Mobile Device Repair


Being able to safely repair damaged mobile device exhibits in-house has become increasingly important for digital forensic units. Charging problems, cracked screens, faulty buttons or damaged data ports are common issues which may prevent successful data extraction. Digital forensic units need to be able to get devices working quickly and safely in order to prevent the inevitable delays, costs and continuity complications associated with taking a device outside the organisation to be fixed.

Faced with a “dead” device, a mobile examiner needs to be able to quickly identify the fault (or faults), confirm whether the repair(s) can and should be conducted in-house and establish the risks associated in undertaking
such work. Although YouTube is awash with “how to”  videos for device repair, undertaking such work without properly understanding the risks could easily mean that a vital evidential exhibit is further damaged by the attempted repair. Not only that, such videos assume that the actual fault with the device has been reliably identified.
Digital forensic units need staff who can quickly and accurately identify faults and then select the most pragmatic means of repair.

Course aims

Mobile Device Repair is a 4½ day course designed to teach mobile device examiners how to identify and repair common faults with mobile devices which might prevent data extraction. Students will learn a systematic and efficient approach to fault finding designed to quickly identify common obstacles to data extraction. The emphasis of the training is on performing the simplest and most cost effective repair possible in order to acquire data from the device. Students will gain experience in disassembling, repairing and re-assembling Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and feature phone devices. Importantly, the course will include instruction in the soldering techniques required to replace data ports which are integrated into the main circuit board of the device.

What you will learn

By the end of the course, delegates will be able to:

  • Identify and resolve charging and battery issues with mobile devices
  • Replace glued and non-glued screens on mobile devices
  • Replace modular and soldered components on mobile devices
  • Transplant circuit boards from damaged evidential exhibits into “donor” devices to facilitate data extraction
  • Explain and justify their actions in court

Who should attend?

This course is targeted at new or existing mobile device examiners. The course includes close work with small components and therefore requires good eyesight and a steady hand. Previous experience in handset disassembly and soldering would be beneficial but not essential.