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All of your G3 hardware problems - SOLVED!! (BSOD, screen flicker, sim card, etc)

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Hello all

I had a chance to buy 15 units of G3, all broken or faulty. The purchase was made via an Swiss operator who was about to recycle the devices, but instead of recycling I bought them via some program for that. They dont pay for recycling, I get the devices extremely cheap, no one pays any tax (Switzerland stuff and their laws)

First of all I want to say - LG made a phenomenal job of envisioning a device - G3 was superb compared to all the phones released in that time period (S5, OPO1, Z2/Z3, etc) with it's bleeding edge technology and phenomenal design (which I am sure inspired others to go bezel-less and edgy and so on). 2K screen, great chipset, infrared focus and insane camera quality, etc.

Only thing they made bad was actual hardware assembly: I have never seen such bad work in modern electronics judging just by the amount of extra-flux you can see on the motherboards, looks extremely sloppy. That kind of assembly eventually led to 1000 problems, which I am sure all of us G3 owners experienced past the 24 month warranty period. Some would go so far to say that this stuff with G3 could be considered Planned obsolescence with all the problems appearing just around the 24 months clock, and with the MM update (taking into account that LG held the Nexus flag at that moment and they went over their heads thinking they are going to surpass Samsung, just like Samsung did to HTC)

My 15 units were:

- 6 units BSOD
- 5 units screen flicker
- 2 units "wifi turning on"
- 2 units sim card removed and restart/No sim card/invalid card

Note: I am not electrician and I dont understand how to read schematics, all of my info came from Indian people that I figured best know how to repair mobile phone stuff (and also speak THE WORST english)

G3 motherboard layout for future reference:

http://i.imgsafe.org/1b64bf1021.jpg

1. BSOD -

The problem is with bad BGA solder of MMC chip. Not the actual chip (very rare occurrence). In short: BGA Solder is type of assembly that uses little balls of solder instead of pins, to hold the chip in place. There are more than 60+ balls on the MMC chip so no homemade replacement is possible (there is actually a turkish video which is NOT the way to do it as the guy doesnt add new balls, just strips old ones away)

permanent solution: give it into a repair shop to replace or do a proper reball of the Sandisk memory chip

semi-permanent solution (sometimes works 100%): give the chip a heat of 120-150 celsius (no american units, sorry) for 2 minutes (using a high powered hair dryer of at least 2000W, or a proper heat-gun) with slight push (I used wooden objects so that Metalic ones wouldnt damage the chip) > this repaired total of 5 BSOD phones, just one went dead completely after several tries. ALL of my 5 units never went back to BSOD. Please, DO NOT use ovens or anything like that, If you dont have a god-damn hair dryer give it to a technician and ask him to blow it for a minute or so. Ovens WILL burn other parts of the board, and knowing how shi*ty the whole assembly is, baking the board will just detach other chips. If you apply pressure to the chip, use something wooden like a chopstick or a pencil (dont use bamboo, it will release oils, use dry wood)

2. screen flicker -

The problem IS NOT a graphic chip (analogix), the problem is NOT CPU, as many have speculated in the past and the people who putt thermal paste over a CPU need serious education on the topic. Thermal paste is in no way a magical substance that lowers temperature when applied - it's purpose is to fill the gaps between a heating body (CPU) and heat dispenser (cooling unit, cooler, aluminum grill, etc), so thermal paste is a gap filler, not a cooling magical stuff. With that out of the picture, the problem of the screen flicker is a completely separate integrated circuit which (by the words of my illiterate Indian fellow) goes haywire due to some magnetic stuff:

PERMANENT SOLUTION (homemade doable):

Now first, go back to motherboard image, and on the front side of the board find Gyro Sensor chip - just above that chip, there is a grid of 5x5 pin-like circuits.

http://i.imgsafe.org/1ba7e9ccc9.jpg

Now that you have located them, that is your LCD screen flicker solution: I didnt quite understand what is really going on there, but you need to apply heat (just like in the BSOD solution, same time same temperature), and use metallic object to "clean" the pins. He explained to me that the screen flicker is due to some magnetic residue that builds up in that circuits, and a clean metal will remove it. (how that is even possible I dont know but the solution works) Long story short - I used a really fine metallic brush (Dremel set) and once I heated it up, just strolled with brush over those pin-heads. According to the indian guy, the metallic object needed for cleaning should be non-magnetic. If you dont remove the screen flicker at first, use a really fine object to give all the pins a push (once heated), I used broken needle (regular needle is too sharp) or smallest Phillips screwdriver in my set. IMPORTANT: when doing this, there is a ton of chips nearby so it's smart to protect rest of the board with Alu-foil

total of my 5 screen flicker units NEVER went back to screen flicker issue. Special note: 2 of my units after completely removed screen flicker issue, immediately went to "no sim card" issue and I dont know how that is connected, but there is also a method for sim-card issue repair further down the topic

3. Wifi turning on/wifi grayed out/wifi scanning

The problem over here is also not the problem of the actual Wifi chip (motherboard image back side, red mark). The problem is the power controller located on the front side (red mark). It is also a BGA solder issue so it's repairable

permanent solution: reball or replace chip in proper mobile service shop

semi-permanent solluton: Use the same method of repairing as for the BSOD problem, but with applying heat + pressure onto the power controller chip. Be careful as there are tons of IC's nearby. Homemade solution worked partially for me - one unit (out of 2) is completely repaired, other unit actually went dead (I believe I gave it too much pressure, that was my first repair )

4. Sim card removed and restart/No sim card/invalid card -

The problem with this is also not a problem of RF chip (backside green) or the 2g/3g/4g chip (backside light red), and it is NOT a problem of Sim card slot: it's one lousy mo-fo chip that's not even listed in the hardware parts image, and it's only noted in the actual schematics (I believe it's a chip for regulating power onto the sim card slot and transferring data further)

this one (red arrow pointing onto it):

http://i.imgsafe.org/1c52a74d87.jpg

permanent solution: replace, reball or reflow in service shops (when I say replace, it makes sense as new chips out of the box have BGA balls already on it, just need to place it and heat it up)

semi-permanent solution: same method goes like BSOD and wifi problems - apply heat and moderate pressure with wooden object. The problem with this one is that it will reappear as a problem. I had one unit in the service shop where the repair guy gave it some insane heat for 5-6 seconds while protecting rest of the board, and it was permanent, no sim problem any more. In homemade variant, the problem seems almost unable to fix, but you need to be persistent. sometimes it takes 4-5 tries for the phone (placing the board, and removing it again and so on is a pain in the arse) to recognize sim and after that you are good for a month or so, once it "catches" I gave it a try with a higher temperature / less time (200c, 30 seconds) and it shows better results, I dont need to try the board for 3-4-5 times until it recognizes the SIM, it's imediately good to go, but even with that it reappears after a month, 2 months, but sometimes after only couple of days

one unit is permanent (reflow in service shop), others (repaired screen flickers that went "no sim card" ) bug me still with reappearing SIM problem.

There you go, I wanted to share this with everyone so you people wouldnt lose your mind with paper tricks, ovens, and such, as G3 is still really powerful device and it would be bad for all the units to end up in a bin. I am using 3/32 version with fulmics and it works as any new 600 usd device, if G3 still works without a flaw there is really no need to go newer, not yet.

END NOTE: every attempt at trying this is on your own responsibility, I am not responsible if you fry your board, break your device, or tear your flex cables and such.

END NOTE2: in my experience, dont attempt to try the newly repaired board with battery less than 40%, I wont get into it right now but all Li-ion/Li-poly devices work at their best when there is a good charge

good luck with potential experiments fellow XDA people
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27th April 2017, 05:28 PM |#2  
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Thank you for this thread, I'm sure it will help a lot of more technologically-minded users on XDA. As for me, I did have a sim card removed problem but thankfully it appeared within my warranty period so I took it to them and they replaced the entire PCB (MoBo).

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27th April 2017, 06:18 PM |#3  
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Thanks for the info. After troubleshooting a few BSOD & flicker phones I came to pretty much the same conclusion as well. Although some temporary G3 fixes work for a short time, nothing is actually "repaired" until you replace the BGA ball solder; so unless you have the proper equipment to work on BGA components you're kind of screwed.
LG has a quality problem with their manufacturing techniques of their motherboards; the latest issue was bootloop issues on the later G-series phones that were also tied to poor soldering(which they are now being sued over). It's a shame too, because I like LG's devices...just hard to trust them completely at this point. But I guess that's the philosophy of these huge OEM's these days: skimp on quality to meet sales demands. Samsung is a good example of this as well with their exploding note 7's and red tinted S8 displays(that they refuse to admit is a hardware problem - "lets just make the red tint slider longer!" just like their software "fix" for the Note 7 battery that didn't work and eventually required a massive recall). Buying a phone is turning into a crap shoot these days
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27th April 2017, 09:06 PM |#4  
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@startswithPendswithOOH - you are right about everything, they really have crappy assembly. But for me, almost all of BSOD and screen flicker issues are repairable in the home conditions using methods from original post. Luckily I do have a professional heat gun so I can even experiment on the temperature and time of heating and my repair rate is great (fortunately I had 15 devices to experiment on). I actually made some money of it, sold almost all of them that were repaired and not a single buyer called me back with a problem. My girlfriend and my nephew are going with my repaired G3s and they use it constantly. Especially my girl, she abuses it to the point that I get annoyed and remove all her running apps (sums up to 20+ ) cause she uses just 10 of some social apps and such, her phone should overheat and problems should reappear if it were not for a good repair. She usesd BSOD repaired device and didnt have one for 4 months now
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30th April 2017, 04:00 AM |#5  
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Update on possible solution for the sim card problem

I did a little tempering with a piece of dry wood, and I made it EXACTLY into a shape of the square of the SIM card chip (described in the original post). I used a stick and shaped it with dremel sandpapering tool, to be exactly the size of the square. Then I putt a cloth underneath the board (so when applying pressure from the upper side you wont break some other stuff opposite) and made a pressure with wooden stick, approximately the force needed to pierce the styrofoam with index finger. That's about the strongest pressure you can give it, and not damage the board. heated it up with 200c with a heat gun for a minute

6th day without problems, without sim card failure, should be noted that I am abusing that board via data and calls going all the time and it seems the problem is solved, will report again in 3 weeks (full month)
30th April 2017, 07:58 AM |#6  
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Hey!
Do you have any fix for rear camera problem?
30th April 2017, 08:32 AM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sp3cTeR

Hey!
Do you have any fix for rear camera problem?

well I do - only problem with rear camera should be - replace rear camera

Oooooh, I stand corrected after a bit of google-ing. I see that it IS an actual problem with no solution, camera sometimes works, sometimes it doesnt. Well, it could be yet another chip on the board, actually the way people described the problem on Androidcentral forums, seems it's 100% a chip issue. If it was HW issue it would work or not work, this partial usability points to another motherboard problem

anyways you should check all the stuff that should NOT be motherboard issue

1. camera module gone bad - replacement should be extremely cheap, check out service shops for spare or Aliexpress for mega-cheap spare, if you know how to open ask someone with G3 to replace cam modules for couple of days to check
2. camera flex cable - in the process of fiddling with the phone and removing motherboard several times, one can easily tear the flex cable of the cam, examine it
3. motherboard connector for camera - for this I really dont see even a remote chance of happening, but im still mentioning it
4. software problem - eliminate the possibility of tempering with root access with files, by doing a factory reset
4th May 2017, 01:36 PM |#8  
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Well, just bought lg g3 for $60. Pretty clean. The problem was that owner couldn't get it out of Firwmare Upgrade screen, had no experience nor time / patience. So I bought it. Later that night, managed to flash v10e from lgg3root(dot)com tutorial for it. From the first try.

But using the phone got laggier and laggier, and if I were to do multiple tasks like switching between apps and stuff like this, the phone would freeze and then in about 15-20 seconds it would give me the LG logo and pretty much stay there, eventually giving the "kernel crashed" screen (BSOD ?? )
Please, what do u think the problem is?
Managed eventually get v20h / v30b on it but was pretty much unusable, and most of the time, when trying to get it connect with the ADB and run "reboot recovery" and do factory wipe, it would just crash again. Now I'm stuggling to get v10e again on it ... but it's really a pain. I've got about a week worth of hours into making it work. Please, read my thread to get some more 'clues' https://forum.xda-developers.com/lg-...-d855-t3600094
15th May 2017, 05:30 PM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKAndrew41

Well, just bought lg g3 for $60. Pretty clean. The problem was that owner couldn't get it out of Firwmare Upgrade screen, had no experience nor time / patience. So I bought it. Later that night, managed to flash v10e from lgg3root(dot)com tutorial for it. From the first try.

But using the phone got laggier and laggier, and if I were to do multiple tasks like switching between apps and stuff like this, the phone would freeze and then in about 15-20 seconds it would give me the LG logo and pretty much stay there, eventually giving the "kernel crashed" screen (BSOD ?? )
Please, what do u think the problem is?
Managed eventually get v20h / v30b on it but was pretty much unusable, and most of the time, when trying to get it connect with the ADB and run "reboot recovery" and do factory wipe, it would just crash again. Now I'm stuggling to get v10e again on it ... but it's really a pain. I've got about a week worth of hours into making it work. Please, read my thread to get some more 'clues' https://forum.xda-developers.com/lg-...-d855-t3600094

Hi, the links arr down?
20th May 2017, 05:25 PM |#10  
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i fixed my screen flickering issue thank you so much i will report if it comes back it's no problem for me but the fix you described works that means those circuits have something to do with this,i would like to know if it's possible to clean those circuits with alcohol it's maybe stupid but idk you tell me other than that thank you
23rd May 2017, 03:33 PM |#11  
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Thank bro u saved my device!

Updated : flickering to fading comes again after less than an hour with less usage , just charging it, so i tried heated up and put pressure again but this time on the processor.
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