Is there any relatively simple way to salvage a hard drive/memory from a Samsung Galaxy S4? A couple of months ago, it was subjected to some saltwater, meaning that most of the motherboard is fried. However, some parts of it still work (it gets hot and vibrates from time to time when connected to a computer/charger, and the salt deposits are only visible on some parts of the motherboard).

I have a new S4 with working parts, but from what I can see, the only parts that I can move from one phone to the other is the small board (don't know if this is the right word) which connects the USB input to the main board, and the battery.

I have of course tried to clean it with isopropanol, and I have tried using both the "new" USB connector and battery - to no avail, my computer doesn't detect anything at all when it's connected.

Any tips on other things I should try to do to make them connect, or how to salvage the hard drive?

I don't have a pic of my motherboard right now, but I'll take one later if it helps to see the damage.

PS: I hope this is the right board to ask this, I couldn't really see where else it belonged.

1 Answer 1


The storage is soldered to the smaller board shown in Step 13 of this teardown. The challenge with this is being able to salvage that part. You could attempt a transplant of that board into your new S4 and see what happens (this is the most realistic answer), but there is no guarantee that it is usable because of the possible damage from the water.

The less realistic answer would be to remove the memory modules from each phone and swap them, but that requires very precise tools and a steady hand. Not recommended.

  • That's a good suggestion, thank you. Unfortunately, it turns out (as I feared) that it's this part (the board seen in your link) that's faulty, while the "frame" (Step 21) is working correctly. So, if I don't start removing the modules manually, I don't think there's anything else I can do - unless there's another solution.
    – OrgChemEng
    Jul 9, 2015 at 23:20
  • 1
    The modules connected to the board are very sensitive and are almost impossible to remove without damaging them with standard tools - they're not meant to be removed by human hands. I wish you luck, but I don't think it's salvageable unless you can get that board working.
    – ZeroPaladn
    Jul 10, 2015 at 15:18

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