So you're like me and you broke the glass on your Thrive, did you? Toshiba repair can fix this for you for about $290. (Ouch!) You can fix it yourself for about $100. (See 11/13/2011 update, cost is now $180 + shipping) I was able to successfully repair my broken screen, thanks to the original Tech Republic pictorial teardown. As part of this process, I wanted to make sure it was properly documented for others who may want to attempt this repair.
This tutorial focuses on a screen replacement, however, it will get you into the innards of the Thrive to do basically anything. I had originally intended on doing a full teardown, but since I just didn't need to go that far, I didn't. Additionally, this guide makes note of specific points where I screwed up. I didn't have a manual or experience to go by, just some pictures that no where near described the process.
A video of the procedure can be found in the post below this one. Although I video taped my first effort, it was clear that getting familiar with the process was important for me to be able to communicate it well. I had a LOT of questions when I first did this and my hope is that by not shortcutting the procedures, any more than was necessary, that it will help teach those who may choose to follow this path.
Doing anything in this tutorial will void your warranty. It is also what I would describe as a challenging procedure, so if you're not comfortable working on electronics and lack patience, this is not for you. You can very easily cause further damage by working on your own device. I am not responsible for your actions, so if you're at all concerned, don't do this. Just contact Toshiba repair and have it done for you. I am happy to help you if I can, but if you break your bevel after I warned you several times, I may not be able to help you.
Additional Disassembly Notes:
This is a highly engineered device and while it's designed to come apart for service, there are stages that require some effort. In particular, the somewhat dangerous parts of removing the glass screen from the outside bevel create a situation where it would be very easy to create additional damage. Care should be taken at all stages in order to insure you don't have to fix additional issues created by disassembly. Additionally, this procedure is a bit nerve racking the first time you do it, so patience is key. Lastly, I did damage a couple of the pieces of Mylar adhesive slightly...but this doesn't seem to have major consequence. I did the best I could to return it to it's original state.
When To Repair Vs. Not:
If you've damaged your Thrive, you need to assess the damage. Make sure that you haven't actually broken the LCD or created dead pixels. If you have dead pixels or the image appears severely damaged (see post #90), this process won't entirely fix it. It has been reported later in this thread, well after I wrote this guide, that cost of LCD's are low enough these days to make a DIY repair feasible. (They were $300 when I wrote this guide!) Although I don't know precise part numbers, people have reported them to be available for $50-$100. The procedure is basically the same, but you will need to also order and replace the LCD along with the glass.
If your Thrive is not running at all, send it to Toshiba or replace it.
Replacement Screen Parts List from National Parts Depot (See 11/13/2011 update):
Qty 1: H000032650-TOUCH SCREEN, 10.1 ($62.00) (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)
Qty 2: H000032680 TOUCH PANEL SPONGE ($10.00)
Qty 2: H000032690 TOUCH PANEL SPONGE ($10.00)
Parts Total: $82.00 + Shipping
UPDATE 11/13/2011: Note, there's been some changes to the original part numbers referenced in this thread. Particularly, it looks like Toshiba is now offering the glass AND the outer bevel (top case assembly, in their jargon) as an all in one unit. There is an increased cost to this since you're also paying for the plastic assembly, BUT, this means you don't have to go through the process of removing the glass from the outer bevel or using the double sided tape to attach the glass to the bevel. (MUCH DESIRED - less repair time and a higher quality repair!) Post #57 in this thread (and others) have confirmed this to be true. It has also been confirmed that the foam sponges are no longer necessary to order.
New Parts Configuration:
Qty 1: H000036130-TOP CASE ASSY ($160.00)
Parts Total: $160.00 + Shipping
Some have reported buying their screen from a place called Impact Computers. There have been some positive reports and a couple negative reports, but feel free to check out the competition.
Additional Supplies Needed:
- Double sided vinyl tape or double sided cloth or fiberglass carpet tape (see 11/13/2011 update above)
- GooGone (or equivalent) (see 11/13/2011 update above)
- Rubber gloves (medical style)
- Canned air (to get rid of dust)
- Q-Tips (see 11/13/2011 update above)
- Small Phillips screwdriver (eyeglass size)
- Small scraper (see 11/13/2011 update above)
- Small Flathead screwdriver or thin pry bar
- Small needle nose pliers (handy, but not necessary)
- Sharp scissors (see 11/13/2011 update above)
- Work in a dust free environment. I had to disassemble & reassemble several times to try & get everything dust free. It's very maddening.
- Wear rubber gloves when working with the new screen and especially the LCD. Fingerprints suck to deal with.
- Make sure you have a good size area to work in so you have places to put things
- Don't work on carpet or other materials that are prone to static electricity. Wood, concrete or tile/linoleum floors are best. Discharge any static electricity before working by touching a known ground.
- Make sure you work on a flat, softer surface. You will have the Thrive glass down & it would suck to scratch your brand new screen.
How Long Does It Take:
My first attempt took me about 2-3 hours, but I had no instructions and I was creating a video as well. If I had to do it again, I could probably do it in just over an hour. The most time consuming process is removing the glass from the outer bevel, which to insure you don't create further damage, should be performed slowly and methodically.
1. Unlock the back cover
2. Remove the back cover from the Thrive
3. Unlock the battery & remove it
4. Disconnect the backup battery with pliers & remove it. It is held lightly in place with a light adhesive.
5. Carefully remove the black tape cover just above the serial number label with a small Flathead or your pry bar.
6. Carefully disconnect the camera cable (labeled MB / straight cable) with your fingers. Only remove the end labeled MB, don't yet try to remove the other end that goes underneath the back. Use the attached tape to assist you. Also, you must lift this cable from the silver metal LCD cradle, attached by adhesive, so go ahead and do this.
7. Disconnect the docking cable just above the previous cable, again using the tape to assist. (Make sure you're looking at the Thrive from the right perspective, use the serial number label to guide your orientation.) Lift the cable from the LCD cradle assembly, attached with adhesive.
8. With a small (eyeglass style) screwdriver, remove the 14 visible screws (mostly labeled L5) from around the Thrive's back. Set these aside & don't lose them. They cost $5 a piece to replace.
9: Be very careful with this next step and read everything here carefully. Separate the back of the Thrive from the front. The glass is not the breaking point, the plastic outer bevel around the glass is. It doesn't come apart easily the first time, so it takes a little bit of massaging, but it just sort of snaps apart. If you're having a lot of trouble, make sure you got all the screws...but it is a little bit tough. Like with the Thrive's back, I found it easiest to to lightly press against the LCD cradle and work the two halves of the Thrive from there. Also, the cables have a tendency to reattach with their adhesive to the LCD cradle, so it's a juggling act getting it to separate. Once it separates, be very, very careful and don't separate the two rapidly. There is an LCD circuit attachment between the glass and the mainboard that is important not to break.
10. Noting the circuit cable mentioned above, gently rest the two pieces flat. That circuit cable acts sort of as a hinge, but not for stability, just for getting the device into a flat working condition.
11. Gently flip up the black LCD circuit cable's clasp on the main board and disconnect the cable. The two pieces should now be completely disjoined. Set aside the back of the Thrive.
12. Disconnect the other end of the camera cable (labeled MB) and set aside. The orientation is easy to remember, so don't worry about this. The MB side is "mainboard" and connects to the mainboard of the Thrive. The unlabeled end connects to the camera cable.
13. Remove the six smaller screws holding the LCD cradle from the front of the Thrive. Set these aside & don't lose them. They cost $5 a piece to replace. Note the locations for these screws on the tabs of the LCD cradle.
14. Unscrew the camera circuit board. Set the screw aside.
15. Put on those rubber gloves I mentioned.
16. Gently remove the LCD cradle (and LCD) from the glass. It's a little resistant at first, but comes off fairly easily. Do NOT use a pry to remove the LCD cradle because it could create damage on the LCD screen itself. Set the LCD aside with the LCD screen up, preferably not around any dust. If you accidentally touch the LCD and you didn't have gloves on, like I did, you're going to need to clean the oil from the LCD. It's not fun to clean a bare LCD. Once complete, take off the gloves if you want, but don't discard them. You'll need them in a bit.
17. Disconnect and remove the camera circuit board. One side is held in with a plastic ledge, the other the screw that you removed earlier. Set aside.
18. If you have no intention of replacing your screen/glass, do not proceed with these next steps as it will likely create damage. Put your device back together or look at a full teardown. If you have to replace the glass, take a deep breath. This next step sucks. A lot.
19. Read everything in this step. You have to remove the glass from the outside bevel. It is held in place by very strong double sided sticky tape. I absolutely destroyed the glass on mine by removing it, although it was all ready cracked, and had glass shards everywhere. What I finally had to do was crack parts of the glass right where it meets the outside bevel. This eventually gave me enough leverage to separate the glass from the outer bevel. I used a combination of a small pry and my fingers to massage the glass from the outside bevel. Be very careful not to split the outer bevel with your tool or fingers, because I don't know the part number for a replacement, and to my knowledge, National Parts Depot may not sell it. This process sucks, but it might be easier a second time around. Be careful not to bend the outer bevel too much, but if the outer bevel gets slightly tweaked (mine did), placement of the new glass will correct it. Once you get the glass free, set it aside.
20. If the tape came off on the outer bevel, you'll need to remove it. Use the GooGone to remove the tape residue. Try to make sure you don't get the GooGone on the outside (visible) parts of the bevel, since technically, it's not good for rubbers or plastics. (I didn't have trouble on mine.) Use a scraper tool to remove the more difficult residue, if necessary. Clean up any extra GooGone, as necessary, and allow to dry.
21. Face the outside of the outer bevel upwards, as if you were looking at the Thrive during use. Note the width/length of the tape on either the removed glass or the pieces that you removed in the previous step. Create similar length/width strips of double sided mounting tape and attach it to the outer bevel. Make sure no tape exceeds the width of the bevel into the opening, thus blocking your view.
22. Remove the new glass from the shipping container and static bag. Note the orientation that the glass must be in when attached to the outer bevel. The circuitry will face towards the inside of the Thrive and there's an opening to insert the circuit attachment through the bevel.
23. Put those gloves back on. Remove the inside protective sheet from the new glass.
24. Gently thread the circuit attachment through the bevel and place the new glass on the Thrive. Insure you get a good connection between the glass and the bevel by pressing all around the glass.
25. Flip the bevel over so you're viewing the inside of the glass. Attach the four pieces of new foam to the Thrive's glass, noting that the notches will interlock. Be careful not to allow the foam to intrude on the visible area of the glass.
26. Remove the other side of the protective coating or preferably, wait until you've finished the reassembly. Proceed with reassembly instructions.
1. Reinstall the camera circuit board and screw in place. Note that one side is held in place with a plastic ledge and the other is attached with a small screw.
2. Very gently remove any accumulated dust from the front of the LCD screen and inside glass with compressed air.
3. Carefully rest the front of the LCD on the outer bevel and glass in the correct orientation. Use the camera assembly for orientation, it should match the camera circuit board attached to the bevel. You can remove the gloves and discard them.
4. Reattach the camera cable to the camera's circuit board by pressing down on it.
5. Screw the LCD cradle to the LCD using the screw holes on tabs with arrows (one has black tape over the arrow). Note that there are more screwholes than small screws. The extras are used for the larger L5 screws that attach the back of the Thrive, but they have the same thread. If you screw these up, you'll know it when you go to reset the L5 screws because there will all ready be a small screw there. Before proceeding, flip the Thrive over and make sure you don't have dust or hair on the inside. If you do, disassemble, clean and reattach the LCD assembly.
6. Retrieve the back of the Thrive's assembly and align it so you can reattach the screen's circuitry to the mainboard.
7. Release the black clasp (if it closed) on the main board and reattach the screen's circuit attachment. When you have it inserted and aligned, close the black clasp to secure it. The edge of the black clasp should align with the white marker on the cable.
8. Retrieve the set aside MB cable and connect the unlabled end to the camera's circuit board assembly. Note that the MB and other labels should be facing towards you. Make sure the cable's pins are entirely enclosed on both sides of the cable.
9. Bring the two haves of the Thrive together again and careully align them as they would normally be. Make sure you don't put any undue pressure on the screen's circuit connection. Also make sure the camera cable doesn't get trapped to where it can't be attached to the mainboard. When it's correctly aligned, press the back of the Thrive all over until you hear the snaps engage completely.
10. Reattach the MB cable to the mainboard. Also reattach the docking cable above it to the docking circuit board connector. (Both of these should be in obvious positions at this point) Again, insure the pins are completely enclosed by the housing, indicating a good connection.
11. Dress the cables in to return them to factory conditions to avoid pinching. The adhesive is good for many applications, so it shouldn't have to be replaced. Reattach the tape on the connectors.
12. Screw all the L5 screws back into the device. If you have any left over or you see a screw in one, you didn't attach the LCD cradle correctly. Disassemble and correct this.
13. Retrieve the secondary battery, connect it and put in place.
14. Retrieve the black tape and primary battery. Place the black tape and install the battery.
15. Return the back cover to the Thrive
16. Power up & test everything.
If something isn't working, you probably didn't do it right. I've taken mine apart and put it back together about six times so far and it worked every time.
Double check all the connections and make sure it's solid. The connectors have a tendency to misalign when you're re-connecting them. The connectors should not be visible with a proper connection.
On one of my disassemblies, the L-shaped cable came disconnected. You shouldn't have to remove this cable to follow this procedure, but double check that it's well connected if you have trouble.
If your camera doesn't work, it's probably because you didn't connect the camera cable to the camera's circuit board. Make sure this is pressed & snaps into place.