Turning a broken iPhone into a working USB flash drive? – in Shenzhen, China


Today I’m gonna try and turn this broken iPhone 6 into a working USB stick. [Music] In my last video, I upgraded the storage on this custom Strange Parts iPhone. Now when I work on big projects like this I often run across these really cool little side projects that just don’t make it into the main video and this one was no exception But I found this thing that I had to try and I had to turn into another video I found this circuit board Now, It’s got a USB connector on one end It’s got pads for what looked like an iPhone 6 Flash memory chip or older It has one IC and the IC is an SM3267L and I looked this up and the internet says that it’s a USB flash controller So I think what this will allow me to do is take an old broken iPhone 6 and turn it into a working USB stick So I want to give that a try. But first I need a memory chip to use [Music] I think I know where some folks are selling like beat-up old phones and pretty sure I’ve seen some iPhones in there, so we’ll go see if I can pick one up and give it a new life here, turn it into something new I need two bad iPhone 6 Alright, let’s crack these open This one has a screen, this one doesn’t This one is the one without the screen. I’m gonna use a tool Normally I just use my fingernails, but I’m gonna use a tool so I don’t cut myself I want the logic board out here [Music] Here we go Logic board This is what I really want, which is the memory chip [Music] There is the flash chip Next step is to clean up the pads on the bottom and put new solder balls on Ooh, no Fail This is an iPhone 6s template Not an iPhone 6 I got to go to the market and get another another reball hang stencil Dang it, such a little thing, but again markets are just right there. It’s way better than having to mail order this How are you? – Ok Is it okay to video? – Ok I need this one – Mhm Like this, for six You have good ones? Fancy ones – Six? – Six Six for us, yeah – Yeah, okay, I think this will work bye bye There it is, let’s get back to it [Music] That went pretty well, the balls are back on I did want to answer a question that people asked about last time and that was should you remove the template first before adding heat? And, you would, if you were soldering like a surface mount circuit board. You would put your paste down, you’d remove the stencil and then you would put all your parts, and then you’d heat it For reballing I’ve never seen anybody do it that way and I think It’s because the holes are so small on these templates, that you run the risk of pulling some of the solder up when you pull off the template So I’ve always seen the guys in the markets and the and the cell phone repair schools leave the template on and heat through the template and then pop the chip out. Next I’m gonna solder the chip onto the USB stick This should be pretty easy, but hey, there’s always room to screw it up Okay, here goes, the moment of truth. Chip is on, time to see if it shows up on our computer This is a relatively new MacBook Pro, so it only has USB-C, so I’m gonna have to use an adapter. Let’s see if this shows up, fingers crossed Nothing Uh That smells like badness Ow! As always, it is not as easy as I thought it would be [Music] Well, uh I don’t quite know what’s causing the short, I looked on the microscope, and I don’t really see any obvious shorts or bad soldering I mean it’s not perfect But there’s nothing obvious so I guess I’m going to just pull off the flash chip that I added and try plugging it into the computer again and just see if that controller chip gets hot It lights up and it’s not heating up So it looks like maybe it was an issue with my soldering or the chip or something It doesn’t show up I guess I’m gonna have to try soldering it down again and see if maybe I just screwed it up the first time The problem with this is that these balls are you know they’re underneath the chip, so you can’t see if you really screwed it up. You can’t see if you caused any shorts so without an x-ray machine it’s just a little bit of trial and error [Music] One thing I noticed is that this chip has a little bit of damage right here, right there It looks like there’s a scratch maybe from my tweezers at some point. I’m worried that that’s getting shorted out So I’m gonna go ahead and cover that up with some of this UV curable solder mask This is like a green fluid you put on and then you cure it with this UV light Just like that Just gonna cover that up Put some of this over there That’s it for that and then we use this UV bike light. Just shine that right on there like that. So it’ll make it hard Sorf of like a UV curable epoxy sort of deal. Yeah, can’t scratch it with the tweezers Looks good Not getting hot, but I don’t see a light either. I’m just not seeing anything. I, uh It’s not showing up on sysinfo, not getting a light, I don’t know. I do have another one of these I actually ordered from two different suppliers And so I’m gonna try plugging this one in with no memory chip on it and see if I can see it Yeah, okay, so it lights up. Okay wait that shows up now in system information but, lsusb shows it, yeah okay. lsusb shows it as well okay, so that, I don’t think that was happening before I’m gonna desolder this chip again and see What this does just one more time, but if this doesn’t show up without the chip? Then I just think this is a bad stick. I’m gonna put it on there instead. Trial and error Let’s try Two bare boards what I said I tried from the beginning Okay, blue light comes on. Let’s see if it shows up as a device It does not it totally doesn’t okay, well I should’ve tested that earlier on That one does. Okay. Let’s just try soldering to the black board. Maybe it’s just bad or has bad firmware, I dunno. Hey! I got a light. Alright, it showed up on the USB Drive or on LS USB. See if it shows up as a drive No, it does not. It’s a start though fact that it’s not shorting and it’s lighting up is a good sign But I don’t know what else I need to do Alright, I spent some time on Taobao, and I think I have a little bit better understanding what’s going on So it looks like there are a bunch of different versions of these sticks and they support different Specific flash models, so I think I might come at this from the other direction Which is I might go to my favorite memory chip vendor in the markets and see if I can find a chip That’s supported by the sticks. I already have but I think for tonight Well, let’s see, it’s 6:30 Screw it, I’ll head over to the markets and see if I can pick up some chips I want to keep going with this. I want to get this working. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I phone you do that are Hynix – yeah, oh Okay, okay, thank you There we go these are pretty close to the chips I need We’ll see if they work. Good. Oh I’ve got to remove this chip first Plug that in there I got a light. That’s a good sign shows up still that’s good Seeing anything all right time for some googling. I don’t know all right. Well. I am at the Unknown why it’s not working And debugging phase. I don’t know if I somehow need to tell it and now has storage Or I don’t know if it has to do with the fact that there are two different pads on it or What the only thing I can like to do at this point is to remove the flash chip and put it on the other side I want to try and Open this on my Windows machine my Chinese Windows machine here, ooh Something oh, okay? Here’s the memory stick Let’s try Microsoft translate. This is doubly hard because I Haven’t used Windows 10 before and I don’t read Chinese. I think that’s a volume That’s promising Maybe it’s windows into English. I think that’s the next step All right I Think I finally have windows into English it involved upgrading to Windows Pro Windows 10 Pro for 100 bucks, but Frankly that’s a better price for me then Spending the hours. It would take me to reinstall this and get all the drivers working again and whatnot so let’s plug this in So it sees it. It’s a D Drive and no media. I don’t know what to do I think I’m gonna go back to soldering I’m gonna maybe put a second chip on it and see if it can read that and then if not I’m gonna remove the first chip I Don’t know to you at this point. Just keep trying stuff. I guess I Got chips on both sides of it now no no oh no, it’s smoking uh Let me let out the magic smoke things something to work anymore what the smoking oh? Okay, it’s one of those man shorted trying to replace it ah It’s working again, I took both the chips off this time Both of them off and it’s showing up the computer again. Not totally broken all right. I got some work to do here. I have the chip soldered on The other side that from what I did originally. I’m gonna try plugging that back in then if that doesn’t work I’ll try it’s the original side as well. I don’t know what I’m doing okay light That’s good, and no heat Showing up kind of the same as before no media still gonna try soldering on the other chip, I guess Okay Okay light yes, that’s good It’s different a little nothing away. I want to do now I Made a little bit of progress. I found the software programming tool By the people that make the chip on this thing if I unplug this Then I get open disc fail so that means it’s actually seeing it despite like nothing on the UI here and being at the wrong version All right, I know I need a big version of this Holy cow works it sees it now Wow okay? It actually sees the right version with the right chipset. It does say capacity 0, but that’s the starting point so It’s doing a thing uh-oh I might have done it I might have done it It just was a matter of getting the right version of the mass production tool, so that was the trick capacity 30 gigs Think Awesome Awesome awesome awesome I Did not think this was gonna work. uhh.. I I thought I was really up a creek here. I umm.. I thought it was gonna be easy and then Okay, it works. Looks good to me It even says okay here in the corner, which you know it’s gotta mean something I think I just need to plug it into a different computer this one I had to install weird drivers So I don’t really want to mess with those because this thing can read it I’m gonna Plug it into my Mac and see what it says See’s it. Wont even turn on. Okay… Now its on. Sigh…… That is a glorious sight look at this right there USB stick, that Is a pretty nice sight right about now. I just need to format it and write some files to it See if I can read off of it, and I think that would clear it it shows up external drive Master, Boot Record Okay, I’m gonna just reformat it for Posterity’s sake here. I put a fat partition mess read record DIY USB… stick, holy cow that Formatted okay, let’s try putting a file on it and like read it and stuff Okay, so this is the previous video. **I’m Scotty from Strange Parts** Let’s put that on there. Okay, let’s eject it Put it back in And I can read it That’s amazing I think I’ve got it so I think that Is a working a USB stick. Well. I know I say it a lot, but I had my doubts but I Went into this thing it would be really easy and then yeah, I just started hitting roadblocks, and didn’t really know how to debug things and I Think I figured it out. I finally have a working USB stick from theoretically the parts of a broken iPhone it’s fiddly, but you know for the cost of the stick which was 14 RMB so about 2 dollars and 25 cents and you know whatever you can get a broken iPhone 6 for You can make make your own USB stick That’s pretty awesome. Yeah, and a lot of playing around with dodgy Windows software Which you know? I think it’s kind of par for the course on these projects as I was thinking about this I was like is this a good DIY project should people try this if you want to try learning to BGA reball and hot-air reflow, this isn’t a terrible project to try it on It’s a little bit fiddly because you can’t tell if you’ve done something wrong or it’s a software issue or whatever But I actually did find a path to debugging in That you know at least the stick will show up in the software without any chips on it, so you know This is pretty forgiving as far as BGA goes the balls are so big stencil is really big you know if you look at this stencil like this is all of the things for a 6s and 6s plus and there are some tiny tiny grids on this. I don’t know if you guys can see This one is the memory chip, and it is the by far the biggest on there So you know like if you’re gonna try and learn how to do this. This is not a terrible starter project There’s one thing left to do though Which is we need to make it look like a USB stick this comes with a little case here? That we can put it in it came with it for free, so let’s see let’s slide this bit on Then it goes in this tube And It comes with a cap there you go one One USB stick ready to go straight from the guts of an iPhone 6 I’ll see if I can find like an Aliexpress link or something and put it in the description below if you guys want to try this out at least for the the PCB USB stick, I’ll leave you guys to find your own flash memory But that’ll at least put you on the right track if you want to give this a try. That about does it for this time Guys I’m Scotty from strange parts if you enjoyed this video hit that subscribe button down below And if you want hit that Bell icon next to it to be notified of every video I upload I just passed my one-year anniversary On the 12th which was huge. The anniversary of uploading the first video That’s been amazing just hit along the way 600,000 subs. Thank you guys so much for all of the support I did want to apologize for not uploading a video last week. Things got a little crazy here in Shenzhen But I’ve got some exciting stuff on the way some factory tours I’ve got some big projects in the planning phase and there may be one or two collabs on the way And one of which you guys haven’t heard anything about It’s with an up-and-coming YouTube creator that I’m really excited about I enjoy watching their stuff. We’re gonna fly to somewhere else in China I’ve been before they haven’t and I’ve never showed on video so stay tuned for all of that. I’ll see you guys next time