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Thread: Changing motherboard - Change ESN?

  1. Junior Droid
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    #1

    Changing motherboard - Change ESN?

    I'm pretty new to this forum in terms of posting, I've mostly been a lurker to find all the answers I need, but on this one I'm stumped.

    I have a rooted Droid A855, long story short I disassembled it to replace the digitizer and I ripped not 1, but 2 ribbon cables. Looking like the LCD and the speaker cables. Instead of searching all over for replacement cables I've just decided to get a new one. I can't upgrade just yet so I've been looking at another A855 Droid. I found a fairly cheap Droid with a bad ESN.

    My question is: If I take the motherboard out of my phone and transplant it into the bad ESN phone, will my ESN be in that phone I just purchased? My Droid is already rooted and customized the way I want and if this is possible, it seems like a pretty good choice. Thanks.
  2. Master Droid
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    #2
    I suggest you don't because
    1. You'd probly just mess everything up(as I would also
    2. The only reason a phones esn becomes bad is when a phone is lost or stolen
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    #3
    yes the ESN would change since the radio is soldered onto the motherboard and thats what has the ESN number.

    you would be stuck with a phone you would not be able to activate.
  4. Junior Droid
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    Actually, I'd be moving my functioning motherboard into the bad esn phone, so it would work out perfectly.

    And bad ESNs just means that its still locked to a certain provider. Being lost or stolen is completely possible, but it could also be just because of falling behind on payments.

    Thanks for the info though. That clears things up.
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    Just wondering if this worked out for you. Basically I did the same thing. My digitizer quit functioning and then I tried to repair it and ripped a ribbon cable. I guess I could buy a new ribbon cable but I actually cant get 2 of the screws out to get to the screen anyway. It would be so much easier just to swap out the motherboard.
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    #6
    I had water damage to my lcd on my droid. I got a bas esn phone off ebay and swapped the motherboards, so i can verify this would work.
  7. Master Droid
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    #7
    I actually just had this very question. I bought a used Droid 2 off ebay (as a temp replacement for my phone that died) and it worked okay but had a bad digitizer. I replaced the digitizer but I must have screwed something up since the screen won't come on now. Th ESN on my device is good but I was thinking of getting a bad ESN device off ebay to scrap for parts, but mainly to use the shell and transfer mobos. I'm not looking to do anything illegal and I wouldn't mess with the actual ESN. Just move one mobo into the other phone (and the ID stickers so they reflect the correct ESN).
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    #8
    What you are doing is certainly NOT illegal. There is nothing illegal about using parts from a bad ESN phone to repair a good ESN phone, including taking the good ESN motherboard and placing it into the bad ESN phone chassis, case and components. You will want to move the stickers to make sure you can easily identify the motherboard's ESN because as Garret (above) said, the ESN is hard-coded into the radio chips on the motherboard.

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  9. Master Droid
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by FoxKat
    What you are doing is certainly NOT illegal. There is nothing illegal about using parts from a bad ESN phone to repair a good ESN phone, including taking the good ESN motherboard and placing it into the bad ESN phone chassis, case and components. You will want to move the stickers to make sure you can easily identify the motherboard's ESN because as Garret (above) said, the ESN is hard-coded into the radio chips on the motherboard.
    Well it never crossed my mind that swapping mobos would be illegal till I came across a forum thread that got closed for discussing mobo swapping (on the grounds that changing the ESN is illegal). But really I don't know how one could say it was illegal since parts are parts and whether you use all or none of the parts seems arbitrary.

    Anyway now I just need to find a bad ESN Droid 2 on the cheap...Too bad some of those go for $100+, that's just mind boggling to me.

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