:!: Warning! If you decide to take apart your PDA, I am not responsible for ANY damage, dust or problems that arise. This is just a guide for the curious and for those who are willing to take a risk with their PDA!!! All suggestions and comments mentioned are to be taken under your own risk!
1. Backup your Genio, remove any cards in the slots and slide the hard reset switch to ĎOFF.í
2. Remove all visible screws including screws underneath the removable side grips. Total amount of screws are 8 (2 on each side, 2 on top and 2 long screws on the bottom rear side of the Genio.)
3. Thereís no easy way to pry the Genio open without the high chance of cracking the plastic case. The case is very thin. There are four tabs holding the unit together at each corner and two additional as indicated.
4. The way I as able to open it is to slowly pry out from the middle out to each corner working from one side. I did crack the case a little at one of the tab points next to the headphone jack. You may hear popping sounds which indicates that the tabs are coming loose. Be slow and donít force too hard on any tab. You could also try to pry the case apart with a flat head screwdriver but that may damage the case.
5. Once apart, there are is a flat ribbon cable connecting the battery to the main board. Pull on the connector, not the cable, to disconnect the battery.
6. There are 4 screws on the main board as indicated (the upper left has been removed before the picture was taken. Also, you can see thereís a screw taped to the side of the battery. This may be a spare screw or just a production error on my unit. Note (There was a lot of dust found on the back of the CF and SD card shield. Dust from these locations contributes to the dust found in the LCD ďsandwich.Ē Iíll get to that in a moment.)
It also begs the question: Why couldn't Toshiba make the battery removable? In the photo below, in my opinion, based on the position and size of the battery, a compartment could have been created to make it a consumer replaceable battery. I'm pretty darn disappointed at the engineers for this one. :roll:
7. Once the 4 screws are removed, carefully pry the board from the front shell. There are 3 connectors to be concerned about. They are all indicated in the photo (albeit the worst photo out of the bunch)
a. LCD data cable
b. Touchscreen data cable
c. Hardbutton daughterboard connector
The daughterboard connecter comes off when you pry the two sides apart.
The LCD data cable and the touchscreen cable are easily removed if you pull up on the brown or white tab that holds the ribbon on the connector. Use a small screw driver or a toothpick since there are delicate parts surrounding it.
The image here is a detail of the main board:
8. Once separated, you can now pop out the LCD panel from the front shell by carefully bending the sides of the shell and pushing on the LCD. (The LCD was proped up for the photo.)
9. Notice the 4 screws indicated. These screws hold a metal stiffening support frame to the LCD panel.
10. Unplug the power connector that powers the florescent tube. Separate the frame and the panel from each other.
This image shows the LCD panel/board detail:
11. Flip the LCD on its front. In the photo, you can see where I have indicated the potential dust entry points. I originally thought that the LCD was sealed but from looking at the LCD assembly, the back is horribly unprotected.
To understand the layers of the Genio display, there are 3 layers. Iíve provided a very rough illustration.
The layers consist of the touch panel layer, light diffusing layer and finally the LCD layer.
The touch panel and LCD layer is self explanatory.
The light diffusing layer is a bit more complex. I donít know if this was the case in the original iPaq, but this layer is sandwiched between the touch panel and the LCD providing an even light distribution surface for the display. It uses the basic fiber optic principle where light will travel through a transparent medium. The only real world example I can think of are the signs that are used in restaurants where the dayís specials are listed. Using a special colored grease pen, the writing fluoresces when the light is passed through the sides of the glass. In the Genioís case (or any other PDA with slide lighting) the light is distributed on to the reflective LCD providing enough illumination for the screen. Interestingly, one side of this plastic layer is finely ridged. This ridging also accounts for the moire pattern (i.e. rainbow effects) you see when you look at the screen from certain angles.
The curious thing is this is where the dust was found. The dust is actually trapped between the touch screen and light diffusion layers! I originally thought that it was trapped between the LCD and the diffusion layer. This makes is incredibly hard to remove dust thatís existing. Second, the ridged side of the diffusion layer is also somewhat tacky to the touch which explains why the dust doesnít move around once itís been imbedded on the screen. I tried blowing canned air on it and it doesn't move! The only way Iíve been able to clean it is running this diffuser under warm/hot water. Unfortunately, this causes more issues because youíll need someway to dry it. Using a cloth defeats the purpose and may cause it to scratch which is a lot worse than dust.
If youíre trying to clean out dust under the screen, a word of caution. Unless you have access to a clean room, youíll end up adding more dust in the screen if you pull the layers apart.
Possible methods of sealing the screen:
Both methods are tricky and untried. Proceed at your own risk. These are recommended if you have a new, dust free unit:
1) Seal the open areas along the back side of the LCD panel with tape or even silicone sealant. The only problem I see is if the tape or the sealant reacts to the reflective layer that coats the back of the LCD. Any adhesive may also pull the coating off the LCD. This may be why Toshiba decided not to seal the back of the unit
2) Pry open the LCD open and seal the edges of the light diffusion layer with the touch screen layer using a small bead of silicone sealant. This will probably require a clean room in order not to get dust trapped permanently.
The next steps show how to open the LCD
Using a clean room at this step would be optimal but who readily has access to a clean room?
1. Remove the black tape that holds the touch panel ribbon to the back of the LCD. You could also cut it where the ribbon meets the tape and use a new strip.
2. There are metal pins that hold the front of the panel to the back. Also note the location of the power connector. Thereís a small tab that covers the pink and white wire which makes it easier to pull apart. Carefully pry slightly around the side and pull on the metal tab to expose the screen.
3. Once you have them apart, you can decide to seal the screen at this level or attempt to open the diffusion screen to remove any trapped dust.
4. To remove the diffusion screen, use a soft, pointed tool and grab the end opposite the florescent tube. Before you remove the screen completely, remember the proper orientation of the screen. This is critical because screen will not disperse the light properly if it is re-installed in the wrong position. Also, remember that the smooth side of the screen is facing the LCD screen. You will also see that the screen is partially covered by the fluorescent tube reflector.
5. Based on what Iíve tried, cleaning the diffusion screen is very difficult. As noted before, the ridged side is somewhat tacky to the touch. Any additional dust that touches this surface will be trapped inside the grooves and cleaning may harm surface. Do not use a liquid cleaner. That will just leave a residue. Running it under warm or hot water seems to work best. If you want to clean the ridged side of the diffusion screen with a cloth, wipe left to right widthwise. Wiping lengthwise will cause scratches on the ridges which will show when the frontlight is on.
6. Once you are satisfied with how clean the screen is, check for additional dust on the diffusion screen. A quick tip: have a flashlight handy to check for dust. If you position the flashlight on the short edge of the diffusion screen acting like the frontlight, you will see any dust that is on the screen.
7. Putting the screen back into position is pretty tricky. Insert one end of the screen into the florescent tube reflector. At the same time youíll also need to push the power wire that runs parallel to the tube in to position or you wonít be able to fit the LCD panel back into place.
8. Before you make any final placements, you should check to see if the diffusion screen is in the correct position. You can do this by connecting the main LCD data cable, restore power to the florescent tube and temporarily sandwiching the two parts, the panel and the motherboard together. Power the unit on and see if the screen is legible and the light is reflecting correctly. If you donít have it in the right position, the screen will be dark. Youíll need to take the screen apart and repeat the process.
9. Reverse the steps to put back the Genio to its original form.
The instructions above to do not guarantee that your unit will be dust free or that this is the best method of dust removal. In my case, it actually made the dust situation worse and I did do some damage to the diffusion screen. This is how having the extended warrantee is worth $80.
I hope you e550G owners found this informative and gave you enough insight into the device so you can decide if the dust issue is worth correcting.
If anyone has questions, errors or need clarification on some of these steps, please post it here in this tread.
And please excuse the typos and grammar errors!