How to disassemble HP iPAQ hx4700 series pocket PC: LCD screen removal and repair guide
How to replace a touch screen and digitizer
I have been using my Hewlett-Packard Pocket PC for about a year and a half without any problems, until one day I faced a very sad surprise: the touch screen was dead. I still have no idea how that happened: my iPAQ has a tough screen protector, and, in addition it is always carried in a small case.
As I was not sure whether this incident is covered by the warranty, nor I had any idea how long it may take to repair a pocket PC in Adelaide or how much it may cost, I decided to repair it myself. I bought a new iPAQ hx4700 LCD screen + digitizer unit from eBay. It cost 70 AUD, and there were a T6 screwdriver and a case opener tool in the kit. Theoretically, the screen and the digitizer could be replaced separately, but separating them and then joining again without letting any particles of dust or air bubbles in between is not an easy task and the risk would probably not worth the money saved. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any good instructions for disassembling an HP iPAQ 4700 (or any other HP PDA 47xx series) in the Internet, so it took me a bit of time to discover how to replace the broken LCD screen. I made the following instructions in case it would help someone else. However, please remember that you are acting at your own risk.
You need a crosshead (Phillips) screwdriver and a torx T6 screwdriver. A case opener tool or a similarly shaped object can be helpful.
Unplug all devices, remove all SD/MMC cards.
Take the battery out, then remove the 4 screws on the back of the unit using the T6 screwdriver.
Take the plastic corner off.
With all 4 screws removed you can take the back cover off. It is clipped on, so it might be hard to remove. Use the case opener tool: slide the tool all the way around the case releasing the plastic tabs.
Detach the two ribbon cables. To do this, release the tabs on each connector. The smaller ribbon connector has a tab, which should be picked and pulled upward. The larger connector has a latch (dark brown in the photo) which should be picked on its ribbon side and opened for up to a 45 degree angle (like a small door). Once the latch is lifted up, you can slide the ribbon cable out. Be very careful, the connectors are extremely fragile and can be easily damaged! Then remove a small crosshead screw in the other corner of the unit (circled).
These images show the ribbon cables attached and detached.
Remove a cross screw from the transmitting module.
Detach the transmitting module. Take the bottom edge of the module and gently pull upwards to disconnect the black connector (pointed by arrow in the photo). Then disconnect the wire connector and remove a crosshead screw nearby (circled). After that, the motherboard can be easily removed.
After the motherboard is removed, unscrew 2 crosshead screws.
Remove the metal plate.
To remove the LCD screen with the digitizer, carefully release the two tabs on the side of the screen that has no ribbon cables. To release these tabs, you need to remove two small pieces of rubber between the tabs and the PC case, then release the tabs and the LCD screen should come out (slide the screen a little to the side before taking it out).
Done! Now carefully follow these steps backwards to assemble your iPAQ with a new screen.
The re-assembled iPAQ with a new screen turned on, and the old damaged screen.
This photo (taken with a flash) shows the ink-like damage on the old screen better.
10 September 2007