In forced quarantine

No. Not me. My phone.

Yesterday I noticed my phone wouldn’t lie flat. Odd. Upon further investigation I realized the battery was swelling. It’s a Galaxy S8 Active. The back doesn’t come off to allow you to replace the battery.

Rats! I don’t want to go out and buy a new phone now. I don’t want to have to move all my two factor authentication stuff to a new phone. It could take a full day to move to a new phone.

I looked on Amazon for a new phone and then decided to look for a battery anyway. Success! It includes tools and adhesive to take the phone apart and glue it back together. I ordered the battery.

But I need my phone for accessing things at work because of the two factor authentication. I can’t just put my phone in an old ammo can in the back yard to avoid explosion and fire hazards then run out there to check text messages every once in a while.

I made an indoor quarantine for it:

WP_20200325_12_21_02_Pro

The phone is inside two zip lock bags, on top of an old cookie-sheet, and surrounded by nearly 200 pounds of lead (and brass).

I pulled the phone out a few minutes ago to check something and the swelling has increased:

WP_20200325_12_25_23_Pro

The new battery is supposed to arrive in the next 45 minutes and the phone will then undergo battery replacement surgery.

Update: The battery has been replaced and the phone is functional. And it is in the process of being fully charged.

The battery replacement is not for the faint hearted. There were two electrical connecters which were the smallest I have ever seen. I put on my magnifying glasses to see many of the components I needed to manipulate. The adhesive replacement was a bit of a sticky problem (pun intended). They supplied two large strips that needed to be cut into six (or more) pieces. No instructions on how to use the adhesive.

14 thoughts on “In forced quarantine

  1. I wonder if Samsung will ever learn battery technology. They got burned (so to speak) badly two or so years ago and claimed they figured it out. This suggests otherwise.

  2. Isn’t there always a small percentage of failures anyway. The nature of the battery is such that short circuits can grow and once they start the causal forces accelerate. I believe that’s the story but it’s been a bit since I reviewed the pertinent science.

  3. Looks like quite a project! Glad it didn’t catch fire and cook off all the ammo in your cans. 🙂

    I recently had to do some repairs on one of my drones – like you I found the innars of that machine to be incredibly small – screw heads the size of pinheads.

  4. It’s not just Samsung. My Motorola Droid Turbo had the same issue. Local tech repair store replaced it quickly at a good price (around $80.00 for battery and installation).

  5. Last Fall the battery in a circa 2010 HP laptop blew up on my desk. I had just walked in a few minutes before this happened. If I had come home 30 minutes later we would have lost our house.

  6. Hmmm…Is there any way to maintain a “load ready” backup of the phone? There are a few forensic copy tools for PCs, wonder if there are any that will work with phones.

    It would impact the form factor which is a selling point, but a piggyback arrangement with an SSD for all the phone’s data might work, just move the SSD package to a new phone.

    • If the security is correctly designed, those tools won’t do any good. Conversely, if they work, the security mechanisms are inadequate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.