Got Dust? - Taking apart the Q9c How to take apart your Q9c or Q9m. This guide is primarily for cleaning dust off of the inside of the screen, but may be used as a general guide for disassembling your phone and/or replacing the screen or LCD panel. This guide should be used for educational purposes only and I take no responsibility for any damage you may cause to your phone in this process. Doing any of the following procedure may void your warranty and could easily destroy your phone. This guide and pictures are based on the Q9c, but should still apply to the Q9m. Things you'll need: T6 Torx (star) screwdriver ($3 at Sears, somewhat hard to find in other stores, $4 on eBay shipped) Cleaning solution (I used 90% rubbing alcohol) Lint free cloth and/or Q-tips Pocketknife or razor blade A steady hand A clean, well-lit, static free work area (static can damage electronics) Once you have everything together, let's get started. 1. Wash your hands and make sure your tools are clean. You want to get rid of the dirt, not introduce new dirt or fingerprints. 2. clean the outside of your screen. It may be hard to tell if the dirt is inside or outside, and it will be much easier to clean the outside now. 3. Turn off your phone, remove the battery cover, battery, and any miniSD card if present. 4. Remove the top half of the back cover. This cover slides off towards the top in exactly the opposite direction of the battery door. Do not attempt to pry it away from the back of the phone. There are a couple of access holes that can be used to help slide it. The clear plastic that covers the camera sensor, light sensor, and "flash" is all part of this same piece. See picture. http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll86/AnonPosterQ9c/1.jpg 5. Using the T6 Torx screwdriver, remove the 5 screws from the back of the phone. 3 of the screws were under the battery cover and 2 more under the camera area cover. There are no screws underneath the serial number sticker. Set the screws in a safe place; you won't find replacements at a hardware store so don't lose them. http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll86/AnonPosterQ9c/2.jpg 6. The black plastic piece now needs to be pried away from the chrome front piece. If you didn't remove your miniSD card, do so now. The bottom came loose pretty easily for me, but towards the top near the screen and earpiece was harder. Use the pocketknife or razor blade to help, if needed. DO NOT attempt to pry using the small holes at the top of the phone around the earpiece. The chrome plastic actually has the same slot in it, and prying using these holes could damage your chrome piece (see arrows in picture after step 7). Be gentle and work slowly. Be careful around the scroll wheel as the black piece surrounds both sides of the scroll wheel. http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll86/AnonPosterQ9c/3.jpg 7. You should now just have the stacked PCB setup stuck inside the chrome front piece. The LCD screen is actually a separate piece from the PCB setup. The LCD plugs in with a ribbon cable underneath the miniSD card slot. It may be easier to unplug the LCD screen first by prying the card slot up and carefully using your blade to lift the plug up from the plug slot. The card slot PCB actually has a pad and acts to hold the LCD plug in place when the phone is assembled. I did not attempt to remove the miniSD card PCB, but instead just bent it away enough to get the plug in and out. You can try to remove the PCBs without unplugging the screen, but it will be easier to clean everything with the LCD unplugged and the LCD will likely come unplugged on its own anyway. All of the PCBs without the screen will come out as one unit. Carefully lift and pry the PCB away from the chrome front piece. Take your time and be careful not to scratch any PCB surfaces with your blade. Start at the bottom, away from the screen and work your way up the side without the miniSD card slot. Eventually it will just sort of pop out. If you didn't unplug the screen earlier, you'll now have to hold the PCB in one hand and try to remove the screen with the other, and, as I said, the LCD will probably come unplugged sometime during this process. http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll86/AnonPosterQ9c/4.jpg Note the arrows in this picture. They point out the area in the chrome plastic at the top of the phone near the earpiece that you do not want to damage while prying the 2 pieces apart in step 6. 8. Carefully pry the LCD out of its housing. There is more LCD ribbon cable that goes around the top of the screen up to the earpiece area and hooks onto some thin metal copper piece. I'm not sure what this is for, but the ribbon cable appeared to be glued to the screen housing and it was difficult to pry the copper piece out without bending it. I ended up carefully prying the screen from the bottom and leaving the ribbon cable glued to the upper part of the housing. In other words, I never completely removed the LCD from the chrome front piece and used the ribbon as a hinge. The glue holding the ribbon isn't terribly strong and it would be possible to remove the screen completely, but I leave this up to you. http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll86/AnonPosterQ9c/5.jpg http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll86/AnonPosterQ9c/6.jpg http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll86/AnonPosterQ9c/7.jpg 9. Clean the LCD surface VERY gently with something that will not scratch it. Do not attempt to scrub the LCD as you may crack the screen. 10. Clean the inside of the glass screen front panel. 11. Double-check your LCD and screen for any dirt/dust and ensure that both are completely dry of any cleaning solutions. Gently snap the LCD back into its housing. Triple-check the screen area, preferrably in direct sunlight, for any remaining dust or dirt. If you bent the aforementioned copper metal piece in the earpiece area, attempt to bend it back as flat as possible. 12. If your LCD is still plugged into the main PCB, you might be able to skip this step, however, even if you think it's still plugged in, you should double-check the plug to ensure that it isn't loose. Since you can't pry the miniSD PCB off of the main board, you have to bend the PCB back and slide the ribbon cable into place. Once I had the plug in about the right place, I set the main PCB into the chrome plastic housing (note, I didn't snap it in, just set it in place). I then gently pressed the miniSD PCB down and double-checked my LCD ribbon plug to make sure that it was plugged in to the best of my ability. 13. Line your main PCB up with the screw holes and gently press it back in place. Make sure everything is lined up and that the LCD plug is still plugged in. 14. Maneuver the large black plastic piece around the scroll wheel and then carefully snap it back into place. Work your way around the phone and ensure that it is entirely snapped back into place. 15. Reinstall all 5 screws into their appropriate places. Be careful not to overtighten. The screws weren't tightened very much to start with and they are rather small. You don't want to strip a screw. 16. Reinstall the camera cover piece. Reinstall your miniSD card, if any. Reinstall your battery and then your battery cover. 17. Turn on your phone (insert agonizing wait here). Test every major function. Try all of the buttons and scroll wheel and miniSD if available. Call another phone and check that the earpiece, microphone, and speakerphone all work. If something doesn't work, well, I can't say I didn't warn you. I'm not an electrical engineer, so if it doesn't work, I can't help you. 18. Enjoy your dust-free screen even if you bricked your phone - hey, at least there's not dust on the screen anymore. :smile: A few side notes: There is a square of foam rubber that's attached to the glass in the chrome housing. You may be able to seal the screen area using something like silicone to help prevent dust inside the screen. It's a small area, though, and you may end up with glue or silicone somewhere where you don't want it or make it much harder to remove the screen again later if you get more dust on your screen. There is an area between the soft keys and the screen that appears that it may be a likely cause of the dust in the screen area that I have pictured below. http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll86/AnonPosterQ9c/8.jpg The qwerty keyboard appeared to me to be attached to the soft-key area below the screen glass. I have seen replacement screens for sale that included the soft keys, but not the keyboard. I'm not sure how easy it would be to separate the 2 pieces if you need to replace your glass. If you only have a tiny amount of dust in your screen, you should just live with it until it gets worse. If you don't have steady hands or tend to rush, you may want to think twice about performing this operation. Yes, I realize that the outside screen panel is almost certainly plastic instead of glass, but I call it glass because there's already a ton of other plastic in the phone and I want people to know what I'm talking about. I created a separate account and tried to remove any serial numbers I could find from the pictures. It is my hope that if something goes wrong with my phone during the warranty period, that I will still be able to get warranty service. I also don't want any grief from Sprint. Please respect my privacy. Thanks.