My project manager was out last night and forgot to recharge her WP7 phone. With the particular model she has, once the battery completely loses its charge, you can no longer recharge it simply by plugging in the phone charger.
The problem seems to be that the phone always needs to boot up just a little when it is plugged in. If there is no charge left, then that minimal necessary change is simply missing.
Since we have the same model, the first thing we did was to verify that the problem was with the battery by switching out her battery for mine. It was definitely the battery.
The next thing we did was scour the Internet to find out if others were having this issue. Indeed they were. And not only people with Windows Phone but also some people with Android phones. In the process, we also found a seemingly crazy solution that involves stripping up a USB cable and recharging the battery directly. Of course, we couldn’t resist trying to hotwire a phone and it worked perfectly. Here’s what you do.
First, find an old USB cable you don’t need anymore. It doesn’t matter what’s on the other end of the wire as long as one end is USB. Cut The Wire!
Next, strip the cut end to remove the plastic from the wire. You’ll want to strip about 3/4 of an inch off. This will expose a thin foil wrapper around the internal wires and filament. Remove the foil.
Bend back the filament as well as the extra interior wires to expose just the red and the black wires. These are the wires that actually carry the charge in a USB cable.
The interior wires are too thin to actually strip. What you can do, however, is cut the red and the black wires at an angle. This will expose enough of the copper to work with.
Pull your battery out of your Windows Phone device. Your phone battery will indicate where the positive and the negative touch points are. Plug your USB connector to your laptop. Take the other cut end and touch the red wire to the positive and the black wire to the negative.
RED => Positive
BLACK => Negative
Hold the wire to the battery for about two minutes. People will ask what you are doing if, like me, you do this in the office. Try to be creative with your response.
After two minutes, put the battery back in your phone and plug your phone in to recharge it. The battery is still at 0 per cent, but now has just enough charge so the phone is able to start up and begin charging normally.
It’s a bit MacGuyveresque, but makes for a great story.