New iBook G4 12″ 1.33 GHz Guide

June 24, 2009 Hardware, Repair Guides — walter

Salutations! A while ago we accidentally spilled the beans on the future publication of one of our most user-requested guides, the iBook G4 12″ 1.33 GHz. Well, we finally crossed the i’s, dotted the t’s, and released them to the public.

This iBook G4 12″ 1.33 GHz is nearly identical to the iBook G4 12″ 800 MHz – 1.2 GHz (if you’re wondering which version you have, you can identify your machine by using our ID Your Mac page). However there are some prominent differences that merit a complete set of new guides for the 1.33 GHz machine:

  • The addition or omission of screws can cause confusion during repair.  The top shield is missing a 5.5 mm screw previously located in the upper left corner; four screws instead of two screws are required to secure the hard drive to the framework; the heat sink is fastened by nine screws instead of eight; logic board replacement requires removal of 12 screws instead of 10. Thankfully all of the screws are neatly labeled in our guides, so you don’t have to worry about missing any of the little changes.
  • This model’s Reed Switch board was relocated from the display assembly to the top of the optical drive.  A combination of a magnet in the display assembly and this sensor enables your iBook to automatically go to sleep when the lid is closed and magically wake up when opened.
  • Detaching the display requires removing the optical drive to de-route the AirPort cables.
  • The AirPort/Bluetooth board must be removed to access the heat sink, but the hard drive bracket does not.

Take a gander at the new guides. We’re always open to any suggestions or comments that will help us improve our work.

3rd Generation iPod nano Repair Guides

June 17, 2009 Hardware, Repair Guides — Andrew Goldberg

We’d like to announce our all-new repair guides for the 3rd Generation iPod nano!

Replacing parts on the 3rd Gen nano can be quite difficult. We’ve found that removing the rear panel is the hardest step, and chances are slim that you will open the nano without destroying the panel. Unfortunately, you must first remove the rear panel to access any of the device’s internals, so customers are advised to purchase a rear panel if they plan on replacing any of the internals.

The most important aspect of replacing the rear panel is patience. Take your time when working the opening tools around the perimeter of the nano, and make sure not to get cut. Although the iPod opening tools are not sharp, having one slip off the side of an iPod can definitely do some damage.

Our new guides enable you to:

  • Replace a broken display.
  • Solder in a new battery, sparing you the astronomical Apple repair service charge.
  • Upgrade the logic board (including a pre-soldered battery) with a higher capacity unit for more storage capability.

You can also troubleshoot your nano using our troubleshooting guide.

We invite you to take a gander at the new guides, and we hope they help keep your nano in tip-top shape for years to come!

Updated MacBook Pro Guide…

May 13, 2009 Hardware, Repair Guides — walter

We here at iFixit jump for joy every time we publish a new guide, so it’s only fair that we share our joy with the iFixit community! We recently released a new guide for the MacBook Pro 15″ Core 2 Duo that covers models A1226 and A1260.

Although similar in design to the MacBook Pro 15″ Core 2 Duo Model A1211, there are some notable hardware differences that distinguish these models from their predecessor:

  • The logic board has a third thermal sensor near the left fan, buried beneath the logic board. This thermal sensor is attached to the lower case. In order to replace the sensor, it is necessary to remove the logic board.
  • The side tabs on the upper right and left of the keyboard have been removed. The keyboard drops right into the keyboard well, rather than having to bend the corners to fit in each side tab. To compensate for the removal of the corner tabs, two screws have been added to the bottom. The updated guide definitely includes this crucial step so that keyboard removal does not involve breaking the keyboard itself.
  • All three MacBook Pro 15″ models (A1211, A1226, A1260) utilize an 802.11n AirPort Extreme Wireless card. However, models A1211 and A1226 utilize a card with 3 antenna connections, whereas model A1260’s card has only 2 antenna connections.

Take a gander at our new guide and let us know if you have any suggestions. We’re always looking to improve the guides!

iPhone 3G Front Panel Replacement

April 24, 2009 Hardware, Repair Guides, Site News — Miro

Go to our iPhone 3G Front Panel Repair Guide to get complete step-by-step instructions for replacing your broken glass!

Imagine this scenario: You’re late for a meeting. To make matters worse, you find that your bike tires are extremely low. As you’re hastily pumping up the tires, The Boss calls your iPhone 3G. He usually doesn’t call your personal line, but this time it’s personal — his butt’s on the line, since you’re bringing his presentation to the meeting. You’re juggling many things in your mind, including the virtual beating you’re going to receive for being late, all the while not realizing that the sweat on your hands is making the iPhone quite slippery. Everything changes in one split-second flash: the iPhone 3G shoots out of your well-oiled hand and has an intimate chat with Mr. Concrete. The result? A cracked iPhone 3G screen, not to mention an even-more-furious boss due to your inability to pick up the phone. While iFixit can’t get you a new job in the bicycle sales industry, we can show you how to fix your iPhone 3G’s cracked screen.

The first thing to know to is what part you need to replace. On the original iPhone display, the glass, touchscreen digitizer, and LCD display were inseparably glued together. Fortunately, Apple changed their design and the iPhone 3G front panel glass is not glued to the LCD behind it. This is great news, because most of the time when you break the glass the LCD itself is fine. The front panel is available online at iFixit for $70, a bit cheaper than the LCD itself.

Opening the iPhone 3G is definitely simpler than the first generation iPhone. The original required a wide array of tools (including a dental pick) to remove the back panel. Apple’s designers decided to be nicer with the 3G, but weird tools like suction cups are still needed to make the opening procedure easier. Removing two Phillips screws and a small pull with the suction cup open the iPhone 3G. Don’t pull too hard, however– several cables still hold the two sides in place.

Disconnecting the display assembly from the rest of the iPhone 3G is as easy as 1-2-3 — literally. Apple was nice enough to number the black ribbon cables “1,” “2”, and “3,” allowing for a no-brainer disconnecting procedure. However, people attempting this at home should be careful to not break any connectors while trying to remove them.

Just like anyone can be linked to Kevin Bacon via six degrees of separation, six screws prevent the display from being separated from the front panel. The screws are very small in size and have #00 Phillips heads. An injudicious flick of the wrist will misplace them forever, so one should take care to keep them in a safe place. Scotch tape is your friend. We like to tape each set of screws down to a sheet of paper and write down where they came from.

To separate the display from the glass, you have to carefully insert a metal spudger between the two metal rails along the edge of the display assembly. A word of caution, however: metal spudgers are the double-edged swords of the iPod and iPhone repair worlds. They are incredibly useful due to their hard metal edge, especially for tight crevices where plastic tools are too soft to be used. However, the hierarchy of hardness dictates that “like scratches like,” meaning that everything softer than the metal spudger will be easily scratched. Unfortunately the list includes pretty much every surface of the iPhone 3G. A metal spudger can also bridge electrical connections, potentially shorting the iPhone 3G’s logic board if you’re not careful.

Glue prevents the removal of the plastic touch screen from the rest of the front panel. The glue loosens when heated, and consequently a heat gun comes in very handy for this procedure. However, too much heat gun action can warp the front panel, as well as leave nasty burns on your hands (nobody likes playing hot-potato with an iPhone 3G front panel).  Hair dryers are preferable if they provide enough heat — a safer (and more readily available) alternative.

Getting everything apart is hard enough, but it’s only half the task. The new touch panel now needs to be adhered to the front panel. iFixit includes a set of cut-to-shape 3M double-sided tape strips with every iPhone 3G front panel purchase. Alternatively, the home user can also use double-sided tape — it’s trickier than the pre-cut pieces, but can be done.

Repairing the iPhone 3G’s screen is a difficult, yet rewarding undertaking. A quick lapse in judgment can certainly provide a couple of good stories for next day at the office — stories such as why you have a melted iPhone front panel attached to your right hand, for example. Although the difficulty is relatively high, the cost of replacing the entire iPhone (as opposed to just the front panel) is even higher. A little patience along with good tools, parts, iFixit’s disassembly guide, and a couple of hours will enable anyone to fix their iPhone 3G display for $70.

New 15″ PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz Hi-Res Guide

April 16, 2009 Hardware, Repair Guides — Miro

We recently published an all-new guide for the PowerBook G4 Aluminum 15″ 1.67 GHz laptop. This machine features a higher resolution screen than any previous 15″ PowerBook, with a 1440×960 pixel display, and can be identified by the model number of A1138 printed on the lower case.

Although very similar to earlier PowerBook G4 15″ Aluminum machines from the outside, the Hi-Res version did have some distinct differences that warranted an all-new guide. Here are some highlights:

  • The DC & sound board is much easier to access in the Hi-Res model. Removing the display and logic board is no longer necessary, making replacing the DC & sound board a far simpler task.
  • We’re not sure why Apple did this, but this particular computer is very picky with its optical drives — most other SuperDrives across the range of Apple computers will not function properly in this model. If you install a SuperDrive that is set as a master, you’ll find that your PowerBook won’t boot. Drive differences aside, the SuperDrive removal procedure is similar to earlier guides, but does have a few minor changes.
  • Speakers are a different shape and have to be removed in a different manner. As may be apparent by now, Apple likes to mix things up a bit. We don’t know if the speakers sound any better, but their different shape results in slightly different removal instructions.
  • Screws are in different locations. Apple has also changed the locations for the screws, complicating the process for people who tried using previous models’ guides. Our new guide eliminates the need to worry about forgetting the last screw and having to throw away the logic board.

Please browse the guide and let us know what you think. We’re always open to suggestions on how to improve our guides!

New iPod Touch 1st Generation Guide

March 19, 2009 Hardware, Repair Guides — Miro

Hot on the heels of the updated iPod 5th Generation (Video) guide comes the brand-new, never-before-seen iPod Touch 1st Generation guide. We rolled out all the usual bells ‘n’ whistles with this set of instructions, and in the process learned a bit about the iPod Touch.

Here’s a summary of all the fun stuff that we did:

  • The opening procedure — usually the hardest part of working on any iPod — has been presented in extreme detail to prevent any potential mishaps.
  • The battery replacement guide shows how to solder your new battery to the logic board. Unsoldering the old battery and soldering in the new battery is quite challenging. Users attempting this procedure should definitely take their time and have the appropriate materials available. A third hand is definitely recommended because the iPod logic board is very light and tends to move around while you work.
  • Color-coded action bullets (such as the red Phillips screwdriver bullets on Step 12) clearly indicate the action to be performed.
  • All instructions were designed to make your life happy by showing you how to complete a task in as few steps as possible.

The iPod Touch 1st Generation guide is up now. We worked hard on making it awesome, but we’d really appreciate your feedback. Post a comment on the guide, and we’ll integrate the best suggestions!