SDA Disassembly

Saturday, October 14, 2006

As I haven't been able to find a guide to disassembling the SDA, I decided to write one. The instructions on how to take apart the C500 located at gave me the start I needed to take apart the SDA.

Disclaimer:Please note that opening your phone will void your warranty and may damage your device. Please do so at your own risk.

1. Remove the battery cover, battery, SIM card and MicroSD card.

2. Using a small flat head screwdriver, place the head of the screwdriver under the bottom left side of the hump where it meets the back plate of the phone. Turn the screwdriver slightly to seperate the hump from the plate. Repeat on the right side. There are tabs holding the hump to the phone indicated by the red arrows in the picture below.

3. When you remove the hump, the rubber antenna cover will pop off as well. Make sure not to lose it.

4. If you look at the underside of the hump, you will notice a rubber insert. Some people say that the antenna hump is not really an antenna. Well, if you remove the insert, you will notice that a small metal strip runs under the insert to the top of the hump. Now I can't say whether it improves reception at all. I'm currently waiting to receive a T-Mobile SDA UK case that doesn't have the hump. After I get the new case I'll be able to compare reception with and without the hump.

5. Using a T5 or T6 Torx screwdriver, remove the 6 screws in shown in the picture below. Note that the screw labeled VOID is located under a sticker. By removing the sticker to get to that screw, you are voiding your warranty. Now some people claim that you can disassemble the phone without removing that screw. I haven't found a way to do this as these screws hold the circuitry of the phone to the case. I found that for most screws the T5 works best, but there were one or two that the T6 seemed to keep the screw from stripping. Use light pressure and try both to see which works best for you.

6. With the screws removed, turn the phone over as not to scratch the screen. Now comes the hard part (in my opinion). The front and back pieces are held together by tabs located on the sides of the phone. In order to separate the pieces, you can either try to just pry the two apart (which I have to admit I did the first time when I didn't know where the tabs were) or use a screwdriver to get between the pieces and separate them. I use the small flathead from step 2 to get between the the two pieces, rotate the screwdriver and pop the pieces apart. Repeat this on both sides of the phone to pop them apart. The lefts side with the volume rocker is the harder side to pop apart. Be patient and use care. The picture below shows the locations of the tabs.

7. When the tabs are release and the two pieces separate slightly, you will notice a ribbon cable connecting the circuit board to the back plate. HTC designed this connector well and it separates easily. It is pretty easy to reconnect as well. Just align the cable to the white connector and press together.

8. The two sides can now be completely separated as shown in the picture below. The circuit board is held to the top piece by just two side tabs. These are easy to push back to remove the circuit board.

9. Once the tabs are released, you can remove the circuit board from the case. At this point the phone is disassembled.

The process of reassembling the phone is straight forward. I will be receiving a new case in the next couple of weeks. When I do, I will update this posting with instructions on removing the keypad and installing the phone components in the new case.


  • This is great. Thanks. Good tutorial I might need it when i swap my housing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:58 PM  

  • Is this the same technique needed to clean the dust from under the joystick since it stops working after a while?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:08 PM  

  • Great walkthrough. I just replaced my very damaged T-Mo USA shell for the T-Mo UK one. Minimal trouble with your pics! Only problem was when I snapped on the top rear piece--broke off one of the tabs.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:24 PM  

  • Great!

    I spent a lot of time looking around for a way to disassemble the SDA and your tutorial really really helps!

    By Anonymous Shanks, at 7:44 AM  

  • Great. I wonder where the backup battery battery is located and what type is uded. THX.

    By Blogger Michael, at 9:37 AM  

  • Great tutorial. I have T-Mobile SDA and I replaced the housing with the UK T-Mobile housing. It's been two days using the new housing and so far I can confirm there is no signal or reception loss without the T-Mobile USA housing antenna bump.
    When assembling the new housing I sandpapered a litle bit the inside of the antenna cover so I can fit the antenna. The USA version's antenna is slightly longer, so I just folded the strip that originally goes into the antenna hump.

    By Anonymous Berty, at 10:58 PM  

  • do know where is the brain, os, module, bios of the phone to change the one to other because only white screen appears.. thanks
    blchasme hotmail com

    By Blogger Ricardo Escobedo ECUADOR, at 9:43 AM  

  • Great tutorial. Only two things I'd add. One, there's a 2nd ribbon cable going from the keyboard to the circuit board that needs to be detached (similar to the one that divides the two halves). Easy.

    Second, if you're doing this to clean the joystick, there are 4 little screws that hold that assembly in place. No problem taking them off/on. Take the cap off once free and spray the assembly underneath with some quality electronic component cleaner. Dry it off with Dust Off. My joystick is back to working after this but I doubt it will last too much longer. It still doesn't like going right. :(

    By Blogger Schribotten, at 11:40 AM  

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