SKIRMISH: Iphone 4s Screen Repair

I’ve been struggling with a project.. the repair of the 430EX Speedlite has been beyond my skills – and I’m having to gain new ones. So tonight I figured I’d take a break and do something quick .. fulfilling even! Repair a shattered iphone 4S.

IMG_9013-1000I ordered the parts a few weeks ago – and they had just shown up this week. So I figured this would be a nice palate cleanser before I got back to the shitty failure of the speedlite repair. Grabbed a tutorial online, and was ready to go.

I had seen 20 minute long tutorials on replacing the front glass – but somehow, I am able to ignore the implications of this. Namely that if it takes x minutes to show how to do it – it is going to take 4x that for ME to do it. I started out watching this video. The music WILL drive you mad after a while, but overall it was a nice walk through. One pet peeve – he reassembles in a slightly different order. Because of how I organized my screws, this threw me off. I started putting the wrong screws in at one point.

This was going to be “so easy” I didn’t even bother taking pictures. What could go wrong!


When you get your ebay kit from china, aside from the front and back glass – you get an assortment of screwdrivers and plastic leverage tools. I lose track of how many screws are involved in this fix, but 20 sounds like a good number. They are all very very small, and look very very similar to each other.

IMG_9012-1000That is a piece of electrical tape, and those things are damn small.

So yeah.. screws. First thing first, go download this fucking thing.


It is an iphone 4 screw chart so as you take those shitty little screws out, you have a place to put them. I am going to suggest you go a step further, and get 10 fucking ziplock bags, number them, and stick the screws in there. Why? Because all it takes is one bad moment – dropping something, bumping into that piece of paper – whatever, and those tiny little things are going everywhere. Mixed up. no idea what goes where.


Really – screw management is about the only hard part of this repair. Some suggestions:

  • Lots of space to work. easy to knock shit over, and have to spend forever searching for screws
  • Magnetic screwdriver is very nice to have. getting these tiny ass screws out is easy. Getting them back in can be tricky. Magnetic screwdriver let me place the screw on the tip of the screwdriver, and get it into place.WARNING: If you ignored my ziplock advice… don’t get your magnetic screwdriver too close to your pile of screws! This is what did me in. I didn’t have the handy chart up there – so I had no idea which screws went back in where.
  • Powerful Magnet to find screws! If you didn’t follow my advice about the ziplock bags you might be looking at a ton of tiny screws that just fell into various nooks/crannies/carpet… a nice powerful magnet is great for gathering them all back up.
  • Buy screws! If I do this shit again, I’m just going to spend a few extra bucks and buy a replacement set of screws. They are like $3 on ebay. Would have saved me a ton of time.$_57


This wasn’t all that hard to do. Tutorial is good – most of my lost time came from looking for lost screws and trying to figure out which screw went where. And having to take the phone back apart when I realized I had used up critical “long” screws in the wrong places.

At the end, I did find that one of my screws was too short for the Vibration Unit. So I just left it out. I also found a washer that I had lost earlier. Of course, it was stuck to the magnet I use for finding lost screws.

I’m always a bit amazed when I put shit back together and it works. But here is the proof.

IMG_9017-1000BOOM! Powered up and working.


Iphone powers up when done: +30 points
Leftovers: 1 washer, 1 screw: -2 points
Time spend: 3.5 hours. Way too fucking long: -20 points
Money Spent: -$40 + $40=0: 0 points
Fixed my niece’s broken iphone and plus its pink now: +15 points

So yeah that was ok.

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