Fix Your Broken Kindle Keyboard Screen

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Introduction: 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. 

Step 1: 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


-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

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


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. 

Step 5: Disconnect 4 Cables and Wires


STEP 3: Disconnect 4 cables and wires that originate from the screen and keyboard and are plugged into the logic board. I have labeled them in the picture with red circles. Also remove the red and black speaker wire with white socket which easily unclips. 

Some are held in place with a brown lock bar. The lock bar can be released with the flat head screw driver but is sometimes easiest done with your finger! 

Each cable will simply slide out of the socket they are plugged into with a little help. 

Step 6: Remove Grounding Mechanism & 3G Card

STEP 4:  Remove the 2 screws that hold the small ground piece down and then remove the 2 screws that hold the silver 3G card down. Next, unclip the black cable which is plugged into the 3G card. These are all circled in red in the image. 

Step 7: Undo Screws Holding Logic Board

STEP 5:  Begin by removing this black component with 4 screws on the corners. Next, look for approximately 12 screws holding the Logic Board to the Mid Board. You will be sure you have removed all of them only when you can lift the Logic Board off. This takes some trial-and-error and some prying. 

Step 8: Remove Midboard

STEP 6: Now that the Logic Board is out, the Mid board is exposed and can be removed. This also required some patience and experimentation but can be removed with the (black) speaker module still attached. 

The keyboard will likely fall out at this step. 

Please pay attention to the rocker knobs for the On/Off switch as well as the Volume because they are not permanently attached and can simply fall out without being noticed! See picture. 

Step 9: Replace the Screen!

STEP 7: Congratulations you've taken the Kindle totally apart and you're ready to replace the broken screen with a new one. 

CAVEAT! 
You MUST be very careful during this step because the e-Ink screens are surprisingly delicate. The back of the screen is made from a very very thin piece of glass and any torque or torsion will crack it. Normally the case of the Kindle will prevent this kind of damage but when it is out as a separate piece it is extremely vulnerable. Actually the first time I did this procedure, I broke it !! 


Step 10: Reassemble

Now that you have replaced the screen, you must do the whole ordeal backwards which will be much easier. 

A few things to keep in mind:
   
 Don't forget the Keyboard
    Don't forget the Volume rocker
     Don't forget the On/Off slide switch

When you put the midboard back onto the screen, BE CAREFUL, please be delicate or it could crack the screen, I can't emphasize this enough or the whole repair will be botched. 

Before you screw down the midboard, make sure the Cables are sticking up and clear of their respective holes in the midboard or you won't be able to connect them later. 
The lock bars can be replaced onto each of the cables 

This is my first Instructable so thank you for reading, hope it can help someone, and look forward to any feedback. 

3 People Made This Project!

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79 Discussions

On a wif kindle, this is a black plastic dummy unit. It does not have to be removed to replace the screen

When I did this, I think I only needed to remove the screen cable (lower left of the four)

huge thanks, with the help of your guide, I have replaced my kindle screen and now have a working kindle again :-)

I replaced my screen with no problems, but now my keyboard controls aren't working! Any suggestions?

I followed the instructions to the letter, but now my kindle won't turn on at all. It is not recognized by my computer when plugged in with a cable. The switch shows an orange light light when plugged in, but it goes out when unplugged. Total failure

3 replies

It it has been completely discharged for a long time, you need to let your battery charge for quite a while before the system will turn on. It took an hour or so of charging before mine would start up (after being unused for years due to the broken screen).

It it has been completely discharged for a long time, you need to let your battery charge for quite a while before the system will turn on. It took an hour or so of charging before mine would start up (after being unused for years due to the broken screen).

Same thing happened to me. I let it charge and then did a hard restart and it said the battery was dead and shut itself down. So I let it charge overnight and did another hard restart and now it works.

I think I also have a faulty mainboard. Is there any way to recover the memory if I replace the mainboard too or is it lost?

While the instructions were seemingly clear, a little more clarification on the removal of the cables would have been useful: I broke one of the connections to the circuitboard on one of the tinier cables and now the Kindle's useless.

1 reply

can i use the screen from a working kindle 3 wifi to replace the broken one of my kindle 3 3g or might there be issues? Anyone knows if they are exactly the same?

3 replies

It appears that you should be able to, Victor, but be careful removing the good screen. I was in the process of doing this, but couldn't get one of the screws holding in the logic board; I pressed too hard and the good screen cracked. *sigh*

I already exchanged a kindle 3 wifi screen into my kindle 3 3g. It worked fine. Thanks for your answer!

Good instructions and pictures - thanks. But BrendanF4 makes an important point: no need to separate the two boards. In fact, the only connection you need to unplug is the easy one: bottom left in the first image in step 5. This flips right up, easily. Don't mess with the others, which don't seem designed to unhook without damage. You can leave the speaker cable and the 3G slab as well, and move on to the screws. Also, don't forget (as I did) to check the screen for protective plastic film.

1 reply

Just accidentally broke my Kindle today. So if take your and BrendanF4 comments to heart, I should only have to unplug the screen, the keyboard, and remove the screws that hold BOTH the circuit board and mid board to the Kindle body? I do not have to remove the screws that hold the two together? Looks fairly easy, either way. The replacement screen comes from China for a little less than $20. At least that is what is says where I'm at (Thailand).

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GaryH8

2 years ago

The Fire 7 inch sells for 29 to49 bucks. Unless you want a big one these are easier than replacing a screen. I bought the 7 HDX and 1 year later toast. $300 gone. Now I just go for the 7 HD not much difference in my my opinion. Drop the Amazon software and go Cyan Gen Mod. Reads like a droid now and I get both Amazon and Google Apps.

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RayW10

2 years ago

Excellent and clear instructions from someone who has obviously done it :-)

Thanks, you're instructions were great. My Kindle 3 does not have 3G so it looked slightly different inside. I used another Kindle 3 that I bought on eBay to replace this Kindle. It was supposed to be in "great" condition. However the text to speech didn't work and after a few weeks it quit turning on altogether. I had looked on line for screen replacements and they were, as you said, around $50. I figured that I had nothing to lose, so I used the screen from the eBay purchase. Works great now. I really appreciate the circles around the screw and cable connections. It made it easy to find all the screws and get them all back in place.