Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finally got around to replacing the digitizing screen on the iPhone 3G …

I showed the shattered glass a while ago, and I ordered the replacement screen at that time. It arrived in a week and I found that it did not include the sticky stuff that holds the screen to the plastic frame that holds the LED panel.

So … I ordered that a month later from a separate vendor on eBay in Canada and received that about a week later. I waited again for a long time because I know what a hassle this job is, but I finally decided to tackle it this evening.

Nikon D7000 + Tamron 28-75 2.8D  5000iso  f/2.8  1/320

You can see the plastic frame closest to the edge of the mat.

Nikon D7000 + Tamron 28-75 2.8D  3200iso  f/5.6  1/30

It has the excellent 3M sticky bits on it waiting to have the treated cardboard barrier removed for the glass. The new digitizer is still in the bubble wrap sitting below the old smashed digitizer. Just beyond the main case.

Nikon D7000 + Tamron 28-75 2.8D 3200iso f/5.6 1/125

The steel dish you see in the foreground is magnetic. These are available in dollar stores for a couple of bucks and you really want one of these to catch all the tiny screws that would be otherwise lost.

Nikon D7000 + Tamron 28-75 2.8D 3200iso f/5.6 1/30

The various tools occupying the rest of the place mat are those that I have received over the last few years rebuilding various iPods and iPhones. The plastic tools are rib spreaders case tools for separating the case from the plastic holder for the LED screen and digitizer.

My favorite tool is the suction cup. I got two of these form various sources and they work great to get the digitizer / led screen assembly out of the case once the two tiny screws are removed.

I also recommend that you keep a laptop next to you so you can review the procedure as you go. I watched as I went, rewinding off and on. I can tell you form bitter experience that you want to be slow and careful and do what they do on the video. No brain farts and no assumptions, else you will brick the LED or the phone itself.

Anyway, to make a long story short(er), I assembled it all and it would not come on. Shit! So I took the top assembly out again and did this another 10 times. Along the way, I noted that the phone was actually on, since the silence switch buzzed as normal. But that does not help when you cannot see anything.

After finally deciding that the wiring was perfect, I fully assembled the phone one more time and looked up a video on hard reset. (Again with the handy laptop.) I watched the young lady go through the motions (hold the power button and the home button together for 6 to 10 seconds.) And when I tried it on the phone, I got the Apple logo! Dang if it didn’t work.

Nikon D7000 + Tamron 28-75 2.8D 3200iso f/5.6 1/25

And as you can see, it synchronizes perfectly. The “no sim” on the top left of the screen forced me to remove it and reseat it again. The network came right up when I did that.

So … don’t be afraid. Order the parts from eBay vendors (of course you should always check their ratings) and you too can have what feels exactly like a brand new phone once more. For reasons I do not understand, the phone is fast again. I’m betting that the broken digitizer was flooding it with spurious signals off and on.

Anyway, I’m thrilled. My iPhoenix rises one more time …