Data Recovery on water damaged HTC M8

We received this phone last week for water damage data recovery. First, the repair was attempted, the phone was disassembled and carefully examined under the microscope. There were few bad spots but it looked like it can be repaired.

The board was cleaned in Crest ultrasonic cleaner but the corrosion was still pretty bad and there was definitely corrosion under few ICs. There was no point going further as this case could’ve turned into a rathole.

Chip-Off was the last viable option. Although dangerous for the memory, anytime heat is applied to a memory chip, it has the potential in severely damaging the memory cells and rendering the recovery useless.

The memory chip had a large amount of underfill around and under the chip, enough heat is needed to lift the chip and hopefully not break it or damage it with heat.

We successfully removed the chip, cleaned the underfill and recovered the data.


Some areas had very bad corrosion.

corrosion3 corrosion1 corrosion2



Underfill around the memory chip


Underfill that was left behind when the chip was lifted.



Chip after removal, still needs to have the underfill removed and pads cleaned.


After cleaning, the chip in the cradle, ready to be imaged.


After imaging, the filesystem is now visible. We cannot show anything else past this point as the rest would be personal data.

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