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I am very careful while using my phone because I have a ton of important data related to my work and life in general, stored in it. I thought my careful attitude was enough to save my phone from any possible damage. It wasn’t. One day, I was washing my face while standing next to the sink. My phone was in my breast-pocket. As soon as I leaned over the sink, my phone jumped out of my pocket and landed in a puddle of water in the sink.

I pulled the phone out of water. I cleaned it inside out with my handkerchief. For the next two hours, I went through a series of tasks to get the phone started – asking for my colleague’s advice or drying it under the hand-dryer. My phone refused to start. The phone was a little over two years old, so I was already on track to change it. But I was puzzled thinking – how will I recover the data?

And so began my little adventure. The goal was to either get the phone started or bring it to a point where I may retrieve my data. To be candid here, I actually did not care much about the phone. The phone itself had little tangible value. Sure, it will cost me something to get a new one; but the data in my phone was much more valuable than the price of a new phone.

All the things that people will suggest – which don’t work.

People have their own set of suggestions when it comes to getting your phone started. As soon as people in my office got to know about my supposedly dead phone, I started receiving advice left, right and center. Here are a few ideas I got, that I can personally guarantee, don’t work:

  1. Pull out all the parts of your phone and put them in the sunlight: I am a mechanical engineer. And, even for me, it was humanly impossible to pull out all the parts of my phone. I tried doing it. Somewhere in the middle of trying to pull a microchip, I understood that I was risking my phone towards more damage. We are not trained to assemble phones. So next time when someone gives this advice, smile and thank them; and then forget about it.
  2. Just put your phone on charging and let it be there till it starts: Some people reached the conclusion that my phone’s battery might have lost its charge thanks to the dip it took in the water. This does not make any sense as per the basic laws of physics. Also, by putting your phone on charge indefinitely, you are only causing more damage to its battery and circuit boards.
  3. Just connect it to your PC and copy all the data: This may sound stupid but there is a practical chance it may work. If your phone is switched off entirely, it would be difficult to access the data without using specialized software. Even if you have the software in place you will be able to retrieve only a certain amount of data from your phone. Most of the data you have stored in your phone’s memory is at a high risk of getting lost. It did not work for me but I know several cases where it worked for people.
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The logical solution that worked.

All the suggestions I got were given by people with good intentions. I tried some of them and discarded others with all the politeness I had in me. Finally, I called up the manufacturing brand’s customer care and requested a list of authorized repair service providers in my city. I got the list in a few hours and then I just had to decide where I will take it.

While conducting this research I also got to know about a few online services where an authorized service provider comes to your place and picks up the phone. Since I knew I will be very busy for the next two days in the office, this is the option I went ahead with. The company that I chose for repair, coordinated with me and their pick-up guy was at my office in a few hours. I got a receipt for my phone and a confirmation email that my phone had been picked up.

Over my further interaction with the company, I got to know that they will need at least a few days to restore my phone or to retrieve data. In three days, I got a mail saying my phone had been repaired and I had the option to either pick it up from their center or get it delivered to my place. I drove to their office and got my phone. It was working.

I almost had an emotional rush in my body. My phone was working and all my data was secured. I almost felt like hugging the person who handed me my phone, but I decided to thank him with a handshake and a genuine smile.

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Now what?

Once you have understood that things can go wrong in ways you can’t even imagine – you start preparing for these very things. Now, I know that my phone’s data is vulnerable. So, I have devised a simple system – I have created calendar reminders in my phone and work email that keeps reminding me with an alert. The alert comes twice a month and tells me to back up the data from my phone. I have created multiple backups on three different cloud platforms and also have a backup on a portable hard-disk. All I have to do is copy the data from my phone and replace the existing files in the backup folder. Precaution is better than cure and lets you sleep at night, without worrying about losing phone data.

In Conclusion

At the end of this little adventure, I thought – why didn’t I go for the repair service right away? Because I had no clue such a service existed. You are in a better position. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Keep your phone’s data backed up on regular intervals and see a professional right away, if your phone is damaged.


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