Introduction

The motherboard holds all of the processing power for your device and connects all of the various components inside of your tablet. As with any repair, take caution when disconnecting these various components from the motherboard.

Image 1/2: Use your plastic opening tool to wedge between the seams around the sides of the device. Pry open each side, one at a time. Image 2/2: Do not pry near the USB port at the base of the device as you may crack the rear panel.
  • Power down your device.

  • Use your plastic opening tool to wedge between the seams around the sides of the device. Pry open each side, one at a time.

  • Do not pry near the USB port at the base of the device as you may crack the rear panel.

I had a heck of a time doing this, spent ten or twenty minutes carefully prying, and I STILL cracked the case. At least on mine, the case was held in VERY well and required prying pretty much everywhere before it would let go. The tools I bought from iFixit really helped, but still a royal pain to open.

pacmanmaster - Reply

a couple of obscure things that might help in opening:

guitar pick. get a few; they are cheap.

a prying device made for the sign industry: its called"lil' chizler". I have found that this to be the most helpful opening tool.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/16184595677...

also

https://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/trad...

you can use the broken screen unit to test.

Len Gorsky - Reply

Add "remove the sim tray"...

Iain Lennon - Reply

Image 1/1: Be careful around the corners. The body of the device can be fragile.
  • Work fingers around the seam between device and back cover. Use your plastic opening tool and fingers to separate each side until device and back cover are completely apart.

  • Be careful around the corners. The body of the device can be fragile.

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Image 1/3: Using the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail, flip up the thin portion of the connector (opposite of the side where the cable inserts) to release the cable from its socket. Image 2/3: DO NOT PRY the socket on the side where the cable inserts, or you may break the entire socket off the motherboard. Image 3/3: Slide the cable out of the ZIF socket.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to flip up the clear protective flap on the ribbon cable ZIF socket.

  • Using the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail, flip up the thin portion of the connector (opposite of the side where the cable inserts) to release the cable from its socket.

    • DO NOT PRY the socket on the side where the cable inserts, or you may break the entire socket off the motherboard.

  • Slide the cable out of the ZIF socket.

Flip up on the WHITE part, facing away from the cable. I sort of struggled with this part, but fortunately didn't do any serious damage.

yuguoxiong - Reply

This is the correct way to do it. Flipping up the white part is what you have to do. I tried flipping up the black part and some of it broke off.

Ryan -

I found that I had to flip up on the black part here. I broke a section of the white trying to flip it up.

pattylanter - Reply

This comment saved me on this step. Indeed the secret is to flip up the black part of the connector, located opposite the side where the cable inserts.

Hannah Cirimele -

This is wrong, these comments should be deleted so as to not confuse more people.

Jeff Andrews -

It's possible there's more than one color variation in production on these Nexus 7 ZIF sockets. To complicate matters, it looks like the guide's original author/photographer may have simply yanked the ribbon cable out without opening the socket, so there's very little visual clue here as to which is the right section to flip up. Based on these photos, I'd say Hannah's tip is probably correct—you want to flip up the thinner portion of the socket, opposite the cable (regardless of its color scheme). If someone who has successfully completed this step could supply a better photo, that would be super helpful!

Jeff Suovanen -

I revised the text so there's no long any mention of the coloration of the socket.

Jeff Suovanen -

I believe I broke the ZIF attached to the mobo at this step; is there any other way to reconnect it during reassembly or will I require a new mobo?

Neil Reed - Reply

This was my first time with this kind of ZIF socket and found these instructions/pictures ambiguous. In hindsight I see what was being described (actually used the replacement daughterboard as my guide). May I suggest this phrasing:

The ZIF clamp hinges on the side opposite of where the cable in inserted. Using the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail, flip the thin portion of the connector up and away from the insertion side of the connector.

charles fineman - Reply

Correction of Charles' Oct comment: The ZIF clamp hinges on the same side as the cable is inserted, the side towards the battery. The cable runs over the battery and into the thick connector, with contacts both on the side closest to the battery and on the side away from the battery. Beyond the contacts on the side away from the battery is the thin part to be lifted. Using the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail, flip the thin portion of the connector up and towards the insertion side of the connector. You can leverage gently against the big copper-covered area on the side away from the battery, in lifting the thin (white in the current picture) part of the connector.

tballou - Reply

You can leverage gently against the big copper-covered area on the side away from the battery, in lifting the thin (white in the current picture) part of the connector, using a motion similar to the described in step 5 below for removing the orange ribbon connector.

tballou - Reply

some better macro photos of the zif socket would help a lot, in closed and open states

Iain Lennon - Reply

For anyone like me who has only experience with metal connectors similar to iPhones, this is a "switch-on/switch-off" connector.

The cable doesn't pop out by itself, you have to pull it out yourself.

Light to moderate pressure required.

Jason - Reply

Please make the pictures clearer as Iain Lennon said. I too was a fool to not read the comments and broke the connector off of the motherboard.

Yumi Blesh - Reply

Image 1/1: The ribbon connections should now be fully visible, with the plastic tabs exposed.
  • Peel protective foil cover back top of mother board to expose orange ribbon connection.

  • The ribbon connections should now be fully visible, with the plastic tabs exposed.

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Image 1/3: Using the plastic opening tool, pry upward under the orange ribbon connector. It will pop right out of place. Image 2/3: Using the plastic opening tool, pry upward under the orange ribbon connector. It will pop right out of place. Image 3/3: Using the plastic opening tool, pry upward under the orange ribbon connector. It will pop right out of place.
  • Using the tweezers, peel back the silver protective foil on top of the orange ribbon connector.

  • Using the plastic opening tool, pry upward under the orange ribbon connector. It will pop right out of place.

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Image 1/2: Image 2/2:
  • Now that the two main ribbons are disconnected, fold and hold them back with your fingers, or place the tweezers or a light object on the ribbons to keep them in place.

How called is the left one ? I broke it and i will buy it but cant find it..

Timo Dohmen - Reply

Image 1/1:
  • Use the #0 Phillips Screwdriver to remove the four silver 3 mm Philips #0 screws from around the battery housing.

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Image 1/1:
  • Insert the plastic opening tool under the side edge of the battery connector, and gently pry upward to disconnect it.

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Image 1/1:
  • Remove the battery from your device by applying pressure at the base of the battery and lifting it out.

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Image 1/2: Be aware that this action will void your warranty. Image 2/2: Be sure to store the seal in a place where it will not get dirty and can retain its stickiness.
  • Remove the gray seal covering the top center screw on the daughterboard.

  • Be aware that this action will void your warranty.

  • Be sure to store the seal in a place where it will not get dirty and can retain its stickiness.

I couldn't get a grasp on the sticker enough to peel it off, so just punched through it with the screwdriver. I don't know the point of removing the sticker, since the warranty is voided anyway by either time or the mere act of disassembly.

yuguoxiong - Reply

How come the battery is still in place in the picture? I couldn't get the battery out until I'd removed another 3 screws...1 on the daughterboard (step 11) and 2 on the motherboard (step 16).

Mark Birbeck - Reply

Both hidden screws were holding the battery tray in place. I was not able to remove the battery as described in step 9 before removing the screw from this step

coutureg - Reply

Image 1/1: Use the same Phillips #0 screwdriver to remove the two silver 3 mm sized screws from either side of the micro USB.
  • Using the Phillips #0 screwdriver, unscrew the 5 black 2 mm sized screws from around the edge of the daughterboard.

  • Use the same Phillips #0 screwdriver to remove the two silver 3 mm sized screws from either side of the micro USB.

Is there a reason you suggested removing the screws at this point? I found it to be more of a hassle having the board moving around as I did the next several disconnects. Unless there's a good reason, I would suggest leaving the screws in until the foam and the connectors have been detached.

charles fineman - Reply

Image 1/2: Be gentle in this step as this connector can be fragile. Do not pull upwards. Image 2/2: Be gentle in this step as this connector can be fragile. Do not pull upwards.
  • Use the tweezers to unplug the speaker connector from the daughterboard by pulling sideways.

  • Be gentle in this step as this connector can be fragile. Do not pull upwards.

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Image 1/1:
  • Slowly peel off the cover adhered to the pin connector with the tweezers.

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Image 1/2: When disconnecting the ZIF sockets flip them outwards to the edge of the board/towards the cables respectively. Image 2/2: Be careful not to damage the pin connector. Pull parallel to the device, not up.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger or your fingernail to carefully flip up both retaining flaps one each of the ZIF sockets.

    • When disconnecting the ZIF sockets flip them outwards to the edge of the board/towards the cables respectively.

  • Be careful not to damage the pin connector. Pull parallel to the device, not up.

  • For more info on how to disconnect ZIF connectors, check out the Recognizing & Disconnecting Cable Connectors guide.

Flip up on the WHITE part, facing away from the cable. I sort of struggled with this part, but fortunately didn't do any serious damage.

yuguoxiong - Reply

Image 1/1: '''Use care during reassembly.''' This daughter board is a  very sensitive part. It is easy to fry the digitizer part of this board if connections are made in the wrong order. Complete all other cable connections '''before''' connecting battery power.
  • The daughterboard will now lift easily up and out of the device.

  • Use care during reassembly. This daughter board is a very sensitive part. It is easy to fry the digitizer part of this board if connections are made in the wrong order. Complete all other cable connections before connecting battery power.

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Image 1/1: Make sure to store the seal in a place where it will not get dirty and will retain its stickiness.
  • Use the tweezers to peel the seal sticker off of the center screw that is closest to the battery.

  • Make sure to store the seal in a place where it will not get dirty and will retain its stickiness.

I couldn't get a grasp on the sticker enough to peel it off, so just punched through it with the screwdriver. I don't know the point of removing the sticker, since the warranty is voided anyway by either time or the mere act of disassembly.

yuguoxiong - Reply

the stickers are probably put there for insulating purposes. i have found that discarding them has no bearing on nexus' operation.

Leonard Gorsky -

Image 1/1: Do not pull upwards. Doing so may warp or damage the connector.
  • Using the tweezers, or carefully with your fingers, disconnect the speaker from its motherboard connection by pulling directly sideways.

  • Do not pull upwards. Doing so may warp or damage the connector.

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Image 1/1: For more info on how to disconnect ZIF connectors, check out the [https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Recognizing+%26+Disconnecting+Cable+Connectors/25629#s64969|Recognizing & Disconnecting Cable Connectors guide|new_window=true].

The front panel assembly I got from iFixit didn't have this ribbon cable for power and volume, so I had to peel it off the old one. To remove it, work the spudger underneath and gently loosen it from the adhesive. There should be enough residual adhesive to stick it in place on the replacement panel assembly.

yuguoxiong - Reply

your amendments are much appreciated. definitely helpful. THank YOU!

Leonard Gorsky -

I also had to remove the old ribbon cable here. I used a credit card to slide behind the adhesive.

pattylanter - Reply

why in the world that part isnt included is beyond me. MUCH NEEDED COMMENT!!

gocaps25 - Reply

Image 1/1: Using the #0 Philips head screwdriver, remove the five silver 3 mm screws holding the outer edge of the motherboard in place.
  • Using the #0 Philips head screwdriver, remove the three black 2 mm screws holding the inner edge of the motherboard in place.

  • Using the #0 Philips head screwdriver, remove the five silver 3 mm screws holding the outer edge of the motherboard in place.

There is also a ZIF connector on the BOTTOM of the motherboard that must first be released, before completely lifting the board out!

Gary Lent - Reply

CORRECTION --- There is also a ZIF connector on the BOTTOM of the motherboard, connected to the camera. The camera must be pried loose before the motherboard can be lifted out. NO need to release ZIF.

Gary Lent - Reply

Image 1/2: While the camera is connected directly to the motherboard from the bottom and might lift out of the tablet with the motherboard, it also might not. In this case, as shown, you'll need to use the tweezers to pry the camera out of its spot. Image 2/2: Removing the motherboard will reveal the top speaker that was being held down. If you are planning on replacing the top speaker, you may now simply pick it up out of the device.
  • Carefully lift the motherboard up from its edge and remove it from the tablet casing.

  • While the camera is connected directly to the motherboard from the bottom and might lift out of the tablet with the motherboard, it also might not. In this case, as shown, you'll need to use the tweezers to pry the camera out of its spot.

  • Removing the motherboard will reveal the top speaker that was being held down. If you are planning on replacing the top speaker, you may now simply pick it up out of the device.

Careful when comparing to this picture. Actually, the camera which can be seen on the left oh the housing in this picture is connected to the board.

Thomas Isele - Reply

Removing the camera is necessary, as it is impossible (with any tool I have, anyway) to reconnect the camera to the motherboard while it is still in the housing. However, doing so was quite a pain on my machine as it not only did not "lift out of the tablet with the motherboard", but it also was stuck in there so tightly I wondered if it might be glued. I needed to spend several minutes gently prying it out with pliers.

pacmanmaster - Reply

Agreed!>>>> Camera is GLUED down, and must be pried prior to lifting out motherboard

Gary Lent - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

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Alex Greene

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11 Comments

Very great guide on the teardown for swapping the motherboard. I have 2 questions if you wouldn't mind clearing up.

1. When you remove the back cover from the screen, is it glued into place or does it use small snaps to hold onto the device? How hard is it to reattach the back cover?

2. After buying a new motherboard for installation will I need to flash it with bios/firmware/OS to get it working or will it come as a ready-to-go motherboard?

Thanks for your help!

Robert Lewis - Reply

Great guide, excellent pictures, helped me resurrect my Nexus stuck on the Google screen. Thank you!

However, it should be emphasized that steps 10-15 are completely unnecessary and should be skipped if you are only looking to replace the motherboard.

Ungha Bungha - Reply

Agree on skipping steps 10-15 for motherboard replacement. The daughterboard was not in the way at all.

pacmanmaster -

Great guide and good instructions. I was able to swap out a faulty motherboard without any problems.

Two things I found that might need some addition/update on the instructions;

1) I found a #00 Phillips easier to use than the recommended #0 Phillips

2) You should probably add one more step to explain how the camera is attached with a ZIP socket to the underside of the motherboard. That would help in reconstructing the tablet in case, like me, your camera does not come up with the motherboard.

Great work and thanks for the help!

Todd - Reply

Hello,

i would like to ask some help. I did everything exactly as you mentioned upper, however my screen is not able to handle my touch. Do you have any opinion what should be the problem?

Rgs,

B

Blaze - Reply

Hello,

It is a really usefully guide, thanks so much.

Unfortunately my touch screen is not working so i am not able to set my device on my language. Could you please help me what could be the problem here?

Thanks in advance,

blaze

Blaze - Reply

This is a wonderful guide and very easy to follow. Hats off to ifixit for speedy delivery of parts I needed to get my Nexus 7 back. Having the toolkit really made my task easy, well worth the purchase price. Thanks for the community comments, I did skip steps 10-15 and use Philips #00 and everything went well.

Michael Anderson - Reply

Will the device work if you replace a wifi only motherboard with a wifi+4g?

Meeks P - Reply

No need to remove camera from case, if it stays in place when lifting motherboard.

Also this guide needs better pictures, you can't tell which part of zif connectors are the hinge/flap.

Toughest part of this repair was cracking open the case to get to work.

As others suggest skip step 10-15.

John DeBusk - Reply

Great guide! Received my part yesterday and replace motherboard skipping steps 10-15 as mentioned.

When i initially connected to power i got the LED blinking 5 times. Waited for an hour and voila, it booted up nicely.

sscssteve - Reply

I was able to replace the motherboard using this guide, thus saving my poor tablet after the original motherboard mysteriously failed. Since official repair labor + parts costs are more than the Nexus 7 is even worth, home repair was really the only option. It is very doable, but not a repair for the faint of heart. I cracked the edge of the case while removing the screen, despite spending several minutes on it, being as gentle as I could; that sucker is just stuck on there tight! Also, my camera was stuck in the front case, and it was extremely difficult to remove without damaging it (but, removing it was necessary to connect to the new motherboard).

As a final note, I'd also say that the replacement motherboard comes with the ORIGINAL version of Android for this tablet, so it was several major versions behind when first turned on. However, I skipped having to re-install all the intervening versions by connecting it to my Mac, then using ADB to install the latest version from the Google website.

pacmanmaster - Reply

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