I have dropped my phone countless times from waist height and never had a problem, that is until I was sitting down and let it fall from my lap. It fell face down on the ground and shattered the front glass, which is called a Digitizer. The phone still worked and the display was working fine, the only problem was the sharp edges of the glass which could cut you if you were not careful!
I took the phone to Sprint and they said the replacement phone would be $500. I told them I had insurance and then I was told it would be $100 and that I would have to wait 3 to 5 days for a replacement. What this meant was, I wouldn't get my phone back and would have to re-enter all my contacts into the replacement phone. Seems this is a common problem and they just replace the part and give the phone to the next customer with this problem after repairing it. I told them I would bring it back later, but instead I started looking on the web for replacement parts for my phone. I found a Digitizer on one of the auction sites for $22 and it even came with the case opening tools and screwdriver needed to open the case! Not a bad price at all.
This is a "How-To" on replacing a broken Digitizer screen on a Samsung Moment M900 Android phone and is my first Instructible as well. The whole process from start to finish took me about 2 hours as I had to figure out how the case came apart. With these instructions, it should take you a lot less time.
Disclaimer: This tutorial was written based on my experience with the repair of a Samsung Moment M900 series Android Smart Phone. Since I do not know the skill level or electrical knowledge of anyone using this tutorial, anyone using these instructions will be doing so at their own risk and shall hold the author of this tutorial harmless for any undesired outcome or unintentional omissions of steps concerning this tutorial. The user of this tutorial assumes all risks of following these instructions.
With that out of the way, let's get started!
Step 1: Materials Needed
You will need:
Case Opening Tools
Small Philips Screwdriver
Single Edged Razor Blade
Sturdy Tooth pick
Heat Gun or Hair Dryer
Search the internet for the Digitizer for a Samsung Moment M900 Series Smart Phone. You can find them from on-line stores or auction sites. It's cheaper to order one that comes with the case opening tools and screwdriver. If you can't find a Digitizer that comes with the tools, you can use a stiff guitar pick as a case opening tool and a set of jewelers screwdrivers from Radio Shack.
Step 2: Assessing the Damage
First of all, make sure the LCD screen is still working. If it is not, you will have to order a new LCD screen as well. Since mine was fine, I did not have to replace it. I can not give a price for the LCD screen, but it will probably still be cheaper than replacing the phone. When checking the LCD screen, be careful not to get cut by the digitizer. It helps to "lightly" move your finger across the broken digitizer to check the LCD screen or make a phone call. You should be able to check the LCD screen without having to slide your finger across the Digitizer.
Here are a couple of pictures of the cracked Digitizer. The worst damage is in the lower right corner with fine cracks radiating from there. It is a little difficult to see the cracks in the photos, but it is worse than the picture shows
Step 3: Opening Up the Case
First, power down the phone. Once the phone has been powered down, remove the back cover, the battery and the Mini SD card.
As you dis-assemble the phone, keep ALL screws and parts seperate from one another and set them aside in the order you removed them. It will make re-assembly much easier. Do not mix the different screws you remove in each step! If necessary, take pictures of the areas you remove the screws from to keep track of where they go during re-assembly.
There are seven screws on the back of the phone. One of them is hidden under the ESN label. Remove the six screws you can see. Now take the single edged razor blade and carefully lift up the ESN label (be careful not to destroy the label) to reveal the last screw and remove it. Be careful not to cut yourself with the razor. Just be patient and work slow!
I did not take a photo of the actual case seperation, but with the photo of the iPod above, you should be able to get an idea of how to proceed with this step. Also, this would be a good time to make sure you are grounded so as not to destroy the delicate circuits with static electricity. Using the case opening tool, start on one of the sides and seperate the back cover from the phone using your fingers to keep the cover from snapping back into place. Once you have seperated the back from the phone, set it aside and go to the next step.
Step 4: Removing the Motherboard
You should see the internal antenna along one side of the phone. Gently pry each end of the antenna straight up from it's socket. DO NOT REMOVE the antenna from the phone, just leave it in place after disconnecting it from the motherboard. See red arrows for location of antenna connectors. Red dotted line is to show general area of the antenna (on this phone, the antenna is grey in color). The next two photos show the connector disconnected at both ends as indicated by the red arrows.
The two areas circled in red in the fourth photo are the keyboard ribbon cable and the speaker wires. Using the case opening tool, gently lift straight up on the keyboard ribbon cable to disconnect it (the large red circle in the photo). Now, gently lift the speaker wire connector from it's socket (the small red circle in the photo). Pry it straight up from the wire side of the socket taking care not to break the wires as they are very fragile. See the next photo (fifth photo) showing ribbon cables disconnected.
Lift the motherboard as shown in the sixth photo. There will be another ribbon cable that needs to be disconnected. Gently pry the motherboard ribbon cable as straight as possible from the motherboard. The upper red arrow shows the connector and the lower red arrow shows the direction to pry the connector in on the seventh photo. Carefully seperate the motherboard from the phone and set aside. Be careful of static electricity as this will destroy the motherboard. Put it in a static free electronics bag (like the ones you might get with expansion cards for your computer).
Step 5: Removing the Motherboard Frame
There is a screw near a metal cover that will need to be removed (indicated by the red circle). Keep this screw seperate from the back cover screws as they are not the same type of screw.
Carefully seperate the motherboard frame from the keyboard and set aside.
Step 6: Dis-assembling the Keyboard
There are six screws that hold the cover onto the keyboard. Two of them are under the ribbon cable. The ribbon cable is taped down. Gently pry at the locations indicated by the two red arrows to lift the ribbon cable up from the case. DO NOT BEND the two metal pieces as you pry them up.
Now, remove the six screws (indicated by red circles) and set them aside keeping them seperated from the previously removed screws. The second photo above shows the ribbon cable out of the way and the two hidden screws before removal.
Seperate the keyboard from the frame passing the ribbon cable through the cut-out area and set the keyboard aside.
Step 7: Removing Slide Mechanism
Now remove the keyboard slide mechanism. There are four screws, one in each corner. Two of the screws are covered by black stickers. Red circles indicate where the screws are located. Remove the black stickers (red circles in the second and third photos above) carefully with the single edged razor blade and set aside.
After removing the four screws (indicated by the red circles), set aside seperately from previously removed screws. Use a thin pry tool or small flat blade jewelers screwdriver to gently and carefully pry between the frame of the phone and the slide mechanism. Pry up at the areas indicated by the red arrows (fourth photo below).
Pass the ribbon cable through the slot and remove the slide mechanism.
Step 8: Removing the Ribbon Cable Assembly
Next, lift out these three devices (red arrows) very carefully with a toothpick. The device on the right is glued in, but will work loose. Take your time and keep working at it till they come out. It's easier to remove them one at a time, but you can remove them as a unit if you like.
Now, the other end of the ribbon cable and the digitizer ribbon cable (left red arrow is pointing to the digitizer ribbon cable in the second photo) have to be disconnected. The brown portion of the connector (far right red arrow) has to be lifted in order to remove the ribbon cable. (See next two photos for direction to lift it in.)
The Digitizer ribbon cable is taped down (left red arrow) and will need to be lifted straight up to release it from the tape. Once freed, the black portion of the ribbon cable connector (center red arrow) has to be lifted to remove the Digitizer ribbon cable from the socket. See next two photos on how to disconnect both ribbon cables.
To remove ribbon cable with brown tab (center small red arrow), lift brown tab on ribbon cable side in the direction the two curved red arrows are pointing in (toward you). Then slide the ribbon cable in the direction of large red arrow to disconnect it (away from you).
Lift the black portion of the connector for the digitizer from the center of the phone to the left ( in the direction of the curved red arrows). If not already done, carefully lift the ribbon cable to loosen it from the tape and slide the ribbon cable in the direction of the large red arrow (to the left). Remove ribbon cable assembly and set aside.
Step 9: Removing LCD Screen and Digitizer
Flip the LCD/Digitizer bezel over and apply heat from a hair dryer for about a minute or with a heat gun. If using a heat gun, it will take less time. Monitor the time carefully with the heat gun as you do not want to melt the case. You may not want to put the heat gun as close to the case as you would with a hair dryer. DO NOT overheat.
Flip the bezel back over and gently pry at the white tabs (red circles, second photo) on the LCD screen to remove the LCD panel from the Digitizer. If it does not seperate, DO NOT force it. Apply more heat a little at a time, as needed until you can totally seperate the LCD screen from the Digitizer. You should now have just the front bezel with the Digitizer still in place.
Flip bezel back over and apply a little more heat, same as before being careful not to over heat the assembly (I did not get a picture of this step, so I used the first picture in it's place). After each heat cycle, gently press the Digitizer "glass" with you fingers from the back side of the bezel to work it loose. You may have to apply heat several times untill it comes out. Keep pressing gently (so as not to cut yourself on the broken glass) until it is free from the bezel.
You should now have just the front bezel without the Digitizer.
Step 10: Installing New Digitizer
My new Digitizer came with a protective film on the back and front. The back has two seperate pieces of film. The red arrow points to the tabs on the film, both back and front. The green dotted line is to show the first pice of protective film and the red dotted line shows the second piece of protective film. Both of these are on the back of the "glass". I left the protective film on the front on for now.
Remove the two pieces of protective film from the back of the Digitizer and discard. If the tab breaks (mine did), use the single edged razor blade and carefully slide it under the protective file to get it started and peel off. There will be adhesive around the back side edges of the Digitizer. Do not touch the adhesive and do not get finger prints on the back of the Digitizer. If you do get finger prints on the back of the Digitizer, very carefully clean it with a paper towel with a bit of glass cleaner on it and STAY AWAY from the adhesive around the back edge of the Digitizer.
Slide the ribbon cable through the slot and carefully press the Digitizer "glass" into the bezel. Do this on a flat clean surface with the Digitizer face down and the back of the bezel facing you. Press around the inside edges of the bezel against the Digitizer. Only put enough pressure on the Digitizer and bezel to seat it into the frame around the edges. It only takes light pressure as the adhesive will stick to the bezel pretty well.
Step 11: Re-Assemble the Phone
Now start re-assembly of the phone. Make sure the LCD screen is free of dust and finger prints. Heat the bezel slightly and insert the LCD panel into the bezel making sure the ribbon cable from the Digitizer is properly installed and out of the way.
The Digitizer ribbon cable has a blue protective film over the back side of it. There is adhesive under this blue film so be careful to not touch it or get any kind of dust/dirt on it.
Insert the Digitizer ribbon cable into the connector in the direction of the large red arrow (far left side), aligning the white lines on the cable and the circuit board and press the black portion of the connector toward the center of the phone as indicated by the curved red arrows. You should hear a faint click when it seats.
Now insert the long ribbon cable into the connector in the direction of the large red arrow (far right side), aligning the white lines on the cable and the circuit board. Press the brown portion toward the top of the phone as indicated by the curved red arrows. Again, you should hear a faint click when it seats.
On both connectors, make sure the white lines are aligned with the white lines on the ribbon cables (see red arrows). If they are not aligned, perform the previous step until they are aligned.
After removing the protective film on the Digitizer ribbon cable, gently press down on the black chip to adhere the ribbon cable to the circuit board. Green arrow points to the part of the cable with the black chip. Finish assembling the ribbon cable on the other end of the bezel placing the three devices back into their slots.
Step 12: Prepare to Power-Up Phone
Re-assemble the phone in the reverse order making sure to press the keyboard ribbon cable into place on both gold colored metal pieces so they adhere to the frame and conceal the two screws that were covered before. Work slowly and check your work as you re-assemble the phone. Make sure to insert the black stickers in the same areas they were removed from previously.
If everything looks good to you, power up the phone. You should see a familiar screen minus the cracks!
I left the protective film over the front of the Digitizer and trimmed off the tab for now. I will put a screen protector on it if the film should come off later.
I hope that this "How-To" helps someone out with their broken screen! Post here if you have any questions.
Now, go enjoy your phone knowing that you fixed it yourself! ! !