How To Fix iPhone X With No Service or Always Searching

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How To Fix iPhone X With No Service or Always Searching
Device IPhone X
Affects part(s) Main Logic Board
Needs equipment Soldering Iron, Hot Air Station, Microscope
Difficulty ◉◉◉◌ Hard
Type BGA, Soldering

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Problem description

Here's how to fix iPhone X with No Service or stuck always searching. This is often called a Baseband Issue. Baseband is the cellular circuit of the motherboard.

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  • With no SIM Card installed, the phone is always "Searching..." or "No Service".
    • A working phone will show "No SIM" with no SIM Card installed.
  • Dial *#06# in the phone app, and nothing happens
    • A working phone with no Baseband issue, will make the IMEI pop up.
  • If you go to Settings > General > About > Model Firmware is blank


Sandwich separation

  • Split the sandwich & check for ripped pads on the top layer
    • If so, try to fix the ripped pads by scratching out the vias/traces & rebuild the pads using solder lugs
  • If no obvious bends, then test the 2 layers with the iSocket type of jig. This allows you to connect the 2 layers without soldering, for testing purposes.
  • See if the above symptoms are resolved. If so, sandwich the 2 layers back together & fully test with an active SIM & make sure all functions work
    • Including making a phone call & checking for sound through phone call
    • No sound during a phone call points towards a bad sandwich reball or separation

Bottom Board Swap

  • Doing a bottom board swap is an easy way to rule out the whole cellular circuit, as it's pretty much all located on the bottom board.
  • You do need to transfer the BBCPU, BB Eeprom & WiFi.
  • See the "No Touch" solution with the bottom board swap instructions & details.

BBCPU Reball

  • You can considering trying a BBCPU reball to see if this fixes the baseband issue
  • This is good for someone who doesn't have a replacement bottom board available.
  • Although there's a lower chance of success, as baseband issues aren't always a BBCPU reball solution.
    • It could be BBPMU
    • Or some other part of the complex circuit.

Please note: If you attempt the above repairs, but it's still stuck in "Searching..." or "No Service", then flash an update (DO NOT RESTORE). This can sometimes solve the issue. Not sure why it is needed sometimes.

If a phone with a baseband problem is restored, then the iOS software will "erase" the IMEI (baseband info) in the phone and will require the board issue to be fixed, then restored again, so the software will bring back the IMEI.

If you restore, and still has no IMEI, then a baseband/board issue is still present on the board. That will need to be fixed, then restored again.