How-to instructions: Fix the PlayBook back bulge yourself
WARNING: The following instructions require use of hot air to reshape plastic. While the process is very easy caution is advised. Everything listed here is definitely do at your own risk. Excessive heat may cause permanent damage to you unit.
In the process of looking for a perfect PlayBook I came accross an idea on how to fix the very common back-bulge problem. Please note that for severe bulging the procedure below may need to be repeated several times, but in principle it should work in every case as long as your unit is not very seriously defective. As always, do at your own risk and use caution! Enjoy
I started with a 64GB PlayBook, brand new, but with a slight back bulge, enough to rock a tiny bit side to side when sitting on a flat surface. Following the procedure the PlayBook is now totally flat when resting on a flat surface. For everyone's information, here is what I did.
First, I completely powered down the unit (make sure to do this). Then, I took a long hard object, in my case a pen, and pressed down the center of the back right where the BB logo is located. I applied moderate pressure, not too much but just enough to noticeably push the bulge down so that it becomes slightly concave (pressed in vs. bulging out). Then I took a hair dryer, put it on high and heated the area around the center for about 1 - 2 minutes making sure that I blow evenly around the center in about a 2cm - 3cm radius. The hairdryer was kept very close to the surface, maybe 0.5cm away only. Once I feel that I have heated the surface so that it feels quite warm, almost hot to the touch (not burning hot though) I removed the hair dryer and just kept applying pressure to the center while blowing cold air at the area around to cool it off completely. Once it is cooled off I then repeated the same procedure once more. After cooling off the area around the second time, I put the PlayBook on a flat glass surface back down/screen up (any flat surface will do) and stacked 3-4 large books on top of the screen to apply some pressure for about 5min to 10min. Once this was done, the back is now perfectly flat, no more bulge and the PB is working flawlessly still.
There's a bit of info for you if you wish to use it
Last edited by dejanh; 01-08-2012 at 10:06 AM.
- CrackBerry Genius
01-08-2012, 12:23 AM #2
- 2,138 Posts
You should add a word of caution. Excessive heat may damage your unit. So proceed at your own risk.
Plus, it's unknown what the result will be in the long run. It is possible that the bulge will come back.
- CrackBerry User
01-08-2012, 04:49 AM #6
- 37 Posts
wow! a thrill seeker. bulge or not, i don't believe this is a safe approach to a delicate piece of equipment. A small problem could become a serious issue and I do not believe rim will be likely to replace any pb thats been worked on with a hair dryer?
- CrackBerry Genius
01-08-2012, 07:10 AM #7If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher...if it's in English, Thank a Soldier
- 3,213 Posts
We etch these names in granite to stand against time so we and our children can learn and remember.
- 01-08-2012, 07:54 AM #10
I would have to agree that the post should have a disclaimer. There is a fine line between getting the plastic hot enough and over heating the insides. These kind of DIY repairs are not for everyone and possibly dangerous.
Having said that, I applaud the OP for his efforts and would like a follow-up with long term results.
I have done somehing similar to fix my little bump. I removed the back first before heating and pressing. Still flat a week later but only time will tell if the bump comes back.
Just removing the back cover can cause damage so unless you are willing to accept the risk of ruining you PB just leave it alone.
- CrackBerry Abuser
01-08-2012, 08:40 AM #11
- 265 Posts
This is a really bad idea. However, if you are adventurous enough to take the back off (using the proper tools of course), then using heat to fix the bulge is ok.
I agree with VishRS. The OP's post will, most likely, give RIM execs a sick feeling in their gut.The Lesser Of Two Evils Is Still Evil
- CrackBerry Addict
01-08-2012, 08:51 AM #12
- 632 Posts
LMAO Dryer on my PB?!?!? Apply pressure with a pen?!?!? Unless you work for a company that actually builts PB you are asking for trouble and maybe even voiding the warranty. I recommend that anyone who reads this DO NOT try this. Besides RIM will exchange your PB if it has a bulge. Dude...Bold 9900 (220.127.116.111) Playbook (18.104.22.1688) Both encased in an OtterBox Defender
Sent from my Blackberry Playbook
LMAO, is this crackberry or petberry.com? Let me clear up a few things...
First, my hobby is custom system building, modding, extreme overclocking (stuff like phase cooling, LN2, etc.) so no, I am definitely not afraid of doing a mod like this myself. This is childs play compared to what I do daily to my systems and equipment. I agree that this is probably not for the faint of heart, hence I prefaced it with "do at own risk"
To get a little more technical, most likely the whole thing is assembled from SMT components using BGA soldering technique. Having said that, not all components can stand a lot of heat but nothing on here would likely fail before you hit a surface temperature on the actual component in excess of 100C at minimum. Further to this the heat is applied to the exterior of the device, to the plastic cover specifically. While the plastic does retain heat well once heated, it is also a terrible heat conductor so more than likely less than 30% of heat generated is actually transfered anywhere into the case. In other words the "risk" as some of you put it is actually very minimal.
Now, some of you have wondered about the permanence of the solution. To explain this it is important to understand why the bulge is there in the first place. RIM decided to use a soft feel, thin, rubberized plastic for the back of the PB. This type of plastic is very soft and maleable relatively speaking and is easily deformed. Since RIM decided to stamp their logo in the back the process of "punching the holes" for the logo emboss most likely causes this problem by stretching the plastic. The process I identified does nothing more than very mild reshaping of the plastic. Once this reshaping is done, and the plastic has cooled the reshaping is done and it is permanent. Even if there is a heat source behind the center in the back, there is nothing applying outward pressure on the center of the back of the device and as such no further "reshaping" or "stretching" will occur.
I'll add a nice bold warning to the OP to please everyone, but I hope you all learned something
Edit: Oh and, if RIM exects want to feel sick over something, they need not look any further than their balance sheet. There's plenty there to keep them feeling sick for the next year lol
Last edited by dejanh; 01-08-2012 at 10:02 AM.
01-08-2012, 09:57 AM #14
- 19,430 Posts
- CrackBerry Abuser
01-08-2012, 10:05 AM #16
- 163 Posts
sounds really risky...cant exchange it, cuz I'm on Dominican Republic and bought it on staples usa, online. but the buldge is no that big and as soon you put a case or skin protector it's solved...Editor & PR Manager
Chozadigital.com-> Technology and Entertainment. (Spanish)
BBs: 8320 -> 9530 -> 9800 -> 9790 -> Z10 + Playbook 64Gb
Also used Samsung S3,
I would love to give you follow-up results. Which games should I be using? I have Asphalt 6, NFS, Starfront, and Machinarium. I did a few hours of gaming last night with no change.
- 01-08-2012, 10:46 AM #19