Teardowns I've Worked On

My Guides

Completed Guides


  • Tear Down Problems

    Three problems with first ever teardown. 1. Click wheel needed a very strong blade to pry out. Eventuallly flew apart in two ...
  • Non working LCD display. (Electrolysis Damage)

    I have an Ipod nano 4th generation with a non working display. On releasing the ZIF connnector I found the screen ribbon had ...
  • Advice on fitting new Click Switch?

    I have bought a faulty Ipod which someone has attempted a battery replacement on. This has been done without proper dissasemb...
  • Sticking it back together?

    After all of this it has to be stuck together. We are dealing with an item that is designed to be shook or tilted. Does anyon...


  • Answer to: Digitizer problem, one area not working

    I had a similar problem with a 3gs. I tried a couple of spare screens but could not get rid of the dead spot. A narrow vertical area corresponding with the letter I when the keyboard is on screen. I put the main board under my microscope and found small traces of what looked like solder splashes on two of the pins in the digitizer socket.
  • Answer to: How can I replace iPod nano 5th gen housing?

    Have a spare 5th gen housing if needed.
  • Answer to: Extra Pieces After Disassembly-Spring & 7x4x1mm Plastic

    I had the same problem with the first 5th. gen I took apart. My comments on the spring went unanswered too. Came to my own conclusions. First the odd looking bit of black plastic (which usually flies out when you pry the click wheel assembly out). If you look at the main board you will see slot about 5mm long by about 1.5mm. Take the black bit in some forceps and you will find it will click back into this slot. There is a hole in the black bit which holds the tiny spring. If you look at the ipod case, preferably with everything removed), there is a small patch of silver plating on the colored anodized surface. My theory is that the spring is a grounding contact between the case and the center of the click wheel assembly. That spring is a little devil. If you drop it on your workbench, even on a white cloth, its so small - just blink and its gone! The only way is to open up carefully then pickup the spring with a piece of blue tack or Scotch tape - and leave it there until you need it. Most of my springs have ...
  • Answer to: O Death, where is thy Sting? (or Bono)

    You haven't mentioned what happpens when you connnect to your computer. Trying to do something with a dead device on its own never yields much info. Your PC is your diagnostic device for looking into the heart of that thing. Does your PC "Ping" when you plug in the USB cable. You may have to wait for several minutes.Your USB could be struggling to charge up a dead or shorted battery. If anything at all appears in the bottom RH corner of your computer screen then you have a ray of hope. Try this - if you haven't done so already.
  • Answer to: Click Wheel works for restart, but not single button.

    If you think the fourth generation is tough you should try the fifth. I once had the task of mounting tropical spiders web on bits of half inch square card. We put them in a machine we were designing to measure breaking strains of picocoulombs.Nothing compared to that nano!
  • Answer to: My iPod screen is turning white is this fixable?

    The iPod has a liquid crystal display. A very thin capsule with a chemical compound which builds up the picture under an electrical charge. Likely is this capsule ruptured as a result of the fall. There will no longer be any picture or pattern. All you are seeing is the electroluminescent screen (backlight) which shines through the crystals in the display. This must be replaced as a complete unit. Relatively easy on the 4th gen nano. The contents of the display are regarded as toxic so take precautions if you see any of this inside. Mop up carefully with camera lens tissues. After plugging in the replacement give it a quick try before pushing it all back into place.
  • Answer to: Video cable replacement: Where can I get a replacement?

    Just noticed your question on the video cable.I have a similar problem. On my nano the video cable plug (which is on the end of the cable and part of the print), is damaged by electrolysis.(water damage) One of the pieces of track is missing.I have been able to get hold of some conductive silver paint(ebay).Hoping to be able to paint this on with a toothpick then scratch out the required bits with an engraver made from a sewing needle.(I have a watchmakers pin chuck for this purpose) In your case,you could try carefully overlapping the cable like splicing a piece of recording tape. Cable is not too short so a small overlap should not be a problem.Use superglue for the overlap and align accurately under a high power magnifier.Not sure but you may have to rub away the layer of varnish from the cable - to expose the bare metal.Paint on a small stripe of silver across all the tracks.When dry, carefully scratch out the spaces between the tracks and lacquer over.This is only a theory but worth looking at.
  • Answer to: Non working LCD display. (Electrolysis Damage)

    Thanks for the suggestion but the damage is on the plug part,(ribbon attached to the mainboard) The display has the socket half. I remembered a good many years ago using some conductive silver paint. Have been able to get hold of some so will give it a try. will just have to make the smallest possible blob with a toothpick, then scratch the print away with a fine sewing needle.


  • iPod Nano 4th Generation Battery Replacement

    There is one small point which is worth a mention here.After disconnnecting the screen by flicking up a little black bit on the ZIF Connector, I went on to open the next ZiF (The Click Switch)

    Yes- bits of ZIF connector everywhere.I actually had to examine a new Click Switch circuit carefully to find that this one is different.

    Yes - you flick the White bit. Do apple do this just to keep us on our toes?

  • Xbox 360 Red Ring of Death Fix Kit

    Just used your Red Ring of Death Kit with success. Did the thermal rework too. It has been working for over an hour now so looks ok. Cooking the chips on "High" for four minutes was a bit scary but it survived. I have a thermal rework gun which I check with a thermocouple temperature probe which plugs in to my test meter. If I may make one small criticism it would help to have actual temperatures where you have stated "Low" and "High" Just ball park figures would be enough. This is the first use I've made of the rework gun so still building up skill with the technique. Obviously the effective temperature will vary according to the nozzle distance from the job. Otherwise very good kit and excellent instructions. Also worked with your Android app running on my tablet next to the job. Fantastic. Have fitted very many heat sinks as I have built computers since they ran on steam so no problem here. I'm a retired Electronics Engineer and will be 80 in December this year. Hands as steady as a surgeon but need glasses to work now. Many thanks. Keep up your good work.

  • iPod Nano 5th Generation Glass Panel Replacement

    At this point, I find it helps to separate the lock switch from the top metal casting. You then have just the switch dangling on the fragile ribbon cable. Much less likely to snag or break the ribbon. Just loosen (Don't remove completely) the two Phillips screws. The heavy clunky casting bit can be removed.

  • iPod Nano 5th Generation Teardown

    Take great care with the hold switch ribbon cable. I've broken two up to now. It has the strength of a piece of 2mm wide bathroom tisue. Also has a right angle bend so it willl tear more easily. You will find two very small screws holding the switch to the small metal bracket. Don't remove them - just slacken them and slip the switch off as the holes are slotted. This frees the large metal top piece and you have less weight hanging on that ribbon. Incidentally, if you do have the bad luck to tear the cable all is not lost as the lock position is with the switch closed (shorted).

  • iPod Nano 5th Generation Teardown

    Click wheel: I have found traces of adhesive here on a metal rim about 0.5mm wide which is part of the machined case. This rim is then cut away into four 1cm long pieces. One at 10 oclock, 4 oclock, 8 oclock and so on. Not much adhesive - but don't underestimate - it's very strong stuff. At the top of the clickwheel (at 12 oclock) is a small metal tab which slides under the ipod body. When prying out the clickwheel, lift from the bottom, otherwise you are pulling against this metal tab as well as the adhesive. Some heat on this area helps to release the adhesive. Don't end up with the metal plate under the clickwheel looking like a potato chip as happpend with my first teardown.

  • iPod Nano 4th Generation Logic Board Assembly Replacement

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

  • iPod Nano 4th Generation Logic Board Assembly Replacement

    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.

  • iPod Nano 4th Generation Logic Board Assembly Replacement

    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?

  • iPod Nano 4th Generation Logic Board Assembly Replacement

    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.

  • iPod Nano 4th Generation Glass Panel Replacement

    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.