iPod Nano 4th Generation Logic Board Assembly Replacement

Replacing the logic board assembly gives you new flash memory as well as a new battery.

Edit Step 1 Glass Panel  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Glass Panel  ¶ 

  • Insert the edge of an iPod opening tool into the gap between the outer case and the top bezel.

  • Pry the top bezel off the adhesive securing it to the display retainer.

  • At this point the hold switch slider is free and may fall. Be careful not to lose it.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Remove the hold switch slider from the top of the Nano.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Remove the two angled Phillips screws from the two corners of the display retainer.

  • These screw heads are extremely small and easily stripped.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Insert an iPod opening tool between the outer case and the display retainer.

  • Use the tool to slide the display assembly out of the case slightly.

  • Do not rotate the display retainer about the top edge of the display, as it is attached to a thin steel bracket that is easily broken.

  • Do not forcefully remove the display retainer, as the hold switch cable is liable to snap.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Slide the display out of the Nano. It will move about .5" until the display data cable limits its travel.

  • Do not put unnecessary tension on the very thin display data cable.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • With the display pulled out of the case as much as possible, press the lower edge of the glass panel gently toward the lower rear edge of the nano.

  • Slide the lower edge of the glass panel slightly down and into the case until the top edge pops up out of the case.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Lift the glass panel out of the Nano.

  • Before reinstalling the glass panel, be sure to clean the face of the display and the inside of the panel as any dust or fingerprints will be annoyingly visible when the Nano is turned on.

Edit Step 8 Display  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8 Display  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of an iPod opening tool to separate the hold switch from the adhesive securing it to the top edge of the display.

  • The hold switch ribbon cable is extremely fragile and easily broken. Work gently.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Peel back the Kapton tape covering the display data cable socket.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • While holding the light colored socket down with one finger, use the tip of a spudger to flip the ZIF cable lock up toward the bottom of the Nano.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use an iPod opening tool to peel the display data cable off the thin metal plate attached to the display.

  • Be careful not to rip the display data cable.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Pull the display out of the Nano, minding the hold switch cable that may get caught.

  • As you pull the display out of the case, be careful not to break the hold switch cable.

Edit Step 13 Logic Board Assembly  ¶ 

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Edit Step 13 Logic Board Assembly  ¶ 

  • Insert an iPod opening tool between the bottom bezel and the dock connector.

  • Separate the bottom bezel from the adhesive securing it to the Nano and set it aside.

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Remove the three Phillips screws along the bottom of the Nano.

  • These screw heads are extremely small and easily stripped.

  • The slightly longer of the three screws belongs in the middle.

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Use an iPod opening tool to pry the aluminum dock bezel out of the Nano.

  • The dock bezel is very thin cast aluminum. To avoid breaking it, do not excessively flex it during removal.

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to separate the battery from the adhesive securing it to the outer case.

  • The lithium polymer battery used in the Nano is very flexible. Try not to deform it excessively while separating it from the outer case.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to push the logic board assembly and battery slightly out of the bottom of the Nano. Stop once it pops out a little bit.

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of an iPod opening tool to peel the click wheel ribbon cable and its ZIF socket off the dock connector.

Edit Step 18  ¶ 

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of an iPod opening tool to flip the ZIF cable lock up toward the headphone jack.

Edit Step 19  ¶ 

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the click wheel ribbon cable out of its socket.

  • Before proceeding, be sure that both the click wheel ribbon cable socket and its cable are freed from the adhesive securing them to the dock connector and logic board.

  • Peel back the cable on both ends!

Edit Step 20  ¶ 

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • Pull the logic board assembly out of the outer case, minding the hold switch and click wheel cables that may get caught.

  • When reassembling, ensure the click wheel cable is toward the front of the Nano and not in the grooves on the side. If it is in the groove you will probably cut it while sliding the logic board into place.

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

For more information, check out the iPod Nano 4th Generation device page.

Required Tools

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Tweezers

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

Recommended Tools

54 Bit Driver Kit

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Magnetic Project Mat

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Pro Tech Screwdriver Set

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Wouldn't it be easier to open the ZIF socket whilst it is still stuck down?

Pete Green, · Reply

On step 11 I found that the cable was still stuck down by the bit under the metal case. The opening tool failed to get at this.

I cut the live head off a match and trimmed it to a long chisel edge.

Pine is soft,strong and non conductive.I was able to poke under the metal body and release the remaining adhesive seal.

Pete Green, · Reply

Failure. Another broken iPod due to the incompleteness of step 20. I will add a step 21 with description but I will need some nice looking pictures.

Gallomimia, · Reply

TOOLS: I don't see any offset legs in the screws themselves, however either my 00 phillips is bigger than yours, or these screws are actually 000 phillips. In either case, I found that the heads were full of adhesive, and using a tiny flathead driver and a sharp knife I was able to clear it out just enough to get the screws out.

Gallomimia, · Reply

Be sure to use the smaller iPod opening tool and press it in FIRMLY in order to get enough leverage to get under the bezel and pry it off. Adhesive is very strong, so don't be afraid to use a little bit of force.

captcarl13, · Reply

Be sure to use a good phillips #00 screwdriver here, or you run the risk of stripping the very small screws.

iTronics Repair, · Reply

The screws were covered with the adhesive. They were very difficult to remove.

I RUINED the hold switch! I accidentally broke the cord. 0_o The directions were kind of unclear.

bodieg, · Reply

Quote from bodieg:

The screws were covered with the adhesive. They were very difficult to remove.

I RUINED the hold switch! I accidentally broke the cord. 0_o The directions were kind of unclear.

Step 12 is misleading as it does not show to remove the screen from the metal frame.

bodieg, · Reply

Sorry guys, but the explanations are really bad. Go onto youtube and watch it. This site misses heaps of steps. I just broke my iPod :(

S Mile, · Reply

Like others have noted, screws are covered in adhesive and difficult to remove. Take extreme care to not strip the heads. I'd suggest using a very small flathead to scrape some of the adhesive off before attempting to remove the screws.

captcarl13, · Reply

a 1mm slotted screwdriver will work in a pinch, but be carefull and make sure you get the angle just right

andrew, · Reply

I found I had to gently pry the retainer open with a craft knife (xacto knife?) as the plastic opener tool was too blunt or soft to get any purchase...

aaaidan, · Reply

I have several problems in taking it out. I don't know if it is dued to the glue that the iPod has inside. Could you help me. Thanks

Hector, · Reply

instructions say 5" (inches) it really means 5mm

pedalsandpicks, · Reply

Quote from pedalsandpicks:

instructions say 5" (inches) it really means 5mm

If you're gonna repair the way you read it will get you nowhere: the text reads .(as point)5 inch. Which is about 12mm.

Frank veenis, · Reply

The glass panel can be very difficult to get moving requiring a lot of downward force. I have found good old fashioned spit to be very useful here.Just lick both thumbs and rub on fingers until just sticky enough.

This willl move the glass.

Pete Green, · Reply

I found the adhesive (or fit) quite strong. Pushing on the bottom part of the glass created a small gap at the top, which I could fit a craft knife (xacto blade) into. This made it easier to carefully lever the glass out for me.

aaaidan, · Reply

Some of the ribbon is inside the white housing with the lock on, it needs to slide out of the housing. I didn't notice this because everything is so small - be sure not to slide your pry tool right through it.

Martin Mccaffrey, · Reply

The display can actually be pulled out slightly further than it initially seems. When you gently pull it up, you'll experience some resistance, which I initially thought indicated it was as far as it could go. But an extra bit of (still very gentle) force can pull it up a few more millimetres, which means the opening tool can fit.

Also, it seemed to me to actually be helpful to lever the cable out of its port before removing the ribbon from the adhesive on the plate, since this allowed better access to the adhesive with the opening tool.

aaaidan, · Reply

WATCH THE HOLD SWITCH!! Be *sure* it is disconnected before pulling out the screen! (I've made that mistake too many times :P)

iTronics Repair, · Reply

disconnected from what?

I never saw where it was connected to!

Fred Rodolf,

By "caught" do you mean glued to the case? Mine was, and I cant tell how I could possibly have removed the screen without it breaking. Luckily my Ipod was already broken, but now its even more broke because of this guide.

swd311000, · Reply

Follow this picture exactly, inserting the tool in the dock port to pry off the bottom plastic piece-- if you pry on the edges you may bend or break this plastic piece.

iTronics Repair, · Reply

I found using the opening tool to wedge up (toward the case) from between the metal bit (which is a plate) and the dock socket was the easiest way to do this.

aaaidan, · Reply

you might want to put a note for the delicacy of this cable on Step 16... because the cable can break as you slide the logic board assembly out :o(

juliforsyth, · Reply

You forgot to mention that the click wheel ribbon cable needs to be detached from the adhesive holding it to the main board. Now my ipod is really broken. Please review your instructions to include all the steps!

Mike, · Reply

Quote from Mike:

You forgot to mention that the click wheel ribbon cable needs to be detached from the adhesive holding it to the main board. Now my iPod is really broken. Please review your instructions to include all the steps!

Mine too, but the iPod was already toast :D, so now i have a stylish 8GB External SSD

Chris Green, · Reply

There has got to be a trick to it, or something I am missing when putting it back together. I can't get the click wheel ribbon to go back in properly. It keeps getting bunched up and sticking out the end. It is long enough to stick out so you can detach it from the other ribbon, so is it supposed to fold up inside when you push it in?

reedc1, · Reply

Does anyone know of a source of mainboards for this Nano. Preferably in the European Community or China? Every other part seems to be available but this one.

I've even found dud mainboards for sale on the U.S. Ebay site. What on earth would anyone do with a faulty Maiboard?

Pete Green, · Reply

TOOLS: I've ben reading a few commments regarding difficulty wth the screws. I was also told the Phillips screwdriver isn't a true Phillips but has an offset leg. Not having seen one I can't comment with any certainty.

However,being an improvisor,I've been doing very well with a couple of watchmakers screwdrivers.The flat blades are about 1mm across and made of hard blued steel. The sharp corners dig into the screw and push any glue out of the way. A phillips won't push though glue. I used to buy these in a small plastic box - usuallly on street markets.

Pete Green, · Reply

Well... beware, this part is tricky ! the click-wheel ribbon stuck and get cut when pulling the battery+motherboard out. Too bad :(

Anyway it was "last chance" for my 7-years old blue nano, battery wasn't providing more than 15 minutes autonomy.

Too bad, it was my fist iPod and I liked it much than my new 7th gen'.

Playoff, · Reply

My click wheel cable got sliced reinserting the logic board, so make sure your click wheel cable is on the front (like the instructions say), and not on the side. It would help if there were explicit reassembly instructions and not just "do these in the reverse order", so that special reassembly notes stand out more.

Randall Theobald, · Reply

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