Hack a broken iPhone memory chip into a USB thumbdrive

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Put this iPhone memory chip into a USB drive

Screencap: Strange Parts

Scotty Allen loves to tinker. He followed up on his recent project manually expanding the storage capacity of his iPhone with a new trick: extracting an iPhone memory chip and converting it into a USB drive.

To be clear, Allen isn’t suggesting this is practical. Buying a USB drive is cheaper and vastly easier. But he sure seems to have fun doing it.

Allen lives in Shenzhen where the iPhone is assembled so he has easy access to components and tools that most people would have to find on the internet. He turned this advantage, some nimble fingers, and  loads of patience into a successful YouTube channel: Strange Parts.

Remove iPhone memory chip, rotate it, put it back in…

The latest project got started when the intrepid tinkerer ran across a circuit board with a USB connector combined with pads for an older iPhone memory chip. So someone had done most of the work for him. Which, it turns out, only make it slightly easier.

Allen got a broken iPhone 6 unit, pulled the memory chip out of it, and then put it in the circuit board.  It didn’t work.

This sent his down a pathway involving hours of un-soldering and re-soldering chips, trying different chips, realizing he needed Windows software to program the circuit board… really, it’s kind of a saga. A saga that’s all in his video.

Spoiler alert: in the end, he gets it all the work. And it’s fun watching him make it all happen. 

And if you enjoyed that one, be sure to watch him upgrade the storage capacity of his home-made iPhone.