After wrangling the logic board/battery/display assembly out of the rear panel, we can finally access the screws holding the volume button cover and the sleep button down.
After a good bit of anxiety-filled scraping with a metal spudger, the ribbon cable is finally free from the rear panel.
The control ribbon cable is bonded to the rear panel extremely well, especially near the volume buttons. Since the volume buttons have no structural bracket (just a steel cover) holding them to the rear panel, the adhesive bond must be strong enough to survive presses from the strongest of button pushers.
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