Earlier this month Joy and I decided to try and replace the screen on a 3rd Generation iPad. We sourced an iOpener iFixit Kit from iFixit which included tools, and a screen / digitize assembly. The iPad patient had a completely shattered front screen with two dented corners. Following instructions found online we attempted to lift the screen with the tools provided.

An iPad’s screen is adhered with very strong glue. iFixit provides a closed tube/sack of fluid that is microwaved and then palced on the iPad to melt the glue. It didnt work at all. The glue remained strong and sticky. Instead of trying to remove the entire front screen, we decided to chip away at the glass trim with a razor blade. This proved marginally sucessful (and painful). After about an hour and a half of chipping, we decided to invest in a heat gun.

$22.00 and a day later, we applied 1000 degrees of pure thermal radiation to the glue, which promptly melted. The iFixit guitar picks were somewhat useful for lifting the glass as we melted the glue. We slid the guitar picks in under the glass and moved them down the side to prevent the glue from re-sticking.

Some parts of the side required more razor blade scraping, but the heatgun dramatically accelerated the process.

Once we removed the trim around the screen, we were able to lift the whole panel off, despite the shattered surface. We speculate that the digitizer managed to hold the pieces together.

From there, we removed the LCD panel and set it aside in a safe place. Under the LCD are the three ribbon connectors for the digitizer, LCD and logic board. We disconnected the LCD and digitizer and proceeded to clean the metal trim to allow for the next glass panel. Once clean of glass shards and glue (we used rubbing alcohol to remove the glue), we plugged in the new digitizer/screen and the LCD. Screwed down the LCD and set the digitizer/screen over top.

Unfortunately, the dents in the corners prevented the glass from sitting properly and was lifting off the chassis. We attempted to push out the metal frame dents but were only slightly successful.

We let the new adhesive sit with pressure and attempted to turn on the device and it came back to life!

After testing, the digitizer was functioning perfectly with no glitches or dead spots. However, because of the dented corners, the glass is still lifting off of the chassis.

If you want to perform this same procedure here are some tips:

1. Use a heat gun.

2. Use a straight edge razor

3. Take your time and be careful of glass shards

4. Work on covered surface (for easy cleanup)

5. Try and use a file to remove, or push out dented corners

6. Be very careful not to scratch the LCD- they are far more expensive than your digitizer.

7. Pick up a broken iPad off of ebay to try this on first. Make sure that you get a similar model to the one you own!

 

There isn’t much scarier than seeing your $1K+ Apple computer cease to function. Fortunately, you paid for quality hardware / software and restoring functionality is pretty straight-forward.

Indications that your mac isn’t (or won’t) boot include: a blinking folder icon with a question mark; an infinitely spinning wheel on the apple boot screen; or a frozen spinning wheel on the apple boot screen.

If you have any of these symptoms, the first thing that we are going to do is power off the mac completely. To do this, hold down the power button on the bottom left back of your iMac or the top right of your Macbook. Once it is fully off, turn it back on and hold CMD+R. This will boot you to recovery mode.

From here, you have access to OSX’s core system utilities. Of the options available, select Disk Utility.

In Disk Utility, on the upper right hand side you should see something labeled Macintosh HD. It might have another name depending on whether you or someone else has tinkered with your hard drive.

Click on that tab and then on the bottom right: click Verify Disk. Let that run its course and hopefully everything will come up green. If it doesn’t and gives you an error along the lines of “Backup your data and Reinstall OSX” you better do just that. It might give an error that says that the disk must be repaired. In that case, click the Repair Disk option and let it run. Once it finishes (hopefully successfully), click it again and make sure it comes up green.

Then, to the left, click Verify Permissions. I have never not seen it come up with errors. Once its done, click repair Permissions and let it run.

Now its time to try a reboot. Click the Apple symbol on the top left and click reboot. If it boots to OSX: YAY! If not, we aren’t going to give up that easily.

If that didn’t fix your problem and your verify disk came up green, you may have to reinstall OSX. Fortunately, because of the way that OSX is designed, it shouldnt wipe out any of your data. It will just reinstall system files. BACK UP YOUR DATA ANYWAY!

Get back into recovery mode and click Reinstall OSX. Depending on the OSX version you have, it may ask for iCloud / Apple ID credentials. Go ahead and enter those and continue on your merry way.

If that fails or it won’t let you reinstall, there is another option. Shut down your Mac and start it back up holding the ‘n’ key. Make sure you are connected to the internet! This will download a temporary recovery mode to your computer in the event that your recovery area is corrupted. Try the reinstallation from there.

If THAT doesn’t work, you are probably going to need someone’s disk, or if you are particularly crafty, you could make your own OSX boot media if you have access to another mac.

It’s rare that you would eventually need physical media but it is possible.

 

I hope that this helps some people get their mac’s back up and running again! Feel free to comment or contact us if you have any questions!