Repair Stories

Fixing a Cracked Screen on Break

Ernie fixing his cracked screen on his iPhone 4S

iFixit user Ernie submitted a story this week about how he fixed a broken digitizer on his iPhone 4S. He explains:

I had cracked my brand new iPhone 4s digitizer just 2 days after the complimentary 30 day insurance period from AT&T. I had to get it fixed immediately because I couldn’t spend one more day without Siri.

He’s been tinkering with electronics for about three years, he says, and does most repairs on break from his day job.

Organizing parts for cracked screen repair

Here’s his repair station, complete with a Pro Tech Base Toolkit. Note his creative solution for organizing screws—a handful of screw-top caps from Fiji bottles. If you’re going to be doing more than a repair or two, we have a couple of nice mats to keep your screws in order. But Ernie’s ad hoc solution is brilliant, especially for tiny iPhone screws. When he’s following a guide with fewer steps, he color codes the caps by step (this time, the repair required over 70 steps).

Power button ribbon cable in the iPhone 4S

The blue rectangle highlights the power button ribbon cable, which Ernie warns you not to pinch. He says, “I forgot to connect mine and pinched it under the logic board. Not until I disassembled again did I realize why my power/sleep button wasn’t working.”

Thanks for sharing, Ernie. Congratulations on a successful repair.