HTC G1 Screen Replacement DIY

I recently was playing a game of capture the flag at a work retreat when I dove to try to rescue my fellow teammates from “jail”. In doing so, I […]

I recently was playing a game of capture the flag at a work retreat when I dove to try to rescue my fellow teammates from “jail”. In doing so, I cracked the LCD screen on my Android HTC G1 phone that I had in my pocket. Lesson: don’t play games like that with the phone in my pocket. This blog entry details my experience replacing the LCD screen in my phone. Total cost: $55.00 and a couple of free hours.

G1 Broken Screen

I researched a bit on what I needed to replace the screen myself as you may know from an earlier post, I don’t really believe it is worth paying insurance on a phone. I found the G1 LCD screen on e-bay for just under $55.00. I bought the screen and it arrived in a few days. Not only was it cheaper to replace the screen myself, I avoided the headache of having to send in my phone. Note that when looking for the replacement screen, don’t confuse the LCD screen for the digitizer or the touch screen. If you are replacing the touch screen, follow the instructions, but you’ll need to also remove the digitizer. Most of the directions will be the same except for the addition of that last step. You also may wish to print out the pictures and tape the screws to them as you disassemble if you are afraid of keeping track of the different parts.

Once the new screen arrived, I set down to replace the screen. Expect the replacement to take about two hours to complete unless additional troubleshooting is needed. Follow the steps below and you should hopefully be in good shape.

DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for informational purposes only. I have repaired multiple electronic devices in my lifetime and am comfortable in doing so. The instructions below will void your warranty. Please use common sense and if you feel you cannot do so on your own, you should have the device repaired by an authorized professional. I cannot take responsibility for damage done because of the information given here.

Step 1

Gather all of the new parts. You will need:

  • Replacement G1 LCD Screen
  • Plastic Pry Tool
  • Philip (TORX) Screw Driver type T5 (I could not find mine, but improvised with the T6, just make sure to not strip the screws)
  • Philip (TORX) Screw Driver type T6
  • Philip Screw Driver #0
  • Optional, tweezers to hold and grasp small parts
G1 Screen Replacement - Needed Parts and Tools

G1 Screen Replacement - Needed Parts and Tools

Step 2

  • Ground yourself.
  • Remove the cover from the G1, the SIM card, the battery, and the MicroSD card if you have one installed.
  • Remove four (4) T5 screws [red] and one (1) T6 screw [green].
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 2

G1 Screen Replacement Step 3

Step 3

  • Gently use a plastic pry tool to separate the housing from the device.
  • Be especially careful around the mini-USB port at the bottom where you will need to push in tabs/hooks on the case.
  • Take your time to avoid cracking or breaking the case.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 3

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 4

Step 4

  • Unplug the UMTS and GPS coaxial cables [red].
  • Remove the #0 screw to remove the GPS board [green].
  • Disconnect the daughter board FPC [blue]. It should pull straight up.
  • Remove the tape from the Qwerty keyboard FPC [yellow]. The connector has a black unlock mechanism. Switch it to the upright position and you should be able to easily disconnect the FPC.
  • There is also a block unlock switch on the camera FPC [cyan] underneath the main board. Unlock and disconnect the FPC.
  • The hinge FPC [purple] will be connected underneath the main board. It should disconnect by pulling stright off the board.
  • Separate the main board from the device.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 4

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 4

Step 5

  • Remove the screws [green].
  • Release the tabs [red] to help separate the UI cover in the next step.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 5

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 5

Step 6

  • Use a plastic pry tool to release the UI Cover from the device using the tab slots as stated in the previous step.
  • Pull off the UI cover from the device. The device will need to pull out (not up) once released, as it will be attached to the hinge cable guide as shown at the top right of the screen. Pull the cover to the right, as pictured below.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 6

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 6

Step 7

  • Feed the hinge cable through the device. You can move the cable guide if necessary.
  • Be careful not to pinch or break the cable as you feed this through.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 7

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 7

Step 8

  • Remove the remaining two (2) screws holding the display to the main device.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 8

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 8

Step 9

  • Separate the display from the device.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 9

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 9

Step 10

  • Remove the four (4) screws.
  • Remove the display cover with a plastic pry tool.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 10

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 10

Step 11

  • Unlock the hinge FPC connector.
  • Disconnect the display cable.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 11

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 11

Step 12

  • Unlock the digitizer (touch panel) FPC.
  • Disconnect the digitizer FPC Cable.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 12

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 12

Step 13

  • Remove the LCD.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 13

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 13

Step 14

  • Remove the protective film from the new LCD.
  • Be careful not to get the new screen dirty, as you will not be able to access it to clean it unless you take apart the device again.
  • Place the screen back on top of the digitizer to replace the old screen.
G1 Screen Replacement - Step 14

G1 Screen Replacement - Step 14

Step 15

  • Reconnect the digitizer to the LCD and the LCD to the hinge FPC.
  • At this point, I would recommend testing the screen before reassembly by plugging in the hinge to the main board, connecting the daughter board, and holding the battery in place while pressing the power button.
  • Make sure that when reconnecting the FPCs that they are inserted fully, correct, and straight. If not, things may not function properly or in extreme cases may short something out and cause permanent hardware failure.
  • When satisfied that the screen is functioning correctly, reverse the steps to reassemble the phone.
G1 Screen Replacement - Completed Reassembly

G1 Screen Replacement - Completed Reassembly

I found the project manageable. Prying open the case and reassembling the device with the tight spaces were the two most difficult parts of the project. While not pleasant to spend money and have to replace the screen, the project is fun from a hobby standpoint and pleasurable in knowing you didn’t spend $180 or more to send it in for replacement. Good luck if you try the project, and let me know how it turns out!

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About ipaul

My name is Paul Hassinger, the founder of ipaul.com. I have been an avid user of computers since a child. I started when I was about 10 years old working on an Atari computer. Since then, I grew and have had exposure to all types of technologies. I started using FIDONet on a BBS as a child and grew to the Internet. My first graphical world wide web experience was in 1993 using Mosaic. Over time I've worked with both small and large computing systems even maintaining systems serving millions of users on some of the largest social networking sites. I hope to use this blog to capture what I've learned over the years and what I do in my daily life so that others and myself may find the information useful.