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Friday, October 15, 2021

Chp 872. WhatsApp backup recovery FAILED.

In my previous post I wrote about how WhatsApp can automatically delete your account if you're inactive for more than 45 days.

After my phone conked, I bought a new phone, but I wanted to recover my old WhatsApp local data before installing WhatsApp on my new phone. Eventually, I spent more than 3 months trying to recover it and finally gave up.

When I installed WhatsApp on my new phone and tried to sync my old Google Drive backup, I discovered that WhatsApp automatically deletes your account (hence deleting everything including your Google Drive backup) if you install WhatsApp on a new device using the same number after being inactive for more than 45 days!

Such a tremendous loss for me... :(

So, yeah, I'm starting as a completely fresh user on WhatsApp again.

Anyway, in this post, I want to share my attempt to recover my local backup from my dead phone. :D

Some of you may wonder why I took more than 3 months trying to fix my phone. The reason is simple - Bloody Corona.

Mizoram, unlike other states in India, had seen the strictest lockdown restrictions in the country. Ever since the second wave hit India, Mizoram had been under lockdown almost the entire time. And so, due to that, it was not possible to take my phone to a repair shop.

I decided to order the required parts from Amazon and tried to fix it myself.

That's when I met the biggest hurdle.

Amazon delivery to Mizoram was fluctuating between "close" and "open" during the past 4-5 months. One week we could place our order, and the next week the very same item showed "cannot be shipped to your location" notice, which again was removed the next week after that and we could place our order again, and so on.

And even if we managed to place an order during that very small window frame and our orders were approved and despatched, items that arrived at Mizoram (Vairengte check-gate) during active lockdowns were automatically returned!

Even if the items managed to enter Mizoram during a non-lockdown phase, we again had area-wise "containment zones" (depending on covid positive rate surge within a particular locality). Such "containment" lasts for just a week or two, but if the items reached Aizawl and the locality of the main Amazon office was under containment during the same time, the items were returned!

And finally, even if the main office wasn't under containment when the items arrived, if the delivery location (my address in this case) was declared a containment zone, again, the items were freaking returned! Seriously, why couldn't they just wait for a week and leave the items in their warehouse till then?

Aaaaaaargghhh. Now you can understand my frustration?

Of course every time my orders were returned, I was refunded the full amount. But that's not the point. In fact, I was at a point where I no longer gave a sh*t about the refund, all I wanted was just my bloody orders.

After many cancellations spanning across 3 months, I finally received all the parts I had ordered. Phew!!! Here are the three elusive items:

OnePlus 6 BLP657 battery from The Black Store.

USB Charging Board Port Flex Cable from Shinzo.

14-in-1 Professional Mobile Tool Kit from MMOBIEL.

And with those items finally at my disposal, I was ready to perform my first ever OnePlus 6 operation!

The hairdryer above belonged to my sister and I used it to heat the back panel of the phone so that it would loosen up the glue and I could easily pull it open using a suction.

I watched a lot of YouTube video tutorials and one of my favourites was this video by Wit Rigs. I must have watched the video at least 100 times, by-hearting every little step.

But as the saying goes, doing something by theory and practical are completely different. For instance, opening up the back panel was tough AF!

In the above video (and other videos uploaded by different techies), they easily heated the back panel and opened it. They made it look so easy, lolz. In reality, though, things weren't like that. I eventually ended up "tripping" my sister's hairdryer, much to her anger :D. I had to go and borrow another hair-dryer from my neighbour.

Finally, I managed to crank it open, cracking the glass back panel in the process.

I lamented my loss, but at the same time, I was elated that I could finally open it. 

Here's the opened back panel.

I followed every step that was mentioned in the above video.

The "magnetizer" tool that came with the tool kit was extremely helpful. Once unscrewed, I could just take the tiny screws out from the tiny hole using the magnetizer tool directly (or rubbing my screwdriver to it so that it transferred its magnetic property).

Everything went on well after that. No hiccups. I was starting to think God didn't hate me after all. :)

And then of course, it happened. Murphy's Law. The final screws that needed to be removed were stuck! No matter what I did, what tool I used, they couldn't come out.

Aaargh. So close to the final step!

Guess what I did instead then?

I attached the new battery, and then took the new USB port cable and attached it to the phone motherboard directly and then connected the charger to it! And yes, my phone started charging! :D

"I'm a genius!" I exclaimed to myself. :D :P

Slowly, my phone was charging up. I was sooo excited because I was finally going to bring my dead phone back to life again!

While it was charging, I tested my phone and it rebooted, with no issue!

But that's where I think I made a very fatal mistake. You'll find out about this a bit later below.

And so my phone slowly kept charging and charging, and finally, it was 100% again!

With trembling hands, I detached the charger. I could hear an imaginary drum-roll in the background as I pressed the power button again...

Nothing happened.

Pressed it again and again, and again.


It was starting up just a while ago while I was charging the phone, what the hell happened?

And so I decided to screw back all the screws properly, thinking there must be a loose connection as it was still opened up. But even then, the phone was still not switching on.

I opened up all the screws again, removed all the parts, and then attached all of them again and tightened all the screws. I didn't even need to refer to the YouTube video anymore as I was becoming a pro at it.

Once done, I pressed the power button again.

Still nothing!

I was really starting to panic. I watched many other videos and read many forums, and finally decided to dismantle the motherboard and have a look at the power circuit.

It was then that I noticed one thing!

In the YouTube video, the cable leading to the power button looked like this (circled below) -

Whereas MY phone power button cable looked like this -

Can you see the burnt-out cable in my phone above (circled)?

That was probably why my phone was not starting up. But then, how did it start up while I was charging the phone earlier?

I looked at the photos I had taken earlier, when I had first opened the back panel, the photos taken before I had attached the battery and USB port cable. I wanted to investigate this anomaly.

It was then that I noticed, in the first few photos, the power cable was perfectly fine!

I'm not a mobile phone repair expert nor do I understand circuit boards, but I do know that a wrong voltage can blow a fuse in an electrical wiring system.

The fact that I had connected the battery and USB charging port so unorthodoxly must have somehow fried the power cable when I switched it on while it was charging.

Aaarrghhh, why was I so damn impulsive!

Had I not done that, had I just waited patiently, I don't think this would have happened. Alas. I paid a price for my impetuosity.

Ordering a new power cable would again take so many days, and that didn't guarantee a full phone recovery either. Finally, I said, "Screw this!" and installed WhatsApp on my new phone without retrieving my old local backup, hence losing every WhatsApp data in the process.

Now you know the story behind it. :D

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