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!

62 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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    2. Thanks for the update. I hope mine lasts at least a few months.

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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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  17. I just tried this and it worked. Phone booted, I got all my data backed up. Still running 2 hours later.
    Did @ 180 C, for 6 minutes and let it cool with oven door open.
    I have a OP 3T on the way so hoping this will last till then.

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  18. Thank you so much for posting this guide! Just did my 5X in a toaster oven at 400 degrees F for 7 minutes, and it's working again! Hopefully it will stay working and I won't have to cook it again.

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  19. Did people (Alex?) remove the shield from the chip assembly when you baked it, or did you leave it on?

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    1. Excellent. 7 minutes at 390 F. Still going about eight hours later, more than enough time to get everything off it. You saved the first year of our marriage. Thanks much.

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  20. i donno if that fake comments
    but, is anyone still the phone works with him ?

    i will try it if someone say yes !

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    1. What possible motivation would there be to fake this?

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    2. the thing is the idea is so crazy and i cant imagine that

      but is the nexus is still working for u ?

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  21. I baked my motherboard 3 times. The first attempt fixed the phone for an hour or so. Repeated attempts (even at higher temp) were unsuccessful. Great article but sadly didn't work for me.

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  22. in my experience, i have never seen a motherboard fully recovering with reballing fix.
    My Nexus 5x froze one fine morning and got stuck with bootloop, I knew what it was as this is how my nexus 5 died. I reballed and it worked for 6 hours. Gave me enough time to backup.

    Tip: The Nexus 5x motherboard has a SAMSUNG chip on the other side under a metallic shield. Remove shield and, reball using a heat gun at 180C, or hot enough to melt the soldering wire (direct the hot air steam to soldering wire and see if it melts). Reball for 60 seconds.

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  23. I am going to attempt this tomorrow. I will keep everyone posted.

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  24. Same problem and now it's working. 3 hours, so far so good.
    Thank you!

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  25. Thank you so much for this info! I thought my phone was completely dead (maybe it really was), and I had tried lots of stuff to turn it back on.

    Then, after seeing this post, I put it on the oven for 7 minutes, but I think it wasn't hot enough. The phone just worked for a minute or two. Then I tried again, with a much higher temperature, for 6 minutes, and it seems to have worked. The phone has been working perfectly for the last couple of hours. Let's see if it keeps that way. Anyway, thanks again!

    For those who are curious about the temperature, I can't state for sure the exact number. I just used the maximum temperature available in my Bosch oven. It says 320 degrees Celsius, but I doubt it. Must be something like 250 at the most.

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  26. Worked for me thanks for the post!

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  27. Worked for around 12 hours and then failed again, any solution to make it work longer?

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  28. Thank you so much. Fixed my daughter's phone today using these instructions. This page is definitely worth a "Buy me a beer" PayPal button!

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    1. [Update] Worked for 24 hours. Good enough to get all data off. Google sent me a warranty replacement.

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    2. To be clear, they sent you a replacement despite your ripping apart and baking the device? Because that's my only hesitation right now. I want the data off it, ready and willing to bake it, but don't want to forfeit the warranty.

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  29. I think I love you. Phone is currently working!

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  30. Just wanted to say this worked for me! Nexus 5x stuck in bootloop works like a charm. Not certain how long it will last but I have managed to back up all my photos (3,200) to an external HD. Thanks for the guide!!

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    1. These are the stories I like hearing!

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  31. AMAZING!!!! I just did it and it worked for me!

    I don't know how long it will last, but so far it seems to work just fine. I'm doing my backup right now, and I'm feeling hopeful! I just ordered a new screen for my nexus 5x to replace the current broken one and if the phone dies again it would be just such a waste.

    Thanks for your blog and info! I might make a video about it and I will give you credit and link your website, if you agree. :)

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    1. So my happines lasted only for about 3h. Now my phone froze and restarted. It came on and I logged in, but restarted again. then it worked for a few minutes and restarted again. It's not a bootloop, because it turns on, but it restarts after working for only a few minutes... Don't know if I should bake it again... what do you think?

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  32. Just wanted to say thanks for posting this and that it worked for me as well. My friend had a phone with files that hadn't been backed up and was willing to risk voiding the warranty to get them. Followed the instructions and it worked long enough to get the files off. Not sure if they are going to keep using the phone but if they do I'll let you know how long it lasts.

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  33. Thank you for the post. It worked. Does anyone have experience with this working longer then the day or two mark?

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  34. Expect this to work long enough to copy your data off. Any longer than that is gravy. That has been my experience and I am happy with that.

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    1. Mine actually stopped working again after about 2 months in a draw so there was no physical stress required to reintroduce the issue. It's definitely not going to be a permanent solution but you get some time to buy a new phone and copy your data.

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  35. Commenting just to inform you that this solution worked for me on my Nexus 5x! Just over 6 minutes at 390 degrees farenheit.

    I desperately needed access to my 2FA and didn't have the backup codes. I was able to recover my files. Thank you! If you accept bitcoin, post your address and I'll send you some money.

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