Used iPhone 5c acting strange, worried about security

Discussion in 'iPhone 5c' started by Technoid, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Technoid

    Technoid New Member

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    I bought a used iPhone 5c off eBay. It said it was activation locked, but when it arrived and I turned it on it was asking for the country and then wifi, like what I think the normal setup screen is (I've never had an iPhone before). The left side of the screen had vertical black bars of varying thickness and one thin red line, I could hardly use it, but I managed to connect it to my wifi. Then I realized the screen was loose, so I took it out completely and disconnected it, then tried with some difficulty to reconnect the screen and pop it back in, and then the screen was just blank, the backlight turns on but that's it. I didn't disconnect the battery when I messed with the screen, I hope that didn't damage anything. Out of boredom I randomly pressed the up & down buttons on the side of the phone, the power button on top and the home button. Suddenly when I held the power & home button at the same time it played a camera shutter sound, like it took a picture. Then it started talking and reading the words on the setup screen, all while the screen was blank.

    I've heard of ways to make it look like an iPhone is locked when it isn't really so that it can record and take pictures, so I got a little paranoid and disconnected the battery and threw it in a cooler. I promptly contacted the seller and he quickly replied and said he'd refund me in full and I could keep the phone, no problems. Seems kind of suspicious to me.

    My question is, if it was a PC I could reformat the hard drive and be confident there wasn't anything spying on me on it anymore. Is restoring via iTunes the same thing for an iPhone? How do I know for sure there isn't something on the phone that will interfere with the restoring process and keep it from removing any malicious app?

    Also, is it necessary to run a virtual machine on my PC when I connect the phone to it to restore it?
     
  2. scifan57

    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I’d accept the refund and not bother trying to get the iPhone to work. The screen may very well be defective.
     
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  3. scifan57

    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    BTW, changing the screen with the battery connected can blow the backlight inverter.
     
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  4. Technoid

    Technoid New Member

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    Well I bought a cheap new screen for it, so if I can just wipe it clean I can have a fully functional iPhone and save tons of money. I could tell the backlight LEDs came on, if I did blow it wouldn't those not work? Either way replacing the screen would fix that, too, right?
     
  5. sprague.rod

    sprague.rod New Member

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    Not worth the trouble. Send it back, try again.
     
  6. scifan57

    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The original screen was likely defective but there’s no way to tell if there are any other issues without a full diagnostic. If the motherboard is defective, a new screen won’t help.
    The iPhone 5C will not run iOS 11 and will fall further behind with each new iOS update. You’re also missing out on the latest security updates by running an older version of iOS. Recent apps are 64 bit only and will not run on 32bit devices like your 5c. It might be better to accept the offered refund and use the money to purchase a newer iPhone.
     
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  7. Technoid

    Technoid New Member

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    I've already accepted the refund. I figured that that was my best course of action, but since I don't have to return it I figured I might as well put it to use. I know about not having the latest updates, etc. I'm not going to be using it for any sensitive info. I just simply want to know if restoring it via iTunes is akin to wiping a PC's hard drive, or if there could still be anything malicious still on it.
     
  8. scifan57

    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    An iTunes restore will result in an erased iPhone in the same state it was when brand new.
     
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  9. Technoid

    Technoid New Member

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    Alright, thank you!
     

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