Introduction: Taking Apart the HTC Hero for Sprint (Android) Phone
This is a disassembly guide for the HTC Hero (Android) for Sprint.
It only goes so far as necessary to swap out the front section of the phone to fix a broken screen.
I'm opting to fix this myself altho the phone is covered by insurance because the insurance deductible is $100 and the spare part on eBay is only $50.
If I wanted to be even cheaper, I could just cover the screen in a piece of clear packaging tape and continue using it indefinitely. The functionality of the phone is still intact.
Step 1: The Problem
OHNOS! I dropped it on the driveway.
It's still operational, but sharper than it was.
The positive take -- it's a good excuse to do surgery on my new(ish) phone!
Step 2: Tools
I enthusiastically recommend these two tools available from Home Depot for taking apart electronics. One is a combo phillips and slotted head (also great for fixing eyeglasses) and the other is Torx (which also is great for hex applications).
They both include very tiny screwdriver heads for very fine work. I've never run into anything that was too small to use these on.
When you first buy them, try rubbing a neo magnet on the tips to make the screws stay on against gravity. It doesn't take much magnetism to make your work a lot easier.
Step 3: Remove Back Cover
This first step is the same procedure you would go through to change the battery, swap out the SD card, or check your serial number.
Just slide the back cover up with your palm and then lift it straight off.
Step 4: Remove Battery
Take out the battery and the SD card.
Step 5: Remove Four Torx Screws
You know, with the torx screwdriver.
HINT: If you're very disorganized or you're planning on leaving the thing apart for several days, immediately put the screws back in the holes they came from after you separate the parts. It's a little bit of extra work, but it'll keep the tiny screws from getting mixed up or lost on the floor. This is a good rule of thumb whenever you're taking stuff apart.
Step 6: Release the Tiny Plastic Clips
Begin in the center at the top with a tiny straight screwdriver.
Move down the sides with a little bigger tip until just the bottom is connected, using these images to locate where the clips are. Be gentle!
We will handle separating the bottom in the next step.
Step 7: Release Bottom Two Clips
Like so. Slide the back piece down over the charging jack and it will come off. Set the back aside.
Step 8: Remove the Mother Board
Release the two tiny phillips head screws toward the bottom of the mother board.
Also release the two ribbons which are connecting the mother board to the front piece of the phone. They are held on with friction and will snap back on again later.
I found a little bit of resistance pulling the pieces apart now, possibly from tape on one of the ribbons. I would ordinarily say be careful not to tear or damage the ribbons, but in this case they're attached to the part we're throwing away.
Lift the mother board off of the front piece of the phone and set aside.
Step 9: If the Trackball Falls Out
At this point the trackball is free to fall out of the phone front.
To put it back, position the phone off the edge of the work table, put the bezel in first and then put the trackball in with the two plastic pins oriented horizontally. I believe it is oriented correctly up-and-down as shown in the picture.
Step 10: All Done, Reverse Steps to Reassemble
This was as far as I needed to go to fix my broken screen. The replacement part I purchased on eBay consisted of the entire front piece of the phone, including fascia.
If you need to hack apart the front fascia to get to the raw screen component, then you're on your own from here.
I hope this repair guide was useful to you. It's so simple that it might be an exercise in pointing out the obvious, but how were you to know how easy it was if you've never taken it apart? Now you can void your warranty with total confidence!
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