Microsoft Surface Pro 4 – Screen Replacement

MS SP 4 screen before replacement
MS SP 4 screen before replacement

MS SP 4 after screen replacement
MS SP 4 after screen replacement

I think no one wants this to happen to any of his devices, but sometimes there is bad luck.

I have accidentally dropped my Microsoft Surface Pro 4 on the edge of a table which caused the screen to crack, now small glass parts are falling off. It is still working but unsafe to touch, use the pen or use in table mode operating with the fingers.

 

Broken Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Screen 1
Broken Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Screen 1

Broken Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Screen 2
Broken Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Screen 2

Broken Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Screen 3
Broken Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Screen 3

 

On the other hand, my iPad 1 was dropped several times without having a problem. That is because the iPad1 has a rubber seal between Aluminium frame and the display assembly which acts as a buffer allowing for some degree of deformation.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 4, like almost any recent devices have literally no space between the framing material and the display. So any impact on the frame causing a deformation will crack your screen.

Lessons learned:

- Purchase a protection case - It is the cheapest option, It will protect your device in many cases, unless you have really bad luck and it drops directly on something with the flat display. 

Or:

- Purchase the Microsoft insurance with your device - MS will replace it, but your data is gone, and it takes several weeks.

Or:

- Send it to Microsoft for a replacement - MS will replace it for money, but your data is gone, and it takes several weeks. 

I have the tools, a lot of experience in upgrading and repairing devices, so I did the replacement on my device. The warranty is gone anyway.

Here is how I replaced the screen:

Make sure you have enough time and nerves of steel 🙂

Preparation:

  • Get a replacement screen (I got mine from eBay, there are several sellers)
    • Usually it comes without pen controller board and cables, so make sure you retain that components from the damaged display assembly
MS SP 4 Replacement Screen
MS SP 4 Replacement Screen
  • Good bright light is a must
  • Make sure you have suitable tools for example:
    • I used the Bosch PHG 630 DCE Heat Gun with the wide heat nozzle because that way I can set and control the heat applied to the screen assembly when heating up in order to loosen the glue without damaging other components.
    • From IFIXIT I used:
      • Heavy duty Spudger - to stick under the screen assembly while removing it
      • Angled ESD Tweezers - to remove small glass pieces
      • Anti static mat
      • Metal Spudger

Bosch PGH 630 DCE Heatgun with wide heat nozzle
Bosch PHG 630 DCE Heat Gun with wide heat nozzle

 

IFIXIT Toolkit
IFIXIT Toolkit

  • Switch off your device
  • Prepare your working area
  • Wear eye protection glasses during the screen removing procedure
    • This is really IMPORTANT! The glass shatters when you are not very very careful - Wear eye protection!
  • Electrostatically discharge before you start

I tried to lever the screen by using the metal spudger.

That way i got a feeling for the adhesive and the screen behaviour.

 

After that I used the Heavy duty spudgers to go on.

 

 

 

 

MS SP 4 Pro metal spudger
MS SP 4 Pro metal spudger

Take extra care on your way to this corner (lower left).

Here sits the pen control hardware. Do not damage it, you have to re-use it

Info:

I haven't been patient so far and broke the screen further. Which doesn't really matter because it is broken anyway.

But it caused me headaches later on when removing the small glass pieces from the adhesive and placing new adhesive.

MS SP 4 Pro lower left corner
MS SP 4 Pro lower left corner

I managed to remove the screen without damaging the cables and the pen controller.

The right amount of force and heat is needed to separate the screen from the glue.

Info:
In my case I set the Heat Gun to 150° C and carefully leveraged the screen step by step open by using the heavy duty spudgers.
You can hear when the glue is loosing contact to the screen, as it sticks more powerful to the aluminium frame.

MS SP 4 screen removed
MS SP 4 screen removed

This what a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 , i5, 256GB looks like inside.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 i5 inside view
Microsoft Surface Pro 4 i5 inside view

Remove all remaining glass and try to keep the adhesive stripe intact.

Remove all remining glass pieces
Remove all remaining glass pieces

Remove the spring metal cap and unplug the cable.

Connect the cable to the new screen assembly and attach the spring metal cap also

Remove the spring metal cap
Remove the spring metal cap

On the Display assembly remove the spring metal cap

Remove the spring metal cap
Remove the spring metal cap

Carefully unplug the two cables attached to the screen

Leave the black one attached

Remove the controller board, it is held by doublesided tape

Place the controller board on the same spot on the new display assembly and reconnect the cables

Unplug the cables and remove the controller board
Unplug the cables and remove the controller board

Where it was necessary I replaced the original double sided adhesive tape

Make sure to clean off potential fingerprints from the glue area

You wouldn't want the screen to come loose again or to make noises when applying pressure from pen or touch usage

Clean the adhesive tape area
Clean the adhesive tape area

Where it was necessary I replaced the original double sided adhesive tape

Leave the protective film on the new tape until you are sure everything is fine to be put together

Apply new double sided tape where necessary
Apply new double sided tape where necessary

Put back the two spring metal caps on the display assembly

Reconnect the two cables from the display assembly to the mainboard

Put back the two spring metal caps

Provisorily place the display assembly over the Surface body and start the SP4 up

Connect everything and run a test
Connect everything and run a test

Test if everything works before you put the screen assembly in its final position

When happy with everything and all works, remove the protecive film from the doublesided tape, put the screen assembly in its Position and press around the edges

 

 

Finished.

MS Surface Pro 4 Finish
MS Surface Pro 4 Finish

Conclusion:

 

Depending on the damage to the Screen it is definitive a doable repair. You just need the parts, tools, time and not be all thumbs... 🙂

Contact me if you want to have your Microsoft Surface Pro 4 screen replaced (in Australia)

Have a good day. Cheers.