Instructables
Picture of Fix your broken Kindle Keyboard Screen
After falling in love with my new (used) Kindle, I sat on the screen and cracked it. Strictly adhering to my DIY, minimal waste ethos, I found a YouTube video made by the good people at PowerBook Medic with clear instructions to replace the screen instead of dumping the whole Kindle. 

It struck me that Instructables had no such guide so I set out to make a step-by-setp for other people with the same problem. I ended up learning an important lesson in the process. 
 
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Step 1: Order a new screen

Picture of Order a new screen
Where can I get a new screen? What will it cost?

I found no e-ink screens for  less than $50. After some careful perusing, I ordered my new e-Ink screen from eBay and it arrived from the kind people of Shenzen in about 2 weeks.

Fifty dollars was worth it to me considering the price of a new Kindle and my desire to fix rather than trash. Everyone will have to evaluate this for themselves because as you will see, the repair process is not for the faint of heart. 

Step 2: Tools required

Picture of Tools required

-Set of Electronic Screw Drivers, both flat head and Phillips          
(I highly recommend the Stanley set I use which have spinning tops, magnetic tips, and come with a sturdy case)

-Soft Plastic Pry Tool aka Spudger          




Step 3: Begin disassembly: Pry Off Rear Cover

Picture of Begin disassembly: Pry Off Rear Cover
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When  you have your new screen I hope you will refer to this instructable for help. 

I would also recommend watching the YouTube video made by the PowerBookMedic group which can be found here:
http://youtu.be/6BhTqbslijc


STEP 1: Pry off the plastic rear cover. Best tool for this is a flat head electronic screw driver because the cover fits very tightly in the back of the Kindle; This step requires a surprising amount of force but be courageous because you are not in danger of damaging anything....yet. 

Step 4: Remove battery

Picture of Remove battery
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STEP 2: You will immediately see the large black battery which has "Amazon.com" labeled on it along with the other disclaimers. This is the first component to remove which is held in place by 2 Phillips screws at the top left. 
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I am going to give everyone some helpful advice, If you are a prime member contact support and say your kindle is broken and you did not break it yourself. They might try to charge you, they tried me then i said I spent thousands here blah blah and got a brand new kindle paper white. Before i got a brand new kindle keyboard doing this too. No calling just chat online with the kindle team. It works mostly if you purchase alot on amazon and you are a prime member. Try it it works thank me after you have your brand new kindle in 2 days :)

Basically just say it wont turn on even if you broke it they don't even want the old one back please don't abuse this though.

Beef Eater1 month ago

Extremely helpful! With your guide, it took me half hour to take my Kindle apart and another half hour to put everything back together with the new screen. My Kindle now works as if nothing happened with it!

THANK YOU!!!

dherrera182 months ago

I'm not sure what e-ink screen I should get. Can someone help me out a little? Thank you.

bwalters43 months ago
Could not have done it better. Brilliant instructions. Must now repair my own Kindle.
Great stuff! Just replaced mine last night with a screen I found from a seller on aliexpress. Cost US$39 shipped.

Couple of additions, (going by steps labelled on photos)
Step 4: Under my battery screws were two silver cup-shaped spacers that could be easily lost - watch for those.
Step 5: The connector for the screen (the only one that doesn't have a flip-up clamp), pulls straight up - try fingernails or tweezers.
Step 7: One of the screws for the main board is hidden by the screen connector wire in this photo (two inches up from bottom on left edge).
Step 9: The old screen is stuck in lightly with adhesive, just slowly work around it twisting gently (don't need to worry about cracking it, right?).

For those over forty I strongly recommend strong lighting and tweezers for putting screws back where they need to be!

Thanks for great instructable.
Thanks for pointing that out!
I should add my Kindle had sat for a couple of months before this repair. When I first powered it up after the repair (plugged into USB) it didn't work. I was bummed but left it on charge overnight and the next day, hey presto, it worked.
LaForge5 months ago

Thank you very much for the excellent photos and descriptions. I was able to replace the screen in my 3rd gen Kindle Keyboard for $29 +$11 shipping from China, so I saved a ton thanks to you! You were exactly right in your descriptions of amount force to use when spudging open, etc. descriptions such as you provided are often missing from instructions.
The only possible thing I would add would be, when removing the PCB from the midboard, there are 3 screws not circled in your photo that must also be removed in order to remove the PCB. This isn't something I knew bc I'm some sort of expert, I only noticed them by following your "trial and error" method of prying the PCB up gently, from there it was easy to figure out where the logic board was being held down.

The first screw is one of the smaller screws, on the left side of your photo, obscured by the largest of the 4 cables unplugged in the previous step. The second screw is a larger one just to the right of the connection for the WiFi antennae. The third screw is another smallish one on the midplate on the right side. That being said, I had no problems following your instructions, and I greatly appreciate your expertise. Thanks again.

mousegan9 months ago
hey thanks for the great instructions... I have changed my screen successfully with your tips but I encounter another issue which my kindle keyboard now couldn't display figures, pictures and symbols clearly, meaninng they all fade out. Howerver all the text characters are perfectly ok. Can you advise me?
my kindle problem.jpg
kioleanu mousegan6 months ago

I was able to fix this problem after replacing my screen following the instructions from here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=26...

As far as the guy says, you have about 90% chances of succeeding.

What seems to happen is that the kindle needs to get the waveform from the screen, but the new screen doesn't provide the necessary output. Before trying this, I contacted the seller I got the screen from and he asked to send it back so he can "upgrade the wf file"

I have the same problem.

Interestingly enough as I change pages and the page is being redrawn I can for a fraction of a second see the picture/figure perfectly. But once the page is finally finished the image looks unclear i.e. many shades of grey are missing from the picture. The same is true for the Kindle 3 screen saver picture (it looks perfect as it is being drawn but the finished page is missing a lot of pixels just like in mousegan's picture).

Either my replacement display isn't totally compatible with my Kindle 3 after all... or perhaps I didn't properly reconnect all the parts of the Kindle during reassembly...
I have the exactly same problem after replacing my screen :(
Does anyone have a hint?
I only found this forum thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201793
Unfortunately it's not too helpful.
ohanoko8 months ago
Thank you so much for this. I just sit on my kindle and broke the screen. I nearly passed out. My question is, will my books be affected? I don't know how this works and I'm worried about my bookmarks.
naxa ohanoko7 months ago
just plug in the kindle into a computer via usb like you normally do. the broken display should not be a problem for copying all the files. just make sure you are set to show hidden files also. and extensions. i'm not sure about bookmarks but for example highlights are stored in the "documents/My Clippings.txt" file, and notes in *.pdr files in the same folder. But I just back up *everything*, not only documents but *everything*. can be done many ways, here is my method detailed:

I use "total commander" program for this job on windows. on windows 7 it may be a good idea to start it as administrator elevated privileges. if your user is admin, you can do this by ctrl+shift+clicking the total commander icon. and there in menu/configuration/options/display, "file display", "show hidden/system files" should have a tick. (then "ok" it). then I select my kindle with alt+f2 for the other panel. then I go to the top of the kindle's drive - there is a "\" button for this on the far left for the second panel (there is one for each). then I select all files and folders either with mouse-rightclick or by the Insert key, when they are red they are selected. I chose a target folder in the another panel. now I put the cursor-bar into the kindle panel with the files and folders still red (= selected), and press F5 (a "virtual" button is also available for the mouse on the center bottom). this gives me the copy dialog. I copy all my kindle to my hard drive. this allowed me to restore my notes and highlights in the past. I think it will restore bookmarks. when restoring, first try the "document" folder only. and remember that the restered kinlde probably also will need a complete restart, available from kindle's menu / settings / menu again / restart.
hope it helps! (probably a question on mobileread.com would pinpoint which files store the bookmarks. - copying everything is just trying to be better safe than sorry.)
naxa naxa7 months ago
ps. sorry the "\" icon is on the far *right*. whoops. :) well, after a bit testing maybe you will see your way around anyway, or a calm and caring local IT best friend can lend a hand to be 100% confident.
rmarcelo19 months ago
Hello i have my own problem, where the kindle screen fades away. I didnt use it for about a year. Can someone help me to 'wake up' the kindle? Thanks
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asurvila110 months ago
Hi!
Thank you for your instruction.
I just stand before the same problem. And now I decided to to change broken screen.
But.. and... I prefer not to do what is possible not to do :)
You do not have to remove battery at all .
You need disconnect only 2 wires - display and keyboard. It's all.
There is no need to disconnect 3G card and it's cable.
But it's all right with screws - you need to undo out 12 small, 6 bigger around sound dinamics, and 4 screws holding Logic Board.
So then you can take all this guts like one piece - and ta-da! - you can replace your screen.

eholli10 months ago
I would like to point out a couple of my own notes after taking apart two different Kindle keyboard models, one a 3G and one non-3G.

For those of you that can't get the midboard out, notice the two screws in the black speaker assembly in the top left and right corners. These need to be taken out even though they were not circled in the guide.

Also, in lieu of purchasing a spudger, a thin to medium guitar pick works perfectly to separate the back case.

Thank you so much for your guide, ghwitcher!
Thank you for this instructable. I have a kindle keyboard that was stepped on. I have 2 questions.

My Kindle Keyboard is the type without 3G. Will I be able to basically follow this instructable?

I thought maybe I would take it apart to the point where I handle the really delicate sheet, and then if I didn't break it, order the replacement screen. Would dust be a problem if I left it open until I got the screen?
Yes you will. I just took apart one of each 3G and non-3G to cannibalize the screen for my 3G version. There are a few minor differences but you should have no problem using this guide. For instance, there is no 3G card but there is a black "placeholder" for it that was glued to the logic board and held with 3 screws instead of 2.
VaruGroen11 months ago
hi there! this is a GREAT instructable...I also got my replacement screen at AliExpress for a great price-- and it also came from Shenzhen. I went through all the steps-- VERY easy following your great directions and pics, BUT- when i got all done with it, I tried powering on the sucker and NOTHING HAPPENED! :( at first nothing happened when i powered the KK on, so i plugged it in and got a yellow light (charging?), i waited a while and then disconnected from power and tried again...this time the little green light came on (didn't stay on though) but the screen still didn't change. it still shows the same imprinted image that was on there when i took the new screen out of the packaging. I tried to reboot the KK and it did the whole flashy green thing and then STILL nothing. I am putting it back on the charger to see if anything will happen once it fully charges, but have you had anyone else comment on this...the replacement screen was SUPPOSED to be new, but there is also a faint underlying image of Agatha Christie that i didn't notice when i first opened the package. HELP! thanks!
demdicor11 months ago
Thank you very much for this instructable. I broke my Kindle and, with your directions, and the video from Powerbook Medic you refer to, I was able to fix it in no time. By the way, a clear text such as yours is a good complement to a video. In my case, I found specially useful your comments about not forgetting the on/off and volume switchs.
This is an excellent instructable, it has helped me successfully replace the broken screen on my now obsolete Kindle Keyboard. Thank you.
uptime51 year ago
Thank you! I have now repaired two Kindle Keyboards, one was just the battery but this "how to" helped me fix the one with a broken screen. The battery was dead on this one too, Thanks again!
kidkid1081 year ago
nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnniiice
Is this a risky task to do if you don't know much about technology or should I just buy a new one!?
ghwhitcher (author)  saaabbbrina1 year ago
Yes, this instructable is best suited for determined DIY individuals who are willing to take a risk.

The risk is handling the screen because it is delicate.
obrien19881 year ago
Thank you so very much! Your instructable is part of my gift to my husband for his birthday. ....I bought him one, like 3 years ago, it's got the full 3G and phone connections for worldwide downloading...it was more expensive, about $250 at the time, than my Kindle Fire (which I bought pre-release). I had also bought a cheapie Wi-Fi black-white kindle a few months back when they put them on firesale before discontinuing the old models. Bob broke HIS screen. Then 'borrowed" MY cheapie one -- and lost it on a plane. He wanted a "new" Kindle for his birthday. I thought, "Forget that!" I bought a new screen for this model for $49 from HongKong, and my "gift" to him is the 1 h 15 min. it just took me to replace his original screen (plus the research, shopping, delivery etc. of getting parts).
dkrckbaum1 year ago
Your instructions are great -wish I had found them earlier. I also saw the PowerBook Medic video and decided to try repairing my Kindle. The keyboad didn't work. I replaced the board and felt pretty good about being able to fix it myself. The Kindle is working fine, but the book light in my cover doesn't work. I've taken it apart a couple of times to make sure all the connections were made. All seems to be good. Any thoughts on why the light doesn't work? Any insight would be appreciated.
donnaj711 year ago
You are so awesome. When I called Amazon to get mine fixed and they don't me they don't fix them I was not happy. Since it was out of warranty they would give me a very small discount off another kindle if I sent that one back. I like the kindle keyboard because all my word games I loved don't work on the others. My teenaged son and I used to play those games together and we both miss that. So we just went to the store to get those little screw drivers and took our kindle apart and took out the broken screen. I wanted to see that was what was broken before ordering one. So now I just have to get a new screen and put it all back. I am so so glad that you did this instructable because my kindle isn't exactly like the one on the youtube vid. Mine is just like yours though and we were stuck on taking off the speaker part because it didn't want to budge. We saw you didn't take it off and I'm glad because I think it would break if we tried any harder. This was a really cool thing to do with my teen son so thanks a million. It isn't easy to connect to teens.
ghwhitcher (author)  donnaj711 year ago
No, YOU are awesome.

Actually, I was once a teen son myself. Keep your son tinkering and he will be bound for great things! Thanks for your comment
where can you buy the non e ink displays?? It might be cool to make it into a tablet of sorts.
I smashed mine with my knee. I got a new one and if i can replace the screen I am going to give it to my sister! Thanks! This is awesome!
Nice job! If only iPads were as easy to fix :)
Yeah, apple used to attach the screen to the iPad 1 with clips, but now they use glue
ghwhitcher (author)  qquuiinn1 year ago
I once read that Steve Jobs saw all of 'his' Apple products as objects that were never intended to be taken apart or modified. So short sighted!
ghwhitcher (author)  qquuiinn1 year ago
The Kindle screen is also glued it but its not a strong fixative...
Thanks for your comments
I'm glad you were able to get it off and replace it for much cheaper :)
Orngrimm1 year ago
Does seem as the last image shows a damaged screen still. I think that was your "first attempt" and where you broke the delicate eInk-display?
However, having a kindle keyboard myself (Back then it was called only "Kindle") it may come in handy.
I fixed other ebookreaders and almost every time found the cheapest displays on Alibaba.com or Aliexpress.com
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