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Picture guide to DIY Galaxy Note glass and screen replacement

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By liveforphysics, Junior Member on 8th February 2012, 10:57 PM
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Getting out of the car, I made an awkward off-balance flailing motion with my arm, and clumsily flung my Galaxy Note down firmly onto a rock in the parking lot. It make a sick little "kich" sound...

I picked it up, and found that the screen under the glass still was undamaged, and the touch interface performed as perfectly as before. I found replacement glass online for ~$20, and assumed I could replace the glass alone...

Unfortunately, I was informed that the Galaxy series of OLED pannels is laminated to the glass, and I would require the entire screen assembly. This was $225 shipped.

I still had hope I may be able to just replace the glass, but now that I had both part options available, I felt I had strong odds I would end up with a fixed device, and I began to dig in.

Remove the back cover, batter, SIM, and uSD cards.

Using a #0 philips screw driver I removed the 9 screws from under the back cover, and started prying on the two halves. Its turns out, the whole back half of the case is 1 piece, and where I was trying to pry (where you would pry if it was a Galaxy S2) is NOT the place it can split, and you need to pry between the crome lip of the case and the outside of the glass' bezel. I found starting from a bottom side corner worked best, and I could work my thumbnail around popping the little clips as I went. I started the gap in the seam very gently with a pocket knife as a pry tool.

::::: The uUSB port area needs special attention to pry it back so it slips over the protrusion! ::::

In about 5 minutes of careful edging my way around, it was pried free.

There were 3-4 little black screws that are also #0 phillips to free the mobo. It's TINY! Blows my mind to think of all the computing and communication power that is crammed into this tiny little ~10gram PCB.

Remove each of the little ribbon cable connectors by prying up on the edge with your finger nail (there are 5-6 of them I think), and a single coaxial cable connector near the corner where the thin arm intercepts the upper rectangle of PCB. I missed that cable on my first try, and thank God I was being gentle, as I nearly tore it before I saw it was still connected.
Now we can see the guts of the MoBo. Too bad the pictures are such a crappy quality from using a POS Nokia E71 to take them...

So, the job isn't over yet, and the hard part is next... Prying the glass/display panel assembly out of the bezel assembly. It is not as easy as it looks.

I do not think my method was the best approach, but it got the job done. If someone has a better method, it would be great to share it.

I first warmed the glass with a hair dryer, than began looking for a place I could pry, not entirely sure of where or how it comes apart. It turns out, the glass has to lift up out of bezel plastic area, and it's got big thick pads of adhesive strip at the top and bottom edge.

After much tail-chasing in working my way around with the exacto-knife, I realized that I was getting nowhere, as the adhesive would re-adhere the moment I pulled the blade out to work on the next area... So, I decided I would need something to act as a shim to keep the area I had pried away from re-attaching at I moved forward. I found the spare blades in my exacto-knife kit worked perfectly for this.

Eventually it gave way! Woot! When it finally released, the OLED panel delaminated from the glass, and broke into about 8 chunks, and ended my hope of replacing just the glass portion alone. I think if someone were exceptionally careful, good adhesive heating, good careful thin shim material application, they MIGHT be able to replace just the glass portion alone and not break the OLED panel. This would allow breaking the glass to actually only cost $20 if you were some sort of wizard who could de-bond the panel and other things from the glass without breaking them.

So, now that my broken screen/glass is out, I flip it over and compare it with the new one... Umm!! WTF?? The old one has a connector my new one doesn't! Sh*t!!! At this point I'm thinking I might be $1,000usd into a device that isn't going to work.

So, I'm thinking I've got nothing to lose, so I start pealing away at the layers near that connector, hoping for a miracle. Things aren't looking good.

I keep pealing away, and hey! I got down deep enough that it's pealing that thing off with the connector! Tearing away some foam-like adhesive as it goes.

Hooray! I've got some hope now! I stick that thing to the back of the new OLED panel. The glue doesn't stick anymore at all, so it's more like setting it in place and trying to line it up as best as possible. I'm not really thinking it's going to work at this point...

But I put everything back together in the reverse order of taking it apart, and WOOT!!! It all works!!! The digitizer works perfectly even though it's not even adhered to the back, and it's positional accuracy is perfect too!! I don't know how that's even possible, but it works perfect!

No dead pixels or bad spots on the screen, and not even a scratch or knick anywhere on the phone. :) I'm VERY VERY HAPPY!!!
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8th February 2012, 11:08 PM |#2  
rogconnect's Avatar
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Any pictures of your finished product?
8th February 2012, 11:13 PM |#3  
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Good work, sounds like a traumatic experience!
I had something very similar with my s2, dropped on a rock, broke the glass but not the screen. bought glass off ebay but couldn't separate broken glass from screen. I ended up taking it to a samsung service center who charged me £50 to replace the glass using my Ebay part which proved the glass can be replaced with right tools and technique.

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8th February 2012, 11:25 PM |#4  
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Originally Posted by rogconnect

Any pictures of your finished product?

+1 please 10 char.

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8th February 2012, 11:41 PM |#5  
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Thanks for sharing.

I was planning on ordering the Full Housing Case Cover Replacement. My plan was to, not only swap the back cover, but also the bezel surrounding the screen. After reading your post, I have decided to pass on that.. hehe.
9th February 2012, 12:34 AM |#6  
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Originally Posted by rogconnect

Any pictures of your finished product?


They look awful though because they are taken on this damn Nokia E71 phone that makes me want to throw it on the ground and stomp it everytime I have to use it's awful camera, and awful interface to use the camera, and awful procedure for getting pics off it... lol I sadly had to buy it just to get it's unlocked SIM card so I could run my Note off a super cheap $40 a month unlimited everything plan with no contract.

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9th February 2012, 02:22 AM |#7  
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I changed mine about a week ago and almost cried when i seen that connector on the back of the broken screen. I thought i had cut something when i didnt see it attached by a connector. Then i thought about the stylus connection and bam.

I did this at 3am when i couldnt sleep without guide.

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9th February 2012, 02:24 AM |#8  
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Subscribed. Congratulations.
9th February 2012, 02:25 AM |#9  
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My somewhat lost my back button. I have to sometimes press it multiple times. But no biggie as long as button savior is around. I think it was a missing screw.

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9th February 2012, 04:06 AM |#10  
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About an hour ago, i accidenly smash my Note screen with its cover pouch which i hang with it a key chain.
At that time there was a mosquito in my face and i was try to slamp my face with my hand which hold the cover pouch. Accidenly, my Note was also near my face getting hit by the key chain hard! on the screen. Luckily nothing happen not even scratch. Its is a traumatic hour for me ;'(

Anyway, forget my story and thanks to the OP for nice guidance..

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9th February 2012, 05:09 AM |#11  
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May i ask what glue u use to bound the screen babk ti the phone? My lower left conor of the screen is loose and flexing an di press the menu button and some light is leaking off the edge of the screen from the menu button led.

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