Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We Can Rebuild Him

So. I broke my phone.
Now I get to repair him.

Step 1:  Troubleshooting and Research
The problem is poor touchscreen response. I first tried changing the simple things that could be affecting it, but I strongly doubted they were the problem.

I tried removing the screen protector. It hadn't ever caused a problem before, but it was worth trying. No such luck.

Then I did a factory reset. Maybe it was a software problem. Maybe it was just a coincidence that the problem began immediately after dropping the phone. Strike two.
On the plus side this gave me a chance to test out the MyBackup app. It restored all my applications, but I lost most of the settings and data. Overall, I am not impressed. I hear Titanium Backup is nice, but my phone is not rooted.

I was out of ideas at this point, but the internet will know what to do!

I found a video that shows how to take apart the phone. Yay!
It doesn't show removing the screen or removing the touchscreen (or digitizer, or whatever you want to call it). Boo!

I found video of people showing their touch screens misbehaving. That's interesting. Not particularly helpful, but interesting. I promptly installed a drawing app and made something similar to the following pretty picture. This is not the picture I made on the phone, it is a dramatic reenactment of the picture using Microsoft Paint. I hadn't yet figured out that it was easy to take a screen shot on my phone.
The red and green lines are for reference only. The blue lines are what it looks like when I draw an X on the top half of the screen and on the bottom half. The top half of the touchscreen works fine. The bottom does not. There are three "rows" where it only registers as if you were touching at the top or bottom of the row. And it jumps abruptly between the two. That's not good....

Ok.. So.. There is clearly something wrong with it. I can't be the first person with this problem. There must be dozens of people who have tried to replace the touch screen. Several places sell replacements for it. Most aren't nice enough to provide instructions, but at least you can buy the part. Someone must have blogged about it. Or mentioned it in a forum. With pictures... Right?

It turns out that they didn't. Or if they did, they are hiding from me. ... They're probably hiding from me.

So. I am doing it here. I am documenting the problem. And the cause. (Apparently phones don't like being dropped. Who'd have guessed?) And the solution. (I hope.) (How hard can it be?)

Stay tuned. I ordered the part from Amazon. This one to be specific.

$30 is not so bad. I think I paid half that for a screen protector. (I'm looking at you Zagg.) And the protector doesn't feel nearly as nice as the phone does without it. If this ends up being anything close to easy (easy being defined in this case as about an hour's worth of work) I don't think I will be using a screen protector again. I'd rather enjoy the device than degrade it by trying to protect it.

Now I get to wait for the part to arrive. Waiting is fun. ... And now I wish that I had paid for better shipping. It's hard to argue with free, but I want it now! Sometimes it is annoying being frugal.

(Follow this link for Part 3 of the story.)


  1. 8)

    "they are hiding from me. ... They're probably hiding from me."

  2. Can't wait to find out what happens next!!!! :-P

  3. yeah, i don't plan on using screen protectors anymore. the only one that is semi-nice is the anti-glare one for the ipad2.