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To be sure, these conditions must be fulfilled for this to work safely:-
1) the tablet must be switched off (duh!)
2) ensure battery has been run down to flat (set the power options in Windows to do nothing when battery level is critical, then leave the tablet running until it shuts down by itself)
3) the steam iron should have a steam jet function (which delivers a more focused jet of steam instead of generally emitting steam all over the plate as steam irons normally do
4) do NOT allow the iron hotplate to contact the screen or tablet - only the steam!
Engage the steam jet and heat up one section (about half a side) of the tablet frame, then stick an iSesamo in and slice. Repeat.
I had a cracked screen so I thought I had little to lose. As it turned out, the tablet worked after replacing the battery and even the screen was still functioning (except for the cracks of course).
As for softening adhesives… I didn’t have an iOpener nor a heat gun, while a hair dryer was taking way too long (plus, like a heat gun, there was no telling how hot I might accidentally heat the tablet up to). So I decided to use a steam iron (you know, the one for ironing clothes). Although that may horrify many techies, hear me out. As I said, I had none of the commonly-used tools. Meanwhile, the steam iron has a very important benefit: the temperature of steam is self-limited to 100 deg C, which means there’s absolutely no way I’d accidentally overheat the tablet/work area.
continued in next post…
I should add that the one tool that helped me the most here - but is not mentioned in this guide - is an iSesamo! Or any similar, thin spring-steel product. It’s thin enough to be slipped under the screen after heating the adhesive, and thin and hard enough to simulate a blade (albeit a dull one). So with a little sawing motion (like using a craft knife) I was able to cut through the softened adhesive and work my way around the sides.
… continued from previous comment
But the motherboard goes in (and came out) of the case at an angle, so to prevent shorting accidents I did have a strip of cardboard covering the battery contacts until the motherboard was properly seated. Then I slowly withdrew the cardboard and re-installed/tightened all the motherboard screws.
Vennic’s comments were very helpful in guiding my own attempt.
However, after reading the many posts on the internuts of shorted mainboards and other accidents while using the method described here to remove the battery, I decided to just remove the entire mainboard. This just required
1) 10 more minutes; and
2) the removal of a few more screws (holding the motherboard, right speaker, power connector and card reader), flex cables and components (only the right speaker actually needed to be removed - the power connector and card reader can stay attached to the mainboard)
And voila! I could leisurely remove the old battery and adjust the new battery’s position. This turned out to be valuable, because my new battery’s top alignment hole was a little too close to the next 2 and so needed some flexing and adjustment of the contact. I can’t imagine if I had to do this while trying to keep the motherboard clear and work with the narrow gap underneath.
Continued in next comment…