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Bugs & Fixes: Resolving an iPhone camera dust-up

Ted Landau | July 22, 2013
A few weeks ago, a small irregularly-shaped object began appearing in all of the photos and videos taken with my iPhone 5. As the object was always in the same location on an image, I assumed this meant some sort of dust had gotten stuck on the exterior of the lens.

A few weeks ago, a small irregularly-shaped object began appearing in all of the photos and videos taken with my iPhone 5. As the object was always in the same location on an image, I assumed this meant some sort of dust had gotten stuck on the exterior of the lens.

"No problem," I said to myself, "I'll just clean the lens and all will be well, at least for future photos." I was wrong. None of my attempts to clean the lens had the slightest effect. Eventually, I was forced to conclude that the dust had somehow lodged itself on the interior of the lens--where I could not reach it.

Although I did not hold out much hope by this point, I checked online to see if there was some solution to this problem that I could accomplish myself.

The first thing I discovered was that I was not the only victim of this dust bug. In numerous forums postings (such as here and here and here), many iPhone 5 owners had described exactly the same symptom.

The second thing I discovered was that there is no user-accessible fix. The only solution is to take the phone to an Apple Store and have the Geniuses there deal with it. So that was what I did.

As my iPhone 5 is still covered by AppleCare, everything went as smooth as silk. An Apple Genius confirmed the presence of the dust, went to a computer to check out some further instructions, and came back to announce that I would get an entirely new iPhone, free of charge. A few minutes later, I was walking out of the Apple Store with a new phone. As the dust problem has not returned in subsequent weeks, I am hopeful this is a happy ending to the story.

Apple Diagnostics replaces AHT on newest Macs
In other news, Apple has just replaced one of its troubleshooting applications with a redesigned alternative.

You may already be aware that you can check your Mac for internal hardware problems by running Apple Hardware Test (AHT). If your Mac shipped with OS X 10.7 or later, you access this software by restarting your Mac and immediately holding down the D key. If that fails, you may still be able to load AHT by holding down both the Option and D keys at startup. For more details on AHT, including how to load the program on older Macs, check out this Apple support article.


After identifying a possible hardware issue, Apple Diagnostics offers advice as to what it means and what you should do about it. (Click to enlarge.)

 

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