X worked perfectly for about 24 hours. Now it is occasionally freezing and rebooting. Is it worth trying 425 dF? Or staying at 400 and trying 8 minutes?

    Didn't know where the likely line was for melting something important. Thanks.

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    1. Did you have any better luck Colin?

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    2. I tried 400 dF for 8 minutes, and it lasted another 24 hours before it started intermittently bootlooping again.

      I needed a reliable phone, so I bought and am setting up a Huawei Honor 8 right now.

      I am going to try 425 dF for 7 minutes as a test, to see if I can get the 5X to last longer. I've wondered if I should try flipping the board over when toasting. But since the side I've been toasting on has at least worked for a little while, I guess I'll stick to that.

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    3. That's a pity. I wonder if you are flexing it more than average. Anyway if you have that Honor 8 as a daily driver the 5X can do something that doesn't involve getting moved around much. Webcam or utility server for instance.

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    4. Yes. The Honor 8 will be my new daily driver. I don't feel like I flex my phones too much. I did bend my Nexus 5 from 2 phones ago when my wife sat on my lap by surprise. Otherwise I try to be careful with my phones.

      It will be interesting if attempt number 3 seems successful after running maybe a week on a table. If I get that far I may try carrying it again for a couple days to test the theory about it flexing in my pocket causing the repeated breakage.

      I'll let you know what the outcome is when I get around to this.

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  16. I tried this and had about 20hrs use before it failed again... I'm going to try again at a slightly higher temp.

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