4. Install the Home button and camera plate on the new front panel
Using the pre-cut adhesive strips or double-sided tape, attach the camera plate to the new panel. Do the same for the Home button and the button bracket. Then reattach the Home button contact with the screwdriver.
5. Install the new front panel
Before reconnecting the panel, you should remove any pieces of adhesive or broken glass that are still stuck to the metal case.
With the case prepared, reconnect the new panel's digitizer cable to the main board connector and flip down the locking levers. Reconnect the LCD and secure it to the frame with its screws. Fold the front cover over into place, being extremely careful not to damage its cable.
At this point, we're just testing the panel's fit and functionality so we've haven't applied any of the adhesive strips. Turn the iPad on and verify everything works. If it does, turn the unit off, lift open the panel and apply the adhesive strips.
Before closing the panel for the last time, carefully inspect the LCD and inside of the panel for dust. If you see any, gently remove it using a microfiber cloth or puff of air. Avoid touching the inside of the panel's viewing area or the LCD with your fingers or anything else that might damage these surfaces. Once you're sure both surfaces are clean, fold the front panel back onto the metal case and press firmly, but gently along the edges. After removing the panel's protective film (if it has one), your fix is complete.
This is a tough fix. But when done successfully, it can breath new life into a broken iPad.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.