1. dugggggg's Avatar
    I didn't relish the idea of completely disassembling my PlayBook just to replace a broken screen. To me, that was kinda like taking apart the whole house just to reshingle the roof! There had to be a better way.

    So I took a radical "top down" approach, one not for the faint of heart: Donning good eye protection, I used a small flat metal screwdriver and meticulously "excavated" the entire bezel region---chipping and prying off small chunks of the already-broken screen.

    During the excavation process, I admit it was quite disconcerting to pry out pieces of FC (flexible/foil circuit) bonded to the underside of the glass. However, as has been well established in YouTube videos and CB threads, all the electronics---on this outer side of the frame---belong solely to the digitizer circuit.

    The tricky part during the prying process was not to gouge the LCD. Do so, and you might as well buy a whole new PB. Accordingly, all prying was done parallel to an edge---and mostly in the outer half of the bezel. Once the whole bezel area was carved out, the remaining center piece of glass---no longer attached to anything---simply lifted off.

    Next came the removal of the leftover adhesive debris from the frame. Much was gently scraped off using a screwdriver. Some of the remaining sticky tape was peeled off, but most of it required a brief exposure to isopropyl alcohol. I took a small piece of paper towel, wetted it with alcohol, then vigorously rubbed a small area. The adhesive eventually lifted and dissolved into the towel, which was then discarded.

    What was left was a nice clean frame surrounding the LCD---and the now-severed end of the old digitizer FFC (flexible flat cable), which unfortunately ran through a slot into the rear of the PB. So the bad news was, the back cover had to be removed.

    The good news was, once the cover was removed, the digitizer's FFC was right there on top---the one crossing diagonally over the battery. After a piece of tape holding it to the battery was removed, its connector was disconnected from the motherboard by pulling up the tab at the end of the FFC. Next, a pair of screws were removed from the speaker assembly (the one holding down the FFC). The speaker assembly---which still had a wire attached from underneath---was then moved aside just enough to expose some foil tape that was holding the FFC in place. Tearing this tape allowed the FFC to be removed and discarded. Nothing else needed be disconnected---which was the whole point of doing it this way.

    Next, the LCD received a thorough but gentle cleaning of any particles and fingerprints. Adhesive strips were cut and applied to the whole frame (except near the camera, LED, and speaker openings). The protective film on the rear side of the new screen was carefully removed. Then, holding it only by its edges, the screen was gently lowered into place---at the same time drawing the FFC fully through its slot.

    Turning the PB over, the FFC was then routed under the speaker assembly, over the battery, connected to the mobo, and taped down. The speaker was screwed back on. Finally, the rear cover was snapped back on. That was it! And amazingly, it actually works
    ubeda92 and narseny like this.
    07-25-12 11:28 PM
  2. littd's Avatar
    Wow well done I am impressed. No way I'd try it myself!
    07-26-12 02:31 AM
  3. FF22's Avatar
    Glad it worked but a video or photos would have been nice.

    But looking at my pb, doesn't the "front glass" sit UNDER that thin metal rim? I guess not.
    07-26-12 08:36 AM
  4. dugggggg's Avatar
    Glad it worked but a video or photos would have been nice.
    I know, I know. But words are so much easier. If you haven't seen this more recent YouTube video, check it out: by a fellow CrackBerrian. My method completely avoided having to relocate all the camera and switch FFCs, but the end of the video nicely illustrates how easily the new screen fits into place.

    But looking at my pb, doesn't the "front glass" sit UNDER that thin metal rim? I guess not.
    Not sure what thin metal rim you're describing. The screen is encircled by a thin rubber gasket, which has no outer lip. The screen is held on only with the double-sided tape.
    Last edited by dugggggg; 07-26-12 at 01:30 PM.
    07-26-12 10:50 AM
  5. narseny's Avatar

    great instructions. wish i read them or had the idea myself, before i took on the task of dismantling my PB. i have a quick question for ya though. i noticed after re-assembly, (a few weeks later) that my WiFi Detection Range was severely limited. prior to my glass being cracked & replaced, my WiFi ability on my PB was great & i could pick up all sorts of HotSpots....now, after i replaced the glass, my range is nowhere near what it was.

    wondering on what your thoughts are on this....i made sure all cables were reconnected, screws back in the same place as where they were removed, nothing is bent or missplaced....i am REALLY stumped on this issue.

    OS has been reloaded numerous times.....the dame WiFi will just not pick up networks that it used to.
    11-22-12 12:37 PM