How do I repair an iPhone 3G White Screen of Death?

wesleymcpl
wesleymcpl used Ask the Experts™
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This morning my Apple iPhone 3G was working fine, however, it eventually the screen turned white for no apparent reason. I've tried reseting (buttons held in but no Apple logo appears) and restoring but nothing seems to work. It does appear that the phone is still working, though. I called it and heard my ringtone and hit the switch on the side to turn it silent and it vibrated.

I've done a bit of Googling and have tried a few of the suggestions my searches turned up but nothing helps. I did find one thing that required me to open up my phone but was apprehensive about trying it.

Anyone ever experienced anything like this? This is the third time my phone has failed recently and it's not that old. Any help would be appreciated.
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Try this compliments of Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuBWoZ0-gNM

Commented:
"I've tried reseting (buttons held in but no Apple logo appears)" - Exactly how? How long did you hold both buttons? Only 2-3 seconds gives you the "Slide to power off" option. 10 seconds forces it off. Did you do that? My wife's 3G's screen stopped responding so I could not "Slide to power off". The 10-second option fixed it.

"it's not that old" - How old? Still under warranty? If the 10-second option does not work, you could take it to an Apple Store.

Lee

Author

Commented:
Around 4-5 months ago I took in my old iPhone 3G to an Apple Store in GA with a problem. They gave me a brand new one then to replace it. Would that invoke a new warranty? They pulled it out and set it up for me but I didn't fill out a new registration?

My problem now is that the closest AS is roughly 2 hours away.
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Commented:
No that does not restart your original 1-yr (or 2-yr with AppleCare) warranty. They may give you 30 to 90 days on the new hardware, but that's it.

Did the hard reset not work?

Lee
The 10 second option (pressing the power button and the home button) will do a hard reset, similar to pulling the battery from a phone which should refresh it.

What is your iphone's OS version?

Sine the nearest AS is 2 hours for you, have you tried calling apple support?

here's a list of support numbers for apple http://www.apple.com/support/contact/
Try entering DFU or Device Firmware Update/Upgrade mode.  This will shut off the iPhone and it will not turn on.  However, you will be able to restore and re-install the newest firmware safely and freshly.  Holding the home button and power button randomly or for 10 seconds will not fix this issue.

1) Make sure that your iPhone is on.
2) Plug it into your computer using the 30 pin connector cable.
3) Hold the power button for 12 seconds, or until the iPhone turns off.
4) Without releasing the power button, hold the home button.  Continue holding both buttons for 15 seconds.
5) Release the power button whilst still holding the home button.
6) Keep holding the home button until you hear a Du-Du on your computer.  You will also see it installing new driver software.
7) Open iTunes and click Restore.  It will install the newest firmware and upgrade your phone.  This will fix any software issues.

If you still see a white screen, it is a hardware issue with your iPhone.  Take it to the Apple Store or a licensed repair technician.  

Author

Commented:
Called Apple Support and I believe they had me do your process, Speedy. Still no luck though. During this they discovered my serial number was inactive. They said this could have happened when I had an error in my restore attempt I made earlier. They have a team working on it and said I'd receive notification in 24-48 hours that my serial has been activated. Once that's done, they'll give me my repair options.
That's odd.  Did it show up in iTunes and were you able to restore it?  If so, does it still give a white screen after a restore process?

Commented:
If you upgrade the firmware for your 3G, I wish to *strongly* encourage you to stay in the 3.1.x series and *not* upgrade into the 4.x series - there simply is not the CPU power available in the 3G for the 4.x firmware. I upgraded one of mine to 4.0, and it ran horribly slow. It was so bad, my local AS replaced it. I have also read where many others have experienced serious performance issues with 4.x on a 3G, for example, waiting several seconds for apps to start.

Lee

Author

Commented:
Speedy - Yup on all questions. The phone restored as normal during my talk with the Apple rep but still gave a white screen afterward.

I'm wondering if when my original phone was replaced with this one if the Apple Store person took the whole sim card tray out of the previous phone. Since the serial is on the tray itself and not the sim, perhaps that's why it was showing up as inactive.

Author

Commented:
Lee - I did upgrade a while back to 4 which was slow. I've had a little better luck with 4.1, but it still doesn't run as smoothly as it did with 3.
Well, I am afriad that it is a hardware error if you are still receiving a white screen.  Restoring returns to the original Apple firmware and a restore will fix any software issues.  It is the same as re-formatting your computer.  Do you have an Apple store nearby?  If so, try make a genius bar appointment and they will be able to diagnose which hardware is causing the problem.

Author

Commented:
T'was the cable. Apple Store genius fixed it and told me what it was.

Commented:
@wesleymcpl, people search EE's questions, answers, and solutions long after questions are answered and pay particular attention to the Accepted Solution. This question will be very misleading for those future seekers because Mike_Carroll's YouTube video of some guy talking about resetting the phone has nothing to do with a cable issue. IOW, the Accepted Solution has nothing to do with the fix.
Thank you for posting your fix, but you should select your own posting as the Accepted Solution and not simply the first response.
Lee
No response so I have re-opened this question and then closed it as a self solution for http:#a33993851

Regards
DropBearMod
Community Support Moderator
Commented:
Question PAQ'd, 500 points refunded, and stored in the solution database.

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