iPod Nano – First Generation – Screen repair

A couple of years ago I stepped on a pair of pants lying on the floor of my living room. The crunch sound I heard was that of the screen of an iPod Nano left in a pocket by the teenage terrorist living in my house. Back then, she was about to start her senior year in High School, so you can imagine the grief I got when she could no longer use her iPod.

Her grief did not last long as I replaced the broken iPod with a 4th generation 8GB pink iPod Nano. Her entire music collection was a tad over 5GB, so she was delighted to be able to have her entire collection handy. However, that 4th Generation iPod Nano did not last very long as she promptly dropped it in the ocean within 3 months of having it. That one is another story. The broken nano sat in a desk drawer since I stepped on the screen.

I decided to replace the broken screen of the nano, so I could use it at the gym and promptly did a search online for a service manual. I was so very happy to find http://www.ifixit.com, a local start-up that under the concept of free repair instructions also sells replacement parts of iPods, iPads and mac notebooks. The instructions were easy to follow. You can follow the screen repair here: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Installing-iPod-Nano-1st-Generation-Display/432/1

I was a bit ahead of the rest as I already had a number of tools to be able to open the iPod. One bit of advice when installing the new screen… attach the screen to the board first, then place the screen on the case. You can then proceed to attach the click wheel onto the board and reassemble the iPod.

Ipod Nano Display Replacement

The most difficult portion of the operation, was separating the two halves of the iPod. One must use a plastic-nylon tool lest you do not care about the marring of the case. There were a fair amount of metal tabs that like tiny fingernails, kept the two halves together. After separating the two halves of the iPod case, and disconnecting the display and click wheel, it was fairly easy to remove the broken display and replace it with the new one. Rather than follow the instructions in strict reverse order, it was a lot easier to first attach the screen to the iPod’s logic board, then flip it over, place the screen on the front case and then attach the click wheel cable to the board.

I was thankful for iFixit.com they have a fabulous concept.

Posted in Gadgets | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Baffled by Improperly Grounded LCD on a Toshiba Satellite Laptop

Yes, indeedy. A cup of  mocha latte spilled on a Toshiba A75 sent it into the land of disrepair, and here is where I come in. The keyboard was just about useless and needed to be replaced as some keys took almost five seconds to bounce back after being tapped. I had a heck of a time getting the battery off the base because the latch was just about glued shut by the dry dairy mixture. Finally, when I was able to get into the motherboard itself, I could see the remnants of the latte. Swabbed it with plain water to dissolve the layer of dried milk, and then rubbing alcohol to finish it.

I needed to re-solder the DC jack anyways, so a proper clean-up was only the first of many steps to bring it back to life. The first attempt to re-assemble gave us indication that the motherboard was done, so we ordered a new one. I was pleasantly surprised the new one was under $50. I love eBay when it comes to finding spare parts. I continued to clean the rest of the bottom case, the palm rest and the battery well. I was glad to find out the battery had not shorted out.

Once the new motherboard arrived, I proceeded to remove the CPU, heat sink and fan from the dead board and installed on the new one. After the re-assemblage was completed, I popped the battery in, plugged in the power cord and initiated the launch sequence. Churr, tic, churr, a pop and silence. Yep, no image, no posting of the bios, nothing… nada. I thought perhaps the memory had been zapped when the latte first spilled, so I decided to start without any peripherals. No DVD-CDRW drive, no wireless card, no memory and no battery. Bare bones, baby!

Launch! Churr, tic, churr, pop. Power is on but nothing on the screen, again, not even the bios is posting. Could it be a bad board? I hate it when that happens! So, i removed the power button cover, perhaps it was getting the power switch stuck. Inspected it for signs of the killer latte, but it was clean… hmmm… removed the keyboard and put the old keyboard on, perhaps the new keyboard was an issue, but if that was the case, it should still boot to the bios and show a warning about a failure to find  the keyboard.

So, I remove the LCD bezel thinking that perhaps the inverter board on the LCD has gone bad… as I look for signs of the deadly latte, I disconnect and re-connect the inverter board and try to power up but nothing happens. I push the LCD back a bit and voila! It starts, but it gets stuck on the BIOS loading screen, so I press the F2 key to launch the BIOS set up screen but nothing happens either. The keyboard does not work. I decide to re-adjust the screen and push it back a little, and lo and behold the BIOS set up screen loads. The time is all wrong, so I try to set the BIO to the correct time and date, but the keyboard does not work. I try to adjust the LCD screen once again and push it back a tad, and the time begins to scroll. I let go and it stops. Whoa!  I try it again and the numbers on the BIOS clock begin to scroll! Wait a minute, what’s the big idea?

I do a quick Google search for shorted LCD screen on a Toshiba and sure enough, there is an obscure quote on a dis-assembly manual that the LCD is improperly grounded. It was not a bad motherboard, nor a bad inverter board. It was an improperly grounded LCD cover. Dang! Mystery solved. Now I have to double check all the foil tape on the base board, the palm rest and the LCD cover. I hate that!

So there you have it. One other community forum suggested removing the battery, unplugging the power cord and pushing the power button for 60 seconds to completely discharge the faulty ground. It appears to work for some, but it did not work for me. I am off to foil away…

Posted in Laptops | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments