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iPhone 4 water dmg shows apple logo and then reboots

I'm helping a friend try to recover some data from her iPhone 4. She told me it was water damaged. She says she tried the bag of rice routine to dry it out and then tried rebooting it. She took it to an iPhone repair shop (not an Apple store). After a couple of days, they said they couldn't get it to boot either.

Her concern is that she does not have a current backup, and there are family photos that she wants to save.

I do data recovery and digital forensics on computers and cell phones in general, so she asked if I could help. But, I admit, I'm not an expert at iPhone repair. But I'm learning fast through this site.

I've been reading through here for the past few days and have gone through the water damage repair guide. I have disassembled the phone and gave it a good cleaning as instructed.

Here are the symptoms.

Only when connected to the AC charger or a PC, will the phone power up. It will show the apple logo for several seconds, and then it will go blank and repeat. It never gets past the apple logo.

I can force it into recovery mode, and iTunes will recognize it only in recovery mode; but iTunes wants to do a restore before doing anything else. I don't want to risk losing any data on the phone, so I have not attempted a restore. I use Oxygen Forensics software in my work, so I attempted that route. It will recognize the model of phone, but will not communicate with it for data transfers.

I am able to communicate with the phone using iRecovery to take it out of recovery mode. Also, the error message I see when using iRecovery states that there is low current.

I replaced the battery, but no change in the symptoms. I have not yet tried changing out the docking port and was wondering if I should try that next before ordering one.

I'm hopeful that the phone may live, since I can talk to it through iRecovery while in recovery mode. I'm assuming that means the logic board may be ok, but I'm hoping someone here with more knowledge could help answer that. If it seems the logic board may be ok, then I will continue trying everything I can to get the data.

Thank you very much for any assistance.

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This is a common problem when the battery is broken or dead. Try replacing your battery, and this should resolve your problem.

Best of Luck,

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I've tried 3 batteries just in case one of the replacements was bad. I also just finished replacing the docking port.

Still the same. The apple logo will appear only when plugged with the cable. Without the cable, it will not power up at all.

Once the apple logo appears, it will disappear after a moment and start all over again. I can force it into recovery mode, but it won't boot normally at all. It's really acting like there is nothing coming from or going to the battery.

Thanks for any ideas offered.

Is the connector broken possibly? Also, have you tried putting the device into DFU mode, and then restoring it?

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I have the same problem with mine phone after water damage. I have found that the #1 and #4 (the two outtermost pins) on the battery connector are shorted. One should be ground and the other positive. I haven't found a solution yet but I'm hoping someone here can help. Check your pins and see if they are shorted as well.

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I checked recently, and I have that problem as well. Pins 1 and 4 are shorted.

I'm thinking at this point, the problem is the logic board. :(

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Juist like chad above, have you checked the other way around. Plug your phone in and see what the voltage is on the battery connection.

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I had some success getting the data off of my friends damaged iPhone. He just wanted the movies and pics but itunes only would restore an image. This may work for you. http://johnviets.com/index.php/tutorials...

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on back of the motherboard behind battery connector, at the corner bottom remove the cover and you will se a capacitor which is sort just remove that problem solved.

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Can you be a little more specific about where it is located on the board?

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