iPad Mini

7.9 inch display iPad Mini, with 16, 32, or 64 GB of storage.

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Digitizer freaks out when laid flat on the frame

Ive ran into several instances where as i come to the final step of laying the digitizer back into the frame of the unit, the digitizer all of a sudden freaks out. When i say freak out i mean, it starts pulling the screen left and right, pressing buttons and generally acting like a defective screen. The funny thing is it only acts in this manner as soon as you get into the last 10 degrees of angle when you are laying it into the frame.

The first instance i thought maybe i screwed up and pinched the cable, no biggie, i replaced it paying careful attention not to bend, pinch or twist the cable. As i laid the glass down onto the frame i made sure the cable was folding down into its little cubby and none was getting trapped between the frame and glass itself. The same thing happened! I ordered a new batch of glass and bam the problem was solved with the first piece of glass out of the new batch.

Ive done several other ipad minis between then and now, using that same batch of glass. Since that incident I practice diligence in not bending or pinching the ribbon in any way (even though I dont think i have ever really bent a cable on this particular device in such a way that would affect how it functions). But now with this last mini the digitizer is doing the exact same thing again!

Am i running into defective glass or is there something i dont know? And is it just me or are these minis the home of hardware gremlins?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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I'm having that same exact issue. Any suggestions on what the problem may be?

by jspcllc

Any update on this? I've experienced the exact same thing on various digitizers. Like the OP says, just the last 10%. I've placed all adhesives on the original Home Button Flex in the correct places, makes no difference. I've changed 3 different Home Flexes, still no solution.

by iRepairHub

Have any of you used Kapton tape? I haven't but I will start using to see if it will work. I heard that it will work when you put it on the edges of iPad Air screens.

by Ron

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32 Answers

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Hi everyone. I've found what's going on!!

Turns out, there is a small strip of black tape in between the glass and frame that keep the digitizer from "touching" itself and activating home button + digitizer randomly.

The fix for this is simple. Just put a thin strip of tape in between the glass and it's flex cables. I suggest Kapton tape since it's adhesive is light and wont damage the flex, as well as being thin, or just carefully transfer the thin tape strip from the original digitizer to the replacement. Be sure not to cover the Digitizer Adhesive of course!

Here are some pictures for you guys!

http://imgur.com/a/mwTJa

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Very nice hint! I used the tape from the original digitizer. My glass/digitizer came without Smart Cover sensor...

by imperyal

Is this the same for an iPad Air?

by David Lewis

yes and more so--there is a separate thread for Air.

by jessabethany

awesome, this screen has been driving me nuts. great tech tip. can i buy you a beer or two. thank you. jc

by Jerry Calderon

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I was able to resolve mine.. my remove fabric tape off old home button flex and adding to new digitizer. NO Problems since then..I ll look for the picture diagram i followed.

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I've had a few screens do odd things, but I've not worked on an actual Ipad so I'm not sure, but I've fixed many phones/tablets/PC's etc, so I'm assuming this could be the same kind of problem ?

On some, it's literally just been dust/dirt/finger prints causing the touch sensor to get wrong readings (usually if a mark is hidden on the inside of the touch panel. Some cannot cope with even a tiny amount of grit/dust at the edges of the panel.

The odd thing to me is that some can take all kinds of abuse and still work perfectly, even with large scratches and marks on, as well as dirt and grease.

Note that some types of cleaning chemicals can also apparently have an effect on the special surface coating of some kinds of touch panel, but I cant say if that's happened to me or not, I do often clean screens using liquid Windowlene (not the cream version).

If a screen goes crazy at a certain point of fitting, i'd try (if possible) to lay in one end first, and then take it off and lay in the other end instead - just to see if it's the cable end causing the problem. But I would assume it's just down to the very very sensitive ribbons used that may break inside quite easily, I've had that happen on a few phones where it just didn't like being bent over even gently.

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Thanks for the reply. It's literally just when the home button flex portion (bottom 10%) of the Digitizer Glass is laid down. If raised (with the top of the Glass laid down and the bottom 10% lifted, the issue no longer occurs. I'll keep testing and update here if any news comes about. It seems that a lot of shops are giving up on the solder repair for the Mini and just going with the Digitizer with the IC Board Pre-soldered on. Don't give up guys (and gals). WE WILL NOT BE DEFEATED!

by iRepairHub

What are you using to clean the glass and frame? Is it possible the cleaner is leaving a film which is interfering with the digitizer? If you use isopropyl alcohol are you using reagent quality? If not, some of the cheap stuff has junk in it which could be a problem.

by Dan

I haven't even removed the protective film from the front or inside of the glass at this point. No cleaning has taken place. This occurs during the "dry test" to test touch functionality before the adhesive is set.

by iRepairHub

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I always transfer the from the old flex over to the new one. I'm thinking maybe the giant piece of 'fabric tape' that runs along the entire bottom of the Original digitizer needs to be transferred as well. It covers the digitizer and home flex connections, just under the viewable portion of the glass.

Edit: But (if this is a solution) then why wouldn't this issue affect ALL iPad Mini Digitizer Glass Replacements?

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Make sure the digitizer ribbon cable is folded down toward the lcd, not toward the digitizer.

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Potter - can you please explain a bit better?

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Potter, could you elaborate? I've tried folding in, but it doesn't seem to a make a difference once you put the digitizer in place. I assume the small pinch in the ribbon is what is causing it to freak out. Does it just take some delicate maneuvering to get the ribbon wholly between the casing and LCD?

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What I have noticed that helps is if you put some black tape on top of this cable line. It helps a little as in like it takes more pressure for it to act crazy. I really think its a bad batch of digitizers. As on some there are no issues at all.

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I have been tinkering on this for weeks now and the biggest conclusion i can muster is it has to do with the IC Control Board soldered to the Digitizer. If you are ordering them pre-assembled the solder joints are likely shorted together, i have been able to fix a few by changing the IC Board. I have had the tape along the bottom work on one but that was the only one. I would love to work with somebody to nail this down hit me up.

btilleyster@gmail.com

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I had this problem today and solved it by using the plastic that comes off the adhesive tape around the edges of the digitizer, cutting it to size and laying it on top of the foam seal on each side of the screen and then turning and cutting the plastic from the top and bottom and sticking it to the base and top of the screen.

It seems the chassis of the iPad mini is magnetized, which you will see when you screw the metal shield plate in and the screw disappears from the end of the screwdriver.

I dont know if this (the magnetism) is the problem and im no fizzy-sist but shielding the edge of the digitizer seems to solve it, for me.

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I can confirm that transferring the black "nylon" tape from original digitizer to the new solves the issue 100%

Not sure why these aren't coming out of china with the tape already on it. Just being cheap I suppose.

Big thanks to Alex Nguyen for the solution. It has been driving me nuts. I've done about 60 mini's at this point (with no tape). Hope there aren't problems.

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I had this problem with a couple of iPad 2. What I had to do was to remove the logic board.

Remove the tin covers that shields the processor. Use a heat gun to apply heat to the area.

This will remove any trapped condensation from extreme heat or cold. I have been a 100% successful so far.

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Found this thread and used the tape, on several "faulty" digitizers and voila! You are 100% correct in saying that transfering the tape from old to new is the initial problem source. Unfortunately, if you have been tinkering around with plug, unplug and fold, unfold, you may have now introduced a new problem by stessing the flex. Unfortunate that these aren't being shipped with the tape. It would have saved me sooo much time. Kudos to those with the keen eye and thank you for your input.

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In the picture above, what kind of tape is that? I have a mini that came to me without digitizer or lcd. I'm having issues with touch not working after replacing the digitizer. I've tried the tape but still goes to the slider bar to turn off. Can't slide the bar because touch isn't working. Anyone help please!

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great, i have been strugeling with this for a long time and i didnt get why it didnt work.

Thank you very much for posting this.

greatings from The Netherlands

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I'm still having issues with mine. I've even ordered a new digitizer and transferred all the tape, and carefully tried to place it in the frame while trying to not bend the cable. Now, my home and lock buttons don't operate (though a simple factory reset may fix that). Anyone else worked on this problem any more?

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home and lock buttons are both a function of the home button flex cable soldering. you might have better luck by posting a new question and showing us a picture of your home flex.

by jessabethany

I will do just that. Thanks

by Jayson Gallardo

Just an update: I ended up taking my iPad mini to an Apple store the day before my 1 year warranty expired. They didn't ask too many questions, and simply replaced it with a new/refurbished one.

by Jayson Gallardo

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Double check tape covers all exposed copper points on the digitizer. That will (99.9%) fix freaking out digis. As for lock/ power , its on a flex of its own. True it may be tied to other functions, but you may want to inspect closer. My bet is a nicked power flex, and misplaced tape. As for those that order a new batch of glass and it works, betcha some came with tape ;). Just my two cents....hope its worth a dollar later :)

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I have found that a bad screen (after transfer of the fabric tape) can be the cause of a bad power lock button. Example, I have ran into two Pad Mini's that with one screen, the power button would work if you hold it in to power it down, but it would not work to put the iPad into Sleep mode. I don't understand why, but in BOTH instances, switching screens resolved the issue.

by Tim

Where can I buy the tape from?

by princessjavel

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Had the same issue today with a ipad mini screen was freaking out so ordered a new screen and replaced all the tape even the long one at bottom border and with the screen at 90 degrees it still freaked out...

So I took all tape off and just used kepton tape on the home button exposed contacts and it worked

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IT WORKS!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

It was embarrassing not being able to give the iPad back to my customer in time but you guys saved me a day by not having to wait on my shipment tomorrow. Transferring the tape solved the issue!

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what worked? can you please explain how you fixed it... thx

by Bitz007

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Hey guys so I always transfer any little piece of tape or part to the new Ipad Mini digitizer and never had a problem, until today, the digitizer was going crazy as if I didn't put the black tape that goes across the bottom of digitizer. I lasted all day today trying to resolve, added kapton tape on areas that i thought it was affecting. We'll I fixed the issue it turns out that I had to remove the black piece of tape that goes across the bottom of the digitizer, and after that it was working flawlessly without a problem, This is the first time that it has happened to me. Just wanted to throw that out in case y'all have this problem.

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Having issues with a crazy digitizer

Can someone please comfirm which areas of the screen need taped up?

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Bitz Any part around the home button with gold contacts that are visable and the whole bottom part of the screen just above the home button and just below bottom border to be Absolutely safe

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I am having this issues with an ipad air. As soon as I go to seal the bottom right corner. That's where the cables are on this one. It starts going to crazy. Am suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated

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Make sure the cables aren't getting pinched when you're pressing down. Make sure they are snug nicely under the LCD as much as possible. Also the LCD had 2 black spongy strips on the bottom right and left side. Those are on there with adhesive. Remove those from the LCD. Let me know if that helps.

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the digitizer cable doesnt seem to want sit correctly, it wont lay flat i have to push it down and then when i do it starts acting crazy and making random screen presses. we have done ipad 1 2 3 4 but never an air before, and this is getting aggravating. no matter how i put the screen in it wont lay snug and ofcourse gentle pressure yields the crazy touchscreen activity.

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After attempting the ESD tape switch numerous times, I noticed I was STILL having some issues with the digitizers every once in a while. I discovered that the ENTIRE digitizer assembly will short itself out if the edge comes in contact with the metal frame. I added some extra 3M tape around the entire frame to add a "buffer" zone to give just enough space to make sure no parts of the digitizer are touching the frame. Also you want to make sure the LCD is screwed down in all four corners without any part of it pushing up on the digitizer. This worked for me finally after a grueling 6 hours of attempting every fix in the book and studying the cause and effect of the digitizer coming in contact with the frame is certain spots.

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Tiffany it really sounds like this digitizer is faulty. I can sell you one of you'd like. These are the best I have found on the web. Let me know I have never had problems with these.

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Can you just provide the link where you bought them so that we can buy them ourselves?

by qjuantum

No. Links on here are usually spam traffic generators to the site of the poster. In any event, parts quality changes all the time even within one vendor. I used to all recommend the original iPad mini screens of one vendor then I got an order of cheap crappy ones just like everyone else sells. Ugh.

by jessabethany

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I have replaced it twice and got 2 different screens for it. I really think it doesn't like me. I will speak with my husband and see what he wants to do with it. How much would one cost. Thank you for your response:)

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Thanks for this thread, this sucks, I already closed the iPad mini and I actually put gorilla glue all around the edge because Ive found that the glue that comes with the digitizers is not strong enough and over time it becomes loose. I am not looking forward to opening the iPad mini again, i am not sure what is going to happen to the Gorilla glue once I apply heat to it. I bought mi digitizer off e-bay from a chinese reseller at around $33 bucks so, kind of upset that they don't put that tape on their digitizers at the factory.

I was thinking that maybe putting the glue on the edge and applying pressure might have some parts of the screen have different pressure against the frame and that is what was causing it until I read this thread.

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Hi, Had the same problem with the digitizer freaking out. I took the tape off as advised here and found a tiny piece of solder hiding under the the connector strip that folds over onto itself leading from the home button. So good tip is to check for any stray solder shorting the tiny connections. This was a new screen with the IC connector pre-soldered so whoever did the soldering wasn't very careful!

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just a little addition to this issue... make sure you put esd tape all along the bottom of the digitizer... if you leave a gap and that part touches the metasl frame it will freak out.

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I don't have the tape from the original Screen where can I buy the tape from to add to my new screen replacement?

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valkyrie455 will be eternally grateful.

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