Never Try To Fix This – iPad Pro Restoration

Hi guys, welcome back to another Gadget Kings video. I’m Abdullah Kabani, owner of a phone repair company, and today we’re diving into a massive restoration project: bringing a well-abused iPad Pro back to life. The back is covered in deep scratches and several dents that make the device look like it was dragged across concrete. Around the front, the display is shattered and barely holding on, and the home button has fallen inside the iPad and doesn’t work.

The viewer who sent this in, who goes by the name Happy Phone from Germana, Australia, bought the iPad for fifty dollars. It had a screen that was beyond shattered. After replacing the display, they used it for about a week before dropping it on concrete and breaking it, as we see here. It’s a first-generation iPad Pro model with 32GB of storage and is running iOS 13.0 beta. While the iPad still somewhat functions, the fingerprint reader has been disabled, and the touch input on the display doesn’t work in all areas.

Taking a closer look at the home button, you can see its bracket has come loose, and there seems to be a piece of paper jammed in there. Since the iPad was donated to me, I’ve decided to go all out and replace all the damaged parts to make it look like new again. I’d like to thank iFixit for sponsoring this video and supplying me with a new display. You can get parts, tools, and guides at iFixit.com/GadgetKings or at the link below.

I ordered the new casing online and had the tablet’s serial number engraved onto the back just like the original one. It contains no components inside, so everything will have to be transferred from the old casing. Getting inside this iPad was easier than usual; no heat or prying was required as the display was so poorly attached I could just lift it up and out of place. Inside, it doesn’t get much better; it’s missing screws and has some damage to the shields. My guess as to why the display didn’t hold was because the old adhesive wasn’t properly cleaned off.

Looking at the home button from the inside, I don’t know how to explain this. Maybe it was to help hold the button in place, but whatever it was for, it didn’t work. Next to come out is the front display. I’ll remove the two screws remaining in the bracket and disconnect its flex cables. Pulling off the display, we can remove any remaining glass around the perimeter of the iPad.

Next, I’ll need to unfasten all the screws on top of this bracket which goes over the logic board. Of course, there was also a missing screw on this, so I have to now find two replacement screws when it comes time to reassemble. After disconnecting the battery, it’s now time to take out the four screws holding in the speaker assembly. While I would believe four screws would have been sufficient, Apple has also added some incredibly strong adhesive, and there are several cables running underneath, so you need to be very careful where you pry. After getting up one side, I decided to just move on to removing the headphone jack before proceeding to get it entirely out. The reason for this is there’s actually a cable stuck to the speaker assembly on the right-hand side of the iPad. Once those are removed and out of the way of the speaker assembly, I can continue prying.

You can see the adhesive is so strong that I’m almost snapping this piece of plastic trying to lift it up and out of the iPad. With several minutes of serious prying, I was able to remove the entire assembly unharmed. If you don’t like adhesive, then you’re not going to like the next stage. It’s time for the logic board to come out, and it’s glued to the casing of the iPad. I’ll first unplug any cables connecting to it before starting to pry it out of place. The charging port and upper flex cable are soldered onto the board, so you need to take extra care around those areas when lifting it up. Of course, we can’t forget to unscrew the lightning connector and attach the speaker wires before pulling the board all the way out.

What I don’t understand is why they used glue to hold it down. The battery connection is secured with a screw, but the rest of the logic board isn’t. Back at the top, the headphone jack and front camera need to be taken out before I can release the rest of this flex cable. Finally, the logic board can be pulled free from the casing of the iPad. Sticking with our theme of adhesive, it’s time for that battery to come out. As it connects under the logic board, we couldn’t remove it earlier. You’re going to need an excessive amount of alcohol to complete this. The iPad will need some too, as it will help break down that glue.

In the middle section of the battery is a flex cable for the smart connector that we’ll need to unplug. With one half of the battery free, it’s time to start working on the other side. It’s a similar procedure and is just as painful. So even if you’re not doing a full housing replacement and are just thinking of changing your iPad’s battery, this is what it takes to be able to get out that battery. Something tells me they really don’t want you to.

While being difficult to repair, everything so far has been going to plan. That was about to change. One little component would cause this iPad to remain in pieces for the next 12 months. This is the smart connector port. Despite being held in with a bracket, it’s also glued in beyond anything I’ve seen. Nothing I threw at it would make it come out. Eventually, the cable broke off, and the project was put on hold until I could get a replacement. The problem was I couldn’t find a replacement. The only one I could find was black, and that wasn’t going to cut it. One did pop up for thirty dollars, which I purchased, but my order was canceled shortly after as they didn’t actually have one.

Many months later, I found one on iFixit. Without hesitation, I ordered it, and finally, the project could continue. Proceeding, I can take out the rest of the components in the old frame. There’s not too much left, but the speakers down at the bottom section will come out next. At the top, there’s an additional antenna which will need to be unscrewed and removed. There are two doors on the left side of the iPad that I will take off. These are really tough to get out, and prying at them just bends my tool. Beneath them are a lot of magnets used for the Apple cases. I would like to retrieve them and install them into the new casing if I can.

I did eventually get them out but was now faced with a new problem. All of the magnets are glued in just like everything else. I removed as many as I could but couldn’t get every one. The glue was just so strong, and as they’re in such a hard-to-reach place, this made the process even more difficult. On the right-hand side, there were some more magnets, but those were secured in so well I couldn’t get any of them out. I decided to continue anyway by removing the camera, LED flash, microphone, power button, and the volume buttons from the upper right-hand corner. After the buttons are out, there is only one thing left: the mesh grilles. They can be attached to the microphones so you don’t lose them or forget to attach them later.

With that, our iPad is finally fully disassembled. I have everything laid out on two iFixit magnetic mats to keep the parts organized. In fact, a lot of these parts have been sitting here for the last year, and I still know where all the screws go. It’s time to crack out the new casing and start reassembling the iPad, starting with the speaker grilles. There’s one to be attached in each corner. Proceeding, we can attach the antenna and fasten its several Phillips head screws. Then I can go ahead and reattach the volume buttons to the side of the iPad and glue the microphone back into position before screwing everything back into place. Next is the power button and its flex cable. I’ll reattach the mesh and glue the LED flash back into position. Proceeding, the camera can go in next before we go ahead and glue all the magnets into the side of the tablet.

For this, I’ll be using liquid adhesive and attempting to install the magnets in the same way that they came out. To ensure the correct alignment of the magnets, I’ll attach an Apple Smart Cover case to the side of the iPad to make sure everything lines up correctly. If you let the glue dry before doing this, you could end up with a smart cover case that doesn’t line up with the iPad. Whilst the glue is drying, I can attach the retaining brackets over the magnets. I have to say, while disassembly was painstaking and difficult, putting it back together is so much easier.

It has come time to install the logic board. I’m really hoping this iPad still works after all this time. After all, it hasn’t seen power in over a year. But before we can test it out, we still need to install a few more things. It’s time to fit our new smart connector cable. Before finding this one, I was thinking about reverting the iPad back to its old case just to make it work, essentially giving up on the project. But thanks to iFixit, this part means we can replace the housing.

It’s now time to fit the new battery into the case. As you can see, it slides underneath the board and is aligned by a pin that sits

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