HTC G1 disassembly

Taking apart your G1 is serious business so read this entire section.

If you need to disassemble your G1 you have come to the right place.

I would FIRST download AND READ the relevant parts of the manual (link below).

Then look at some other videos and watch mine so you get a feel for the disassembly steps. Don’t just start taking a torx to your beautiful G1.

(If you don’t know what “torx” means, close this video and think twice about doing anything to your G1.

However, if your G1 is broken and you cannot make a warranty claim, then it’s OK to look up the definition of “torx” and take an entire Saturday to attempt to fix the phone. You have to learn some time.)

While disassembling I would follow along with this video on pause as you go through each step. (YouTube features includes the option of pausing where you want and viewing in full screen mode. This lets you see things in detail.)


Bonus: Below is the link (to my server) where you can download the complete tech service manual in PDF format. (Note the manual is over a year old, so don’t play around with the software steps mentioned in it, they are horribly outdated and don’t work since the OS was in beta at the time).

The manual also includes reassembly instructions.…

Tools You Need and Some Procedure Tips:


A few torx bits (if you don’t know what those are, you should NOT be taking apart your phone, unless you are willing to go through this slowly, taking the time learn each step BEFORE going through it );

A plastic knife, non-serrated if possible (from the deli, for example);

A large area with a white towel spread out (to stop and catch bouncing screws that you WILL drop, white in color so you can see the parts sitting on the towel right under your nose);

A weekly pill dispenser or two from the pharmacy. These are long plastic boxes with 7 compartments, one for each day of the week. Excellent to hold screws and parts from each “section” you are disassembling;

Some TV dinner trays with compartments (or three to four small bowls);

One of those headbands that has magnifying lenses like the jewelry and watch people wear. Those are handy, but most people don’t have those. Here is what I am talking about:

This video is comprised of snapshots (pics) from the manual on how to disassemble your G1 HTC Android Google phone.

See the “Related Videos” box for other “how to disassemble the G1” videos. Those are BETTER to see the disassembly process.

With the videos, PDF manual, proper tools, and materials I mention, even a noob should be able to get the G1 disassembled and put back together.

Of course, one experienced in these matters might be able to disassemble, repair and reassemble in 60 minutes. A noob might need an entire Saturday or Sunday.

THIS IS NOT A CONTEST. No one is watching, so take your time. Besides, no one will give a rip how fast you handled the task. So take as much time as is needed to do the job right.

Additional Details:

You need some torx head bits/drivers (sets of four to five torx bits are about $10 on eBay, more at the hardware store).

Use some the seven-day plastic prescription dispensers to place and sort the screws inside each compartment (Sunday thru Sat), by type. This way you don’t lose them and you have them sorted by type and size.

If you have a few TV dinner trays, those are great to place the various parts so they don’t get lost and stay somewhat organized, such as the case, the motherboard, GPS, BlueTooth, camera, WiFi and so on.

BE CAREFUL. The G1 is far more complex than other smartphones. For example:

Display: It has an easily broken touchscreen, if you force it out (some have adhesive tape holding the display in place) you can bend and crack the screen.

Connectors: The WiFi, GPS and BlueTooth modules use ribbon connectors to connect with the motherboard. These are small plastic strips with micro-thin conductive strips to make the connection. A fingernail or screwdriver tip can easily scrape off or remove the conductive material (a copper or silver color). If you do that, good luck finding that ribbon connector.

Finally: Obviously you VOID YOUR WARRANTY if you take the G1 apart. But if you ruined your LCD display, for example (because of water damage or dropping the phone) or you poked a hole thorough the middle of the keyboard, get a replacement display for under $100 and replace it yourself (since it is not covered under warranty anyway).

The back cover was removed.
The back cover was removed.

Two of the four screws were easily unscrewed, but the other two weren't. So, we pried open the chassis.
Two of the four screws were easily unscrewed, but the other two weren’t. So, we pried open the chassis.

Finally, a board appeared.
Finally, a board appeared.

The opened chassis
The opened chassis

The screw that did not turn (lower right)
The screw that did not turn (lower right)

Find more information here.


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